Does a half truth to explain a half truth make it a quarter truth? That’s the most charitable explanation I could award team Sheffield over the past 48 hours. The more blunt assessment is that caught in a lie, they’ve decided to double down with misdirection and falsehood. As a bonus, I am now apparently a Democratic operative and unethical. We’ll get to that in a moment. After all, this isn’t about me. It’s about a campaign team that was supposed to have the Governor’s office and retain the Insurance Commissioner’s office in 2010. Sending Sheffield to Congress is apparently their Plan B.
Yesterday, I posted my column for Monday a bit early. It contains an email distributed by Sheffield Campaign Manager Kat Ballou, purporting to be an endorsement letter and fundraising appeal from 2010 GOP 12th District nominee Ray McKinney. I posted that letter in its entirety. I also posted an email from McKinney to 12th District Chair Lawton Sack explaining that he had not endorsed Sheffield, and that he had not spoken to her since April. In addition I posted the actual letter McKinney wrote back in April, which was a charge to Republicans to “take our country back”. Excerpts of that email were interwoven into pleas to donate, support, “like” on Facebook, and phone bank for Sheffield. Much of the letter distributed Friday was a creation of the Sheffield campaign, and was not from McKinney. Again, as of Friday he hadn’t even spoken to anyone from that campaign since April.
Caught in their obvious deception, Sheffield has doubled down. Please enjoy this exercise in creative writing in its entirety:
A False Charge. A Fake Attack. An Un-Ethical Blogger. Victory for Maria Sheffield.
By Maria Sheffield, on Jul 29, 2012
A False Charge. A Fake Attack. An Un-Ethical Blogger.
Victory for Maria Sheffield
I know you are as proud as I am that Maria Sheffield has run a commonsense, conservative, positive policy campaign.
In debate after debate, Maria has re-affirmed she has only one opponent and that person is John Barrow.
Maria Sheffield has refused to call the other Republican candidates her opponents. Instead, she has consistently referred to them as her competitors.
Maria Sheffield, standing as a Reagan–Huckabee conservative, finds herself the latest conservative to be the target of a false attack by the establishment, political class who seem to thrive on negative politics. A blogger has created a false story claiming Maria has fabricated an endorsement. This blogger is acting without the facts and in an unprofessional manner.
Despite the fact that Ray McKinney has posted on the blog in question, and proven that this is a baseless claim, this activist, political hack refuses to admit he is wrong.
On July 29, 12:43 am, Ray McKinney acknowledged on Peach Pundit he wrote a letter to Maria Sheffield, calling Maria Sheffield (and no one else) his contender, and allowing Maria Sheffield to use the letter as Maria would choose to do. On previous email exchanges between Ray and Maria (not available to this blogger because he chose not to ask for confirmation), Ray McKinney answered Maria’s question to endorsing her, affirmatively.
Friends, let not your hearts be troubled. Maria Sheffield has proof where she offered to talk with this blogger and answer any questions he might have. His response was “no need”.
Any legitimate reporter covering this race has called to ask for a statement or comments from Maria on any story they may be covering.
If a blogger will not get input, facts, and perspective, then it is not news and it becomes nothing more than a political attack. The blogger did not give Maria a professional opportunity to respond before he went to print.
Here is a public statement from Maria Sheffield:
It is not surprising to see a blogger, and his strategy of attacking a campaign, using social media to create a buzz for his blog, where little actually exists. I am not shocked that a Democrat activist, who takes a paycheck from DuBose Porter, would stoop to such levels. If this blogger was serious about reporting factual news, he would have contacted my campaign and allowed us a chance to professionally respond to a story he was about to print. When you take your paycheck from DuBose Porter, who ran for Governor in 2010 and who supports John Barrow, then the conclusion can be drawn that this blogger must be doing what he can to help John Barrow – and that is to attack the conservative woman in the race. What was not revealed is that I offered to speak with the blogger directly on any questions he may have and his response was, “No need.” If your strategy is to launch a baseless attack on the candidate you are most worried about facing your candidate in November, then you are just a political hack and you are not looking for facts.
For Georgia, Kathryn Ballou Campaign Manager
Nice isn’t it. Let’s begin with the “proof” they have of of my refusal to interview them.
On Friday, Sheffield’s Facebook page boasted of her endorsement by “WeArePolitics.com”. This is a blog managed by former Oxendine stalwart Bill Knowles. It was founded by Jeff Breedlove – the husband of Kat Ballou – and Maria Sheffield was one of the original contributors. As recently as a few months ago, a public war erupted on Facebook between Breedlove and one of the contributors brought in to assist Knowles. The crux of the issue was that Breedlove wasn’t content to be a silent partner.
I commented under the post asking if that blog wasn’t run by Sheffield’s consultant. I was immediately defriended. I received an instruction via Facebook message that I needed to call Kat Ballou to discuss We Are Politics and a phone number. I already had the answer, confirmed by the former We Are Politics contributor. I had no need to call Kat about the issue.
The thing about this conversation is that it took place BEFORE Kat Ballou even sent the fake Ray McKinney endorsement email, and was almost 24 hours before I was even aware of it. The comment attributed to me as the nameless blogger above was about an entirely different incident. But if a half truth is all you have to spin as an excuse, then I guess that’s what you tell your supporter(s).
As to the challenge of my ethics, I welcome the comparison between mine, Sheffield, and Ballou’s. Sheffield’s only public service is as a career state employee to John Oxendine. Yes, THAT John Oxendine. The one that, in a state that it is virtually impossible to be fined for ethical issues, will face trial for laundering campaign funds through Alabama PACs. The one that attempted to shake down Congressman Lynn Westmoreland for support using the power of his office and a contrived charge he tried to feed the press.
And who worked for Oxendine’s campaign in a consulting capacity? None other than Breedlove/Ballou.
I have five years of writing here to use as a record. Sheffield has a career of working for a man who may be the least ethical person to ever exist in Georgia politics, a failed attempt to replace him, and an insincere attempt to claim “deep roots” in an area where almost no one knows her in order to grasp at a political future. And, of course, hiring the same consulting team that chose to ignore the many ethical transgressions of John Oxendine as they attempted to make him our Governor.
Everything used to draw the conclusion that the endorsement was false is posted on this website. Read the three emails, and draw your own conclusions as to who is telling the truth, and who has the ethical problem here.