In a throwback to the Cold War, Ohio candidate Mary Jo Kilroy’s Republican opponent is calling her a socialist. His evidence? A 15 year old French documentary.
The Republican charges are simply ridiculous.
The movie in question is Sentimental Journey: America’s Dissidents in which a French filmmaker, Noel Burch, travels to the United States to interview political activists on the American left. In the course of his travels he visits the offices of the Columbus Free Press, which Kilroy edited at the time.
However, instead of spouting fiery rhetoric about overthrowing capitalist pigs, Kilroy discusses using new media (cable t.v. in this instance) to bring about “real change.” (Actually that sounds sort of like the Obama campaign, doesn’t it?)
Pretty innocuous stuff, huh? Not to Ken Spain, spokesman of the National Republican Congressional Committee: “Despite her multiple denials and dismissing claims that she once ran a socialist newspaper as lies, it appears that Mary Jo Kilroy has been caught on tape peddling socialist propoganda”
In fact, the Free Press was a community paper, not a socialist one. The filmmaker himself might have socialist sympathies, that’s not clear from the clip, but at no point does anyone imply that the paper or Kilroy herself are godless communists.
The fact that Republicans are stooping to such tactics shows how close they are to losing this seat. The seat has been held for 16 years by Republican Deborah Pryce. Kilroy challenged her in 2006 and lost by less than one point. Pryce is now retiring and Kilroy is favored to win the open seat race. A poll taken following the Republican primary showed Kilroy with a ten point lead over the Republican nominee, Steve Stivers, a former bank lobbyist.
PostScript – Credit where credit’s due. Hats off to the Republican opposition research team for digging this up.