Jul 01, 2008
John Gard Needs to Stop Misleading Voters
Republican Congressional candidate and former Speaker of the Assembly John Gard has once again been caught red-handed spreading discredited claims about Chinese oil drilling off the coast of Florida. Gard, the Republican candidate in Wisconsin's 8th District, was caught pushing the bogus claim in an official campaign flyer handed out at the Outagamie County Breakfast on the Farm on June 15 - days after even Vice President Dick Cheney acknowledged the claim was false.
"At a time when Wisconsin's middle class families are struggling to pay skyrocketing gas prices, the last thing they need are tall tales from career politician John Gard, who Dick Cheney called 'exactly the type of person we need in Washington, D.C," said Ryan Rudominer, DCCC Midwest Regional Press Secretary. "If Gard who receives $45,300 from Big Oil, wants to have any shred of credibility on the issue of gas prices, he needs to stop misleading Wisconsin drivers and apologize for lying for selfish political gain."
Gard also peddled the tall tale to the Wisconsin Radio Network on June 5th. Vice President Cheney's office was forced to issue a retraction on June 12th after the Vice President made a similar claim in a speech. Republican Senator Mel Martinez, a former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, stated that "Any talk of using some fabricated Cuba-China connection as an argument to change U.S. policy has no merit." He also said, "Reports to the contrary are simply false. They are akin to urban legends." [Miami Herald, 6/12/08]
But that didn't stop Gard from continuing to try to mislead Wisconsin voters with his disinformation. Contacted by the authoritative TPM Election Central news web site on June 27, the Gard campaign waffled about its continued use of the discredited claim, and refused to acknowledge the information it is spreading is false.
- JUNE 27, 2008: Award winning news site TPM Election Central contacts Gard campaign about its continued use of the discredited claim. Gard campaign gives contradictory explanations on the record and refuses to acknowledge the information is false.
- JUNE 15, 2008: John Guard campaign caught handing out the following official campaign flyer at the Outagamie County Breakfast on the Farm in Seymour.
- JUNE 14, 2008: The Miami Herald reports "The claim -- touted by House Republicans and carried on conservative talk radio -- was repudiated by Republican Senator Mel Martinez, an independent congressional report, industry experts and other observers, who said there is zero evidence for it." [6/14/08]
- JUNE 12, 2008: Vice President Dick Cheney's office tells The Associated Press that the vice president had erred when, in a speech delivered the night before, he used the bogus China-Cuba claim . "It is our understanding that, although Cuba has leased out exploration blocks 60 miles off the coast of southern Florida, which is closer than American firms are allowed to operate in that area, no Chinese firm is drilling there," according to the statement. [Associated Press Online, 6/12/08]
- JUNE 11, 2008: Vice President Dick Cheney, delivers a speech June 11th to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and quotes a column by George Will, who wrote that "drilling is under way 60 miles off Florida. The drilling is being done by China, in cooperation with Cuba, which is drilling closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are." [Associated Press Online, 6/12/08]
- JUNE 5, 2008: John Gard uses the bogus claim in an interview with Wisconsin Radio Network. [Wisconsin Radio Network, June 5, 2008]
- John Gard has accepted $45,300 in contributions from big oil and gas companies. [opensecrets.org, accessed, 6/30/08]
- According to AAA, drivers in Wisconsin currently pay an average cost of $4.05 per gallon at the pump [http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/sbsavg.asp].