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Goldwater's Campaign Manager suspect in Push Poll Mystery
9/3/06 | Bob Haran

Posted on 09/03/2006 9:34:22 PM PDT by az politico


Push polls are to civilized political campaigns what terrorism is to international diplomacy. I have talked to many people in the Republican party about this push poll against Len Munsil, and they are very angry. I got one of the push poll calls myself, and it was obviously designed to make Goldwater look good and start a rumor campaign to make Len Munsil look bad. It was not only an attack on the candidate, Len Munsil, but also on his wife and eldest child, and that is unacceptable to people with any sense of decency.

From the evidence I've put together, the push pull was well planed in advance and carefully targeted at the activist in the Republican party, such as the precinct committeemen. It was also timed to start late in the afternoon on the Friday before the Labor Day weekend. Most newspapers have a 5 PM deadline and refuse to print anything until the facts have been verified. This tends to indicate that the goal of this push poll was to reduce Len Munsil's support in the GOP. The timing was designed to avoid the notice of the press and if the press did find out, which they did, it would be too late to get anything in print. The perpetrators knew that if the press did get the story published, it would only reach a reduced Labor Day weekend audience, which is what ultimately happened.

What is perfectly clear is that the motive of whomever was behind this push poll was to discredit Len Munsil with the GOP faithful and reduce his base of support as he goes into the homestretch to the September 12 primary, therefore, we know that the perpetrators didn't want Len Munsil to get the Republican nomination for governor. Who would want to hurt Len Munsil's chances at receiving the Republican nomination for governor so much that they would resort to using a push poll to discredit him with half truths and lies?

The questions that were asked in the push poll indicate that it's architect did some very extensive research on Len Munsil's life, going back over 20 years and carefully scrutinizing every statement Len Munsil every made. In politics such heavy research is called, opposition research. Who would dedicate so much time and effort to opposition research on Len Munsil?

We also know that it was someone with access to a list of Republican precinct committeemen that included phone numbers. Who would have access to such a list?

This was not pulled off by some political amateur, the perpetrator would have to possess a certain amount of political experience and sophistication, not only to put together a push poll operation but also to select the optimum time to execute such an operation to maximize the damage to Munsil's campaign and also minimize press coverage if discovered. The selection of the Friday afternoon before the Labor Day holiday weekend proves that this push poll was very well planed in advance. Just like Japan bombing Pearl Harbor on a Sunday morning, timing is sometimes the most important element in an infamous surprise attack. This provides us with another clue to solving the great push poll mystery. The perpetrator is an experienced political operative who didn't want to be discovered and who has no ethics or sense of decency or honor.

It seems that we have limited our universe of, people's of interest, down somewhat.

Who would have the motive to hurt Munsil's campaign? Anybody actively supporting somebody else for governor could have a motive to hurt Munsil's campaign, that would include the incumbent governor's supporters, his opponents supporters, and I would have to include gay activist to the list of people's of interest, although I think they would rather burn Munsil at the stack because of his conservative activism against gay marriage.

Who would have done extensive opposition research on Len Munsil? Obviously, his opponents for the GOP nomination would have done opposition research on him and certainly the incumbent governor has done opposition research on Munsil. I don't think the gay community would have done opposition research on Munsil however, I think they would have left that to their friend and ally, Janet Napolitano.

Now we are down to four groups of suspects, Don Goldwater's campaign, The Mike Harris campaign, Janet Napolitano's campaign, and Gary Tupper's campaign.

One would think that both Harris and Tupper realize at this late stage in the campaign, that neither one of them are going to have a ninth floor office anytime soon. Both Harris' and Tupper's campaigns are so broke they would have a hard time running for a legislative seat and I really don't think either of them have the political know how to pull off a push poll.

This leaves us with two prime suspect groups, Napolitano's and Goldwater's campaigns. Oh, how I'm so sure the GOP would love it if Napolitano's campaign perpetrated a push poll on one of the Republican candidates for governor. I would also love it if our push pollster was from Napolitano's camp, however, it is very unlikely that her camp would take such a gamble when she is polling at 62% against either Goldwater or Munsil. Napolitano is not a gambler, she likes to play it safe. I may disagree with her politics but she has run for office before and there was never any accusation or history of nasty dirty tricks. I think it's safe to say that Napolitano is not a very likely suspect in this capper.

Let us review now, we have eliminated the gay activist community, Mike Harris and, Gary Tupper, and pretty much, Janet Napolitano. However, many people are saying that Napolitano would much rather have Goldwater as an opponent then Munsil, because all she would have to do was compare her resume to the voters with Goldwater's and she would be a shoe in, but Munsil's resume would stand up to her's. However, I still don't think she would go so far as to do a push poll against Munsil, just to try to affect the outcome of the GOP primary. That leaves us with only one prime suspect group, the Goldwater camp.

Now let us examine our prime suspect group. Did Goldwater's campaign have a motive to hurt Munsil's campaign? Goldwater's campaign had a strong motive to hurt Munsil's. While Goldwater was trying to get signatures to get on the ballot and raise enough $5 contribution to qualify for Clean Elections money, Munsil was out campaigning and closing in on Goldwater's lead. After working so hard to get his Clean election money, Goldwater wasn't going to get his check until one week before the primary, he had to do something to bring Munsil's numbers down.

Would Goldwater have done extensive opposition research on Munsil? Of course, Goldwater's campaign would have done major opposition research on Munsil, Len Munsil is his major opponent for the nomination.

Would Goldwater's campaign have had access to the telephone numbers of Republican precinct committeemen? Again, the answer is yes, most likely all the Republican candidates for statewide office would be allowed to have a list of the Republican precinct committeemen. An examination of Mr. Goldwater's very short list of endorsements includes the Maricopa county 2nd Vice chairman and five Maricopa County Members at Large, that gives Goldwater's campaign excellent access to information on precinct committeemen as well as access to extremely valuable voter lists with voting history, age, addresses and, phone numbers.

Now wait, we haven't completely solved this mystery yet. Who in Mr. Goldwater's camp would have the political experience and sophistication to pull off such a well planed and timed push poll? Unfortunately for Mr. Goldwater, his list of endorsements is short. His list of supporters is longer then his list of endorsement, but it does not include anyone who meets our requirements of political experience and sophistication. On his list of endorsement, which is on his web site, are only six elected officials, all of which I feel can be safely eliminated as suspects. Twelve are Republican party officials in Maricopa County and one of those twelve is a candidate himself for the legislator and busy with his own campaign, that leaves us with eleven. Of those eleven, one name stands out like an elephant in a herd of sheep.

Just as immediately after the 9/11 attacks those in the know said it was al Qaida, and they were right. Immediately after the push poll against Len Munsil was discovered, those in the know said Phil Mason, and I believe they are right, Phil Mason fits all the requirements to be our prime suspect.

Now all of this is circumstantial evidence, I have no way of knowing for certain that Phil Mason is the architect of the mystery push poll, but by a very strange coincidence, he also happens to be Don Goldwater's campaign manager. I nominate Phil Mason for push poll architect of 2006.

Have a happy and safe Labor Day.

Bob Haran, Independent Conservative


TOPICS: Arkansas; Campaign News; State and Local

1 posted on 09/03/2006 9:34:23 PM PDT by az politico
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To: az politico

Happy Holiday!

2 posted on 09/03/2006 9:36:32 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (Fight Crime. Shoot Back.)
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To: az politico

He doesn't work with Chris Wilson of Wilson Research Strategies does he? He is the master of push polls!

3 posted on 09/03/2006 9:51:42 PM PDT by PhiKapMom (Go Sooners!)
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To: az politico
That all we have these days. Push Polls. Some are merely more blatant then others.
4 posted on 09/04/2006 6:44:18 PM PDT by MNJohnnie ("US Journalists" all converted to Islam and now they won't convert back to Journalism! Marc Steyn)
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To: az politico
Bob Haran makes some interesting points in his analysis of the mysterious push poller. Unfortunately, many of them are incorrect. Even worse, he fails to cogently analyze the few items he does correctly present.

For example, Bob Haran points out that a push poll started on Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend will get minimal press exposure. That may be correct, but that would also work to the disadvantage of the push poll sponsor who, one would think, would actually want the negative publicity amplified as much as possible.

Something Bob fails to point out is the amazing coincidence that Munsil's political operatives were ready to file a claim with Clean Elections for additional funds almost immediately after the push poll calls started. Also, Don Goldwater has already filed a complaint against the Munsil campaign and Nathan Sproul who were apparently behind a push poll against Goldwater; the sponsorship of the poll was shielded by consulting companies that were linked to Sproul and to funding from the Munsil campaign according to the complaint. So, it appears that Munsil operatives already have experience with setting up push polls and hiding the true sponsor.

It is also an amazing coincidence that these push polls occurred almost exactly when Goldwater qualified for Clean Election financing. It is not reasonable to assume that the Goldwater campaign would want that news crowded out by a push poll story. Also, that means the Goldwater campaign suddenly has a sudden infusion of over $450,000 while the Munsil campaign is getting tapped out because of previous expenses including push polls, office expenses, signs, already arranged media buys, and expensive political consultants. It would seem that the Munsil campaign could sure use a sudden infusion of about $200,000 to buy more media just before the primary election.

As for these "revelations" hurting the Munsil campaign, that is ridiculous. Nobody is going to shame or blame Munsil or his family. It is old news that happened a long time ago. Also, his 9-11 remark was so taken out of context as to also be ridiculous. Interestingly, if there was any concern about these items coming out and being campaign issues, this is the best possible way for Munsil to have them come out. It looks like he is being unfairly attacked. Also, if Munsil wins the nomination (not a good thing for the Republican Party in my opinion), these items would be sure to come out anyway during the general election campaign. It's hard to believe that some enterprising reporter wouldn't pick up this story from some politician during the general election campaign.

Another interesting fact is that Don Goldwater has filed a complaint about this push poll. It appears that the Munsil campaign has filed with Clean Elections for more money, but has not yet filed a complaint about violations of election law.

There are no facts now available concerning who actually sponsored the push poll, but I think the circumstantial evidence definitely does not point to Don Goldwater or any of his campaign staff or supporters. The central question, as Bob Haran pointed out, is, "Who benefits from this push poll?" Furthermore, who has the most experience setting them up? The Goldwater campaign is actively trying to find out who is behind this push poll because the pollsters falsely claimed it was sponsored by Goldwater for Governor. Is any other campaign actively pursuing the matter?

I think Bob Haran may be too blinded by his support of Len Munsil to be able to look at all of the circumstantial evidence and other scenarios far more reasonable than what he suggests.
5 posted on 09/05/2006 8:54:47 PM PDT by Howard_Levine (Bob Haran is circumstantially challenged.)
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