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.