LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Denounce the idea, not just the speaker

To the editor:

In a recent letter to the editor by Barbara Bailey’s husband, Butch Bailey, he took a page right out of the ALEC/Karl Rove playbook by disingenuously claiming that his wife had nothing whatever to do with the recent false push poll being used against Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen.

Anyone who read the June 8 letter will immediately notice that Barbara Bailey’s husband did not denounce the message in the push poll as being false. Instead he merely repeated the claim in the push poll that it raised a question about “Senator Haugen’s use of transportation funds to pay for campaign expenses.” Such a claim is absolutely false and Butch and Barbara Bailey know it!

This is a typical tactic when a candidate wants to benefit from the lie and misinformation, but doesn’t want to be tarnished with having anything to do with it.

We see this same tactic being used at the national level by the “birthers” (i.e., Donald Trump’s wild false accusations regarding President Obama not being born in the United States).  Why doesn’t Mitt Romney denounce this obvious canard?  His response is like Barbara Bailey’s response. “Don’t blame me, I am not the one saying it.”  But he (and she) want to benefit from the lie. Similarly, the “Obama is a Muslim” crowd lies about President Obama’s religious beliefs in their false attempt to somehow paint the president as “not one of us.” Where are the Republicans denouncing such falsehoods? They are nowhere to be seen.

Barbara Bailey should do the honorable thing and completely denounce the false statement set forth in the push poll.  If she refuses to do so (and instead merely plays the “don’t blame me” game as in her husband’s letter), then voters can rightly place blame for this disgusting tactic at her feet.  Barbara Bailey loves to claim that she always takes the high road, but amazingly her opponents always get smeared with false accusations. Why is that, Mrs. Bailey?”

Nels Kelstrom



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