"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Response to Dump Mike’s Nathan Rudy

This post is in answer to Nathan Rudy’s latest comments on our post from yesterday about the deceitful calls received by voters in Congressman Mike Ferguson’s district. If you read to the end you might be surprised by a few facts Nathan Rudy would probaly prefer you not know.

Here is the link to the transcript of an actual robo call targeting Ferguson. The call was a collection of lies and distortions about Social Security reform. The call refers to “the plan” and then goes on to provide the “cost” and percent of “reduced benefits” under “the plan”. What Social Security plan? The one the Democrats dreamed up as a straw man to bash?

As you note in your comment. Ferguson said “I support giving younger workers the option to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes” Explain how the numbers in the robo message can be calculated based upon the information contained in Ferguson’s statement or from the entire paragraph you posted? They can’t.

But it is interesting that government workers, elected officals and teachers have their pension funds in the very investments the robo call terms a “Wall Street slot machine and a “risky Wall Street gamble.” Demagoguery at it best.

If we had a telephone number for a specific person for people to call in order to ask the AFT to knock it off, we would have provided one. If the deceptive calls about Ferguson continue, we now know Assemblywoman Linda Stender is the best person to call. Who has a better chance of getting the calls stopped - your average voter, calling some group in Washington or Stender, a state official and the beneficiary of the annoying calls?

You said “The Dump Mike post was a call for more honesty in the political process, but it was speaking on a specific issue: push polling.” Nathan, you’re trying to make a distinction where no difference exists.

The “push poll” calls are an attempt to make the listener believe Ferguson holds the position(s) described or has a specific record on one or more issues. The “advocacy calls” we’ve been discussing serve the same purpose - both call formats have the same objective in mind – misinform voters and smear Ferguson in the process.

You haven’t explained why you make a distinction between the two call formats and there is no logical reason for you to claim one is dishonest and a dirty trick and the other is peachy keen. In our opinion the same level of honesty should be required of all political calls, regardless of format. You obviously disagree. We admitted we misunderstood your call for honesty and we stand corrected. How are we “twisting” your words?

Enlighten NJ is an anonymous group blog, but we aren’t “spinning”. Our posts are there for all to see and fact-check. The calls, in either format, offer no such opportunity. How many people do you suppose transcribe these messages to later verify the accuracy of the information? These political calls are produced to create a negative impression of a targeted politician. A person makes a conscious choice to read a blog post. The calls are uninvited and the best the receiver can do is hang up after they have been intruded upon. If you can’t “see the difference“ between blog posts and robo political calls, you have our sympathies.

You wrote: “We could very easily have done the site [Dump Mike] anonymously without declaring it”. Is that so? Aren’t there laws governing the solicitation, receipt and disbursement of political donations? Isn’t disclosure one of the requirements?

Nathan you are a politician and an elected official. You have been cited by the court for failure to submit timely and accurate campaign reports. Type in the name “Nathan Rudy” on the New Jersey Election Law site and here’s what you’ll find:

The Respondent violated and continues to violate, as of the date of this Complaint, N.J.S.A. 19:44A-16 by failing to certify as correct and file with the Commission a 20-day post election report (Form R-1) and a final report (Form R-1) in the 2004 primary election as prescribed by the Campaign Reporting Act and Commission regulations.
Yea, we know you were found guilty and paid your fines. So give yourself a pat on the back if you’ve learned your lesson and have now decided to follow the law, including those governing Dump Mike activities.

We don’t make money from this blog, we don’t solicit campaign donations, and we aren’t in or running for office. Do you bug DBK over on Blanton's and Ashton's to stop blogging anonymously? Trying to make our anonymity an issue is a red herring.

Speaking of anonymity - do you publish your identity on your other political websites? No, you don’t. Yet, you’re trying to make money on one of them selling NJ political campaign stuff, including Mike Ferguson campaign buttons and bumper stickers. The irony was not lost on us.

Our honesty and transparency in the political process comes from writing posts with links to verifiable information. We draw conclusions and state our opinions on issues, but we certainly don’t try to hide or disguise them.

The purpose of your blog is to dump Mike and collect money. It really wouldn’t matter who the Republican Congressman was in the 7th, you’d just change the name of your blog. You’re seeking political power, we’re trying to present information and a point of view for public consideration. Most people can recognize the difference.


At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Blue 7th PAC said...

Yes, I am an elected official. In seven years of serving my town I have been paid exactly $0. I have filed exactly $0 in expenses. Obviously, I am in this for the money.

Yes, my Freeholder campaign filed a primary report late. It was for a period where we raised no money. We made a mistake, and we owned up to it publicly. Obviously, we are trying to hide things.

Yes, I operate some web sites that make money selling political buttons and t-shirts. They are all registered in my name, but operate individually under separate names. This is fairly normal business practice, as you do not see AT&T operating under it's CEO name or of its major shareholders but under the name of AT&T. Anyone who can use Whois can find out that I own the sites, and I am not hiding the fact.

Yes, Blue 7th PAC and its Dump Mike blog raise money for political activities and are working to defeat Mike Ferguson this fall. We don't hide either fact. Thousands of other political action committees registered with the FEC and the state of New Jersey do the same.

The difference between an issue call like the AFT one you mention -- which I agree is probably out of bounds -- and the push-polling is that push-polling presents itself as non-partisan and attempting to gather information. That is far more insidious than a call that is obviously trying to impart information. Maybe that is too fine of a distinction for you but I think it means something.

Most of what you wrote in this post about me or my various political and commercial enterprises is accurate, though I quibble with your attribution of my goals. But your intent was to slam the crap out of me because I dared to suggest that you should follow the same rules you set out for others. If you think AFT should disclose who the people behind their calls are, then you should disclose who the people are behind Enlighten NJ.

I actually believe that anonymous political speech is important, and from Benjamin Franklin on down to today it has been a cornerstone of dissent. If you want to stay anonymous and not let anyone find out if any of you are elected officials, or if any of you have filed a late report, or if any of you operate a business, or if any of you have made a mistake that is your decision. But you can't demand a level of openess of others that you are not willing to have yourself.

This is your blog, and as such it is only fitting that you have the last word. Best regards, Nathan.

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Blue-balls 7th PAC really had his ass handed to him and his response shows he's been found out. When Enlighten goes on the offensive you can almost hear "check-mate" in the background. The Dems have ruined this State and we will be taken over by the Feds within 2 years.
Golan Cipel

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