I have this friend; let’s call her “Lydia”. “Literal Lydia”, we called her in high school. She was a little anal-retentive. She sorted her sock drawer by thickness. She reportedly brushed her teeth before and after giving a talk in speech class. She pronounced the “g” in words like “Knowing” and “Sailing” and “Talking”; “if it’s in writing, that’s how it’s supposed to be”, she always said.
Back when we were filling out our high school yearbooks, I made the mistake of writing “Thanks a Million!” to one of our other classmates. She saw my yearbook, and looked at me. “You neither said nor wrote thank you a million times! You are a liar!”
“But it’s just a figure of spee…” I started to try to explain.
“What’s in writing is the only reality!” she bellowed.
A few years later – ten, to be exact, since I long since learned one must be exact when talking about, to, or in reference to Literal Lydia – I called her to tell her that my oldest had been born.
“What’s the name?”, Lydia asked.
“Bun [*]”, I responded.
“Did you file a birth certificate yet?” Lydia demanded.
“Well, not yet…”
“Then she has no name!”, Lydia bellowed. “Because the written word is the only reality there is!”
Lydia worked as an actualry for about ten years after college, but she got fired for harshing the other actuaries’ mellow.
She might be a liberal blogger today.
You’re running for governor.
You’re facing an opponent who can outspend you 3-1 just out of his own personal checkbook, who can finance a campaign by unloading a Renoir or two for more money than you will ever make in your life, your spouse’s life, and your kids’ lives. Your opponent’s campaign is backstopped by a media that is thoroughly in the bag for your opponent. You are on the road eight days a week, between debates, campaign stops and fundraisers. Your staff – small, young, underpaid and and running more on Red Bull than cash – is doing the work of a couple of staffs.
So given the above, triage the following activities:
- Make it to your campaign events on time.
- Get to your fundraising events on time and rarin’ to go.
- Update niggling paperwork, especially paperwork that has no legal requirement for the timeliness of any updates.
Which of the above a) must you do, which will you b) do the best you can, and c) which miiiiiight just fall through the cracks?
If “3” is anything but “c”, you have no future as a shoestring underdog campaigner. However, I know a chick named Lydia who might dig you…
Lydia would dig Jeff Rosenberg of MnPublius. Jeffthinks he’s onto something; he and his blog-mate Zack Stevenson appearently noticed that while Mark Buesgens had left the Emmer Campaign on September 13, the state Campaign Finance Board website still showed Buesgens as the campaign’s chairman.
The Emmer campaign had apparently had the temerity to insist that Buesgens had left the campaign on the 13th to take a position at the Minnesota GOP.
The Emmer campaign, instead of just telling the truth and admitting that its campaign chair made a mistake, fell back on its time-honored practice of trying to mislead Minnesotans. They claimed Buesgens was no longer the campaign chair, when in fact he had been attending functions as campaign chair just the day before.
Now, Rosenberg presents no evidence of any such appearances, so I have no real way of running this down; I don’t attend many campaign events. But apparently the Star/Tribune, in covering Buesgens’ arrest, was under the same “delusion“:
Emmer and Buesgens were together briefly earlier that day at a campaign event, Emmer’s campaign said. [The Strib writers, Baird Helgeson and Paul Walsh, apparently didn’t notice anything about Buesgens being introduced as a chairman]
Buesgens was Emmer’s campaign manager from June through the weekend before the primary in August.
Buesgens also served as a consultant for Emmer, but a campaign spokesman said his last day was Sept. 12. Buesgens now works as a consultant for the state Republican Party, said Mark Drake, a party spokesman.
Seems pretty clear-cut to me.
It does to Rosenberg, too – but not in the same way that most of us think:
When the news broke yesterday, Emmer sent a letter to the Campaign Finance and Disclosure Board asking that his registration be changed, and backdated by a week.
Did Emmer really think nobody would find out that he did this? He could have told the truth and admitted Rep Buesgens made a mistake, and that would have been the end. Instead, his first inclination was apparently to lie about it.
And here’s the “smoking gun”; a fax from the Emmer campaign to the Campaign Finance Board:
So – we have a fax, sent a week after the effective date of Buesgens’ job change, to a state bureaucracy, asking them to change the Campaign Chair listing.
Obviously there’s a coverup.
Well, if you presume that everything the Emmer campaign told the Strib, and sent out in their press release on Buesgen’s departure, was false.
The problem is, it’s not.
I talked with MN GOP spokesman Mark Drake. On the record. Mark Buegens started with the party on September 13 – exactly as the Strib was told. Exactly as the press release said. “These conspiracy theories are just wrong”, Drake added with a chuckle.
Speaking on background, another source at the Minnesota GOP said that while the party isn’t giong to release payroll records to the public, they do in fact show that Buesgens started with the party on…
Just like the campaign said.
It’s also only an issue if there’s any statutory deadline for reporting staff changes to the Campaign Finance Board. Did the campaign stretch any rules, much less break any laws, by waiting a week to notify them, inadvertently or not?
I don’t know the rules on this – and I’m going to guess Rosenberg and Stevenson don’t either – but I’m gonna guess the answer is no.
Oh, and the one-week-late, “smoking gun” fax?
So why would the DFL and their affiiliated bloggers be carping about this – words fail me – mind-numbingly trivial paperwork bobble, when their candidate Mark Dayton just released another budget that falls billions short of balancing the budget even as it mercilessly punishes initiative and merit…
…oh, yeah. Never mind.
This is, of course, as clear a case of Berg’s Tenth Law as I have ever seen:
Berg’s Tenth Law of Quantum Context: When a liberal says a conservative is “lying”, the odds of the “lie” being merely an ambiguity triggering some form of cognitive dissonance increases in geometric proportion with the volume and stridency of the liberal’s declaration.