20 August 2008

Some Followup to the CAACR Followup

The blog has received numerous helpful emails and comments regarding the defense that the CAACR ad was shown “accidentally” after it had been pulled "after Cristi consulted the CAACR who did NOT approve of the ad."A few items have surfaced that either complicate or negate that assertion. For the moment, let's focus on what we know from public sources about the days surrounding the ad's airing.

We know that Cristi Adkins and Mike Donovan worked together to publicize the VoterGate and Count All Votes sites.

We know that on 28 May, Cristi Adkins, or someone posing as her, posted a call for funds for an ad “to appear before the primaries in S Dakota and Montana.” The ad was for the CAACR, a group for which Mike Donovan was asked to act as media contact.

On June 1st, Adkins asked for prayers to aid Mike Donovan during his scheduled interview with Neil Cavuto. In another instance, on the same day, she also directed a suspected “Obama troll” to “open THIS,” followed by a link to http://www.caacr.com/News.html

On June 2nd, Adkins issued a second plea for funds alongside a link to the original CAACR ad on YouTube. She wrote, “[t]he ad is jarring, but gets enough attention to reach the National Scale of media needed for more impact to the Super delegates and to S. Dakota and Montana voters. You can help” by donating five or ten dollars.

A few hours later, she sent out notice that she had:

1. Got news that the ads are stirring a big rucus and may be pulled.
2. Got the word that Cavuto is thinking of bumping his segment today…

And yet later on the 2nd, Adkins sent out an alert asking supporters to:
Email them and find out why the ad’s are being pulled? What happened to freedom of speech?

Of course the ads, and Donovan’s segment on Cavuto, were pulled. The following day, Adkins wrote:

I sent notices yesterday, there will be no segment. The show had reservations about the guest due to the controversy of the ad’s thus, the official statement is “Neil never agreed to the show”
Shortly after this, CAACR’s press release and its website were deleted. The ad had touched off a mini-controversy, and people worked fervently to remove as much evidence of its existence as possible. Its truncated record prompts questions about the CAACR's membership--many posters have suggested it was a fabrication. I'm not quite prepared to make that claim, yet I think it's important to address questions about Adkins’s level of involvement in the group (and its ad), and, perhaps more so, about Mike Donovan, who seems to be fairly close to Adkins in the development of petitions, websites, and press releases in support of Hillary Clinton’s campaign prior to the campaign’s suspension.

All of this information, by the way, is available via Google.

And why is it important? Maybe it's not, ultimately, but in my view, it's a matter of ethics. It's one thing to argue over a candidate's non-viability for office based on policies and public issues. It's another thing altogether to negate a person's candidacy on the basis of edited speeches, lies, and distortions. Perhaps some residual idealism is poking through here; naturally, muddy tactics are often (but not always) effective, and politics is a bloodsport. That being said, however, people who endorse and raise funds for groups organized with the specific goal of destroying someone--well, what do you say?

One thing to add: Ms. Adkins is, indeed, a Clinton supporter. She's not a GOP operative, which is why I find statements attributed to her puzzling. How do such statements, such advocacies, reconcile with the support of a woman who, in nearly every sense, has been victimized by people who oppose her politically and ideologically?

Rats. It's that dratted idealism poking up again.

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