Tags: Junior | Gore's | History | Dirty | Tricks

Junior Gore's History of Dirty Tricks

Saturday, 04 November 2000 12:00 AM

A desperate Junior was responsible for similar last-minute dirty tricks in his failed bid for president in the Democrat primaries in 1988.

It was Junior who first brought forth the Willie Horton issue. His campaign secretly leaked the information in an attempt to damage the front-runner, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, by blaming his state's release of the incarcerated felon on a weekend furlough during which Horton committed horrible crimes.

Is it such a stretch that a similar desperation move has again been utilized by Gore in another sneak attack to salvage his failing campaign?

We know, for instance, that Gore campaign spokesman Chris Lehane is a native of Kennebunkport, Maine, and that his sister, Erin Lehane, is a partner in the law firm of former Democrat National Committee Chairman Kenneth Curtis, also a former governor of Maine. Both have issued denials of involvement.

And we also know Portland lawyer Tom Connolly, the admitted leaker, was the Democrat candidate for governor in 1998 and a Gore delegate to the Democrat convention. He also said he learned of the information from a public figure whom he refused to name.

Reports have identified the public figure as Judge Billy Childs, who apparently accessed the 24-year-old sealed court records some four months ago, in advance of the convention at Los Angeles this summer.

What is highly suspicious is the fact that these records were somehow miraculously uncovered after two dozen years and, therefore, were not accessible by computer, which means a physical search would have had to be made. But what is worse, and illegal, is releasing records that were ordered sealed by the court.

Kenneth Curtis is a close Childs family friend, who offered a eulogy at the funeral of Billy Childs' father, also a former Maine governor who had switched parties from Republican to Democrat.

Published reports on www.mainetoday.com recount Tom Connolly's virulent anti-Bush behavior at the Gore convention, including boasts to affect the campaign by "adding a little pepper to the stew, to flavor it or leaven it to make it rise unexpectedly."

Steve Gill of radio station WLAC in Nashville told

The Bush DUI story has supposedly been a poorly kept secret in political circles in Nashville, according to the WLAC source, since the convention in Los Angeles, with Democrat staffers and others talking rather freely about the charge.

And the Bangor Daily News reported previously on several dirty tricks in recent Maine political campaigns, some with apparent links to 'private investigator' Terry Lenzer, whose unseemly work has been associated with numerous Clinton scandals.

Published reports have also placed both leaker Tom Connolly and Mark Fabiani, Gore campaign communications director, at the same debating tournaments in the late 1970s, though each denies knowing the other.

There is certainly a good deal of smoke. Does it mean there is fire? Maybe time will tell.

But given the Gore/Clinton track record for dissembling, denying and double-talk, it's hard to say if the truth will ever be fully known.

What we know is that Gore did it before: his last campaign for president had no problem getting down in the mud with political dirty tricks.

This is his record and his legacy.

Which doesn't speak well of him then or now.

E-mail Dan:

Dan Frisa represented New York in the United States Congress and served four terms in the New York State Assembly.

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A desperate Junior was responsible for similar last-minute dirty tricks in his failed bid for president in the Democrat primaries in 1988. It was Junior who first brought forth the Willie Horton issue. His campaign secretly leaked the information in an attempt to damage...
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Saturday, 04 November 2000 12:00 AM
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