The Hartman clean campaign pledge: Pompeo response


In the contest for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman has run many advertisements making an issue of a clean campaign pledge. He’s signed it, and says that leading rival Mike Pompeo won’t sign it.

I asked Rodger Woods, manager of the Pompeo campaign, why his candidate didn’t sign the pledge. Woods mentioned two reasons.

First, Woods said that the meaning of the word “clean” is subjective. He said that Pompeo has committed to running a truthful campaign, the meaning of which is not subjective, noting that “truth” and “factual” do not appear in the Hartman pledge.

Second, Woods said that the purpose of primary elections is the find the best candidate. The tone of Hartman’s pledge, he said, is that Republicans are best served by not bringing up certain sets of issues.

Woods said that Pompeo has been committed from the start to being truthful, and he is satisfied that the campaign is fulfilling that commitment. A recent Pompeo press release stated “To date, no Mike Pompeo ad has mentioned any opponent. All Pompeo advertising has been built around Mike Pompeo’s positive record and the issues facing voters.” By my observation, this appears to be true.

Woods didn’t say this, but sometimes these clean campaign pledges are used to neutralize or deflect negative information that is about to be revealed. In this case, Hartman promoted his pledge shortly before issues of his controversial Florida residency and Florida voting were made public. (Hartman’s Florida voting was first reported in my story Hartman, candidate for Congress from Kansas, recently voted in Florida.) If a rival candidate were to mention inconvenient facts, it allows the other campaign to make allegations of dirty campaigning.

Facts, even unpleasant, need to be aired during primary election campaigns, I believe. Better for both parties to deal with them then rather than during the general election contest.

While Pompeo did not sign the pledge, that shouldn’t stop Hartman from living up to its standards, if he chooses to. But recently Hartman started running a television advertisement that lives up to all the worst expectations of negative campaigning.

It uses — as is standard practice in negative attack ads — unflattering images of the opponent. After quoting a leftist Kansas blog when it declared “Pompeo has thrown the first ugly punch,” the announcer states “No big surprise. Pompeo worked in Washington DC as a lawyer before moving to Kansas.”

The fact is that Pompeo worked in Washington for three years after graduating from law school. While Hartman’s ad is factually correct, this is the type of attempt at a backhanded compliment that most people would agree violates a plank of Hartman’s clean campaign pledge: “2. Treat Republican opponents with respect by focusing campaign advertisements on our own campaign’s vision for Kansas; this includes not mentioning fellow Republicans negatively in television or radio commercials.”

Hartman’s ad continues with the announcer stating “And the Pompeo record on jobs? He took Kansas jobs to Mexico. That’s right: took Kansas jobs to Mexico.”

Pompeo has stated that when the company he managed, Thayer Aerospace, opened a facility in Mexico, the Mexican plant was a condition of a contract with a customer. The Mexico jobs were new jobs, not jobs previously held by Kansans that were transferred to Mexico.

The ad concludes with “Mike Pompeo: just another Washington insider we can’t trust.” While there is no specific definition of “Washington insider,” at least one of Pompeo’s policy positions and his past action is in direct opposition to what “insiders” want: term limits.

In a speech to the Wichita Pachyderm Club last November, Pompeo told of his efforts, working pro bono, in favor of an effort in Arkansas of that state placing its federal office holders under term limits. I also reported “On term limits, Pompeo said he would like to see a constitutional amendment for term limits, but he would not make a personal pledge to limit his own service.”

Along with most of the other candidates in this contest — including Hartman — Pompeo opposes earmarks, another favorite Washington “insider” perk.

Hartman’s ad, besides going against the spirit and letter of his clean campaign pledge, also starts to drag the fourth district campaign down into the type of negative campaign that voters say they dislike. The other candidates besides Hartman and Pompeo in the race have not raised enough campaign funds to do any television or other widespread advertising.

The candidates and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.


11 responses to “The Hartman clean campaign pledge: Pompeo response”

  1. Dusty

    Well, the claim that Jean Schodorf is making against Pompeo trying to eliminate other candidates from various forums and debates is true. Obviously it has happened more than once, but the one I know about occurred before there were any polls showing him a leading contender. Although he obviously is educated and driven, the arrogance gives me pause – that’s all we need is another politician totally full of himself.

  2. liberty4all

    I read the Hartman “clean” pledge and it is worthless. I agree with you Bob, that he has not lived up to his own signed pledge. Note also, he is the only one of the 5 candidates on the Republican ticket to sign it. Apparently the other candidates do not like it either.

    It is rather like censorship too. I think the facts about the candidates must come out. We need to know the facts about these candidates in order to vote for them.

    I have noticed that Hartman is in attack mode of late. It is a a shame to watch him snarl and bite his “rivals.” Mike Pompeo is having vicious lies and untruths spread about him by a guy who has the money to do it without restraint.

    Hartman has never come clean about his Florida residency either, has he? I saw that the Palm Beach Appraisers office sent him a letter, dated June 17, 2010, asking him to withdraw his Florida residency. Hmmm

  3. sue c.

    Dusty, you are mis-informed, I am afraid.

    Mike Pompeo has not asked any of the scheduled debates to be changed. Nor has he asked any of the other candidates to be “eliminated” from them.There have or are going to be 12 with all four of the candidates.

    The Pompeo campaign has asked the Hartman campaign for ADDITIONAL debates, 4 to be exact. Offering one-on-one debates, with the top two contenders in the race (according to the recent Survey USA poll) would be interesting and enlightening for the KS-04 voters.

    Hartman knows he will not look good in this type of event, and doesn’t want to participate. So he ginned up the Schodorf “outrage.” It is sad that he used and manipulated her in this manner.

  4. Harold

    I wondered if anyone caught the message Hartman is trying to sell to the public. I’ve wondered what Pompeo said that was considered “dirty pool”. Well, if it is the truth and fact then How Dare he. Seems to me Hartman threw down the gloves and reached for the nearest pile of mud and started slinging long and hard. Pompeo’s camp remains mysteriously quiet and hasn’t thrown anything back. Make one go hmmm. Does Pompeo have Hartman on the ropes? Hartman also acts like there is no other opponents. Hartman’s ad shows only Pompeo’s name, none of the others. Did they sign? Hmmm.

  5. Dismal Scientist

    Pompeo’s people have told others to “get out of the race”. That is a fact. Ask Jim Anderson. As the front runner and wanting to maintain that lead, he should be going above and beyond in trying to run a clean campaign!

  6. Lauren

    I’m used to candidates stretching the truth to win a campaign. But outright lies? Mike did NOT send Kansas jobs to Mexico. He created several jobs in Kansas as well as Mexico – jobs were created, not outsourced. A customer insisted on doing business in Mexico because of the lower cost, and as a result of that contract Mike created several jobs in both Kansas and Mexico. No Kansas jobs were outsourced to Mexico, and Mike’s been straightforward since the beginning and proud of his record of true job creation.

    Hartman’s people must be pretty scared since they’ve declared all out war and have starting fabricating tall tales about Pompeo. Statements by the Pompeo campaign have been backed up by documents and official records, whereas the Hartman campaign is trying to dupe voters with unsubstantiated and FALSE attacks. Hartman’s clean campaign pledge lasted about a day, while Pompeo continues to do what he promised from early on – lead a TRUTHFUL campaign, based on facts and reality that the voters deserve to base their decision on.

  7. sue c.

    I can’t get too upset about another candidate asking another to leave the race, if that is indeed true. Happens all the time.

    A true patriot, who is garnering less than 10% of the vote, and has no money, would get out and support the leading candidate of his choice, IMHO. Then the vote wouldn’t be split.

    The candidate that did this would be a hero to the party and would be in a great position to run again, with much support.

  8. Kevin Streeter

    I already had an unfavorable opinion of Pompeo, but it was because of his campaign being too positive. It was always about him. Have faith in him. And, him having a seemingly cultlike following made me think even less of him.

    He says he is a fighter. I want to know what he will fight for. I want to know if he has a clear understanding of the constution and economics, real economics, not what is being taught in universities.

    The republican party used to be about principles. If we are to be about personalities, we are being more like the democrates.

    Concerning Hartman, I was indifferent towards him. Now, he is the one making the most negative campaign, all the while telling us he has pledged not to. This makes me have a more unfavorable opinion off him.

  9. Anonymous

    I noticed that Hartman hasn’t posted this attack commercial to his website. If I were him, I probably wouldn’t either.

  10. PRWichita

    Actually, Hartman’s “Clean Campaign Pledge” only had TWO lines on, one for Hartman and one for Pomeo!

    Why is OK to only ask ONE opponent to sign a “pledge” as Hartman did, but NOT OK for one opponent to ask another opponent for a one on one debate, as Pompeo did?

    Pompeo challenged Hartman to a debate, one on one, because Hartman has been ducking out of debates!

    Rajeev Goyle wants Hartman to win! Goyle can beat Hartman.

  11. ICT observer

    IMHO both Hartman and Schodorf could be beaten by Raj Cumar Goyle this year. This is despite the fact that the GOP is going to gain a bunch of house seats and may even win control of the U.S. house in November! It would be pathetic if KS-4 went to a Dem because a lousy Republican was nominated.

    Schodorf is so liberal and has voted to raise so many different taxes on so many different occasions that Raj Cumar Goyle, a far left adjunct WSU professor with a law degree, like his buddy Barry Hussein Obama (who was also an adjunct law prof in Chicago), can actually run to the right of her. Goyle voted against the sales tax hike this year. Schodorf who works for Wichita schools, is basically a rubber stamp for the government school lobby.

    Having voted to raise income, property, business, excise, and this year sales taxes, Schodorf, with a long and liberal legislative record, would be the perfect pinata for Goyle to bash….except there is Wink who has filed for bankruptcy, been voting and taking homeowner property tax exemptions as a Florida resident, and has a KS DUI while driving a car with Florida tags too. If Wink thinks that Pompeo’s campaign is tough on him, wait till Cumar attacks.

    What a pair of targets for Goyle and his campaign staff.

    I hope that all of the ballot qualified candidates participate in a large number of forums and debates between now and the primary election. Voters need to know about all of the candidates. Perhaps Jim Anderson can begin making an impression with voters disillusioned by three of the other primary candidates who have been receiving a lot more paid and free news and advertised coverage.

    I’d also like to know more about the second woman running in the GOP primary too. She has to be better than Schodorf.

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