More Questions For Mr. Sali

Back in August, I sent some questions to Mr. Bill Sali, the Republican candidate for the open 1st Congressional District seat here in Idaho. While a staffer did acknowledge receipt of my E-mail, I haven't heard anything else back. Since I'm basically an optimistic sort, though, I'll try again:

Mr. Sali,
In my last letter to you, I indicated that it seemed as though your campaign was "massaging" the numbers of attendees at campaign events with national big-wigs in order to make it seem like actual Idahoans were monetarily supporting your campaign. I notice your web site has a picture of a nice couple at the Vice President Cheney fundraiser who were said to be "in line for a picture with Vice President Dick Cheney". The inference a reasonable person could draw from that caption was that this young couple had paid the $2100 required to get a picture with the Vice President. I note with interest, however, that in your most recent disclosure of contributions, they aren't listed as having contributed the required amount; in fact, they aren't listed for any itemized contributions. Can you explain this discrepancy? I also note that there were only three $2100 contributions listed in the middle of August, when the event was held. Did only three couples get their pictures taken with the Veep? Most importantly, did the Coleman's get the picture you said they were waiting for? (As an aside -- it seems like most of your money is coming from out of state. How does this square with your stated desire to represent Idaho?)

In a recent guest opinion in the Lewiston Tribune, you implied that your opponents don't have a basic understanding of the military -- I take this to mean that you feel you do have an understanding of the military. Would you be willing to publicly answer some questions from veterans to determine your actual level of understanding of today's military? We'd start with some simple ones -- how many active duty divisions are in the U.S. Army, how many commissioned aircraft carriers do we have -- and then move on to some other basic questions. How did you do on those first two questions, Mr. Sali? (The answer, in both cases, is 12.)

Your biography indicates your faith plays a great role in your life, and I respect that. Many people in this district feel the same way. Do you feel that you could effectively represent those in this district who don't share your beliefs? I'm a little concerned about this because the national leader of your church, Calvary Chapel, doesn't believe that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are Christians. Considering that over 25% of Idahoans are Mormons, I think it would be of interest to us to know if you believe the teachings of Chuck Smith in this regard: do you personally believe that Mormons are Christian?

Lastly, considering that you have only a small 6 point lead in a district that went 69% for President Bush, are you going to continue with your negative campaigning and self-admitted lies about your opponent, Larry Grant? And do you really expect us to believe that you didn't know about the aggressive "robo-calls" that have been bothering District residents? And when are you going to update your web site? One press release in 2 1/2 weeks during October makes it almost seem like you're afraid to say anything because it'll probably lose you votes. (Actually, I note that you are keeping the Upcoming Events section fairly up-to-date, but I admit I'm puzzled by the statement in the blurb to tomorrow's Meridian Forum: "
I will be paying for Bill's lunch." I thought you were Bill; are you paying for lunch for everyone named William? Very strange...)

Update 2335 17 Oct: I guess they got my E-mail -- they removed the "lunch" comment from the post about the Meridian Forum.