I checked into PoliticsNJ.com to see the latest article. I still could not tell you what the lead article is for my eyes were immediately drawn the image you see here. The caption to the image on the site states:
PAID FOR BY THE CAPE MAY COUNTY REGULAR REPUBLICAN ORGANIZATION, DAVID VON SAVAGE, CHAIRMAN
Surely this was a joke/hoax. Upon looking into it, however, much like the Craig Fitzhugh campaign-distributed Special Olympics flyer (image), this appears to be legitimate.
MightRighty.com seems to be a site populated by conservatives who have a good time poking fun at Kerry, liberals, and those on the left. I have been unable to find the image on their site as of yet. I am looking. I did find a similar image posted in the forum. I have e-mailed the poster, BrotherJoe, about the image and if he can shed any light on the image. I have yet to hear back.
MightyRighty.com is not affiliated with any party.
PoliticsNJ purports to be maintained as a resource for observers of the New Jersey political scene. The publishers remain anonymous.
So, what’s the issue?
Had Mr. Fitzhugh distributed the Osama Bin Laden image with a Bush/Cheney campaign poster, I am certain the outrage would have been equal to what he has received for his Special Olympics poster.
The image is wrong. As a joke on a parody site, the image is what it is—an attempt at humor. But when it is being distributed/paid for by a legitimate Republican organization, it is over-the-top. Linking a candidate for the presidency with the country’s arch enemy without a shred of proof, is not the work for legitimate political parties. This is the very reason why regular folks despise politics.
Mr. Von Savage needs to pull the plug on this advertisement. He needs to apologize for running it. And then he needs to step down as chairman of the Cape May County Regular Republican Organization. This is not the kind of leadership which is needed.
Update: 17 OCT 04, 20:32
An e-mail sent to Matthew Buesing, Treasurer of the Cape May County Regular Republican Organization, bounced. The address provided on the Organization’s site, firstname.lastname@example.org, had permanent fatal errors.
Update: 17 OCT 04, 21:44
With a little help from Hollie Lee over at MightyRighty.com, the image that PoliticsNJ.com has posted can also be found here. It was originally posted on 22 February 2004 on MightyRighty.com.
Update: 18 OCT 04, 09:29
This story is becoming more interesting. PoliticsNJ.com has removed the advertisement from its site. Too bad I did not screen capture the home page last evening. I had written to the email@example.com address asking about how much the Cape May County Regular Republican Organization paid to run the spot and for how long it was to run. I have not received a response to those questions. Could it be that the wagons are circling? The image is still on their web site. The image at the beginning of this blog entry is theirs. If the link breaks, we will know PoliticsNJ.com removed (or at least re-named) the image.
Update: 18 OCT, 10:51
Harv, the owner of MightyRighty.com, responded to my inquiry. According to him, this image was never intended to be paid for.
Update: 18 OCT 04, 11:01
According to the PoliticsNJ.com web site, the advertisement that was displayed would be a “Left Column” (125×125) display. PoliticsNJ.com charges $500 to run an advertisement there. There is no mention for how long such an advertisement would run for $500.
Update: 18 OCT 04, 11:42
Steve Kornacki, a reporter for PoliticsNJ.com filed a story on 11 February 2004 about Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County executive, who backed Senator John Kerry, instead of Governor McGreevey-endorsed Howard Dean.
Former U.S. Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, whose reputation was scarred by a formal rebuke from his Senate colleagues two years ago, made waves last week by loudly promoting his role as a fund-raiser for Kerry. Some key Kerry supporters in New Jersey, including Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., took pains to distance the Garden State operation from Torricelli, who also downplayed his role with the campaign in subsequent interviews. But the former senator’s work is now making national headlines. It was revealed on Tuesday that Torricelli had used his still-active U.S. Senate campaign account to make a $50,000 donation last November to a shadowy group that ran television ads against Dean several months ago. Among other things, the ads, which cost about $500,000 to produce and air, used images of Dean and Osama bin Laden to question Dean’s national security credentials. At today’s press conference, Kerry’s backers said they were either unaware of Torricelli’s contribution or weren’t concerned with it. “I welcome anybody to do whatever they want through any legal means to help change the country,” Adler said. DiVincenzo called Torricelli “a friend” and said he’d have no problem accepting contributions from Torricelli’s campaign committee in the future.
Is this where Cape May County Regular Republican Organization leaders learned of the idea? Does PoliticsNJ.com approve of Torricelli’s advertisements?
Update: 19 OCT 04, 10:01
Angela Pulvino, Recording Secretary of the Cape May County Regular Republican Organization, told me just now that she has no knowledge of the advertisement that was run on PoliticsNJ.com. She referred me to Chairman Von Savage. I had already left a message on his answering machine. For the record, Ms. Pulvino’s number has changed from what is listed on the organization’s web site to (609) 390-1998.
Update: 19 OCT 04, 10:19
Jessica, legislative assistant for state senator Nick Asselta, indicated that the senator would not intervene in a matter like this. She suggested I contact PoliticsNJ.com and Mr. Von Savage, both of whom she knew I had previously contacted.
Update: 19 OCT 04, 10:25
Yesterday I had e-mailed, Steve Adubato, PoliticsNJ.com columnist as well as Fox & Friends guest, CN8 personality, etc., the following through his Stand & Deliver web site. I e-mailed him the same just now through his AOL address.
In your recent Star-Ledger article, Take the Leadership Test, you posed several questions. Regarding the two questions below, I would like you to rate yourself as a nationally-recognized pundit, who is also a columnist for PoliticsNJ.com. PoliticsNJ.com ran an advertisement over the weekend paid for by the Cape May County Regular Republican Organization. The advertisement was an image of Osama bin Laden holding up a Kerry for President placard. The image can be seen at: http://www.politicsnj.com/paidadvertisement.jpg
SA: When things do go wrong and mistakes are made that I’ve played some part in, I step up and take responsibility for my actions.
SA: If someone (including a top leader in my organization) did something that was either ethically or morally wrong in order to gain a competitive advantage, I would step up and make it clear how I felt, even if it jeopardized my professional status. Is accepting money to run an advertisement with the above image ethically or morally wrong? Is writing for a group that takes money for displaying such an image having “played some part in”? I am blogging this story on my web site at b.vallane.net. I would like permission to use your response in my story.
All the best,
I have heard nothing from Mr. Adubato.
Update: 19 OCT 04, 11:34
Striking out at each turn, I wrote to New Jersey Republican Leader, Senator Joe Kyrillos, via his web site.
As New Jersey’s Republican leader, I am hopeful you can help me. I am a registered Republican. I live in Cumberland County. On Sunday evening I visited PoliticsNJ.com. On the site, I saw an advertisement with the following image:
http://rdowens.net/images/2004/paidadvertisment.jpg (since moved)
PoliticsNJ.com wrote the following beneath the image, “PAID FOR BY THE CAPE MAY COUNTY REGULAR REPUBLICAN ORGANIZATION, DAVID VON SAVAGE, CHAIRMAN” I wrote PoliticsNJ.com about the advertisement. I wanted to know how much it cost to run and the length of the ad-buy. I also asked if there was a screening process that the web site uses for its ads. I heard nothing about this, although the ad was pulled. I e-mailed the chairman of the Cape May County Regular Republican Organization, Mr. Von Savage. I also left him a message on his answering machine. He has not responded. The recording secretary of the CMCRRO knows nothing of the ad. With the lack of information I have gleaned from those who can answer these questions, I am writing you to step in and intervene on my behalf. I would like to know how much CMCRRO paid to run the ad. I would like to know how long the ad was supposed to run. I would like to know how long the ad actually ran. I would like to know why the ad was purchased. You are a leader for our good state. Steve Adubato recently had a column about leadership. He wrote that leaders do the following: “When things do go wrong and mistakes are made that I’ve played some part in, I step up and take responsibility for my actions.” and “If someone (including a top leader in my organization) did something that was either ethically or morally wrong in order to gain a competitive advantage, I would step up and make it clear how I felt, even if it jeopardized my professional status.” As we all know, cover-ups are far worse than the original mistakes. I request your help in getting answers to these questions. Thank you kindly.
I have heard nothing about this.
Update: 19 OCT 04, 13:50
There is a story here. I know that. No one desires to speak to a guy they have never heard of. I know I am just a guy with a couple questions. Politicians do not want to help. PoliticsNJ.com will not respond. That is okay. I have recruited help. I just got off the telephone with Buzz Keough, reporter for The Press of Atlantic City. Perhaps some of these folks who thought a citizen wasn’t worth their time will find Mr. Keough worth dealing with. I trust that bringing on board some help with this will answer the questions I have raised. Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for what I saw. I suspect I will eventually learn what happened. Welcome, Buzz.