John Campbell hires sleazy Arizona push-poll outfit to slime Beth Krom, yet lacks the BALLS to face her in public.

A push-poll, in Wikipedia’s elegant formulation, “is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll.”  Basically the caller starts off asking you innocent information as a real pollster would, then they gradually start pushing damaging information or lies usually prefaced with “Would you be inclined to support or not support so-and-so if you knew…”

I got one during the 1988 Presidential election – maybe even before they were called push-polls.  It led up to “Would you be more or less inclined to support Michael Dukakis if you knew he had let out a black murderer and rapist on furlough who went on to rape and murder again?”  I chewed the woman out for agreeing to push this lie, especially as she was obviously black herself, but I guess you take whatever job you can get sometimes.

Another infamous push-poll was masterminded by Karl Rove for his boss George W Bush in South Carolina’s 2000 primary against John McCain, when thousands of South Carolina Republicans were casually asked, “Would you support John McCain if you knew he had an illegitimate black love-child?”  As always there’s some disgusting relation to the truth;  in that case, the McCains had an adopted Bangladeshi kid, which many South Carolinians had seen, so the story was believable to them.

Well, Congressman John Campbell has joined this august company.  Too chicken to come out and debate his opponent Beth Krom, incapable of defending his pathetic record, his extreme positions, or his stubborn refusal to even try to bring back any federal resources to his 48th District,  John is more comfy hiring an out-of-state firm to call South County voters to badmouth his opponent while pretending to conduct a poll.  That is, hiding behind a wall and throwing muck at Beth.

This story is courtesy of Juice friend and Libertarian Assembly candidate Debbie Tharp, a scathing critic of John Campbell (and not a Krom voter.)  Last night she got one of these calls.  Was she planning on voting?  Was she voting for Jerry Brown or Meg Whitman?  Was she voting for John Campbell or Beth Krom?  Her atypical answers palpably frustrated the drone on the phone.

Were things getting better or worse in Irvine?  “They’re getting worse there, and everywhere else.”   Are Irvine’s problems the fault of Beth Krom and the other Democrats on the Council, or the Republicans on the Council?  “Neither, really, the problems are systemic and nationwide.”

And here it became a push-poll:  “Do you think Irvine’s problems are the fault of Beth Krom’s sweetheart deals and no-bid contracts?” At this point Debbie began to berate the caller for spewing GOP talking points while posing as a pollster.  “What company are you with?  Who paid you?” Debbie demanded.  No answer was forthcoming.  “You’re legally required to tell me what company you’re with!”  (which may or may not be true, LOL)  CLICK.

But they had push-polled the wrong lady.  The number, 623-505-1247, leads to Westgroup Research. Westgroup Research is a disreputable firm specializing in exactly this sort of thing, headquarted in Phoenix Arizona, deep Arpaio territory.  (Congressman, couldn’t you have at least hired some Irvine sleazebags?)


All of this segues curiously but neatly:  Debbie discovered that Westgroup Research has put in bids to do polling for Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) the private prison giant connected to Governor Jan Brewer that stands to profit from SB 1070 and which has raked in BANK from Sheriff Arpaio’s rampages.  Debbie has been doing a lot of research on CCA, and will be publishing an article on her findings HERE, joining the Orange Juice blog team in the wake of Gabriel’s stinging “Sausagefest” criticism.

And to get back to the point:  Consider the contemptible character of John Campbell who will not face his opponent in a debate, but will instead hire Arizona’s Westgroup Research to plant anti-Beth propaganda in Irvine residents’ ears.  Consider that when you vote.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.