Areizaga-Soto Campaign Criticizes Negative Phone Poll

by ARLnow.com July 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm 3,573 27 Comments

Update at 4:45 p.m. — The Washington Post reports that Favola has ordered her pollster to stop calling Areizaga-Soto a “Republican” during the poll.

The Jaime Areizaga-Soto state Senate campaign, criticized last week for its negative campaign mailers, is now fighting back against a telephone poll apparently conducted on behalf of opponent Barbara Favola’s campaign.

According to three independent sources who received the calls, the pollster gave “negative quotes” about both Democratic candidates and asked the respondents to evaluate each. Most of the quotes, however, focused on Areizaga-Soto. Among the reported questions:

  • How do you feel about Areizaga-Soto claiming to be a “senior advisor” to Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple – who has endorsed Favola — when the temporary position only paid several hundred dollars?
  • How do you feel about Areizaga-Soto’s work on behalf of several corporations, at least one of which may have been criticized for environmental violations?
  • How do you feel about Areizaga-Soto’s work as a Bush administration White House fellow and as a Treasury Department staffer during the financial crisis?
  • How do you feel about trips and gifts Favola accepted while serving on the County Board?

“Having worked on several campaigns, the poll was a standard way to test negative messages before bringing them on the field [sic],” one call recipient told ARLnow.com. “The District 31 state Senate race is about to get a bunch nastier.”

According to sources and the Areizaga-Soto campaign, the calls were conducted by a polling firm on behalf of the Favola campaign. Favola spokesperson Mary Lawson confirmed that the campaign is conducting a telephone poll this week.

“Democrats in the 31st District deserve to know the facts so they can make an educated choice,” Areizaga-Soto said. “My campaign has been tough — we’ve pointed out some uncomfortable facts about who funds my opponent — but I have been and will always be honest.”

Areizaga-Soto campaign spokesperson said the poll contained “exaggerations” about the candidate, but did not elaborate.

  • Mike

    I was polled yesterday. It was fairly transparent that it was a Favola poll trying to discredit Areizaga-Soto. Ironically, the poller couldn’t pronounce either name, but was especially flustered by Areizaga-Soto.

  • samsonite

    It’s not a poll to test these messages – the poll is the message. It’s a push poll, not a real one, and they’ll be calling their whole list with it.

    • Bob

      I got the call. I think it was message testing, not a pure push poll. I don’t know why her campaign would have included the negative information about herself if it was a push poll. Also, the call was wayyyyy too long to really be considered a push poll–I must have been on the phone with the guy for 15 minutes.

      • I got it too. It really was to long to be a real push poll, more like a campaign call posing as a survey. After describing Areizaga-Soto as a inexperienced in Richmond, a lawyer for polluters, and a Bush Administration official, she mentioned relatively trivial sums of money received by Favola over 14 years. She later spent time agreeing with me that the sums were trivial over such a long time.

        Then asked if this would change my vote. I told her it depended on who was paying for the call. That was when after a pause I finally got to hear the disclaimer that these might be exaggerations and that this was paid for by Favola.

        Areizaga-Soto last points with me for going negative even though the ethics concerns were legit. Favola lost my vote with that call.

        On the plus side I homeschool my son and we have been having a great time discussing wether Machiavelli would have used these tactics?

        • novanglus

          Like you said, it was too long a call to be push polling.

          I think they were legitimately surveying people to determine if going negative would help or hurt her campaign.

  • Peter Rousselot

    Last week, Delegate Bob Brink lectured the Areizaga-Soto campaign, stating “Voters in our region have shown repeatedly that they want their public officials to talk about the issues that touch their daily lives, and that they have little tolerance for Karl Rove-style mudslinging,” he said. “Any candidate who doesn’t understand that is unqualified to represent us.” Mr. Brink went on to say that the Areizaga-Soto campaign’s alleged negative tactics were the reason he was dropping his prior neutrality and endorsing Ms. Favola. Logic says that Mr. Brink must now rescind his endorsement since Ms. Favola’s campaign has engaged in the tactics he condemned last week. We are waiting to see if logic prevails.

    • SeanO


    • +Infinity!

    • AllenB

      Sorry, but I don’t believe that someone is supposed to take the negative attacks without fighting back. What’s the saying, something like if someone hits you, you hit back and knock them out?

      • Andrew

        Fine, hit them back, but don’t whine about them hitting you and then hit them back.

        • AllenB

          I really may have missed it but where did Favola do the whining? Others said it was a low blow doing the Cooch comparison, but did Favola come out crying about it?

          • RosRes

            What comes around goes around. Bullies never can take any bullying themselves.

  • GA

    Well said Peter!

  • D.w.

    What Peter said.

  • Brendan

    So let me guess this right… Favola ‘takes issue’ (read: throws a hissy fit) over negative campaign mailers, where Areizaga-Soto is clearly printed on it… but then commissions ‘anonymous’ negative push-polling?

    This is absurd. Favola is a joke. Brink better rescind his endorsement ASAP or he’s lost my vote too.

    That is all.

  • Arlwhenever

    I think it is important that these issues get ironed out or the Democratic Party could end up running an unknown far left wing looney in November instead of an established, sitting member of the Arlington County Board with a well known record on matters of concern within the district.

    • The Native

      Do you work for Favola?

  • “an unknown far left wing looney”

    Wait, I thought the Favola campaign’s latest anti-Jaime meme was that he’s a closet REPUBLICAN who worked for BUSH? So confusing.

    • KalashniKEV

      +1 That confused me too… I thought I might like the guy! = )

      Is this guy amigos with Tejada?

  • G Clifford Prout

    I told you all the other day I got a similar call, but for the race w/ Adam Ebbin. Poor woman could read English. Was funnies thing that happened to me last week.

  • Charlie
  • willy

    The Favola thing sounds pretty negative. Unfortunately, she is doing what Frank O’Leary did a couple of years ago. Going negative and saying unfair things about people when there is no reason to. She has a very good progressive record in Arlington and should win easily if she campaigns on that record.

    There is no for her to insult U.S. government staffers who happen to have worked at agencies when problems arose. Also, many Senior Advisors for campaigns don’t work fulltime on those campaigns.

  • Disgusted

    Jaime Areizaga needs to shut up. He started this whole distasteful business with his blatant political ploys tying Barbara Favola to right-wingers. He shouldn’t be crying foul now. I for one question his character and do not want someone representing me who will do anything to get elected, including compromising his dignity by resorting to cheap political tricks. The actions of his campaign are what turns people off about politics.

    • 1st Grader

      He started it!!! (points finger)

  • Babs Thighs

    I totally agree!

  • Pingback: Favolagate: Barbara’s non-response response « Bluementum()


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