Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Would-Be Mayors Overplay Their Hands

Early in the Richardson mayoral election campaign, Amir Omar overplayed his hand by accusing Laura Maczka of "leading the charge" against direct election of the mayor. Instead of having to defend her votes to kill talk of direct election of the mayor for the rest of the council term, she was able to change the conversation to whether or not she was the "leader" of the anti-change majority on the council. Arguably, she was not. Inattentive voters might have dismissed the whole flap as a "he said, she said" argument. Omar might have scored points, but Maczka kept the damage to a minimum.

Now, it's Laura Maczka and the Richardson Coalition PAC who have overplayed their hand. After the jump, opening the books on Amir Omar.

In accusing Amir Omar of personal financial troubles in his past, the Richardson Coalition PAC went beyond laying out the facts revealed in various legal documents. They insinuated motives and made inferences that the facts don't support, or at least don't prove. Instead of having to defend himself from what's in the public record, he is able to change the conversation to deny the exaggerations that the Richardson Coalition PAC made to that public record.

I will simply and clearly state again that their allegations are absolutely false. The facts are that I have never been late on child support payments, agreed to have all payments auto drafted from my paycheck, and never attempted to avoid paying my student loans.

In order to substantiate their false and defamatory claims, Laura Maczka and her Richardson Coalition have selectively manipulated the facts. They have used a divorce settlement balance and represented it as "late child support", and took agreed upon auto drafts from the Order and represented them as being forcibly garnished. They also took a list of debts and represented the listing of student loans as a discharge of that debt.
Source: Amir Omar email.

Inattentive voters might end up dismissing this whole flap as another "he said, she said" argument. Maczka might have scored points, but Omar can succeed at keeping the damage to a minimum.

At different times, both candidates overplayed their hands by manipulating the facts to imply more than the facts support. By doing so, they give their opponent an escape route and allow the opponent to paint the accuser as telling untruths. Each time, each candidate comes out looking bad. When the facts are bad enough, why can't candidates resist the urge to exaggerate and just stick to the facts? It's not only bad politics because it lets your opponent off the hook. It's bad politics because stretching the truth makes you look dishonest. Just don't do it.


markmont61 said...

Amen!!! Can I get a witness...

Mark the last 2 posts from you have been 'spot on'... Keep up the good work.

Mark Steger said...

Only two?!?

By the way, markmont61, commenting rules require commenters to fully identify themselves. Although I think I can figure out your identify from your alias, you should sign your real name to your posts.