Sep 4, 2007

Despite apology made and accepted rightwing attack dogs continue to attack

Ken Brock, the Chief-of-staff for Sen. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, apologized for a misguided word he used in talking to a newspaper columnist about an opponent of his boss for the Democratic nomination for the 7th Congressional District seat, and despite the person he made the remark about accepting the apology, that’s good enough for Republicans.

In an opinion column in the Battle Creek Enquirer by Susan Demas that ran on Friday before the long Labor Day holiday weekend, Demas paraphrased and said Brock said:

“Democratic state Sen. Mark Schauer is psyched to take him on, vowing to amass $3 million by next year. His chief of staff, Ken Brock, seemed to channel the odiousness of Karl Rove earlier this month, bragging that only Schauer can raise that kind of money, unlike "liberal, Jewish trial lawyer" David Nacht or "lazy" Jim Berryman, for whom Brock twice worked.”

The GOP propaganda machine immediately took off to spin this slip of one word that Brock used to describe the problems Nacht might have in raising money in the 7th District, and because of the long weekend only counter balance to that that spin and lie were bloggers like myself. They called Brock anti-Semitic, talked about 1940’s Germany and called for Schauer to fire Brock. Basically, it was just one more attack on Schauer as the right-wingers realize what a good candidate he will be.

Because there are so few rightwing blogs, the attack showed up on something called “ The blog and the few people who comment there attacked Schauer and Brock all weekend. However, the story on the apology also ran in the newspaper on the same Friday, but it took so-called all weekend to acknowledge the apology. The drones teed off on the original story reporting the remark all weekend, but the apology story did not get posted until Tuesday.

It seems a little over the top to condemn someone and calling for their dismissal for an employee allegedly saying one word taken according to a columnist who paraphrased it with no idea of the contest or even when it was said. I have no idea how it was said, and I would like to hear the entire quote. I guess if you take a walk in a Republicans shoes, calling someone a trail lawyer and a liberal is the ultimate insult, but I have a lot of respect of trial lawyers and liberals. To me, being a Jewish trail lawyer is a good thing, not a bad thing. It also seems so ironic to me that people who count Ann Coulter as their hero and spokesperson would condemn a guy, or anyone, for one misguided word. This is a case of rightwing grasping at straws to find something to bash Schauer over the head with. It shows what kind of dirt and attacks they will stoop to in their campaign against Schauer, and this is just a glimpse of what we can expect all the way up to next November.

I called for Brock to apologize to Nacht both publicly and privately, and he did that as soon as the paper hit the newsstands.

“Brock said today he already had apologized to Nacht, and he has no intentions of resigning his post over the comment.
“The moment I saw it in the paper, I knew I had to call him,” he said. “I knew I was wrong the moment I said those words. I was further saddened they were printed in the paper, and I apologize to anyone else who may have been offended.”

Nacht also immediately accepted it.

“Nacht said he knows Brock isn’t anti-Semitic. He said he believes Brock was using religion, profession and political orientation in a political analysis, not as a personal attack.
“It’s a tricky thing to talk about a candidate’s religion in an analytical way without being accused of being prejudiced,” Nacht said. “I don’t think my work as a lawyer nor my religion would have been a barrier to my being elected. So I disagree with the substantive aspect of the comment that it was something negative, but I think he was trying to legitimately point out weaknesses in my campaign.”

You would think this would be enough for right-wingers like those on, but it’s not about the truth or doing the right thing it’s simply about finding something to attack Schauer with.


Anonymous said...

"Ken Brock, the Chief-of-staff for Sen. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, apologized for a misguided word he used..."

It might just be one word, but "Jewish" is more than that. "Misguided" is one way to say that Brock made a mistake, but I think the context of his comment is important, and Demas's article reveals some of that context:

"Democratic state Sen. Mark Schauer is psyched to take him on, vowing to amass $3 million by next year. His chief of staff, Ken Brock, seemed to channel the odiousness of Karl Rove earlier this month, bragging that only Schauer can raise that kind of money, unlike "liberal, Jewish trial lawyer" David Nacht or "lazy" Jim Berryman, for whom Brock twice worked."

Brock was talking about raising money. He is saying no Jewish candidate (who is also a liberal and a lawyer) is going to out-raise Schauer. That seems funny considering how much Nacht raised in the first quarter and, in fact, it was Nacht's hefty take that opened eyes up to the potential for a democrat to actually win this seat. Someone should have asked Mr. Brock, "How much more money would Nacht have raised if he wasn't a Jew?"

Brock's "misguided" comment is a direct reflection on his Boss. I have been saying for months that Nacht was going to have trouble winning because he is a trial lawyer who is unknown outside Washtenaw County (and also from the part of Washtenaw not considered a DEM base.) I guess the fact that he was Jewish never entered my political calculator.

If bigoted people exist at such high levels inside the Democratic Party (as they surely do in the Republican party -recall Tim Walberg's comments on how Muslims cannot comprehend democracy), then Nacht's problem was not going to be raising money, it was going to be getting people like Brock to consider him a serious candidate.

And, as many people have repeated to me over the weekend, if a republican had said that same thing, he'd be looking for another job today.

Communications guru said...

Jewish is not a bad word, nor is calling someone Jewish a bad word In fact, Jewish is no worse than the word Italian or German or saying someone is Italian or German. Like I said, the paraphrased quote was completely taken out of context, and that’s exactly what the Jewish trial lawyer who the remark was directed at said. He was talking about how difficult a liberal, Jewish trial lawyer would have raising money or being elected in a district that is somewhat conservative. People like the clowns on that rightwing blog have somehow made the words liberal and trial lawyer negative things.

I don’t know how a comment taken out of context reflects on your boss, unless the remark was truly racist and he let it stand without comment or action.

Really, Wahlberg really said Muslims cannot comprehend democracy? Now that is reprehensible and just plain stupid.

Apparently, the people you were talking to over the weekend were strong Republicans, and that’s why you got that response.

Anonymous said...

I never said Jewish was a bad thing. I only pointed out that Ken Brock thinks being Jewish is a negative when running against Mark Schauer.

And, claiming someone's religious or ethnic identity is a black mark on their qualifications to run for office is at the very least mildly bigoted. At worst, it is sick. Should all the little Jewish children in the 7th district cross "Congressman" off their list of dream-jobs?

And one more thing, don't mix in the fact that Brock used the words "liberal" and "trial lawyer." He was the person who made the value judgement that those words, those values, would be a bad thing when raising money in a democratic primary. No republican made that judgement nor that comment. Ken Brock did and anytime someone tries to blame the negative connotation of those terms on a republican, I can point to Brock for a counter-point.

And, every time Ken Brock speaks (especially in cases where he is speaking ON BEHALF OF MARK SCHAUER'S POLITICAL OPERATION), especially in the press, it does and rightly should reflect on his boss. And it was left without comment or public action by Schauer.

And, finally, yes, our wiz of a Congressman does not think people of the Muslim faith can grasp something so crazy as deomcracy. He said it. I read it. I think it was in the Brooklyn newspaper. A staffer on the Schwarz campaign showed me the article. I am totally intolerant of religious intolerance and that comment is only one reason Walberg has got to go.

And, really, finally, I don't hang out with very many "strong Republicans." (I don't think there are very many strong republicans left, are there?) I hang out with a ton of realists though. People who are fed up with politics and sadly don't vote often enough to enact the change they seem to want.

Communications guru said...

I have no idea what you said about begin Jewish before because I have no idea who you are when you comment anonymously. But for the sake of argument; if what you said is true then what’s all the fuss about? You are wrong. Ken Brock said he thinks people in a district that has been represented by two different Republicans in the last three years and before that Republican Nick Smith – even before Republicans gerrymandered it even further to make it more Republican - held the seat forever may have a problem donating to and voting for a candidate who is a liberal, Jewish trial lawyer. Your party has worked very hard to make at least two of those descriptions negative to conservative voters.

Again, he never said it was a black mark on their qualifications to run for office. It was simply pointing out a fact that it would be hard for a Jewish, liberal trial lawyer to be elected in a distinct the Republicans have gerrymandered to keep conservative. I doubt a black Democrat will ever be elected to the 66th and 47th District seats in the state House from Livingston County, but that does not make me a bigot for pointing out that fact. I wish it wasn’t true, but it’s a simple, unpleasant fact. I would vote for him or her. Now, I think the two biggest liabilities Mr. Nacht had in the 7th district is begin liberal and a trail lawyer, but his religion in a conservative is also a small consideration for some people.

Yes, I will “mix in the fact that Brock used the words "liberal" and "trial lawyer” because it’s relevant because Mr. Brock is describing the trouble Mr. Nacht will have being elected in that conservative district.

Again, you are wrong, and typing in all caps does not change that. Those were Mr. Brock’s words, and why would Sen. Schauer comment or take action? There was nothing improper, and the only action he should take is to caution Mr. Brock to think before he opens his mouth.

Thee are no strong Republicans? It is strong Republicans who control the party that has take such a hard right turn that many people are leaving it.

Anonymous said...

If a Republican said it you would be writing about what a bigot he was, now the 2 faced Guru is defending this guy. I will keep you honest.

Anonymous said...

September 05, 2007
Fund Raising Corruption in the Land of Second Chances
By Clarice Feldman
"Is this a great country, or what?" was the not terribly original opener with which a politician of my acquaintance regularly began his stump speeches decades ago. And the news this week on the campaign fundraising trail proves he was right.

A man (Mr. Norman Hsu) can be a convicted felon on the lam for 15 years from a guilty plea (which warrants as much as a three year jail term), have his name and face appear in countless news articles as a key fundraiser with no end of prominent Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Eliot Spitzer, and no one charged with enforcing the bench warrant knew where he was. After going on the lam, he could leave this country and return and still remain under the radar. In fact, even though his ex-wife is an Alameda, CA probation office employee, no one had a clue where he was.

The guilty plea was entered in a San Mateo County courthouse and yet the Democrat politicians in next door San Francisco took his money with no idea that he was an admitted felon. In fact to this day no one can find a visible means of Hsu's support whatsoever, and still through some wondrous miracle he was able to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars in his own name and a great deal more bundled purportedly from people like the Paws who also seem to have no major financial resources and a Ms. Susan Chilman who describes herself as a "self-employed actress" and still none of the recipients of his largesse knew he was on the lam or that there might be something a little bit not kosher about these contributions.

But as they say on those early morning TV ads for single purpose kitchen gadgets of dubious efficacy-"Wait, there's more."

You can be this man with this history and be named a trustee at the Eugene Lang College of the New School university in New York, with former Loral chairman Bernard L. Schwartz, who was allowed by Hillary's husband to transfer restricted satellite and missile technology to a People's Liberation Army front over Department of Justice objections (coincidentally, I'm sure) after making a record contribution to him.

And even though you are listed on the university's publications, and even though you appear at a New York Yacht Club bash for Rep. Patrick Kennedy's birthday, you are still, so to speak, a man without a history. Nobody knows nothing.

You can be a major contributor to the DSSC headed by Senator Chuck Schumer, the chief peck sniff of the upper house and he -- who seems to know how everybody else should do his job -- doesn't know who you are. Clueless. In the dark.

Mr. Hsu is not alone in his ability to conjure up large sums of money for the Democrats out of thin air.

There's a Mr. Sant S. Chatwal, who despite a substantial reversal of fortune continued lavishly to fund the Clintons and, as luck would have it (another of those charming coincidences), managed to bail out of a lot of legal troubles on the cheap.

He was forced into bankruptcy in 1995 by three Indian banks that claimed he owed them millions from business loans and

During the 1990s, the IRS and New York City and state tax authorities also pursued liens, and Chatwal worked out deals to pay them back. When the rents from one apartment building he bought no longer covered the real estate taxes, Chatwal turned over the building to New York City to resolve a reported $2 million tax lien, his lawyer said.

In 1997, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. sued Chatwal over his role as a director and a guarantor of unpaid loans at the failed First New York Bank for Business. The government alleged that his loans had "resulted in losses to the bank in excess of $12 million," and it questioned his claims that he could not repay the debts.

The regulators also questioned why Chatwal continued to rent a spacious penthouse apartment in New York in the midst of his financial turmoil. "The debtor has managed to continue living in luxurious style in the same penthouse apartment he resided in at a time he claimed a net worth of tens of millions of dollars without adequate explanation of how his family's limited income is able to support such a lifestyle," the government said in a 1997 filing.

But, wonder of wonders, despite these financial reversals, Chantwall was able a scant three years later to host a half-million dollar fundraiser at that Upper East Side penthouse for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign.

Even more astonishing, after he threw these crumbs upon the water, he got samosas back:

A few months later the FDIC abruptly settled the case, agreeing on Dec. 18, 2000, to let Chatwal pay $125,000 for the loans that it had said caused at least $12 million in losses.

Hillary's husband, in the same feculent tones purporting surprise at Sandy Berger's confession of having stolen and destroyed classified documents from the National Archives, says he's shocked to learn that Hsu was on the lam.

But Hillary and Bill seem to be surprised by so much that the rest of us are not.

I bet they don't know that Harold Ickes their longtime buddy and fundraiser, was at the center of the Teamstergate fundraising scandal; or that he regularly compromised U.S. security while collecting record amounts of soft money for them, often "cutting deals with Chinese intelligence agents eager to loosen up U.S. export controls on military technology."

That's why, despite all the hints of his involvement in Filegate and Chinagate and his generally poor reputation, Hillary insisted he be her chief campaign advisor for her 2000 election bid.
And she's a busy, busy Senator, so it probably never occurred to her that Ickes was known to have put together the Soros-funded 527 Shadow Party, including America Coming Together whose illegal collection and disbursement of soft money to the Democrats just earned it a $775,000 fine, the largest ever levied by the FEC.
So, she's happy to keep him on as "adviser to her campaign manager" as she campaigns for "transparent government."

Is this a great country, or what?

Clarice Feldman is an attorney in Washington, DC.

Communications guru said...

I don’t understand the point of posting an entire article from a rightwing writer who writes for the rightwing American Thinker?

Can you speak for yourself with your words?

Communications guru said...

That’s funny, 5:34 a.m. Anonymous. You, who can’t even take ownership of what you write and identify yourself, are going to keep me honest? That’s a good one. If I’m two-faced show me, or better yet tell me why I’m wrong in my position on Mr. Brock. I didn’t think you could.

You may be right to a point. I might write about it if Mr. Brock was a Republican, but I would stop after it was clarified what he was trying to say and the guy the comment was about accepted the apology.

Anonymous said...

The entire premise of this site is supposedly to combat the "Conservative Media." I think we are off track defending a Democrat who has insulted two other Democrats in order to put Mark Schauer at the top of the field.

Brock apologized for his slur. Schauer says no big deal. That is an issue. It will continue to be an issue and it has nothing to do with Conservative Media.

Check out Walberg Watch. Now "Doug" is asking for an apology to Jim Berryman. If I know my "Doug"s, he is a Democrat. I think the point is that Brock's comments/ insults/ "misguded" words were an example of gutter politics in the same vein as Karl Rove. Demas hit the nail on the head with her story and she rightly brought up a relevant issue in the race to replace Walberg.

Communications guru said...

No, who-ever-you-are, you are incorrect. The entire premise of this site is not to just combat the Conservative Media. It says, if you read the entire mission statement, “This is a platform to comment on local, state and national politics and political news.” I think commenting on this situation fits, don’t you? I’m not sure he “insulted two other Democrats in order to put Mark Schauer at the top of the field.” He was simply giving his take on the situation and his analysis.

Sen. Schauer never said it is “no big deal.” He has not said anything. I said that and the person Mr. Brock said it about said it is no “big deal.” I no longer see it as an issue, and how can it still be an issue when the person he made the remark about has accepted the apology? It’s not an issue for David Nacht why is it an issue to you?

I have checked out Walberg Watch, and I commented there. In no way does David Brock owe Jim Berryman an apology. You forget that we have no idea what was really said, and all we have from Susan Demas is one word in quotation marks. The time to talk about the alleged “lazy” remark is after the primary at the unity dinner. Apparently, you have not watched any of the Democratic or GOP primary debates.

Ken Brock will have to do a whole lot more worse stuff to ever be on Karl Rove’s level.

Anonymous said...


Look, I guess all I am saying is I do not like Ken Brock's style of politics and I see him as a black mark on Schauer. Just like I look at Tim Walberg's staffers (1. last fall one of his staff was convicted of abusing a child, 2. his Chief of Staff was responsible for the anti-Schauer ad during the first Senate race (against Mortimer--remember Schauer's face turned black as the ad claimed Schauer supported race reparations?? That was a current Walberg staffer.)

I lose respect for Tim Walberg because of the people I know who he associates with and the kinds of things they do which makes the news. Brock is no different. Berryman should consider himself lucky he is no longer associated with Brock and I think this incident (and Schauer's non-handling of it) is an issue to consider when deciding whom to support.

Communications guru said...

I find it hard to believe you can judge a man’s style of politics from one paraphrased sentence from an opinion column. I see it as expressing the opinion that Mr. Nacht may have trouble in the general election in such a conservative district because he is a Jewish, liberal trial lawyer. It would seem to me that perhaps those three things might not be the best attributes for someone running in a conservative district in the Bible belt. Now, you may disagree, but a difference of opinion hardly makes someone anti-Semitic. Personally, I could care less if Mr. Nacht is Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, Muslim or a Hindu because religion just does not matter to me. But I would venture to guess there are some people who disagree with me. I fail to see why pointing that out makes anyone a racist.