That’s super. But.
“Our campaign has nothing to do with the push polling and I wish they would stop,” Huckabee said. “We don’t want this kind of campaigning because it violates the spirit of our campaign. I don’t want to become President because I disabled the other candidates, I want to become President because I am the best candidate.”
Huckabee’s campaign manager, Chip Saltsman, also issued a statement describing the calls as “extremely counterproductive.”
“It takes the campaign off message at a time when Governor Huckabee is resonating with voters as never before,” Saltsman said. “It loses votes rather than gains them. It’s an underhanded way of doing business that is not welcomed by the campaign and it flies in the face of what Governor Huckabee stands for: integrity and clean politics. On behalf of Governor Huckabee and his campaign, I ask that these calls be stopped immediately.”
Is the group going to honor its hero’s wishes and knock off the shenanigans? Why … no, curiously enough. In fact, the guy running it tells Politico they’re just getting warmed up. What a dilemma for Huck to be saddled with this renegade group of supporters who are willing and able to do his dirty work for him while giving him plausible deniability. In fact, the two co-founders of the group’s parent group, Common Sense Issues, co-hosted a fundraiser for Huck on November 19. And still, he can’t bring them to heel. Fancy that.
More from Ambinder:
An extension [sic] portion of the TrustHuckabee website is devoted to recruiting, signing up and training precinct captains.
But 504(c)4 groups cannot legally recruit precinct captains for an electoral contest, much less for a specific candidate. It’s a soft money operation paying for a basic presidential campaign function, which some campaign finance lawyers might
And it begs the question: if there were no coordination, then the group could very easily duplicate effort and mess up Huckabee’s own field efforts. That is — campaign precinct captains needs to coordinate in order to make sure they’re not turning out the same voters. The campaign can’t turn over field responsibility to this group, and they can’t figure out together where to place people.
Election law is beyond my area of expertise, mainly because I have no area of expertise, so we’ll have to sit tight and see where this one goes. Any experts are, of course, encouraged to opine in the comments. The left is trying to find Giuliani’s hand in all this, the theory being that he’s eager enough to see Huck cripple Mitt in Iowa that he’d stoop this far to help him. Color me skeptical in light of today’s poll and the Florida poll last week. At this point, for Rudy the cure may be worse than the disease.
Update: Slublog e-mails with word of the end of the Pax Republicanus.
Update: It’s on: “Governor Huckabee cannot just stand by and feign outrage as these coordinated attacks are made in his name and for his benefit.”