I heard about this Republican candidate for US Senator a few weeks back. I just happened to be listening to Wisconsin radio and caught an Eric Hovde campaign ad with a provable lie about the makeup of OWS. I contacted the candidate, at that time a no-name trailing in the polls, through his Facebook account and civilly inquired about his shoddy research:
Gus Wynn: I heard your ad saying that OWS is "largely self-identifying anarchists" and I was hoping you could provide the source for that claim. Thank you for having an open transparent forum where we can get questions answered and discuss the issues.
I received a reply but it did not pass the smell test:
Eric Hovde: A quick Google search shows a number of examples, particularly from the Oakland Occupy Movement.
Golly! A "number of examples" somehow equals "largely"?
But it gets worse. I asked again what specific basis there was for such a wacky claim, because I not only witnessed tens of thousands of law abiding marchers in OWS events, but I saw the results of surveys conducted which sought to quantify the actual anarchist proportions in OWS.
Only about 2.5% of OWS participants self-identified as anarchists when over 4,300 were surveyed in December of 2011, which means Hovde's claim was off by over twenty fold. We reported here the preliminary results
of surveys compiled by Occupy Research, which showed "self-described anarchists" within #OWS constituted even less than self-described Republicans!
So I tried again:
Gus Wynn: Mr. Hovde, after your Google search, did you equate "a number of examples" in Oakland and elsewhere to a majority when you said OWS members are "largely" anarchists?
Can you cite specifically which site(s) informed your ad?
And that's when the Madison hedge fund manager went silent, not to be bothered when his claim is questioned.
So I was not surprised to see headlined in Monday's Huffington Post: GOP Senate Candidate To Press: Stop Whining About Poor People
. In the article, Hovde says the media is covering working class hardships too much. But he is quickly shown to be far out of touch with stats proving the plight of the working poor is underreported already.
It may not matter that Hovde is already being accused by fellow Republicans of being a snakey "out of state" funding recipient, or that his dad's stint in the Reagan Administration gives him a firm neo-con pedigree, but if he cannot defend a simple claim from his own ad on his own Facebook page, why should anyone be bothered with him?
I believe this fabrication is intentional. No one could be stupid enough to make such a claim in a campaign ad without a factual source (could they?). More likely, the candidate is seeking to attract the secret multibillionaire donor networks who infused over $30 million into WI politics this month, shattering all known records.
Folks on Twitter and Hovde's Facebook page
are giving the candidate an earful tonight, with questions and criticisms being "liked" by the dozens, almost as fast as they can be deleted.
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