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O’Donnell Camp’s Method: Lie, Then Slander

August 22nd, 2011 at 12:32 am | 26 Comments |

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Haley Barbour with Christine O’Donnell at the June 13, 2008 fundraiser for Bill Lee. (Photo courtesy of Maria Evans)

On Monday, August 15, 2011, I issued a press release to set the record straight about an event featuring Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, an event that three time Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell cites in her new book, Troublemaker as an example of how the Delaware Republican Party was snubbing her all of the way back in 2008, when she was the party’s chosen nominee.

For the past nine months, I have been meticulously doing research for a book I’m writing about O’Donnell’s string of failed Senate bids, the Tea Party movement, and the role that national conservative figures like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Jim DeMint had in her primary upset of nine-term congressman, Mike Castle.

The 2008 fundraiser in question wasn’t even on my book researching radar. And why would it be? July 13, 2008 was another candidate’s day, not Christine O’Donnell’s.

I was one of the organizers of the fundraising event for Delaware gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee. As Lee’s communications director and a former member of the media, I was in the habit of recording his appearances in order to provide accurate quotes to the press.

The proof I supplied to dispute O’Donnell’s claim that she was purposefully overlooked, was the unedited audio of the speeches given at the fundraiser, audio that clearly contradicted several of O’Donnell’s statements.

O’Donnell claims that then state party chairman, Tom Ross “…acknowledged every party bigwig, every elected official, and every candidate for every conceivable office, all the way down to the state legislature…” except for her. The audio proves that Barbour was introduced by Congressman Mike Castle, and that the only dignitary that Castle introduced was Haley Barbour. Tom Ross did not speak to the crowd at that event.

O’Donnell goes on to claim that Barbour, “made it right” by giving her a special introduction to the crowd, but the audio shows that Barbour only said that O’Donnell “worked with me at the Republican National Committee” and all of the accolades O’Donnell said Barbour gave to her, he actually gave to other officials at the event.

The immediate response by O’Donnell and her team was exactly what I expected. They went on the attack. O’Donnell’s hysterically devoted campaign manager, Matt Moran, tried to link me to the state party’s FEC complaint against O’Donnell, a complaint that I found out about after it was filed.

Moran went on to say that I didn’t “deny” that “O’Donnell wasn’t invited to the fundraiser,” and that statement is absolutely true, because I was never asked whether or not she was invited.

In her book, O’Donnell claims that she found out about the July 13, 2008 fundraiser the day before, (that would be July 12, 2008), purely by accident, from Haley Barbour himself, and that her campaign had to scramble to “find out what fundraiser he’s (Barbour) talking about,” and that they had to do an “end-around to arrange for tickets, but we finally got them…”

The day after I issued the press release, on a local radio station where I had once worked as a talk show host, blogger and reporter, O’Donnell said that she “felt sorry” for me and the show’s host, one of her sycophants, called me Mike Castle’s “concubine.”

I was horrified to realize that my 12 year-old son had been listening to the broadcast. “Are you OK, Mom?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said. “I told you yesterday that people were going to say bad things about me, but it’s OK because I’m telling the truth, and when you tell the truth, everything works out.”

“Mom, what’s a ‘concubine’?” he asked with a concerned look on his face.

I paused for and long moment and considered my answer. “In this case, it means someone’s who’s right,” I said. I figured that I could clear up that definition on another day, when he seemed less upset.

I was glad that my son didn’t know that I had also been called a “liar,” a “political scoundrel,” “corrupt” and that I was accused of doctoring the tape. O’Donnell’s supporters went as far as to attack other members of my family in order to discredit and quiet me.

I looked down at the piece of paper I was holding in my hand and smiled. It was a page from Christine O’Donnell’s 2008 FEC report.

It showed that Christine O’Donnell purchased her tickets for Bill Lee’s fundraiser on July 11, 2008, the day before she claimed that she found out about it accidentally from Haley Barbour.

I felt grateful that time was universally known to move in a forward direction. I can only assume it works the same way in the bizarre world that Christine O’Donnell lives in.

Recent Posts by Maria Evans



26 Comments so far ↓

  • pnwguy

    Ms. Evans:

    Sorry you have to suffer as the victim of such nonsense. You are no stranger to the public eye it would appear, so some of it goes with the professional choices you’ve made. But being slandered is no fun regardless.

    So it seems like all 3 of the high profile GOP women craving attention, Bachmann, Palin, & O’Donnell, all have this double-down approach to stupid or inaccurate things they say. There is seldom an admission of being wrong, forgetful, or just that they made a mistake. Instead there is this almost pathological attack mode that they spring into. Claiming victimhood from enemies far and wide, they dig their holes even deeper in the defense of their screw-ups. They start building this alternative reality universe where up is down, left is right, and you wonder when the Cheshire cat will appear.

    What part do you think gender plays a factor here, if any? Certainly there are way fewer role models of women in politics, Republican especially.

  • medinnus

    What I don’t understand is how politicians can actually expect to be able to get away with lies when almost everything is now on the objective record; I guess its because so few of the public seem to care about mendacity in their politicians.

    • Solo4114

      They get away with it because nobody ever calls them out on it. Not really, anyway. Nobody just comes out and flat-out calls them liars. Instead we get “misstatements” and “non-truths” or “exaggerations” or some other word aside from “LIE.”

      Unless and until non-partisan media is willing to run a headline or lead a news broadcast with the statement “[Politician] caught in lie,” there is no incentive NOT to lie.

      Two classic examples from both sides of the political fence:

      - The “Death Panels” lie from Sarah Palin and repeated by others. This wasn’t just factually wrong. It was a lie. And the media did not call it as such, especially as it was repeated.

      - Hillary Clinton’s “sniper fire” story during the 2008 campaign. At no time do I recall a major media story saying “Hillary Clinton lied.” It wasn’t just “misremembering.” It was a lie.

      Now, in both cases, the “truth” side of the story is run alongside the “lie” side. In the Clinton case, the video footage made it very hard for her to sidestep the issue. In the “Death Panel” case, though, because the lie was predicated on a fundamental misunderstanding of the language of the Social Security Act — which itself is admittedly a pain to read — was much harder to explain.

      Thus, it’s easier for the lie to survive — especially when nobody actually calls it a lie. You want to shut this kind of stuff down? You can’t take the “sit back and let the truth win out” approach. You have to get out there and aggressively challenge the lie and call it a lie. Failure to do so allows the lie to be repeated — which in turn gives it an air of legitimacy. The more times a lie is said, the more likely it will be seen as the truth.

  • Smargalicious

    Sorry, Ms. Evans, but your half-Kenyan Messiah is going to lose anyway, if he decides to run.

    Just sayin’.

    • TJ Parker

      Smegmalicious! You’re back, O Pious One!

      Whenever I read one of your comments, I think “What would Jesus do?” And then I think: “Why, probably exactly like Smeg and centuries of Catholic priests before him: Take our money and f*ck our children!”

      As always, you remain valued as a reminder that your God is a God of lies and snarky innuendo.

      Now go you, back to your la-di-dah Tea Party and cucumber sandwiches. Shoo.

      • PracticalGirl

        Since “his” comments are nearly identical in content (down to the Just sayin’..), I’ve begun to suspect that Smarg is a bot. We should all stop talking to computer generated slime.

        • MSheridan

          Smarg a bot? That hadn’t previously occurred to me, but it should have. Certainly he/it’s got a lot fewer canned responses than a lot of programs built to pass the Turing test. Plus, the Smarg entry above showed no awareness that the author of the piece is a GOP political activist. Most of us DO ignore him/it anyway, though, and have for some time.

        • Solo4114

          Standard rule of the internet: Don’t feed the trolls.

    • Banty

      Apropos of nothing.

    • jakester

      She’s a Republican, sfb

    • Polaris

      Troll and complete asshole in one

  • Rob_654

    You just got caught up in a situation with a person who, like Bachmann who is doing everything they can to remain on the taxpayer dime and not have to go into the real world of private sector employment where they have to compete on their merits, abilities and skills.

  • TAZ

    I’m sure Bill Mahre would welcome her back on the show if its attention she is craving….

  • anniemargret

    Ms. Evans. Terrible situation for you, but you are handling in the best possible way, by speaking the truth, and fighting for truth.

    Our political system is rampant with lies, half-lies, and obfuscations.

    From my own pov, it seems the GOP has bred a special type of female politician. Rather than focus their energies on integrity, character, intelligence, they went for the ‘hot babe’ factor and the one with biggest whiny mouth.

    Amazing. In the year 2011, you have these witchy women trying to be the Leader of the Free World (Bachmann.Palin.O’Donnell.) or make as much noise as they can, and they represent the ‘new’ GOP. Instead of being proud of these women the party should be doing all it could to oust them from their pedestals.

    O’Donnell is typical. Ferociously religious, phony religious, faux Christian, this is their meme. Wear your Christianity on your sleeve, slander and lie, smear and make ugly sounds, and you will get votes.

    I’m surprised that any true Christian could be a Republican candidate and still go to church on Sunday with a straight face and pure heart.

  • medinnus

    “I’m surprised that any true Christian could be a Republican candidate and still go to church on Sunday with a straight face and pure heart.”

    They don’t. The compassion and the willingness to help the poor are not found in today’s heart-rotted GOP. I mean, you did say TRUE Christians. And all they have left are coward closet-homosexuals like Smeg.

  • balconesfault

    A GOP candidate playing the victim card, using fradulent evidence.

    Dog bites man.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    great article, nothing surprising in it, however your son is 12 and Concubine is not a bad word, at least one you need run away from, I would have used it as an opportunity to teach some history and said Emperors in Asia used to have many wives and lesser wives were called concubines and that what they were saying is that you were as devoted to the candidacy of Mike Castle as any of the lesser wives were devoted to their husband. As it is he probably now thinks the word means something far worse and he is now liable to call one of his peers a concubine as an insult.

    I am not out to criticize you though, I would have been as likely to be as nonplussed in that situation as you.

    This does remind me of a case years back when my nephews and neice were sleeping over at my place and being rowdy, I went in to quiet them down and said to my one nephew to be quiet, he took offense and asked why just him and I said because I knew he was the instigator, he yelled that he wasn’t and how could I say that. I then left the room and a minute later heard him ask his cousins what an instigator was.

  • bluestatepastor

    Ms. Evans, I am sorry you’ve had to put up with this ridiculous pettyness and vindictiveness from Ms. O’Donnell; and with some of the self-serving commenters on this thread such as Smarg. Personally, I think Christine O’Donnell and Sarah Palin exhibit possible symptoms of a personality disorder and should be screened for them. It would explain a lot.

    Best of luck to you.

  • jakester

    I guess there is only enough room for one or two Palins

  • LFC

    Why is it that those politicians who claim to be Christian the loudest and most publicly are also the ones who seem to lie the most effortlessly? How’s that whole “tenny / sixy commandment” thing workin’ out for ya’?

  • Graychin

    If we ignore her, there is a good chance that she will just go away.

    • LFC

      You’re probably right. She can’t win elections, can’t sell her story, is abysmal on camera, and has no real talent for fire breathing. I can’t see the right-wingnuts having any use for her now that she’s crashed and burned.

  • Lariat of Truth

    Don’t feel sorry for the author. She is willing to put herself out there and tell the truth. She has discussed this with her family and they know what to expect. If it weren’t for her, we wouln’t know the truth about Christine O’Donnell.

    The author is my hero. She came forward and told the truth, while the rest of the junkies continue to drink the kool-aid and live in denial.

  • Oldskool

    I read about this story last week, somewhere. At any rate, I think she has a personality disorder. Lucky for her, that kind of thing doesn’t disqualify anyone from earning a living doing whatever it is that she does.

  • Tom Ross

    There are those that have posted that seem to pity Maria. While I believe they are well intentioned, I think they are missing the fact that we should be celebrating Maria Evans.

    She is exhibiting something that is so seldom exhibited in our public discourse these days, COURAGE. She is well aware of the consequences but still speaks the truth.

    This evening we should all be thankful that there are still good and decent people, like Maria Evans, that are willing to stand strong for the truth… regardless of the outcome.

    To quote Winston Churchill:

    Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities … because it is the quality that guarantees all others…

    God bless you and your family Maria.

  • forkboy1965

    What a sad state of affairs for the GOP. Thinking and considerate women everywhere should be weeping for the blight that are the likes of O’Donnell, Bachmann and Palin.