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Thursday, November 1, 2012

SDGOP Digging Fiegen's Grave with False Whining about McGovern's Name

South Dakota Republicans have been moaning about Matt McGovern's name since long before McGovern's run this year to replace appointee Kristie Fiegen on the Public Utilities Commission. They tried launching that moaning as a last-minute campaign ad yesterday:
Narrator: Who is Matt McGovern? Well, his real name was Matt Rowan. He was born in Wisconsin, moved here in 2004, worked for Obama and Gore’s radical energy policies, which would cost South Dakota families over $2,000 a year — an expense he said was “minimal.” He wasn’t born here, hasn’t lived here, changed his last name just to run for the PUC, and now he wants to be in charge of your utility bills. South Dakota can’t afford to be fooled by Matt McGovern.
I'd play the video, but the SDGOP has pulled it from YouTube. According to McGovern's Facebook page, so have five television stations, because the ad is malicious malarkey:
"It's unfortunate that my opponent and her allies have lowered themselves to false personal attacks rather than focus on the issues that matter to South Dakota families and businesses. I wasn't born in Wisconsin and I also wasn't born yesterday. I know that allowing the utility companies to hike rates on South Dakota families is the wrong thing to do. As Public Utilities Commissioner, I'll fight any rate hike that forces South Dakota families and businesses to pay more so that some over-paid CEO can avoid standing in line at the airport."
  • At age 2, Matt McGovern's parents changed his name from Matthew David Rowen to Matthew David McGovern-Rowen.
  • In 2007, he officially changed his name to drop the hyphenation.
  • He is the grandson of former U.S. Senator George McGovern.
  • 5 television stations have pulled the South Dakota Republican Party ad for inaccuracies [Matt McGovern for PUC, Facebook post, November 1, 2012].
SDGOP exec Tony Post sniggers that the only factual error in the ad was the misstatement that McGovern was born in Wisconsin. Post says, complete with snarky emoticon, that the party will be happy to correct the ad to say McGovern was born in Washington, D.C. If Tony keeps this kind of failure, he'll be out looking for a new job before the Republicans who will lose on Tuedsay.

The GOP's name game is foolishness. Kristie Fiegen changed her name, and no one freaks  out about that. "Fiegen" is as real a name as her maiden name. "Heidelberger" is as "real" a name for me as any of the matrilineal names in my family tree.

Matt McGovern is as much a McGovern as he is a Rowen; the only reason anyone notices is that we cling to patriarchal anachronisms that make Dad's last name somehow more legit than Mom's.

Republicans, if you want to defend Kristie Fiegen's seat from the McGovern surge, have the decency to stick to policy, not irrelevant distractions about names.