Sunday, August 06, 2006

Phony Claims of Partisan Affiliation

I love political debate. What I despise is people who misrepresent themselves for purposes of lending credibility to their arguments.

So, for instance, there's the "I'm a Republican, but..." crowd, which tries to legitimize its attacks on Republicans or Republican positions by claiming affiliation with the GOP. I am always particularly skeptical of those callers to, for instance, C-SPAN, who make such claims before attacking the GOP. Our own local rag ... er, journal, is guilty of the same kind of misrepresentation, discussed in a letter yesterday by the Secretary of the Prince William County Republican Committee, Grant Bell. Grant rightly took the newspaper to task for its frequent claim that "Nobody likes taxes, but...." practices. This journal, which for a time moved towards being more reflective of its Conservative readership, virtually always preferences its endorsement of the latest tax increase proposal to come along with the claim that it doesn't always support higher taxes. The problem? No one can seem to remember the last time the Potomac News advocated against a proposed tax increase.

Take today's article in the Potomac News regarding yesterday's rally against the Marshall/Newman amendment, which will add the protection of Virginia's Constitution to the continuing assault by the perversion lobby against marriage and the family, provides a fine example of the practice, one which is easily refuted.

Here's the little vignette that caught my eye:

Kreamer's husband, Terry Kreamer, said passage of the amendment would be a step back for Northern Virginia, especially if it were to affect a business's ability to provide domestic partner benefits.

A registered Republican, Terry said that some gays and lesbians might take their business to Washington, D.C., or Maryland.

Now, maybe a more sophisticated reporter would have picked up the fact that Terry was lying through his teeth. Of course, there is no such thing as a "registered Republican" in Virginia. Our General Assembly, in its estimable wisdom, precludes registration by political party, so there are neither "registered Republicans" or "registered Democrats" in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

To be sure, there are ways to measure whether one is a Republican or Democrat. Donations, for instance. The Virginia Public Access Projected ( list no reported donations by anyone named "Terry Kreamer" to any candidate or cause in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Opensecrets lists a single "Terry Kreamer" of Alexandria as having given money to Don Young, of Alaska.

Then there's whether the individual has ever darkened the door of a Republican event. To my knowledge, no individual named "Terry Kreamer" has ever done so in Prince William County. To be sure, I don't know every individual who has, but if such an individual were a prominent and/or respected Republican, I might know him.

However, an Internet search reveals a single listing (apparently of him and his wife, also identified in the article). They appear in the Bull Run Unitarian Universalist newsletter, and they appear to be active members. Of course, some consider this denomination to be less Christian (indeed, my impression is that it doesn't even pretend to be "Christian") as it is religion for the far Left.

Of course, it's by now a truism that opponents of the Marshall/Newman amendment are misrepresenting the amendment in their craven and disingenuous efforts to defeat it. But it is purely pathetic that they also misrepresent themselves to do so, as well.

UPDATE: An anonymous post in the comments indicates that this individual voted in Virginia's 2000 Presidential primary. This may call into question some of my conclusions, though one primary vote does not, in my never-to-be-humble opinion, a "committed Republican" make. It certainly does not make one a "registered Republican." One would presume that committed Virginia Republicans know that there (sadly) is no such thing in Virginia.


Anonymous said...

This guy voted in one Republican primary in February 2000, and other than that hasn't shown up on the voter rolls anywhere. His wife, the Social Justice Committe chair of the BRUU never seems to vote in primaries.

Yeah, this guy is a committed Republican. I don't see a record of him voting before 2000, although he may have moved and the record may not have followed from a previous address.

Light Horse said...

The 2000 Republican Primary had a lot of Democrats voting. That's how McCain did as well as he did. There were many more voters in that primary who had previously voted in Democrat Primaries than is normally the case.

James Young said...

That may well be true, Light Horse, though I am hesitant to question anyone's commitment on that ground, since I believe it possible to be a McCain supporter and still a good Republican, though some would disagree. There are many other possible explanations, including the fact that he may have moved here from Alaska. My big tip-off remains the claim to be a "registered Republican."

Light Horse said...

Many McCain supporters were Republican. But almost all of the crossover Democrats supported McCain.

On the bigger question of being a "registered Republican" in Virginia, anyone who says that is someone of questionable veracity.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 01:10:04 AM might be well-served to read § 24.2-406 of the Code of Virginia.

Persons who may obtain lists of persons voting at primaries and elections.

The State Board shall furnish to candidates, elected officials, or political party chairmen and to no one else, on request and at a reasonable price, lists for their districts of persons who voted at any primary, special, or general election held in the four preceding years. Such lists shall be used only for campaign and political purposes and for reporting to constituents.

Is reporting on a blog an identified person's voter history the use of a voter file authorized in the statute?

If not, anonymous might like to explain why he shouldn't be prosecuted under Section 24.2-1017 for a violation of the election laws.

James Young said...

One anonymous attacking another. Priceless!

Aside from that, I have no doubt that one could defend such a frivolous charge (is that you, AWCheney?) by noting that a blog is one of the "political purposes" which, while not contemplated by the statute, is certainly protected by it.

Waldo Jaquith said...

I've known no shortage of quite intelligent, well-informed people who cheerfully assert that they're a "registered Republican," "registered Democrat," or a "registered independent." This is based on their well-seated knowledge of their own political identity and the surely-hazy memory of when they registered to vote. (I registered to vote a decade ago last month, and I have no recollection of the act itself.) I don't correct these people, because I understand full well what they mean, and because it would be pedantic.

Such people aren't liars. They're just not as obsessively well-informed on the topic as you and I.

James Young said...

I guess I don't understand your post, Waldo. One need not be "obsessively well-informed on the topic" to know this basic fact. But --- given the other opinions expressed by this individual --- I am perfectly willing to concede that this individual is not well-informed.

Charles said...

Waldo, the article doesn't say that Terry SAID he was a registered republican --

The article says he IS a registered republican. That is provided as a FACT by the reporter. A reporter who should know there is no such thing as a registered republican.

Even if Terry SAID he was a registered republican, the reporter should have fact-checked, or simply said "Terry, who says he is a registered republican".

Since the reporter misstated facts, it falls to the editor to check up on the reporter. And the Editor, who also should know there are no registered republicans, ALSO failed to do the job, and allowed a false fact into a news article.

Newspapers provide so few facts anyway (prefering to simply quote people "accurately" because it is a lot easier than actually collecting real facts) that it is even worse when they can't get their few facts correct.