Conservative Talker: “I Dont Even Know How To Talk About This”

Sean at FiredUp!Missouri posted a couple of clips from Friday’s broadcast of Mornings with Nick Reed on KSGF Newstalk in Springfield. Nick Reed is a conservative talk show host. Get that?  Nick Reed is a wild-eyed conservative, not a wild-eyed leftist who hates Billy Long.

Reed was discussing the Billy Long Gets Even fiasco, involving the FBI and a blogger-critic of Ozark Billy.  Here is what the conservative Reed said while discussing, “Billy Long sending federal investigators to question political opponents“:

This is what an elected, conservative, so-called Republican member of Congress is doing to Americans.  Which, by the way, we don’t know how many people are on the list, it is a secret list, and the other names have not been revealed.  And as of now it sounds as if they will not be revealed unless, of course, the individuals come forth themselves.  That is, if they’re not too frightened to. A police state at hand…

Of all the places in the country—southwest Missouri?  And somebody who says they are a conservative Republican? My God!

Later Reed says,

I don’t even know how to talk about this.  I would be frightened and outraged if this were somebody from the left but I wouldn’t be all that surprised. But this is middle America. We’re in the heartland. We’ve got a guy we just elected who is supposed to be a conservative Republican doing stuff that if Obama did we’d be screaming through the rooftops.

There’s no doubt about that.  Mr. Reed would be leading the screamers, I’m sure.  But let’s give the right its due in this case.  Some of them are making much of what Ozark Billy has apparently done to not only Tea Party Republican and Long critic Clay Bowler, but anyone who writes critically of the congressman.  I have to wonder, though, if Clay Bowler were a left-wing critic of Long, would the right-wing be so upset?

Mr. Reed noted on Friday that Billy Long is “not talking.”  Long’s office did later release a statement in which it said it couldn’t comment on the Bowler case at the request of the Capitol Police. Why not? What could be the reason for silence?

Speaking of silence, my paper, the Joplin Globe, has not printed a word about the controversy, nor can I find anything on the paper’s website.  Why not?

This story broke on Thursday and has been picked up nationally by media outlets on the left and right.  I ask: Where is the Joplin Globe?

Here are the Nick Reed audio clips posted by FiredUp!Missouri:

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Glenn Beck: Billy Long Must Be A Democrat

Not only did the stars of right-wing media, Drudge and Sean Hannity and Alex Jones, get wind of and make wind of the Clay Bowler-Billy Long-FBI issue, but perhaps the biggest (I mean, nuttiest) star of all did too: Glenn Beck.

On Friday’s radio show, Beck led with this:

Clay Bowler has become active in politics. Starting last year, he didn’t support Billy Long, the Democrat running for Congress in his Missouri district, so he started a website, he began attending campaign events.  He even started asking the candidate tough questions.  But when Long eventually won, Bowler and his website, Long is Wrong, went away.  So, when the FBI showed up at his door recently, saying he was perceived to be making threats to the congressman, he was shocked.

Get that?  Long is a Democrat!  A bleeping Democrat!  No wonder he trampled the Constitution!

Now, anyone can get a name or a party affiliation wrong, but it’s not surprising that Beck assumed Long was a Democrat because Long, along with Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, were apparently worried about a Tea Party conservative blogger.  What else could Long be?  If you’re not from southwest Missouri and you’ve never heard of Ozark Billy, you just assume he’s a Democrat because Democrats routinely ignore the Constitution to do things like sic the FBI on right-wing bloggers. Right?

Even Clay Bowler found it necessary to correct Mr. Beck:

Glenn Beck led off yesterday’s show condemning Congressman Billy Long for abusing his powers and launching an FBI witch hunt of a blogger who simply disagreed with him. Beck told his large radio audience, “American citizens are being investigated for simply asking their congressmen questions.” If you listen to the audio, Beck assumes because of Long’s actions that he is a Democrat. No, Long, who has been telling the Washington DC Press Corp, he was Tea Party before Tea Party was cool, abused his federal powers to come down on a Tea Partier who criticized him and is a Republican.

Whew! I’m glad we got that cleared up. 

Here is the Glenn Beck audio, courtesy of Mr. Bowler:

UPDATED: FBI Visits Local Blogger…Why?

I have written about Clay Bowler a few times on this blog, especially about his charge that our new representative, Billy Long, attempted to bribe Bowler at a restaurant here in Joplin during the Republican primary campaign.  In fact, last April at the Joplin Tea Party rally, I asked long about the charge, which you can see here.

During the primary last year and during the general election, Mr. Bowler—a Tea Party Republican and blogger—was highly critical of Billy Long.  Bowler wrote many, many articles that appeared on his temporary blog, Long is Wrong (which I linked to while it was still active), and on his permanent blog, Bungalow Bill’s Conservative Wisdom.

Clay Bowler and I probably don’t agree on one single thing, but we did agree on our dislike for Billy Long’s politics, albeit for different reasons.

Now it is reported that the FBI paid a visit to Mr. Bowler this week. Yes, that FBI. And apparently Mr. Bowler recorded the interview in which, according to KY3, Green County Sheriff Jim Arnott  says,

Billy Long’s staffers gave authorities Bowler’s name.

KY3 attempted to contact Congressman Long about the incident but to no avail.  Which raises an initial question: Why is it that a local television station from the largest city in the 7th District can’t get in touch with our elected representative or his staff?

But a larger question is this: Why would the FBI visit a blogger who hasn’t made any threats to Mr. Long?  Other than attend some Long campaign events—attempting to ask Long some difficult questions—and write critically about the congressman, Mr. Bowler has given no one any reason to suspect he might mean harm to Mr. Long or anyone for that matter.

Does this mean that any blogger—including The Erstwhile Conservative—who writes critically of Long is subject to a visit from the FBI?  Is that what it has come to?

Is this an attempt by Long and his staff to silence one of his biggest detractors?  Is it an attempt to silence any of us who write critically of Long? 

Mr. Long needs to explain why he or his staff contacted the FBI about Clay Bowler and if we can expect Long to ask the FBI to visit more bloggers who believe Long is Wrong for our district.

Here is the report from KY3:

Vodpod videos no longer available.  

UPDATE:  This morning, KSPR.com reported the following:

Bowler is apparently not the only person Long perceives threatening; Sheriff Arnott says he and the FBI are looking into others but wouldn’t release their identities.

Uh-oh.

From KSPR.com:

Bowler isn’t the only local person under federal investigation. Arnott confirmed to KSPR News that Bowler isn’t the only local person who’s been scrutinized in the wake oflast weekend’s shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D-AZ) during a meet-and-greet with constituents in Tucson, Ariz.

Anyone know a good lawyer who will work for beer money?

And Salon.com picked up the story today and commented:

Clearly, if a threat is made against a member of Congress, the authorities are obliged to follow up. But if the line separating sustained political criticism from threats has not been crossed, willy-nilly visits by the FBI could have a real chilling effect on the democratic process. 

Yesterday, the Christian County Headliner News reported the following:

Local blogger Clay Bowler said newly-elected 7th District Rep. Billy Long has tried to silence him before. And, after the FBI paid him a visit at his Ozark home Jan. 12, he thinks he’s trying to do it again.

“It’s political payback,” Bowler said after visiting Christian County Sheriff Joey Kyle Jan. 13 apprising him of the FBI investigation.

The site reported that Michael Wardell, who competed against Long in the Republican primary, accompanied Bowler to the Sheriff’s Department for the FBI interview and the site quotes Wardell:

“Clay is a friend,” he said. “This almost smacks of an overreach of power.”

The website also quoted Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, who identifies himself as a conservative Republican:

“This could be a knee-jerk reaction to the Tucson situation,” he said. “If you satisfy them you’re not a threat—they won’t be back.”

Well, it’s certainly true that if you satisfy the FBI they likely won’t come back, but why should a writer exercising his First Amendment rights—and in so doing not making any threats to Mr. Long—have to “satisfy” any law enforcement officials in the first place?

A disturbing radio interview of Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott done by KSGF has Arnott insinuating that “there is more to the story” and challenges Bowler to release the entire videotaped interview done by the FBI. Huh?  Either there is evidence against Bowler or there is not. If there is, then why the apparent clearance?  If there is not, then why suggest to the public that we don’t know the whole story? 

This is stuff which both sides of the political spectrum can agree is troubling and deserves some further, official explanation.  As of yet, no word from Billy Long.

What We Learned About Billy Long

Cory de Vera’s profile of Billy Long in yesterdays Springfield-News Leader wasn’t full of many surprises.  We didn’t learn anything about Billy Long’s position on Medicare vouchers or the privatization of Social Security proposed by Paul Ryan, a man for whom Long has expressed considerable respect.

In other words, we didn’t learn much about Billy Long and the issues.

But we did learn these things:

At age 9, he rode his bike around handing out bumper stickers for Glen Hendricks, the Republican candidate for Greene County Sheriff, who was also the brother of a family friend.

We also learned that,

Long always considered himself a Republican.

At 12 or 13, he taught his dog Little Bear a trick. He’d say “Little Bear, would you rather be a Democrat or a dead dog?”

On cue, the poodle and terrier mix would roll over, feet in the air.

Ha Ha.  How about this:

Little Bear, would Billy Long vote to privatize Social Security when he gets to Washington?

On cue, Billy Long would roll over, feet in the air and play dead.

It’s beyond me how anyone could be a Republican when he is nine years old and grow up and never go through a period in which he might question his Republicanism.  What about college?  Surely, during his college years, Mr. Long questioned one or two of his Republican convictions?

Nope:

Long went to the University of Missouri-Columbia to study business, but he found college boring and left after three semesters.

He found college boring.”  No doubt that’s true.  Anyone who has listened to or read Billy Long’s responses to questions can understand that he found all that learnin’ stuff pretty boring. 

Makin’ money, not gettin’ an education, is what motivated Billy Long:

An article in Money magazine about a man in his 20s earning money in real estate sparked his interest. At 22, he bought and sold his first home.

Now, there certainly isn’t anything wrong with a guy who discovered college wasn’t for him, that his real interests were in the business world.  But somehow Billy Long thinks that qualifies him for a seat in Congress. He uses his success as a businessman as a shield to either cover his ignorance on the issues (my guess), or his reluctance to talk about his real intentions:

Some commentators have alleged Long is missing in action –or even hiding –because he hasn’t posted much of a campaign schedule on his website, and he has sent out few news releases about his appearances. But he has been making regular appearances, which he reports on his Twitter account.

The News-Leader asked Long staff to be informed when Long would be making radio appearances or other general appearances open to the public, but received no notifications from the campaign other than one press release about Long’s business tour.

The paper, like the voters, is pretty much kept in the dark. But why wouldn’t Long want a real reporter at his events?  One that might ask  him whether he is in favor of putting people’s Social Security contributions at risk in the stock market, for instance.  Oh, here’s why: 

“I don’t run to a microphone every time it’s offered, I don’t run to a TV camera every time it’s offered,” said Long.

Instead, he puts his faith in a people-to-people campaign, he said.

Missouri State Political Science Professor George Connor said Long’s strategy is to meet with people who are already likely to support him, letting them know who he is and that he’ll carry on the Republican tradition in the district.

“His goal is not necessarily to always campaign against Scott Eckersley,” said Connor. “The goal can simply be to get out the vote.”

Yes, that’s the goal.  Billy Long has an R by his name and he knows that if he keeps his mouth shut and doesn’t make any major gaffes, he is on his way to D.C.   In the mean time, voters don’t have any real idea what Long will specifically do when he gets there—forget his call for a Constitutional Amendment to limit federal spending and taxing power or his pledge to repeal Obamacare, neither of which have a chance of success—except rubber-stamp whatever it is the Republican leadership has planned.  But that is usually good enough for the overwhelming number of Republican voters here in Southwest Missouri.

Finally, the writer of the News-Leader story mentioned the video I posted on YouTube, asking Billy Long about the alleged bribe he made when he and Clay Bowler were here in Joplin.  Bowler is a Tea Party blogger who runs the Long is Wrong website and he claims Long offered him a campaign job if he would stop the Long is Wrong blog. Here is the mention in Cory de Vera’s story:

On the site, Bowler — who says he now endorses Eckersley –posts links to radio interviews, and critiques whatever Long says. There’s a video that analyzes what Long’s facial expressions may mean, mean-spirited comments about Long’s weight and speculation about whether Long has a gambling problem because he takes trips to Las Vegas.

The “video that analyzes what Long’s facial expressions may mean” is the one in which Matthew P. Block, a communication and social media consultant, used my short interview of Billy Long at this year’s Joplin Tea Party to ask,

IS BILLY LONG LYING ABOUT A BRIBERY ACCUSATION MADE BY CLAY BOWLER?

Block’s analysis is based on the theories of Paul Ekman, a noted psychologist, whose work on the universality of facial expressions of emotion and his study of ways to detect lies using things like “distancing language” were relevant to the question I asked Mr. Long. Notably, the show Lie to Me, which opens its third season tonight, is based on Eckman’s work.

But in any case, the charge is out there and the reporter for the News-Leader should have at least indicated what the video she mentioned was about.  And she should have indicated whether she asked Mr. Long about the charge and what his reply was.  But if a reader of the profile had never heard of the charge—and the related ethics complaint filed by a fellow-candidate, Michael Wardell—that reader would still not know what the controversy was about.

Which, come to think about it, is exactly the strategy of the Long campaign: Keep no- and low-information voters in the dark as long as possible until November 2 and then start packin’ for a trip to Washington, D.C.

For those who haven’t seen it, here once again is Block’s analysis of Long, using my video clip:

One More Use For Duct Tape Or “How To Run The Billy Long Campaign”

The Joplin Globe‘s Sunday editorial claims that representatives of Billy Long and Scott Eckersley “pointed fingers at each other while talking to a Globe reporter ” over their disagreement on whether to or how to or how not to have real debates before voters select one of these two conservatives* to represent them in Washington, D.C.   

Just as a mild rebuke, instead of seeming to assign blame equally, how about some real reporting from the Joplin Globe on just who is to blame for the failure to reach an agreement on debates?  It seems like an important issue—if integrity means much anymore—because Eckersley claims that Long backed out of a debate proposal that he “had previously agreed to.” 

Even Long’s conservative enemies are claiming Long is afraid not only to debate, but essentially afraid to open his auctioneer-trained mouth and remove all doubt that he is not worthy of the voters’ support.  Someone—meaning an objective journalist—at least needs to ferret out all the facts and let voters know why Billy Long backed out of the promised debates. 

To its credit, though, it does appear that the Joplin Globe intends to find out if there are any “clear differences” between the two candidates, and we shall see in the upcoming weeks both if the Globe presses for more information and if the candidates, particularly Long, are willing to open up and give it.  

We do know that Eckersley has publicly and forcefully stated that he is willing to debate openly, and if Long is not willing to do so, the Globe and every area newspaper and media outlet should aggressively and frequently point that out.  Good journalism is our only way of ascertaining the truth—to the extent it can be ascertained—about the candidates, and employing a campaign strategy of duct-taping the mouth of the leading candidate should be exposed forcefully and frequently. 

 ______________________________ 

*Look, I know they aren’t the only candidates in the race and I know that one of these two candidates has a “D” by his name, but as the Globe points out, “Long and Eckersley have more in common than they may realize,” and Eckersley was endorsed by former Republican primary candidate, Michael Wardell.  So, there is little doubt that in terms of Eckersley’s and Long’s votes on future legislation, the results will be much the same.  Eckersley will just be able to explain better why he voted the way he did and Long will either babble or recite his party’s talking points.  

And I also know that some folks, like conservative Clay Bowler, who runs a quite informative anti-Long website, don’t see Billy Long as much of a conservative.  But in terms of results, is there any doubt that there won’t be a farthing’s worth of difference between them? 

“Hope” For Depressed Voters In The 7th District

I received these comments on my Billy Long post this morning:

Purely as a public service to help some people with their depression over the results of the race for Southwest Missouri’s seat in the U.S. Congress, here is my reply:

Anson and Clay (Bungalow Bill):

It is beyond comprehension why the Republican voters of the 7th District bought Billy Long’s shtick, but, then again, I don’t expect too much from voters who continually send Republican representatives to Washington who vote against the economic interests of those same voters.  Perhaps in this case, it was the presence on the ballot of Proposition C that brought The Ignorant to the polls in droves, and, if so, then they deserve Billy Long.

I know both of you disagree with those sentiments, but from my perspective, 7th District voting behavior is disturbing every election, not just this one. The difference this time is that Scott Eckersley—who everyone knows is really a Republican who avoided joining the crowded field of Republicans in his real party’s primary—may have a chance to stop the Billy Long Ignorance Express to Washington.   

Ironically, Democratic voters rejected Tim Davis, who for all of his conservative positions, was still the most thoughtful, reasonable candidate in the entire field, and noticeably (though not dramatically) closer to being a real Democrat than Scott Eckersley appeared to be.  So, in my opinion, Democratic voters in our district made a mistake, too.  But as a prominent area Democrat told me a while back, “We’re just tired of losing,” and anyone who can beat a Republican is a worthy candidate.

Needless to say, it doesn’t make much difference if you send a guy to Washington with a “D” by his name, if he votes exactly the same way Billy Long Is Wrong will vote.

In any case, just to give both of you hope, my guess is that the general election for the 7th District seat will essentially be another Republican primary, and if enough folks here in blisteringly red Southwest Missouri can see beyond the phony “D” next to Eckersley’s name, and if Eckersley continues to espouse conservatism as his motivating political philosophy (I’m confident he will), then there is a good chance that Billy Long could lose in November.

So, there.  That is about as positive as I can get over this election.

Duane 

Congratulations, Billy Long! Now, Are You Lying?

In honor of Billy Long’s victory on Tuesday, I present once again a video of him I recorded at this year’s Joplin Tea Party.  Only this time, in the hands of an able editor, it has a twist.

Matthew P. Block, a communication and social media consultant, utilizing the work of noted psychologist Paul Ekman, used the video to ask a question now critically important:

IS BILLY LONG LYING ABOUT A BRIBERY ACCUSATION MADE BY CLAY BOWLER?

To review, Clay Bowler, a very conservative blogger who maintains the Long is Wrong and the Bungalow Bill websites (cited once by Rush Limbaugh), claimed that Billy Long, while at Pizza by Stout here in Joplin, attempted to bribe him with a campaign job in order to get Bowler to stop his Long is Wrong blog. 

I asked Billy Long about that this past April, and here is the result, with Matthew Block’s contribution. You decide:

The original video can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EfzIwjhdFA

Billy Long Denies Bribery Charge

Clay Bowler, also known as Bungalow Bill, is a conservative blogger who doesn’t like Billy Long, a candidate in the Republican primary to replace Roy Blunt as our representative in Congress.  

Bowler maintains a site called, Long is Wrong, and, more important, has charged Mr. Long with trying to bribe him with a campaign job in exchange for Bowler ending his Long is Wrong website.

Michael Wardell, another candidate in the Republican primary, said this last month:

A week ago, Mr. Billy Long, a Candidate for the 7th Congressional District, attempted to bribe or coerce a citizen journalist into killing a blog, critical of his campaign in exchange for a position on his campaign. Fired-Up Missouri, a liberal blog, is already tracking this.

It has been a week and Mr. Long has not denied this charge.

Mr. Long must step down as a candidate, not because I asked him to but because he gives napalm to Tim Davis [the Democrat vying for Blunt’s seat] and the Democratic Majority. If we Republicans tolerate this behavior and sweep this under the rug, we will regret it.

The alleged bribery happened right here in Joplin at Pizza By Stout, so I, your intrepid reporter, thought it appropriate to ask Long, while he was here for the Tea Party event today, if the charge were true. 

Here is his reply:

By the way, Billy Long owns a very nice pickup truck, which features this item on the dashboard:

Readers are free to draw their own conclusions regarding whether Long is being truthful about the bribery charge and why he drives around with Bozo on the dashboard of his pickup.

Women Of Color Way Behind White Women

I heard a story on NPR this morning discussing a report released this past week by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development on the personal wealth gap between white women and women of color in America.  The news release announcing the report began:

Single black and Hispanic women are particularly hard hit, owning only a penny of wealth for every dollar owned by their male counterparts and a fraction of a penny for every dollar owned by single white women, according to the report released by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development at a Capitol Hill symposium on the economic security of women.

That “fraction of a penny for every dollar owned by single white women” translates into a median of $5 of wealth or net worth for black and Hispanic women under 50 years of age compared to $40,000 for white women. “Wealth” is simply defined as “assets minus debts.”

Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I was shocked by that $5 to $40,000 wealth disparity between women of color under 50 and white women.  I know there are several reasons for this inequality, including historical, structural, and cultural, but the report argues that “structural inequities are the primary cause of the gap for women of color.”  Whether that’s true, I don’t know, but there isn’t any doubting the fact that in America in the 21st century, it matters what color you are (in addition to what sex you are) in terms of both your income and your ability to accumulate wealth. Here is a graph that demonstrates it (click on it for a better view):

Now, my point is this: even if some white folks are not interested in this untenable disparity, or not interested in figuring out how to begin to fix it, here is something that should interest such otherwise disinterested white folks, from an AP story last week:

Minorities make up nearly half the children born in the U.S., part of a historic trend in which minorities are expected to become the U.S. majority over the next 40 years.

The AP points out the potential political ramifications of the inevitable fact of white minority status:

The numbers highlight the nation’s growing racial and age divide, seen in pockets of communities across the U.S., which could heighten tensions in current policy debates from immigration reform and education to health care and Social Security.

Does anyone doubt that the politics of communities change when, as the story highlights, Gwinnett County, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, goes from a 16% minority population in 1990 to a 58% minority population in 2008?  Do you think Republicans who run for office in that county can get away with sounding like Tom Tancredo at the National Tea Party Convention earlier this year?

And can anyone doubt that no matter what success the pale-faced party of conservatives, also known as the Republican Party, has this November or in 2012, that rapidly changing demographics will eventually dictate a change-or-die attitude among Republicans?

In other words, by 2050*, the date most cited when whites will lose their majority status, it won’t matter too much if white teabaggers at de facto “whites only” rallies are still saying, “We want our country back!” 

Our country” will have a whole new meaning by then.

_________________________________________________________

*Here is a table on the projected population of the U.S. up to 2050, as provided by the Census Bureau (click on for better view):

UPDATE:  On Monday, according to Sam Stein, Dick Armey, the hard-core conservative and “corporate personification of the Tea Party movement,” told the National Press Club that his party had some problems to overcome:

Armey noted earlier that the GOP had “frustrated [him] to tears on immigration” noting that leadership was alienating the “fastest-growing voting demographic in America.”

Armey also said that he saw “how destructive” Tom Tancredo was and that the issue of immigration should be handled “with some sense of compassion and some sense of civility.”

…these guys are trying to blow it. Just do it right… There is room in America. If you love America, if you love freedom, love work, are willing to pay your way, pay your taxes and obey the law, you should be welcome in America.

Good luck, Dick, reining in the monster you helped to create.

Billy Long Allegedly Bribed Blogger Here In Joplin

Clay Bowler (“Bungalow Bill“) has leveled a bribery charge against Billy Long, one of many Republican candidates trying to fill Roy Blunt’s shoes here in Southwest Missouri. 

Bowler, a man of the right who maintains the website, “Long is Wrong,” a site dedicated to revealing Billy Long’s lack of qualifications to represent Missouri’s 7th Congressional District, said that a conversation right here in Joplin, Missouri, led to the charge. Mr. Bowler began his post this way:

I attended the Joplin Federated Republican Women’s meeting on March 2, 2010 at Pizza by Stout. The featured speakers of the event were candidates running for Missouri’s Seventh Congressional District seat now filled by Roy Blunt. After the meeting was over, Billy Long quickly approached me and asked me if I would be willing to sit down and discuss his campaign and my views of his candidacy over a cup of coffee.

Saying he was “surprised and disgusted by what took place towards the end of our conversation,” Bowler wrote:

My wife had just joined us after leaving the meeting room and sat down at our table, and I continued my conversation with Mr. Long listening to him react to the Long is Wrong Web site. I had raised some Constitutional concerns in our conversation about his candidacy, and I had pointed out a few of the great American tales that drive my passion for the Constitution. Mr. Long tells me he is impressed with my knowledge and that I would make a good addition to his own campaign. He asks me to consider it. He then tells me that if I stop doing what I am doing, referring to the Long is Wrong Web site, that I could have a position in his campaign.

I cut the conversation short after this, and as we got up to leave the table, Mr. Long once again invited me over, this time using a Star Wars reference asking me to join the ‘dark side’ (sic).

Bowler finished with this:

I am having the deal with what I feel is a bribe, to get me to remove the Long is Wrong Web site. This is not what I wanted to bring about in the seventh district. In fact, I have a heavy heart even discussing this as I was exposed to the dirty truth of politics in America today on a personal level by a man who claims a vote for him is a vote to send a citizen to Washington.

I wish I had never sat down and had coffee with him. I hate the position he has put me in, and I hate how this feels inside.

Bowler has pledged to defend his integrity and play “hardball,” should Billy Long attempt to pursue libel charges against him.

So far, only Michael Wardell, another candidate to fill Roy Blunt’s seat, has called for Billy Long to “step down,” if the charge is “confirmed.”  Wardell said in a statement:

If Mr. Long is able to weather this lapse in ethical behavior and make it to the general election, his opponent will charge in with bayonets fixed and firing, and the seat could be lost. I’m not willing to accept that.

I am.

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