Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Senator Allen’s Campaign: Bloggers In, Sister Out

The Allen organization is in a tizzy trying to salvage the Senator’s re-election campaign, which is quickly sinking. An email circulated by the campaign manager to GOP leaders blames the problems on all the usual suspects – the media, liberals, etc. In fact, it seems everyone gets blamed except the person responsible for the current state of affairs: George Allen. It’s not just that he bullied and called a young man racially insensitive names at a campaign rally but that he is not know for anything else. After six years as a member of the majority party in the U.S. Senate, he is not known as being particularly thoughtful about or an advocate for any issue at all. Mention the name of Senator John Warner and you think of military affairs. Mention Senator Richard Lugar and you think of foreign affairs. Mention Senator George Allen and you think of …well, cowboy boots and confederate flags.

According to the email, the campaign will attempt to revive the re-election effort by recruiting Virginia bloggers. Hot Line reports,

According to an e-mail circulating among conservatives, Chris LaCivita,
Allen's longtime strategist, and other Allen aides believe that the campaign has
so far failed to appreciate the generative role that bloggers can play -- and
the consequences that pertain when the GOP Netroots aren't mobilizied on behalf
of candidates.

LaCivita is looking for a prominent conservative online
strategist to join the campaign's staff. Chad Dotson, a Virginia prosecutor who
blogs as
Commonwealth Conservative, is helping LaCivita with the recruitment effort. Since Dotson is an elected official and is soon up for re-election, it's
unlikely that he'd be cleared to join the campaign as a paid staff

LaCivita declined to comment and Dotson did not respond to an e-mail
sent to an address listed on his website. The authencity of the e-mail was
confirmed by two sources who were privy to its creation and distribution.

LaCivita is an expert at bypassing the traditional media filter. He
maintains backchannel relationships with many prominent bloggers and political
webmasters. He crafted the strategy that used the conservative blogosphere to
distribute the initial claims made by members of the Swift Boat Veterans for
Truth. In 2004, Dick Wadhams, Allen's campaign manager, employed two bloggers to help delegitimize South Dakota's most influential newspaper. Wadhams believed
that the Sioux Falls Argus Leader was hopelessly biased against challenger John
Thune and in favor of longtime incumbent Tom Daschle.

In the meantime, Ryan Lizza notes that Allen’s sister is suddenly backing off things she wrote in a book, published in 2000, about growing up in the Allen household. Liza notes among other things she wrote about the Senator:

* Turning onto our street, Mom and I passed the Green Bay Packers
fan's house. Often his mailbox lay smashed in the street, a casualty of my
brothers' drive-by to school in the morning. George would swerve his Mach II
Mustang while Gregory held the baseball bat out the window to clear the mailbox
off its post. The Packers fan would nail the battered mailbox back to the post;
the next morning it would be in the middle of the street again. Lately, the
Packers fan had resorted to stapling a Kleenex box to the mailbox post to
receive his mail. (page 16)
* [To George], I was just an ugly dog, as
he called me, sucking on a baby's bottle."What are you morons watching?" George
asked as he changed the channel to Hee Haw. George loved Hee Haw. His favorite
character was the big, slow-witted Junior. Junior tried to tell jokes yet always
failed to remember the punch line. There was also something mildly
country-thuggish about Junior that I think George felt akin to. After Hee Haw,
we watched Mannix. ...
When Mannix ended, George said, "It's late, morons,
time for bed!" We all obeyed George. If we didn't, we knew he would kill
us. Once, when Bruce refused to go to bed, George hurled him through a sliding
glass door. Another time, when Gregory refused to go to bed, George tackled him
and broke his collarbone. Another time, when I refused to go to bed, George
dragged me up the stairs by my hair. George hoped someday to become a dentist.
George said he saw dentistry as a perfect profession--getting paid to make
people suffer. Instead, George became a lawyer and went into politics. (pages
* Ever since my brother George held me over the railing at
Niagara Falls, I've had a fear of heights. (page 43)
* My brothers
never cried. Gregory cried only once, when Dad hit him and broke his nose. Bruce
cried only once, when a referee made a bad call that cost the Rams a game.
George never cried; I didn't think he even knew how. (page 45)
* The
last time we all watched a game together, George beat up Bruce, and Bruce beat
up Gregory, and I bit my nails, and Mom screamed, "Stop, stop, stop!" and held a
knife above her head and threatened to kill herself if we didn't stop fighting.
(page 77)
* Dad got a plastic photo cube of our family to take with
him to Redskins summer-training camp. George took it out of Dad's hands, looked
at it, and said, "God, are you people ugly! Don't ever tell me I'm ugly!" (page
* My brother George welcomed him [Jennifer's new boyfriend Flynn]
by slamming a pool cue against his head. (page 178)

In case you missed seeing Senator Allen calling a dark skinned young man a macaca, you can see it here.

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