Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Won't Somebody Please Think of the Children?

Or, better yet, not

Children, and their many uses as political props, are suddenly at the heart of two Connecticut campaigns. First, the Murphy-Johnson race:
An angry Nancy Johnson demanded Wednesday that her Democratic opponent pull a television ad accusing the Republican congresswoman of ignoring a constituent's pleas to help her obtain health insurance coverage for her infant's reconstructive facial surgery.
[...]
"I contacted Nancy Johnson's office repeatedly," McCall-Goldie says in the ad, as a series of dates scroll across the screen. "She never called back. But I went to state Sen. Chris Murphy and within six months Chris passed a law mandating insurance coverage for reconstructive facial surgery."

Johnson called the ad "dishonest to the core."

She said McCall-Goldie contacted her in 2005 by e-mail, two years after the state law passed. In the e-mail, the mother sought the congresswoman's support of a similar federal law that requires insurers to cover ongoing medical procedures needed by patients with craniofacial problems. ("Johnson")

Go read the whole article to see the rest of the sniping.

However, that's not nearly as bad as this:
A group of children, on Democratic gubernatorial candidate John DeStefano's behalf, delivered a handwritten letter to Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell Wednesday asking why she hasn't done more to help children without health care.

Minutes before, the children stood behind DeStefano and his running mate, Mary Glassman, at a news conference outside the state Capitol.

DeStefano, citing statistics from the Universal Health Care Foundation, said nearly 400,000 people, including 75,000 children, have no coverage in Connecticut. He blamed Rell's administration for reducing state spending on promoting the HUSKY health care program for children. Outreach funding dropped from $4 million to $850,000, he said. ("News")

I can just imagine a four-year-old boy toddling up to the governor and asking her, in the most adorable little way, about health insurance premiums. Sorry: pwemiums. Right, that's better.

Kids make great props, no doubt about it. They're right up there with the military and the elderly among the things that its very, very hard to be against. After all, when was the last time you heard this?
CANDIDATE A: We must make sure our kids are safe, our elders are well cared for, and that we respect our men and women in uniform.

CANDIDATE B: I disagree completely.

In fact, politicians try so hard to be in favor of keeping kids safe that they will, from time to time, do dumb things like holding Congressional hearings on video games or getting tough on junk food.

Both DeStefano and Murphy, however, are treading dangerously close to the line between favoring childrens' issues and simply using them. It's too bad, because health care for children is a serious issue. Unfortunately, it will be overshadowed by the less-than-subtle tactics of the candidates.

Sources
"Johnson demands ad featuring birth defect baby be pulled." Associated Press 11 October, 2006.

"News and Notes from the Campaign Trail." Associated Press 11 October, 2006.

41 comments:

Common Sense Over Partisan Politics said...

Great post GC.

Anonymous said...

Rell is a fraud on health care for kids. She has followed the lead of the Rowland, trying to cut back on the HUSKY health care program, increasing premiums for kids and parents to push thousands of families off the program, increasing application red tape to discourage families from applying, etc. The Democrats turned back some of her cuts, but not all. And her recent outreach funding barely starts to make up for the massive cuts that she and Rowland instituted. As usual, Grandma packs a knife under her bonnet.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Superb. Using children in such a fashion is nothing less than pandering.


BTW -
I spent the evening in Ridgefield with about 130 other Republicans, meeting and listening to J.C Watts.

I'm waiting for the photos to get emailed to me and I'll do a post about it.

Anonymous said...

Wow ACR,JC Watts!!!


That means their were 10 Black Republicans in Ct at one time!!

I hope he was paid well for doing his show.

Anonymous said...

There's something unseemgly about blaming politicians for personal misfortune, I think.

It's also a bit surprising to see the creator of Husky insurance nationwide (in it's various forms) getting lambasted for not addressing children's health.

I suppose now toddlers can pilot swift boats

Anonymous said...

ACR: Where was the outrage to N. Johnson's terrorism ad (a terrorist phone call comes in that could not be intercepted b/c of FISA - N. Johnnson says intercept that phone call, C. Murphy says wait and get a warrant) that was patently false? Just asking....

I'm curious where the dates come from in Murphy's ad. Is N. Johnson saying they just made it up?

The award for best political ad with children in it is the Lamont ad with the elementary school kids.

Anonymous said...

What a great week for Murphy in the Courant. Rinker Buck's Sunday article was right on about Johnson. Then his coverage of Johnson's press conference yesterday nailed Johnson. Has anyone heard that Murphy asked Rinker to come on as his press secretary either on the campaign or after he wins? Would Rinker take it?

Anonymous said...

What a great week for Murphy in the Courant. Rinker Buck's Sunday article was right on about Johnson. Then his coverage of Johnson's press conference yesterday nailed Johnson. Has anyone heard that Murphy asked Rinker to come on as his press secretary either on the campaign or after he wins? Would Rinker take it?

Anonymous said...

Rell trotted out disadvantaged children when she vetoed the Democrats' clean contracting bill. If she wanted to veto the bill for whatever reasons that was just fine but having the kids who undoubtedly knew nothing substantive about the bill at the press conference crossed the line. They all do it without regard to party uniform.

Anonymous said...

Survey after survey says something different about CT's economy so I don't know which way is up but there is an article front page on the business section of the CT Post today saying some stuff that maybe we're getting better because other states got worse. Maybe that Brian kid fresh out of UCONN with his degree in economics can weigh in on the article and the sources and methods used.

Anonymous said...

Rinker wouldn't take a campaign press spot, but I am sure he would do the Washington deal when Murphy wins. The guy has written books, he's a great writer, he's done it all. DC would be the great next step working for an up and comer like Chris- if he does that he could end up at the WH in 08 with Clinton

Anonymous said...

Rinker's coverage of Murphy couldn't be better- I agree, but come on DC? He won't leave the Courant.

Anonymous said...

Murphy is an up and comer or a Johnny Come Lately?

Johnson wins.

Anonymous said...

Is the ad online somewhere? I can't find it. GC, can you post it?

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Anonymous said...
ACR: Where was the outrage to N. Johnson's terrorism ad (a terrorist phone call comes in that could not be intercepted b/c of FISA - N. Johnnson says intercept that phone call, C. Murphy says wait and get a warrant) that was patently false? Just asking....



Where was the outrage when it was discovered that Murphy had misled a large group of medical doctors into hefty donations and then left them at the alter?

Where was the outrage when Murphy had his opponent's wife being checked into a mental institution and his child with cancer and none of it was true at all?

As it regards Chris Murphy where there is no line he won't cross, no lie too large to tell; there can be no holds barred what-so-ever.


Imagine donating loads of hard-earned cash to a local candidate, holding numerous fund raisers at your home on his behalf and working tirelessly for that candidate through a series of election cycles. Then imagine that same person calling your competitor who had never once donated a dime towards your efforts when it was time to purchase something as expensive as your 1st house.

Chris Murphy is such a man. He has no loyalty at all, and I seriously doubt that he has a soul.

He is the most evil political player I have ever encountered in a lifetime of involvement.

Anonymous said...

ACR: Can you post a link to an article that discusses either of the two incidents you referred to. I think it would make interesting reading.

Just as a side note, so you think Johnson's ad was ok?

Anonymous said...

The reason that ad has NJ so upset is because it's true , and she doesn't generally like that unflattering side of herself shown.

The ad is true, Nancy was called and didn't respond. When she was approached at a public event she never did address the issue of health coverage for children with craniofacial malformations.
Instead she was angry with this woman because she supports Chris Murphy, the person who helped her and thousands of other children in CT.

Nancy missed an opportunity to help thousands more in the U.S. with the similar healthcare issues. Maybe Nancy's just embarrassed that she didn't care enough until it meant losing votes.

Anonymous said...

I thought name calling was a no-no.
Why are comments such as calling someone "evil" allowed?

Please people- grow up and act your age when writing.

Michelle said...

Yeah I think it's pretty crazy that Rinker would even consider taking a job with the Murphy campaign. After covering the election, that would really undermind his credibility as a journalist. Also, I imagine that Murphy would hire his campaign press secretary to be his congressional press secretary.

As to Murphy's new ad and Johnson's desperate attempts to discredit the mother featured in the ad, I think it's sick that she would attack a mother who so obviously cares first and foremost about the health of her child. Johnson tried to defend herself by saying that she spoke personally with her twice, but as the mother says in a Murphy press release, she had to hunt her down and confront her at public events in order to get Johnson to speak with her. That's not the way a constituent with a serious concern should have to get in touch with her congresswoman.

ctdude said...

I don't think Rinker Buck has been offered a position in the Murphy campaign, that would seem kinda silly. I doubt Buck wants to leave his pretty cool gig at the paper, and it would cast the Courant in bad light with regard to staffer bias.

As to the anonymous poster who wrote that Murphy "is the most evil political player I have ever encountered in a lifetime of involvement." Um. what? First off, your spelling sucks. And in the midst of all your mean-spirited Murphy-bashing, you fail to refute the falsehoods in Johnson's ads. How do you justify her boldface lies?

Come on. If Murphy's the worst you've ever seen, your "lifetime of involvement" must of begun yesterday.

Anonymous said...

FYI: The person ripping Murphy was Authentic Conn. Republican.

I mean the man (or woman) is entitled to his opinion. I'd be interested to see if there is some published discussion of the conduct that he complains about. Of course, with a tag that includes the term Republican in it, its not surprising he doesn't like Murphy and doesn't complain about anything Johnson does such as ignoring the pleas of an aguished mother or slandering an opponent.

Anonymous said...

The ad is nonsense and a hit piece. I mean the woman in the ad gave the nominating speech at Murphy's convention-- and then on 9/16/06 she called Johnson's office for help (from the ad-- one of the dates). It is a garbage ad.

Murphy is a good candidate who should do better than running attack ads-- didn't he say he was better than that? Talk about reeking of desperation.

Anonymous said...

The ad is a terrible hit piece from a candidate who said that he is better than that. I think not.

Anonymous said...

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I didn't see Murphy complaining when NJ was using the mother of a 9-11 victim as a political ploy. It's going to be so nice when she loses next month. It's just a shame that all those seniors will be stuck with the Medicare situation that she has created.

Anonymous said...

Actually I feel sorry for the mother in the Murphy ad.

It's shame her child , who already faces so many challenges, is now just a prop in a political attack ad.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Anonymous said...
I thought name calling was a no-no.
Why are comments such as calling someone "evil" allowed?

I promised GC I wouldn't call Murphy by the name he's known by, by 100's of people in BOTH parties in Southington.

So evil will have to suffice.

Sorry.

Anonymous said...

well, first Lite Rock said he wasn't involved in the Moveon.org smear ads, now he runs them himself.

Whatta putz

Anonymous said...

well, first Lite Rock said he wasn't involved in the Moveon.org smear ads, now he runs them himself.

Whatta putz

Anonymous said...

Enough Republicans- more facts to back up your commentary. Call Erin.

I've spoken with Erin to check facts- she has many dates she called Nancy- before the convention and the ad. Nancy did not call her back--- at all.
Nancy was negligent on this issue, and making up lies and propoganda won't change the facts- sorry.

Nancy has now lost her integrity too.

Anonymous said...

Mow I am not an expert on plastic surgery but unless the child had a remarkable recovery he had surgery well in advance of his mom making any phone calls to Nancy Johnson.

The ad falsely implies otherwise.

I'm not sure Stephen's World of Wheels would run an ad that was so deceptive in its portrayal of the facts.

Mr X said...

What is wrong with Nancy Johnson We never hear her actually do a commercial. Does she have a health issue?? Alzheimers Perhaps?? Why are people covering for this lady she needs to retire.

Chris Murphy will win Because Nancy Johnson is old and frail and needs to retire.

Nancy needs her mouthpieces David Boomer and Brian Schubert do all her rebuttal work along with Sean Williams and Brian Flaherty.

Typical GOP BullS**t They are trying to pull a page from the sleazy tactics of Ned Lamont

Anonymous said...

Actually, Chris is beloved in Southington. I'm not sure where this person gets off on calling him evil. They certainly haven't offered any facts to substantiate their claims.

And Murphy's new ad is simply a true story about a mother who tried to get in touch with Nancy Johnson but could not. I mean even Johnson admits that she never called the mother back, but that the two times she claims to have spoken with her were the two times that the mother tracked her down and confronted her at public events.

Anonymous said...

If you're a United States Representative, you represent all the people in your district, not just those who agree with you. So regardless of who Erin had supported, or not supported at the time she called Johnson's office, or her son had already had the surgery she was now trying to secure for other children around the nation, she deserved a phone call back, or at the very least a letter explaining Johnson's position and why she had taken it. Johsnon didn't do that, which is what the ad reveals.

Anonymous said...

She misses critical votes, skips debates, misses interviews and dismisses constituents. Where the heck is she??! I am sick of it!!

ctdude said...

Nancy keeps trying to deflect her failure in this crucial instance by lashing out at Chris over totally unrelated issues, she continually fails to explain her inability to stay in touch with her contituents...people have to accost her at county fairs to get any face time...sad.

ctdude said...

Also, I just re-read Nancy's statement, and she keeps arguing that the two times this womaan sought HER out were sufficient contact. She never returned her calls, and her constituent had to find Nancy physically to get on her radar. What? How is this defensible?

Anonymous said...

"Chris Murphy will win Because Nancy Johnson is old and frail and needs to retire."

Thanks for writing Nancy's senior mailer you ageist bigot

ctdude said...

This isn't about age. It's about ideas. If Nancy were half her age and just as ossified, it wouldn't make much of difference.

Anonymous said...

Chris Murphy is one of my reps. To be polite, I will say at best he has been an ineffective one. If he could not deliver on the small stage, I don't see how he possibly could on the big one.

I agree, we need better minds from both parties in Washington. Maybe in two years the Democrats of this state who have more possible canidates than we can count could give us one to vote for in the 5th district.

Mr X said...

Mr X predicts the following Candidates will lose on November 8th

John Destefano(D) Governor
Ned Lamont(D) US Senator
Nancy Johnson(R) US Rep

DeStefano Because he is just stupid and listen to a bunch of morons.

Lamont Because he is just throwing money around and is supported by Wack jobs like the dumpjoe.com founder idiot big time wack job.

Johnson Because she is too old, frail and mostly Because she gives the Oil, insurance and drug companies any price increase they want in exchange for a nice fat campaign contribution every two years Also she needs to get rid of the usual suspects Schubert, Boomer,Flaherty, Williams et al...

These three individuals will lose on November 8th Because they dont care for ALL Connecticut Residents just either Liberals in Lamont and DeStefano's case and in Nancy's case it is time to retire the old gal.

Anonymous said...

These three individuals will lose on November 8th Because they dont care for ALL Connecticut Residents just either Liberals in Lamont and DeStefano's case and in Nancy's case it is time to retire the old gal.......

Oh why retire the old gal just yet??? She seems to be getting around well enough without her walker!!!!

If we followed that curious logic it would make more sense to keep her a few more years while we wait for the young man to grow up a bit more.