Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Maybe you've been following the story of Howard Kaloogian, a right-winger who's trying to replace Randy "Duke" Cunningham in the Senate. He posted a photo of a calm, orderly, bustling city street on his campaign Web site, accompanied by a caption claiming that the photo was taken on a recent trip to Baghdad.

It's now been determined that the photo shows a street in a suburb of Istanbul.

I'm bringing this up because I want to remind you that Kaloogian is not just another right-winger who occasionally shades the truth. He's a pro at stretching the truth, and he's a big-league political operator, so he knows exactly what he's doing. As Wikipedia notes:

In 2003, Kaloogian became the chairman of the Recall Gray Davis Committee, dedicated to the ousting of California's governor, Gray Davis....

Kaloogian is a founder and co-chairman of Move America Forward, a controversial conservative political action group.... Kaloogian serves on the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project and was the Chairman of the Defend Reagan Project, which campaigned in 2003 for CBS to drop a docudrama about Ronald Reagan,
The Reagans. The campaign was successful, as CBS did not show the mini-series, but handed it off to Showtime.

Kaloogian and MAF tried to browbeat theaters into not screening Fahrenheit 9/11, asserting that the movie was endorsed by Hezbollah.

MAF is running a petition drive to censure Jimmy Carter.

MAF has run an "I (HEART) GITMO" campaign.

Last year MAF sent a "truth tour" of right-wing talk-radio hosts to Iraq. The tour was partially sponsored by the Defense Department.

MAF has produced TV ads insisting Iraq had WMDs "shortly before the U.S. led invasion," as well as "extensive ties" to Al Qaeda.

There's also the anti-Cindy Sheehan campaign, the pro-John Bolton campaign, the campaign to expel the UN from the United States, etc., etc.

Some of that is just straightforward political advocacy. Some of it is outright fraud.

And Kaloogian could (still, even after this embarrassment) be the next Congressman from California?

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