by Lucas Baumbach
LABRADOR AND F-35
Congressional candidate, Ward has become infamous for his incessant attacks on Democrat, Walter Minnick. But now Ward’s campaign manager, Ryan O’Barto, turns his guns on Republican Legislator, Raul Labrador. Taking my advice to learn local politics first, Ward is getting behind the Idaho Lockheed Martin F-35 program. I first heard of F-35 last week from a Boise Democrat, who swore he was not lobbying for the program as he handed out F-35 postcards. The program would bring more military jobs to Idaho. In a press-release O’Barto accuses Labrador of not supporting the program.
DOES WARD ABANDON IDAHO CHILDREN?
The accusation is unreasonable. O’Barto strains to portray Labrador in error, finding hardly a speck in Labrador’s eye. When was the last time Ward submitted legislation to promote jobs in Idaho? Never. Has Ward recently been to the legislature? Ward missed a key joint committee on education today, where Tom Luna unconvincingly presented his budget to the Legislature. Senator Monty Pearce pointed out that the budget failed to find cuts for $80+ million in missing revenues. Luna, Ward’s campaign chair, said he “might” instead be able to get $50 million from an obscure slush fund. What does Ward think should be done? Does his absence signal that his campaign has abandoned children? To accuse Ward of bad education policy because he didn’t attend today’s meeting is as absurd as the accusation O’Barto leveled at Labrador.
A CALL FOR DECORUM
There’s something very off-color about a press release that calls Labrador to abandon the legislature. When Labrador announced, Vaughn supporter, Mike Jorgensen called Labrador to abandon his campaign for US Congress. There is a fever-pitched tone to the rhetoric. I don’t mind using sleazy hyperbole against Democrats. Fighting fire with fire makes sense. But, a modicum of decorum should be preserved among Republicans. With a federal government that is run by a bunch of veritable chimpanzees, you’d think Republicans would save their most scathing attacks for the Geithners, Bernankes, and Emanuels of the world. Burning through the rhetoric at this rate, Ward would get to DC on empty. But, he could always call patron McCain for a gas card.
BYE BYE O’BARTO
One political insider says this press release is O’Barto’s swan song. “It’s not Vaughn’s style.” But, if O’Barto does not know Vaughn’s style after nearly a year as campaign manager, I don’t know who does. O’Barto has sent out many press releases without a glitch. If O’Barto is acting without approval from Ward, Ward should immediately condemn and retract the press release. And, Ward is ultimately responsible for the damage. But we must still question Ward’s judgement in hiring O’Barto to run the campaign. My view is that the pressure is getting to Ward and O’Barto. We need people who can lead under pressure.
There have been questions swirling around Vaughn Ward’s residency. Ward is renting a home in Eagle, Idaho. He does not own a house in Idaho. The only record of ownership by Vaughn Ward is a house in Alexandria Virginia. What does this mean for the election? Idahoans will demand to know how a renter will be able to represent their interests, and Minnick will win again. A US Congressman should at least own a home in the district he wishes to represent. I was gobsmacked to learn of this glaring lack of qualification. If I were a Ward contributor, I would demand my money back. The campaign is based on a deception that Republicans can’t afford.
VAUGHN WARD for BOISE 2011
I wish Ward the best. I think he was pushed by McCain to run for this seat. The run was ill-conceived. Ward should have bought a house and sent down roots. He started off strong and has now petered out. I expect him to return to DC to work as a staffer. But, it would do him good to stay in Idaho and start a business. His kids could grow up here. He is young and has a lot of passion. We need that passion. I just hope this is not the end of the line for him locally. Boise needs a few good city councilmen and a mayor. Maybe someday soon I’ll be campaigning side-by-side with Vaughn Ward to TAKE BACK BOISE in 2011.