Some people might call it the “Case of the Conveniently Disappearing Blog Item.”
In an instance of revising history to suit changing political circumstances that would make old Soviet-style bureaucrats proud, a conservative anti-tax group has deleted a nasty blog item attacking a local official now that the person has agreed to help a fundraiser for the group.
The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) apparently has had a change of heart about Hamilton County Engineer Bill Brayshaw. In a sharply worded Sept. 4 item on the group’s blog, COAST lambasted Brayshaw and Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. for not supporting a proposal to use a managed competition process for fleet services in an effort to reduce costs.
At the time, COAST’s item read, “Sheriff Leis and County Engineer Bill Brayshaw have rejected the plan. ... Maybe it’s time for these two fossils to retire?”
Five months later, Brayshaw is among several Republican stalwarts listed on the host committee for COAST’s Feb. 19 fundraiser in Montgomery featuring Fox News commentator John Kasich, an ex-congressman, as keynote speaker. Tickets cost $75 per person or $100 per couple.
Others on the host committee include Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann, County Treasurer Robert Goering, Sycamore Township Trustee Tom Weidman and County GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou.
Once information about the fundraiser was posted on the blog Wednesday morning, the September item that criticized Brayshaw vanished, presumably scrubbed by COAST leaders who had second thoughts. Although blog items posted on Sept. 4 at 9:41 a.m. and 9:43 a.m. remain on the Web site, an item from 9:42 a.m. — the “fossil” piece — is gone.
Ironically, County Commissioners David Pepper and Todd Portune, two Democrats who are frequent COAST targets, also supported the managed competition proposal that Brayshaw opposed.
Perhaps Brayshaw is a forgiving sort. Given their tacit endorsement of COAST, though, it’s unclear whether Goering, Hartmann and Triantafilou share the group’s view that Brayshaw and Leis are fossils who are past their prime.
As has happened frequently in the past, COAST’s “fossil” remark crossed the line from criticizing officials on a purely policy basis into a petty, personal attack.
Polls have shown most voters are tired of the politics of personal destruction, perfected by people like Karl Rove and Lee Atwater. Maybe if COASTers take a deep breath in the future and pause for review, they will delete such remarks before they’re ever posted on the Web site in the first place.