In his April 27 Newsmax column, Scott Wheeler claims with a straight face -- much as he did in fundraising emails -- that even though Democrat Scott Murphy defeated Republican Jim Tedisco in a special election for a House seat in New York, it was a "dramatic rebuke" of President Obama. How so? Because "just five months earlier, the very same district gave Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand a 24-point margin of victory."
Unsurprisingly, Wheeler fails to mention that a month before the election, Tedisco held a double-digit lead in polls over Murphy -- a lead that disappeared in no small part because of the harshly negative ads attacking Murphy that the organization of which Wheeler is executive director, the National Republican Trust PAC, ran. Indeed, one poll found that only 12 percent of voters said the ads they saw for Tedisco made them more likely to support the Republican, to 28 percent who said they became less likely to support him. Questions were also raised about the veracity of claims the PAC made about Murphy.
Wheeler's PAC spent more than $819,000 on ads that drove voters away from its favored candidate -- but don't expect Wheeler to admit that little fact.
Wheeler also asserted that "Tedisco conceded with class compared to the way Democrats handle such matters," but he cited no examples whatsoever of Democrats purprotedly acting less than classy. Wheeler was silent about the amount of class Norm Coleman has demonstrated or whether he will call for Coleman to follow Tedisco's classy lead.