Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Anton Gunn

In October 2008, Democratic S.C. House candidate Anton Gunn -- a seasoned pol who had previously served as Barack Obama's state-level consultant and political coordinator -- inexplicably accused his GOP opponent of running a "smear campaign" against him. The missives didn't offer any examples of the "smear" -- but one did request that people donate money to fight back. The accusations appeared in advertisements and a widely disseminated email.

In an email, Republican David Herndon challenged Gunn to either offer examples or retract the ads. A subsequent email from Gunn noted that outside groups had questioned Gunn's tax proposals but made no mention of Herndon.

Friday, January 4, 2008


The name Donald Segretti is nearly synomymous with the term "dirty tricks."
In fact, Segretti, who helped run Richard Nixon's re-election campaign, is one of the few campaign professionals actually jailed (he served four months) for his campaign trickery, namely distributing forged campaign material against the Democrats. He was also disbarred by the state of California.
An example of his falleged forged campaign material is a fake memo under the letterhead of then Sen-Edmund Muskie claiming that Democratic Sen. Harry Jackson had fathered a child with a 17-year-old woman.
Segretti was played by Robert Walden in the 1976 film All the President's Men.
In this 1972 Washington Post story by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, it is detailed how the FBI found that Nixon aides had illegally sabotaged the Democrats. Segretti's work is said to have played a role in Muskie's breaking down and crying while campaigning in front of the Manchester Union Leader newspaper office in New Hampshire.
According to The Post, three people said they were approached by Segretti and asked to help sabotage, for pay, the Democratic campaigns. Segretti initially denied making the offers. Here is an excerpt:

Asked by The Washington Post to discuss Segretti, three FBI and Justice Department officials involved in the Watergate probe refused. At the mention of Segretti's name, each said -- in the words of one -- "That's part of the Watergate investigation." One of the officials, however, became angry at the mention of Segretti's name and characterized his activities as "indescribable." Segretti, visited in his West Coast apartment last week by Washington Post special correspondent Robert Meyers, repeatedly answered questions by saying, "I don't know." "I don't have to answer that." And "No comment." After 15 minutes,
he said: "This is material for a good novel, it's ridiculous," and chased the reporter outside when he attempted to take a picture. According to the three
attorneys interviewed by The Post, Segretti attempted to hire them in 1971 as undercover agents working on behalf of President Nixon's re-election. All three said they first met Segretti in 1968, when they served together in Vietnam as captains in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps.
One of the lawyers, Alex B. Shipley, a Democrat who is now assistant attorney general of Tennessee, said Segretti told him, "Money would be no problem, but the people we would be working for wanted results for the cash that would be spent."

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Did New York GOP operative Roger Stone place a threatening phone call to the father of Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer? Allegedly, although Stone denies it. Stone's contract was terminated by Senate Republicans, who had their hands full trying to get to the bottom of Spitzer's "Trooper-gate" scandal. (The governor is accused of using questionable tactics and state resources to dig up dirt on GOP Senate leader Joe Bruno.) Below is a column published in Lower Hudson Online by a Stone critic.)

Stone's latest 'dirty trick' shouldn't have come as a surprise
(Original publication: August 25, 2007)

What, exactly, did Senate Republicans expect when they hired Roger Stone as a political consultant in June? Didn't someone caution them that the move was likely to blow up in their faces eventually? That's exactly what happened this week, when the one-time alleged Nixonian dirty-tricks practitioner was accused of making a threatening telephone call to Gov. Eliot Spitzer's 83-year-old father, Bernard, who suffers from Parkinson's disease.
And yes, this is the same Roger Stone who was fined by the state Lobbying Commission in 2000, along with real-estate developer Donald Trump, after it was discovered that Trump was secretly paying for newspaper ads trying to torpedo plans for gambling casinos in the Catskills.
The fact that the ads were paid for with his credit card undercut his denials that he had nothing to do with placing them.
This is also the man given credit for organizing a street demonstration that helped to shut down a recount of votes in Florida after the 2000 presidential election. And in 1996 he was forced to quit the Robert Dole presidential campaign after provocative photos of him and his wife appeared in "swinger" magazines.
Shortly after Stone was hired in June, Spitzer-bashing activity on the Web picked up, and Bruno seemed to take a more aggressive stance toward his political foe.
But then on Aug. 6, Stone apparently crossed the line.
The caller to Barnard Spitzer, whose words were captured in a voice mail, warned that he will be dragged to Albany and "forced to testify" about controversial loans he made to his son during his 1994 campaign for attorney general. The caller adds that "there is not a g - - - - - n thing your phony, psycho, piece-of-s - - - son can do about it."
The call was traced to Stone's apartment in Manhattan, and the voice sounded familiar to anyone who has heard him on radio or TV.
He said it wasn't him - that he was the victim of the "ultimate dirty trick" by Spitzer or his aides. He said someone must have recorded his voice at some other time, and then spliced the words together to deliver the message. And, oh yes, the building he lives in is owned by a Spitzer fund-raiser, so he could have easily gained access to it when he wasn't there. And, besides, he recalled, he attended a play the night in question. Unfortunately for Stone, a check of the schedule of the Broadway show he said he attended that night, "Frost/Nixon," revealed that the theater was dark that Monday.
And the landlord said Stone's claim that he broke into his apartment was nonsense.
The excuses apparently didn't wash with Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who ended Stone's $20,000-a-month contract with the GOP Senate members the day after the phone-call tape became public.
But Bruno wouldn't answer when asked if he believed Stone's excuses, and insisted the scandal wouldn't distract him from trying to get Spitzer to answer "Troopergate"-related questions.
"Troopergate," the scandal involving Spitzer aides leaning on the State Police to try to get politically damaging information on Bruno, has been a godsend to the Republicans. After more than six months of mostly trying to fend off attacks from the state's hyper-aggressive chief executive, they finally have gotten the chance to attack him. Bruno, likely coached by Stone, has been aggressively criticizing the governor for not answering all questions raised by the scandal, and pointing out that polls show a majority of New Yorkers don't believe the governor's contention that he didn't know what his aides were up to.
But Bruno can no more ignore or wish away the Stone scandal than Spitzer has been able to banish Troopergate. Likewise, Democrats' attempts to equate Stone's apparent offenses with Troopergate won't wash with most people. If charges that he made the phone call are true, Stone was a political consultant run amok. That's different from top state officials using the State Police for political purposes. But there certainly is some symmetry here. Stone did a bad thing. Bruno says he didn't know about it and won't talk about it any more. At least two Spitzer aides also sinned. Spitzer says he didn't know about it and won't talk about it any more either.
In tandem, the scandals have managed to do what seemed unthinkable just seven months ago: It makes the Pataki administration, and its hyperpartisanship, cynicism and strained ethical climate, seem like the good old days.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Republican political consultant Nathan Sproul and his firm, Sproul & Associates, have been accused of a range of questionable activities - from deception to destroying voter registration forms of Democrats. Whether Sproul's tactics rise to the level of being illegal is in doubt… but what's clear is that, if they're true, they certainly fall in the "dirty trick" category.
Sproul allegedly misrepresented the nature of his firm so that he could hold voter registration drives in front of public libraries in key swing states prior to the 2004 elections. What's worse, his critics claim, is that his workers discarded registration forms of Democrats.
Following are excerpts from the Web site Salon.com (dated Oct. 24, 2004):

"… Eric Russell, a 26-year-old in Las Vegas, came forward last week with his explosive account. Russell, who has acknowledged a beef with the firm over pay, told his local CBS affiliate that supervisors at the company routinely discarded Democratic registration forms. The station, KLAS 8, managed to fish some from the trash, and when it contacted the affected voters they were, understandably, shocked."Sproul denied the allegation, and notes that he turned in voter registration forms of roughly 1,000 Democrats. But the number of Republican registration forms far outweighed the number of Democratic forms. And Russell is just one of several former Sproul employees to make the charges."
"In (former employee Kelly) Bragg's account, workers were asked to congregate outside local convenience stores and pretend to be nonpartisan political pollsters interested in the nuances of local opinion," reported Salon.com. "'If anyone asks what kind of poll [this is], it is a simple field poll to see what neighborhood support is,' reads the script Sproul handed Bragg. But if the respondents to this pretend poll said that they were Bush supporters, canvassers were told to offer to help them register to vote. If they said they were Kerry supporters, the canvassers would politely walk away."Bragg says that fooling people was the key to the job," the Salon.com story continued.

"Canvassers were told to act as if they were nonpartisan, to hide that they were working for the RNC, especially if approached by the media. Bragg's story mirrors the accounts provided to Salon by several librarians across the country who say they were contacted by Sproul in early September. In letters the firm sent to the libraries, Sproul misrepresented itself as America Votes -- a left-leaning national voter registration group not affiliated with Sproul -- but said that it was interested in registering "all those who wish to register to vote." Shortly after Sproul canvassers began working the libraries, though, patrons began complaining that the canvassers were being especially inquisitive about their political leanings, and some were pushing people to register as Republicans."


Democratic consultant Morton Brilliant became known for his altering of opponents' Wikipedia profiles. In one instance, he resigned from one of his campaigns. According to Wikipedia: "On April 26, 2006, Brilliant resigned as campaign manager for Secretary of State Cathy Cox amid allegations that he altered Wikipedia's online biography of her Democratic opponent to add a mention of his son's arrest in a fatal drunk driving accident. Those edits occurred on November 16, 2005 and further on November 22, 2005. [2] Cox said an internal investigation confirmed that the posting about her opponent, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, on Wikipedia came from within her gubernatorial campaign. The Taylor campaign had further provided documents showing that the online server that revised Taylor's profile had also added negative information to Wikipedia biographies of Republican opponents of other Brilliant clients in Washington state and South Carolina governor campaigns (Dino Rossi and Mark Sanford). [3][4] [5]"


When ABC news correspondent George Stephanopolous sounds off on President Bush’s and Alberto Gonzalez’s role in the firing of U.S. attorneys, keep this in mind: He knows a little something about the subject.
Stephanopolous had been one of the nation’s foremost Democratic operatives when he was tapped as a strategist for Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. In 1993, he was appointed to serve as White House Communications Director, and continued dutifully defending his boss.
That same year, 1993, is when attorney general Janet Reno cleaned house, firing 93 U.S. attorneys.
Observers speculated the move was made to take U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens off the House Post Office investigation of Dan Rostenkowski, the Ways and Means chairman who was shepherding Clinton’s economic program through Congress. (In March 1993, Stephens had said he was within 30 days of finishing the Rostenkowski investigation. With Stephens gone, the indictment on Mail Fraud charges took another 14 months.)
Stephanopolous denied the firings were political in nature.
But the following year, Stephanopolous – who then served as a senior advisor to Clinton -- reportedly placed an irate phone call Resolution Trust Corp., an independent regulatory agency investigating claims stemming from the collapse of Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan – the S&L connected to Rose Law Firm of Hillary Clinton fame.
Did Stephanopolous try to have Stephens fired a second time – this time to hinder the Whitewater investgation? He says no. A White House statement says Stephanopolous and White House deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes, who are accused of making the call, had “no recollection” of the incident.
On March 17, Stephanopolous was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury led by special prosecutor Robert Fiske. Stephanopolous issued a one sentence statement: "I welcome the opportunity to give Mr. Fiske the facts.”
He was never indicted of a criminal offense, but the episode hangs a cloud over Stephanopolous… as well as his coverage of the Gonzalez-U.S. attorneys affair.


Ohio political consultant Nate Gray, linked to wide-ranging corruption allegations, pleaded guilty in 2005 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Following is the text of a news release issued by the Department of Justice:

“A Cleveland businessman convicted as part of a wide-ranging national public corruption scheme involving bribery and fraud has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Gregory A. White of the Northern District of Ohio announced today.In addition to the 15-year prison term, Nate Gray, 47, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin of the Northern District of Ohio to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Gray, convicted in August 2005 following a corruption conspiracy trial, had also pleaded guilty to evading payment of previously assessed income taxes. The sentence imposed by the court today includes both the corruption and the tax charges, and Gray was immediately remanded into custody.
The sentencing for one of Gray’s co-defendants, New Orleans businessman Gilbert Jackson, 51, was continued to a later date. Jackson was also remanded into custody, and still faces trial the Eastern District of Louisiana in January 2006 on a multi-count indictment for tax evasion.
The sentence imposed today was the result of a multi-district probe of public corruption offenses in Cleveland, East Cleveland, Ohio, Houston and New Orleans. In all, eight defendants have been convicted and sentenced in the case, in which Department of Justice prosecutors were assisted by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division. The investigation revealed a wide range of public corruption, including the providing of money and luxury items to public officials in exchange for official acts such as the awarding of municipal contracts.
“As the lengthy sentence imposed today proves, there is a price to pay for public corruption,” said Assistant Attorney General Fisher. “The bribes paid by Nate Gray and others for these substantial contracts represent a hidden, illegal tax on the citizens of these cities. The Department of Justice will continue to work diligently to prosecute those who pay bribes and those state and local officials who sell their public offices.”U.S. Attorney White said, “We are pleased with the sentences obtained in this case. Our efforts, however, do not end here. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service remain committed to uncovering and prosecuting public officials and employees and private citizens who engage in public corruption offenses in the Northern District of Ohio. We will continue to follow investigative leads wherever they go and take appropriate prosecutive action.”
“Public corruption impedes the smooth operation of government, whether it is state, federal or local,” stated Nancy Jardini, IRS Chief, Criminal Investigation. “Mr. Gray’s sentencing demonstrates what can happen when an individual corruptly interferes with the operation of government and evades their taxes.”Emmanuel Onunwor, 47, the former mayor of East Cleveland, was previously sentenced to 108 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Onunwor was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $5.1 million to the city of East Cleveland. He had been convicted at trial on 22 counts, including RICO conspiracy, extortion under color of official right (Hobbs Act), mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud and filing false tax returns.
Monique McGilbra, 41, the former city of Houston Director of Building Services, was sentenced to 36 months in prison, a $5,000 fine and two years of supervised release. McGilbra had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. She was also sentenced in the Southern District of Texas to a concurrent term of 30 months in prison for participating in an honest services fraud scheme, and began serving her sentence on Sept. 6, 2005.
Oliver Spellman, 51, the former chief of staff to the mayor of Houston, was sentenced to two years probation and a $10,000 fine following his guilty pleas on a charge of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right (Hobbs Act).
Brent Jividen, 43, a former employee of Honeywell Corporation and an associate of Nate Gray, was sentenced to 30 months in jail and two years of supervised release following his guilty plea to a RICO conspiracy involving predicate acts of conspiring to commit extortion under color of official right (Hobbs Act) and of mail and wire fraud. Jividen began serving his sentence on Oct. 31, 2005.
Ricardo Teamor, 59, a former attorney and associate of Nate Gray, was sentenced to four months in prison, four months of home detention, two years of supervised release and a $15,000 fine. Teamor had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right (Hobbs Act) was well as a substantive Hobbs Act count, and began serving his sentence on Oct. 31, 2005.
Former Cleveland City Councilman Joseph T. Jones, 37, was sentenced to two years of probation, including six months in home confinement. Jones tendered his resignation immediately following his guilty plea.These cases were prosecuted Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven M. Dettlebach and Benita Y. Pearson and by Trial Attorney Mary K. Butler of the Public Integrity of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, which is headed by Section Chief Noel L. Hillman.


John E. Sununu won a narrow victory over Jeanne Shahean in the 2002 race for a New Jersey U.S. Senate seat, but his victory was tainted by a phone-jamming scandal involving GOP consultant James Tobin. Tobin, then serving as Northeast field director for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (NRSC), was convicted in 2005, but that conviction was overturned in March. He faces a retrial. Prosecutors say Tobin was the mastermind of a plot to tie-up Democrats' phone lines, thus hurting their get-out-the-vote effort.
Following is an Associated Press story from the Bangor Daily News:

Tobin's phone jam verdict reversed
By Judy Harrison
Thursday, March
22, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

BANGOR - A federal appeals court on Wednesday reversed the conviction
and sentence of a long-time Republican strategist accused of taking part in a
phone-jamming plot in New Hampshire on Election Day 2002.
James Tobin, 46, of Bangor was found guilty 15 months ago of conspiring to make more than 800 repeated hang-up calls for about an hour to a phone bank set up by the state Democratic Party and the Manchester firefighters' union.
He was acquitted of the more serious charge of conspiring to deprive New Hampshire residents of their right to vote after a six-day jury trial in December 2005 in Concord, N.H.
Tobin was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison the following May and
ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. He has been free on bail pending the outcome of
his appeal.
Oral arguments were presented in January to a three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston made up of Judges Michael Boudin of Boston, Juan R. Tourruella of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Jeffrey R. Howard of Concord, N.H. Their decision was unanimous.
They ruled that the harassment statute under which Tobin was convicted "is not a close fit" for what Tobin did -it found that the trial judge's interpretation of the law was too broad - and questioned whether the government showed that Tobin had an intent or purpose to harass.
"Oh my God, wow, you know sometimes there is no justice," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan. "The fact of the matter is that the Republican state party and its people interfered with Election Day activities by jamming our phone lines, and it was wrong."
Bryan Sierra, a Justice Department spokesman, said prosecutors were reviewing the decision. He did not say if they planned to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. A new trial is highly unlikely given the 1st Circuit's ruling and the difficulty in proving
Tobin's intent.
Efforts to reach Tobin and his attorneys were unsuccessful Wednesday.
His pastor, the Rev. James Haddix of All Souls Congregational Church in Bangor, said that Tobin had called him Wednesday afternoon to tell him of the appeals court's decision. Haddix testified at Tobin's sentencing.
"I was thrilled," Haddix said. "He was calling his pastor. We've been very close to
him through this whole situation. I was relieved and I trust he was.
"Many of us have been praying for this kind of a resolution," the minister continued.
"The congregation has been very supportive of the Tobins and the family and have
always wished them well."
Maine Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, who has known Tobin since he was 10 years old, also attended several days of Tobin's trial.
Tobin's parents and sisters are Diamond's constituents.
"I'm pleased for him and his family," Diamond said Wednesday after getting a call earlier in the day about the appeal. "It must be a huge, huge relief. Now he can move on and get over this hurdle."
At the time of the phone jamming, Tobin was a regional official with the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, overseeing Senate campaigns in several states, including New Hampshire and Maine. He went on to serve as President Bush's New England re-election campaign chairman in 2004, but resigned after the phone-jamming allegations surfaced.
The 2002 ballot in New Hampshire included a hotly contested race in which Republican John Sununu defeated then-Gov. Jeanne Shehean for the Senate.
The jamming plot led to four criminal prosecutions, a civil lawsuit and a flurry of political attacks.
Tobin was convicted of putting Charles "Chuck" McGee, 37, of Manchester, N.H., the former executive director of the state's Republican Party, in touch with Allen Raymond, 40, of Maryland, a Washington, D.C., political consultant who found an Idaho firm to place the hundreds of hang-up calls. A co-owner of that firm at the time, Shaun Hansen of Spokane, Wash., pleaded guilty in November to a conspiracy charge and to making the calls and awaits sentencing.
McGee and Raymond pleaded guilty of being part of the conspiracy in which Tobin vehemently denied taking part and have served sentences of less than a year each in federal prisons.
"That's wonderful news," McGee said.
McGee declined to say if he agreed with the decision and said the ruling had nothing to do with him.
"It's something in my past," McGee said.
Republican leaders said the party paid for Tobin's legal bills with the high-powered Washington law firm of Williams and Connolly because he assured them he had done nothing wrong. Williams and Connolly's other clients have included Bill and Hillary Clinton. "We are pleased for Jim and his family," said Dan Ronayne, an RNC spokesman. He declined to comment further.
Also Wednesday, New Hampshire Democrats wrote to Congress asking for an inquiry into whether political interference delayed prosecution of the case until after the 2004 elections. Democrats and Manchester police contacted federal authorities about the incident in 2003. Sullivan, the state party chairwoman, said the furor over alleged political firings of eight federal prosecutors prompted the move.
"Both the failure to name Tobin and the failure to charge him in the summer of 2004 give rise to the likelihood that he was being shielded from public scrutiny until after the president's election in November," Democrats said in the letter.

Following is a story in Opednews.com

Federal court ruling over ex-Bush campaign manager forces first test following firing of 8 U.S. Attorneys
by Michael Richardson

The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has set the stage for the first
test of courage for a U.S. Attorney since the firings of eight federal
The appellate court, located in Boston, ruled that James Tobin's conviction for phone-jamming in the 2002 New Hampshire general election be set aside and remanded the case back to U.S. District Court where federal prosecutors will now have to consider a retrial of Tobin.
What makes this a test case for courage is Tobin's high-level status in President Bush's re-election campaign. Until Tobin was forced to resign in October 2004, after
being linked to the 2002 phone-jamming operation, he was the New England
Campaign Manager for George Bush. The Republican National Committee has thus far spent over $2.5 million dollars defending Tobin with a bevy of high-priced
Washington D.C. lawyers at the firm Williams and Connolly. Tobin's local defense
lawyer was Thomas Rath, a member of the New Hampshire delegation to the
Republican National Committee.
Tobin, convicted December 15, 2005, had asked to be set free of the charges over harassing phone calls but the appellate court instead returned the case to the trial court for disposition. The appellate judges agreed that a jury instruction was overly broad and dismissed the conviction on that account. However, the court found much wrong with Tobin's conduct and declared a jury could still convict him.
In 2002, Tobin was the New England director of the Republican National Committee and on a trip to New Hampshire was approached by the state GOP executive director Charles McGee about disrupting the Democrat get-out-the-vote drive on election day. Tobin connected McGee with GOP Marketplace headed by political telemarketer Allen Raymond and the plot to jam Democrat telephones was hatched. Included in the jamming was a voter-ride phone line operated by Manchester firefighters.
Raymond, a high-level operative, also was the director of the Republican Leadership
Conference and testified he got the okay to proceed with the plot from Kenneth
Goss, a former associate general counsel for the Federal Elections Commission.
Federal prosecutor Andrew Levchuk took a different view of the "dirty scheme" in
his opening words at Tobin's trial, "A line has been crossed here, the line that
separates old-fashioned, hard-knuckled politics from crime."
Both McGee and Raymond pleaded guilty and received jail time and fines for their role in the scheme. Tobin was convicted by a federal jury after refusing to testify in his own behalf and was sentenced last May to 10 months imprisonment, two years of supervision, and a $10,000 fine. McGee was told upon sentencing to seven months
imprisonment that his crime was "hideous and strikes at the very heart of
American democracy." Raymond, who got three months in jail, was lectured at his
sentencing about the failure of his "personal moral compass."
The appellate court determined that a jury could find Tobin guilty of conspiracy and that Tobin's role in aiding and abetting in the crime was clear. However, the court
found that a jury instruction on intent was overly broad and thus remanded the
case to the trial court for further proceedings over Tobin's "unattractive
Unanswered questions, including the role of the White House, ratchet up the significance of the high-profile case. The Associated Press has reported that Tobin made over a hundred phone calls to the White House political affairs office, headed by Ken Mehlman, who has also served as chair of the Republican National Committee, between September 17th and November 22nd. Of most
interest are the two dozen calls by Tobin in a three-day period while the plot
was being hatched. Another questionable election day call to the White House was
a 17 minute call by Jayne Millerick, then a GOP consultant and later New
Hampshire Republican Chairwoman, who told the AP she couldn't remember what she talked about.
Meanwhile, Raymond's bill for the phone jam was $15,600, which appear to be linked to three $5,000 donations in the week before the election to the New Hampshire Republican Party. Disgraced Tom Delay's PAC, Americans for a
Republican Majority, ponied up $5,000 and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff
arranged for two of his Indian tribe clients to each donate $5,000 of gambling
money to the GOP warchest.
It is now up the U.S. Attorney to decide whether to drop the unanswered questions and give Tobin a get-out-of-jail card or to risk political firing for seeking a retrial of the ex-Republican honcho.


Worried about its candidate's slipping standing in the 1999 special primary for California's 16th State Assembly seat (encompassing Oakland and surrounding areas), the state Democratic Party resorted to a strategy of selective incentives: To bolster turnout in Oakland's black precincts, the Democrats offered a free chicken meal. Although paying people to vote is still legal in California, the ploy prompted a voter backlash.
In The Good Fight, a book of campaign case studies, author David Beiler writes that "5,000 food vouchers worth $5 each were purchased from two local grocery stores. Flyers were then sent to several thousand voters in the Flatlands (on the heals of a ‘get-out-the-vote’ letter signed by President Clinton) offering a ‘free whole chicken and potato salad’ to those who voted. Flier recipients were directed to take the flier and voting stub to one of eight locations (seven churches and the Democrat headquarters), where they could pick up their voucher."
The Democratic Party Chairman, political consultant Bob Mulholland, initially denied so, but a story in the San Fransisco Examiner later suggested the mailing was targeted to blacks.
The free-chicken-dinner stunt initially aided Democrat Elihu Harris, the then-Oakland Mayor, who received 49 percent of the primary vote. But the subsequent news of the free-chicken ploy could only have helped Green Party candidate Audie Bock, who ultimately won the election and became the first third-party member elected to California's General Assemply since World War 1.
`'I was concerned by the low level of campaign activity (by Harris), and a lot of people were put off by the chicken-dinner issue,'' Don Perata, a Democrat who had held the 16th district seat until being elected to the state Senate, told the San Fransisco Chronicle.
In explaining his loss, Harris told the Oakland Tribute: "People could have been anti-me, pro-her, or mad about the chicken dinners."


Washington state news media in 2001 reported that GOP consultant Stan Shore was helping Green Party candidates without the candidates’ knowledge.
The plan: to siphon enough liberal votes away from Democrats. Following is the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s account:

Greens say Republicans crashed their party
Environmentalists accuse them of helping in order to sabotage Democrats

Tuesday, August 7, 2001

Stan Shore is a veteran political campaign consultant for Washington state Republicans, but on July 7 he wasn't working for Republicans -- at least not directly.
He was in Lynnwood organizing a Green Party convention to nominate a Green candidate to run for the state House from the 21st District, in the state's most closely watched race. It could determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the House of Representatives.
In SeaTac the same day, Shore's wife, Leslie Donovan, was working to nominate a Green Party candidate for the King County Council's 13th District -- against one of her husband's Republican clients, state Sen. Pam Roach.
The delegates to that nominating convention reportedly included several Republican precinct committee officers from South King County.
Green Party leaders charged yesterday that Shore and other Republicans hijacked their party to get Greens onto the ballot to siphon votes away from Democrats in two tight, high-profile races.
"Certain Republicans seem to think they can influence these elections, and we take exception to that," said Kara Ceriello, who heads the Green Party of Washington state.
It was a revealing introduction to politics for Young Han, 18, the Greens' 21st District House candidate, an idealistic newcomer who graduated from Mountlake Terrace High School two months ago.
"I can't believe this is happening. It's just horrid that this stuff goes on in our political system," exclaimed Han, who decided several months ago to run as a Green candidate.
Dave Swart, 21, was a member of the Green Party of South King County but resigned to protest what happened at the 13th County Council district convention.
"We didn't do our homework on who was running this convention," he said.
Shore said he helped the Greens nominate a House candidate because "I like the Greens. I've always liked them," although he isn't a member of the party. He denied having done it to help Republicans.
Shore and his wife live in Olympia, far from the 21st Legislative District and County Council District 13.
Han said Shore and Donovan contacted him after learning he had intended to run. They took him to lunch and urged him to run, and Shore gave him a $250 campaign contribution -- all without revealing that Shore was a professional Republican political operative. Han now says he will give that money back.
Donovan said she is a member of the national Green Party -- although local Green leaders disputed it -- and has been an environmental activist. She emphatically denied having helped organize the South King County Green convention to benefit Republicans.
State Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance, although denying the state or local GOP organizations were involved in the effort, was blasé about what the Republicans were accused of doing.
"Working to make sure you get the right mixture of candidates on the ballot is a tactic that goes as far back as the dawn of democracy," Vance said. "This is nothing illegal or unethical, and it's a common tactic.
"Most people in politics assume that having a Libertarian on the ballot takes votes away from a Republican and having a Green on the ballot takes votes away from a Democrat."
Shore, who said he has helped run "dozens and dozens" of Republican campaigns, is Roach's consultant in her County Council race against recently appointed Republican incumbent Les Thomas and state Sen. Julia Patterson, a Des Moines Democrat.
He isn't working for Rep. Joe Marine, a Mukilteo Republican who was appointed to the 21st District House seat. But Shore said the state GOP hired him to do research on Marine and his two Democratic challengers, Brian Sullivan and D.J. Wilson.
The Republican consultant admitted that he made arrangements for the Greens' legislative district convention, rented the hotel room where it was held and bought doughnuts for the delegates.
His wife, Donovan, meanwhile, recruited Michael Jepson, 21, of Des Moines, to be the Green Party's County Council candidate even though Jepson -- unlike Han, the other Green candidate -- has had no involvement with the environmentalist party. Jepson said Donovan got his name from a mutual friend.
However, he also said, "I don't have anything to do with the Republican Party."
Ceriello and other Greens said Jepson's nomination might be invalid because he was recruited after the July 7 statutory deadline for minor-party nominations. He didn't attend the Greens' July 7 convention and was approached by Donovan several days later, he said, after at least one other Green Party member declined to be nominated.
Ceriello said Donovan placed a legal notice of the convention in a newspaper, as required by law, and didn't even contact the South King County Greens until she already arranged for the convention. Donovan said she worked with a South King County Green leader on the arrangements.
Greens obtained a list of Republican precinct committee officers from the Patterson campaign and said four of the 27 delegates to the 13th County Council District convention were Republican precinct committee officers, and three are married or related to Republican PCOs.
Jepson said Patterson, the Democratic council candidate, and a representative of Washington Conservation Voters tried to persuade him to drop out of the race, but he refused.


Earlier this year, New York Democratic political consultant Ryan Toohey and a handful of other party operatives are at the center of a controversy over so-called "robo-calls," those often annoying automated telephone calls often used by candidates. In a recent episode, Toohey and a cadre of Democrat officials were accused of using robo-calls to spread untrue messages about Maureen O'Connell, a GOP state Senate candidate running in a special election in the 7th District, which includes Nassau County and surrounding areas. One round of calls falsely told voters O'Connell performed abortions during the time she worked as a nurse.
O'Connell's campaign also questions the role Toohey played in a series of four purportedly pro-Oconnell phone calls sent during the Super Bowl - phone messages which likely caused many angry football fans to vote against her and in favor of Democrat Craig Johnson - the ultimate winner.
Following is a story published in the NY Sun:

Democrats Accused of Dirty Tricks in Senate Race
Staff Reporter of the Sun
February 26, 2007

It was Super Bowl Sunday. In a Nassau County hamlet, the Imbriale family was watching the game on a big-screen television when the kitchen phone rang.
On the other end of the line was a recording of a young woman's voice - fast-talking, cheerful, and dull - reminding them to vote for Maureen O'Connell, the Republican state Senate candidate running in the high-profile 7th District special election, two days away.
John Imbriale, a Republican, thought nothing of it and hung up. Fifteen minutes later, the phone rang again. The recording had changed, but the voice was the same, this time telling him that Ms. O'Connell has "worked for years to expand health coverage and believes we should have lower taxes."
By the time the Colts won, the Imbriales had received four more automatic calls, known as robo-calls. Their Hicksville home was one of perhaps thousands in the Nassau area that fended off an onslaught of robo-calls that night.
The next day, a frantic Ms. O'Connell sent an e-mail to supporters assuring them that her campaign was not responsible for something as unwise as harassing voters during the big game. She blamed the calls on her Democratic opponent, Craig Johnson, an accusation he denied. She also said she was filing a complaint with the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.Republicans in the district said they also received a flier in the mail sent by a group billing itself as "Democrats for Maureen O'Connell." The flier, which was obtained by the Sun, described how the candidate is "strongly supported by SEIU/1199, the mega union," has "pledged to fight against cutting the state budget," and has embraced Roe v. Wade. The flier was signed by Abigail Steen, whose name does not appear in a local phone directory.
"It's a new low in dirty, misleading campaigning. Quite frankly, the dirty tricks really crossed the line. I've never seen such a despicable negative campaign of untruths and lies," Mr. Skelos said.
Mr. Toohey and Mr. Johnson's campaign manager, Brian Stedge-Stroud, deny any involvement in tricks. Mr. Stedge-Stroud suggested in an interview that Republicans were suffering from a bad case of sour grapes and were looking for excuses to explain away Ms. O'Connell's loss. Mr. Johnson won the February 6 race by almost eight percentage points.
"The campaign had nothing to do with it," Mr. Stedge-Stroud said. "They're just trying to muddy up the waters because they're trying to hide the fact they're losing on issues, such as property taxes and reforming Albany."
Mr. Skelos said federal investigators had not responded to Ms. O'Connell's complaint. He said his office would go over finance records from the Johnson campaign submitted in the next mandatory filing period.
"Somebody paid for it," he said. "It's not something that just happens."


Warren Tompkins is considered South Carolina’s top political consultant, having guided successful state campaigns including that of George W. Bush. A protégé of the legendary Lee Atwater, Tompkins is known for his devastating effectiveness.
He has also, according to some, used many underhanded political tactics -- including the infamous smear campaign against John McCain in 2000.
Insiders have long speculated about Tompkins’ role in the anti-McCain push-polls. But one reporter -- James Shannon of Greenville’s Upstate Beat newsweekly -- says he obtained a “direct admission” of guilt from Jason Puhlasky, a lobbyist who at the time was a consultant for Tompkins firm. Shannon reportedly told the PBS news show NOW about a 2002 conversation he had with Puhlasky.
Here is an excerpt:

“I remember (the quote) quite explicitly. It was at a backyard barbecue at the home of Edwin Foulke, a local attorney (who was) then the chairman of the Greenville County GOP … a number of candidates were there that day, including Peeler and former Congressman Mark Sanford, who had been largely unknown outside his former Charleston-area House district when he filed for governor. After languishing in fourth place during the early primary campaign, Sanford was starting to move up though the consensus was that if Peeler did not escape the primary without a runoff, his likely opponent would be Atty. General Charlie Condon.”
Puhlasky (whom I had never met before that day) spoke confidently of their ability to dispatch Condon in a runoff, and in fact Condon (whose nickname was “Crazy Charlie”) had some exploitable flaws.
‘Isn’t it a little risky just focusing on Condon?’ I asked. “What if Sanford makes the runoff?” Puhlasky grinned and said ‘No problem. We gutted McCain in three days, and we can do it again.’
The reference was to the infamous ‘push poll’ tactic, first seen in a 1978 Congressional election between Democrat Max Heller, the progressive mayor of Greenville, and Republican Carroll Campbell, a state senator looking to move up. Using the cover of a third candidate, Lee Atwater devised a scheme to call voters. Those who expressed a preference for Heller were asked, ‘Would it change your opinion if you knew he was a foreign-born Jew who doesn’t accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior?‘ As crude as it sounds, it worked. Heller’s double digit lead disappeared the weekend before the election and he lost.”

Warren Tompkins is also credited -- or blamed -- with successfully using Web sites to blister opponents. For instance, ADailyShot.com -- a site set up in 2006 as a news site but which turned out to be a pro-Mitt Romney site, used to spill “dirt” on opponents including Mike Huckabee. But Tompkins made national news when his firm apparently established PhoneyFred.org, an anonymous site devoted to smearing Fred Thompson. Following is an account from the Washington Post blog.

Anti-Thompson Site Connects to Romney Camp
A top adviser to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney appears to be behind today's launch of a new Web site attacking GOP presidential rival Fred Thompson.
The site, http://www.phoneyfred.org/, paints an unflattering picture of Thompson, dubbing him: Fancy Fred, Five O'clock Fred, Flip-Flop Fred, McCain Fred, Moron Fred, Playboy Fred, Pro-Choice Fred, Son-of-a-Fred and Trial Lawyer Fred. [View
an image of the Web site
] Shortly after a Washington Post reporter made inquiries about the site to the Romney campaign, the site was taken down.
Before it vanished, the front page of the website featured a picture of a regal Thompson dressed in a frilly outfit more befitting a Gilbert and Sullivan production than a presidential campaign. Under the heading, "Playboy Fred," the site asks the question: "Once a Pro-Choice Skirt Chaser, Now Standard Bearer of the Religious Right?"
Nowhere on the site does it indicate who is responsible for it. But a series of inquiries leads directly to the website of Under the Power Lines, the political consulting firm of Warren Tompkins, Romney's lead consultant in South Carolina.
The website is hosted by a company called bluehost.com, a firm based in Orem, Utah. An inquiry of that website about phoneyfred.org returns the following statement: "Domain phoneyfred.org is still attached to your politicalnetroots.com account as Addon," the site states. "For security reasons, you must remove it BEFORE you can continue. After detaching phoneyfred.org from politicalnetroots.com, you should experience some brief downtime on phoneyfred.org while its DNS propagates to your new account."
The site http://www.politicalnetroots.com/ brings up the homepage for "Under the Power Lines," which lists Tompkins as "Partner, Consultant," along with Terry Sullivan and Welsley Donehue.
South Carolina politics is known to be rough-and-tumble. In 2000, it was in South Carolina that then-candidate John McCain ran into an organized effort to tar his character, including anonymous allegations that he had fathered a black child.
At the time, then-candidate George Bush was desperate to stop a surging McCain, who had just won a stunning upset in the New Hampshire primary. Tompkins was the chief strategist for Bush in South Carolina at the time, though Bush campaign
officials have always denied that the campaign was responsible for the attacks.
A spokesman for Romney's campaign said he would look into questions about the anti-Thompson site. "Our campaign is focused on the issues and ideas that are of paramount concern to voters," said spokesman Kevin Madden. "The website we are focused on is MittRomney.com."
Tompkins did not return calls or emails for comment.


Former Virginia GOP director Ed Matricardi was convicted of illegally eavesdropping on Democrats' phone calls. Below is a 2002 story from The (Virginia) Cavalier Daily:

Investigation underway into eavesdropping case

In a scandal that shocked Richmond lawmakers and party officials Friday, state police began a criminal investigation into whether Ed Matricardi, the Virginia Republican Party Executive Director, illegally listened in on two Democratic Party conference calls.
The investigation began after Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore received word that Matricardi may have violated state laws by accessing the conversation. He then gave the information to police.
Matricardi announced privately that he will be leaving his post as executive director, Politics Prof. Larry J. Sabato said. However, the decision has not been publicly confirmed.
The two calls that Matricardi allegedly tapped consisted of conversations involving state legislators and top aides to Gov. Mark R. Warner, as well as Warner himself at one point. The calls were organized to discuss delicate redistricting issues raised by a Roanoke County Circuit judge's March 11 decision that the existing district lines were unconstitutionally drawn with respect to "racial gerrymandering."
Matricardi declined to comment on the case because it is an ongoing investigation at this time.
Steven Benjamin, Matricardi's attorney, was optimistic about the case.
"Law enforcement officers now have all the information necessary to complete this investigation," Benjamin said. "Ed has done nothing wrong, and we expect the authorities will soon reach the same conclusion."
Benjamin added that, in a conference call, any party involved may consent to a third party listening to the conversation.
The allegations raise complex issues regarding the morality of Matricardi's alleged act in addition to legal issues. If the conversation falls under the auspices of a confidential attorney-client conversation, Matricardi could potentially be disbarred for his act.
University Law Prof. George Rutherglen emphasized that the morality of the act depends on many factors.
"You have to look at the Virginia statute and what the effect of consent is," Rutherglen said. "Even if it is a violation, it's a further question what the appropriate punishment would be."
Sabato was highly critical of Matricardi's actions.
"This is unethical with a capital 'U'," Sabato said. "It is this sort of thing that gives politics a bad name."
According to Sabato, phone tapping is a practice that occurs all over the country, particularly with cellular phones.
Sabato said Matricardi most likely received an access code from one of the participating members.
Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Lawrence H. Framme III said this incident raises larger questions of political ethics in Richmond.
"This is raising questions of whether this was an isolated incident," Framme said.
Kilgore received word of the scandal through a transcript of the conversation.
"As I understand it, a copy of a transcript of one conversation was given to the attorney general," Framme said.
Kilgore Spokesman Tim Murtaugh stressed that Kilgore had not reviewed possibly confidential information given to him, but referred the matter directly to the police.


JOSEPH GAYLORD. GOP consultant Joseph Gaylord, who is generally credited with engineering the Republicans’ Contract With America in 1994, is also partly to blame for then-Speaker Newt Gingrich running afoul of the House Ethics Committee. In the mid-1990s, Gaylord famously ran Gingrich's office – which was a direct violation of House rules, since he was actually employed by Gingrich’s politial action committee (GOPAC) at the time. (House members and are barred from using funds received from a political committee to defray the costs of their congressional activities.)
Gaylord’s work earned Gingrich the following December 1995 admonishment from the House Ethics Committee:
“In reference to the complaint filed by Representative George Miller on February 13, 1995, the Committee has found that your use of Mr. Joseph Gaylord was in violation of House Rule 45, which prohibits the use of unofficial resources for official purposes. Specifically the Committee found that Mr. Gaylord's activities during the transition of interviewing prospective staff violate our rules and that his regular, routine presence in congressional offices, while in and of itself not a violation of House rules, creates the appearance of the improper commingling of political and official resources. Such activities, if they are continuing, should cease immediately. The Committee will take no further action.”


Was an 11th-hour leak to the news media about George W. Bush's 1976 DUI arrest in Maine deliberately timed to throw Bush off-balance and erode his conservative base in the final days of the campaign? It's hard to confirm, but to many observers the answer appears to be "yes."
"If anybody doesn't believe that this came right out of Gore headquarters, you ought to sprinkle some Peter Pan twinkle dust on them," former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson told CNBC's Chris Matthews.
While few know for sure who sent the blast fax of Bush's arrest record to Fox News, it's clear someone was pushing hard to get newsrooms to report on the 24-year-old DUI. And Democrats appeared to have already been prepared to pounce on the Bush DUI report once it came out.
Many observers questioned the role Gore press secretary Chris Lehane played in the leak. The arrest was first reported by a television reporter in Portland, Maine -- home of Lehane's sister Erin whose law firm is affiliated with a political consulting business with strong ties to the Democratic National Committee.
Following is a 2000 story from WorldNetDaily.com:

Is DNC-tied Maine law firm behind DUI leak?
By Paul Sperry
© 2000 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON -- The sister of Al Gore's press secretary denies helping leak information about George W. Bush's drunk-driving record but her Portland, Maine, law firm is affiliated with a political consulting business headed by a long-time Democratic National Committee operative, WorldNetDaily has learned.
The DNC has denied leaking any information about Bush's 1976 misdemeanor in Maine, although it admits investigating public records on GOP foes.
Erin M. Lehane, sister of Gore campaign spokesman Chris Lehane, is a member of the Portland-based law firm, Curtis Thaxter Stevens Broder & Micoleau. Partner Charlie Micoleau, an eight-year DNC veteran, is director of The Public Affairs Group, an Augusta, Maine-based political consultancy.
Micoleau also served as an aide, including as chief of staff, to U.S. Sen. Edmund S. Muskie in Washington from 1970 to 1978. The Portland probate judge, Bill Childs, who pulled the court files on Bush and gave them to a local Democratic lawyer to tip off the press, is tied through his father to the old Muskie political machine in Maine, according to Portland political watchers.
"I'm interested in winning," Micoleau was quoted as saying during the 1988 presidential race, while serving on a DNC steering committee.
Calls to Micoleau's residence were not returned.
What's more, Curtis Thaxter's founding partner, Kenneth M. Curtis, was a former two-term Democratic governor of Maine and the chairman of the DNC from 1977 to 1978.
Another Curtis Thaxter partner, Jamie Broder, served as a delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Aging.
Denying Republican rumors, Lehane insists she had nothing to do with leaking the 11th-hour bombshell about Bush's operating-under-the-influence, or OUI, conviction.
Is there anything to rumors you played a role in unearthing this information? WorldNetDaily asked Lehane at her Freeport, Maine, home Saturday.
"Absolutely not," she said in a phone interview.
Were you at the Maine District Court in Portland on Thursday, when Childs gave the information to Democrat lawyer Tom Connolly?
"Absolutely not," said Lehane, who works in Portland.
And you've never dealt with Judge Childs? "Not at all."
The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory does not list probate as one of Lehane's areas of practice. They are limited to "corporate, litigation and international." Her firm, however, does handle probate cases and has come before Childs' court.
Asked if she knew Connolly, the 29-year-old Lehane replied: "I just know him because he ran for governor. I have no personal or professional relationship in court with him."
She added: "I have no idea how I got dragged into it."
After learning her brother is Gore's campaign spokesman and that they both grew up in Kennebunkport, where Bush was pulled over, Republican operatives figured she might be involved.
Can you see how they put two and two together?
"Yeah, well, they put two and two together and came up with 47," Lehane said with a laugh.
Lehane, who's married to lawyer Julius Ciembroniewicz, used to work as in-house legal counsel for Wright Express LLC in South Portland.
Some White House employees who have dealt with Chris Lehane say he has a reputation as a dirty trickster.
Former White House FBI agent Gary Aldrich, for one, said Lehane's job in the White House primarily was to smear whistleblowers.
"Chris Lehane was the deputy over at the Old Executive Office Building who was assigned by (presidential aide) Harold Ickes to discredit any witnesses like me who came forward to give testimony about Bill Clinton," Aldrich said. "He's now handling the Gore campaign. What does that tell you about Al Gore's campaign?"
Ickes is now handling Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign.


Democratic political consultants Jere Nash and Martin Davis pleaded guilty in 1997 to illegal fundraising to help their client, Ron Carey, in his campaign for Teamsters Union president. The scandal prompted officials to invalidate Carey’s election, leading to the 1998 election of James P. Hoffa.
Following is a story from CNN.com:

Former Teamsters president Ron Carey indicted
January 25, 2001Web posted at: 9:59 p.m. EST (0259 GMT)
From CNN Producer Phil Hirschkorn

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Former Teamster President Ron Carey was indicted Thursday for allegedly committing perjury and making false statements during the investigation of a fundraising scandal that led to his downfall as head of the nation's largest private sector union.
The 39-page, seven-count indictment, announced by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, charges Carey with lying to government-appointed officials and to the grand jury investigating fundraising improprieties in Carey's 1996 campaign for a second five-year term as president of the 1.4 million member union.
Carey, 64, who took charge of the union as a reform candidate pledging to clean up its long history of corruption, won re-election in December 1996 by narrowly defeating James P. Hoffa, the son of legendary Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa who disappeared in 1976, the apparent victim of an underworld hit.
In the wake of the fundraising scandal, government-appointed election monitors invalidated the Carey victory, ordered a new election and barred Carey from running again.
The union subsequently expelled Carey, a member for 40 years since his first job as a UPS truck driver in Queens.
Hoffa beat two other candidates in the December 1998 vote and assumed leadership of the union on May 1, 1999.
"The member of the Teamsters Union have paid a terrible price for the misdeeds of Ron Carey. Their hard-earned dues money was squandered away by his illegal activities," Hoffa said in a statement released Thursday.
In the illegal fundraising scheme, Carey's '96 campaign received several hundred thousand dollars in tainted funds. In a classic kickback scheme, several liberal groups received large donations from the Teamsters treasury totally $885,000, and those groups in turn made or arranged for reciprocal contributions to the Carey campaign.
The criminal charges stem from statements Carey made under oath denying knowledge of diverting funds to four political groups, which included one of the Teamsters' largest ever donations -- $475,000 to Citizen Action, a consumer and environmental advocacy group.
Project Vote, an organization that mobilizes minority and low income voters, received $175,000 and the National Council of Senior Citizens received an $85,000 in Teamster funds.
Carey's former campaign manager, Jere Nash, and a political consultant, Martin Davis, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the scheme in September 1997. They have yet to be sentenced and could testify against Carey.
Most of the laundered money was sought for a $700,000 direct mail campaign conceived by Nash and Davis to Teamster members in the closing weeks of the union election, prosecutors say.
The union's former political director under Carey, William Hamilton, is serving a three-year sentence for participating in the scheme. A federal appeals court upheld Hamlton's conviction earlier this week.
Carey has repeatedly said he was not aware of the scheme.
"What took place here is against everything I believe in, everything I worked for. It was a betrayal," Carey said when the scandal emerged three-years ago.
Carey was the first Teamster president in the union's history to be directly elected by the union's rank and file. The secret ballot in the U.S.-government supervised election in 1991 came after a 1989 agreement between the union and the Justice Department, a "consent decree" whereby the union promised to end its mob ties and the government agreed to drop pending racketeering charges.
Carey's lead attorney, Reid Weingarten, told CNN in a telephone interview that Carey is "a hero of the labor movement and not a criminal."
"He took over a throroughly corrupt union and cleaned it up," Weingarten said, referring to his ousting more than 400 union officials and slashing his salary and perks for union leaders.
"He threw out true mobsters at great risk to his personal safety. He worked closely with federal authorities to rid the union of a bad element, and this is his reward," Weingartn said.
Carey also led the sucessful strike against UPS, the nation's largest employer of Teamsters, in 1997.
"We will contest these charges until he is fully vindicated and he will be fully vindicated," Weingarten said.
Carey's arraignment in U.S. District Court in lower Manhattan is scheduled for next Thursday, Feb. 1, at 10 a.m.


The name "Willie Horton" has become synonymous with negative campaigning because critics said it played to racial fears. An independent expediture for the first George H.W. Bush campaign featured a picture of Willie Horton, who is African American and a convicted felon. Horton was enrolled in a furlough program championed by Bush's opponent, Michael Dukakis. The furlough program allowed Horton the opportunity to commit a rape and armed robbery against a woman. The ad was sponsored by the group Americans for Bush, although some observers saw the fingerprints of legendary strategist Lee Atwater.
According to Wikipedia:
"Beginning on September 21, 1988, the Americans for Bush arm of the National Security Political Action Committee, began running a campaign ad entitled "Weekend Passes," using the Horton case to attack Dukakis. The ad was produced by media consultant Larry McCarthy, who had previously worked for Roger Ailes. After clearing the ad with television stations, McCarthy went back and added a menacing mug shot of Horton, who is African-American. He called the image "every suburban mother's greatest fear." The ad was run as an independent expenditure, separate from the Bush campaign, which claimed, as is legally required, not to have had any role in its production.
On October 5, a day after the "Weekend Passes" ad was taken off the airwaves, and also the date of the infamous Bentsen-Quayle debate, the Bush campaign ran its own ad, "Revolving Door," which also attacked Dukakis over the weekend furlough program. While the advertisement did not mention Horton or feature his photograph, it depicted a variety of intimidating-looking men walking in and out of prison through a revolving door.
The commercial was filmed at an actual state prison in Draper, Utah, but the persons depicted - thirty in all, including three African-Americans and two Hispanics - were all paid actors. Attempting to counter-attack, Dukakis's campaign ran an ad about a murderer named Angel Medrano who raped and killed a pregnant mother of two after escaping from a federal correctional halfway house. Unlike Horton, Medrano (who according to Arizona Department of Corrections records, has been found guilty of 16 major and eight minor violations of prison rules and conduct between 1982 and 1999 including assault with a weapon) was not already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Dukakis's ad ignored this fact and displayed Medrano's name and showed his photograph. According to Elizabeth Drew of "The New Yorker," several Hispanic congressmen in the Southwest asked Dukakis to delete Medrano's name, which was done.The controversy escalated when Vice Presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen and former Democratic candidate and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson called the ad racist. In 1991, terminally ill with cancer, Atwater apologized to Dukakis for saying that he would "make Willie Horton his running mate...because it makes me sound racist, which I am not."In 1990, the Ohio Democratic Party and a group called "Black Elected Democrats of Ohio" filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging that NSPAC had coordinated or cooperated with the Bush campaign in airing the ad, which would make it an illegal in-kind campaign contribution. Investigation by the FEC, including deposition of officials from both organizations, revealed indirect connections between McCarthy and the Bush campaign (such as his having previously worked for Ailes), but found no direct evidence of wrongdoing, and the investigation reached an impasse and was eventually closed with no finding of any violation of campaign finance laws.


George W. Bush's top advisor, Karl Rove, is credited with a string of questionable tactics dating back 35 years.
According to the Guardian Unlimited newspaper: "In the autumn election season of 1970, a cherubic, bespectacled teenager turned up at the Chicago campaign headquarters of Alan Dixon, a Democrat running for state treasurer in Illinois. No one paid the newcomer much attention when he arrived, or when he left soon afterwards. Nor did anyone in the office make the connection between the mystery volunteer and 1,000 invitations on campaign stationery that began circulating in Chicago's red-light district and soup kitchens, promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing" for all-comers at Dixon's headquarters.
"As political dirty tricks go, it was minor league. Hundreds of the city's heavy drinkers and homeless turned up at a smart Dixon reception looking for free booze. Dixon was embarrassed but the plot failed to stop his momentum: he was elected state treasurer and went on to become a senator. But the teenager who stole his letterheads, Karl Rove, has gone even further."


Darrell Jackson, a powerful Democratic political consultant, public relations executive, S.C. state Senator and Columbia pastor made the news in early 2007 when he agreed to endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic race for president; But the well-connected Jackson later made news for what he did not reveal – that just days earlier he had reached an agreement to “advise” Clinton’s campaign -- for $210,000.
While confirming to a reporter that he was endorsing Clinton, Jackson never mentioned that his firm, Sunrise Enterprises, was being retained for $10,000 a month through the election.
The case raised eyebrows, with some observers suggesting Jackson was simply being paid to influence his constituents – and/or his congregation – to vote for Clinton. Jackson, who is black, denied the accusations, then played that time-honored card: The race card.
From The State newspaper:

Jackson defends his endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Days before U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton makes her first visit to South Carolina as a presidential candidate, one of her top supporters here faces accusations that his support for her is tied to a contract his firm landed with Clinton’s campaign.
State Sen. Darrell Jackson, D-Richland, said such accusations are offensive and smack of racism.
When asked Tuesday by a reporter, Jackson said he was backing Clinton, D-N.Y. A day later, a national political Web site reported Jackson’s consulting firm, Sunrise Enterprises, had agreed to work for Clinton for $10,000 a month.
That story was picked up by The New York Post and on cable television. The Post story questioned whether “Jackson’s endorsement was bought by a higher bidder.”
That, Jackson said, was a low blow.
“I’m somewhat offended in the sense that ... the national media thinks that an African-American in my position cannot support a candidate without being paid off,” Jackson said. “Second, they seem to have a hard time believing that in South Carolina there could be a legitimate African-American public relations firm that’s not a hustler.”
The timing of how the situation has evolved is unfortunate, Jackson said. He had not expected to announce his endorsement of Clinton’s campaign but answered honestly when asked Tuesday. The next day, details of the work relationship were leaked to The National Journal’s Hotline, a widely read political Web site.
Jackson said his endorsement, and his company, were courted by almost all the Democratic candidates, including U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, an S.C. native whom Jackson backed — and worked for — in 2004.
He said some candidates offered more money than Clinton, others less, for his firm’s services.
Ultimately, he said, he decided to throw his personal support behind Clinton, a decision he said was independent of Sunrise’s relationship with the candidate.
“If there was no contract, I’d still endorse Clinton,” Jackson said. “This was having thought about the process, who is best able to lead and, quite honestly, which Democrat I think will be strongest come November. It’s not about the contract.”
Sunrise Enterprises, Jackson said, has been in business since 1986 and has seven employees with offices in the Vista and in Charleston. It does advertising, public relations and other consulting. Jackson said he hasn’t drawn a salary from the company for years, although the firm does lease a car for him to drive.
Jackson also is pastor of Bible Way Church of Atlas Road, one of the state’s largest black congregations, boasting 9,000 members last year.
Jackson said he’s hardly alone when it comes to serving in the Legislature, backing a candidate and having a business that deals in politics simultaneously.
Former House Majority Leader Rick Quinn, R-Richland, operated his own political consulting firm while in the House and today is working for U.S. Sen. John McCain’s bid for the 2008 Republican nomination.
Current House Majority Leader Jim Merrill, R-Charleston, also owns a public relations and consulting firm, Geechie Communications, and backs McCain, R-Ariz.
Jackson said no one questioned Merrill nor Quinn, so it’s unfair to criticize him alone.
Merrill said McCain’s campaign paid him about $10,000 for four or five months of work in late 2006. He endorsed McCain on Jan. 31.
“Any time you have a part-time legislature where people have to make their living elsewhere, you have the potential for perceived or actual conflicts of interest,” Merrill said, “particularly so when politics or advertising is part of your job. I try to be very cognizant of this.”
Jackson said Clinton’s campaign was making “a business deal” when it hired Sunrise Enterprises. “I’ve never had my integrity questioned,” he said.
Armstrong Williams, a conservative black commentator and brother of state Sen. Kent Williams, D-Marion, had scathing remarks Thursday for Jackson.
“That is scandalous,” Williams said on his radio talk show program. “It really is. You at least should support a candidate because of what you believe in. They’re not buying his services. They’re buying his influence.”


“This guy is a little too light in the loafers to fill Strom Thurmond's shoes," read a press release by then-S.C. Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian, now a leader of the Barack Obama campaign. The release assailed Lindsey Graham, who had just announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Strom Thurmond.
"Light in the loafers" is a well-known anti-gay slur, but Harpootlian said that is not how it was intended. He reportedly even told one political columnist he did not know the phrase was used to describe homosexual people.
One could be easily forgiven for being skeptical of Harpootlian’s denial. For instance, Harpootlian also reportedly used the slur in a number speeches.
And according to the March 12, 2001 edition of the Southern Political Report: “At a Democratic luncheon last year, Harpootlian said, ‘Congressman Lindsey Graham criticized President Clinton for 'having sex with a woman in the Oval office.' Now, I don't know about you but I can't tell what part he objected to -- having sex with a young woman or having sex in the Oval office?’”
Graham, who is unmarried, said Harpootlian’s remarks amounted to slander. Republicans and non-Republicans alike called it an example of the lowest form of mudslinging.


His Democratic opponents attribute to Maryland GOP consultant Joseph Steffen, who styled himself as the "prince of darkness," a number of dirty tricks.
Following is a story in the Washington Post.

Former Aide's 'Dirty Tricks' Could Blemish Ehrlich Image
By Matthew Mosk
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Long before Joseph Steffen surfaced at the center of political intrigue in Annapolis, Gerry Brewster suspected (Steffen) was the political operative who wiped out his fundraising list and plastered his windshield with bumper stickers for his opponent.
Connie DeJulius believed Steffen was behind a nasty leaflet pinned to every telephone pole in her neighborhood, tarring her as a "home wrecker."
So, earlier this month, when Steffen told reporters and radio listeners that he "did a lot of things I'm not proud of" during 20 years with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., it was for Brewster and DeJulius a revelation.
The two Democrats, who in the 1990s lost to Ehrlich (R) in bids for a congressional seat, considered it confirmation that these episodes were not a trick of imagination or the brain's way of redirecting the bitterness of defeat.
"I always knew in my gut he was behind these things," said Brewster, a lawyer who lost to Ehrlich in 1994. "But somehow, hearing Joe Steffen publicly acknowledge his culpability and his involvement in dirty tricks was for me personally very satisfying."
Much has been made of the role Steffen has acknowledged playing in circulating rumors about Ehrlich's latest political rival, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D), and his possible involvement in identifying workers to be fired from state jobs.
But some say that, more than anything, Steffen's decision to speak out helps ground in reality some of the murky allegations that Ehrlich's past political opponents have made about his campaign tactics.
When Steffen was asked directly by the Baltimore Sun who was to blame for dirty tricks against Brewster, DeJulius and other Ehrlich opponents, he said plainly: "They were talking about me."
Brewster said he was stunned.
"All those years of political dirty tricks never caught up with him," Brewster said of Ehrlich. "Now, finally, he's been caught. His chief dirty trickster has turned against him."
Ehrlich, asked directly about Steffen's role in those past campaigns during a call-in radio show Saturday, laughed at the question. "Those races were won by 20, 25, 30 points," Ehrlich said on Baltimore's WBAL radio. "Those races were landslides, so God knows, let's go onto something that's relevant." Ehrlich was first confronted with such questions in February, when Steffen wrote on a conservative Web site that he was known in campaign circles as "Dr. Death" and that "Part of my unwritten job description is to hurt people."
Steffen also acknowledged on the Web site that he helped give "float" to gossip about O'Malley's personal life, rumors the mayor has denied. Ehrlich fired Steffen immediately after the Internet chats were disclosed.
When asked whether Steffen was his "dirty-tricks man," the governor said then, "That's just silly stuff."
Last week, his press secretary, Gregory Massoni, said the governor did not know that Steffen was engaging in political dirty tricks on his behalf and did not condone the use of such tactics during any prior campaign. Asked if the governor owed his past opponents an apology, given Steffen's recent comments, the answer was, "No."
One Ehrlich ally, Towson University Prof. Richard E. Vatz, said he has never believed Ehrlich would condone the kinds of activities attributed to Steffen.
"Mr. Steffen has never claimed that Ehrlich superintended any dirty tricks," Vatz said. "He also implies that Ehrlich didn't know about them."
Steffen has not responded to recent requests for an interview with The Washington Post. In other interviews over the past two weeks, he has left the question of Ehrlich's role open to interpretation.
When he was asked directly whether Ehrlich knew what he was doing, Steffen told a Baltimore Sun columnist, "I'm having my Watergate moment," before adding he could not recall Ehrlich ever asking him about his activities.
Why all this might matter today, said Thomas Schaller, a political science professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County who leans Democrat, is that Ehrlich risks tarnishing his nice-guy image.
"That's the problem here for Bob Ehrlich," Schaller said. "He's got a very nice personal style. But pretty soon, when you have people around you tracking mud on their shoes, your carpet starts to get dirty."
Another University of Maryland professor, Donald F. Norris, has a different take. He said he believes Steffen's activities aren't going to matter much come November 2006, when Ehrlich is seeking reelection.
"I don't get a sense that it has energized very much public opinion, except among the partisans and political junkies," Norris said. "I doubt seriously that very many people are even aware of it."
Don't tell that to DeJulius, who lost to Ehrlich in 1996 and still is smarting from the rough-and-tumble campaign. She said last week that she believes the governor will pay a price eventually.
"Look," DeJulius said, "I know campaigning is hardball. It is a tough, tough arena to play in. But you do a disservice to the people you represent when you allow a campaign to sink to that level. Those kinds of tactics drive good people away from public service and leave us all worse off."


A 1980 radio spot produced by adman and political strategist Bill Zimmerman for Citizens Party presidential candidate Barry Commoner began with one word: “Bullsh_t.”
The objective: To parlay a $5,000 media buy into valuable TV news coverage for a candidate largely ignored by the media. “Many listeners were (shocked) when they heard the ad and complained to their local radio station, but when it comes to political advertising, the candidate controls,” noted ABC reporter Susan King. NBC and CBS newsrooms ignored the ad.


Democratic political consultant Gary South and his 1978 Illinois U.S. candidate, Gary Seith, nearly pulled off an upset of incumbent Republican Charles Percy with what is considered one of the most racially-polarizing ad campaigns in history.
The Seith campaign aired a commercial on black radio stations that accused Percy of being an apologist for former Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz, who had resigned after news accounts of his use of a racial slur.
“Do you think Senator Percy is a friend of black people?” the ad asks. “Well, remember Earl Butz? He was the Secretary of Acriculture who made a racist and sexually obscene joke about blacks. We can’t repeat his words on the air, of course, but they were so offensive that he had to resign. Maybe you were wondering what that’s got to do with Senator Percy. Just this: Senator Percy said of Earl Butz, ‘I wish he was Secretary of Agriculture still today.’ Still today, Senator Percy? Percy wants the black vote, and with friends like this, you don’t need enemies. Because Charles Percy tolerates the Earl Butz insult to blacks, more and more people are getting behind Alex Seith for U.S. Senate.”
The Democrats’ campaign never noted that Senator Percy actually called for Butz’s resignation following the slur incident.
South’s and Seith’s guilt-by-association attack backfired, according to many observers, and the Republican handily won re-election.


South Carolina Democrats are no strangers to race-baiting, either. The 2001 special election for state Senate District 43 illustrates the point well. “Republicans are working right now to turn back the clock on our community,” begins a radio ad funded by the Senate Democratic Caucus.
“They are sitting in their country clubs laughing at us, saying we'll stay at home and not vote on December 4th. These are the same good ol' boy Republicans who want to take us back to their good ol' days. The days of Confederate Flags, segregated communities and poor schools in black neighborhoods,” the ad continued.
“These are the same Republicans who put the Confederate Flag in our face and wanted the symbol of hate to stay atop our State House Dome. These are the same Republicans who fought against First Steps and full day kindergarten, programs that help our kids. They are the same narrow-minded people who want Republican John Kuhn in the Senate. Fortunately, we have Democrat Leon Stavrinakis. Stavrinakis is no stranger to our community and will work for us in the Senate.
“On Tuesday, December 4th, don't let the Republicans stop our progress. Grab a neighbor and cast a vote for positive change.”
Republicans supporting candidate John Kuhn obtained a copy of the ad and paid to have it broadcast on other stations, rather than just the black stations, manufacturing a voter backlash against the Democrats.
It’s an article of faith that Democratic consultant Kevin Geddings was heavily involved in Stavrinakis’ campaign, though who gets the blame for the”scare-the-black-voters” ad isn’t quite clear.
According to one news site, Geddings downplayed his involvement, saying, “I have never met Mr. Leon Stavranakis... I have never spoken to him on the phone or in person. I think you have to at least talk to someone to ‘consult’ with them.”
Six years later, Stavrinakis later waged a successful campaign for the S.C. House – sans the low-road, racially divisive tactics.


An employee of Richard Quinn & Associates, the high-priced consulting firm hired to run John McCain's S.C. campaign, was the subject of a probe into whether he committed computer and election fraud when he emailed a negative story about Charleston Republican Larry Richter using a "spoofed" email address to make it appear the message came from Richter's campaign manager.
Following are three stories in The State newspaper:

By CLIF LeBLANC Staff Writer
July 12, 2002

A former top GOP strategist and the state's foremost Republican political consulting firm face a fraud investigation.
Trey Walker and Richard Quinn & Associates may have committed computer and election fraud in a June 10 computer message, 5th Circuit Solicitor Barney Giese said Thursday.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating. No charges have been filed, and Giese said others could be investigated.
Walker, 35, admits he sent the e-mail from the Quinn firm's offices on Gervais Street to about 2,300 party activists from a personal list.
He e-mailed a copy of a May 18 State newspaper article about Republican attorney general candidate Larry Richter. The article said Richter had accepted $55,000 from a man later convicted of drug trafficking.
Walker worked for Henry McMaster, who defeated Richter in a June 25 runoff.
Walker said he intended the e-mail as a "harmless practical joke" directed at Richter's political strategist, Rod Shealy. Walker said he's known Shealy for about 12 years.
"I'm embarrassed about it," Walker said. "I've embarassed my family, my friends, my employer, my clients. It was stupid and silly."
Walker, the Republican party's executive director from 1993 to 1999, has hired a lawyer to help "sort things out."
On Monday, Walker told SLED agents he sent the e-mail under the computer address "OpLeader." That address belongs to Shealy's tabloid, S.C. Opinion Leader.
Shealy considers the e-mail matter closed and he won't discuss it. Giese said Shealy filed a complaint before he knew who sent the message.
Richter, a Charleston lawyer, wants SLED to pursue the case. "This victimized me," he said. "I'm against these kinds of tactics. They're slimy."
He said Walker has not apologized to him.
Quinn, Walker's boss and president of the firm, has managed campaigns for many of the state's top Republican officeholders. He said Walker told him about the e-mail less than a week ago. "I certainly didn't authorize it, wasn't aware of it," he said.
The e-mail was "juvenile," but it's being overblown, Quinn said.
Quinn and Walker say Shealy wants to drop the matter, but Giese is going ahead with the case because he considers it a very serious matter.
McMaster said he doesn't condone the e-mail but has no plans to fire Walker, who he called "one of the finest political thinkers and consultants in the United States."
Democrats are linking the e-mail probe with other investigations of the state's Republicans
The Federal Election Commission is investigating allegations that the party mishandled financial matters, and the party's new executive director, Ed Matricardi, is under federal review for eavesdropping on Democrats in Virginia.
"It's a crime wave of Republican politics out there," said Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian.
Harpootlian called on leading Republican candidates Lindsey Graham and Mark Sanford to fire the Quinn firm and clean up the party. Sanford, who is running for governor, could not be reached for comment.
Graham - seeking Sen. Strom Thurmond's U.S. Senate seat - won't act until he knows more, said his spokesman, Kevin Bishop. "Needless to say, he believes people should follow the rules," Bishop said.
"We're back to Nixon. This is the Plumbers," Harpootlian said, referring to the Watergate term for ex-President Nixon's 1972 fund-raisers.
That's typical gut-punching politics by Harpootlian, Walker said. "I would expect him to try to take advantage of my misfortune for political gain."

By CLIF LeBLANC, Staff Writer
September 21, 2002

Richland County prosecutors said Friday they want the state grand jury to decide whether what happened in the Republican primary for attorney general was just politics or a crime.
Fifth Circuit Solicitor Barney Giese asked the attorney general to have the grand jury investigate whether a Richland County councilman and the former executive director of the state GOP committed voter fraud.
Attorney General Charlie Condon said he may widen the investigation to include attack advertisements in other races and across party lines.
Condon, who admits he has a conflict of interest in the case, said he might wait until after the November election for the larger investigation.
Before the June 11 primary, councilman Buddy Meetze mailed postcards to about 2,000 Richland County Republicans linking Charleston lawyer Larry Richter, a candidate for attorney general, to Dick Harpootlian, the Democrats' party chairman and an arch enemy of the GOP.
Meetze failed to clearly identify who sent the postcards, violating state law, Giese said.
Richter was Henry McMaster's biggest challenger. McMaster, longtime chairman of the state GOP, beat Richter in a runoff.
Harpootlian and Richter, both lawyers, have been friends for years despite being polar opposites in their political lives.
Meetze is the council's ranking Republican and is unopposed as he seeks a third term in the fall. Meetze could not be reached for comment.
SLED agents found Meetze's postcards while investigating an e-mail sent by Trey Walker, the Republican party's top staffer from 1993 to 1999.
Walker admits he e-mailed a copy of a May 18 article in The State reporting that Richter once accepted $55,000 in cash from a man later convicted of drug trafficking.
Walker, 35, said he made the e-mail appear as though it had been sent by Richter's strategist, Rod Shealy. The e-mail went to about 2,300 party activists the day before the primary.
Walker said the e-mail was a "harmless practical joke" aimed at Shealy, whom he's known for about 12 years. Walker termed his action "stupid and silly."
Giese's not laughing, even though the offenses would be misdemeanors.
"The question that we have to answer is: 'What kind of campaigning are we going to allow in South Carolina? Where do you draw the line? Is it dirty tricks or is it a violation of the law?'" Giese said.
In a letter Friday, Giese asked Condon to allow the solicitor's office to oversee the grand jury case. State law requires the attorney general and the chief of the State Law Enforcement Division to agree on which cases should go to the grand jurors.
SLED Chief Robert Stewart said Friday he will sign off on the probe and endorsed letting Giese's office run the investigation, a task usually handled by the attorney general's office.
Giese's letter to Condon addresses the attorney general's conflict of interest. "It would be unfair to you, and to all parties involved in this matter to have allegations of favoritism or political vindictiveness cloud what should certainly be a fair and impartial review of the facts."
Walker works for Richard Quinn & Associates, the foremost Republican political consulting firm in the state. The Quinn firm helped run Condon's unsuccessful race for governor in the June primary.
The Quinn firm also is working on U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham's race for U.S. Senate and helps manage McMaster's race to succeed Condon.
Walker and Quinn say the case is overblown and blamed Richter.
"The crux of this is Larry Richter trying to do damage to Henry McMaster by going after one of his political consultants," Quinn said.
Walker also blamed Richter. "We are 46 days from the election. In politics there is no such thing as coincidence."
They stopped short of accusing Giese of being political.
Richter shot back: "That's an insane comment by desperate men and impugns the integrity of (Giese's office), which made legitimate prosecutorial decisions. Let the chips fall."
Quinn said Meetze made his mailing mistake out of ignorance. "If anyone had wanted to hide, they would have used (postage) stamps."
Meetze used a mail permit registered to Mail Marketing Strategies, a company owned by Quinn's son, Rick Quinn, the S.C. House majority leader.
Richter doesn't buy it. "These guys, all of them, are well-seasoned political people. They just got caught."
He said Condon's plan to delay an investigation until after the election is "dead wrong. I'm a victim, and he's the chief prosecutor, and I expect him to act like a prosecutor."
Condon bristles at the idea he's trying to sweep the investigation under the rug. "I don't know how they could say that because the allegations are all of the same types."
He wants to go after third-party attack ads against GOP gubernatorial nominee Mark Sanford.
Kevin Geddings, who used to be Gov. Jim Hodges chief of staff, said he worked on one of the ads.
Sanford also complained about a mail-out that his staff said it traced to a consultant for Lt. Gov. Bob Peeler. Peeler lost to Sanford in a runoff.
Condon said he might ask SLED to investigate those tactics and attack ads that Condon said hurt his campaign. He got 16 percent of the vote.

CLIF LeBLANC, Staff Writer
State, The (Columbia, SC)
September 24, 2002

An Orangeburg prosecutor will decide whether two Richland County Republicans and political strategists in the governor's race broke the law in June's primary.
Attorney General Charlie Condon asked Walter Bailey, 1st Circuit solicitor, to investigate a county councilman and a campaign strategist.
Condon said coupling the attorney general's campaign and the governor's race and giving them to Bailey will eliminate conflicts of interest for him and for 5th Circuit Solicitor Barney Giese, both Republicans.
In a letter Friday, Giese asked for a state grand jury investigation of County Councilman Buddy Meetze and Trey Walker, who is working on Henry McMaster's campaign for attorney general.
Meetze and Walker are under investigation for possible campaign violations against McMaster's opponent, Larry Richter.
Meetze, unopposed for a third term, said Monday he might file an ethics complaint against Giese because of the letter Giese wrote to Condon.
Condon has not accused Giese of misconduct, but questions Giese's objectivity and timing. Giese was trying "to put Mr. McMaster's campaign on trial six weeks before an election," Condon said.
"When you add all these objective facts up, you've got at the very least a concern that you ought to have another prosecutor, and I'm including myself, in this."
Giese said the timing of his letter was based on when the alleged violations occurred and on the pace of a SLED investigation. "We were deliberate. We handled it in the normal course of business as we do all sensitive matters."
Giese said he asked for a state grand jury because it can force testimony to learn "who knew what and when they knew it."
Grand jury prosecutors likely would question some employees of Richard Quinn & Associates and Mail Marketing Strategies, Giese said. Walker works for Quinn & Associates, which is running McMaster's campaign; Meetze mailed postcards using a permit from the mailing company owned by Rick Quinn, majority leader of the state House and son of Richard Quinn.
Walker admits that on the day before the June 11 primary, he e-mailed a State newspaper article critical of Richter and made it seem as though one of Richter's key people, Rod Shealy, sent it. Walker termed it a "harmless practical joke" aimed at Shealy, whom he has known for about 12 years.
Meetze is under investigation for mailing postcards to 2,000 Richland County Republicans in the primary's waning days. They pointed out Richter was a close friend of arch-Republican foe Dick Harpootlian - the Democratic Party's state chairman.
State law requires that political literature identify the person or group circulating it. The postcards had only a Mail Marketing Strategies mail permit.
Meetze could be fined $5,000 and/or sentenced to a year in prison if found guilty of the misdemeanor of failing to put identification on the postcards. The e-mail likely would be a misdemeanor computer crime punishable by a fine of up to $200 and/or 30 days in jail.
Giese's letter doesn't name Meetze, but Condon and Richard Quinn said Meetze was the person who sent the postcards.
Meetze, council's ranking Republican, accused Giese of "gross misconduct," but declined to discuss the mailing.
In a statement, Meetze said: "The very fact his letter was given to the newspaper before anyone involved was informed shows that this is nothing more than a political effort to hurt Henry McMaster's campaign."
Giese said McMaster is not targeted in the investigation.
The State obtained Giese's letter to Condon through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Condon decided on Monday that Bailey should investigate what Condon called several campaign "dirty tricks."
On Friday, Condon said he wanted to widen the investigation to include attack advertisements in the GOP governor's race - including those against him - and across party lines.
Gov. Jim Hodges' former chief of staff, Kevin Geddings, has admitted he was part of a third-party attack ad aimed at Mark Sanford, Hodges' opponent.
Sanford also has complained about critical campaign literature that Sanford's staff said it traced to Walter Whetsell, a consultant for Lt. Gov. Bob Peeler. Peeler lost to Sanford in a runoff.
Condon said Bailey has a number of options:
* Ask for a state grand jury investigation;
* Turn the cases over to a county grand jury;
* Ask the state Ethics Commission to investigate;
* Dismiss the accusations.
"I will make a decision on the facts and not politics," said Bailey, a Republican, whose circuit includes Dorchester, Orangeburg and Calhoun counties. He declined to discuss specifics of the cases.
Condon went to Bailey although a state law allows the judge who presides over the grand jury to settle conflicts of interest. But Condon said that provision applies only when a case has been turned over to the grand jury.
State law requires the attorney general and the SLED chief to agree on which cases should go to the grand juries.
Giese had asked Condon to approve a grand jury investigations of Meetze and Walker and to step aside to allow Giese's prosecutors to oversee the investigations.
SLED Chief Robert Stewart said Friday he had approved both of Giese's requests.