The story I am about to relate to you just occurred in the Republican primary election for County Judge. But it exemplifies the sorry state of affairs in primary elections in both parties.
One of the candidates for the Republican nomination for County Judge is Alexandra Mealer. Ms. Mealer is a West Point graduate, decorated veteran and has both an MBA and JD from Harvard. Until she resigned to run for County Judge, she was employed by Wells Fargo as an investment analyst. In other words, she has impeccable credentials. There is very little negative that you can say about her.
Unless, of course, you decide to make something up. Which is exactly what someone did.
On December 15, an email was sent to Republican activists which alleged that Ms. Mealer was a “registered Democrat” when she lived in Ohio several years ago. Included in the email was screenshot of a document that was designed to leave the impression it was an official document which “proved” she had previously registered as a Democrat, an unforgivable sin for a Republican primary candidate unless, of course, you are Donald Trump or Rick Perry. This is the photo that was included in the email.
However, there is just one tiny problem. The document is a complete fake, 100% fabricated.
I contacted the Ohio Secretary of State and sent their office the document. A representative from their office called and told me that the document was absolutely not a record created by their office. I also talked to an official at the Defiance County Board of Elections. They also confirmed that the document was a fake and were kind enough to research Ms. Mealer’s voting record for me and confirmed that she had never registered as Democrat or voted in a Democratic primary.
I have traced the email back to a person named Clay Christain at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. I have been unable to find anyone that knows a person by this name or locate such a person in any database. I emailed the address and asked about the origin of the document but predictably got no response.
The email has all the hallmarks of a dirty trick by one of Mealer’s opponents’ campaigns. Whoever created the fake document had done enough opposition research to determine that Mealer had lived in Defiance County, Ohio. The fraudster also had researched her actual voting record because the fake record has the correct date for her initial registration in Ohio. That also means that the person knew she had never registered as a Democrat and decided to intentionally lie about her record.
We will probably never know who created the document or if they were associated with one of her opponents’ campaigns. At a minimum, every other candidate in the race should publicly acknowledge that the email was a fraud and unequivocally condemn it and the person who perpetrated the fraud. Any candidate that does not do so is tacitly complicit by potentially benefiting from this lie.
Also, if I was a donor to any of the other campaigns, I would be demanding to know that my contribution did not help facilitate this fraud.
Let me say this as plainly as possible. The person responsible for this fraud is a piece of garbage (I would use a stronger word but I don’t want to offend anyone) and the fact that this was done to someone who honorably served our country makes it even more reprehensible. If any of you have any information about who this person is, please let me know so that I can call them out publicly and heap on them the ignominy they so richly deserve.
Also, if you get an email or see something on social media, never accept it as true without investigating yourself. If it is coming from someone you don’t know, there is about a 90% chance it is BS. And never, never, never, forward something unless you have verified it as being true. Between the technology and social media available today, it is far too easy for false news to be spread like wildfire.
At a more fundamental level, this episode is further evidence of the depths to which the two incumbent parties have sunk. Both have increasingly become cesspools of fanatic ideologues who believe any means justifies their delusional ends. No wonder only 9% and 13% of Texans view the Republican and Democratic parties “very favorably,” respectively, or that fewer than 20% of Texans bother to vote in either primary.
It is time for an alternative to our morally and intellectually bankrupt duopoly.