Friday, January 15, 2010

On Transparency

Back when Ken Boyd first released information on a poll showing him the strongest challenger to Rob Hurt in the primary, I defended his campaign's decision to reveal this information to his e-mail list first. I expected, at first, that he would follow this up with more transparency about the specifics of the poll after his closest supporters had access to the information. Instead, he's been hiding ever since and has refused to reveal anything about the poll, even the polling firm's identity. Bad form.

Similarly, Rob Hurt is now playing a game in which he releases a snippet of information about his fundraising daily without revealing the full FEC report, which has yet to be filed. This way he is able to totally control the messaging. Reporters take him at his word that his claims are true and are unable to fact check how many of his contributors from Virginia are members of Congress and lobbying firms with a Virginia address.

Already we know that Eric Cantor is counting as one of the 450 "grassroots" supporters that Hurt has from Virginia. Who else is Hurt counting? We don't know. And by the time he files his FEC report and people are able to look under the hood of this lemon the reporters in the 5th will say that it's old news and time to move on.

I have been informed that Media General reporter Brian McNeill has also chosen not to pass along information on the 28 bills that Hurt's campaign claims shows that he has a record of supporting tax cuts. Has McNeill fact checked Hurt's campaign on this claim? How many of these bills are duplicates of the same proposal introduced in different sessions of the General Assembly? How many represent small and minor tax breaks that are molehills compared to the mountain of new taxes Hurt voted for in 2004 and 2007?

The public doesn't know because Hurt's campaign is focusing on control, not on transparency. This doesn't bode well for the rest of his campaign and his potential time in Congress. Will Hurt fight for transparency in the legislating process? Many Republicans are quick to attack Democrats for making deals behind closed doors, but is that any different than how the Republicans acted when they were in power? We don't need to just replace Democrats with any random Republican, we need to replace Democrats with new Republicans with consistent conservative principles.


  1. golly, i don't know why you are so critical of Sen. Hurt. If you don't like him, then promote whomever you think would best represent us.

    about Hurt's 450 donors. Let's not assume that he is lying, ok? the report will be on the FEC website soon. there were other candidates for the nomination that had no info on the website either.

  2. I'm being consistent Kelley. I called on Boyd to reveal the details of his poll before proclaiming them around. I'm now calling on Hurt to reveal the details of his FEC report before giving his own spin on it.

  3. Hurt's also been....let's say "misrepresenting"....his experience. Two days ago, the ABOUT page on his site said he'd been a "Federal prosecutor," but now that's been changed to say what he ACTUALLY was, which is a county-level Commonwealth's Attorney. Over-inflating one's background to garner favor with the electorate, where have we heard THAT before???

  4. Ken Boyd has released a statement about his poll.