Character Matters

Character Matters

John McCain is running for re-election to his Senate seat in 2010. His primary challenger is former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, currently a radio talk-show host in Phoenix.

McCain is spending a lot of money on radio advertising here in Tucson. At least, I hear a lot of his ads, which are read by an almost whispering woman with a sultry voice. A while back he was running an ad about how Hayworth voted to spend money on “snakes in Guam” – an example of pork-barrel spending typical of regular Republicans, while John “Maverick” McCain would never do such a thing! “Character Matters” is his motto in these ads.

Except the legislation that included the funding for researching “snakes in Guam” was HR1588, The National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 (PDF). The wording in this act was as follows:

Subtitle B— Environmental Provisions Reauthorization and modification of title I of the Sikes Act (sec. 311)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 311) that would amend section 670f of title 16, United States Code, to reauthorize section 108 of the Sikes Act (Public Law 86– 767), by striking, “fiscal years 1998 through 2003,” and in each place it appears inserting “fiscal years 2004 through 2008.” The provision would also express a sense of Congress regarding the Department of Defense (DOD) outsourcing of natural resource manager functions. Finally, the provision would establish a five-year DOD pilot program for management, control, and eradication of invasive species on military installations in Guam.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes with an amendment that would require the Secretary of Defense, to the extent practicable and after consultation with the Secretary of Interior, to incorporate in an Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan the management, control, and eradication of invasive species that are not native to the ecosystem of a military installation in Guam and may harm readiness, the environment, the economy, or human health and safety.

In other words, the Senate version included the same funding.

McCain voted in favor of the Act.

The “Snakes in Guam” ads aren’t playing anymore.

Now he’s running “French fruit fly” ads. In this one the same sultry-voiced female speaks quietly of how Hayworth voted to fund research into “fruit flys in France.” Same kind of argument, Hayworth is obviously no conservative if he votes in favor of this kind of pork-barrel spending, right?

The problem is McCain’s used this one before, during his presidential campaign. Only he sent Sarah Palin out to do it:


“Fruit Flies in Paris France” – this came, apparently, from the Citizens Against Government Waste “Pig Book” for fiscal year 2008.

One problem, though. J.D. Hayworth left office January 3, 2007. He wasn’t around to vote on that bill.

Now the sum total of these two pieces of pork was less than $1,000,000.

McCain voted in favor of the $700,000,000,000 BAILOUT bill.

Yes, character matters. And McCain no longer has any. I wouldn’t vote for the guy for dog catcher.

I’m not a big fan of Hayworth, but I hope he wins.

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