From the Connolly campaign, I love how Keith Fimian creates his own little universe in this incident, quoting a conservative blogger and bizarrely identifying her as a “Washington Post Investigative Reporter.” Yeah, and I won the Nobel Prize for physics too; what the hell, if we’re going to just claim whatever we want! The sad thing is that, with Republicans, truth is a malleable thing. Fortunately, for the rest of us in the reality-based world, truth matters. And so do lies. So, what exactly is it about lying that Republicans don’t understand?
Fimian Ad Tries to Divert Attention from Post Endorsement of Connolly
FAIRFAX, VA — In a desperate attempt to divert attention from a devastating Washington Post editorial labeling Keith Fimian “politically extreme (and) scantily informed,” Fimian’s campaign has released a television ad that falsely attributes to the Washington Post comments written by a conservative blogger.
“Keith Fimian’s last-minute desperation is on clear display here,” said James Walkinshaw, Gerry Connolly’s campaign manager. “Fimian doesn’t want voters to know what the Washington Post really said about this race.”
Fimian’s latest ad falsely proclaims that The Washington Post says Gerry Connolly’s ads are “out of context” and “absurd.” Unfortunately for Fimian, The Washington Post never said that. Conservative blogger Paige Winfield Cunningham did. Cunningham is a blogger for one of a string of conservative websites across the nation created by the North Dakota-based Franklin Center, but the Fimian campaign has attempted to define her in press releases as a “Washington Post Investigative Reporter.” Cunningham’s partisan screeds sometimes appear on the Washington Post website as part of its “blogger network” but Cunningham is not a Washington Post reporter.
The conservative “free market” Franklin Center, created in January 2009, is funded by private donors whose names the organization refuses to disclose, according to The Associated Press. The organization’s president is Jason Styervak, the former director of the North Dakota Republican Party.
The Fimian campaign has used comments made by the conservative blogger to suggest that The Post said an earlier Connolly ad, featuring video of Fimian talking about his scheme to give $250,000 bonuses to congressmen, was inaccurate. In fact, a real Washington Post staff reporter was given access to a fuller video version of Fimian’s remarks and disputed Fimian’s claim that the statement was a “quip.”
In fact, just last week Fimian doubled down on his bonus scheme, telling ABC News he would deserve a taxpayer-funded “carrot” if he balanced the federal budget.
The Washington Post, along with five other Northern Virginia newspapers, has endorsed Gerry Connolly for Congress. The Post and several other papers have been particularly critical of Fimian’s campaign rhetoric. The Post editorial of October 20 called Fimian “an ideologue with sparse experience of local issues who had embraced much of the Tea Party dogma.” The Post editorial also said Fimian’s “magical budgetary math would explode the nation’s already massive deficits and debt.” It called Connolly “a detail-oriented centrist” like former Congressman Tom Davis who has “established himself as a fiscal moderate…by opposing higher taxes.”