Friday, July 4, 2008

Dee Stewart: Hypocrite

Dee Stewart is Patrick McHenry's political consultant. When we put our poll out on his race last week he slammed us to reporters from both the Lenoir News-Topic and the Hickory Daily Record.

Dee and his clients haven't always had such a dim view of Public Policy Polling though. Dee was also the consultant for Bill Graham's disastrously unsuccessful candidacy for Governor. It may seem hard to believe now, but Graham wasn't always doing as badly as his 9% finish might make you think.

One of those times he was doing better was last July. PPP put out a poll showing Graham with a 14 point lead in the primary. Stewart and the Graham campaign thought so much of our polling then that he put out a whole press release about it.

Dee Stewart's trying to have it both ways. If we were worth citing last July when our numbers boded well for his client, then he deserves to get called out now for saying that our polls have 'no credibility.' He sure wasn't singing that song then, and we have made no changes in our basic methodology since that time.


Anonymous said...

Dee wasn't Graham's consultant last July, Tom Fetzer was.

Get your facts straight before you make personal attacks.

Tom Jensen said...

Dee Stewart had already been paid $18,000 for 'strategy' by the Graham for Governor committee through June 30th last year. You can check the finance reports. I'd post anonymously too if I was going to tell someone to get their facts straight when I didn't bother to check them myself.

Chris said...

You're really trying to compare your knowledge of the structure of the Graham campaign by reading the finance reports compared to mine who personally knows many (if not all) of the former staff and consultants?

Who has the "facts" in that situation? Your "facts" come from your interpretation of a document without knowing or talking to anyone involved in the campaign.

The REAL facts, unlike your guesses are:

Fetzer/Stephens was the general consultant. And if you want to look at finance reports, just look at how much they make off of Graham compared to The Stewart Group.

All The Stewart Group did was grassroots organization of all the kids knocking on doors.

The Stewart Group became the general consultant for Graham for Governor in January 2008 after Fetzer/Stephens and Graham split.

And sorry for the anonymous post, I couldn't figure out how to login on my Blackberry.

If you want more of the real info, you know where to reach me.

Tom Jensen said...

Chris, the particular position he had on the campaign at that point is not relevant here. If I am involved with a campaign in any capacity I know what press releases are going out and I know what's posted on the website. If I thought my candidate was touting a crap poll, then I would tell him to stop touting a crap poll.

I believe Stewart is exhibiting hypocrisy here by essentially calling us trash less than a year after working on a campaign that touted our numbers. I let Richard Moore have it when he called automated polls crap one week and cited them the next too.

When political figures try to have it both ways with PPP or automated polling, Democratic or Republican, I am going to write about it.

Chris said...

So you know the contents of all press releases going out for every campaign you do polling for?

Even if you are just the pollster and a press release goes out on a scheduling topic, you know about it?

I find that VERY hard to believe.

If the release is about polling, then the pollster reads it. But if the release is about polling, it's highly doubtful the grassroots consultant reads it.

Nice try to backpedal out of this one though, but you're still off base.

Tom Jensen said...

If a campaign was paying PPP $18,000 for the services it was providing them, then we would be pretty involved with it on a day to day basis. Maybe Republican campaigns operate differently than Democratic campaigns.

I don't think Dee Stewart really thinks our polls are crap, I think he just says they're crap when they don't bode well for a candidate he's consulting. It's fine for him to tell newspapers that, and it's fine for us to call him on it.

Chris said...

You really can't compare the cost of your services compared to the cost of other people's. It's apples and oranges.

Your polls are low-cost compared to other services. Not knowing your rates, I'd guess you charge about 1/4th of the cost of a live-operator poll.

If Dee WAS the general consultant, he'd be paid a hell of a lot more than $18,000 for six months of work.

Anonymous said...

Tom - you're off on this one. Go bark up another tree.

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