Astroturf is the term we use to describe events that are not popular grass roots events but are funded, often covertly, by groups or campaigns.
Over the weekend, a disturbing incident occurred in Indiana. It raises a number of questions.
Richard Lugar of Indiana is a long time RINO. In fact, Tea Party Nation has named him as one of the top five RINO’s we would like to see lose in a primary challenge. Richard Mourdock is the state treasurer of Indiana and he is running, offering himself up as the Tea Party alternative.
On Saturday, in Kokomo, there was a rally for Mourdock. During the rally, Mourdock went to some lengths to distinguish himself from the Tea Party. Then, a well-known conservative blogger, Rebel Pundit, went up to ask Mourdock some questions. The questions were softball questions. They were not hard questions.
Near the end, Jim Holden, who is Mourdock’s campaign manager and Indiana Chief Deputy Treasurer and General Counsel, grabbed Rebel Pundit’s camera, damaging it. It is obvious that Mourdock and his campaign want the interview to end at that point. Jeremy, Rebel Pundit, can be clearly heard saying, “just one more question.”
The actions of this campaign are inexcusable. For the campaign manager of a Republican campaign, a campaign that seeks Tea Party support, to do something like this is beyond stupid.
Rebel Pundit’s video is already going viral. As well it should.
Rebel Pundit’s cause has already been picked up by what I like to call the “Tea Party Underground.” This is a group made up of some very savvy activists. These folks do not like their names in print and avoid the spotlight. But they make a lot of things happen, particularly in the blogosphere and new media.
The Mourdock campaign is going to regret doing this.
In the interest of full disclosure, I had been invited to that event in Kokomo. Some people have been reaching out to me, trying to secure an endorsement of him.
I want Lugar gone. I have serious doubts if Mourdock is the man to do it.
If Mourdock wants to make things right with the Tea Party movement, he needs to do the following:
1. Apologize directly and immediately to Rebel Pundit.
2. Replace his camera that the Mourdock Campaign Manager damaged.
3. Fire Jim Holden.
I have reached out to the people who have been asking me to support Mourdock, asking them about what happened. The video evidence does not support the version of events I am getting from them. Video can be edited, but no matter how you edit it, Jim Holden, the campaign manager clearly assaults Rebel Pundit and Mourdock does nothing about it. That is unacceptable.
Make your own judgment. View the video here, on Tea Party Nation.
Wrong. You guys are really gullable.
First, any competant polititian has to qualify his associations. The tea party, while fundamentally honest and conservative is also amorphous and basically leaderless. Bear in mind that the opposition's job is to sterotype their opponents. Just look at how they've stereotyped Palin. With the tea party falling prey to this sort of drivel it is easy to understand why a competant man like Richard Mourdock would both clearly express that he is aligned with the tea party's interest but if those interest morph into something else or become stereotyped as something else, he hasn't permenantly annealed himself to them.
Second, the dweeb with the camera could have been anyone and from any political interest regardless of what he says. I wasn't impressed either buy his questions or the video. While Mourdock's "handler" looked rude, it's clear that there was more to the story than was being shown by the camera.
I know enough about Richard Mourdock to give him my backing. TPN and Rebel Pundit have lost credibility here. They'll have to earn their way back.
What you say is true. The criticizm is fine which is why Mourdock apologized. His people were in the wrong and he realized it. However, he is no rhino. He answered the interveiwers question but the interviewer wanted a commitment, to the tea party (phrase) where it was clear one wasn't forthcoming. Mourdock as I understood him was trying to commit to principles. That should raise anyone's suspicion about the interviewers real intent and perhaps his associations. Rather than criticize an authentic conservative candidate particularly one whose answers are really solid, we ought to exercise caution about faux journalist insurgents.
I'm not saying you're wrong. My beef is with those who think Mourdock should have blindly signed on the the "Tea Party", amorphous, leaderless and without principles attached. then when the scandle about some flake tea party member arises Mourdock will be painted with that brush.