J. Michael Libbie, the spokesman for Democrat Desmund Adams’ campaign, spoke to the West Des Moines Patch.com affiliate today to respond to TheIowaRepublican.com’s in-depth investigation of Adams’ background.
Unnecessary disclaimer: despite my last name, I have no affiliation with the AOL-owned network of Patch.com sites. It’s interesting that Libbe chose to selectively respond to Patch.com writer Beth Dalbey, who was the communications director for liberal Democrat Francis Thicke’s 2010 campaign for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. Beth is a fine journalist, but the Adams campaign seems unwilling to step out of their political bubble, and Desmund still has yet to respond himself to this serious issue.
Libbie claims that TheIowaRepublican.com is practicing “gutter politics” by dredging up an old story. But this incident didn’t happen that “long ago,” when Desmund was a teenager or a young adult (such as the Sears theft charge mentioned toward the end of the story). He was in his mid-thirties. It was just over four years ago. The abuse was not alleged. It was admitted by Desmund. What was at issue was whether or not it was a felony. Does the Adams campaign dispute any facts in the story?
Despite Libbie’s claim that “[t]here is no story,” voters have a right to know this sort of information about candidates. Virtually no voter knew about this information until now, and certainly very few voters knew about this incident before the general election. Would Libbie really claim that if Adams were a Republican, there would be no story? State Sen. Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has had no qualms about going after state Senate Republicans for much less severe criminal, civil and legal issues.
Furthermore, Libbie attempts to distract from this issue by blaming the campaign of his opponent, Charles Schneider, with absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support his baseless claim. The first time I met Schneider was Saturday at the Waukee candidate forum. Before then, I had never so much as spoken to him over the phone or exchanged an e-mail with him. Neither Charles nor his campaign had anything to do with this story. I did not even seek their comment.
I admit I am a registered Republican and that I occasionally write for TheIowaRepublican.com, among other libertarian, conservative and non-partisan news outlets.
Desmund, in contrast, has not been frank, candid or honest with voters. It’s too bad Desmund didn’t get in front of this issue earlier in his campaign instead of trying to hide his failings from central Iowans for nearly two years. He has no one to blame but himself.
Note: This post has been updated to correct an initial misspelling of Libbie’s name.
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