Poor Dan Seals. He's now in about his fifth consecutive year of campaigning for Mark Kirk's congressional seat. You would think that now that Kirk is running for the U.S. Senate, and Seals has a new opponent, GOP nominee Bob Dold, Seals would have spruced up his game, after having learned many lessons about campaigning over the years.
Apparently, not so.
One fairly amateurish strategy that some politicos use is that when you don't have much to say, you 'create an issue' by taking liberties with what your opponent or (in this particular case) their party says, and then attack them on it. This can be effective if the issue you create is not something that can be proven to be a fabrication of the candidate himself.
Recently, Dan Seals called out GOP house minority leader John Boehner for supposedly calling for taxpayers to pay for the BP oil spill cleanup.
House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner called today for the use of taxpayer funds to foot the bill for the clean-up. “I think the people responsible in the oil spill–BP and the federal government–should take full responsibility for what’s happening there,” said Boehner at his weekly press conference Thursday morning. Seals has consistently opposed the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for clean-up of the spill. [snip]
“Republican Bob Dold needs to reject the statements by Republican Leadership and take the same pledge that Dan Seals has taken: no taxpayer dollars for the BP cleanup,” said Seals Campaign Manager David Mason. “Dold owes Illinois taxpayers an explanation for his party’s plans to subsidize BP’s negligence.”
You can read Seals' statement on his website here.
Let's stop right there. Doesn't seem a bit incongruent for the leader of the House Republicans to call for an increase on the taxpayers' burdens? Um, yes, exactly.
So, let's dig into exactly what Boehner said. As David Weigel at the Washington Post explains:
Minority leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is calling a foul on reporters circulating what he told TPMDC's Brian Beutler this morning -- that "BP and the federal government should take full responsibility for what's happening" in the wake of the oil company's disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. According to Boehner spokesman Michael Steel, the GOP leader stood by what he's said since May 3 -- "Not a dime of taxpayer money should be used to clean up [BP's] mess."
"He's said for a month now that BP will bear the full burden of this disaster," said Steel.
The "responsibility" Boehner was talking about was not taxpayer money cleaning up the spill. It was whatever reform and restructuring comes after the leak is stopped. As Boehner put it this morning, his preferred plan of action is "figure out what the hell went wrong, and then have the hearing and get the damn law fixed!"
Um, okay now. So, Seals is railing over an issue that he basically made up.
If you are Bob Dold, how do you respond to something like this? It's easy to agree that taxpayer dollars should not be used for the BP oil cleanup. But, it's not very polite for a candidate to say to another candidate, you're a lying sack of sh*t.
So, we will. Dan, you're a liar. And you've been lying since before you were telling the people of the 10th District that you were a professor at NU months before you ever stepped in front of your first night school class as a lecturer. At least you had the decency to finally stop telling that lie.
I would have thought Seals would have learned a few lessons over the past three campaign cycles, but I guess that was too much to hope for.