Friday, August 24, 2012

Politico's Discredited Story: Dishonest David Schweikert Built That

Politico's Discredited Story: Dave Built That

By now you’ve probably heard more than you care to about a Congressional delegation trip to Israel last summer. However, important new information continues to emerge that we think you should know.

Some elements of the Politico story have been called into question by various news organizations, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. These organizati ons have shown that the FBI activity that Politico put at the center of its story had nothing to do with anything that occurred at the Sea of Galilee.

Furthermore, it must be noted that the Politico story didn’t accuse Representative Quayle of any wrongdoing or any inappropriate actions. It simply notes that he was one of many trip attendees that went swimming in the Sea of Galilee.

Congressman Quayle, and his wife Tiffany, have said countless times that Rep. Quayle took a short, religiously meaningful swim on his own and acquired a vial of water from the lake to baptize his daughter.

Just after the story came out on Sunday night, Dave Schweikert threw together a press availability, and began running TV ads, radio ads, and robo-calls implying wrongdoing by Rep. Quayle, calling him a “playboy”, but at the same time refusing to actually accuse him of any actual misconduct of any kind.

When pressed by various news outlets to get specific about what exactly he’s accusing Quayle of doing, Dave has continued to wriggle and dodge.

That’s just the way Dave Schweikert works. It’s a continuation of his campaign of lies and innuendo.

So what would be more unethical than sensationalizing a story that barely mentioned Rep. Quayle in order to attack his faith and character? Being responsible for the story.

In an article titled GOP Sources: Politico Skinny Dipping Scoop Likely a Schweikert on Quayle Attack”, the Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle says:

“The inaccurate portrayal of Quayle as an active participant in a drunken swim party has led many Republican insiders, including Quayle and his staffers, to believe Schweikert leaked the story to Politico and framed Quayle’s alleged involvement in an effort to boost his own chances in the primary.”

The story contains quotes from a number of senior Capitol Hill sources saying that there is an emerging consensus that Dave Schweikert was behind the story:

There seems to be a general consensus that the story was leaked by Schweikert to help him in his primary against Quayle,” one high-ranking Capitol Hill GOP source told TheDC. “If that’s true, it’s unfortunate that he’s willing to pit his own re-election against the party.”

Another senior Hill GOP source said that “[w]here there’s smoke, there’s fire. And there definitely seems to be troubling indication that it’s coming from Schweikert.”

A third high-ranking GOP source said that the Politico article was “not anything logical or about the truth,” and it’s clear that Schweikert and his political allies leaked it to try to smear Quayle.

“They’re in a sprint until next Tuesday, and there’s a lot of evangelical voters who would probably be upset by things like this,” that source said. “All they have to do is maintain this for another week and Schweikert wins.”

Dishonest Dave’s camp continued with its usual tactics after they were confronted with the question of whether Dave shared responsibility for the story, which continues here:

Schweikert campaign spokesman Chris Baker denies that Schweikert, his congressional office or his campaign “provided” or “gave” this story to Politico. “No one from the Schweikert campaign, official office, or anyone associated with the Schweikert campaign gave this story to Politico,” Baker wrote in an email to TheDC. “Schweikert did not provide the story to Politico.”

When TheDC asked Baker if Schweikert or his staffers had anything to do with this story, if they knew when it was going to run, or if Schweikert’s team helped Politico put this piece together, he refused to answer.

Baker’s carefully worded denials are themselves strong evidence that Schweikert was in fact the source of misinformation fed to Politico designed to place Ben Quayle in a false light.

Schweikert himself skirted the question too, saying it’s “absurd” to believe that he’s the source because Politico is a “national newspaper.”

“How would we have [access to] that?” Schweikert said on a local news radio program.

But this is laughable, and insults the intelligence of voters. Schweikert had easy access to Politico, as does every member of Congress. Reporter Jake Sherman and Schweikert, moreover, are quite well acquainted. Sherman tweeted a series of photographs several months ago showing the two hanging out together at a shooting range in Arizona.

Schweikert continued Baker’s slimy evasion in an interview this morning on “Politico Live”, in which he asked the author of the Politico story, Jake Sherman, to say that he wasn’t the source for the story. Sherman affirmed that he wasn’t the source.

Note, however, that Matthew Boyle’s article, which led to this denial didn’t claim that Schweikert was the sole source. It discussed whether Schweikert or his camp aided in the development of the story, and that the super pac “National Horizon”, which is run by Dave Schweikert’s former Chief of Staff and exists to support his reelection, may have been the original source.

At that point, Chris Baker stopped responding, and Dave Schweikert has stayed silent on the issue while talking endlessly in vague smears of Ben Quayle’s character.

Today, Dave Schweikert has continued to run his defamatory television, radio and telephone ads which call Ben Quayle a “playboy”, while simultaneously calling the whole story “no big deal” and while refusing to accuse Rep. Quayle of any particular act.

As usual, Dishonest Dave’s messaging is based on insinuation, innuendo and outright lies.

Dave Schweikert has claimed (absurdly) to be anywhere from 13 to 30 points ahead in this primary, so why is he running a desperate campaign of lies and innuendo? Why does he ceaselessly attack Rep. Quayle’s faith and character in a pathetic attempt to continue his career in politics?

Dave Schweikert might be a professional liar, but he isn’t fooling the voters of CD-6.


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