Truth-Slinging at the GOP convention

When someone decried “mudslinging” by political opponents, the late columnist Mike Royko replied that it really was “truth-slinging.” Although politicians are prone to lie, during a campaign they have to be careful to vet the charges made against opponents, because if a charge is shown to be false — and fact-checking is easier than ever in these Internet days — the charge can boomerang.

The GOP convention in Santa Clara this weekend offers some choice truth-slinging, especially the Meg & Steve show. Whatever happens in the election, they should turn it into a sitcom to help boost the economy in Hollywood and the rest of California. The LAT reports:

“Steve Poizner has changed his mind on virtually every major issue since he ran for the Assembly in 2004,” she said, citing Poizner’s rightward shifts on taxes, abortion and offshore oil drilling since he first sought public office in a moderate Bay Area district.

Whitman also criticized Poizner for an increase in Department of Insurance spending on his watch, singling out $1.7 million in car purchases.

“I don’t think we needed new cars,” she said.

She also blasted him for giving dough to Al Gore, a Democrat, in 2000. Although Meg admitted giving dough to Barbara Boxer, another Democrat, in 2003. “She said she had done so only because the U.S. senator had opposed Internet taxes.”

Right. And because I smoke cigars, I should have given money to Al Gore because he harvested tobacco as a kid.

Poizner, the state insurance commissioner, gave as good as he got:

Mocking a misstatement in one of Whitman’s TV ads that she later had to correct, he said his opponent was “just simply wrong with her math” about Insurance Department spending.

“She couldn’t figure out even how many years she’d lived in California,” Poizner said.

“She’s not the good source to go to when it comes to accounting of anything,” he said.

Spending under his control actually dropped, he said, and the new cars were for “my fraud team.”

He acknowledged that his views on abortion and other issues had evolved since his first campaign.

“Some of my positions have solidified or crystallized, but I was a conservative back then, and I’m a passionate conservative now,” he said.

Well, it’s campaigns like this one that turned me from a passionate conservative into dispassionate mocker.

May the truth-slinging continue.

— John Seiler

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  1. EastBayLarry
    EastBayLarry 14 March, 2010, 06:40

    Our politicians have ‘warts’ in their records? Shocking!

    Poizner is moving to the right? I don’t have a problem with that Meg, in fact I approve.
    And while we examine each candidates position on the political spectrum, where does a candidate place herself when she ‘admires’ a self-proclaimed ‘revolutionary communist’ such as Van Jones? Please tell us Meg?

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