Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Who Pushed First?

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

The 2006 Senate race between incumbent George Allen (R, VA) and challenger Jim Webb (D) has been one ugly campaign. Webb supporters point to Senator Allen's using the term "macaca," and Sen. Allen's supporters point to salacious material written by Mr. Webb. [Hat-tip to Steve's Hodgpodge for the link]

Yesterday the confrontation between supporters became a bit physical. WATCH THE VIDEO. (You'll first have to endure a short commercial)

The October 31, 2006 story from WUSA-TV9:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- A protester who shouted questions at Virginia Senator George Allen was pushed to the floor during Allen's campaign appearance today at a Charlottesville hotel.

Allen held a campaign event there this morning with North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole.

The protestor and blogger was put in a choke hold and slammed to the floor by three of Allen's supporters.

First-year University of Virginia law student Mike Stark approached Allen at a campaign event.

Stark loudly asked Allen about a rumor Allen once spit at his first wife.

Allen's campaign says in a statement that Stark was being aggressive and was screaming at Allen.

Allen's former wife, Anne Waddell, issued a statement calling Stark's question "a baseless, cheap shot."

Stark tells The Associated Press that as a constituent, he should be allowed to ask a question to his senator.


He says he will press charges against the people who accosted him.
Excerpt from the Washington Post version of the same story:
A Democratic activist who verbally confronted U.S. Sen. George Allen at a campaign rally in Charlottesville yesterday was shoved, put into a headlock and thrown against a window by three men wearing Allen stickers, according to a widely disseminated video of the incident.

W. Michael Stark, who identified himself in an e-mail after the incident as a University of Virginia law student, yelled a question at Allen (R) about whether he had ever spit on his first wife, an unsubstantiated charge that has been circulating on liberal blogs on the Internet. Allen supporters hauled him away from the senator as television cameras rolled....

Allen aides accused Democrats and the Webb campaign of orchestrating the event as a way of getting news organizations to write about the Internet rumor. "These are the typical Jim Webb tactics," said spokesman Dan Allen, no relation to the senator. "It was disappointing to see, and this certainly has no place in Virginia politics."

Kristian Denny Todd, a Webb spokesman, said Stark has no affiliation with the Webb campaign. "I have no idea who this guy is or what he was trying to accomplish," she said. "I saw the video, and from what I saw, he was wrestled to the ground by a bunch of Allen supporters so that is not very nice behavior."...
The 2006 race for the Virginia seat in the U.S. Senate has been one ugly campaign, certainly not of the type which most Virginians usually see. This latest incident reminds me of spats on the playground. "He pushed me first!" "No, he started it!" Considering how important the midterm elections are with regard to which political party will have a Congressional majority, I can understand that emotions of both sides run high. But shoving matches? Shouts of "Did you spit on your first wife?" I didn't even know that George Allen had a first wife, nor do I care.

Election results should hinge on a debate of the issues, and I think that most Virginians want to hear discussion of issues such as immigration and national security. As Northern Virginiastan said in a comment to this posting,
"I am getting disgusted by the Senatorial race between Sen. Allen and Jim Webb. I want to know the candidates's stance on substantive issues like national security, immigration, and terrorism, but instead we're getting regurgitated ads about what Jim Webb said about women at Annapolis some twenty years ago and George Allen's potential conflicts of interest, his mother being outed for her Jewish origins, and his gaffe in calling Webb's staffer a 'macaca.'"
In another week, the race will be over, and I'll be glad to see the end of it. Even better, once the midterm elections are over, the blitz of political spots which infest our television screens will have ceased.

38 Comments:

At 11/01/2006 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen enough divorce papers to know that they should be off limits. Many of the charges are baseless and made for financial gain.

We never did get to see Gomer Kerry's first wife. It seems that there is a double standard.

 
At 11/01/2006 8:45 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

The campaign may be nasty, always... but I don't think I'd be doing too badly to have either man as my rep in DC. I remember Webb from his stint as SECNAV. I thought he did a great job.

 
At 11/01/2006 8:47 AM, Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Yes, I TOTALLY know about this incident. It happened not far from work. This was a pathetic liberal stunt because he KNEW cameras would be all over him. He approached from the wrong side. Being an amateur Journalist, I already know that you NEVER approach a politician with an entourage from the side or rear, especially if you are carrying a bag that may have a concealed weapon.

You can do what I did - email your concerns to Michael Stark (I have three of his email addresses below), the clown that pulled this stunt:

mikestark@virginia.edu
wms4r@virginia.edu
wms4r@cms.mail.virginia.edu

I will be posting his reply, if I get one, and also my original email from the house.

 
At 11/01/2006 9:06 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer,
I dunno. I lost interest in Webb when Mrs. Reagan had to request that he not use film-footage of President Reagan.

Certainly, Webb is the strongest challenger Allen has faced. Now, I could be wrong, I've compared their stands on the issues and find some similarities--one big difference being their divergent stands on the War in Irag. Webb seems to be running on I'm-different-from-the-Bush-administration platform. The personal attacks on Allen have become a part of this race, and I have a problem with such personal attacks.

The focus on George Allen's use of the word "macaca" is interesting in light of this:

In October 2006, while commenting on the need to break away from stereotypical movie villains, Webb stated, "[e]very movie needs a villain. Towel-heads and rednecks -- of which I am one. If you write that word, please say that. I mean, I don't use that pejoratively, I use it defensively. Towel-heads and rednecks became the easy villains in so many movies out there."

Hmmmm....

 
At 11/01/2006 9:46 AM, Blogger Elmer's Brother said...

I'll be glad when the darn phone calls stop. I'm sure my headaches will follow suit.

 
At 11/01/2006 9:48 AM, Blogger Mike's America said...

I realize that the ugliness of the campaign can be a real turnoff to voters who might not be all that enthusiastic to vote. It's probably a tactic that works in Webb's advantage as Virginia is traditionally a more conservative state.

And I do understand that people would prefer a more substantive discussion of the issues. HOWEVER, I know about all I need to know about where Webb and Allen stand on these issues.

-The most important consideration is that a vote for Webb is a vote for Carl Levin as Chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, which means cuts in missile defense and a host of military programs.
-A vote for Webb means Patrick Leahy as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee which means no more conservative judges in the final two years of Bush's Presidency. And say goodbye to the Patriot Act, NSA terrorist monitoring and interrogations of detainees.
-A vote for Webb is a vote for Jay Rockefeller as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

And lastly, a vote for Webb is a vote for Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader. Do the voters of Virginia want to wake up every morning, turn on their televisions and see the face of that man who reminds us all of a funeral director lecturing them?

Virginians need to think about this race long and hard. It's bigger than Webb and Allen. It's a race which may decide the future course of this nation and whether we fight the war on terror or retreat.

The choice boils down to this: Vote for Victory with Allen, or vote for Defeat with Webb.

 
At 11/01/2006 11:18 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Well Allen certainly is a class act.
If Virginians don't want to disassociate from a klan admirer that's their business. There hasn't been any intelligent political leadership from Virginia in some time.

In Allen's favor, his campaign hasn't been as racist as the campaign in tennessee.

Massachusetts has feature Kerry Healey with a great ad showing a nordic queen walking through a parking lot while a voice over says that her opponent supports letting rapists free and flashes a picture of Duaval Patrick a black man. Shades of Willie Horton. The racism is alive and well in America.

I can take solace in the dumb cooze ealey being behind by 30 points. think the racism plays better in Virginia however.

 
At 11/01/2006 11:21 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

There is no doubt in my mind that Allen is the better choice. I simply abhor the entire destructive nature of our electoral process. The appeals to baseness is inherent in the system. I only wish that it could be done differently... and it can't. So I guess I'm done with this bottle of whine, although I'll probably crack open a few more before this election is over.

 
At 11/01/2006 11:24 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

...and always,

Webb is wrong about the war in his public statements... which makes me wonder if he's sincere. I always thought of him as something of a hawk when he was SECNAV.

 
At 11/01/2006 11:31 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Webb is wrong about the war?

How can anyone be wrong about it at this point?

Chucklenuts lied like a rug to get us in there.

He has brough civil war and destruction to a country which never threatened us.

He has weakened our military.

He has strengthened iran and lost Afghanistan.

Yesterday he turns Baghdad over to al-Sadr. Just what is it about Republican leadership in this fiasco that is supportable?

 
At 11/01/2006 12:01 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Hey AOW..drop by my site if ya get a chance and see my post on Kerry eh?..Can u fathom that these are "leaders" of our country cursing and physically assaulting each other?..Good Lord!

 
At 11/01/2006 12:36 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

Yesterday in Bagdad, the coalition forces finally turned the country over to its' legitimate rulers and placed a roadblock in the middle of Osama bin Laden's dreams of a unified caliphate under Sunni control. It also cemented a foundation stone for an Iraqi dominated Shi'a population, to which Iran will be bowing in just a few years.

Al-Quaeda and the terrorists are done for in Bagdad AND the rest of Iraq.

Face it ducky. We've won. Bush was right along!

 
At 11/01/2006 12:53 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

It seems anymore that politics is a choice: The lesser of two weasels.

In this case, it is most likely Allen.

 
At 11/01/2006 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ducky

There are no links between Allen and the KKK. Gomer Kerry met with the NVA while in the Naval Reserve that is called treason. Kerry also went on to be Daniel Ortega's spokesman and purgered himself with Appocalypse Now fantasies. Let us also not forget the Ted Kennedy Andropov letters.

 
At 11/01/2006 2:19 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Farmer, al-Sadr takes over with the mahdi army celebrating the end of the checkpoints and you are going on about al-Qaeda?

Iran will be bowing to the iraq Shi'a population? You can't be serious.

You may have a point but you weaken it immeasurably when you use the generic "terrorist" as if it means anything concrete any longer.

 
At 11/01/2006 2:21 PM, Blogger cube said...

This is getting so tiresome. The lies just get bigger & bigger and the nuts get nuttier.

I'll be glad when the election is over (and we win). Of course, the race for the 2008 election will begin in earnest on Nov. 8th.

 
At 11/01/2006 2:23 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

beak, you must be thinking of Kerry's work on the Moakley commission when Joe Moakley, the pride of South Boston and a fine, fine man told Roberto D'Aubisson to cut the crap and stop murdering nuns and priests.

He helped end that sorry killing field but I imagine D'Aubisson was your kind of guy.

Kerry must have had you in mind yesterday when he said "I'm tired of debating straw men and want to debate real men."

Come on beak, admit it. Michael Wiener (aka Savage) is your hero.

 
At 11/01/2006 2:39 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

mr. ducky,

Qom and Najaf have been battling for dominance of the Shi'a for over a thousand years. Najaf held the upper hand until the day Saddam through the clerics out. I suspect, they're wanna gain control again. And al-Sistani is one of the very few who stayed in Najaf....

 
At 11/01/2006 2:43 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

ps - Did I mention that Saddam killed Moqtada al-Sadr's father and brothers? Did I mention that al-Sadr's old man and al-Sistani were buds? Did I mention that al-Sadr's old man had been very nearly the equal of al-Sistani in the religious hierarchy?

al-Sadr's an Iraqi. He didn't run to Iran when the going got tough. He stayed and protected his people. Just like he's doing now against the al-Quaeda terrorist faction the coalition is battling.

 
At 11/01/2006 3:04 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

mr ducky,

The next time you go to a race having never bet on the horses, I'd advise you to buy a Racing Form first.

You can't tell one player from another without a scorecard.

 
At 11/01/2006 3:24 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

And I'm sure that ducky thinks Webb is a class act.
Is it hard going to life with blinders on?
What troubled me is that one of the news reporters stated "I think this bears looking into" in reference to George Allen spitting on his ex-wife.
Instead of focusing on the bizarre behavior of Mr. Starks, the focus shifts to a smear with no substance.

 
At 11/01/2006 3:27 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/01/2006 5:20 PM, Blogger benning said...

I'm not surprised that Stark - a Kos Kid, and Dem activist - would pull such a creepy stunt. I watched the vid once and it looked like they were trying to "box" Stark out, to keep him at a distance. He shoved past and that's when they took him down. What's with the back-pack? He's lucky a cop didn't shoot him!

A stunt, and a childish, ugly one at that.

 
At 11/01/2006 5:25 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Actually AC, I don't know much about the Virginia race. Allen's racist background is well documented and, if it were me, I'd vote third party if the alternative is that unacceptable.

But Allen is simply a pig and not worthy of consideration.

 
At 11/01/2006 5:51 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Crusader,
What troubled me is that one of the news reporters stated "I think this bears looking into" in reference to George Allen spitting on his ex-wife.
Instead of focusing on the bizarre behavior of Mr. Starks, the focus shifts to a smear with no substance.


That's the kind of thing our local anchors are saying. A bit of not-so-subtle influencing of the voters?

Duck,
I think we have a third-party candidate running. We almost always have at least one such a candidate. Mostly, third-party candidates here don't have snowball's chance.

Mike,
I suspect that many disgusted-with-it-all Virginians will stay home on November 7. Besides, typically here, midterm elections don't have a good turnout.

EB,
I'll be glad when the darn phone calls stop.

I have a new strategy. When an unrecognized number comes up on Caller ID, I hit "Talk," then "Off." I hang up on them.

Offhand, I'd say that I get about eight such calls each day, with the numbers increasing geometrically as November 7 gets closer.

Back-to-back political commercials all evening long on television as we're inundated with politicals ads from both Maryland and Virginia. Time to rent a few DVD's!

 
At 11/01/2006 5:59 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Benning,
It was a stunt, pure and simple.

How does a first-year law student have time for this nonsense?

 
At 11/01/2006 7:40 PM, Blogger JINGOIST said...

Sounds like Mr. I got body slammed had it coming. This was an obvious attack on his character that was probably a lie too. I'm really surprised that this one is even close.

Morgan

 
At 11/01/2006 9:07 PM, Blogger Freedomnow said...

This reminds me of the time that Buzz Aldrin was stalked by a conspiracy nut who claimed that the moon landings were a hoax.

Bart Sibrel got in Buzz's face, calling him a coward, a liar and a thief. So good ole Buzz socked him in the face. The video is available somewhere on YouTube.

Anyways, Democrats realize that to undermine the ruling party they have to spread discontent. To do so they make complete asses out of themselves (like Stark's publiciity stunt).

During wartime this doesnt make them look very good. So I dont see how any decent American could even vote for a Democrat.

I dont consider myself to be a Republican, but I ally myself with them because they are serious about fighting Al Qaeda and the Iraqi Baathists. What in the world is wrong with that? You'd think we were fighting against school children.

Oh, I forgot... That exactly what Al Qaeda's propaganda is trying to say...

 
At 11/02/2006 6:20 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Morgan,
George Allen started out with a 16-point lead. Now, because of one distraction or another affecting his campaign, he's slightly behind in the polls. It looks as if he might lose what should have been easy re-election.

Today, Obama and Michael J. Fox will appear at two events in support of Jim Webb. The local stations here are making a big deal of the support of these two high-profile supporters.

FN,
Democrats realize that to undermine the ruling party they have to spread discontent.

Stunt after stunt--distractions from the issues. This most recent stunt by the DailyKos blogger was clearly designed to play to the media. November 7 will show if the use of stunts and celebrity endorsemet can influence Virginia voters. In the past, Virginia voters have been "above" such nonsense.

 
At 11/02/2006 10:56 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

Senator Allen responds to the Daily Kos bloggers...

 
At 11/02/2006 11:57 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

That's about the response it deserves!

 
At 11/02/2006 4:54 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

I would like to point out here that the clip of this confrontation that is making the rounds on the internet doesn't show the entire confrontation and is edited in order to make Allen's goons seem less the aggressors.

It's as dishonest as the Kerry soundbite which clearly changes meaning when heard in context of the string of insults towards the Goober in Chief who's inept decisions are responsible for us getting waxed in iraq.

 
At 11/02/2006 4:55 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Whose not who's. I spell better than it appears.

 
At 11/02/2006 7:42 PM, Blogger JINGOIST said...

Ducky as I said on Beak's site, it must be DAMN tough to be a leftist in the age of recording devices and a common American language. If you were a native Spanish or Russian speaker you could be forgiven for not quite "getting" what the idiot Kerry said. The rest of us rubes understood his insult perfectly well. This leaves you as nothing more than a pathetic propagandist.

Morgan

 
At 11/02/2006 10:33 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer,
That link made my day. Bwahahahaha! Wouldn't that be the perfect response?

Duck,
Been reading the latest issue of Newsweek? Front page: "We're losing, but all isn't lost. The road out of Iraq." I haven't yet read the article, but I plan to in a few minutes for my nightly bedtime reading. I hope that I don't nod off because the article may well be filled with defeatist cliches.

The Stark vs. Allen story has already faded from our local news. Stark's ploy didn't work too well--edited video or not.

Michael J. Fox is in town here today to campaign for Webb. Right this minute, we're getting some edited video of his appearance.

Virginia voters typically do not appreciate cheap, drama-queen stunts not the interference of non-residents in state politics.

 
At 11/02/2006 11:51 PM, Blogger kuhnkat said...

Little Che Sucky the MORONIC Eutpian,

whatever are you going to do without your hero Fidel the Fascist??? He looked like he was about to die in those great photo ops taken to prove he was still alive!!!

It must be very worrying to you that all you got to uphold your STUPID side s the pig Chavez!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Is that why all you can do is try to talk down Bush, Republicans, and christians?? There is NOTHING on YOUR SIDE but vicious, ignorant, murdering, animals??

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

You are such a spoiled, SAD, little MORON!!

 
At 11/03/2006 11:50 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Ted Haggard ... ooops seems like he was paying someone to use the back door.

Well, it can only have a beneficial effect to have the "family values" crowd exposed as the whitened sepulchres that they are.

----------------------
DENVER - A gay man and admitted male escort claims he has had an ongoing sexual relationship with a well-known Evangelical pastor from Colorado Springs.

Mike Jones told 9 Wants to Know Investigative Reporter Paula Woodward he has had a "sexual business" relationship with Pastor Ted Haggard for the past three years.

Haggard is the founder and senior leader of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. The church has 14,000 members.

He is also president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an organization that represents millions of people.

Haggard is married with five children and an outspoken critic of gay marriage.

Jones also claims Haggard used methamphetamine in his presence on several occasions.

Another one bites the big one...

 
At 11/03/2006 3:03 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

It just gets better:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Rev. Ted Haggard admitted Friday he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a gay prostitute who claims he was paid for drug-fueled trysts by the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals.

"I bought it for myself but never used it," Haggard told reporters gathered outside his home. "I was tempted, but I never used it."

---------------------------

Yeah, he didn't inhale. Wonder what he had massaged?

 

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