Archive for Thursday, July 31, 2014

Highberger fires campaign manager over remarks she made about opponent Hodgson

July 31, 2014, 1:20 p.m. Updated July 31, 2014, 4:10 p.m.

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Dennis `Boog' Highberger

Dennis `Boog' Highberger

Abbie Hodgson

Abbie Hodgson

Dennis “Boog” Highberger said Thursday he has fired his volunteer campaign manager for remarks she made about his Democratic Party primary opponent Abbie Hodgson in the 46th House District race.

The action followed a day of jabbing over social media that started when Highberger’s campaign manager, Melinda Henderson, posted on her Facebook page a copy of Hodgson’s campaign finance report, and added this comment: “For my friends and followers who might be thinking about voting for Opponent because she’s younger than Boog Highberger for State Rep. and has a uterus.”

Several people posted comments that they thought it was sexist and demeaning to insinuate that people supported Hodgson because she is female.

But Henderson stood by her post, and initially Highberger stood by Henderson.

Hodgson said in a statement, “I’m disappointed the tone of Boog’s campaign has not just turned negative, but also personal. There are serious issues facing our state and I’m more interested in talking with voters about my plans to restore funding to education and revitalize our economy than my reproductive system.”

Later, Highberger said that apparently in a subsequent Facebook post Henderson referred to Hodgson as “vacuous.”

Highberger said that was “grossly inappropriate.” He said he terminated Henderson and that she is no longer associated with his campaign.

In comments on a story on ljworld.com, Highberger said: “My fellow candidate in the Democratic primary, Abbie Hodgson, is a good, qualified, hardworking woman and, although I have not been able to contact her directly yet, I apologize on behalf of myself and my campaign and I deeply regret any hurt that this has caused her.”

The winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary will face Republican J. Douglas Robinson in the November general election for the seat currently held by state Rep. Paul Davis, who is running for governor.

Comments

Branden Bell 11 months ago

This is unfortunate. I'm glad Abbie stayed positive. Frankly, I expected better from Boog's campaign.

Joseph Jarvis 11 months ago

Boog and his campaign manager have been discussing this at the Kansans Advancing Women PAC Facebook page: https://fb.me/KawPac

The race was staying positive until Boog's manager decided to do this. In under 24 hours she's managed to label Hodgson a "uterus" and then called her "vacuous" despite 15 years experience in Kansas politics and PhD research on including women in government. You just have to wonder whether a male candidate would face these types of comments.

Branden Bell 11 months ago

Well, I don't think anyone would urge people not to vote for a male candidate just because he has a uterus. Because he wouldn't have a uterus. That's just science.

Bryan Anderson 11 months ago

Is this the same science they used to prove global warming and evolution? Because, what I believe surely trumps science.

Randall Uhrich 11 months ago

I don't think I could vote for someone named "Boog", also for irrational reasons.

Heather Dennis 11 months ago

It is just really disappointing that Boog's campaign thought that attacking Abbie's gender was a productive campaign strategy. The last thing we need to do is to discourage anyone from running for office- whether they be a man or a woman, young or old. The more voices we have in our government, the better our government will be.

Leslie Swearingen 11 months ago

I will be voting for Ms. Hodgson, because of her experience, education, background and where she stands on issues that are important to me.

Boog Highberger 11 months ago

It has just come to my attention that another inappropriate Facebook post was made at some time earlier today by campaign manager. She has been terminated and is no longer associated with my campaign. The views expressed in the message in no way reflect the views of myself or my supporters. My fellow candidate in the Democratic primary, Abbie Hodgson, is a good, qualified, hardworking woman and, although I have not been able to contact her directly yet, I apologize on behalf of myself and my campaign and I deeply regret any hurt that this has caused her.

Bryan Anderson 11 months ago

Wait, wasn't the "uterus" comment from yesterday? Did the campaign manager say something worse today?

Bryan Anderson 11 months ago

OK. I see. Uterus, not fired. Vacuous, fired.

Melinda Henderson 11 months ago

Not to stir the pot or anything, but a question and a correction:

Several people posted comments that they thought it was sexist and demeaning to insinuate that people supported Hodgson because she is female.

So does that make KAWPAC sexist? From their web site: Who We Are: Kansans Advancing Women is a bi-partisan Political Action Committee dedicated to electing women to public office.

I think it's a legitimate question.

Correction:

"Later, Highberger said that apparently in a subsequent Facebook post Henderson referred to Hodgson as 'vacuous.' "

What I said was that her message was vacuous: "A lot of that money went for mailing out out several 8.5 x 11 glossy postcards (she didn't even cull her list to take Boog off the mailing) with nice pictures and a vacuous message that she'll go to Topeka and fight Brownback. Like Paul Davis (current seat-holder) hasn't? Or like any Democrat wouldn't?"

I'm sure this has been preserved for posterity somewhere out there if you feel the need to do any fact-checking.

And, of course, I stand by this post. Feel free to carry on with the hating.

Melinda Henderson 11 months ago

One more correction:

"Melinda Henderson, posted on her Facebook page a copy of Hodgson’s campaign finance report". No, what I posted was a summary comparison of money raised by the two candidates. Get your facts straight, please.

Melinda Henderson 11 months ago

Stop what? Asking legitimate questions or correcting untrue statements about me in a poorly written article?

Lisa Rasor 11 months ago

Melinda, Just because you were correct in your "facts" doesn't mean you should post inflammatory remarks. You've been around politics for a while; you know what that means. And unless you purposely want to continue to damage Boog's campaign, you need to stop posting about what happened. This will blow over, and it will get better. Best to go dark for a while.

Melinda Henderson 11 months ago

I didn't post any inflammatory remarks here, Lisa. I made corrections to two statements about me in this article that were wrong. I think I have the right to do at least that. And I asked a legitimate question and tried to phrase it in an inoffensive way.

Leslie Swearingen 11 months ago

Melinda, I think you should go on posting whatever you want to. Whether I agree with you or not is beside the point. Never give up your right to freedom of speech which was hard won and hard preserved.

There is nothing wrong with a spirited discussion. Loose the hounds!

Leslie Swearingen

Ken Lassman 11 months ago

Now that the Journal World has so completely covered this little sideshow, how about providing the reader a list of positions and qualifications of the primary candidates? You know, provide some actual public service by giving the votor some background on the candidates that might be useful for them to consider before the voting next Tuesday? Or have you joined in on the trend that lets paid-for-political-ads frame the issues and define the answers in ways that a self respecting journalist would never let stand without a followup query?

This, of course, is an issue not relegated to either party, or to factions within the respective parties and would be of value to all?

Greg DiVilbiss 11 months ago

I know Boog and have always respected him. In many conversations (even ones in which we disagree) I have always known him to be courteous and open to a variety of viewpoints.

I find it extremely hard to believe that Boog would disparage an opponent in any way. I have been involved in debates with Boog and he would point out differences in policy but never make personal attacks.

Clearly Boog and Melinda Henderson have known each other for years and regardless of having known each other, when Melinda from Boog's view point stepped over the line, he did the right thing and dismissed her from his campaign.

Though Boog and I differ on many subjects, he is a good man and I support his bid for election.

Brett McCabe 11 months ago

But he made a bad choice in a campaign manager.

Leslie Swearingen 11 months ago

Remember when Bones was framed for killing the Klingon? It happens and as I recall you changed your mind about the Klingons. That was after you had looked at all the facts and admitted you were wrong.

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