So on Tuesday night I sat in on a broadcast of Marty Owings’ “Capitol Conversations” pitting the DFL candidate (Rep. John Lesch of HD66A) against Greg Copeland, the GOP’s endorsed candidate. Both are running for the Senate District 66 special election; Lesch faces a primary challenge from former HD66B representative Mary Jo McGuire in next week’s primary.
(Disclosure: I’m a volunteer on Copeland’s campaign).
Toward the end of the interview (you can see it here), Owings asked Lesch about a piece that appeared in Minnesota Democrats Exposed last week, questioning Lesch’s alleged campaigning in uniform.
I’m not really going to get involved in that issue. I figure Lesch, a county prosecutor in his civilian life, knows the rules; both he and the US Army/MN National Guard can take care of themselves as re regulations; if it does turn out the county hired a prosecutor who’s too stupid to follow such basic rules – and I don’t believe that’s the case – then perhaps heads should roll there.
So it’s not the allegations of campaigning on Army time that bother me.
It’s Lesch’s reaction to the question.
Owings asked Lesch if he had a response to the MDE piece.
Lesch pointed out the Stars and Stripes tie and pin that Copeland wears. Everywhere. Every day. Every time I’ve seen the guy, he’s wearing one, the other, or both. (Unless he’s going all Irish on us) and said (I’m closely paraphrasing here; you can watch the video here and judge for yourself how accurate I’m being) he was within the rules (which, again, nobody on the set disputed, then or now), and it’s typical of Republicans to wrap themselves in the flag when it suits them, but to “crap on it” (I believe those were his words) when it didn’t.
Representative Lesch: it’s not “crapping on the flag” to question an elected representative. We mere peasants get to do that in our society. Even if we’re not government workers. You don’t get immunity as a prosecutor or as a legislator from questions or criticism. You may see it as “crapping on John Lesch”; if you are correct about military regulations, you may even have a point.
But you are not The Flag. You serve it – and, via various chains of command, us. The flag doesn’t immunize you any more than any other public servant or employee.
(Watch for at least one “Berg is a chickenhawk” reference from the leftyblog loony bin in response to this. Any bets on that?)