Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Just when you think they couldn't get any lower
The GOP surprises us again.
Meanwhile in Miami, three Republican [state house] members -- Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, his brother Mario and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen -- will charge [in a press conference later today] that Teresa Kerry's foundation has "connections" to and has helped finance "Fidel Castro's Internet network."

A Diaz-Balart spokeswoman would not elaborate, but she did say it involved the Heinz Endowments' financial ties to a group called the Tides Center and the Tides Foundation.

This is a repeat of an already debunked slander produced by a group of Richard Mellon Scaife funded hit men called the Capital Research Center and repeated by the freepers, the usual talking heads, and Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Scaife was the main source of funding for a number of anti-Clinton projects in the nineties, collectively refered to as the Arkansas Project. These have been well documented by David Brock, Joe Conason, and others. Even earlier, Scaife had turned his guns against Sen. H. John Heinz III for the heinous crime of being a moderate Republican and traitor to his class. Since the Senator's death, Scaife transferred his animosity to Heinz's widow and her new husband.

Joe Conason explained all this two weeks ago in the context of the Shove-it-gate phony scandal and the nice folks at Media Matters published a link rich article on it. We'll see if the latest attack has anything new to offer.

Update: I've had a few minutes to think about this and get more annoyed. This smear should clearly be considered in the context of Florida politics: the old generation of right-wing Miami Cuban expats have been losing influence. Some of the younger genration have even been voting Democratic. I'm not an expert on local Florida politics (I've never been within a thousand miles of the state), so I don't know who Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are or what their agenda is aside from delivering the state to the Bushs. I hope it is a sign of desperation and their last hurrah.

Meanwhile, I don't think this is one we should let pass. This shouldn't just be passed around the Left and Right Blogistan echo chambers (one side goes "yay," the other goes "boo" and never the 'twain shall meet). We should denounce this kind of dirty trickery in the loudest terms to local newspapers and our circle of Republican leaning friends, relatives, and co-workers. This is on a level with Rush Limbaugh calling Chelsea Clinton a dog.

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