Favola Campaign Defends ‘Clerical Error’ in Poll

by ARLnow.com July 14, 2011 at 9:47 am 3,123 36 Comments

Barbara Favola’s state Senate campaign is defending a telephone poll that erroneously identified Democratic primary opponent Jaime Areizaga-Soto as a Republican.

The poll, conducted on behalf of the Favola campaign, asked residents negative questions about both candidates. In a statement, the Favola campaign said calling Areizaga a Republican was a “clerical error.”

The Barbara Favola for State Senate Campaign is in the field with a standard political tracking poll.

The final question of the poll asked:

If the election in the Democratic Primary were held today, would you vote for Jaime Areizaga-Soto, the Republican, or Barbara Favola, the Democrat?

The wording of this question is obviously incorrect, and it was caused by a simple cut-and-paste, clerical error.

When the error was brought to our attention, we immediately fixed the question.

Any suggestion this was done as a campaign tactic is entirely incorrect. We apologize if this clerical error caused any confusion among the people who received our poll call.

The kerfuffle, which comes on the heels of criticism of Areizaga-Soto’s negative mailers, has prompted one local political-type to endorse Areizaga-Soto. Ben Tribbett, who was once considering a run for the 31st District state Senate seat that’s being vacated by state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, says that he’s “disappointed” with Favola.

His endorsement statement (after the jump) mimics Del. Bob Brink’s endorsement of Favola, which decried “Karl Rove-style mudslinging” in the race.

Up until this week I had intended to remain neutral in the Democratic primary for the 31st Senate District. Today I am endorsing Jaime Areizaga-Soto. Throughout his public career he has shown how to translate values into action, and I am certain he will be an effective voice for Northern Virginia’s priorities in Richmond.

I’m disappointed that my friend Barbara Favola has been persuaded that victory in the primary can be achieved through slick negative campaign phone calls. Possibly her consultants have cited examples where a campaign based on harsh personal attacks was successful in an Arlington-based district: I cannot recall any in the two decades I’ve been involved in Northern Virginia politics, but I am familiar with more than one that had the precise opposite effect.

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. Any candidate who doesn’t understand that is unqualified to represent us.

  • Favola’s also not using recycled material in her mailings, despite claiming to be a super environmentalist and also putting an (irony alert!!!!) recycling image on the front of her latest (non-recycled) mailer. Hahahahaha.


    • samsonite

      Okay, but recycled paper is not the only kind of sustainable/environmentally-friendly paper. Don’t know what kind she’s using but it could still be considered eco even if it doesn’t contain recycled material.

      • Uhhhhhhh….like what?!? My gosh, Favola supporters really are desperate to make excuses for everything she does wrong. Which is a long, long list, by the way.

  • V Dizzle

    So was the question supposed to say “the Democrat.” after both candicates? If it’s a cut and paste error, that’s what they are asking us to believe. ..and I couldn’t care less about the campaign.

  • Lacey Forest

    Does this question make any more sense:

    If the election in the Democratic Primary were held today, would you vote for Jaime Areizaga-Soto, the Democrat, or Barbara Favola, the Democrat?

    • Not Larry Sabato

      Of course not, but lying has not stopped Barbara before.

      • Larry Sabato

        I’m right here, I can hear you. Why do you keep saying you’re not me? What’s wrong with me?

    • Lou

      Yeah, they’ve made all this up. Apologize or whatever, they’ve already peed in the pool.

  • Pollee

    I found that if you tell the pollster that you are 50-50 or less chance of voting in the primary then they don’t ask you any more questions.

  • AllenB

    If it was a “clerical error”, then they apologized.

    If it wasn’t an error, then I still have very little sympathy for Areizaga-Soto. After his mailing a couple of weeks ago saying that Favola was the same as The Cooch and McDonnell, and then the one I got last night from him saying unequivocally that Favola sold her votes to developers, he deserves every bit of mud that is slung his way. You reap what you sow. Get over it.

    • Not Larry Sabato

      Allen, with all due respect, Barbara was the candidate who went negative first in this race. I also don’t like Jaime’s mailers, but he didn’t start this.

      • AllenB


        • Not Larry Sabato

          This is what happened when I was thinking about running:


          I can tell you Jaime has faced even worse tactics behind the scenes from Favola and her supporters.

          • AllenB

            Backroom politics happen all the time. Maybe it is a bit unseemly but it’s business as usual.

            The garbage spewing from the Areizaga-Soto is, to me, on a whole different level.

          • So, when one candidate puts out tough-worded mailers about a real issue that voters absolutely deserve to know about, it’s NOT the “Arlington Way.” But when the powers-that-be threaten people’s livelihoods, put tremendous pressure on donors, demean people in whisper campaigns, and pretty much do everything they can in order to keep away any democratic (small “d”) competition for their hand-picked candidate, that’s fine? Gotcha.

          • AllenB

            Are you talking about “tough-worded” mailers that say someone has committed a crime when they haven’t?

            The “threatening people’s livelihood” is what one person said. I haven’t seen any other proof than what one person said.

            Pressure on donors and clearing a field for an establishment candidate? Welcome to politics. Let’s not behave like this is some puppy and sunshine kind of thing. But maybe this is your first time at the rodeo.

    • John Andre

      Sounds like you’ll probably vote Republican in the general election anyway. But it’s a huge mistake on Favola’s part to characterize her Democratic primary opponent[s] as “Republican”. Sort of reminds me of Bachmann and her “John Wayne [Gacy]” gaffe.

      • AllenB

        Not sure if you’re referring to me, but I’ve never voted republican in my life.

        • Mr. Neutron

          neither did I til this lifelong Dem got sick of the rubber stamp, self congratulatory one party rule in Arlington … I now vote R now & then in county elections only just to keep the illusion of democracy alive.

          Favola has been unimpressive on the County Board and her campaign & actions here reek of tone deafness to ethics & the appearance of conflicts of interest (if not actual conflict of interest). I won’t be voting for her.

  • Dismayed observer

    I agree with Allen. Barbara Favola is a long-time public servant who has represented Arlington well, and she doesn’t deserve this mud slinging. She’s an “in your face” type, but about the same liberal causes espoused by those currently wailing here and on other blogs. This was obviously part of the game plan devised by campaign operatives who might not even live here, and for them to now be crying crocodile tears is the height of hypocrisy. There is likely little difference between the politics of the two candidates, but since one has no experience, his campaign had to get attention through distasteful means.

  • geebee

    Soon after the daily campaign mailings began – and I’d guess both are killing a lot of trees in hammering home a message that changes little – I had a quick question of Favola, so sent her campaign an email. It’s been a month and I’ve still not heard back. I’m a longtime Arlington resident but it was the first time I’d ever communicated with a local campaign. I’m still undecided on how I’ll vote, but it does not speak well of an organization that it cannot not even kick back a boilerplate “thanks for your comments” response. Speak to me, Babs! I’m all ears!

  • Pedro

    The Favola pollsters called me. You would think for the money her campaign is paying, the polling person would be able to pronounce “Favola” properly. Of course they butchered Areizaga-Soto’s but that’s not hard to do.

    I should have asked where the call was coming from because it was obviously nowhere near Arlington.

    And of course it’s pretty cheezy to wait until the end of a 15 minute call to say which campaign is sponsoring the call.

    • The call was coming from the Mountain West Research Center (“Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Pocatello, Idaho”), phone # 231-224-2031.


      • My call came from 703.953.5566

  • V Dizzle

    I don’t understand, why would a person participate with the call, especially if it took that much time? I wouldn’t consider it, so I’m really trying to understand.

    • Pedro

      Thought it would offer insight into the local campaign. It did. Plus they never tell you exactly how long the call is going to last. Plus his pronunciations of the candidates’ names made it entertaining.

      I don’t think my guy referred to Jaime as a Republican but I was very much intrigued but the question that attempted to link Jaime’s work as a White House fellow to Bush’s Great Recession. More than a stretch, I’d say.

  • Tired of this in North Arlington

    Corrupt politicians and the status quo… the voters who continue to keep these folks in office deserve what they get. They (the pols) are clearly out of control and have lost touch for whom they are supposed to be working.

    Stop voting the party line, and do some research on all of the candidates.

    If you really want change, do not vote for an incumbent… eventually someone will get the message and run for the people, not for their personal gain.

    Same-ol’ same-ol. It’s embarrassing, beyond laughable.

    • Bluemontsince1961


  • Andy


  • Arlington Democrats

    Two Arlington libs throwing dirt on each other and accusing each other “Karl Rove-style”! Please! Karl Rove is a choirboy compared to the typical two-faced power-hungry lib!

  • Babs’ team called me last night. I did my part by keeping that guy on the phone for about 7 mins about why I wouldnt vote for Babs.

    They finally hung up on me when I compared her legs to a bucket of cottage cheese.

    Good times.

  • Set the Controls

    I don’t know about the history of Arlington County board members moving on to state elected office, and I don’t know a thing about either candidate in this primary, however unless a precedent hasn’t already been set I wouldn’t want Favola to start blazing a trail for other County officials to represent us in Richmond.

  • Webster

    Clerical error? What a lying liar.

  • Curioser and Curioser

    Barbara Favola lost my vote more than 3 years ago, when she was standing front and center handing out ballots for the School Board Sham er uh Primary. I walked in to the W-L Gym and politely requested my ballot, CB Member Favola said please fill out this form first. The form stated, in part, that in order to receive a ballot, I had to pledge to support the entire Democratic slate in the 2008 General Election, which was absurd, because it was a (very) local election, which frankly, should be non-partisan.

    The pledge stated:”I certify that I am a resident of and registered to vote in Arlington County, Virginia; I am a Democrat; I believe in the principles of the Democratic Party; and I do not intend to support, endorse or assist any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic nominee or endorsee in the ensuing election.”

    I explained to CB Member Favola, that I had no idea who I was going to support in the General Election, since it was only May, and that a reasonable, intelligent voter would never commit to voting for certain candidates six months later. She stated that I could sign the pledge or I could leave- so I left. I asked if she really believed it necessary to disenfranchise someone because they were honestly unwilling to commit to vote the Democratic slate almost six months before the election ( I’m thinking to myself if we have Watergate part deux with the Democrats involved, I either break my loyalty oath or vote for the criminal?). Additionally, I would never vote for Congressman Moron, so just on that basis alone, I could not honestly sign the pledge.

    I have kids in the Arlington County School system, and I had opinions I wanted to express through my vote, but Barbara Favola was there front and center disenfranchising me. She said, well you are more than welcome to vote in the General Election, I said, Ms Favola, you know as well as I do, that for the school board election this is the only ballot that matters, and it saddens me that you won’t let a person select candidates for that election unless I sign a loyalty oath, she basically told me to get lost at that point.

    The good news is that in state elections, I can vote in whichever primary I choose. I will happily vote for Jaime and am proudly displaying a bumper sticker, and spreading the word about Barbara Favola, product of the Arlington County machine, and mean-spirited candidate– who welcomes the support of drones and no others.

  • charlie

    as long as your sentiment at the time you sign the pledge is that you will support the Democratic slate, you are fine.
    But aren’t we all entitled to change our minds?
    Yes, we are. And we are still loyal democrats.
    You should treat the pledge for what it is — a political hack job and nothing binding AT ALL.

    • Curioser and Curioser

      But I knew for a fact that I would NOT under any circumstance vote for Moran, so I couldn’t even harbor the sentiment for two seconds that I could support the entire slate. And, on principle, I’m not going to lie to sign any document no matter how stupid or non-binding it is.,


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