I heard a rumor. And what are the consequences?

My name is PP, and I deal in rumors. Although, "dealing" would imply I make money off of them. Having had to replace a video card and power supply, plus other costs associated with the blog (like my trip to RC during session), let me assure you that's not the case. But I do often find myself at the center of a malestrom of confirmed and unconfirmed information.

The most recent? About a dozen people have told me that an anonymous letter was sent out to the media in an attempt to assassinate the character of an elected official as prelude to the State Republican Convention.

My advice to those who hear about this as an impetus to unseat an incumbent? Republican delegates, be very, very wary.

As I said, I deal in rumor. I hear this stuff day in and day out. My inbox fills with it. And that's ok. If I know it to not be true, I dismiss it. If the factor of "truth versus fiction" is unknown, I consider the source. Is it credible? Is there supporting evidence or the ability to obtain it? In other words, if I shoot my mouth off, can I back it up? And only from there, I determine if it's worthwhile pursuing for a post.

I spent several years with the state as an investigator, and learned a few things. One of which is that despite one person's beliefs or assertions, unless they can prove it, it's just one person's opinion. Nothing more.

Now, getting back to this anonymous letter. While I haven't seen it, right off, it's anonymous. It certainly doesn't have positive intentions. And it's designed to cause trouble for the GOP right before the convention.

Speaking as someone who is going to have to consider such information, and as someone who has people who will also serve as delegates that might read this website from time to time, I'd place this thought out there - basing convention decisions on anonymous letters and unsubstantiated allegations is a slippery slope. Because the next person that it might happen to could be you.

If there's factual information for delegates to base a decision on, by all means, someone should lay it out there and have the courage to stand behind it. But anything else should not see the light of day.

If the Republican party allows people to sway convention through anonymous accusations, I guarantee you that it won't be the end of it. Once this tactic is proven as a method of stripping votes away from a candidate at convention, it will be forever a part of campaigning, because people would be fools not to use it.

Think you need the extra edge? There goes the anonymous letters that the candidate for treasurer downloads mp3's at home. Or the candidate for auditor didn't spay or neuter his pets. Or accusations much more sinister than that.

Next weekend, in the path for the party's future, there will be a fork in the road for people to choose from. Will we set a course of conduct for the high road? Or will we allow people to steer the process down a path of no return?

Comments

Anonymous said…
Good for you pp.
Travis said…
Hmmm. Surely someone would have said what the rumor was. What you've done beautifully here, PP, is find a way to say, "Don't let rumors hurt the party. "

But, as a curious blog reader, I come up with another conclusion - seems like something is afoot with Republicans. The divide is becoming more evident.

And, the South Dakota GOP has been notoriously ruthless with people who challenge them.

Look at Adesltein. He contributes to people's campaigns, but, he's the devil, isn't he. You can't possibly see that its healthy for challengers to be funded, to raise ideas, to move the party forward.

Nope, the GOP is closed-minded in its approach. You believe what the most conservative of the coservative believe, of you are replacable.

Looks like intolerance is starting to nip and bite.
Anonymous said…
Give it up. You do not print all that is true. I have read comments on this blog that you later took off because they were not true "in your opinion".
You shield certain people and blast others. I am not buying this current diatribe of yours claiming you always take the high road.
PP said…
If I did that, every comment blasting the poop out of me would be gone.

If I take something off, it's because someone is making an assertion that's bordering (or WAY over the line) towards being libelous.

I don't delete opinions. I have my opinions and prejudices, and I express them. When people don't agree they are welcome to express back, and they often do.

As far as Stan goes, it's not his supporting people I don't agree with - and I've mentioned beore that more than one of my candidates has gotten Stan money - it's the extent that it's gone in the past few years.

Do I always take the high road? Admittedly, probably not. Even I have my moments. One of our top elected officials years ago once referred to me (positively) as one of the dirtiest, sneakiest Republican political operatives.

But as I age, that's not necessarily a legacy I want to leave to my kids, nor is it one to aspire to.

Yes, I know how to roll in the mud if that's where the fight goes. I'd be a liar if I said I didn't. But is that what politics should be about?

All I'm saying here to Republican Convention delegates is "consider the source and the validity of the information before you make a hasty decision."

Because we may pay for it in the long run if we let rumor and accusation dictate how we choose our candidates.
Anonymous said…
Who were the people who told you about the letter? Why would they tell you unless they wanted you to print this?
This is a little thinly vailed for my taste.
Anonymous said…
Let's just get the rumor out there so we can all take after it with our assault rifles.

Also, hows about a post on the Bob Sahr mystery??
Anonymous said…
I think the people want to know the rumor, be it true or false. Let the readers make the decision.
Anonymous said…
WWPPD?
Anonymous said…
pp, can you post the letter?
Anonymous said…
1:37--This is about the Bob Sahr mystery.
Anonymous said…
OK lets start the guesses.

Clue #1. A certain high profile dem started something with a moderately high profile republican last year in Pierre.
Clue #2. It would mean both their jobs and standing.
Clue #3. Both are married and shall we say, not to each other.
Let the games begin.
PP said…
guys, aside from being ridiculously off, it's not about what it is.

It's about delegates being unduly influenced by nonsense.

I'm not going to post it, because I don't have it. Even if I did, it's unattributed crap, and I won't post stuff I can't back up.
Anonymous said…
anon 4:55
You are sooooo close.
Anonymous said…
The Argus is breaking the news. Hmm... more republican secrecy, it looks like. Won't fess up to the investigation.

Could be because they don't want to damage the investigation, but, no one is commenting... interesting.

Well, I wonder what this could be.
Nicholas Nemec said…
The rumors I've heard involve the PUC, out of town meetings, and sexual harassment.

Oh yeah, Kate Looby isn't involved.

The things you Republicans will do to hog all the media coverage never fails to amaze me. Might be an interesting convention.
Anonymous said…
Please don't tell me Looby is getting involved in the gay marriage issue.
Anonymous said…
anon 1:58

If you are worried about Looby getting involved in the gay marriage issue and you are against it, then be happy she is involved.
When she gets behind something it fails.
I also agree with the previous anan. regarding the hypocrisy of the whole thing. Fix your own house before you start on everyone elses.
Anonymous said…
O.K. Kate.
Anonymous said…
Kate certainly had nothing to do with Sahrs problems so i took the liberty of pointing this info to whoever dragged her into this nonsense.
PP said…
Guys, I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

Not that I'm a fan of hers - I've trashed her more than once on this web site - but knock off the speculation on Kate Looby's marital status.

Those comments will be deleted as off topic and in the realm of scurrilous rumor.
Anonymous said…
Wow. You give some people a computer and a site with comments and it turns into gossip hour at the henhouse quilting bee. Seriously. In terms of how much I care about it, I rank some lobbyist's personal life about as meaningful as the last time my neighbor changed his oil or whether he put salt and pepper on his Hamburger Helper last night. Except maybe less because we all know you bring the spices to your Hamburger Helper or you don't bring the Hamburger Helper at all.

To anonymous commenters: If you're going to say something like that, grow a pair and put that name out next to your comment.

PP: It is somewhat ridiculous for you to post a comment saying you are removing comments and asking people to stop commenting about someone's marital status. Putting that up basically begs people to start commenting about someone's marital status. It was either extremely foolish and short-sighted or it was a very underhanded and corrupt way to drum up that rumor mill while you look like you take the high ground. If you really are serious about cleaning this site up, take away your 8:49 comment and all comments with that individual's name in it. And if you're not content to be a rumor-peddling blogging equivalent of a tabloid journalist, stop allowing anonymous comments.

Seth Hahn
mjb said…
who let that guy in?
Kate Looby said…
PP -- Thank you for encouraging people to stop commenting on my private life. You may not be my biggest fan, but I appreciate the respect you have for the difference between an individual's personal life and public position.

Kate Looby
Anonymous said…
I am going to be a delegate at next weekend's State GOP Convention, and I refuse to support Bob Sahr. I will abstain from voting before I would ever vote for Bob Sahr. The old saying "You're known by the company you keep" is very true when it comes to Bob Sahr. His biggest supporters are Joel Rosenthal and Bill Janklow. Enough said.

I hope and pray that John Koskan enters into the race. He is a great man!
PP said…
Anon, no one is saying John isn't a stand-up guy. I personally think he's top notch. John would be easy to vote for.

All I'm saying is that if delegates are going to choose someone, I think we should base decisions on factual information.

There's a reason why you're only seeing the Argus writing on this. Anonymous allegations are not something reasonable people base a decision on.

Heck, if you don't want to vote for Bob, base it on his record, base it on his politics, base it on his choice in clothes, or base it on his hairstyle. But at least base it on something factual.
PP said…
Oh, and Seth, per Kate's letter, I feel a little vindicated for telling people to knock it off.

I may make the change to disallow anonymous comments as CCK did recently, but it's my decision.

so, nyeah.

Signed, the SDWC National Enquirer.
Anonymous said…
Way to go Kate.
You get an opportunity to set the record straight and you don't.
Or was it correct in the earlier letters.
When you have an opportunity to say to the people who are lambasting you what the truth is and you don't respond you only cloud the issue more and spark more crap.
You should have just told the truth the first time.
Anonymous said…
Why the hell should a private citizen like Kate need to respond to internet gossip? And furthermore what kind of pervert are you that you care so much?
early middle aged man said…
Anon 2:44, why do you care? She isn't running for anything.

Or maybe there's just a self-loathing streak there with regards to a significant other snuggling up with someone other than you.

But, since you prefer your anonymity, perhaps it's your own yearning to break out of an unsatisfying relationship, and you hope she is available.
Anonymous said…
PP--the last few comments are exactly what you get unless you do the responsible thing and take this kind of junk down. You can encourage people to stop all you want, but when you do it in the manner you do, you're only leading the moths to the fire.

This would be like me saying "there has been a car accident recently on the corner of 6th and St. Joe in Rapid City. Wow, it's really gruesome. Blood all over the streets, at least 4 ambulances already on the scene. Those guys must have been going about 90 miles an hour. But don't go look at it and don't ask anyone in town about it because that would be naughty."

Your denunciation might make you feel good, but you're just calling more attention to something that doesn't have a place in a political discussion. Again, if you're happy peddling this smut, you should just say so. Otherwise, take the crap down.

Seth Hahn
Mike Quinlivan said…
I completely agree with Seth. I love this whole smear while not actually smearing schtick. Longer PP: "I will not stand for that kind of talk here; the comments that were posted at 5:06, 08:02, and also at 10:15pm, are unacceptable (but left up for reference as to what is unacceptable). Please also look back a couple months in my archives for another discussion that was unacceptable. Ah heck, I'll just make a post out of the comments that slander Kate Looby.
mjb said…
Gotta love it when the conspiracy theorists get going.
Anonymous said…
You must admit that when you start a blog topic about something as vague as this one did and it goes right to Kate Looby there must be something to it.
What is with the feelings generated when Kate's name is mentioned or even implied or even NOT implied.
Where there is smoke there is fire.
Anonymous said…
Another good man lost to the politics of personal destruction. And we wonder why we have a hard time recruiting the best candidates.
Anonymous said…
Have you considered the possibility that the person being destroyed did the damage himself?
Anonymous said…
When is full disclosure a bad thing?

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