Wednesday, September 24, 2008

For Wilkerson, the Truth Hurts

One of the more perplexing arguments coming from Dianne Wilkerson after she went down in defeat on the night of the primary was that Sonia Chang Diaz spent her way to victory - that supporters like Barbara Lee, the philanthropist, 'bought' the district. Given the previously released campaign finance reports, that seemed absurd: while Sonia certainly raised a great deal of money this election, especially for a challenger of an incumbent, she was still outspent by tens of thousands.

Well, sometimes the things that hurt the most is truth. There's no need for added commentary to the latest Chang-Diaz Press Release - tackling Wilkerson's claims that the Democratic Nominee bought the district.

FACT CHECK

Dianne Wilkerson has repeatedly claimed (on Election night and again at her sticker campaign announcement event last night) that this election was "bought," calling out progressive philanthropist and Chang-Diaz donor Barbara Lee in particular:

Boston Herald (9/16/08): "My fear is that people will think this district is for sale," she said, claiming she was outspent. "There has been so much money spent in this process. It has been unprecedented for us."

Boston Phoenix (9/16/08): She called out Barbara Lee, the progressive philanthropist who helped back Chang-Diaz, as having bought the district, in so many words.

PolitickerMA (9/17/08): At her Election Night party Tuesday night, Wilkerson said that Lee spent an "inordinate amount of money" on the race, creating the perception "that this district is for sale."

Boston Herald (9/24/08): At a rally in Dorchester last night, Wilkerson said she would run as a Democrat in a sticker campaign "to make clear to all that are paying attention that this district is not for sale."

THE FACTS:

- Barbara Lee, known for her support of female candidates, including many of Boston's female candidates of color (St. Fleur, Dorcena Forry, Cabral, Allen, Mota and Sen. Wilkerson herself in prior years), donated $500 to the Chang-Diaz campaign this year, the legal campaign finance limit.

- Per the most recent campaign finance reports, Dianne Wilkerson raised and spent more money than Chang-Diaz this year -- $131,775 compared to $102,888. That figure is in addition to tens of thousands of dollars' worth of independent expenditures on Wilkerson's behalf, including mail pieces from labor organizations and political advocacy groups.

- Dianne Wilkerson received nearly $100,000, 76% of her contributions, from donors outside the district, including $14,000 dollars from lobbyists and PACs.
- In comparison, 49% of Chang-Diaz's donations were from donors inside the district, and 69% of her donations were from donors giving $100 or less. She received no money from PACs and only $100 from a lobbyist.

For Senator Wilkerson to make claims that the election was "bought" by one outside donor is not just false -- it's ludicrous when you put it up against the facts of who has actually funded her primary campaign and Chang-Diaz's primary campaign.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ryan, because of you we have followed this race closely this year, beside that there are no contested races in our area.
We respected Wilkerson and believe that she could have recovered from her questionable conduct and lived to successfully run another day. That she is behaving like some desparate candidate clawing to hang on to a seat she disminished by her conduct and lackluster performance in the debate will destroy her future chances. That she is trashing her opponent diminishes her. What a shame this entire episode has been. Someone must be close enough to give her the sound advice to bow out gracefully while she has some dignity left.

Ryan Adams said...

Thanks for the compliment, Anon.

I agree: she could have absolutely come back and either ran for this position or taken some other equally important position within the community or state government. She should certainly reconsider her write in - I don't think it's too late to stop the bleeding, but each day that this goes by will make it that much more difficult for her to overcome the damage she's already done to herself.

Anonymous said...

You almost expect her to ask for a recount in Novemeber, even if it's a 2:1 margin. Will someone suggest to Dianne that she bow out graciously, thank her supporters and promise to return, sour grapes aside?

Anonymous said...

You all forget that she is in office now because of a sucessful sticker campaign in the past. Many people were wrong then and many can be wrong now. There are many people behind her who supported her and came out to help her in the last sticker campaign. Dont be surprised when she pulls this off again.

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