Pubdate: Thu, 08 Mar 2018
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 2018 Chicago Tribune Company


There's a lot of truth-bending in political campaigns. Remember
then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's false assertion in 2015
that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 attacks?
Or how about Hillary Clinton's tall tale in her 2008 campaign that on
a trip to Bosnia, "I remember landing under sniper fire. aE& We just
ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."
That, too, didn't happen.

Benjamin Thomas Wolf's Pinocchio moment is also a doozy.

Wolf is one of two challengers running in the Democratic primary to
unseat U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley in the 5th Congressional District. He's
regarded as the "cannabis candidate" because of his focus on
legalizing marijuana. He says he's a professor and small business
owner. He graduated from Kent State University in 1998 with a
bachelor's degree in political science and criminal justice. And, his
campaign says he's a former FBI agent.

Nice resume highlight, if true. But it isn't.

Wolf was never an FBI agent. According to the FBI, Wolf was a
"non-special agent professional support employee," the Tribune's
Gregory Pratt reports. Not nearly as dazzling as "FBI agent," right?

Wolf has some other fact-challenged claims haunting him. On social
media, he implied that he has served in the military. Responding to a
Quigley tweet on Veterans Day thanking veterans for their service, the
Wolf campaign said in a Facebook posting that said Quigley "has never
served in military or overseas," while adding that Wolf "served in
Iraq and Africa multiple times."

Wolf has never served in the military. He asserts, however, that he
was referring to his work in the State Department, where he worked for
more than a decade as a special agent. Commendable, but still not the

Wolf doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. "People are caught
up in minor details," he told the Tribune. "I don't care."

Half-truths and outright lying to voters are not minor details. And
guess who cares -- voters care.

American politics -- national, state and local -- has a whopping 
credibility problem. A candidate who tries to portray himself as 
something he's not makes that credibility chasm even wider. Some free 
campaign advice to Benjamin Thomas Wolf:

If you want to make voters respect you and your campaign, tell the
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt