I, for one, am glad that Manan Trivedi has rejected Doug Pike's self-serving proposal for the candidates to sign some sort of "positive campaign" pledge. There are many reasons why I think such an agreement would have been ridiculous, but this one takes the cake:
Former Philadelphia Inquirer editorialist Doug Pike on Monday suggested he and Trivedi sign an agreement that, among other things, would require the candidates call each other personally to apologize if they or their campaigns made any personal attacks. (Emphasis added.)
That just proves Pike's proposal wasn't worth the electrons it was printed on. Remember this?
Andrew Eldredge-Martin is the campaign manager for Doug Pike, a Democrat running in Pennsylvania's Sixth Congressional District. Drew, who has posted here as DrewEM, used sockpuppet accounts to post disparaging remarks about another Democrat running in the PA-06 primary. As it turns out, Drew also used a sockpuppet account at Daily Kos (where I am also an administrator) over the years to comment on two other races he managed, Bob Lord's campaign against John Shadegg in AZ-03 in 2008, and Chris Carney's campaign against Don Sherwood in PA-10 in 2006.
Needless to say, this kind of behavior is completely unacceptable. If campaign officials have something to say about the very race they're working on, then it is mandatory that they speak out in their own voice. Pretending to be a disinterested observer, especially for the purposes of spreading negative information about opponents, is a complete violation of our trust. For the most senior official, a campaign manager, to do so is especially unacceptable.
I offered Drew the chance to apologize, and told him I would include any apology in this post. Not only did I never hear back, but it appears Drew used the opportunity to edit the bio and signature line of his sockpuppet account at Daily Kos, in a belated attempt at transparency. This information was not present in the sockpuppet account when we first discovered Drew's malfeasance.
Because it is our policy to ban those who create sockpuppet accounts, we have done so here. But this should also be a lesson to anyone - and to any campaign - contemplating something similar. We will remain eternally vigilant in policing this site. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior. And we will do everything in our power to ensure that the trust which animates this site remains unbroken.
Almost half a year later and Drew still has not apologized for this abuse of trust. Doug Pike is well aware of exactly what his top staffer did, and he has neither disavowed Drew's actions nor apologized himself. That speaks volumes about the kind of campaign Pike actually wants to run, rendering bogus any pledges he might make to behave otherwise. Manan Trivedi knows all this, and he was wise to reject this entreaty.