Desperation is a stinky cologne, and Amar Kaleka’s campaign stinks to high heaven

Earlier today I got this email in my inbox from Amar Kaleka, one of the two Democrats vying to unseat Republican Rep. Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s first Congressional district.

Amar Kaleka's deceptive email

If Kaleka’s email is to be believed, fellow Democrat Rob Zerban refused to debate him, thus depriving Democratic voters the opportunity to hear the candidates discuss issues pertaining to their race and the first Congressional district.

However, it appears there’s much, much more to the story than what Amar Kaleka’s campaign would have voters believe. According to multiple sources of mine, the Zerban campaign had never entered into debate negotiations with Kaleka (as is the normal procedure). Instead, Kaleka waited until the just weeks before a proposed debate date before sending a list of strict debate guidelines to Zerban’s campaign. Despite the fact that the Zerban campaign never agreed to a debate, the Kaleka campaign went ahead and announced a date for the debate, and when Kaleka’s campaign didn’t receive a response to their debate demands from Zerban’s campaign, Kaleka sent out the email above, which certainly makes it seem as if Rob Zerban reneged on an agreement to debate.

Despite the Kaleka campaign’s desperate assertions that a debate had been agreed to, it appears there was never and agreement between the Zerban and Kaleka campaigns to debate, and Kaleka’s assertion that there was stinks to high heaven.

Given the fact that Amar Kaleka is likely to be trounced by Rob Zerban on August 12, it’s no shock he chose to go negative, but it’s disappointing to see how quickly a man with no previous political experience has learned to delve into nasty attacks in a desperate attempt to sway voters.


Related Articles

3 thoughts on “Desperation is a stinky cologne, and Amar Kaleka’s campaign stinks to high heaven

  1. I understand there’s confusion over the discussion between the two candidate’s offices… but here’s the thing I’m wondering why no one is asking… Why Not? If Rob Zerban wants us to believe he is able to stand on his platform and articulate it against a practiced politician like Paul Ryan, I would certainly hope he’d be ready for a debate with his Primary opponent!

    Is he refusing on principle alone bc he doesn’t like the way he was invited… or because he knows Amar is more able to articulate the values of the party?

    A few corrections (or suggestions) as well for the blog author:
    Amar Kaleka didn’t “go negative” and he doesn’t have any control over the “nasty attacks” that may or may not happen in Facebook comment threads. In fact, he tried to redirect the conversation as much as possible to the greater question.

    Furthermore, his email stated nothing but the facts – and with very objective language. This blog article, on the other hand, (as it has a right to be) is very critical.

    Finally – I would like to add a fact correction. I know Mr. Zerban has had some local political experience in Kenosha after he moved here from Illinois. However, Amar also has political experience from the 2 years of work he did in Washington bringing a bill to a vote in Senate (for universal background checks on gun purchases) and in Senate Hearings on Hate Crime Legislation. He has worked with Congressman Bobby Scott, Joe Lewis, and Senator Dick Durbin on these initiatives.

    I don’t know all the details, of course, but I’ve seen him in the national media for this work. He says that it is through this experience that he came to see the flaws in our system – including politicians who don’t stand behind their platform and beliefs. That’s precisely why he decided to run – and probably why he wanted to be part of this debate!

    1. I guess your definition of going negative and mine are two different things, because I consider an email attacking your opponent for something they may not have done as “going negative.” After all, Kaleka’s email certainly wasn’t positive.

      As to the debate issue, you seem to think Zerban “refused” to debate Kaleka, but what I’ve been told from very reliable sources is that there was no refusal, because there weren’t ever negotiations regarding a debate. Instead, Kaleka sent an emailed list of debate demands and when Zerban didn’t accept those demands, Kaleka attacked him for not wanting to debate. That’s not how these things typically work, but perhaps a neophyte like Kaleka simply didn’t understand that – or just didn’t care.

  2. you might like to know that your reliable sources aren’t very reliable 🙂

    Half the DPW was CCed on the email Amar sent to Rob on July 2nd, you can find out from any of them. There are no demands in the email.

    “I would like to cordially invite you to a public debate with me with an agreed upon setup and objective moderator.
    Please give me an answer within a week and a reply that you have received this invitation by July 7th.


    1. The date that I have in mind is August 6th, 2014 > 1 week before the Primary Election… however, I’m open to suggestions.
    We have already spoken with a number of media outlets who are excited and might be willing to host the debate on TV.

    2. A great venue might be UW-Parkside… but we can also look for others. Racine is also a great place.
    ” End Quote

Comments are closed.