Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals: * RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
I don’t really want to write this but,at the same time, I feel compelled to do so. Although it was two years ago, I was once accused of being responsible for a postcard sent to a house member that implied a threat to their immediate family as a result of a piece of artwork I had designed. In that case, it was not the Representative who made the accusation that I was responsible but that accusation left deep scars that, although two years ago, I still carry. Even though I asked to see the so-called postcard, I was never shown it nor were any of the reporters who covered the story. It was simply accepted as fact and it was reported on as fact with no evidence to back up the claim.
About two weeks ago the claim was made that an individual was contacting Senator Ward and asking her to take her own life. It was said that this was done in writing and on Facebook and we once again asked to see the posting. If it did in fact come from a so-called supporter of School Property Tax Independence they would have been removed from the PTCC and no longer allowed to post or represent themselves as a part of our organization and effort. No such evidence was again forwarded.
Last night the woman who claimed to be a director with Americans Prosperity attached the statement to someone who was at the meeting last night. She claimed that this individual spoke with Senator Ward on the phone earlier that afternoon and during this conversation with her they told her she should take her own life. The woman claimed that Senator Ward had the call on speaker phone and others present in the room heard this as well.
What this woman did not know was that the phone call with this individual was made in the presence of others and while not on speaker phone, everyone present heard what this person was saying to the Senator on the phone.
I’m going to take this one step further. I know this individual and I know them very well. I know him to be passionate concerning this issue but I find it impossible to accept that they would ever, for any reason, make such a statement about another person.
Note: Since this post was originally made Beth Anne Mumford of Americans for Prosperity stated that no one from Americans For Prosperity attended our meeting so the claims of this woman were false. Beth Anne Mumford went on to say that AFP is neutral on this bill. That means this woman’s claim about who she was representing was false. So who was she and why did she fabricate such an exaggeration? Can any of her other claims be trusted?
Americans For Prosperity stated that we are undermining our own effort but I do not think they understand what is really happening. Senator Ward, in her first explanation of her no vote, cited AFP’s opposition to the legislation. This, according to Beth Anne Mumford’s statement of neutrality would not be true. Others have cited opposition from AFP as well. If anything is being undermined it is Americans For Prosperity by the claims of others stating AFP is opposing the legislation. That needs to be exposed and we deserve to know the truth.
Several people heard the claim by this woman claiming to speak on behalf of AFP. Beth Anne Mumford states NO STAFF from AFP was present. I believe it is important to clear those points up. No one present at the meeting would have known if this woman’s claim was true or untrue but it did feed into a narrative advanced by Senator Ward.
This type of accusation goes beyond identifying a legislator as a liar for claiming to have one position during an election cycle while voting in a contrary manner. This is exactly what Saul Alinsky was talking about
I’ve been around politics long enough to know that it is possible this woman is not a director with Americans For Prosperity, that she merely made such a claim to bolster her own position and ego. She used this claim to attach a credibility to her statements that she had no right to claim. She then used that assumed credibility to make an egregious claim that an individual told the Senator to take her own life.
In my opinion, the objective was to make a claim so heinous as to discredit the other individual and she made that claim knowing it was patently false. I believe that she did so to distract others from hearing anything this person may have had to say about the issue of School Property Tax Independence. And she isn’t alone. She has friends who are making the same claims about hateful statements being made by others who support School Property Tax Elimination. under newly created profiles on Facebook that appear to be false identities. One such individual was removed by Facebook for doing exactly that.
Like this woman, they create a personality that does not exist and then resort to these types of personal attacks that, in the end, amount to a character assassination while hiding behind a shroud on anonymity provided by the social networks.
I’ve also been around politics long enough to know that this claim may not have come from Senator Ward but is only being perpetuated to destroy the character and integrity of the person in question…..which is why they remain unnamed here. If this wasn’t some plot dreamed up from within the Senators office, then the Senator owes us and this individual a public clarification.
I am an administrator on the PTCC Facebook page. I have the ability to moderate any discussion and delete inappropriate posts. I state with firm assurance that no one in the PTCC Facebook group has ever posted a statement telling Senator Ward to commit suicide and I have, therefore, never had the need to delete such a post.
For many politicians and campaign managers, the politics of personal destruction is an acceptable means in their attempts to destroy the character and integrity of another person in the fabrication of statements. Again, identifying a lie as a lie is not a character assassination but making such an egregious claim as the one made by this woman and crediting it to a person who did not make such a statement is an absolute disgrace.