Says Seminole Chronicle is 'dumbass paper' to Seminole Chronicle editor!
Reveals plans to smear Clint Curtis as 'having mental problems'
By Winter Patriot on 9/8/2006, 3:00am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Late Tuesday night, after the election returns from Florida showed a landslide win for Clint Curtis over Andy Michaud in the 24th congressional district's Democratic primary, I heard a fascinating story from Ace Reporter and Managing Editor Alex Babcock of Oviedo, Florida's Seminole Chronicle. The Chronicle is Feeney's "hometown paper" which both the corrupt Republican congressman, and Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) --- the company he used to lobby for, even while he was speaker of the Florida House! --- threatened with a lawsuit after the paper dared to report on Curtis' sworn, video-taped testimony to members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

Curtis had testified that Feeney asked him to create a prototype of electronic vote-rigging software when they were both employed by YEI as The BRAD BLOG originally broke back in December of 2004. Curtis, of course, is now the Democratic candidate challenging Feeney for the U.S. House seat in Florida's 24th congressional district.

Babcock's remarkable account of the "jubilant" Election Night conversation, witnessed by at least three other parties, went as follows...

The Chronicle had endorsed a candidate for City Council, who won. So [Chronicle reporter] Michelle [Yoffee-Beard] and I were at a victory party at a restaurant called Toucan Willie's, in Oviedo.

Tom Feeney stopped by for a few minutes to congratulate Keith Britton and have a beer. Britton is a Republican candidate challenging another Republican for a City Council seat in Oviedo.

Michelle asked Feeney why he would prepare a flattering depiction of Curtis in a campaign advertisement that reached voters before the Democratic primary.

"You'll find out," he said with a smirk.


Babcock continued:

He then unveiled plans for a smear campaign that will include a book highlighting periodicals that have given Curtis' story credibility. He said 30 copies of the book have been produced, for distribution to media outlets in the area. He impugned Curtis' credibility, saying, "Curtis has mental problems."

"Are we going to get a copy?" Michelle asked. Feeney replied that we were in the book, and would look bad for being in it because we'd be in the same company as Hustler Magazine.

Laughing, Feeney continued with description of the book, pausing briefly to ask: "Do you think I'm kidding?" to which I replied, "No, I don't think you're kidding." Feeney hastily added, "I'm not kidding."

He seemed particularly interested in the results of the District 24 Democratic primary, delighted in the news of Curtis' victory. He seemed spurred on by this news, which clearly he'd received before arriving at the Britton victory party.

Feeney was eager to describe the details of his plans to destroy Curtis' reputation by maligning him as "mentally unbalanced," implying that Curtis was an easy opponent to beat, compared with [Curtis' primary opponent, Andy] Michaud.

Though official returns were not yet in for the Curtis vs. Michaud Democratic primary, Curtis held a 19 percent margin at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, making him the likely challenger for Feeney's District 24 Congressional seat.

Feeney said the national media has already begun to describe Curtis as a member of the "tin hat" society.

Feeney delighted in describing how the Chronicle will be depicted alongside Hustler Magazine as one of the "dumb-ass" news organizations that have reported on the Curtis matter.

The implications would apparently be that: [1] any publication that found itself in the same collection as Hustler would be disgraced, and [2] Clint Curtis and those who took his claims seriously would therefore be shown to be "crazy".

In short, Feeney hopes to convince the media that no "respectable" news outlet would (or should) give any credence to "Crazy Clint Curtis" and his "outrageous" claims (on the grounds that none has yet done so?).

It doesn't take a rocket scientest to speculate that Feeney hopes to use the confusion thereby created as a "smoke screen" behind which he can hide while "ducking" the many questions which he — Feeney — would prefer not to answer. We'll see about that.

Ironically, Feeney (or, more likely, his campaign staff) may have unwittingly compiled a masterful condemnation of the craven American print media and their collective fear of such an explosive story.

Alternatively but also ironically, Feeney (or his staff) could be distributing — free of charge to local media — the very rope by which he — Feeney — will be hung! Who knows? Give 'em enough rope, right? We'll see about that, too.

Alex Babcock said the conversation he described was witnessed by himself and Michelle, Feeney, at least one member of Feeney's staff and supporters of the Council candidate.

So it wasn't exactly a private, off-the-record chat.

Presumably Feeney was supposed to keep his strategy --- and those books --- secret, wouldn't you think?

It does seem that he said more on Tuesday night than he was supposed to, doesn't it?

I mean, why would he pre-announce a smear campaign like that?

And why would he call the Seminole Chronicle a dumb-ass paper --- in front of the Managing Editor of the Seminole Chronicle?

What really happened Tuesday night at Toucan Willie's?

Do you think Tom Feeney was so surprised to see a couple of reporters at a gathering for politicos on Election Night that he lost his composure and said way too much?

Do you think he’d been celebrating just a bit too hard? In other words, do you think he was just way too happy about the prospect of running against "Crazy Clint Curtis"?

And while we're asking questions, here's another batch for you:

Is Tom Feeney really and truly elated to be running against Clint Curtis?

Or is he scared to death and just putting up a good front?

How about: scared to death and not putting up a very good front at all?

We shall see...

Meanwhile, Clint Curtis, apprised of Feeney's self-confessed strategy, responded this way:

If it's crazy to want real democracy for this country where every vote is counted and verified then I might be crazy.

If it requires a demented mind to believe that a sitting congressman should not be assisting a company that has been spying, and even had an employee convicted of espionage, then I must have lost my mind.

If you have to be insane in order to believe that selling your vote for personal gain is wrong, then it's time to sign me up for Bellevue.

It all boils down to who is telling the truth and who is willing to take the polygraph test. Even if I am somehow able to pass that test, based on Feeney's mental illness theory, shouldn't Mr. Feeeny be able to counter these claims with a one-on-one public test of his own?

Stop the Tom-Foolery. Take The Test, Tom.

Clint has said something similar before. Why not? It makes sense...

Stalwart BRAD BLOG commenter Charlie L picked up on the theme and added a few more lines:

If caring about honest elections in America is crazy, then call me CRAZY.

If fighting against Feeney's corruption and criminal behaviour in our Congress is crazy, then I'M CRAZY.

If wanting the Democracy that our young men and women are supposedly dying for in Iraq to MEAN something here at home is CRAZY, then THAT'S WHAT I AM.

If believing that this Republican administration is out-of-control and that rubber-stamp Congressmen like Tom Feeney have abdicated their duty to perform Checks and Balances is CRAZY, then I'm INSTITUTIONAL.

You would have to be WAY BEYOND CRAZY to support Tom Feeney in this race.

How about that?

Good goin', Charlie!

Anybody else? Now's your chance!