Pants On Fire
I recently lamented Westly's campaign and compared him to an emperor with no clothes on. I was wrong. Apparently, he does have pants on...and they are on fire.
The CA League of Conservation Voters, Vote the Coast, The Sierra Club, and Clean Water Action have written a response to Westly's misleading ads on Phil's environmental record. Basically, the Westly campaign has been taking "liberties with the truth":
There's a good reason the California League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, Vote the Coast, and Clean Water Action have all endorsed Phil Angelides for Governor. It's because we believe that he has a much greater in-depth knowledge of our issues and a deeper commitment to them than other candidates for Governor. Unfortunately, Steve Westly's response to the endorsement of Phil Angelides by these environmental groups, has been to launch a barrage of negative television ads against Angelides, portraying him as anti-environment. This tactic breaks a promise Westly made to keep this campaign clean and will make it more difficult for the winner of the primary to beat Schwarzenegger in November.I highlighted two parts. The first is what I have been saying for some time now: Phil Angelides is the more competent of the two. That should go without saying--unless you're listening to Westly's ads. The second highlights the fact that Westly is peddling tabloid nonsense in his ads. The same is true for Westly's "pro-tax Angelides" ads. Truth, no matter the issue, does not seem to be factor for this campaign.
These ads are an insult to all of the environmental organizations who endorsed Phil Angelides. Vote the Coast, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV), Clean Water Action all gave sole endorsements to Angelides. The Sierra Club gave a dual endorsement. There is no way any of these organizations would endorse someone without checking out the candidate thoroughly. All of these organizations ask the candidates to fill out an exhaustive questionnaire and then appear for an in-depth interview. (In the case of CLCV, the interview was a televised face-to-face debate.) As part of that process, they check into anything they hear, even rumors, that might be indicative of where someone actually stands on environmental issues and what type of an elected official he (she) might be. During the endorsement process, Steve Westly made many of the very charges against Phil Angelides that he is now airing on television. These allegations were checked out very thoroughly and found to be distortions or falsehoods.
I'm not directly involved with either campaign so I don't have emotional attachment in that sense, but I will be quite disappointed with a Westly win. Not because he isn't a good person, but his campaign has been so filled with lies and distortions, has underminded the Democratic Party by perpetuating the stereotype that Dems aren't fiscally prudent, and has not, from my perspective, shown the slightest interest in the specifics of the issues. Westly's campaign has been one of the most atrocious Democratic campaign I've witnessed in the last several years and is an utter disappointment. He couldn't win on the issues so he had to run around with his pants continually ablaze.