George Mitchell complained to me in an e-mail today because I labeled him "hyper-partisan" in my last post (see below), which discussed a lying anti-Doyle ad he was taking credit for and defending in the newspaper. "You might be surprised to know I voted for Doyle in 2002 and ...voted for Doyle in all his statewide campaigns. Also twice for Tony Earl and worked in the Lucey Administration." Well, hoo-hah. I guess that proves that. He continued: "I am not voting for Doyle this year because he is unethical, failed to eliminate the deficit, and lied to me in 2002 re his position on school choice."
Humoring him, I responded:
If that's really why you are against Doyle, why not just say so instead of being a willing vehicle for GOP backdoor messages? If you have a problem with his position on school choice, then say so, rather than making stuff up about the (non-)relationship between civil-servant Georgia Thompson and Goodwin or anyone else with real power in the administration. Is lying about relationships that don't exist fair game just because Doyle does not bow at the altar of George Mitchell?
The ad you produced (or, at least, put your name on) does nothing for your supposed cause of promoting better education for poor kids in Milwaukee. You and your organization have now exposed yourselves as something else all together.
Mitchell responded with this obviously non-partisan zinger: "Jim Doyle is the most dishonest Governor in at least 50 years...perhaps longer." Wow. Like what, I asked, and I challenged him to name just one. "I have forgotten more about Wisconsin state government and politics than you can hope to grasp...we don't need to waste our time on e-mail exchanges." OK, professor! How dare a little pipsqueak like me inquire of his Royalness. He has said so; therefore it is.
Little did I know at the time (i.e.: this afternoon) that Milwaukee’s George Mitchell probably had very little to do with the slick smear-job he claimed as his own in the Journal Sentinel this morning. It took very little time Googling to discover that the shadowy outfit that produced and bought the ad – All Children Matter (ACM) – is 527 shell game run out of Michigan and Virginia by Amway millionaire Dick DeVos and funded by DeVos and various heirs of WalMart founder Sam Walton. Although I assumed this morning that the sponsors of the ad were local and lead by Mitchell, it turns out Mitchell is just the local representative; a willing stooge of out-of-state interests trying to affect our election.
ACM has been poisoning elections in various states and now, here they are in Wisconsin, in a big way. Their dark tentacles were first made public in this election season when Mitchell fronted a complaint, based on ACM attack researchers, that exposed state-rep candidate Donovan Riley as a double-voter in 2000, the kind of oppo research only Amway/Walton money can buy.
It is interesting that Mitchell let the illusion be created that he or the usual local school-choice industry types in town were responsible for the ad rather than the mysterious DeVos project. It wasn’t his ad or his group at all. Regardless of how he may feel personally about Jim Doyle – and he sure seems to have some issues there – the money is being provided and the selection of the Wisconsin race as a target is being made by others, no doubt in collaboration with the RNC. In fronting for the ad, George Mitchell was allowing ACM to hide behind him as a local figure of some stature, earned or not. Not only was the ad a lie – so was he.