"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
“You can’t miss him. The guy’s big, all gut and jowls, resembling a political cartoonist’s idea of a fat cat, but dressed in jeans and an oversized ‘Cruz 2016’ fleece. He has a thin goatee, a gelled flick of hair, and thick hands often wrapped around an empty soda bottle for catching the spit juice from his beloved Red Man Golden Blend chewing tobacco.”
This is Jeff Roe, Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, as described by Andy Kroll for The New Republic on Jan. 20, 2016.
But Roe is much, much worse than he looks. In Missouri, his native state, and among political insiders more generally, Democrats and Republicans alike regard Roe as one of the meanest dogs in the political junkyard. No leash, no muzzle, and no “curb your dog” rule for the hatchet-faced, smooth-talking Cruz; he’s got his angry pit bull eager to tear to shreds anyone who gets in the way. And it only took the Iowa caucuses for the rest of the country to find out what the folks who know Cruz’s attack dog best have known for decades. So let’s begin with Iowa.
First, there were the recorded messages on the eve of the Iowa caucuses: “Breaking News — Ben Carson is dropping out. Inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead.”
When he was called out on it, Cruz claimed it was CNN’s fault, that his staff simply "passed on a CNN news story that CNN broke."
CNN issued an uncharacteristically blunt statement: Cruz, you lied.
Senator Cruz's claims about CNN are false. At no point did the network indicate Dr. Carson would suspend his campaign. Our correspondent reported the information provided to him by the Carson campaign. Dr. Carson's staff informed CNN that he would return home to take a "deep breath" before resuming his activities on the trail. That information was reported accurately by CNN across TV and digital.
Honest Cruz/Roe mistake?
You might give Cruz the benefit of the doubt but the chronology and much else make it clear that this was no innocent mistake. Moreover, it’s not the first time for Roe. We’ll get to that in a moment.
Breitbart News released audio tapes of Cruz’s operatives calling precinct captains informing them that Dr. Ben Carson was suspending campaigning, and instructing them to tell voters they should “not waste a vote on Ben Carson and vote for Ted Cruz.”
The calls were placed after the Carson campaign had already clarified that Carson was not suspending his campaign.
Nancy Bliesman, a precinct captain for Cruz in Crawford County, Iowa, told Breitbart News that she received two voice mails — one at 7:07 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST), and one at 7:29 p.m.–on the night of the Iowa caucuses, which began at 7:00 p.m.
The first call came from a woman with a phone number out of Galveston, Texas at 7:07 p.m.
[inaudible] . . . from the Ted Cruz campaign, calling to get to a precinct captain, and it has just been announced that Ben Carson is taking a leave of absence from the campaign trail, so it is very important that you tell any Ben Carson voters that for tonight, uh, that they not waste a vote on Ben Carson, and vote for Ted Cruz. He is taking a leave of absence from his campaign. All right? Thank you. Bye.
The second voicemail was left at 7:29 p.m. from an Iowa phone number that Breitbart News traced back to a Cruz campaign volunteer hotline.
Hello, this is the Cruz campaign with breaking news: Dr. Ben Carson will be [garbled] suspending campaigning following tonight’s caucuses. Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead. Thank you. Good night.
Asked if the tactics in Iowa bear Roe’s fingerprints, Carson spokesman Jason Osborne, said: "Absolutely. He runs the show over there and they take their direction from him."
The rumors about Carson dropping out started before the CNN story ran.
Ryan Rhodes, the Carson campaign’s Iowa state director:
“What we saw in the week leading up to the caucus were rumors being circulated that Ben was going to be dropping out after Iowa. Someone was contacting voters making the case to vote for Cruz. It all culminated in that evening [of the caucus] in calls, voicemails and text alerts spreading a narrative that was false.”
Roe Has Done It Before Iowa
In the last few days of a 2010 Missouri congressional race between Scott Eckersley, the Democratic candidate, and Roe’s client, Billy Long, the media received email messages that appeared to be from a Yahoo e-mail account under Eckersley’s name. The messages said he was dropping out.
Eckersley filed complaints with the Federal Elections Commission and the Department of Justice and had computer technicians trying to track down what had happened.
From a contemporaneous news report:
Before they finished their work, though, he said he was confident Long’s campaign was behind it. He said it specifically bears the fingerprints of Jeff Roe, with Axiom Strategies, which does consulting work for Long’s campaign. He said Roe orchestrated smear attacks him starting in 2007. He acknowledged that he didn’t yet have evidence of his allegation.
“That brand of politics disgusts me,” Eckersley said.
Roe, reached by phone Friday, said he had no involvement in the matter.
Eckersley said someone also falsely opened a Twitter account in his name, sending out damaging tweets including those saying he planned to increase taxes. He said it took some time to remove the account.
He said the e-mail accounts of his campaign staff members have been broken into or altered.
This is the fake Eckersley e-mail sent to news outlets.
From: Scott Eckersley <firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com>>
Date: October 29, 2010 7:49:42 AM CDT
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
Subject: For Immediate Release-Eckersley for Congress
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 7:45 A.M. CST, OCTOBER 29TH 2010
Eckersley Suspends Campaign for Congress and Withdraws Until Further Notice
Due to Personal Matters that have arose over the last several days, Scott Eckersley who is running for Congress in the Missouri’s 7th Congressional District is Suspending his campaign until further notice.
“I am saddened that I am having to do this, however at this time, this is the best decision for myself and my family” said Eckersley. “I would like to thank my supporters for all that they have done for me and I hope that they will understand my decision.”
Eckersley for Congress
Phone: (888) 788-3643
Fax: (888) 900-3512
Two years later, the Federal Election Commission determined that another political consultant was responsible. Eckersley wanted the FEC to subpoena phone records because he was sure there was a connection between the person they identified and the campaign. But that ended the matter.
Now a similar tactic appears in a presidential campaign run by Roe.
What the team then should have done was send around the follow-up statement from the Carson campaign clarifying that he was indeed staying in the race when that came out. This was a mistake from our end, and for that I apologize to Dr. Carson.
So a meaningless post-election, on-camera apology calculated to score “sincerity points.” Cruz would make the sleazy trick work for him.
A different sort of sleazeball operation is being run in South Carolina. This time it’s push polling. The Washington Post reported that Natalie Barrett, a 53-year-old schoolteacher, received a robo-call that asked which candidate she supported. She said Rubio. Then the voice on the other end got a little nastier.
The call: “Did you know that Marco Rubio and the Gang of Eight are for amnesty?”
Barrett: “And then the gentleman said he’s for letting 11 million illegal immigrants stay in the U.S. and that he was for letting Syrians cross the borders freely.”
Barrett said she found the call — which continued to say negative things about Rubio before taking shots at Donald Trump for being a supporter of eminent domain — to be “negative” and “unfair,” but she couldn’t figure out right away who it was from. The voice said the poll was conducted by some place called “Remington Research.”
Remington Research is a consulting firm started by Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe.
Cruz’s people say it could have been someone pretending to be Remington so as to stir up this kind of scandal. But there’s more. A fake Facebook page has claimed South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, who supports Rubio, planned to switch his support to Cruz. Here’s the report from the USA Today affiliate Greenville Online.
ANDERSON – Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said in Anderson Tuesday night that his campaign had nothing to do with false reports on Facebook that U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy of Spartanburg had switched his support to Cruz from Marco Rubio, one of Cruz’s rivals for the GOP nomination.
“We had nothing to do with that, and I think it is unfortunate that the Rubio campaign would make allegations with no evidence,” Cruz told The Greenville News during an interview on his campaign bus just before he took the stage at the Anderson Civic Center.
“We had nothing to do with that,” Cruz said. “And we would not have anything to do with such a thing.”
Gowdy, however, blamed the Cruz campaign for circulating the false claim on social media.
“The truth actually matters to me and to all South Carolinians,” Gowdy said in a statement earlier Tuesday. “Unfortunately it appears that the campaign of Senator Ted Cruz may not place the same value on waging a contest based on the truth and facts.”
Gowdy said Cruz and his allies had launched a “systematic effort” in the past week to “spread false information and outright lies.”
“Now it’s been reported that a fake Facebook page has been used to fool South Carolinians into thinking I no longer support Marco Rubio and that I’m instead supporting Ted Cruz,” Gowdy said. “Nothing could be further from the truth and I’m demanding that Senator Cruz and his campaign repudiate these dishonest and underhanded tactics.”
It was the latest accusation of political dirty tricks against the Cruz campaign and came on a day when a new poll of South Carolina Republicans showed Cruz tied for second place with Rubio four days before the state's first-in-the-South presidential primary . . . .
Also, over the weekend, a South Carolina television station, after a legal review, temporarily pulled down an ad from a pro-Cruz super PAC that targeted Rubio's position on immigration, The Associated Press reported . . . .
Last week, the National Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, rebuked Cruz for making “misleading” claims that Rubio, a Florida senator, had not fought to defund Planned Parenthood.
Gowdy, who has appeared in television ads supporting Rubio, asserted the Texas senator’s campaign was lying about him and demanded Cruz repudiate the “dishonest and underhanded tactics.”
Cruz tweeted on Tuesday night that his campaign “had absolutely nothing to do with this fraudulent Facebook post” and stated that “kind of deception is deplorable and nothing like it would be tolerated by this campaign.”
As we’ll see below, Cruz’s junkyard dog is no stranger to phony e-mail and Facebook scandals.
Still not convinced? Let’s revisit another Cruz Iowa scam.
They created an official-looking document, labeled “Voting Violation.” Designed to look like a government document, it stated in capital letters “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.”
It listed the names of the recipient’s neighbors, disclosed whether they had or hadn’t voted in the past, and graded them. The neighbor who hadn’t voted in a caucus for several years received an “F.” It was a trick to suggest that failing to vote in the Iowa caucuses was a violation of state law. And, of course, the campaign had data that told them to whom to send the notices: likely Cruz voters.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said,
Today I was shown a piece of literature from the Cruz for President campaign that misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law. Accusing citizens of Iowa of a voting violation based on Iowa Caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act. There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting. Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses.
The Junkyard Dog and His New Master Sniffed Each Other out but They Were Made for Each Other
When Cruz first laid eyes on him, Roe had a different master: Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Cruz’s primary opponent in his campaign for the Texas Senate seat he holds today. Texas voters received a pamphlet in the mail with a likeness of Cruz on a Chinese flag. The pamphlet read, “Mr. Cruz betrayed our country.”
“Ted Cruz: Killing American Jobs, Deceiving Texans,” the pamphlet said. It went on to describe him as a lying D.C. lawyer who represented a Chinese company charged with stealing blueprints from a U.S. manufacturer. Cruz didn’t like it but he won anyway and he knew he had found his dog. A quick scan of Jeff Roe’s Missouri pedigree was all he needed: This is one mean sonofabitch—tricky too.
A Saint Louis Post-Dispatch story told how Roe had worked over a rival Republican candidate for governor, Tom Schweich. While no causal connection could ever be established — and possibly none existed — when Roe got through with him, Schweich committed suicide. This is the story.
In 2014, a smoking ban was on the ballot in St. Joseph, Missouri. The bars and other businesses affected formed a political action committee to fight it, called “Citizens for Fairness in Missouri.” But the ordinance passed. The campaign was over but the committee wasn’t formally dissolved. Then, in February, 2015, Citizens for Fairness popped up with a radio ad across the state. The ad called Schweich a weak candidate for governor whose opponent, Roe’s client, would “squash him like the little bug that he is.”
Q. Why Did Bar Owners and Other Funders of the Citizens for Fairness PAC Target Schweich?
A. They Didn’t.
Roe’s client was Catherine Hanaway. He used the committee as a front to attack Schweich. He wasn’t Jewish but the election also featured an anti-Semitic whisper campaign. Nobody ever proved Roe was behind it. It could have been a disinterested party who just wanted to run an anti-Semitic campaign to have some fun.
In a funeral homily, former Sen. John Danforth called on voters to reject political bullying by “anonymous pseudo-committees.”
Hanaway said she knew nothing about any of it. Roe refused to be interviewed. But he emailed his condolences to Schweich’s family: “Everyone touched by this tragedy is searching for the words to express the sorrow or the full human emotions that come with this loss.”
Think how touched the family must have been to have received Roe’s message.
There’s so much more to tell about the junkyard dog who’s running Cruz’s campaign. There’s the time, for example, that he managed the election campaign for Sam Graves, the Texas congressman who gave him his start.
Get in This Race and You’ll Be Sorry
Here are a few excerpts from a story about the 2002 congressional race involving Graves and Roe. Reported by David Martin, it ran under the headling “Goon Squad” in the May 13, 2004 edition of The Pitch, a Missouri newspaper.
Bob Fairchild, a retired assistant high school principal and head football coach, stood with his mouth open on the day an aide to U.S. Rep. Sam Graves came to his house and tried to intimidate him.
Fairchild lives in Chillicothe, Missouri, where he's a beloved figure. Before retiring in 1998, he coached the local high school's football team to 307 wins and five state championships.
One day two years ago, a Chillicothe newspaper publisher and a St. Louis mortician, Democrats both, visited Fairchild's home in an effort to persuade him to run for an open seat in the Missouri House of Representatives. They were discussing the idea —Fairchild is convinced he would have won — when Jewell Patek knocked.
Patek graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1989. He worked for Graves in Washington, D.C. For a time, the two men shared an apartment.
"He came to the door but would not come in . . . . In a threatening way — now, I can't tell you his exact words — but it was kind of put to me that, 'you don't have a chance, and you'll be sorry if you decide to do this.'"
Fairchild was stunned.
"He caught me so unawares, I didn't know what to say. It was the first instance of somebody coming and doing something like that, and I just . . ."
"I wish I had it to do over again."
Fairchild says he has no idea if Graves had anything to do with Patek's visit in 2002. Patek's intention seemed clear, however: He wanted a Republican to hold his former seat. "There was no question in my mind in what he was trying to do: dissuade me from trying to run, in a threatening way," Fairchild says.
Fairchild ultimately decided not to be a candidate. He says health concerns, not the warnings of a "little pipsqueak," kept him out of the race.
“I've been always in a profession that I thought was pretty tough," Fairchild says. "But it wasn't dirty."
That day, Fairchild joined a not very exclusive club of Missouri politicians who have felt bullied, harassed, jostled, taunted and defamed by someone connected to Graves, a conservative serving his second two-year term in the U.S. House. Politicians from both major parties claim disgust with his political operation, a squad led by Jeff Roe, his longtime campaign manager and (until recently) chief of staff.
"Their tactics are the worst I've ever seen, and I've been in politics fifty years," says former Kansas City Councilwoman Teresa Loar, who opposed Graves in a Republican primary in 2000. "It's truly incredible what they get away with."
One of the squad's favorite tactics is to jam cameras in the faces of opponents, paparazzi-style. Graves' minions seek photographs in such an aggressive manner that two of his rivals have complained to police.
"They're evil," says Clay County Assessor Cathy Rinehart, who challenged Graves in 2002. "Their tactics are evil."
Larry Dougan, a former candidate for state representative, says he overheard Roe tell another man at a festival in Rock Port: "We're going to do a C-section on Cathy Rinehart and throw her guts out on the floor."
Intimidation in a Dark Parking Lot: A Police Report is Filed
The temperature fell below 10 degrees on the January night Charlie Broomfield held a campaign fund-raiser at the Old Pike Country Club in Gladstone. He was running for congress against Graves and Roe.
As the fund-raiser wound down, at about 8:20 p.m., Broomfield told his wife, Marsha, that he was going to start the car. Broomfield pulled on his coat and stepped out into the cold, dark night.
At the moment Broomfield reached his wife's Chrysler, a car approached. A man got out of the vehicle, leaving the engine running and the door ajar. He moved toward Broomfield, his face concealed behind a camera.
Broomfield thought at first that maybe a supporter wanted a picture before leaving the fund-raiser. "You know," Broomfield says, "politicians are glad to have their picture taken."
But the man with the camera did not put Broomfield at ease by yelling. "Are you Charlie Broomfield?" he called. "Are you Charlie Broomfield?"
"Yes, I am," Broomfield says he answered. "Who are you?"
The man, not answering, kept coming until he was within a few feet of Broomfield's face. Now Broomfield was worried. He says he keeps himself in pretty good shape, but the 66-year-old was not thrilled with the prospect of having to fend off an attacker.
The man snapped one last picture, turned around, and walked back to his car.
Broomfield felt his composure return. "If you don't tell me who you are," he said to the photographer, "I'm going to get your license number."
But the photographer sped away without revealing his name.
What happened in the parking lot felt to Broomfield like a crime. Half an hour later, he filed a report with the Gladstone police. "I think it was fairly close to assault, if not actually assault."
The plate number Broomfield jotted down corresponded to a Mazda sedan owned by Jason Klindt, Graves' deputy press secretary. Today, Broomfield says he regrets not pressing charges against the Graves staffer. "They'll do anything," Broomfield says of Roe and his associates. "There's no limit."
Another Roe Candidate – Another Opponent Intimidated
Cathy Rinehart, Graves' previous Democratic challenger, filed a similar report in 2002. She was walking in a Gladstone parade, throwing candy and waving, when two men with cameras circled her for several minutes along the route. "They were screaming and saying to each other, 'I got her!'" Rinehart tells The Pitch.
Rinehart says the photographers melted into the crowd whenever her section of the parade approached a police officer. She says she later saw them wearing Graves T-shirts. . . .
Rinehart says she was stalked by photographers at several different events. "We live in a civilized country," she says. "You should be able to walk in a parade and not be afraid." . . . .
Operatives were sent out to hold cameras directly in the opponents’ faces as they spoke. More than one victim of these and worse thuggish episodes went to the police and in one case, the FBI. Rinehart says a group of Graves' campaign aides accosted her during a parade. She told Mother Jones reporter Pema Levy that a Graves staffer came to her government assessor's office almost daily to make sure she was there working. The level of "nastiness" and "intimidation" was "very, very, very bad." It was very threatening. They did it the whole campaign." She places the blame squarely on Roe. "I don't think Jeff has changed his tactics at all," Rinehart adds. "He just thinks it's funny, and it's not funny."
[That story ran on March 24, 2015, headlined: “Meet Ted Cruz’s Karl Rove: ‘He Leaves a Path of Destruction’”]
Roe Gets His Start: Attack Ads, Cameras in the Opponent’s Face, Moles in the Opponent’s Office
It was during the 1994 Senate race that Graves and Jeff Roe first worked together. Roe served as a deputy on the campaign and has managed Graves' successive election bids, including his 2000 election to Congress.
When the incumbent stepped down due to illness, Republican leaders picked Graves as the candidate, though it had already declared a candidate, Teresa Loar.
Loar was furious. Republican leaders, she complained, wanted one of their own — a conservative white male — to fill the seat once they saw it could be had. Before the primary, U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and former Majority Leader Dick Armey visited the district on Graves' behalf. Money poured in. Attack ads filled the airwaves and the newspaper pages. Loar didn't stand a chance. "It was killing a gnat with a sledgehammer," she tells The Pitch.
As if the full weight of the Republican Party weren't enough, Loar had to contend with Graves' street operation. Candidate forums, parades, neighborhood meetings — nearly everywhere she went, it seemed, a young man with a camera followed. "They'll get right in your face," she says.
Loar says she knew the picture takers worked for Graves because she saw them at his rallies. "A fiefdom of white guys," she calls the squad. Loar understands the nature of opposition research, but she says the incessant presence of a photographer served a greater purpose. "This is for harassment," she says.
Loar was also on guard for college students who presented themselves as researchers and journalists but had ulterior motives. She says she saw the same scholars cheering Graves at public events. Rinehart made a similar charge. She said Matt Barry, a field rep in Graves' Liberty office, tried to volunteer for her campaign on repeated occasions.
Brown shirts Draped in American Flags and Christian Values
State Rep. Jim Whorton, a Trenton Democrat, says he's seen the Graves squad get physical, literally butting in when his campaign workers have tried to pass out literature along parade lines. "They're just generally a bunch of bullies," he says.
In other circumstances, jostling along a parade line might be dismissed as the work of overly enthusiastic youths. But when Roe is involved, obnoxious behavior is a recurring tactic.
Whorton says he went to the car lot he owns one Sunday during the last campaign to do some paperwork and saw Roe and Patek pressed against the glass window of his campaign office, which was nearby. Whorton says they were probably trying to catch a glimpse of whatever paperwork and poster board might have been visible.
Whorton says he called police, but no report of the incident was made. "They never did anything I could prove was illegal," Whorton says. "They're just . . . assholes."
Grandmother in a Wheelchair? No Problem; We’ll Make Her a Porn Star
In the 2006 election, Graves' Democratic challenger was 62-year-old Sara Jo Shettles. A grandmother in a wheelchair, she once sold ads for a science magazine whose parent company also owned Penthouse. So an ad campaign featured the so-called "Pornographic Connection," and a TV ad displayed a large "XXX" beside her picture, as an announcer warned that she had "outrageous values." This is a transcription of Roe’s audio message:
[Roe hums a melody] Hi, this is Jeff Roe calling from Penthouse — I mean, uh, Graves for Congress. Call me when you can. I’m interested in your debate memo. I know you’re waiting on a sponsor for a media host. So, gimme a call when you get a chance. 407-NAUGHTY-GIRLS — I mean, 1222. Gimme a call when you can. Thanks. Bye.
Remember Cruz’s ‘New York Values’ Attack on Trump? Here’s Where it Came From
When former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes ran against Graves in 2008, she went to Nancy Pelosi’s California district for a fundraiser. Roe’s TV attack ads featured a young black man dancing with two young white women, and talked about “West Coast liberals” and “San Francisco values.”
Facebook and E-Mail Intimidation? No Problem, The Junkyard Dog Runs a Full Service Political Shop
When Republican Brian Tharp ran against Graves, he was harassed and people who claimed to be against Graves tried to intimidate him through email messages and social media.
Throughout the harassment campaign, someone using the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” emailed Tharp’s office over 40 times, called him a dumbass 60 times, fabricated and spread lies about his life, his family, his children, his business, his finances, and threatened to burn his house down.
He also received repeated contacts by Sam Graves’ staff during his campaign speeches, through Facebook, Twitter, Topix and email. He asked Aaron Baker, campaign manager for Graves and an employee of Jeff Roe’s company, Axiom Strategies, if he had ever used this email address or the alias Lauren Smith. He denied it. However, he received multiple Facebook friend requests from Baker and other congressional employees of Graves. Congressional staffers are considered federal employees and it is illegal for them to be engaged in any campaign-related activities.
One of the first emails from “email@example.com” originated from the U.S. House of Representatives server and the emailer threatened that Brian would be "going down in flames."
Tharp, a trailer manufacturing company owner, reported the threats to authorities, but they said they could not trace them. Tharp cataloged the emails on his company website. They’re very extensive.
Here’s a small sample:
Dear Lauren/John; I do not communicate with people, on the Internet or anywhere else for that matter, who are afraid to identify themselves. –Brian
Third email received April 5th, 2014:
Brian, then you have shown yourself to be a fool and I don't stick my neck out to be cut off by Graves machine for fools or idiots . . .. good day and btw . . . . your personal financial record and your personal fiscal responsibility is public knowledge and you sir, just bought an enemy. I will make sure you don't pull votes away from one of the others that could beat Graves. Sent from my iPhone.
Dear John/Lauren; I would be careful about threatening anyone these days on the Internet, especially people who are running for a public office. In addition to not having anything to hide, your threats about my fiscal responsibility don't scare me one bit. As a matter of fact, because of the susceptibility of your emails and the threats you have made against me which are making me concerned for the safety of myself and my family, I am forwarding our communications to our local authorities as well as the Secretary of State's Office, Federal Election Commission and the FBI. I have done this before and they will track your email address, I.P. address and be able to provide me with your id.
The exchange was much more extensive and offensive but you get the idea.
Expect to See a Barrage of Last-Minute, Too-Late-to-Respond Cruz Attack Ads.
A 2006 campaign that defeated former Cole County Circuit Judge Tom Brown, a Democrat who had been on the bench 20 years, is a case in point.
Missouri Lawyers Weekly reported that days before the election, a group called “Citizens for Judicial Reform” received $175,000 from “Americans for Limited Government,” a nonprofit organization that did not have to reveal its donors. “Citizens for Judicial Reform” gave $173,195 to Axiom Strategies, Roe’s consulting firm. A late barrage of radio ads and mailers attacked Brown for various court rulings.
“There’d be some little bit of truth, but then they would twist the truth,” Brown said last week. “It’s a means to an end, and Jeff Roe is, I suppose, proud of the fact that he is a master of the process that can twist the truth.”
So this is the guy who’s running Ted Cruz’s Christian Values, American Flag Campaign. But Jeff Roe also has a lot of corporate clients that he’s taken off his website.
Among the most prominent was the behemoth defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Other corporate clients have included tobacco giant Altria, AT&T, Microsoft, and Peabody Energy, the largest private coal company in the world.
In October 2011, with Roe working behind the scenes, Missouri State Representative Caleb Jones sponsored a resolution that called on Congress to boost funding for Lockheed’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, made in Texas. Problem was, the F-35’s main rival was Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, made in St. Louis.
This was puzzling: Why would a legislator advocate for taking jobs away from his own state? (Jones, a Republican, declined to say at whose behest he offered the controversial resolution.)
Tony Messenger, an editorial page writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, dug around and connected the resolution (which Jones apologized for after a public outcry) to Roe. “How do you connect it to me?” Roe replied, according to Messenger. “I don’t think you can do that.”
“Jeff,” Messenger said, “Lockheed’s your client.”
“Well, they may or may not be, but how would you know?”
“Jeff, it’s on your fucking web site.”
“Oh, okay.” Pause. “How’s the wife?”
Roe said he doesn’t recall the conversation. But Axiom’s web site no longer lists its corporate clients.
The candidates and clients who hire people like this ought to be held accountable.
Voters now have the chance to say Enough is Enough!
 This quotation has been attributed to Sinclair Lewis but no conclusive proof has been presented to confirm it. It may not be too far off the mark so we adopt it as our own.