It never ceases to amaze me how some politicians insist on digging when they are in a hole, rather than simply saying “Sorry”.

Democratic challenger Martha Robertson in my home district of NY-23 showed that quality last fall through the spring, when she refused to apologize for sending a fundraising email falsely claiming that GOP operatives tried to take down her website.  Legal Insurrection broke that story.

First, she insisted it was true and even promised to hire a forensic computer firm to prove it, then went silent on the issue and became evasive when questioned, then admitted she never hired the forensic firm.

It would have been so much easier, and would have put the issue to rest, if she just said it was a mistake, she’s sorry, and offered to return any funds raised based on that false solicitation. Instead, the fundraising scandal still festers.

We’re seeing it again as to a series of fat shaming ads run by Robertson’s campaign, using old photos of Republican incumbent Tom Reed before he had gastric bypass surgery.

In some cases, Robertson seems to have gone out of her way to find photos that make Reed look as fat as possible:

Martha Robertson Video Tom Reed Come Clean 3

(Here’s what Tom Reed actually looks like, if you are interested.)

Legal Insurrection first called attention to the use of these old photos, and demonstrated that it was not a one-off problem, but part of a bizarre fixation on Reed’s weight throughout Robertson’s media campaign.

The story was picked up by a variety of media, including Buzzfeed, national Fox News, local WETM TV, and local print news. This is not the type of press any candidate wants.

Robertson’s reaction? To laugh at it.

Now she’s laughing at the fat shaming again.

The issue was raised in an August 26, 2014 interview of Robertson on Time Warner Cable’s Capital Tonight news show. That alone demonstrates how deeply the fat shaming is penetrating the contest.

Robertson’s response? Say she’s sorry and means no offense? Apologize to Congressman Reed and congratulate him on his new, healthier lifestyle?

No, Robertson’s response to repeated questions by the news reporter about the ads focusing on Reed’s weight:

“You can close your eyes and listen to the ads, I don’t care.”

At a certain point in politics, the inability of a candidate to apologize becomes a bigger issue than the underlying conduct.

We may be there in NY-23.


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