Spin Control

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 24, 2010, 11:29 A.M.

Murray campaign tries to capitalize on Tea Baggers

Some people were shocked when a speaker at the Asotin Tea Party gathering suggested Sen. Patty Murray be "hung."

Most were shocked at the suggestion of violence; a few language purists were appalled by the grammar.

Murray's re-election campaign was so shocked that it included a video of Tea Party organizer Dianne Capps' statement in its latest fund-raising appeal.

The letter, signed by Campaign Manager Carol Albert, suggests a line has been crossed from the normal campaign tactics. So for anyone who hasn't seen the clip, she includes links to a page with the YouTube video (which includes the statement, the cheering crowd and the rest of the nearly two-minute news report from local Lewiston, Idaho, station KLEW ), and a page that allows one to donate from $25 to $4,800 to the Murray re-election campaign.

The YouTube clip is below. Most of it is a discussion of the Tea Party's goals for organizing locals (they should probablyl be happy the Murray campaign is circulating that) but it does start with Capps making a stab at a cinematic reference to "Lonesome Dove."

"What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd?" Capps asks. When she doesn't  get much of a response, so she has to ask again, then provides the answer: "He got hung. And that’s what I want to do with Patty Murray."

(Note to Capps:. Regardless of how Larry McMurtry writes, the past tense for stringing someone up by the neck is "hanged.")

Tea Party organizers  have since insisted that Capps's comments were taken out of context, that she was just filling time unexpectedly when another speaker didn't show up, that her comments that she wanted to hang Murray with votes were edited out (KLEW says no such comments exist on their unedited versions of tape) and that the media is trying to  hype this as a way of discrediting the movement. OK, and that "Geld Obama" sign in the video is what? A misspelling?

Albert's initial comment to the Associated Press about Capps' comment was it was "unproductive." Apparently, the Murray campaign is working on a way to make it productive -- for them.


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