If political dishonesty were an Olympic sport, Missouri State Rep. Scott Largent would qualify for the medal round.
Rep. Largent has served two terms in the state’s lower house, representing the 120th District. Now he’s running as a “consistent conservative” in a three-way race in the newly redistricted Senate District 31.
The frontrunner has been Ed Emery, a constitutional conservative late of the Missouri State House, having been “termed out” after serving eight years under the state’s term limits law. Emery has garnered awards as Legislator of the Year from The American Legislative Exchange Council and Legislator of the Year from the 7th District Missouri Republican Assembly. Emery has also caught the eye of Tea Party members and other reformers for his principled defense of democratic checks like the state’s citizen initiative and referendum process, and for his stance against subsidies and general support for free markets.
Facing Emery must be an uphill battle, for Largent has stooped to extremely low tactics.
In a campaign mailer sent to voters in Missouri’s 31st state senate district just ahead of the August 7th GOP primary, Largent’s campaign attacked Emery for “Standing With Barack Obama and Missouri Democrats.”
How specifically did Republican Emery “stand” with the opposition?
Emery voted for a non-binding resolution condemning Obamacare, sure. But on one amendment to that resolution he sided against fellow Republicans. As an analysis on the Missouri First website puts it: “Emery voted against” that particular amendment because it “urged Congress to replace Obamacare with another federal scheme.”
Apparently no more fond of “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it” legislation when proposed by Republicans rather than Democrats, Emery refused to blindly endorse a new, undefined nationalized “solution.”
For that, he deserves a badge of honor.
But Scott Largent, the Solon of Smear, sent voters a copy of a letter on White House stationary purportedly from President Barack Obama to Ed Emery:
I wanted to personally thank you for your “no” vote yesterday on the amendment to HCR 18 regarding Obamacare. Your support is impressive considering you are a Republican in a state I could not even win.
The fact that you stood against every one of your Republican colleagues to support Democrats really impressed me. I truly hope you will be as willing to stand against your party in your future elected positions.
Only thing is, the letter is a fake.
It takes chutzpah to “forge ahead” against a consistent conservative like Emery and call yourself a “consistent conservative” . . . with a forgery. And a half-truth. And the pretense that Emery isn’t every bit as much against nationalized health care as anyone can be.
Indeed, by supporting the pig-in-a-poke provision of the resolution that Emery opposed, Largent implies that he would likely support a Republican version of Obamacare.
You know, like “Romneycare.”
There is no Olympic medal for either chutzpah or political dishonesty.
Let’s hope Show-Me State voters show Largent the agony of defeat.
August 5, 2012
This column first appeared on Townhall.com.