GOP candidate for governor Jesse Sullivan should stop digging holes he will eventually have to fill himself
Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul Schimpf has mainly followed Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment and avoided speaking ill of his Republican opponents.
When an unknown relative named Jesse Sullivan entered the race earlier this month with a campaign war chest funded by nearly $ 11 million, State Senator Darren Bailey and the man of Business Gary Rabine both called him an “elite” San Francisco / Silicon Valley member because that’s where his business was located and where much of his campaign money came from.
The Silicon Valley angle has established itself in segments of the mainstream media. Did Sullivan really live in upstate Petersburg, as he claimed, or did he live in the San Francisco area? Sullivan’s campaign pushed the angle heavily out of state, insisting that he was a guy from Petersburg who had made many influential business friends in California and other states.
But Schimpf, a former state senator, actually welcomed Sullivan into the fray, saying: “Another vigorous campaign spreading the message that JB Pritzker does not deserve to be re-elected is good news for the Republican Party of the world. ‘Illinois”.
Schimpf was born on an Air Force base in the Eastern Metropolitan area, graduated from the Annapolis Naval Academy, then graduated from law school and served 20 years in the United States Marines, as as chief US adviser to prosecutors in the Saddam Hussein trial. His service, to my knowledge, has not been questioned, but his anger was raised by some of Jesse Sullivan’s campaign claims.
Newbie Sullivan has sprinkled his campaign website and ad with photos of himself in military uniform.
“I have proudly served our nation in uniform by doing counterinsurgency work in Helmand, Afghanistan with the US Department of Defense,” Sullivan said in his campaign announcement speech near Petersburg.
Sullivan was part of what was called the Army’s Human Field System, which recruited civilians with social science training to help military commanders understand local populations. A 2012 profile of Sullivan in the State Journal-Register mentioned that his team “had left the British military unit stationed in the area with recommendations to beef up the local police force and reopen a school.”
When I questioned Sullivan’s campaign about this apparent rhetorical contradiction, they acknowledged that he was an army civilian without veteran status who nonetheless “led and participated in combat patrols in Afghanistan.”
The army’s unclassified handbook on the human field team indicates that its leaders were military officers on active duty or retired. So, I asked, how could Sullivan have “led” combat patrols?
Sullivan’s campaign responded with a substantive 300-word statement claiming that Sullivan’s army team leader never left the base. Instead, the campaign asserted, Sullivan led a small team consisting typically “of another human terrain analyst, perhaps a social scientist depending on the mission, and an interpreter,” who “would fit into a military unit”. Sullivan, “was responsible for translating military objectives into collection priorities, executing the collection mission, reporting and advising the military decision-making process.”
To me, the lengthy explanation sounded more like Sullivan who had led a small group of advisers alongside soldiers in combat zones than what most would consider “combat patrols”. It still took courage, so why embellish it?
I sent Schimpf everything I had from the Sullivan campaign as well as my own self-directed research. Schimpf was initially reluctant to say anything about Sullivan, but eventually posted this response:
“Although Jesse Sullivan, who is not a veteran and has never been on active duty, is to be commended for working in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor, his claim to have led combat patrols goes to against the regulations and established practices of the Ministry of Defense. . While civilian contractors can be armed and play defensive roles such as security, the use of contractors in emergency operations is specifically limited in DoD Instruction 3020.41 to support operations “in a non-combatant role. “. If Mr. Sullivan is to claim unprecedented combat leadership experience as a civilian contractor, he must identify the officer to whom he reported directly while in theater to verify this extraordinary claim. Otherwise, he would have to correct the misleading language on his website.
Sullivan managed to create a sensation in the Republican primary. He’s a young and handsome candidate made for television and he already has a lot more money than any of his opponents could ever hope to collect. But Sullivan should probably stop digging holes that he will eventually have to fill for himself. It’s a very bad habit and I’ve seen it backfire on me more than once. Like I said before, there is no need to spruce up this stuff.
And, of course, this demand for military combat needs to be cleared up immediately.
Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political bulletin, and CapitolFax.com.
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