Oct
11
2012

A look at the brutal Flake ad on Carmona (AZ SEN).

To understand this ad from Jeff Flake whaling on Richard Carmona in the AZ-SEN race…

…you need to know the background. Essentially, the woman in the ad is former Acting Assistant HHS Secretary Cristina Beato, who was Carmona’s boss back when he was Surgeon General under GW Bush.  You might remember that Mr. Carmona had an epic meltdown and public break with the previous administration over supposed politicization of science; Ms. Beato was called in to testify about that, and gave testimony about Carmona that then-Oversight chair Henry Waxman (D) promptly put on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of The Leopard*.”  Essentially, Beato called Carmona a liar, multiple times; painted him as a strutting, narcissistic twit who liked to brag about his access to the President; brought up Carmona’s habit of using travel allowances to get free rides home to Arizona and California; and … this bit.

Beato’s most eye-opening accusation involves two incidents in which she says Carmona banged on her door at her house in the middle of the night, screaming at her over issues the two disagreed on. Beato, a single mother with two children, said she refused to open the door because she was frightened of his behavior. The two lived in the same neighborhood on the National Institutes of Health campus at the time.

No corroboration on that one – Beato never filed a police report – but I find it interesting that a Democratic congressman  (a male Democratic Congressman) apparently decided that in this particular case of he said/she said all ties should go to the male.  After all, Carmona did have a history of anger issues:

[Carmona's] final battle [at the Pima County Health Commission] came in a dispute in May 1999 with county health commissioner Sylvia Campoy, who had reported to the county attorney allegations that a Kino doctor with a drug abuse problem had written false prescriptions to access drugs.Carmona had already dealt with the doctor on the issue two years before, and after an internal investigation, encouraged the doctor to report himself to the Board of Medical Examiners.

After Campoy reported the allegations, Carmona became irate, saying she had violated the accused doctor’s confidentiality, an opinion shared by the Kino Community Hospital board and the Pima County Medical Society.

“What I got from Dr. Carmona [after reporting the case] was antagonism and … threats,” Campoy later told an investigator from the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s prescription fraud unit, according to a state Board of Medical Examiners document obtained through Arizona’s public records law. “I was screamed at, I was yelled at. I was told it was none of my business. I was told that I had breached peer review.

Actually, I don’t find it interesting: simply typical. Reading between the lines, Waxman was looking for good dirt on the administration, and when it turned out that Beato was instead interested in dishing out dirt on Carmona the Democrats decided to just memory-hole the whole thing.  To be fair (for a given value of ‘fair’), Waxman had no way of knowing that Carmona was going to run for Senate in five years; if Waxman had, he might have done more to try to discredit Beato.  Because one of the most awkward things about Beato’s testimony is this: it’s unambiguous, and makes specific allegations. If she’s not telling the truth (and she can’t be mistaken; she’s either telling the truth, or not), then Waxman let her get away with lying to Congress.

I just can’t believe that of Waxman, sorry.  The man’s too vindictive.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Classical reference.

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