The Sabotage
of the Presidential Campaign of Senator Edmund Muskie
1971-1972


Not to be Forgotten in this Era of Stolen ElectionsWinning at Any Cost


In May of 2001 the preliminary findings of the United States Commission on Civil Rights regarding the stolen election of 2,000 were published, concluding that Florida Gov. Bush, and the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, turned a blind eye on election day which caused “a pattern of injustice, ineptitude and inefficiency.”


It was more than that of course. It was the undermining of democracy by subtle means, and through intimidation, which has lead us to call for Freedom Fall 2004 (see the editorial in this issue of the Journal)


The scam of the fall of 2000 got me to thinking about what Richard Nixon’s crude but somewhat secret re-election forces did to Senator Edmund Muskie in 1971 and ’72 to knock him out of the race for President.


Richard Nixon was determined to win re-election, whatever it took. In 2000, the forces of George Bush were determined to win, whatever it took, but of course there were differences, since the lessons of Nixon’s mistakes have been well-studied for almost thirty years.The effect was the same: the subversion of democracy.


Going after Senator Muskie.


After the Chappaquiddick incident of 1969, it was obvious to most that Edward Kennedy would never be president. Nixon, of course, monitored the strengths of potential rivals like a chicken on a june bug.


The june bug in this case was Senator Edmund Sixtus Muskie, a liberal Democrat from Maine. He had been governor of Maine in the late 1950s, and had become a Senator in 1959. He was Hubert Humphrey's vp candidate in 1968, and in 1972 was 58. Beginning in 1971, he emerged as a leading opponent of Richard Nixon, and was seen by many Americans as a qualified, quality presidential candidate.


Muskie seemed calm and careful with words, with a liberal vision of America, and the polls showed him moving up in a race against Nixon in 1972.


No one felt strong passion for Nixon, so he and his strategists decided to work to field the weakest possible Democratic candidate in the upcoming race. The result was a campaign of dirty tricks not ever seen before in the American democracy
It was the sort of subversion of democracy which that the CIA utilized during such of its coups, such as in Chile, Guatemala, Iran, et al.


In fact, by mid and late 1971, the forces of Nixon had hired such coups-meisters as E. Howard Hunt, who had been involved in a number CIA coups. He had been deeply involved in the Bay of Pigs, and had many ties with right wing Cubans.


On a more ominous point, Hunt has been accused a number of times of complicity in the assassination of John Kennedy, which he has denied. (See America, a History in Verse, Vol. 3 (1962-197O))



Staring with Malice at Edmund Muskie
Nixon & his henchmen by the spring of 1971
                    looked caustically at Edmund Muskie
                    Democratic Senator from Maine
 
                    thinking Mr. Muskie the strongest
                                               likely candidate
                                                             especially after Chappaquiddick

 May 5, 1971
         There was an antiwar demonstration in the Capitol Steps,
          where protestors had been invited by Representatives Don Dellums & Bella Abzug.
 
         That morning Haldeman
                    laughed, telling Nixon that Charles Colson
                    had “sent oranges down yesterday from Muskie” “to the veterans in the group on 
                    Saturday”
                           “an awful lot of casesw of oranges,” Haldeman told Nixon.
 
Summer of ’71
          a poll of NJ voters was removed from Muskie headquarters
                            in the middle of the night
                                              on the way to the Nixonites

 August, 1971
          a newspaper article damning the political chances of Senator
          Edward Kennedy was mailed to the media and
          all members of Congress in counterfeit Muskie envelopes
 
                                             again by the Nixonites

Beginning in November, 1971
          there was what could be called “Nixon Phone Torture”
          that is, tricks with the Muskie phone system
          such as when, on the afternoon of November 9 Ann Garrabrant
          who worked on the staff of a Muskie sub-committee said the
          phones went weirdo— always ringing but when “we picked 
          them up there was nothing there but the sound of a phone ringing
          on the other end, just as if you had dialed a call.”

 December, 1971
          Muskie polling expert Anna Navaro gathered the raw data from a 
          poll of New Hampshire voters, preparing for the first
          of the Nation’s primaries

                            She left her desk just a few moments
                            When she returned, someone had stolen the polling data

 Late 1971
          Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign
          would pay a taxi driver
                            working as a courier
                                              for the Muskie campaign in D.C.
 
to photograph the documents with a 35 mm camera
 and turn the photos over to the Nixonites

 January 17, 1972
          A Harris Poll showed that 
         “Senator Muskie of Maine has pulled even 
                                     in a January trial heat against President Nixon
                                     42-42 per cent,
 with Gov. Wallace at 11 per cent.”

 (this was after Muskie trailed Nixon in Nov o’ ’71 at 43 to 39)

 In the days before the March 7 New Hampshire Primary
          blue collar workers in Manchester, NH
          found their phones ringing after midnight
                                                       with fake Muskie questions.

          There were two types of calls:
          1. when the caller identified himself as a member of the 
                                                               “Harlem for Muskie Committee:
          and promised that Senator Muskie would deliver “full justice for
                                              Black people”
          2. when the caller identified himself as a Muskie pollster, and asked
          the midnight call recipient for whom he or she was voting
          Then quickly the fake Nixon pollster would call back 2, 3, 4 times
                                                                                           with the same question

 Florida Primary
          A Miss Griffin, former worker in Republican state headquarters
          in Columbia, South Carolina
                            was told to infiltrate Senator Muskie’s campaign
                            in the Florida presidential primary
                            and sabotage it.

                            This was in the winter of 71-’72
 
Griffin, for instance, helped prepare a bogus news-release on the
          campaign stationary of Senator Henry Jackson
          (running for the Democratic nomination also)

          accusing Muskie of preparing campaign materials
                            on a gov’t-owned typewriter & other equipment
                            in the office of Rep. Sam Gibbons of Tampa,
                            a Democratic supporter of Muskie

 Early 1972, Florida
          On Florida’s east coast a fabricated letter appeared inviting
          the public to a gala, free luncheon at Muskie headquarters
          at the Biscayne Terrace Hotel

          and then lots of people came wanting the lunch

 February 2, 1972 
          The Nixonites sent out a letter from “Citizens for Muskie”:
                           “We on the Senator Edmund Muskie staff sincerely
                            hope you have decided upon Senator Muskie as your choice.
                            However, if you have not made your decision
                            you should be aware of several facts”

                            The letter went on to accuse Senators Jackson & Humphrey
                            of a variety of sexual activities
                                                       going back to 1929.

                            The letter was prepared with the help of 
 25 year old Robert Benz, a Young Republicans leader from Tampa

                            A Tampa accountant named George A. Hearing later
                            pleaded guilty to publishing and distributing the
                            Muskie sex letter
                                              after negotiation
                                                                with fed. pros. Bill Haines


                            Nixonites Have Muskie Urging “More Busing”


 There were a few billboards appearing in Florida
          on behalf of Muskie which called for “more busing”
                            and sponsored by “Mothers for Muskie”

 In addition Nixonites were polling for Muskie in the North Miami
                   suburbs between 3-5 am
                                              causing anger in those awakened

 February 20, 1972
          other phony Muskie letters were handed out at a Wallace rally
          in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area,
                            an area considered key to victory by Muskie’s staff

          The Wallace rally letter read, “If you like Hitler, you’d love Wallace”

          During all this in Florida
          someone sent the fake Canuck letter.	

                                             The Canuck Letter

 First, French Canadians were a “vital voting bloc” in New Hampshire
 The Nixonites forged a letter,
                   signed by a human named “Paul Morrison”
                   saying that Muskie had used the word “Canuck”
                   in describing people of French-Canadian ancestry

                   White House aide Ken W. clawson once admitted
                   he wrote the later. Later he denied it, but admitted
                   he’d been in touch with Wm Loeb of the Union Leader.

                   The letter alleged that once Muskie was asked
                   if there were any “problems” with blacks in Muskie’s
                   home state of Maine, he replied,
                  “No, not blacks, but we have Cannocks”

 On February 24, 1972
                   two weeks before the NH primary
                   the Manchester Union Leader printed the letter
                                     which exploded in the media
                                                                interrupting Muskie in Florida 
                   The Senator flew to New Hampshire
                   (there was also an editorial in the Union Leader
                   attacking Muskie’s wife that day)

                   and standing on the back of a flatbed truck
                   outside the offices of the newspaper
                                              in the snow,
                                                       television cameras whirring

                                             Muskie wept & “broke down”
                                             in fatigue
                                             & possible dope-zap 


                                                      Dope-Zap?

 The question has been brought forward
                            over the years
                            on whether the Nix-slime slipped Muskie
 some mind-altering dope
          before his break-down in the snow 
                                              outside the Union Leader office

 CIA officer Miles Copeland, in his 1978 book, The Real Spy World  p. 299, wrote:
“ On one occasion, Jojo’s [a pseudonym for a high-level CIA officer] office was 
asked for an LSD-type drug that could be slipped into the lemonade of Democratic 
orators, thus causing them to say sillier things than they would say anyhow. To 
this day, some of my friends at the Agency are convinced that Howard Hunt or 
Gordon Liddy or somebody got hold of a variety of that drug and slipped it into 
Senator Muskie’s lemonade before he played that famous weeping scene.”
 
The FBI found numerous phone calls from E. Howard Hunt to Donald Segretti, 
the Nixonite who was in general charge of the dirty tricks, implying that Hunt was 
perhaps directing Segretti’s efforts.

 March 7, 1972
          New Hampshire primary
          Muskie won 48% but had been expected to do better
 Then, in the Wisconsin Primary
                                     which occurred after Florida,
 there were more and more stir-ups and dirty tricks
 such as an anonymous order of 200 pizzas
                   which was billed to Milwaukee Muskie headquarters

 April 17, 1972
          The national staff for Muskie 
          held a big fund-raising dinner in Washington, D.C.
          to carry Muskie through the Pennsylvania and NY primaries.
                            1,300 people well-heeled & powerful Democrats
                            were invited to the Washington Hilton.
                            In the afternoon the Nixonites sent
                            a big delivery liquor COD

          The Watergate pastry shop called and
          said huge oodles of pastries were ready
                                                       (not ordered of course)

          At 10 am the Embassy of Nigeria called to say
                                     that campaign codirector Jack English had invited 
          the charge d’affaires to he banquet, and wanted to know
                                     when Muskie people would send the limousine

 16 ambassadors showed up from African and Middle Eastern 
 countries in rented limousines &
                            Muskie was presented with the bill

 And once again there was the Pizza Scam—
 200 arriving in the middle of the already dining Hilton 
                                                                         banqueteers

                            Two magicians also showed up 
                   who had been invited to fly from the Virgin Islands
                            to perform for Democratic children.

 Even under relentless dirty trick assault, Muskie won in Illinois
                            getting 59 delegates
                                     but the relentless pressure had
                                                       burst his magnitude

 April 25, 1972
          Muskie lost in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts
          Humphrey won in Pa and McGovern in Mass

 April 27, 1972
          Muskie had 136 1/2 Democratic delegates pledged to him
          but he dropped from the race today.
          Humphrey and McGovern went after them
          and McGovern picked up key support from
          leaders such as Senator Fred Harris of Oklahoma


 Thus Tricky Dick
                   and his life-long love of smear
                   helped bring down a candidate
                                     who might have been the 38th President

 (& seven weeks ahead was
                   the Watergate Break-in which would
                   bring a long jail term for E. Howard Hunt
                  &, ultimately, the fall of Tricky himself)

 The lesson for today? All Americans must monitor all voting districts 
in the USA in 2004, and prevent another stolen election.