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November 7, 2013

A Belly Full of Dirty Politics

Patricia A. Kelly

Well, Frederick City elections are over. Congratulations to Randy McClement, and to all the winners, with the possible exception of Phil Dacey.


Mr. Dacey, the only Republican – pending the outcome of the absentee ballot count – to win a seat on the Board of Aldermen, seems to have used some very nasty campaign tactics, including a robocall the night before the election asserting that aldermanic candidate Donna Kuzemchak had not paid her city real estate taxes. Not only that, this call went out under the name of the Maryland State Republican Party.


I spoke with Mr. Dacey about the robocalls on Election Day. He said he did not send the Kuzemchak call, but that he thought the subject was relevant.


If he did send, or even approve it, that conversation added a falsehood to some political dirty tactics.


The Maryland State Republican Party, today unavailable due to full mailboxes that can’t take messages, has said that Ted Dacey, Phil Dacey’s brother and an Alex Mooney campaign operative, requested the robocall and was given permission to use the state party name.


Sounds like everyone’s trying to emulate our president. Since Ms. Kuzemchak had already paid her taxes, admittedly late, Mr. Dacey appears to have lied to me about a lie, just as President Barack Obama is lying to all of us about his lie that people would get to keep their insurance and their doctors, if they were happy with them, under the Affordable Care Act. The Maryland State Republican Party is just throwing the Daceys under the bus. Betrayal, lies – not much of a difference in my eyes.


You can chalk it up to naiveté if you like, but all of this makes me really, really sad. I voted for Mr. Dacey before I knew about this. I was originally excited by President Obama’s victory. I hoped the Maryland Republican Party represented me. It didn’t even notify the Frederick County GOP, which had taken a stand for a clean campaign, of what it had authorized.


Mr. Obama and Mr. Dacey and the Maryland State Republican Party are politicians, you might say. Politics is a dirty game. It’s always been this way.


What if your doctor were a liar? Your priest? Your teacher? Your best friend? How could you manage your life if you could count on no one else to keep their word?


Tough campaigning and last minute cheap shots are two different things. It is appropriate to point out another candidate’s flaws, but not necessary to get ugly and personal, and definitely not okay to push a bill or an election through while distorting the facts in order to win.


Phil Dacey is likely to pay a price for his misbehavior, and maybe learn something about integrity, because he may well spend the next four years sitting at the same table with Donna Kuzemchak, and the other aldermen, some of whom are not very happy with him right now. President Obama is suffering a well-deserved drop in approval ratings for his lies.


Time to “Man Up,” Mr. President and Alderman Dacey, and tell the truth. If you believe the Donna Kuzemchak call was appropriate, say so and admit you were involved. Apologize, if necessary, and show that you’re good enough to make it while behaving with honor. I believe you can.


As for the Maryland State Republican Party, how can you criticize the “other side” when you are behaving so badly?


As for you, Mr. President, it’s past time to tell the truth. You’re really embarrassing us. We’re trying to be proud of our country. It’s tough with you at the helm.


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