From: Ed Pond []
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 01:25
Subject: you won't believe this either

Are all the Republicans congenital LIARS ? “…company CEO and founder John McLaughlin called to strongly reiterate that claim, calling the memo a forgery.”{ not John McLaughlin of big mouth shouting TV fame, but see at the end below}

Jay Bookman is a columnist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Libertarian may be key to Senate seat
Thursday, October 30, 2008
It is the fate of most Libertarian candidates to be ignored. But that may not be the fate of Allen Buckley, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate here in Georgia.
In fact, if you believe a leaked memo attributed to McLaughlin & Associates, a national Republican polling and research firm with offices in Virginia and New York, Buckley may be about to hit the big time, drawing the kind of attention that only the big boys get.

• E-mail Bookman
In polls, Buckley has been drawing 2 percent to 6 percent of the vote in a Senate race that has gotten a lot closer in recent weeks. Under Georgia law, which requires the winning candidate to get a majority, that would probably be enough to force the race into a runoff Dec. 2.
That possibility has drawn a lot of attention, not just in Georgia but nationally as well. With Democrats within reach of 60 Senate seats, the magic number needed to prevent filibusters, the seat held by Republican Saxby Chambliss has become a critical hold for the GOP. And typically, incumbents drawn into a runoff don’t do well.
According to the suspicious memo, faxed anonymously to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, McLaughlin & Associates conducted polling after debates in the Senate race.
“There is an alarming shift in key demographic segments that do not bode well for the senator,” the memo states. “Our data indicates that support among the 35-50 and 50-65 white male segment is softening. It also appears that they [are] trending toward the Libertarian candidate.”
The memo, on what purports to be a McLaughlin & Associates letterhead, was allegedly written by Brian Larkin, director of qualitative research at McLaughlin. When contacted Tuesday at his office in New York, Larkin denied any knowledge or involvement.
When I mentioned I had the alleged memo in my hand, on McLaughlin letterhead with his name as its author, the phone went silent for a few moments. Larkin then asked for my phone number and promised to return the call.
Ten minutes later, he called and again denied his company had conducted any polling in the Georgia race. Later in the afternoon, company CEO and founder John McLaughlin called to strongly reiterate that claim, calling the memo a forgery.
Given its unknown source, we decided not to report on the memo unless we could tie down some loose ends. That decision changed when McLaughlin called Wednesday to say he had leaked “to some of my media friends that somebody is trying to do this as a dirty trick,” and that other reporters may be calling us for information.
Now, somebody peddling phony poll numbers seems small potatoes as a dirty trick. What makes the memo potentially incendiary is not the numbers, but the narrative that follows:
“Based on the results of our Hyper-Local polling combined with the intelligence gathered from the media sweep, we believe the runoff is unavoidable,” the memo states. “Our gravest concern is that in the post-election runoff environment, the democratic opponent will emerge as ‘the reasonable choice.’ That combined with what is certain to be a monumental democratic ‘get out the vote’ campaign in the wake of an Obama victory spells real trouble for the client.
“Steve, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss your client’s situation with KR. He is as alarmed as we are due to the implications on the national scene. As you are no doubt aware, your client’s seat might well be number 60 if we can’t turn this thing around.
“To avoid this messy situation, we recommend the following actions:
“Dispatch an action team to conduct the neglected opposition research on the Libertarian candidate. Our operatives will leave no stone unturned. A complete review of his income tax records, marriage records, student records and criminal records as well as detailed financial information must be obtained ASAP.
“Since the Libertarian candidate has utilized AM Talk Radio for the majority of his negative efforts, this would be the venue to launch the client’s counter-assault. Radio ads must be prepared detailing some of the Libertarian party’s controversial stands on the issues such as drug law, gay marriage and abortion.
“A major effort must be made in the blogosphere to ridicule the Libertarian candidate from as many sources and directions as possible. Attacks must be made from the right and the left, spurious claims should be made while hiding under the cloak of anonymity the Internet affords.
In closing, please have the contract signed and returned with payment in full.”
On its Web site, McLaughlin lists the National Republican Senatorial Committee as a client, and describes Larkin as a former NRSC employee. The committee, chaired by Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, is dedicated to electing and re-electing Republicans to the Senate. However, McLaughlin says his company has done no work for the committee this cycle. “This is bizarre,” he said, “a total invention, although somebody clearly went through a lot of trouble.”
The memo is available in PDF form on my AJC blog.
McLaughlin said Wednesday that he may refer the matter to law enforcement.
Buckley said he has no idea whether the memo is legitimate, although “I suspected that if I became a threat, they would try to dig up some dirt on me.
“I’m not an angel but there’s nothing in my past I’m worried about.
“I know from Republicans that a lot of them are getting behind me,” Buckley said. “A lot more would be if they weren’t so worried about the 60-vote thing.”
If he is able to force the race into a runoff, Buckley said, he plans to push Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin to make a public, signed commitment of fiscal responsibility in return for his endorsement.
This has been a strange election season. But come Nov. 5, it would become stranger still if a Georgia Libertarian becomes Senate kingmaker, his influence critical in determining whether Democrats make it to 60 seats.

John McLaughlin has worked professionally as a strategic consultant and pollster for over twenty-five years. During this time he has earned a reputation for helping to guide underdog Republicans and conservative challengers to victory. He has worked across America and internationally in hundreds of campaigns.


~ Ed Pond ~