I began my weekend on Friday fully intending to vote for former Del. Mark Dudenhefer in the Republican primary on Tuesday. Now, as I write this on Sunday evening I am struggling between not voting in the primary and voting for his opponent Tim Ciampaglio.
What changed my mind? Two contacts made to my household by the Dudenhefer campaign that backfired in a big way.
First was a mailer that we received on Friday in which Dudenhefer attacked Ciampaglio on two issues — having voted in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary and supporting a sales tax increase. Ciampaglio seems like a pretty conservative guy so it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out what these are really about.
As to the Democratic primary — I seem to recall Rush Limbaugh advocating something called “Operation: Chaos” in 2008 where he encouraged Republicans to vote in the Democratic presidential primary in order to prolong the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the hopes of weakening their eventual nominee. As to the second issue of a sales tax increase, which the Dudenhefer mailer was rather vague about, I would wager that Ciampaglio probably at some point stated that he favored replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax and that is what they are using to attack him on. The mailer ended with a statement that Dudenhefer was the only “real Republican” running in the primary. That was strike three for me with that mailer. All in all, this was the work of bad campaign staff and bad consultants.
The second contact from the Dudenhefer campaign that sealed the deal for me came this afternoon in the form of a robocall. This one really takes the cake.
After invoking the “real Republican” mantle in the mailer, the last person I would think that the Dudenhefer campaign would roll out in a robocall would be Potomac Dist. Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, but that is exactly what they did.
If ever there truly was a RINO, it would be Caddigan. In fact, I cited her past actions as reasons why I had to resign from the county GOP since I was unable in good conscience to comply with the bylaws of the party requiring members to support all of the nominees in the general election and she is on the ballot this year:
Supervisor Caddigan has repeatedly flouted the principles of the Republican Party and even the specific bylaw that I cited above as my reason for resigning from the party. Mrs. Caddigan supported the Democratic nominees for county board chairman in 1999 against Republican nominee Sean Connaughton, in the 2006 special election for county board chairman against Republican nominee Corey Stewart, again in 2007 for county board chairman against Republican nominee and incumbent Corey Stewart and in 2005 for state delegate against Republican nominee and incumbent Jeff Frederick.
Furthermore, Mrs. Caddigan has been a consistent advocate for higher taxes and increased spending on programs that are not core services for county residents thereby violating the Republican Party of Virginia’s creed which states, “That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government.” In addition, she has a long history of abusing her office that includes use of county resources, both personnel and office discretionary funds, for political purposes. Finally, there are items on her campaign finance disclosure filings that make it appear she has converted campaign funds for personal use in the past via paying her husband a salary as campaign treasurer for work not commensurate with the amounts paid.
If that is the kind of supporter the Dudenhefer campaign is rolling out in order to win Republican votes, I would recommend to Mark Dudenhefer that he get a refund for the consulting services he is receiving because his staff and consultants are not serving him well at all. That is unfortunate because 1.) I like Mark and 2.) he had my vote until this weekend. However, in a campaign the person ultimately accountable for everything done in its name is the candidate and I found these actions, particularly the mailer, to be dishonest and desperate.