Smear Campaign Under Way

Today, the Virginian Pilot ran a story with the headline,”Cuccinelli, Marines disagree on why his duty ended“. The gist of the headline & first few paragraphs is that Cuccinelli has been lying about his very brief time in the Marine Reserves. Keep in mind, the State AG has never made a big deal of his short time in the Marine Reserve Forces. When the topic has come up before official response has been that Cuccinelli was released from service because they no longer had need of him. Buried deep in the story is this bit:

“Ken successfully completed OCS and was commissioned a Marine Corps Officer. He was deactivated to complete law school, and the Marines never reactivated him, as they had over-recruited lawyers and they refused his request to switch to the infantry. So, aside from OCS, Ken never served on active duty.”

That’s consistent with what he told a Virginian-Pilot reporter during the 2009 campaign. But his response caught the attention of a Marine public affairs officer who recently told the attorney general’s office that while most of the statement is correct, “the second sentence may be technically accurate for the most part, but what it communicates is not.”

In other words, Cuccinelli is telling the truth, but Major Hanley wants him to clarify his record better. Cuccinelli is camp has done so. Not only has the campaign provided evidence of Cuccinelli’s Honorable Discharge, a campaign senior strategist, Chris LaCivita offered the following clarification:

Discord with the Marines, Cuccinelli senior strategist Chris LaCivita suggested, is over how the campaign explained the candidate’s separation from the service by blaming it on over-recruitment.

“Ken was told by his recruiter in 1995 that the Marine Corps over-recruited lawyers … and a Marine Corps public affairs officer’s current opinion doesn’t change that,” said LaCivita, a former Marine.

Haney said her initial message to Cuccinelli was informed by official records, including staffing levels at the time, not a personal opinion.

LaCivita said Cuccinelli resigned his commission after being strung along about when a training slot would be available to him so his active duty service could resume, putting his career on hold without employment as Cuccinelli’s wife was pregnant with their first child.

To support that, the campaign produced a copy of an August 1995 letter Cuccinelli sent to then U.S. Sen. John Warner seeking his assistance in resolving his resignation request to the Marines.

What really caught my eye was this (emphasis mine):

Major Shawn Haney wrote that in a March 25 email to Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein, advising him that a reporter had inquired about Cuccinelli’s Marine record and asked if the campaign had since updated its stance on his service. Haney’s message did not spell out the specific inaccuracy and she declined to elaborate, citing legal privacy standards.

This means that this whole article is the result of a reporter digging for dirt. Ok, I get that, that is the job of journalists after all. However, a quick search of the Pilot’s online archive for Terry McAuliffe, the democrat running for Governor against Cuccinelli reveals this:

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Of the 8 stories listed on the first page of the search, two articles are from 2009! One of the old posts is UNfavorable to Terry McAuliffe, detailing charges made by Democrat nominees that give a pretty good case for why Terry should NOT be Governor of VA. The other brags about Terry McAuliffe’s ties to Bill Clinton, a person who is still much loved by Democrats.

Of the remaining 6 stories;

– One is a blog post that is completely UNfavorable to BOTH candidates.
– One article is UNfavorable to McAuliffe
– One is a poll connected to another story on the search page.
– Three of the articles are FAVORABLE to Terry McAuliffe, one of them going so far as to link Cuccinelli to a trumped-up, media hack job scandal.

So, in total, of the 8 stories on the first page of search results for Terry McAuliffe, half of the articles are favorable to Terry, and only 2 of the articles were old.

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On the other hand, a quick search for Ken Cuccinelli turns up 8 articles, but all of them are old! The latest article on the first page of the search is dated November 2012.

Of the 8 stories, all older than 8 months:

– One is a poll relating to another story in the search
– Two are Favorable to Ken Cuccinelli.
– Five are UNfavorable to the AG.

So, more than half of the 8 articles are UNfavorable to Ken, and ALL of them are old.

This is what we are up against people. The biggest lesson I learned Andrew Breitbart was not to allow the media to control the narrative. We have got to be aware of this stuff, and we have got to push back.