Cardin v. Bongino v. Sobhani: Unsubstantiated accusations.

Monday, November 5, 2012

In Maryland’s the three-way race for Senator, there has been a last-minute initiative from Republican Dan Bongino’s campaign aimed not at Democrat incumbent Ben Cardin, but at Mr. Bongino’s alleged nemesis, Independent candidate Rob Sobhani.

Last night, at 11:15 PM, I received a bulletin from Dan Bongino’s campaign. You can see the screenshot below. (Clicking on it makes it larger.) The bulletin includes a statement by Sharon Strine, Deputy Campaign Manager, who presumably speaks for the campaign and for Dan Bongino.

As you can see, Ms. Strine accuses the Rob Sobhani campaign of sending an illegal “robocall” to hundreds of thousands of Marylanders, explains what she believes to be the illegality of the call and promises that they will be filing a complaint with the FEC against the Sobhani campaign. The bulletin includes a link to the following video of the call being played on some recording device.

I happened to be working late last night and, having read the bulletin, sent the following email back to the Bongino campaign:

Hi, Ms. Strine. What evidence do you have that the call recorded in your video was made or sponsored by the Sobhani campaign? …was made to “hundreds of thousands of Marylanders”?

I assure you that it’s not a trick question that I’m asking. I sincerely want to know and promise to publish your response precisely as you or Dan give it to me. If necessary, I’ll be able to find out, about the evidence that is, in the public record of your filing with the FEC, but would prefer to publish your response prior to the election on Tuesday.

Thank you.

I’ll publish any response I receive from the campaign and follow up with the FEC.

I have not asked the Sobhani campaign for its reaction because I don’t believe that it is incumbent upon them, or anyone, to respond and, in doing so, give further exposure, until accusations like this are substantiated by the accuser. Absent any response from the Bongino campaign or details from the filing of a complaint with the FEC, my reaction, other than this post, is to ignore the statement in favor of focusing on more tangible campaign issues.

That said, I look forward to receiving detailed clarification from the Dan Bongino campaign. I’ll keep you posted.

-Next Contestant

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One thought on “Cardin v. Bongino v. Sobhani: Unsubstantiated accusations.

  1. Hi. As to whether or not the Bongino campaign has actually filed a complaint, I’ve just heard back from the FEC. As of 1:15 PM ET this afternoon, there has been no complaint filed. The headline in the Bongino campaign email was inaccurate.

    I have yet to receive any response from either Sharon Strine, who made the statement accusing the Sobhani campaign of illegal behavior, or Dan Bongino himself in response to the email I sent the campaign last night after the bulletin arrived.

    -Next Contestant