6/10/2010 2:26 PM Update: Apparently, the Richmond Times Dispatch and/or writer Tyler Whitley altered their web story from the version that Andy Seré excerpted on 6/9/10. The text Seré used reportedly was online yesterday but has been removed since being published. The Richmond Times Dispatch has not cited or referenced the change on their web site.
Ande Seré, Regional Press Secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee has thrown a rock into a hornet’s nest by sending out an apparently misleading press release.
Yesterday’s email announcement, entitled “Goode, McKelvey back Hurt,” contained the following quotation, allegedly excerpted from the Richmond Times Dispatch (RTD):
From: “Andy Sere” <asere@NRCC.org>
Date: June 9, 2010 03:58:32 PM EDT
To: “Andy Sere” <asere@NRCC.org>
Subject: Goode, McKelvey back Hurt
“Former GOP congressman Virgil H. Goode Jr. says he will endorse Republican nominee Robert Hurt in the race against U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Ivy. Goode, a lawyer from Rocky Mount who represented the 5th District in Congress for six terms, lost his seat to Perriello in 2008 by a margin of only 727 votes. ‘Yes, I plan to support the nominee,’ Goode said today. ‘I think he has a very good chance of beating Tom Perriello.'” (Daily Progress, 6/9/10:http://www2.dailyprogress.com/cdp/news/local/local_govtpolitics/article/former_congressman_goode_will_endorse_republican_nominee/57059/)
“The Tea Party movement appeared to be coalescing around State Sen. Robert Hurt of Chatham today in his bid to unseat Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello in the 5th District. Jim McKelvey of Moneta and Feda Kidd Morton of Fluvanna County, who received Tea Party backing during the primary won decisively by Hurt yesterday, said they would back Hurt. In addition, Nigel Coleman, Danville Tea Party leader, told the Danville Register & Bee that he was ‘pretty comfortable’ saying the local group would support Hurt in November.” (Times-Dispatch, 6/9/10:http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/state_regional/state_regional_govtpolitics/article/TEAPGAT09_20100609-134201/350023/)
Regional Press Secretary
National Republican Congressional Committee
(202) 479-7070 – ofc
(713) 806-7720 – cell
However, the article referenced by Seré’s link does not include McKelvey’s name, and there is no notation that the story had been edited or otherwise altered. Here is the actual text from the RTD online story:
The Tea Party movement appeared to be coalescing around State Sen. Robert Hurt of Chatham today in his bid to unseat Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello in the 5th District.
Feda Kidd Morton of Fluvanna County, who received Tea Party backing during the primary won decisively by Hurt yesterday, said she would back Hurt. In addition, Nigel Coleman, Danville Tea Party leader, told the Danville Register & Bee that he was “pretty comfortable” saying the local group would support Hurt in November.
N.B. that the Seré version of the story uses the pronoun, “they,” when referencing McKelvey and Morton, but that the linked version of the story uses the pronoun, “she,” referring only to Morton.
A follow up story in today’s RTD makes it clear that McKelvey has not made a commitment to support Hurt:
In Southside’s 5th District, James K. “Jim” McKelvey of Moneta, who finished second to state Sen. Robert Hurt, R-Pittsylvania, in the primary, said “we, as conservatives, must be unified to defeat Tom Perriello this November.”
But McKelvey stopped short of endorsing Hurt. A spokesman said McKelvey hasn’t decided.
McKelvey, who was backed by a number of tea-party leaders, congratulated Hurt on his victory but said he is forming a political action committee to advance conservative principles. [emphasis added]
So, how is it that McKelvey’s name was inserted into an article citation where it does not appear, and how was a pronoun changed to accommodate the insertion? Perhaps more critically, what will McKelvey’s response be to this faux endorsement statement disseminated by the NRCC?
Stand back, the hornets are angry and they are swarming!