New York Times: Democrats Backing Fake Tea Party Candidates
Sunday, 24 Oct 2010 05:37 PM Article Font Size
Increasingly desperate and fearful of a GOP takeover of Congress, the Democratic Party is secretly supporting fake tea party and other third-party candidates in the hopes of diverting votes from Republican contenders.
The stunning conclusion was made in a page one New York Times story headlined “Democrats Back Third Parties to Siphon Votes” – a report by correspondent Jim Rutenberg and published in Saturday editions of the paper.
The Times reported: “The efforts are taking place across the country with varying degrees of stealth. And in many cases, they seem to hold as much risk as potential reward for Democrats, prompting accusations of hypocrisy and dirty tricks from Republicans and the third-party movements that are on the receiving end of the unlikely, and sometimes unwelcome, support.”
“It is one of the dirtiest moves,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told the Times. “It’s not as though the Democrats are playing to compete against the third party — they’re helping to build the third party up to make those votes not count.”
The Times detailed numerous races across the U.S. where a “Tea Party” candidate has been working to siphon votes from the Republican candidate. In a close race this third party effort could throw the election to the Democrat.
Arguably, the most serious effort is taking place in Nevada where the Times says supporters of Harry Reid are backing a “Tea Party” candidate named Scott Ashjian.
The Times says: “In Nevada, conservative radio listeners have heard an advertisement promoting the Senate campaign of a “Tea Party of Nevada” candidate, Scott Ashjian. The ads criticize Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee and favored candidate of the actual Tea Party movement in the race against Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader. “
The paper claims that unions, casinos and mining companies backing Reid are financing Ashjian to undermine Angle’s campaign.
The Times examined several key races they indicated this stealth third party ploy was underway, including:
California: Democratic Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet has paid for an automated recording that calls Republican voters and purports to be from a registered GOP voter. The unidentified voter reveals she is voting for Bill Lussenheide of the American Independent Party, rather than GOP incumbent Rep. Mary Bono Mack, because Lussenheide is a “true conservative.”
Pennsylvania: Volunteers for Democratic House candidate Bryan Lentz in Pennsylvania aided conservative Jim Schneller in his effort to join the race, turning it into a three-way contest with Republican Pat Meehan.
Florida: Candidates listed as having tea party affiliations are running, even though they have been exposed as having no legitimate tea party supporting them.
Michigan: Fake tea party candidates tried to run for two House seats and a number of state offices. Democratic Party officials were linked to the candidacies, and the candidates were declared ineligible.
New Jersey: Republican House candidate Jon Runyan has a “Stop The Fake Tea Party” appeal on his political website. It states: “Polls indicate that Jon Runyan and career politician John Adler are locked in a dead heat as we head in to election day. Realizing that New Jersey’s 3rd district is tired of the reckless, out of control expansion of government and explosion of debt in Washington DC, John Adler and the Democrat Political Machines in New Jersey and DC have taken this campaign in to the gutter, resorting to baseless attacks and fraud to hold on to this seat. Adler and his cronies have even installed a fake tea party candidate to keep Jon Runyan from winning this seat.”
“It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” Bono Mack told the Times. “It’s desperate, and I think the voters see right through it.”
When contacted about the subterfuge, the Democratic National Committee issued this statement: “Republicans have no one to blame but their own ideological intolerance for the bloody civil war on their side.”