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Jindal in no mood for gifts regarding baseless attacks

In political campaigning, no matter how outrageously untrue an opponent’s charge may be against a candidate, there must be some kind of response. It’s a lesson Republican candidate for Louisiana governor Rep. Bobby Jindal apparently has learned, reducing Democrat party officials to lying about their own lies about Jindal.

Earlier this week, the state Democrats launched an attack ad campaign against Jindal with this ad making wildly distorted statements about Jindal’s record. One example was the claim that Jindal supported raising the Medicare eligibility age requirement – presumably imputing this to him since he served on a panel to make recommended changes regarding Medicare where the idea was discussed. But the panel itself never made that recommendation.

On this and other assertions in the ad Jindal rapidly distributed to media (seen at his campaign website) replies showing that in every case the statements made about Jindal either did not have a basis in fact (such as the Medicare one) or were not matters of fact in the first place (such as the opinion that Jindal’s vote against letting the federal government negotiate drug prices for use in federal programs meant he was against lower prices; a congressional study concluded there probably wouldn’t be any reduction in price, and prices go could higher through extra administrative costs, as well as rationing of medicine may occur). We can look for Jindal campaign ads along these themes to appear shortly, if the campaign is as on the ball as they were with the speed of the dissemination of the rebuttals.

The state Democrats’ spokeswoman sniffed, “Our ads are not based on any kind of opinion. They're based on facts.” Neither statement is true, and one wonders how the party would take it if some candidate ran an ad concerning Democrat candidate state Sen. Walter Boasso that argued he was for reducing the retirement benefits of state workers, a charge that would lack the same context and be every bit as distorting as what Democrats tried to pass off concerning Jindal.

The impact of this event in the 2007 campaign won’t really come from the baseless charges, or the easy refutation Jindal’s camp makes of them. That Jindal responds will be the most significant outcome and shows there will be no gifts given this season, to the detriment of Democrat electoral fortunes in Louisiana.

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