Politico: Christine O’Donnell a complete fraud
By DAVID CATANESE | 9/14/10 11:48 AM EDT Updated: 9/14/10 6:28 PM EDT
WILMINGTON, Del. — Christine O’Donnell’s former campaign manager has recorded an Election Day robocall for the Delaware Republican Party meant to shred the tea-party-backed candidate’s conservative credentials as voters head to the polls.
The last-minute move appears to be the grand finale of what’s been a fusillade of orchestrated attacks on O’Donnell originating from GOP headquarters on behalf of her primary opponent, nine-term moderate Rep. Mike Castle.
The call features the voice of Kristin Murray, who ran O’Donnell’s 2008 Senate campaign against then-Sen. Joe Biden, and who charges that her old boss “is no conservative.”
“I got into politics because I believe in conservative values and wanted to make a difference. But I was shocked to learn that O’Donnell is no conservative,” says Murray, according to a script obtained by POLITICO.
“This is her third Senate race in five years. As O’Donnell’s manager, I found out she was living on campaign donations — using them for rent and personal expenses, while leaving her workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt,” she says.
Perhaps the most biting line in the call delivered by Murray: “She wasn’t concerned about conservative causes. O’Donnell just wanted to make a buck.”
O’Donnell insisted that it was she who ended the working relationship with Murray, not the other way around.
“Kristin Murray was fired by Tom Ross, Delaware GOP chairman, in June 2008 for being incompetent. She was then picked up by my campaign, [and] was paid and fired after 2 weeks of ‘work’,” O’Donnell wrote in a statement to POLITICO.
But Murray says in the call that O’Donnell’s less-than-noble motives are why she left the campaign, and are the reason “why I won’t trust O’Donnell with my hard-earned tax dollars.”
In an interview, Murray said she had been reluctant to speak out about O’Donnell until she saw her campaign gaining traction and becoming a real threat to win the primary.
She said she agreed to record the call only Monday, after being approached by Ross, and had complete control over the script.
“Obviously, I don’t think I would be doing an ad for the state party if they fired me,” she told POLITICO Tuesday afternoon. “And I’m not a big fan of Castle either; I wasn’t going to be, ‘Rah-rah Castle.’ I just wanted people to know it’s more about who is better on taxes. You’re dealing with someone who is a complete fraud.”
Murray said she voluntarily left her position as executive director of the state party to run O’Donnell’s second Senate run in June 2008, after the candidate pleaded with her three different times to sign on. She left the position two months later, after she found out O’Donnell doesn’t have a college degree, had foreclosed on her home and was using the campaign debit card for personal expenses.
“It just amounted to too much,” she said. “The reason she’s running is so she can pay her rent, pay her electricity bill. If it was popular to be really liberal now, maybe she’d do that,” Murray said.
Murray’s call marks the second time a former O’Donnell campaign staffer has come forward in recent days to publicly rebuke the former television commentator’s candidacy.
David Keegan, a former O’Donnell aide, told The New York Times earlier this month that when he found out about O’Donnell’s personal financial problems, he decided he could no longer work for her.
“We are constantly trying to hold her back from spending. She was financially completely irresponsible,” Keegan told the Times.
Before heading in to cast his ballot with his wife Tuesday morning outside of Highlands Elementary School in Wilmington, Castle defended the ads he’s run targeting O’Donnell’s financial woes, insisting that all have been factual.
“The bottom line is they are supported by criteria, by documentation. Quite frankly, I don’t necessarily think that’s the case on the other side.”