Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sponsor of Nixon-Doyle TV commercial

helped Nixon with Watergate coverup

The new negative TV commercial attacking Gov. Jim Doyle, which features audio and video clips of Richard M. Nixon, is being brought to Wisconsin voters by someone who was deeply involved in helping Nixon cover up the Watergate scandal during the 1972 presidential campaign.

Steve King, pictured, chair of the Coalition for America's Families, which is airing the attack ad, is the Nixon campaign security man who repeatedly manhandled Martha Mitchell to keep her from talking to the press about Watergate, Mrs. Mitchell's biography says. King, a former Wisconsin Republican Party chair who ran for the US Senate in 1988, also is chair of Paul Bucher's campaign for attorney general.

King, an ex-FBI agent, was working as a security man for the Committee to Reelect the President, known as CREEP, in 1972. He was assigned as personal security escort for former Atty. Gen. John Mitchell, the head of CREEP, and his outspoken wife, Martha, when the Watergate burglary became public. King later became head of security for CREEP, replacing his boss, John McCord, who was one of the Watergate burglars who broke into the Democratic Party's national headquarters.

The Mitchells were in California when the break-in occurred, but John Mitchell soon left for Washington to deal with the crisis, leaving Martha and King in California. When Martha was unable to reach him by telephone the next two days, the biography says:
Periodically, she'd go tell Steve King and Lea Jablonsky (John Mitchell's secretary) about the dirty tricks she knew had been instigated by the Nixon Administration and the Committee (CREEP), hoping to learn more from them.
She wanted her husband to quit CREEP and get out of politics and left that message with a Mitchell aide in DC. She also told the aide she was going to call the press and tell them about her ultimatum to John. She called Helen Thomas of UPI and was telling her about her disgust with politics when, she said:
Steve King rushed into her bedroom, threw her back across the bed, and ripped the telephone out of the wall.
She tried to call from another room:
Again, she said, she was thrown aside while the phone was disconnected. Steve then shoved her into her room and slammed the door.
She tried to climb from the balcony in her villa to the one next door, but
Steve King ran out and pulled her back inside. She claimed he threw her down and kicked her.
King stood guard outside her door. The Nixon and CREEP people began to spread stories that Martha was crazy, an out-of-control alcoholic, or had had a breakdown. The next day
...King was no longer guarding her door. She slipped downstairs, planning to escape, but King spotted her just as she reached a glass door. In the ensuing scuffle, Martha's left hand was cut, so badly that six stitches were required in two fingers.
When a doctor came to treat her hand, she was highly agitated and, with the help of two or three security people, he injected her with a sedative as she resisted. Before it took effect, she tried to get away, but
According to Martha, King saw her dashing toward the door and ran over and slapped her across the room.
Martha left the next day, agreeing to stay with friends in New York state, but instead checked into the Westchester NY Country Club and called UPI to say she had been held a political prisoner in California. When the story moved on the wire, reporters swarmed the country club, but only a NY Daily News crime reporter, Marcia Kramer, got into to see Martha.

As a crime reporter, Marcia says it was her opinion that Martha was a "beaten woman" and that the "incredible" black and blue marks on Martha's arms looked like they were a "totally professional job."
Martha eventually agreed to rejoin John in Washington, on condition that he resign from CREEP and that King and Jablonsky be fired. Mitchell resigned, but Martha found out later that rather than firing King, one of the last things Mitchell did at CREEP was to promote King to head of security -- presumably for a job well done. A few months later, in a letter to Parade magazine, a national Sunday newspaper supplement, Martha told columnist Walter Scott that:

Steve King ... "not only dealt me the most horrible experience I have ever had, but inflicted bodily harm upon me."
King, no doubt, will dismiss all of Martha's claims as untrue, the ravings of a drunken lunatic. But Winzola McClendon, who authored the biography, tells of a conversation she had later with John Mitchell, in April 1973:
We discussed the California incident. I asked if Martha really had been held down and sedated, and he said everything she told me was "essentially true." Why did Steve King and Lea Jablonsky -- a young woman Martha considered her friend -- let this happen? "These kids were scared to death ...They thought they were protecting me," he answered.
After Nixon won the election, King was rewarded with a job as special assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz. That, of course, was before it all came tumbling down and Nixon was forced out of office on Aug. 8, 1974. You can see footage of Nixon waving goodbye in the commercial King and his Coalition began running today.

Why on earth would Steve King want to dredge that up?

Quotes and excerpts are from Martha: the Life of Martha Mitchell, by Winzola McLendon, published in 1979 by Random House. Ms. McLendon, a journalist and White House correspondent, met Martha Mitchell while interviewing her in 1970 and became a friend and confidant while continuing to work as a reporter.
UPDATE: King tells the Capital Times he doesn't want to see 1972 repeated, but neglects to mention his role in CREEP and the Watergate coverup. He makes it sound like he was just a government employee:
King witnessed parts of the Watergate scandal first-hand.

He served as both an FBI agent and an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Nixon and is known for helping to subdue Martha Mitchell, the wife of then-Nixon campaign chairman and former attorney general John Mitchell, to prevent her from calling Washington reporters with tips on the Watergate scandal.

King said today he sees parallels between Doyle and the Nixon administration, which ended when Nixon resigned on Aug. 8, 1974.

"I've been in an administration that spoiled the political landscape in Washington," he said, referring to the Nixonites. "They were in denial. History tells us that if Nixon had only said, 'A mistake was made and I'm going to fix it,' Washington would have been a much better place. I hate to see this same thing happening in Madison."
UPDATE 2: Steve King's non-denial denial.


At 5:52 PM, Blogger Sven said...

Soon to be a major motion picture. Who will play Mr. King?

At 6:29 PM, Blogger redvest said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Other Side said...

It's too funny to see Republicans trying to rehabilitate their image by using Nixon to tar an opponent.

Good piece on King. It is not too surprising of the Bucher campaign that King is involved ... they are corrupt, will do anything to achieve power and have total disregard for what is decent.

The only thing is one wishes Jessica McBucher were more like Pat Nixon and would just shut up (Not really fair to Pat Nixon, though. She was a decent lady).

I met a fellow (a friend of my mother's) who knows Bucher's brother. He says that the one running for office is crazy. Really?

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Michael J. Mathias said...

Alright, I'll say it. Maybe, King was asked to get involved with Bucher's campaign BECAUSE of his experience in dealing with the spouses of attorney generals..?

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Dad29 said...

No drunk EVER fell down.


At 10:29 AM, Blogger Cream City said...

Other Side, which Bucher brother? There are at least a couple of them. Was this Mark, of Milwaukee -- the gay brother who has done so much for Bay View? A great guy.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Xoff said...


Helen Thomas confirms the phone call that was terminated when King took the phone away and ripped it out.

John Mitchell said Martha's version was "essentally true."

The book has been in print for 27 years and King hasn't challenged Random House.

This seems like a bad one to make excuses for.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger GWC shadow said...

This typical liberal politics from the playbook of Bill Clinton. Don't answer the allegations but demonize the accuser(s). Oh by the way how long ago was Watergate? 30 years ago? At least this ad is based off of truth. You're greater wisconsin committee ads against Mark Green are a farse based on half truths. If you people are so fuming about this ad at least address the allegations (which you can't because they are all true.) It's also funny how Mark Green has pulled within 4 points in the latest poll and he has spend half the money Doyle, the garoyle, has.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Other Side said...

To be frank, Cream City, I don't know. My wife and I went to see a play in which the person who provided me with the info was appearing ... a one-person performance. In an e-mail sometime later he referred only to a "brother" of Paul Bucher.

I don't feel comfortable supplying his name, but since you seem to know the Bucher brothers somewhat, I'm guessing you'll be able to figure it out.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Other Side said...

With brain deficient spellers like gwc shadow on Green's side, the prospects for victory look pretty good.

It continues to amaze me that people like him/her have so little self-respect, and allow embarrassing screeds like that to appear without even trying to use spell and/or grammar check.

Of course, he/her is another one of those anonymous blogger/trolls.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Sven said...

"I hate to see this same thing happening in Madison."

He has to ratfuck the village in order to save it, see?

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Sherman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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