Thursday, June 01, 2006


Pete McCloskey Can't Catch A Break

Sure, they say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but they didn't mean politics, did they?

Here are the two sides of Pete McCloskey that I've seen. Side one: Richard Pombo hates marines and the widows and children of soldiers killed in Iraq. At least, that's all I've learned from the political ads McCloskey runs around here, where I initially became aware of him a few weeks ago (did I mention he's challenging Pombo in the Republican primary in my district?). Shouldn't McCloskey's ads be telling me about Pete McCloskey? Of course, I'm sure there are ads that talk about his views, I'm just saying the only ads I recall (which to me says the ads McCloskey runs the most often) are the ones slamming Pombo. Then again, what do I know? McCloskey's the professional politician.

Side two: McCloskey seems to have some problem with Jews and Israel. Needless to say, I'm not hearing this from McCloskey ads, nor am I hearing it from Pombo's ads. The only Pombo ad I recall had to do with him intervening in some enviromuck and making things right so that marines can engage in realistic training that saves lives in combat, even if it means squashing a few lizards or beetles. I've wondered a few times if Pombo is short of money or something, since I haven't noticed him fighting back much on the air. Again, what do I know? Pombo's a professional politician too, even if I never got so much as a form letter in response when I emailed him one time.

No, what I hear about McCloskey I hear at places like Dean's World (him again!), where McCloskey came up in the comments to this post by Mary Madigan about the Council for the National Interest, a group not very friendly to Israel and the dreaded Israel Lobby. CNI ran a full page ad in the New York Times that could be considered "pro-Hamas" as Miss Madigan noted. Following the link, you can find a pdf of the ad, which favorably refers to the widely discredited (fifteen articles at Powerline alone are here) Israel Lobby piece by professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. The ad notes that the piece "had to be published in London," presumably because no one would touch it here in America because of the "taboo on discussing the Israel Lobby." CNI is the organization of Paul Findley, who was once a Republican congressman. Findley is a pal of McCloskey, and McCloskey has even written at least one piece for CNI lavishly praising Arafat, whose greatness simply isn't recognized now, but will be in the future (thanks Cinnamon). Not such a great start.

Then there's Instapundit, linking to a Volokh piece (one of three on McCloskey and his endorsements from the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times) that notes McCloskey is "the same man who has referred to the 'so-called Holocaust,' in a speech before the Holocaust revisionists at the Institute for Historical Review." Yikes! Pro-Arafat, anti-Jew, and denies the Holocaust? Is he going for some kind of record? And speaking of Records . . .

This article in the Stockton Record (Stockton, California, located in the district in question) notes a donation hastily returned by McCloskey:
A man federal authorities have investigated for financing al-Qaida and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad wrote Republican congressional candidate Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey a $2,100 check on Friday.

Neither M. Yaqub Mirza nor an attorney who has represented him during the investigation returned calls from The Record on Wednesday asking why. But it could be because of McCloskey's friendship with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, his long history of supporting American Muslims or his persistent criticism of Israeli foreign policy.

McCloskey said Wednesday he will return the money.

Ha ha! As I write this, another McCloskey ad just aired. What did I learn about him this time? I learned the Pombo gets money from big oil and hates the environment! You can't make this up. At least it will all be over in five more days.

PS - According to the Record article, other politicians have also returned donations from Mirza, who has donated to politicians of both parties (although examples from the article suggest four dollars to Democrats for every dollar donated to Republicans). One who didn't? Cynthia McKinney, who got $500. When did Mirza donate to her? A little nothing date that probably doesn't mean anything to you with the numbers 9/11/01. And that's another bit of sarcastic coincidence you can't make up.

Actual Update: Let me thank Hank Shaw, who wrote the piece for the Record, and everyone linked above for the contributions they made that made this piece possible. Thanks!
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