For a 25th anniversary, it’s silver. For 50 years, it’s gold. And for four weeks before an election, it’s claim your opponent is misrepresenting himself.
Take the 48th congressional district’s Nov. 6 race and incumbent Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Putin’s Gobble Snobber).
The 30-year D.C. lawmaker’s campaign manager has sent a message to “all media covering CA-48” to warn against Democratic candidate Harley Rouda’s “con game.”
Basically, Dale Neugebauer is accusing Rouda, a former longtime Republican, of having campaigned in the June primary as “a radical leftist” and is now passing himself off as “a moderate looking for common ground.”
Neugebauer ends the letter by writing, “My only ask here is that you not allow yourselves or your news organizations to become an unwitting accomplice to Harley’s hustle, and that you give your readers the full story so they can make an informed decision to the question:
“Which Harley should they believe? The radical liberal that ran in the primary, or the guy pitching himself in ads on TV today?”
Here is the full letter:
FROM: DALE NEUGEBAUER
ROHRABACHER FOR CONGRESS
TO: ALL MEDIA COVERING CA-48
RE: HARLEY ROUDA’S GENERAL ELECTION CON GAME
Harley Rouda is either attempting to fool all the voters now, or he got one over on Democrats in CA-48 in the primary. That much is certain.
Rouda ran as a radical leftist in the June election, embracing the most extreme positions of the socialist wing of the Democratic party.
- Medicare for All and Single-Payer Healthcare
- Medicaid and Medicare for Illegal Aliens
- Reparations for Slavery
- Creating A New Department of Peacebuilding
Check. Check. Check and Check. Rouda embraced them all and pledged to immediately join the far left Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives if elected.
Rouda won the endorsement of the Progressive Democrats of America, and he signed off on every item on the group’s candidate questionnaire. There wasn’t a single issue on which he disagreed with Maxine Waters and Keith Ellison? Not one? Nope.
Now he’s spending millions of dollars on television ads and slick mail claiming to be a moderate looking for common ground. He’s denying to reporters and to your readers what he said emphatically and unequivocally just a few months ago.
Common ground is a hard sell when you are screaming “Impeachment!” and calling for an ongoing investigation of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. (MSNBC 10/8/18, Katy Tur interview with Harley Rouda)
My only ask here is that you not allow yourselves or your news organizations to become an unwitting accomplice to Harley’s hustle, and that you give your readers the full story so they can make an informed decision to the question:
Which Harley should they believe? The radical liberal that ran in the primary, or the guy pitching himself in ads on TV today?
To drive home the point, the Rohrabacher campaign shared this video:
Rohrabacher says, “Politicians argue a lot about health care, but for me it’s personal. When my daughter Annika was 8 years old, she was afflicted with leukemia. It was devastating to my family, but we got through it—and today she’s doing great.”
He adds, “So for her and all our families, we must protect America’s health-care system. That’s why I’m taking on both parties and fighting for those with pre-existing conditions.”
Then, in 2017, Rohrabacher supported the GOP’s American Health Care Act, even though the independent Congressional Budget Office warned it would result in 23 million Americans losing health-care coverage while also undermining protections for those with preexisting conditions.
The Rouda campaign obviously noticed, sending out this email blast:
Rohrabacher is falling all over himself to scrub his records on health care. But we’ve noticed. Even Forbes Magazine called him out for his obvious lies.
Dana has fought tooth and nail to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He voted 17 times to remove protections for pre-existing conditions.
17 votes to strip pre-existing condition protections from over 300,000 of his own constituents.
But in his latest TV ad, Dana makes a boldly deceptive claim that he is working to improve health care coverage.
But don’t worry about Dana. Like all members of Congress, Dana and his family have Cadillac health care that covers pre-existing conditions.
We’re not buying it, Dana.
We know you’ve worked to rip away health care from millions of Americans. And we’re not going to let you erase that from our memories with false advertising.
Every single American deserves the kind of health care that members of Congress guarantee for themselves and their families.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.