Tuesday, August 17, 2010

AZ. Candidate, Jesse Kelly Caught on Camera Bashing Sarah Palin

On Monday, during a fundraiser in East Tucson, Republican congressional candidate Jesse Kelly was caught on camera 'dissing' Governor Palin.

It's one thing to hold your own beliefs about the endorsements of political leaders like Governor Palin. It's quite another to cast aspersions about one's character for endorsing a candidate you do not agree with. Especially when you use "principles" as the guiding indicator as to what does or does not make a good candidate, when you, yourself may be lacking in that area.

What am I talking about?

If you watched the clips carefully you hear Mr. Kelly express his disappointment in Governor Palin for choosing to get behind candidates that will, in his words, "sell our principle's down the river." He then goes on to smear Governor Palin by suggesting that her motives for choosing these candidates are driven by selfish political gain. To my knowledge, Mr. Kelly has not been privy to the research the Governor's office did when making these decisions. I do believe it is an act of arrogance to imply that he knows why she chose anyone.

Nonetheless, Jesse Kelly calls himself "the real conservative running in Arizona's Eighth District." He even has the words "Limited Government. Fiscal Sanity. Free Market Solutions" printed at the top of his campaign's website. So let us take a look at Mr. Kelly's "principles," shall we? Let's see what makes Jesse Kelly such an expert on real conservative principles.

From an article printed by the Tucson Weekly titled, "Jesse Kelly may not like federal spending, but it is bringing millions to his family's construction business" (emphasis mine):

When he's on the stump, Republican congressional candidate Jesse Kelly doesn't mince words about federal stimulus spending and earmarks.

"It must stop now," says Kelly, who promises to not seek any federal earmarks if he defeats Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in November. "This is bribery with taxpayer money, and it's a disgrace."

To use both Barack Obama and Deval Patrick's terminology, "words... just words."

We know that because Mr. Kelly profited quite nicely from Obama's fiscal policies. Kelly's company, Don Kelly Construction estimates that 90 percent of their work comes from government contracts. Many of their recent contracts came from jobs funded by the same stimulus money and earmarks that Mr. Kelly claims is "bribery." More from the article (emphasis added):

Here in Pima County, Don Kelly Construction has recently done work on a Pima County sewer-pipeline project that was worth roughly $11 million to the company. While most of the funding for the project came from local bond dollars, $2 million came from stimulus funds.

• Don Kelly Construction won a $30.7 million contract to build an 11-mile segment of pipeline for the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System in May 2008, according to the project's Web site. The massive water-delivery system, designed to provide water to 300,000 people in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, is now set to receive $56.6 million in federal stimulus dollars. The project is estimated to cost more than $462 million, with the federal government set to pick up 80 percent of the cost.

• Don Kelly Construction placed a bid on a dam river levee project in Hidalgo County, Texas, that will be funded with stimulus dollars. The project was solicited in May 2009 with a total price tag between $25 million and $50 million.

• Don Kelly Construction is listed as a bidder on a portion of the Lake Oswego Interceptor Sewer project in Oregon that is worth $1 million to $4 million. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon has requested a $50 million earmark for the project.

• The Pagosa Springs Sun in Pagosa, Colo., reported last September that Don Kelly Construction placed a $4.3 million bid on a sewer project, although the company did not win the bid. (by the way, that story appeared a day after Kelly said that his opposition to the stimulus is what motivated him to run for Congress.)


"The stimulus is not about Don Kelly Construction, and it shouldn't be," Kelly says. "It's about the country as a whole. Even if the company itself—which is not my company—benefitted from these projects, that doesn't make it right at all."

As you can see, Jesse is a real 'principled' guy. It makes you wonder if he pondered any of this at all before running for Congress, or did he just jump on to the fiscal conservative tide that is sweeping around the nation for selfish political reasons, perhaps?

For some insight, let's look into an email Mr. Kelly sent to Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump.

Mr. Stump,

My name is Jesse Kelly and we recently met at the Conservative Forum
in Tucson. I have a great passion for politics and conservatism and
would like to begin a political career. I have absolutely no clue
where to begin, who to talk to, or even what office to would be best
to compete for. I understand that you’re a busy man but if you could
spare a moment to give some advice or just point me in the right
direction, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Jesse Kelly
Don Kelly Construction Inc.

It looks to me like Jesse may have been getting tired of working for all those stimulus funds and may have been seeking a new political career to, uh get a new political career.

Since we started this piece talking about endorsements, let's take a look at who has endorsed Mr. Kelly. Actually, let's look at who Mr. Kelly said endorsed him, but really didn't. The Arizona Daily Star reported back in April:

Republican Jesse Kelly in Congressional District 8 has been touting the support of U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, rumored as a possible future House speaker or 2012 presidential wannabe.

So it drew some interest when the Indiana politician's name disappeared from a list of endorsements on Kelly's website.

"The congressman has made no endorsement in that congressional race," said Bill Smith, Pence's chief of staff, adding that his office asked that the Pence's name be removed.

That's embarrassing. But is it any more embarrassing than trashing John McCain on video after he sought McCain's endorsement, and then lied about seeking said endorsement? In an article printed in the Tucson Weekly in March, Mr. Kelly sent an email to John McCain's office stating:

“My name is Jesse Kelly and I'm the Republican running against Gabrielle Giffords in District 8 of Arizona. The Senator and I met at a special event for him held by Mr. Jim Click at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, AZ. The Senator mentioned that he was interested in helping with my race and I would like to set up an appointment to sit down with him the next time he is in Arizona.”

In that same article, Kelly denies he ever sought an endorsement. As far as I know, political leaders don't usually help candidates they don't endorse. Obviously just more of the Jesse Kelly brand of "real conservative principles."

There are many other instances and issues where this guy has waffled or simply shown no "political courage." Like for instance, he was for sending National Guard Troops down to the border, before he was against it.

Then there was the the time he tried to do an impression of a Chicago politician by attempting to make a backroom deal with on of his opponents. I don't the think the political novice understands the complexity of heavy handed politics. I do believe you need some sort of clout to pull that off.

I really could go on and on, but I think you all get the drift here. Jesse Kelly was caught on camera saying things about Governor Palin he had no business saying. Not only because he is wrong, but because he has no credibility saying such things. This is clearly a young man with a lot to learn. Perhaps one day he will learn what having "real conservative principles" means and what it takes to uphold them. Governor Palin has spent many years doing not only that, but also displaying the kinds of political courage, Jesse Kelly has only in his imagination.

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