Update 2 (9/21/16): They have it up again on YouTube through a 3rd Party – I Agree to See. So I’ll file yet another complaint. Vernon campaign folks we can keep on doing this. They also have it up on Facebook so apparently I have to deal with that again. These folks have zero integrity.

Update: Today we submitted a copyright claim and YouTube has removed the video.

Original: Monica Vernon, the Democrat candidate challenging Congressman Rod Blum (R-Iowa) in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District race used a video clip of an interview Caffeinated Thoughts had with Blum in 2013 prior to the 2014 Iowa Republican primary. Vernon’s campaign did not ask for permission, nor did they even give Caffeinated Thoughts credit for the clip.

Here is their campaign ad released on Wednesday.

The clip they took from our interview with Blum lasts 2-3 seconds. A screen grab is below:


The line from the interview they used was, “we’ve shut down the government before” as if Blum was approving of that strategy. It’s bad enough that they shamelessly stole this video clip, but it’s even worse when they use it to mislead.

They highlight 2 seconds of a 2 1/2 minute exchange out of a 35 minute long interview that took place on October 10, 2013. You can watch the interview here (exchange happens between 7:28-10:06).  For context here is the transcript with the line they used highlighted and italicized.

Shane: With the current debate going on with the shutdown, are you supportive of the shutdown? Do you like the way they are handling it? How would you, what would you like to see if you were in the House right now as far as strategy? Should they look at tying it to the debt ceiling? Or is that muddying the water with their argument against Obamacare?

Blum: Well I think you know, if you are going to get into the government of business of government I think government is based on negotiation.

Shane: Ok.

Blum: So I think people can’t go to Washington and say, for example, “I’m not negotiating. It’s going to be my way or the highway.”

The reports, and I’m not there, the reports are that recently when Boehner has met with President Obama his opening line was “I am not negotiating.”

Shane: President Obama’s opening line?

Blum: President Obama’s opening line that is what I’ve read. I don’t know if it is true, but if that’s true (shaking head) then….

Government, the art form of government, is negotiation and I agree with Ronald Reagan on negotiation – if we can move the football toward our goal line and our goal line is more personal responsibility, less government spending, less government dependency, more free markets… If we could move the ball toward that goal line then that’s the acceptable bill.

If a bill moves the ball toward their goal line of increased government dependency, increased government spending, socialism if you will, I would never vote for that bill.

Shane: Ok

Blum: So you are never going to get 100 percent of what you want. I am not there to know the exact strategy and tactics. I don’t know how strong our hand is. We have one – we have the House obviously – we don’t have the Senate and we don’t have the White House. So I guess in that circumstance to be able to get something out of this negotiation that’s good would be tremendous. I am not sure what that is. I am not sure what John Boehner’s strategy is, I don’t think anyone does other than those in the inside circle.

You know we have shut down the government before and have lived through these things. It makes for great media, news channels love it, and the world’s going to end. We know the world doesn’t end when 83 percent of the government is functioning and being paid for, the people on furlough end up getting paid vacation because they are all going to receive back pay. So at the end of the day is it much to do about nothing? Is it political theater?

Shane: Yeah

Blum: But I do like this, Shane, I do like the fact, and I know a lot of Eastern Iowans like this, that the Republicans stood up to the President and I hear that a lot when I travel Eastern Iowa. People say, “where are the Republicans in the House? Where is our side in this argument?”

They feel like they are not represented in Washington right now. So that part I like, that we have a spine, and that we are finally going to stand on some principals. It is ok to be principled, negotiate hard on those principals.

Never does Blum advocate for a government shut down, not once. So Vernon’s fear mongering that he was part of the Tea Party because of a Tea Party organization endorsed him (shall we outline the organizations that have endorsed her?) is baseless. He was talking about negotiation. He said that legislators will never get 100% of what they want. He talked about moving the ball forward.

Isn’t this what legislators are supposed to do? Does Vernon not plan on negotiating? No, she would rather scare voters in her district. She would rather steal a 2 second clip from a three-year old interview in order to scare voters in her state. Blum didn’t push for a government shutdown when he first ran. He hasn’t pursued it while in Congress, and he isn’t campaigning for it now.

If Monica Vernon’s campaign has any integrity at all they would pull this ad and issue a public apology for using our video clip without permission, compensation or credit and for misleading the voters in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.

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