Friday, April 11, 2008

Will Democrats Get Same Scrutiny?

Scott Kleeb, Democrat running for the U.S. Senate, lost his driver's license. The IRS says Brenda Council, Democrat candidate for the state legislature, owes $245,000 in back taxes. Will they get the same treatment Scott Knudsen did?

Do the media hold Republicans to a higher ethical standard than Democrats? Does the different emphasis come from Republicans holding Republican candidates to a higher standard than Democrats do with Democrat candidates? At the national level, the answer to both questions is "yes."

I'm proud to be a Republican and help Republican candidates, but partisanship is not my main motivation in politics. However, it seems two prominent Democrats are getting a relatively easy ride in Nebraska.

Full disclosure: Scott Knudsen is a former opponent and friend, and I still smolder over the way he was harassed as a candidate for the state legislature in 2000 and especially 2004.

When I ran against Scott in 2000, voices were whispering in my ear that there were things such as bankruptcy in Scott's past with which I could club him. I shooed them away. I ran a race about me and my message.

The negative material (things that had happened 15 or more years ago) found its way into a news story about our race, but Scott and I kept the campaign on the high road and remain friends. I like to think voters chose between two positive candidates with positive messages.

In 2004, Scott ran against Gwen Howard for the legislative seat I had won in 2000. (I was running for the Douglas County Board in 2004.) In the home stretch of that campaign, filthy and inaccurate allegations about Scott were published by the Democratic Party. It was politics at its worst. It may have cost Scott the race.

Kleeb's loss of his driver's license was presented in an almost playful manner in news reports. The charming cowboy/professor was trying too hard as a candidate for Congress in 2006 to get from one campaign stop to the next in the sprawling Big Third and racked up a bunch of speeding tickets, which left him no margin for error in 2007.

The Omaha World-Herald headline on the Council tax liability story was, "Candidate resolving tax bills." That's about as positive as such a situation could be spun. I'm inclined to believe Council when she says it's a misunderstanding, but the headline did not say, "Candidate says she is resolving tax bills." It was reported as fact. On the jump page inside where the story was continued, the headline was, "Legislative candidate taking care of liens" instead of something neutral such as, "Legislative candidate says she is taking care of liens."

I can't help wondering how the stories would play out if Adrian Smith (Republican who beat Kleeb for the congressional seat in 2006, accused of having a "hardshell ideology" in an OWH editorial) and John Carter (Republican competing with Council for a legislative seat this year) were the ones experiencing the problems.

1 comment:

OmaSteak said...

It should come as no big surprise that the Wierd Harold is a left-leaning democrat supporting rag. C. David Kotok and his compadres are about as biased as they come. Since Ms Council used to be a regular on Ben Gray's weekly roundtable on KETV, she has friends in local TV media too. Let's not forget Ms. Council has been banned from the CB casinos and was actually arrested for trespassing there not too long ago. One has to wonder about the real motivation of a candidate running for the legislature who is having "money problems". She also serves as an unofficial, official spokeswoman for OPS which through its foundation funnels money to organizations in which Ms. Council plays a leadership role. I feel sorry for any opponent of hers since she's almost untouchable as an african-american marxist woman.