Skip to comments.Weaver’s stump ‘stunt’ reverberates nationally (FR mentioned in the last para)
Posted on 08/20/2006 10:25:18 AM PDT by SLB
RADCLIFF Congressional candidate Mike Weavers gas discount Wednesday was close to being a stunt heard round the world.
An Associated Press article about his $1.20-a-gallon gas sale at Marathon Food Mart appeared on newspaper and television Web sites from the Los Angles Times to Englands Guardian Unlimited and ABC News. It also was the topic of blogs across the country.
Its a lot more coverage than I thought I would ever get, said Weaver, a Democrat running against Republican incumbent Ron Lewis for Kentuckys 2nd District seat. I think it gave me a lot more name recognition.
Political analyst Larry J. Sabato said the event to a certain degree will help Weavers campaign. Voters are looking for scapegoats on gas prices, and hes pointing to his opponent while providing a spoonful of sugar with the discounted gas.
Weaver, who spent $1,510 to cover the discount, chose the $1.20 price because that was the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gas when Lewis took office in 1994. Weaver also said he wanted to help cash-strapped working families.
This was a creative, unusual stunt that capitalized on the voters surly mood about gas prices, and sure enough, the cameras followed, said Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
In response, Lewis has asked the U.S. Attorneys office to investigate the event as vote buying.
Sabato doubts it would be considered vote buying, but Weaver could cross a line if he decides to do it again, because motorists would receive a very tangible, financial benefit to vote for him, he said. Its a gray area in the law, and Weaver probably wont want to push his luck. As a one-time stunt, it paid off big and made his point.
Weaver has no plans to sponsor another discount, at least anytime soon.
And he said as of Saturday he hadnt been contacted by the authorities, and he doesnt expect to be. Weaver said he checked out the legality of the event beforehand. And it had been already tried and tested in a North Carolina congressional campaign.
He thinks too much of the focus has been on the giveaway itself and not enough on energy issues, such as mandates for efficient fuel use and incentives for ethanol and biodiesel production.
Lewis who also supports development of alternative sources of energy said he wasnt the first to bring up the possibility it was vote buying. Reporters did too, he said.
The congressman also pointed out how some motorists receiving the discount seemed swayed toward voting for Weaver in November because of the discount.
As for how the media attention will affect the race, Lewis said, Whether its a good publicity stunt or whether its not, that has to be determined by the people who look at it.
Those who have looked at it have not been without humor.
Heres a post on the pro-Democrat blog, bluenecks: Maybe Lewis should have gotten his gas at Weavers station and used his savings to buy a clue.
And another post on conservative Free Republic: You can fuel all of the people some of the time, and you can fuel some of the people all of the time, but you cant fuel all of the people all of the time.
Lewis should be able to hit this one out of the park....Which party has stonewalled an Energy bill that would actually accomplish something? Who stands in the way of much-needed refinery capacity? Need I mention ANWR?...
Short / Concise.
All very good points....watch them, "run for the tall grass" on these points..... the Democrats' / Weavers' responce.
Never have been able to understand in what sense the president, any president, really, or Republican members of the Congress are culpable in determining the price of gasoline.
I resent being treated as a simple-minded dolt by simple-minded political hacks.