Yesterday I contended that Gordon Howie's "campaign" for Christian conservatives was irrelevant to the outcome of Tuesday's Republican Legislative primaries across South Dakota. KELO's Ben Dunsmoor gives Gordon Howie time on television to claim that his campaign made a difference.
Now I want you to compare my post with Ben Dunsmoor's story. Dunsmoor cherry-picks three races—Begalka vs. Rausch, Ewing vs. Nelson, and Otten vs. Abdallah—in which candidates Howie "promoted" won. I look at the full list of 27 candidates that Howie "promoted" in 22 races across the state and find that only 12 of them won.
Dunsmoor offers no analysis of what Howie's "promotion" of candidates entailed. I look at Howie's actual activites, which seem have gone no farther than issuing a pack of skewed candidate evaluations. I then analyze the scores issued on those evaluations and find a negative correlation between the strength of Howie's support for those candidates and those candidates' percentage of the primary vote.
In other words, Gordon Howie shouldn't be on TV taking credit for his favored candidates' victories. Dunsmoor should be pressing Howie to admit that he picked more losers than winners.
But Dunsmoor doesn't do that. He just lets Howie spout utter bull:
"If you keep score - I would never do that - but some people are keeping score and they're saying the governor lost this round; conservatives won," Howie said [Ben Dunsmoor, "Fmr. Lawmaker Says Primary a Win for Conservatives," KELOLand.com, 2012.06.06].
...Howie never keeps score? Then what the heck are all those bogus scorecards he keep issuing? Why does the headline say Howie is claiming a win?
Howie uses a classic lie here, ascribing to unnamed others the contentious claim that he wants to make. He did the same thing with his fake poll last December, claiming a "near unanimous consensus" behind his political agenda. Wow: if 44% of my candidates winning constitutes "near unanimous consensus," then the Democrats who hold 44% of the seats in Congress must constitute a ruling majority.
Professional journalist Dunsmoor fails to analyze any of the claims Howie makes. I guess that duty falls to us bloggers on the couch... and to House Majority Leader David Lust, who fields Dunsmoor's obligatory quote-from-the-other-side-so-I-look-impartial call:
However, House Majority Leader David Lust doesn't view the results as a major movement of ultra-conservative candidates in South Dakota.
"When you look at each race individually the dynamics of how hard a candidate worked, the money involved, the community dynamics, I'm really hesitant to draw with a broad brush and make sweeping pronouncements as to the results and what they mean," Lust said [Dunsmoor, 2012.06.06].
Lust is blowing a little smoke here, too, but I can grudgingly synthesize some truth from both Howie's and Lust's statements (and this is still more work than Dunsmoor does on company time): Governor Daugaard did suffer a net loss with his failed primary endorsements. However, no opposing group or movement "won," not Howie's, not Unruh's, not anyone's.
Again, watch the KELO story, then read the blogosphere's coverage of Tuesday's primary. Then tell me where you learn more.
p.s.: Howie plays Kristi-Noem coy with Dunsmoor:
Howie stops short of calling it a Tea Party movement but sees Begalka's win over the Speaker of the House as one of the biggest victories on primary night [Dunsmoor, 2012.06.06].