A conversation between two consultants

Steve Gramm Steve Gramm 5 Comments


Consultant Jones: “Hey, got this kid in the 56th Congressional. He worked for Clarkson before the primary — got canned at some point, I think before June. Maybe for cause. But, he’s trying to float this pretty seedy story…says Clarkson solicited him and worse…in the campaign office…exposed himself…”

Consultant Smith: “Clarkson?”

CJ: “Yeah, he says Clarkson did, hit on him several times, the whole thing, says he got canned when he complained.”

CS: “Geez, is it true?”

CJ: “Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? He’s like 27 or something. Part of it sounds too familiar…the prior allegation on Clarkson…”

CS: “Is he gay?”

CJ: “Yeah…says Clarkson knew he was. But, with the prior allegation — he has to know that stuff — maybe there’s an agenda, maybe he’s picking a similar story, or…”

CS: “No proof? Witnesses?”

CJ: “No, just what he’s saying.”

CS: “Anyone picking it up?”

CJ: “No. Too sensitive. No one wants to go there, looking like they’re doing some anti-gay story. We gotta find a way to get it out there…”

CS: “You freakin’ crazy!? We can’t touch this crap! Remember what happened when Gail was tweeting and crap about Clarkson and his lover? NewsSource went after her on Twitter for trying to make sure people knew he was gay. NewsSource, for chrissakes…they hate Clarkson, but they’re right, no one on the left should be trying to bring up a candidate’s lifestyle. Even that SOB. It’s hypocrisy — smells like it, looks like it. Hell, it is it. That whole opp research thing, trying to make sure people knew he was gay. We can’t go there…not the campaign…not the party.”

CJ: “Yeah…I’m with you, but hear me out. This kid, if he does it himself… ok, listen. Clarkson is campaigning on being gay. His people see what we’re seeing. A stable, responsible-looking guy, but in this case a gay one, is ok with most voters in the district, but…”

CS: “But?”

CJ: “But, not a gay scandal.”

CS: “A gay scandal that’s being pushed by the Dems? Geez, you think we’d look a bit motivated to get a story like that out there!? Not to mention like hypocrites. This guy that worked for Clarkson…he might get massacred. What if he breaks down?…What if it’s bullshit?…And we get stuck pushing this story?”

CJ: “We don’t touch it. We just make sure it gets touched. We help it along.”

CS: “Help it along. You scare me. What if it’s BS? Did he approach us?”

CJ: “It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it is true. It doesn’t matter if this guy’s making the whole thing up. Clarkson will deny it of course. It doesn’t even matter if the voters completely believe Clarkson and think this kid’s a liar. The only thing that matters is maybe the story goes viral.”

CS: “OK, so it goes viral, say it gets picked up. Clarkson denies it and people believe him, they think this punk is a disgruntled former employee, a wack job, someone trying to make a name for himself — what’s that do for us? Clarkson looks attacked, sympathetic…”

CJ: “That’s my point, it doesn’t matter. Voters may feel it’s typical campaign bullshit — but there’ll be a whole lot of them seeing it as some unseemly gay thing. Look, Clarkson and the RNC, they’re campaigning on him being gay. What?…the new kind of Republican…whatever — right, ok — people are more and more ok with it, but a lot of them aren’t good with having it in their faces…it’s not like they’re gonna go to gay pride or something. Even if they think he’s being attacked — the Ds will still vote for Steve, that’s a given — but a ton of seniors, indies, conservatives, the ones not completely comfortable with a gay candidate no matter what they say, no matter what our polling shows…give them a sliver of doubt about unseemliness, put it in their face. Thirty days out if we can. Yes, they’re ok with a stable gay guy, but not when there’s a scandal. They see enough Congressmen in some scandal, the last mayor right here…no one’s forgetting that one…this guy’s not even in office yet and there’s one. Unseemly. We want them to know. They can think some kid has it out for Clarkson, but they also won’t get past what they see as some kind of gay scandal.”

CS: “Yeah, despite my better angels telling me we’d moved beyond that, the homophobes are still out there…in the district there’s…”

CJ: “Come on, it’s not just that — it’s people that are ok with it, ok with gay marriage maybe, but they’re still more comfortable with a married guy like Steve, not a single gay guy. We’re just driving their uncomfort — discomfort — home for them with something ugly. Hell, a ton of moderate seniors are right there with the right wing nuts — they’re ok with it in one sense, but in their Congressman? It’s different.”

CS: “Yeah, I see it. But we’ve gotta guard against any backfire…it can’t be on Steve or the party. It’s gotta be from this kid. Was he really a Clarkson supporter when he got the job? He’s a Republican? His background. Seriously. Look at it. Anything else looks like us. I’ll think about it. Let’s talk tomorrow or before Monday.”

CJ: “I’m looking more at the details. Ok, later.”


Comments 5

  1. I wasn’t really sure what this was about, as I hadn’t been watching the news…then I found this…and it all made sense.


    Some key take-a-ways: 1. CNN still hadn’t received assurances from the candidate after repeated requests and opportunities to do so about the “assured” negation of the allegations…

    2. While not substantiated, the one that caught attention was the alleged “hush” money and offer of a “job” with the RPSDC…I can’t imagine that being authorized without the explicit consent of the Chairman…What says the Chairman? Were there any offers made? EC? Are you aware of any offers made?

    While bearing false witness is both unethical and immoral, obfusction and covering up information that can lead to determining potential allegations is just as unethical. (and possibly illegal…which gets real personal for some real fast…)

    Of course, if these allegations are BS, as alleged by the candidate (and sincere wishful thinking of the GOP-enablers who may truly not know) then there isn’t anything to hide or cover up…

    Of course, unless there is…

    Tick, tick, tick goes the bomb…

  2. @Steve Gramm Well done piece. Might I offer the follow up call?

    CJ: I got it. Sell it as “we don’t need another problem like we had with the former Mayor”

    CS: I don’t, follow.

    CJ: Harassment. San Diegans HATE the idea of harassment.

    CS: Sheez oh man yes. The former Mayor destroyed our brand with harassment.

    CJ: The kid says Clarkson harassed him. This isn’t about sex or being gay, this is about harassment. All we gotta do is say “San Diego can’t afford another Ph–”

    CS: Please don’t say his name. I can’t bear to repeat his name.

    CJ. Okay, OK. All we gotta do is say “San Diego can’t afford another problem like we had with the former Mayor. Best to take the safe vote”

    CS: What if it’s proven to be false?

    CJ: Clarkson has to deny it and attack back. The burden of proof then shifts to Clarkson.

    CS: Not in a court of law.

    CJ: Court of law? who said anything about a court of law? This is an election.

  3. You give the Democrats way too much credit. Will Rogers summed it up when he said ” I don’t belong to any organized political party, I am a Democrat.”

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