Tag Archive: Ellen Weintraub

Ferguson Dragged Into Astroturf-Gate

[Cross-posted from Dump Mike]

There’s been a bit of silliness over at the Tom Kean Jr. campaign this past week.  Xpatriated Texan of Blue Jersey discovered that a Kean Jr. attack on Senator Bob Menendez was patently untrue by unearthing a Jersey Journal article from 1996.  Turns out that Menendez did get ethics committee approval for renting his property to a non-profit group he championed in Congress.  Turns out that Menendez even rented it to them at less than market rate, costing him money.

The Kean Jr. folks were not happy about the truth coming out.  To combat the evidence they started posting comments on Blue Jersey under made up names pretending to be former Democrats and liberals.  Juan Melli — the founder of Blue Jersey — caught them by matching the IP address of the commenters to the IP address of Kean Jr. press secreatary Jill Hazelbaker’s e-mail account.

That’s been a front page newspaper, TV and radio story for a few days.  Ooops.

But Hazelbaker wasn’t done making mistakes.  She also tried to paint Ellen Weintraub — the ethics officer named in the Jersey Journal article as the one who cleared the rental — as a partisan nut whose word could not be trusted.  Unfortunately, Herb Jackson of the Bergen Record learned that in Weintraub’s new job as a Federal Election Commissioner she had backed Kean Jr. in his complaint against Mike Ferguson based on cheating in the 2000 primary election for NJ7’s Congressional seat.

Poetic Justice

Remember all the way back to yesterday when Tom Kean Jr and Jill Hazelbaker were busy announcing “Silly Season” (by the way, what kind of weapon do you use to hunt a silly?)?  Here is a reminder.  I know.  It’s a long time ago.  Fortunately, “the tubes” have memory – like this golden oldie: 

Hazelbaker denied posting the messages Thursday and said it wasn’t worth checking to see if anyone else on the campaign did so.

“It’s the silly season,” she said. “I did not go around to everybody’s computers and check them. Anyone who knows me knows that when I have something to say, I say it.”

But then Crazymaker Hazelbaker puts her foot in her mouth until her knees knock her gums:

On Tuesday, Hazelbaker had sought to downplay a contention by Ellen Weintraub, former Democratic lawyer for the House ethics committee, that Menendez’s lease did not violate House ethics rules.

In doing so, Hazelbaker directed a Record reporter to another political Web site, the National Center Blog, on which a writer suggested that Weintraub did not deserve her current job on the Federal Election Commission. The writer asserted that Weintraub had a conflict of interest because her husband was on the Senate Democratic staff.

Uh, but:

what’s also interesting is that a little more web research [instead of sniping at Blue Jersey] would have showed that Weintraub sided with Kean in his complaint over a brochure that attacked him in the 2000 campaign for the House that he lost to Rep. Mike Ferguson.

Ok, I fess up, I added the stuff in the brackets.  See how easy that is, Jill?  Just admit you did something and move on.

I don’t know what’s more embarrassing – that Junior lost to Mike “Where’s My Fetus” Ferguson or that his press secretary just attacked the credibility of the FEC Commissioner that actually defended her candidate in the past.

But according to Jilly-girl, who is doing a heckuva job, you can’t trust anything in blogs (maybe she reads Enlighten-NJ) and Weintraub, being a Democrat, couldn’t possibly reach an ethical decision on anything.

One thing is for certain – the GOP better hope this goes away FAST!