by Wilson Carroll
Back in the days of “bad old” Richard Nixon, the president had a team of political operatives he called his “plumbers.” These were the guys who did the dirty work in his re-election campaign, anonymously smearing his political opponents and orchestrating a campaign of dirty tricks to divert attention from the real issues of the day.
It appears that Harvey Johnson has his own “plumber.” Over the last few weeks Harvey’s unnamed operative has inundated Jackson voters with anonymous e-mail messages. The connection to Johnson’s campaign seems obvious. Johnson himself established the theme of these messages during his first press conference, declaring himself “the real Democrat.” Shortly thereafter, Johnson’s plumber, traveling under the e-mail moniker democratsforHarvey@yahoo.com, started the dirty tricks campaign. A copy of the email header information is also attached.
For example, a couple of weeks ago a group of Fondren residents decided to host a fundraiser for Melton on the rooftop of Fondren Corner. They exchanged e-mails with one another about the event and generated a draft list of co-sponsors. Somehow, Harvey’s plumber obtained a second or third generation copy of the e-mails, scanned it and sent them around town in an anonymous blast e-mail with the grim warning “Barbour, wilson carroll, the Speeds. Watch out!”
Right off the bat, let me say that it’s an honor I probably don’t deserve to be lumped in with the Barbours and Speeds, and I thank the plumber for that. But it aggravates me to no end that someone working anonymously for Harvey Johnson would use those messages to portray Melton as some kind of stooge.
Word is out that Harvey’s plumbers are at work on other dirty tricks, trying to contrive ways to destroy Melton’s reputation. I only wish we could find out definitively who did this. And there’s only one reason why they would go to such desperate lengths – because they know Harvey is in real trouble, and they can’t win an election based on Harvey’s record or the real issues facing Jackson. If Harvey were confident, he would reign in his plumbers and swear off the dirty tricks. Five will get you ten he won’t.
EDITOR’S NOTE – The email was verified before we ran this commentary and we have included the original message header. If you have received any similar messages from any campaign, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org