In Republican primaries, and certainly Democratic ones as well, endorsements really do matter. The average voter looks at websites and mail pieces, talks to friends, notices yard signs and other indicators suggesting that each guy is just great. These approaches can leave the impression that either candidate is worth supporting. The discerning patriot can usually shortcut all of this by simply looking at what the patriotic organizations are saying about the candidates and ignore the half truths candidates sling at their opponenets.
One of the most reliable Missouri organizations for conservative endorsements is the Concerned Women for America. This scandal free, volunteer organization group has had pro-family lobbyists in the building for decades, and they know who the trustworthy stalwart politicians are. The Eagle Forum is great as well, but their occasional early endorsements of more established candidates like Senator Blunt over State Senator Chuck Purgason, suggest a cautionary note. If you want to know who to trust on life, it is Missouri Right to Life, guns, Gun Owners of American and the 2nd Amendment Coalition first and the NRA a close 2nd. Other groups like Missouri Club For Growth can occasionally get it wrong, but are right far more often than wrong. So if one candidate were to have the endorsement of all of those groups and the other none, the patriot's decision should be easy.
Sadly, the Missouri Capitol is full of candidates who were not endorsed by those groups. One Missouri state senator won a primary against a candidate who enjoyed almost all of the endorsements including the CWA, MRL and the NRA, in other words, deemed better on family, life and gun issues by credible third parties. Why? Fuzzing.
Fuzz - To make or become indistinc; blur
In consultant land, when your candidate is weaker on the issues that matter to voters, rather than getting into the intellectually honest battle about which issues are more important and who is better on them, you attempt to create doubt in the voters. Not the pro-life candidate? Send out a pro-life mailer anyway. Not the pro-gun candidate? Send a pro-gun piece. The silver bullet tactic however, is to find one issue, even a completely fabricated issue and create confusion with voters as to whether they can trust the other guy on anything. An example of this is the attack by State Senate Candidate Scott Largent on Conservative darling Ed Emery.
Ed Emery is the conservative with all of the requisite endorsements, from Missouri Right to Life, Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, the Club for Growth among many others. Largent's endorsements are almost exclusively a few of his buddies from the State House that he reports on his website and others like labor unions that he does want to share with the conservative voters he is trying to sell. More importantly, Emery has considerably more money. The combination of the staggering conservative credentials and a bigger bank account is usually a one-two punch that lays out the toughest candidate. Enter the sucker punch.
Hitting Below the Belt
So Representative Largent, possessiong no key group endorsements and several endorsements like union firefighters, who call him their "favorite" and union teachers he wishes people were not aware of. He has less money and he is losing. It is time to spread confusion with "fuzz". Largent sent the piece shown here to voters in which he proclaims his conservative credentials and then takes a half-truth, turns it into a100% fabricated issue and puts it in print in order to confuse voters. The tactic relies on the good will of Republican voters who tend to be so trusting that they cannot imagine a Republican candidate would just lie.
The loathesome attack attempts to convince voters that Ed Emery is so enamored with President Obama that he will be his tool in Jefferson City. Of course, Largent is telling a lie, but doing so using a half-truth. Largent examines a single amendment, on a single Emery vote, out of thousands over his career, this one involving a non-binding "resolution", basically a political statement regarding Obamacare. In it, the extremely analytical and independent-minded Ed Emery voted opposite from his republican colleagues believing the amendment (to the non-binding resolution) would actually do more harm than good to the political debate. Largent uses the half-truth-Emery did take a unique position-to tell a huge lie that Emery somehow supports Obamacare and spins it into an even bigger lie, suggesting that Emery is actually in the pocket of Obama himself! Has Largent no shame?
While the half-truth is so damnable, Largent and his consultants hope that a certain amount of the busy and trusting voters will be confused by it and that the clarity of Emery's being the true conservative will become fuzzy in their minds. Largent cannot prove that he is the true conservative no matter how much money he spends because it is not true. What he can do however, is spend his donors' money telling lies about Ed Emery in order to fuzz the truth that Emery is the conservative. That is what Largent has chosen to do. People wonder why we have a Capitol full of Republicans and legislative output that smells of RINO dung.
As they say, we do not get the government we want, we get the government we deserve. Missouri is a state blessed with volunteers who spend year after year studying candidates and rating them. Yet at election time, too many ignore those ratings. We will have a hard-hitting piece on ratings and what they mean, but for now, here is some fuzz for you, and we cannot make this up. Conservative voters in the 31st District who may be "fuzzed" into confusion about whether Ed Emery, the endorsed conservative is a better candidate than Scott Largent may be interested to know that Largent has a uniquely close relationship with a liberal Democrat lesbian from St. Louis who boasted about this relationship in a black-owned City of St. Louis newspaper. Enjoy!