Over the last two days, I have received two e-mails from FreedomWorks, an initial statement and an expanded statement after I requested one. The statement is here in full:
October 25, 2012
Statement from Allen Page, Southeast Regional Director, FreedomWorks
Yesterday, I released the following statement. The statement was sent to Mr. Paul Gable.
“FreedomWorks has developed voter education literature for decades, and mailed each candidate running for seats in the South Carolina House and Senate a copy of its 2013 -2014 South Carolina Legislative Issues Questionnaire. Fiscal conservative Mike Ryhal received a perfect score in his responses, while his opponent Dennis DiSabato, Jr. did not respond to the questionnaire at all. Instead, Mr. DiSabato had campaign representatives contact a SuperPAC intern who would have no knowledge of c4 literature. We look forward to hearing Dennis DiSabato explain his economic positions during the debate this week, rather than continuing to divert attention away from the critical economic issues facing our community this year.”
Apparently, this statement did not thoroughly address concerns stated by Mr. Paul Gable. I will attempt to address Mr. Gable’s concerns.
As we have done for many years and in many states, FreedomWorks staff developed a questionnaire, the 2013-2012 South Carolina Legislative Issues Questionnaire, to be sent to all candidates for South Carolina State Senate and State House. FreedomWorks paid for the printing and mailing. All candidates for South Carolina State Senate and State House were sent the questionnaire. A due date of September 24, 2012 was clearly stated at the top of the questionnaire. Mike Ryhal returned his completed questionnaire. Dennis DiSabato did not return a questionnaire. FreedomWorks staff designed the voter education piece based on Ryhal’s responses and DiSabato’s lack of response. Copies of the voter education piece were shipped to FreedomWorks activists in the district for distribution. FreedomWorks paid for the printing and the shipping. The exact process was followed in several other South Carolina State Senate and State House districts as well as in other states.
A mail piece identical to the door hanger has also been designed and paid for by FreedomWorks. Like the door hangers, all aspects of the voter education mail piece: printing and mailing costs, were paid for by FreedomWorks.
Southeast Regional Director
According to Page’s above statement, FreedomWorks takes credit for producing, directing and distributing the door hanger whose source I was trying to trace.
Am I surprised? Yes. Frankly, the piece was such an amateurish attempt at a push piece that I didn’t believe a national organization like FreedomWorks would be involved with it. According to Page’s statement, I was obviously wrong.
Page’s explanation above of the sequence of events involved from initiation to production of the piece doesn’t entirely agree with other information I have received.
For example, where does Linda Ensor of Project 912 fit into the development of the piece?
Ensor told me she coordinated development and mailing of the survey. When she received answers back, Ensor said she mailed the Horry County responses to Janet Spencer and Joe Dugan.
However, FreedomWorks is claiming all responsibility and we will let it rest with them.
Now the fun can really start in the District 56 race. We will have more on that soon.