Dear Voters of the 8th Congressional District:
I’m running for Congress for the simple reason that truth must matter again in American politics, and I believe it is incumbent upon all of us to highlight when anyone, from Presidents to candidates for Congress, isn’t living up to this important standard.
Last week, one of my primary opponents, Kim Schrier, released an internal poll, paid for by her campaign, which claims she has a significant lead among Democratic primary candidates. Her campaign sent misinformation to the news media and others that claims Schrier is leading other Democrats by 28 points. Releasing partial results of a poll with a partial sample size that paints a picture that is not true falls well short of the truth.
We know because our campaign was polling at the same time, and the fact is that none of the Democratic candidates are known in the district. As expected, we all start in the low single digits. (Global Strategies Group memo on 8th Congressional District Race).
The race is wide open and is even among Democrats. However, after testing balanced, positive profiles of four of the leading candidates along with positive and negative messaging, we could claim, “Rittereiser rises to a firm lead among the Democrats with 25% support overall, ahead of Kim Schrier at 6% and Shannon Hader at 3%. Among only Democratic and independent voters, who are most likely to be up for grabs in the August primary, Rittereiser’s advantage is larger, with 44% support against 9% for Schrier.” Using these results to claim that I have a 35-point lead in the polls would be dishonest.
The thing about half-truths and misinformation is that they are designed to be difficult to correct. Unfortunately, we are in a dangerous time when the bar has been lowered for truth in American politics.
I refuse to lower the bar on truth. It is the foundation of justice and the bedrock of our democracy. I have been a defender of the truth my entire career. First as a criminal prosecutor, then as an employment attorney fighting for truth in the pursuit of justice. I have held my campaign to the same standard to which I have held myself throughout my career, and that will never change.
Adhering to truth is not an aspirational goal. It is a value you either have or do not. Truth must be an unwavering value for anyone seeking public office because the only way to fix a broken Washington is to tell the truth every single day and that includes on the campaign trail.