The blogosphere is all a twitter with the idea that the Jeannemarie Davis campaign is buying votes in an effort to gin-up its numbers at the Republican convention.
If this was genuinely true, then it would be more than a gaffe — it would be the most unbelievable act of political self-immolation in a very long time (not to mention illegal).
The smoking gun is an email that reads as follows:
My name is Savannah Hinton on the staff to elect Jeannemarie Davis for Lt. Governor! Jeammnemarie is running against six other Republican candidates to get the nomination on May 18th. 2013. And, quite possibly the only one that can come out of Northern Virginia with a WIN, she a past House of Delegate, Past State Senator, plus just resigned from Gov. McDonald’s Cabinet to run for Lt. Gov. full time.
We are very interested in getting [your organization] to support her. We are willing to pay $2.00 for every [member of your organization] to sign up to be a Delegate and $8.00 if they actually for the convention.
If your organization is interested, please email me back or call for more information.
A gut shot.
Except our own Jim Hoeft took the time to email the Davis campaign and asked just what was going on here because, frankly, this looks like the campaign trying to buy votes.
Here’s the response he received from Candidate Davis:
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Savanah was just recently hired onto the campaign to cover part of the Hampton Roads region. She sent this email out without authorization by either myself or my campaign manager. Upon reading Savanah’s email, I see that she has inaccurately phrased the request and I can understand how it comes across. We have identified several thousand supporters and are hiring College Republicans to join our staff to retrieve their filing forms. Savanah’s very poorly written, unauthorized email clearly misrepresented our goal – which, once again, is to hire additional part time staff. Please let me know if you have further questions. Take care, Jeannemarie
It was a mistake. A whopping big mistake, to be sure. And one that I’m also quite sure earned the staffer who sent the email a trip to the woodshed.
Fine. Candidates err all the time. Their campaigns do, too. If this problem has been corrected, great.
But it’s left a mark. And in a multi-candidate field, where everyone is looking for an edge, it’s not going to fade quickly.