skip to nav skip to content


Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Campaign Coordination is Seamy? Just Ask Obama

  • Print

This is refreshing. George Mitchell dissects the naive moralizing of the JS editorial board, which last week worked itself into high dudgeon over phone conferences between Scott Walker's campaign and his county staffers. What the paper regards as a scandal is in fact, absolutely routine. Not only was it not illegal for the campaign and the staff to talk with one another, it is SOP for campaigns, including the just re-elected president.

In recent days, the paper has devoted front-page coverage and an editorial to the utterly unremarkable fact that Scott Walker's 2010 gubernatorial campaign communicated regularly with his Milwaukee County staff when he was county executive.

In reporting this "news," the paper scurried to a thesaurus for a pejorative description of this completely legal activity. The best it could gin up? Campaign and government activity had been "comingled." Horrors.

The Editorial Board took it to another level, declaring that Walker's "hired guns" ran a "seamy campaign operation." The editorial lamented what it called the "seamy underbelly" revealed by the article. In support, the editorial cites daily phone calls designed to "keep the county executive's office 'in sync' with the 'image' the (Walker) campaign was pushing." The editorial then offers garden-variety campaign chatter gleaned from a mountain of emails and concludes that represents the "antithesis of good government."

There could be many explanations for the Editorial Board's assessment of this situation. The most charitable is rank naivete. As Obama has demonstrated with great success, it is standard operating procedure to integrate a campaign for office with policies and programs that an elected official has carried out and intends to pursue.

Not only is it not "seamy"; to do otherwise would raise serious questions about the capability of the candidate.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Milwaukee, WI

Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
SE at 15 mph

620 WTMJ