The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has called on former Gov. Linda Lingle to resign from the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition, one of the Republican groups that plan to target President Barack Obama and Democrats nationally in this year’s elections.
The coalition is among several groups working in alliance with Karl Rove, a Republican strategist and former adviser to President George W. Bush, according to a story Tuesday in Politico.
From Matt Canter, a spokesman for the DSCC:
This is a partisan organization that aims to support Karl Rove and launch millions in negative attacks against President Obama and Democrats across the country. If Linda Lingle’s rhetoric about ‘partisanship’ really matched reality, she would cut ties with the hyper-partisan organization and step down from its Board of Directors. Instead, Linda Lingle refuses tell Hawaii residents why she is heavily involved with the hyper-partisan group that’s helping fund Karl Rove’s negative, partisan attacks.
Democrats have sought to tie Lingle to controversial national figures in the GOP such as Rove and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The tactic is intended to undermine Lingle’s claim that she would take a bipartisan approach if elected to the U.S. Senate. U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case are the Democratic candidates.
*Update: Lenny Klompus, a Lingle adviser, said Lingle would continue to participate in the Republican Jewish Coalition. He described the Democrats’ message as misleading:
The repeated attacks launched by the DSCC in the past 24 hours are both misleading and disingenuous. Matt Canter, the squeaky wheel of the DSCC, is calling the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) a hyper-partisan organization, but fails to recognize that his very actions are as hyper-partisan as they come.
Governor Linda Lingle has always run as a Republican in her more than 30 years of elected public office. She was a fellow Governor with former Governor Palin. And, Gov. Lingle is in fact a member of the RJC because she agrees with their pro-Israel policies. All of these relationships have been well known and documented, never hidden in the shadowy connections that opponents would like the public to believe. Knowing all this, Hawaii voters, whether Republican, Democrat or Independent have consistently chosen Governor Lingle as their elected leader in local, county and statewide offices.
In 2006, Hawaii voters were not blinded by the partisan rhetoric of organizations like the DSCC, and the people of Hawaii re-elected Governor Linda Lingle as their state’s chief executive with 63% of the vote, winning in all 51 house districts, the largest margin of victory in state history – an accomplishment that has never been achieved by any other candidate of either political party.
Judging by the lack of depth of the candidate the DSCC is supporting in the Hawaii U.S. Senate race, it’s clear that they must put all their effort into distracting voters from the fact that their candidate simply cannot compare with Governor Lingle’s issues-based campaign and her proven record of results. Effective leaders like Governor Lingle don’t need to stoop to the level of the DSCC and their henchman like Canter. The fact is that Governor Lingle’s record does match reality, and the DSCC doesn’t know how to deal with a leader like Linda Lingle.