In a press release today, candidate for the Democratic nomination for the 57th District Hosue of Delegates David Toscano accused one of his competitors for the seat, developer Kim Tingley, of push-polling — that is, paying a polling firm to call voters and say bad things about Toscano, under the guise of being a poll. The press release reads:
Last night, many Democrats in the 57th District received telephone calls from a Florida company apparently hired by candidate Kim Tingley to conduct push-polling interviews. The pollsters, who when asked, identified themselves as “working for Tingley,” made numerous and incorrect assertions about the character and record of three-term City Councilor and former Charlottesville Mayor David Toscano. If, in fact, Mr. Tingley is not behind this “guerilla marketing” campaign tactic, we call on him to repudiate this effort being conducted on his behalf. If he is indeed the perpetrator of these negative push-polls, we call on him to cease any further such activity. This tactic is reminiscent of the negative campaign style witnessed in the recent presidential election and is consistent with the type of smear campaigns that distort a candidate’s record under a win-at-all cost mentality. If Mr. Tingley wants to continue to be a progressive player in the Charlottesville area, he will need to realize that here, we try to run clean, issues-oriented campaigns.
Has anybody gotten one of these calls? Is it really a push poll — which would be very unusual and probably a big waste of Tingley’s money — or is it just a regular ol’ poll that asks, reasonably enough, about Toscano? Is Toscano feeling the heat from Tingley? Or is Tingley trying to get his name in the news? Tingley Tingley Tingley?
Disclosure: I’ve been known to volunteer my time for Rich Collins, who is also a candidate in this race. I’ll keep disclosing this ’til I get sick of it. The good news is that he’s a mediator, by career, so maybe he can sit these two guys down and get ’em to work out their differences.