Southwest Missouri Congressional candidate Scott Eckersley blames the campaign staff of his Republican opponent for issuing a hoax that he had suspended his campaign.
An e-mail sent to news media outlets and a “tweet” issued by a fake Twitter account announced that Eckersley had suspended his campaign due to personal reasons.
Eckersley blames his opponent, Republican Billy Long, for sending out the hoax days before the election.
“You know this is dirty politics. This is Jeff Roe-style management. That’s who Billy’s retained. That’s who he writes the big checks to,” Eckersley tells Missourinet affiliate KTTS. “This is Kansas City management doing what they do best, which is playing dirty.”
An e-mail sent through a Yahoo account claimed that Eckersley had suspended his campaign from Congress until further notice due to personal matters that had arisen over the last several days. Eckersley says it was a fake.
“I’ve seen these Jeff Roe and James Harris types before and folks in southwest Missouri, they’ve seen it, too,” Eckersley says. “These folks were the authors of the smear attacks that took place on me back in 2007.”
Jeff Roe and James Harris are political consultants. Eckersley blames the two for spreading rumors about him after he was dismissed from Governor Matt Blunt’s staff. Blunt Chief of Staff Ed Martin, a candidate for the Third Congressional District of St. Louis, fired Eckersley. Martin claims he dismissed Eckersley for cause. Eckersley says the firing came after he questioned whether the governor’s office was violating the state open records law through its handling of e-mail correspondence. Eckersley filed suit and is using a portion of his settlement to run for Congress.
To add to the intrigue, Eckersley is running for the Congressional seat being vacated by Congressman Roy Blunt, Matt’s father. Roy Blunt is running for United States Senate against Democrat Robin Carnahan.
The Long campaign provided a terse reply in an e-mail to news outlets.
“Hot Diggity Dawg,” said Long in the statement. “I look forward to Tuesday.”
The campaign explained that Long has taken to using the phrase “hot diggity dawg” every time Eckersley tells a lie because it happens so often.
Below is the e-mail sent to news outlets.
> Date: October 29, 2010 7:49:42 AM CDT
> Subject: For Immediate Release-Eckersley for Congress
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 7:45 A.M. CST, OCTOBER 29TH 2010—-> SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
> PRESS ADVISORY
> 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.”.
> Scott Eckersley
> Eckersley for Congress
> Phone: (888) 788-3643
> Fax: (888) 900-3512
> 204 S Campbell Ave
> Springfield, MO 65808
> www.CheckEck.org <http://www.CheckEck.org>
> ECKERSLEY FOR U.S. CONGRESS
KTTS contributed to this report