About that GOP push poll for McSally


The Tucson Weekly reports today that the GOP push polling firm OnMessage Inc. has released a poll showing that its client, Martha McSally, leads Congressman Ron Barber. McSally Poll: McSally Leads Barber By 3 Percentage Points in Congressional District 2 Race.

But of course it does. That’s what push polls are for, to create a media narrative. And the media always falls for it. Siiigh.

This would be the same GOP push polling firm that had to pay the state of New Hampshire $15,000 for violating its law in 2012 (Arizona does not regulate push polls. I am sure it is because the Goldwater Institute would sue because “free speech!”)  OnMessage, Inc. to Pay $15,000 Under Consent Agreement For Push Polling Complaint:

Attorney General Michael Delaney announced today his Office has reached a settlement agreement with OnMessage, Inc. (“OnMessage”) following complaints that the company was engaged in push polling in a manner that violated New Hampshire’s push polling law. Under the terms of the Consent Agreement, OnMessage will pay the State $15,000 to settle the dispute.

* * *

Attorney General Delaney said: “An essential element of our democracy is vigilant enforcement of New Hampshire’s election laws. My office will continue to vigorously investigate election related complaints, and initiate civil or criminal enforcement actions against those who violate New Hampshire’s election laws.”

Settlement Agreement with OnMessage, Inc. (.pdf).

I have to believe this is damage control in response to a rather embarrassing report for Martha McSally reported today in the Tucson Weekly’s The Skinny:

When Republican GOP congressional candidate Martha McSally spoke in front of the Pima County Republican Club last week, she was solidly on message. She hammered incumbent Democratic Congressman Ron Barber for his support of Obamacare and for being “asleep at the switch” when it came to protecting the A-10 fighter jet and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

McSally had answers prepared for just about any question from the audience and carefully dodged controversial queries as to whether she would support impeaching President Barack Obama or withdrawing from the United Nations.

But there was one question, from longtime Republican activist Linda Barber, that stumped McSally: “Can you tell us who’s on your campaign team or staff? Who’s your chairman and so forth?”

McSally struggled to remember who was helping her win office in Southern Arizona before calling for a lifeline from Kristen Douglas, her deputy campaign manager and spokeswoman.

“OK, so, well, co-chair of my finance committee is Jim Click, and there’s another—several other individuals in town, um, Jim Weaver is one of them,” McSally said. “Kristen, help me out here. … I’m drawing a blank so far.”

Douglas offered another name: real-estate broker Bill Arnold.

“Yeah, Bill Arnold,” McSally said. “There are some other people in the homebuilding industry that are helping us in that regard. I don’t know. (Former) Sen. (Jon) Kyl is continuing to mentor me, as he has in the past. That’s a wonderful example. My deputy campaign manager here is Kristen Douglas. She’s our official staff here. And we have a couple of other positions that are being filled as we kind of ramp up and get into the hot part of the season. I currently have a finance assistant on staff as well and we’re going to be bringing some more people on, specifically for our ground game and our grassroots support that we’re going to be moving out in the next few weeks.”

Screenshot from 2014-04-19 09:46:19I have been working in campaigns since 1976, and I cannot recall a single candidate who could not tell you who his or her campaign staff members are and who the “kitchen cabinet” unofficial advisers are.

This only confirms my belief that Martha McSally is merely a puppet being manipulated by others. You had better start asking yourself: “Who is her puppet master?”

I have never seen a candidate so ill-informed and so unprepared to be a candidate for Congress.  McSally continues to evade answering questions from the media. On the rare occasion she does, her response is always canned talking points and is never substantive nor responsive to the question.

Note to the Tweekly: Bill Arnold? Really? You may want to check your archives for your past reporting on the antics of Bill Arnold. Here’s a classic: Lack of Restraint | Currents Feature | Tucson Weekly (August 31, 2006). Does Toni Hellon still have that restraining order? Bonus points: Arnold’s co-defendant was Todd Cloddfelter, who is running for the Arizona House in LD 10 again this year.

These bad pennies just keep turning up.


  1. Question the Barber Campaign (indeed all prospective voters) might ask Martha McSally: Do you want to remove thousands of people from Medicaid by killing the Affordable Care Act? If so, how would you provide medical care for them without adding financial burdens to providers?

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