After Weeks of Whining Arrington Campaign Brings in Sleaze Specialist

After weeks of whining about what he called Robertson's "negative" and "dishonest" attacks against him, Congressional District 19 runoff candidate Jodey Arrington has brought in a campaign manager known  for being a "sleaze master."

Scott Yeldell, Arrington's new campaign manager, was described in 2014 as running "one of the sleaziest campaigns of the year, a campaign that featured incredibly inappropriate and dishonest attacks."

Arrington withdraws from TTU Republicans debate

Scott Yeldell showed up at a Texas Tech College Republicans meeting last night identifying himself as "campaign manager" for Arrington. After failing to get his way with the organization Yeldell announced that Jodey Arrington would not participate in the college Republican sponsored debate.

"We had members who were supporting Arrington. Not anymore. We tried to call Scott Yeldell this morning and he hung up on us," explained Megan McMillan, TTU College Republicans President.

"We are still going forward with the event and having Mr. Robertson come," said McMillan.

"We've never had anyone treat us the way that Mr. Yeldell treated us. It was insulting," she continued.

Yeldell's gay bashing

Yeldell is no stranger to controversy. He ran the 2012 campaign of Francisco Canseco of San Antonio for the 23rd Congressional District.

It was a particularly ugly campaign as the New York Times article describes:

It has surprised no one that things have turned nasty, but one advertisement stands out. Mr. Canseco’s campaign distributed a mailer that used an image of Jesus Christ and a picture of two men kissing to highlight what he says is Mr. Gallego’s liberal record on abortion and gay rights.

Interestingly, Yeldell's tactics were not successful as Canseco lost his election for Congress.

Is there any doubt who fed the Michael Bob Starr…story to the media?

2014 wasn't Yeldell's first foray into dirty campaigning.

In 2007 The Coloradoan ran a story describing Yeldell's resignation from a Ft. Collins, CO campaign for "dishonesty."

Yeldell had written a letter to the editor of The Coloradoan misrepresenting his relationship with a campaign he was managing. He is quoted as admitting, "It was a mistake. An amateur, thoughtless mistake."

Scott Yeldell works for Marathon Strategies. The Arrington campaign has been paying Marathon since November. 

Is there any doubt who fed the Michael Bob Starr "gay rights activist" story to the media?

Is the Arrington campaign in a panic?

Does this signal a change of tone for the Arrington campaign? Arrington has previously condemned what he described as negative campaigning by Robertson.

Will he change his mind? And if so, why? This is an interesting development early in the runoff. 

A change this radical, if one comes, suggests a candidate who is in a panic. Whether that is true, or whether there is reason to panic, remains to be seen. 

We contacted Jodey Arrington for comment but did not receive return communication by the time of publication.

The Rise of the Anti-Republicans

Lubbock is so overwhelmingly Republican that here, much like at the national level, we are experiencing the rise of the anti-Republicans.

These are a new breed of critic. They often spurn “the arena,” professing to be smarter than voters and officeholders alike. Where the anti-Republicans have achieved commercial or electoral viability, it is by the goodwill of their Democratic supporters.

This is not the usual style of dissent. For years Democrats and Republicans have welcomed the open debate of ideas. The lines were distinctly drawn and the differences clear.

They unite around an angry pathology, dubious credibility and uncertain stability.

The anti-Republicans, on the other hand, are a political fifth column; Democrats professing to be Republicans. They spend their time and energy expounding all that is wrong with the Republican Party. They canonize past Democratic figures and lament there are none like them today, ignoring their historical support of segregation, abortion and big government.

We eschew the porcine politics of pragmatism. What spews from the anti-Republicans is the crudest form of populist politics. The message changes from one to the next because they have no guiding principles. Instead, they unite around an angry pathology, dubious credibility and uncertain stability.

They value personality over principle. In their world, it is not the job of lawmakers to work for the greater good by passing principled legislation, but to be the biggest pigs at the trough. An officeholder must bring home a disproportionate share of the pie or be damned. The anti-Republicans disdain all but the pork principle.

The anti-Republicans disdain all but the pork principle.

When confronted with rational argument the anti-Republicans react with anger and pejorative. They resort to belittling opponents because they cannot argue from the secure ground of conservative values like limited government and self reliance.

Hiding behind nostalgia, shallow slogans and cheap rhetoric, the anti-Republicans are not electable. They are sideline critics.

The underlying conviction of the anti-Republicans is that we are dependent upon government to be great. Thus, their promises to make us “great again.”

But when did we cease to be great?

What ought to identify Republicans are our ideas: we coalesce around common beliefs and principles we hold dear.

And what made us great? Was it big government? Money from Austin? Does our greatness derive from the personality of our lawmakers? Or, are we great because of the ideas and values of our citizens?

What ought to identify Republicans are our ideas: we coalesce around common beliefs and principles we hold dear. The tent is big enough that we need not agree on every issue, but we agree that our ideas are what bind us.

What do we do with the anti-Republicans?

We stop calling them Republicans. They are political anarchists; Democrats in disguise. Unlike Republicans with whom we may disagree on one principle or another, the anti-Republicans are dishonest purveyors of political and social chaos.

We promote principle and eschew the porcine politics of pragmatism.

We challenge them. If bringing home the bacon is the stuff statesmanship is made of, then we demand they prove it. Let them run for office as Democrats, whose agenda they advance. 

Finally, we continue to be the party of ideas that matter. We question their presuppositions and false premises. We promote principle and eschew the porcine politics of pragmatism.

It has been a turbulent election year. To the degree we abandon our principles we cease to be the Republican Party and become a political parody.