A Response To CNJ From David Larsen
I appreciate the opportunity to reply to recent articles written and published on your site about my previous political campaigns and about me personally. I must admit that I wasn’t even going to bother responding to this nonsense, but unfortunately it appears that CNJ is complacent with the author weaving a fictional narrative that needs to be addressed now, in order to clarify major distortions of fact that I suspect may very well be featured extensively on your site in the future.
Let’s start with the alleged author of the article, Molly Leibowitz, who claims to have “interviewed” multiple campaign members or activists.
Good golly! who is Ms. Molly? Is she involved in the Conservative movement in NJ? If so, for how long? What organizations does she belong to? How many other articles on CNJ has she published over the past few years? An initial search of the name “Molly Leibowitz” reveals that one resides in Manhattan, one in Cherry Hill, NJ, one in Ohio and another in Philadelphia, PA.
Although I am presently reaching out to each of the above ladies in order to speak with them personally, I can’t help but wonder: is it possible that Molly Leibowitz is an alias for a writer who wishes to remain anonymous? I suppose it is up to Ms. Leibowitz to answer that question and extend an invitation to contact me so we can speak.
As to the content of the articles, I’m saddened that a website founded by Richard Zeundt – a site that proudly identifies itself as a champion of conservatism – would post content that distorts fact and the truth for the purpose of creating a false campaign narrative. I understand that Richard has turned editorial control of his site over to Rob Eichmann. I do not believe Richard agrees with this narrative, and would sadden me to think he does.
For example in the Jan. 25th article the author states; “During last Saturdays discussion, Larsen took to the floor to challenge Libertarian Professor Murray Sabrin on a few points and later tweeted, ‘Many of you understand, Conservatism is a life style, not a covert name tag to wear during a primary.’ “
My only objection with Professor Sabrin involved his statement that one should stop campaigning for office after three attempts. I rose to express my disagreement, namely that a candidate for office who truly believes he or she is there to make a difference ought to continue to campaign for as long as necessary to achieve victory.
The “Tweet” (actually, it was a Facebook post) had nothing to do with Prof. Sabrin, but everything to do with Liberal/Moderate Republicans morphing into conservatives during the primary process, along with those self-labeled “Conservatives” who support them for personal gain.
The author continues: “Larsen raised an issue I thought worthy of discussion and I don’t know why he opened his big mouth if he didn’t want someone to consider and discuss what he had to say.”
“Big Mouth?” Now who is doing the name-calling? All I did was point out the obvious – that there are wolves in the conservative fold.
The author continues: “But instead of a reply from Mr. Larsen, a public figure and candidate for high public office, he sent his consultant to attack me.”
Apparently, the author appears to be referring to a January 27 post on the website BullDog Pundit titled: “Yes, Wee One…. Conservatism is a Life Style.”
The blogger – who is well known for his independence and confrontational style of writing – posted this article on his own. To my knowledge and by his own admission, he is not an opposition research consultant, as that is a person who does such work for a living.
Then again, speaking of “opposition research consultants,” it’s worth noting that the author did mention Rep. Leonard Lance. Rep. Lance did hire a professional consultant firm and its proprietor is Mr. Bill Winkler – whose association with CNJ is well known – to dredge up campaign dirt on his primary opponent, which of course is public record.
The author asserts that: “David Larsen is not some blameless victim. He is a multi-millionaire candidate for public office who hired an opposition researcher to get the goods on Congressman Lance.
The author – who apparently claims to be allied with the Conservative movement – attempts to demonize the American Dream by casting me as the “multi-millionaire candidate.” Interesting: I always thought the class warfare card was played only by the Democrats.
I will not apologize for the success enjoyed as the result of my toil, sweat, sacrifice and blessings. America is the land of opportunity where all people have an equal opportunity to advance themselves – and I’m appalled this sort of aspersion would be cast on me, noting the fact that Rep. Lance is himself, a multi-millionaire who also campaigned for public office.
As for the author’s references to William F. Buckley and Pres. Ronald Reagan: I am a friend of Reid Buckley – brother to the late Bill Buckley – and I can assure your readers that Reid would not agree with your particular assessment of Conservatism. Michael Reagan – son of the late President Ronald Reagan – graciously compared me to his father when he endorsed me as the “True Conservative” candidate for Congress in the 2012 GOP primary.
The CNJ article claims to offer inside information from “many who were once affiliated with Mr. Larsen’s campaigns”.
I have yet to locate anyone associated with my campaign who has been interviewed by this author or who even knows this author. In spite of this, the author claims that all those interviewed spoke of the “the religious nature of the campaign and how it centered on Mr. Larsen. Maybe calling it a cult of personality is going too far, but being endlessly asked what you think about “David” and being asked to reaffirm your commitment to “David” is weird to many people.”
Using the term “cult of personality most definitely IS going too far,” especially for someone who decries the use of ad hominem rhetoric.
But the narrative the author attempts to weave goes beyond belief: “Those closest to “David” were asked to attend special campaign meetings. From the reports I got these were all-male and the women stayed in an adjoining room. Attendees were asked to take off their shoes and there was a lot of talking and praying. The was no alcohol present, although more than one attendee remarked on the peculiar odor of men’s feet mixed with aroma of freshly baked pizza, one calling it “potent”.
There were many meetings with both men and women in the room – unless, of course, there were no female campaign personnel present while my wife and my daughters had other matters to take care of. The only time attendees removed their shoes was if the meeting was held at my residence, which is located in a rural area of Hunterdon County, where there isn’t a lot of paving, but plenty of mud. Most attendees removed their shoes as a polite gesture to my wife and the floors she otherwise would have had to clean afterward (as a side note, brand new slippers were offered to anyone who doffed their shoes).
As for praying…yes, meetings generally began with a brief prayer. Then again, the founders of the republic likewise often began their meetings with an invocation. Forgive me, but I wasn’t aware this was a problem with certain self-styled “conservatives.”
Nevertheless, the comment quoting: “the peculiar odor of men’s feet mixed with the aroma of freshly baked pizza” enables me to identify the source of your information. Just for the record, there was never any smell of feet (as I or anyone who attended these meetings recalls). For that matter, there was no alcohol present at ANY of my meetings, and for good reason: does the author seriously believe that alcohol ought be served at a strategy session for a political campaign?
The author accuses me by stating that “In his campaigns, Mr. Larsen made it very clear that he does things his way. He claims to get his advice from the Almighty, but it is clearly the way he wants to do things.”
I don’t recall ever making such a claim. Can you furnish proof?
The author then proceeds to attack me by writing: “I’m sorry to have to say this to you, David Larsen, but if people quit because they think you are a freak that doesn’t make them less conservative.”
The author continues: “These were self inflicted problems that plagued Larsen’s campaign and cost him support. If the former candidate seems a little bitter for the experience, he should look no further than the mirror for the cause. Certainty is the cause of many a failed campaign- and nothing is more certain than when a candidate believes that God has pre-ordained his victory”.
I’m not sure what “Molly Liebowitz” means by “self inflicted problems.” Admittedly, as the candidate for office I accept responsibility for the results of the campaign – but the reasons for the results are certainly not represented in this article, even though the author attempts to spin some narrative in this fictional twisted fairy tale.
As for being bitter, anyone who knows me or is even remotely acquainted with me will attest that I am anything but bitter – although I remain deeply concerned for the posterity of this republic, namely, the survival of our Constitution and future of our children’s liberty.
The insinuation that I labored under the belief that my campaign victory was Divinely pre-ordained is laughable. This much I know for certain: there is a God, we pay taxes and we are all going to die. Any effort I make to change the present course of this nation’s political trajectory I do so in the hopeful prayer that it accords with the Will of God – a prayer that is His alone to answer and not mine to presume.
The author of these attacks – whether a real Molly Leibowitz or an alias, has penned them in an attempt to create a false narrative for the purpose of marginalization. There is no real desire for any discussion, but rather, a fabricated portrayal of concern cloaked in a twisted fairy tale that attempts to protect certain interests that are not necessarily those of the Conservative Movement.
To the editor, the author and those affiliated with CNJ, I can only say: shame on all of you.