GOP LG nomination fight gets nasty early

Here we are at the beginning of the Christmas season – after a long and grueling presidential campaign that included a nomination fight – and one of the first salvos of the 2013 GOP nomination campaign is an attack on free speech and blogging.

Bearing Drift has learned that several news outlets were pitched by a Republican lieutenant governor campaign a story about a Stimpson staffer’s blog post during the presidential campaign about alleged homosexual activity and potential criminality by President Obama.

From what we can tell, only John Fredericks and Julian Walker chose to write, but it was enough to get our attention.

The Stimpson campaign spoke with Bearing Drift and is disappointed that another campaign would go negative so early.

“You have to wonder why a campaign would want to go after a blogger?” said Scott Hirons, Stimpson’s spokesman.

Jordan Labiosa is the blogger in question and also chairman of the Craig County GOP. He is a regional director for Stimpson.

According to Hirons, on Labiosa’s own accord, he removed the blog post about the president. The campaign did not request for him to do so said Hirons.

Labiosa, while in a position of responsibility, is still a kid. He’s 18 now and ran the blog post about the president when he was 17. That’s no excuse, but it does give context.

And other campaigns are also responding to the campaign going negative early.

“We don’t want to engage in a mudslinging campaign. The people of Virginia deserve a higher level of discourse focused on the candidates’ record of achievement and plan for the future,” said Cole Muzio, spokesperson for Jeannemarie Devolites Davis. “These kind of attacks would never be tolerated in the Davis campaign.”

Muzio went on to say that the focus should be on electing a Republican as our 21st vote in the Senate.

“Campaigns with this kind of discourse always hurt our eventual nominee, and, with a long way to go until May, we hope the focus shifts back to where it should be: nominating the candidate best prepared to win and most ready to lead.”

One campaign, which requested not to be identified, did state that another campaign in Virginia, was actively shopping this story about Labiosa’s blog post.

Why?

Considering we have two current members of the General Assembly running among the seven vying for the nomination, the following might make sense:

– Upcoming General Assembly Session. “It’s tough to campaign when you’re spending 46 days in Capitol Square” said one long-time Richmond observer

– Bolling dropped out. All signs pointed to one of the largest conventions in state history – now we’re going to be looking at something akin to 2009. This will still be big, but will it be big enough for some of these campaigns to gather enough delegates?

– Turf battle. Five of the candidates hail from northern Virginia. They are all trying to secure their delegates – particularly of the libertarian and Tea Party affiliation.

Bearing Drift is confident we have narrowed down who spread the story.

The reality is that this recent kerkuffle is a likely indicator of what is to come. What is most disappointing is that conservatives haven’t learned that the battle isn’t within, but it is with those who wish to destroy our philosophy.

And, what is more disappointing is that some conservatives are willing to tear each other down instead of doing what’s right for the people.

Negative campaigning and ‘gothca’ politics has no business in this nomination fight. But desperate campaigns appear to do desperate things.

Update:

From Kevin McNulty, Stewart spokesman:

“Our campaign had absolutely nothing to do with this story.
Corey made a pledge not to attack any of his opponents at the advance and he intends to honor that. I have heard him also reiterate that to our staff as well.”