Dec 12, 2006

Article highlights Rogers’ watchdog blog: GOP rolls out standard attack the messenger defense

Dan Meisler continues to highlight trends and changes in politics that are altering the way campaigns are conducted. His story on the newest political blog, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, is one more excellent effort. He has written on political blogs in the past, and he was quick to pick up on this one.

I’m proud to say I am a contributor to this new blog, and this will be one way to shine a bright light on Mike Rogers’ votes, positions, actions and public statements. There has been a complete lack of accountability in the Bush Administration, and this will return some accountability to the process.

A Web log targeting U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, is the latest site of its kind to focus on the political scene in Livingston County and the 8th Congressional District.
According to its founder, Julielyn Gibbons, who grew up in Green Oak Township and now lives in Lansing, the Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood blog will document the congressman's every move in order to keep his constituents up to date.
Gibbons' political leanings are clear — her computer nickname is LiberalLucy and her other blog is called Liberal, Loud and Proud — but she insists her latest effort is not meant to smear or disparage Rogers. In truth, she said, her goal is to be educational.
"Since he is, in fact, working for all of us, the government should have an inherent level of transparency," Gibbons said. "This is just helping to make Mr. Rogers' record more transparent."
"I'm not saying Mike Rogers hasn't done anything good for the district, but there's a lot more good that he could be doing," she continued. "If nothing else, we who helped create the blog hope he understands, by us paying attention to him and publicizing what he does ... we are going to hold him accountable."

I’m really surprised Rogers spokesperson Sylvia Warner declined to comment for this story. She is very good at making up Rogers quotes on the spot.

It didn’t take long for the Republicans to ramp up the standard “attack the messenger” strategy that has led people to buy into the false “liberal media bias” strategy and smear campaign. Allan Filip, who was just chosen as the chair of the Livingston County Republican Party in a closed-door convention where they barred the press less than two weeks ago, wasted no time in rolling out the standard GOP attack the messenger strategy.

After looking at Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, Livingston County Republican Party Chairman Allan Filip commented that it seemed to be too personal.
"To really play a large role, a lot of these things are going to have to become less venomous," he said.
Generally speaking, Filip said, political blogs play to the extreme fringes of their particular parties.
"I don't think necessarily it's anything that's changing people's hearts and minds," he said.

They love to claim scrutinizing a Republican’s record is a personal attack, and they used that defense when Chris Ward’s ethically challenged record was examined in the last campaign on the Mike McGonegal campaign blog I maintained. I challenged everyone who made that ridiculous claim to point out a personal attack or refute what was written about his record, and no body took up that challenge. I suspect we will see the same thing here.

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