I Was A Teenage Slanderer

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The midterm elections produced so much news that I initially missed the most personal victory of the night. In Ohio's 73rd House district, in Richland County, voters picked a 26 year old Northwestern University grad named Jay Goyal to represent them in Columbus. Not only did Goyal attend NU the same time I did; I was almost a patsy in the Republican attempts to defeat him. Back in 2001-2004 I played various editorial roles at the Northwestern Chronicle, a conservative paper that reported breathlessly on Goyal's leadership in campus anti-war groups. Goyal tells me:

The Republicans had quite a bit of information about my college political activities due to articles written in the Northwestern Chronicle.  In fact, they even went so far as to create a TV commercial that attempted to paint me as a terrorist and compared me to Osama Bin Laden based on some of the articles in the Chronicle and my ethnicity.  Fortunately, they decided not to run the ad.  We heard that it was mainly because their polling showed that I was too far ahead to make the ground up.

There's a surprising happy ending for you—Republicans dug up dirt on a candidate's anti-war activism and decided they couldn't hurt him with it.

UPDATE: If it isn't clear, I'm not praising the election of a liberal Democrat as an unalloyed good for America and freedom. The point is that the guy was on record leading a campus anti-war group and the Republicans decided it couldn't be used against him.

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  1. Dave: Were you at the 2002 CN Editor’s Conference? The last one that Auchterlonie was with the CN for before it was taken over by that doche Klugewicz?

  2. Well, a pampered rich kid winning an election isn’t exactly a “man bites dog” story. Everything I can find on Goyal just screams “empty suit.”

  3. I wonder which comments the Repubs were going to use against Goyal. This one:

    “I believe in self-defense,” Progressive Alliance member Jay Goyal said, “but calling dropping bombs self-defense is a stretch. The FBI even says there is virtually a 100 percent chance of retaliation. We could be causing more harm than good. We also seem to be in a cycle. If we remove bin Laden, the Northern Alliance may then give us problems.”

    or this one:

    “Even the Taliban would be willing to see bin Laden tried in a fair manner,” Goyal claimed.

    He sounds like a real deep thinker, this Goyal.

  4. Shouldn’t that be “Teenage Libeler”?

  5. Timothy – Was the 2002 conference the one in Scottsdale, or the one in Washington? I have wonderfully weird memories of both. In Scottsdale, for example, I saw New York Times magazine editor Matthew Brzezinski drunkenly flirt with a bunch of twentysomethings before vomiting a substance that must have been 60 percent vodka.

    I lost touch with CN after I handed over the Chronicle so I never really interacted with Klugewicz.

  6. And exactly how is this guy’s election good news for anyone but him, and the people to whom he will re-direct taxpayers’ money?

    I checked his website. He wants to add a percentage point to the Ohio sales tax. This is to fund unfunded mandates from the federal and state governments by some means other than property taxes.

    Not a word about un-doing state mandates. Not a suggestion that the state might grow a pair and say “NO” to federal mandates.

    Great that he was against the war while in college. Is he aware that it was the federal government, not the State of Ohio, that made the decision to launch the war?

    I really expect better commentary on a blog associated with Reason Magazine. Who gives a @#^&%%(#@ whether he is your personal friend, if he is not an advocate for free minds and free markets?

  7. 2002 was in DC. Jeane Kirkpatrick was one of the speakers, the one the year before that was in Scottsdale, I heard some great stories about it.

    In DC (I was 20 at the time) a friend of mine and this transit industry lobbyist convinced the bartenders they didn’t need to see my ID and then we ended up moving our tab to Bryan’s at the end of the night (it was rather a lot).

    The weirdest thing I remember from that conference is a couple of my buddies wandering off with the guys from American Foreign Policy to look for some strippers and ended up coming across Stan James in a room with some coeds. My friend’s response was to claim to shout “Hotel Security!” he was wearing a Commentator polo shirt at the time.

  8. “The point is that the guy was on record leading a campus anti-war group and the Republicans decided it couldn’t be used against him.”

    Actually, they decided they couldn’t use it against him enough to make up the difference in a district in which someone of his political leanings could get elected. That doesn’t mean the quotes jf pulls wouldn’t have swung the race a few points; just that this was a heavily liberal district.

    The Republicans actually found themselves less than a full lap ahead in fund raising this election, and throwing money into making the landslide in a very safe blue district a little smaller wouldn’t have been a wise use of their money.

  9. Take the “ended up” and the “claim to” out of that comment…coffee hasn’t kicked in.

  10. “If it isn’t clear, I’m not praising the election of a liberal Democrat as an unalloyed good for America and freedom.”

    Give it up, Weigal (sic)- John’s never going to like you. Peter K, either.

  11. I should point out that I don’t think what he said on campus 6 years ago should matter in an election except to show that he doesn’t look to be one of the brightest bulbs that will be glowing in the Democrats’ freshman class.

  12. They didn’t say it couldn’t be used against him, but that the impact wouldn’t be enough to matter in that particular race. And they were probably thinking about blow-back from the a rather disgusting attack ad in the broader election.

    So they didn’t use it b/c the practical effect of running the ad would be to 1)accomplish nothing and 2) provide a potential embarrasment to the Republican party as a whole.

    So….. this proves what? That Republican pols were wise enough in this case not to shoot themselves in the foot for no reason?

  13. I’m still trying to figure out how issues of war and peace matter in a state legislative race. I’m reminded of a woman who ran for county revenue commissioner on an anti-abortion platform.

  14. Beyond maybe this guy and Dave commenting on each other’s Kos diaries, I’m having trouble seeing the connection between his election and any remotely libertarian goals. Even his anti-war stance is pointless, since he’ll be an Ohio State Rep.

  15. :” If it isn’t clear, I’m not praising the election of a liberal Democrat as an unalloyed good for America and freedom.”

    DAve you did that enough leading up to the election so really why do it here?

  16. David Weigel,

    Is there any evidence that the GOP made an ad that attacked Jay Goyal based on his ethnicity besides your personal communication with Jay Goyal?

  17. “In Scottsdale, for example, I saw New York Times magazine editor Matthew Brzezinski drunkenly flirt with a bunch of twentysomethings before vomiting a substance that must have been 60 percent vodka.”

    I remember that, too. I was at DC and Scottsdale with the Michigan Review.

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