Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Submersible Devices

CA Republican Tom Campbell has the early lead in the race for the GOP nomination to run against Barbara Boxer in the November Senate race. He even has an early lead against La Box. But, you have to wonder if he's the guy who's best suited for these times. For one thing, Campbell has supported the sort of "borrow and tax" solutions to the CA budget crisis that were rejected by the electorate. For another, he has a low lying controversy over his past support (there's no other way to put it) from jihadists and anti-Israel activists: Tom Campbell's Problematic Ties To Radical Muslims
Campbell is currently on the defensive after it was found out that Sami Al-Arian, a convicted leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, donated $1,300 to his 2000 Senate campaign. In 2002, Campbell wrote aletter in defense of Al-Arian after he was fired from his job as a professor at the University of South Florida because of the investigation into his ties to terrorism. The two had become friendly because of their common cause in trying to forbid the use of classified intelligence to detain and deport non-citizens without providing the suspects with the evidence against them.

Another donor for Campbell’s 2000 Senate bid was Abdulrahman Alamoudi of the American Muslim Council. On October 28, 2000, he declared his support for Hamas and Hezbollah. Only a week later, Campbell defended him as a moderate opposed to violence. Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush returned Alamoudi’s donations once his remarks were reported. Campbell did not, perhaps giving higher priority to winning Muslim votes than to principle. Alamoudi was later convicted for his involvement in terrorism.

Leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also supported Campbell. Muthanna Al-Hanooti, the first executive director of CAIR’s Michigan branch, donated $2,000. Two years later, he was on the payroll of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence service to try to get sanctions on Iraq lifted.
Campbell has also endorsed If Americans Knew, a non-profit group intensely opposed to Israel that calls for an end to American support of the Jewish state. The organization’s website includes an endorsement of its executive director, Alison Weir, by Campbell. It reads: “Ms. Weir presents a powerful, well documented view of the Middle East today. She is intelligent, careful, and critical. American policy makers would benefit greatly from hearing her first-hand observations and attempting to answer the questions she poses.”
Right now, this is a controversy limited to blogs and conservative publications like Commentary and The American Spectator (in other words, no one who counts). Also, it has been an issue in the campaign, and was the primary topic during the first debate between the candidates; a debate that Campbell demanded specifically to blunt the controversy. But, it's still a low-level controversy because the MSM has not covered it. That is guaranteed to change. If Campbell wins the nomination, look for nasty ads in the middle of October telling Californians that Campbell is anti-Israeli, followed by sudden media interest.

Many Republicans might be tempted to vote strategically and support Campbell as the sort of moderate candidate with the best shot to beat Boxer. But, you have to wonder if the policies he has supported over the last few years would make him the sort of Republican we need in the Senate.

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