I Believe Bill Sali (This Time)
Long-time readers know that I'm not a big Bill Sali fan; I think my Congressman is among the most inept in the country and is mostly just an embarrassment to Idaho. This weekend, however, there's a new story that came out about his campaign, and I've gotta say I believe his side of the story.
The story in the Idaho Statesman discusses how the 527 group "Freedom's Watch" is running campaign commercials against Walt Minnick, Sali's moderate (and better funded) opponent in this November's election. The ads say that Minnick is opposed to more drilling; in fact, Walt supports more domestic oil production.
The controversy comes from who funds "Freedom's Watch". The founder of the group is Sheldon Adelson, a casino mogul who got a lot of his money from starting up gambling businesses in China. While it might seem like a conservative like Rep. Sali wouldn't necessarily want Chinese money supporting his campaign, his spokesman says that it's not really an issue. Despite the fact that Adelson was a big supporter of China getting the recent Olympics, there's no word yet on if famous local China-disliker Brandi Swindell will be protesting at Sali HQ against this source of support.
Normally, when you read about a 527 group "independently" helping out a campaign by attacking someone's opponent, people roll their eyes when they read about how there's "no coordination" between the campaign and the 527. In this case, however, I believe Congressman Bill Sali's spokesman, and here's why: I can't imagine Sali and his campaign/congressional staff (they seem to be one in the same) successfully coordinating a game of 3-on-3 basketball, let alone a major ad buy throughout the district with another group. In this case, I think Sali and his "crack" staff are telling the truth.