Archive for Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vulgar e-mail accidentally sent by Slattery staffer

August 27, 2008


Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

A Jim Slattery for Senate staffer apologized Tuesday afternoon for a blast e-mail that included obscene language about Sen. Pat Roberts.

Ian Staples, Slattery's campaign deputy communications director, blamed a computer malfunction that sent out a message soliciting negative stories about Roberts, a Republican seeking his third Senate term.

It included a fictitious quote from a Dodge City resident that said: "Pat Roberts ... is an a---hole." Staples, a graduate of Kansas University and Free State High School, said he puts in place-holder quotes while composing his thoughts for drafts.

But Staples said the system malfunctioned and sent out an old draft version under another staffer's name.

"Technical issues on the part of our software vendor are no excuse for my behavior, and I take full responsibility and ask for your forgiveness in this matter," Staples wrote in his apology.

Christian Morgan, executive director for the Kansas Republican Party, said the Slattery staffer "wrote these words deliberately. Now they are upset because they got caught."

"(Slattery) could have stepped up to the plate personally like a statesman and taken responsibility for his staff and the climate of name-calling and childishness he has fostered," Morgan said in a news release. "Instead, he and his team chose to throw a junior staffer under the bus and hoped no one would notice."

Abbie Hodgson, the Slattery campaign's communications director, said she called the Roberts campaign to apologize after the message went out. She said Slattery asked to call Roberts personally to apologize, but Roberts staffers indicated that would not be necessary.

"I, Jim Slattery and the campaign think that the comment was completely inappropriate," Hodgson said.

"As a U.S. senator from Kansas, Pat Roberts deserves greater respect than what was given," she added.

Hodgson said Tuesday evening that Staples was still with the campaign.

Roberts campaign spokeswoman Molly Haase said Tuesday, "My only comment is I have seen it, and we have no comment."

The two campaigns have traded barbs in recent months. On Monday, Slattery, a former Democratic congressman, challenged Roberts to four more debates, instead of the three that were planned.

The Roberts campaign said Slattery would not debate his primary opponent, but now he wants more debates with Roberts.


jmadison 9 years, 9 months ago

New York Times style points to the Journal World for not definitively reporting Slattery's party affiliation until the second from the last paragraph of the story.

igby 9 years, 9 months ago

Slattery and his boy's are up to old tricks. They have to spit sideways too even get their name in the paper; it's so boring at their campaign headquarters. "hay! lets stir things up a bit."

beatrice 9 years, 9 months ago

I guess George Bush should have fired Dick Cheney for telling Senator Patrick Leahy to go "f" himself while on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Bearded, you really made a good point on staff's partisanship by calling him a "demorat." Nice. Half the country are "rats" in your mind. Lovely. Speaking of Republicans, I wonder if a man who cheats on his ill wife and dumps her for a younger version represents "Kansans' values"? Don't be an @$$hoje -- Vote Obama!

davidsmom 9 years, 9 months ago

Sen. Roberts and his staff so far have responded gracefully.

dirkleisure 9 years, 9 months ago

Interestingly, nobody is disagreeing that Pat Roberts is an a$$h*le.

beatrice 9 years, 9 months ago

soup: "Gee beatrice, what would you say about a president who would lie to God and everyone about "not having sex with that woman:" "I would say that I certainly won't vote for him in the coming election. But seeing as how you, too, think of half of the voting populations as "demorats," I guess you won't mind switching off your high and mighty sense of morality when you vote for the cheating dog John McCain. Better a hypocrit than a Democrat, is that the message? Also, you are aware that Bill Clinton was a president in the last century and isn't actually running this time around, don't you? Having served two full terms, he can't. It doesn't work that way. 4th grade American history class. And the "firing" Dick line wasn't serious, just showing that vulgarity exists on both sides of the aisle, from lowly volunteers all the way up to the top.

S0uPnAzi 9 years, 9 months ago

beatrice says: "Speaking of Republicans, I wonder if a man who cheats on his ill wife and dumps her for a younger version represents "Kansans' values"?"Gee beatrice, what would you say about a president who would lie to God and everyone about "not having sex with that woman..." and then before a tribunal of his peers expound on what the meaning of "is" is. Gee, you sound real fair, impartial and unbiased. That's the problem with demorats...their version of truth, justice and the American Way is a little different, than the "real world".By the way, George Bush can't fire Dick Cheney, it doesn't work like that. Civics 101.

Confrontation 9 years, 9 months ago

I wonder how many times Mike has been pregnant.Also, I don't see anything false about the statement that "Pat Roberts ... is an a---hole." Might be a fake quote, but I'm sure thousands have said it.

nekansan 9 years, 9 months ago

The only software problem was the code running on the staffers organic computer that caused him to click "send". It's this kind of immaturity and behavior that makes people hate politics. This guy should have resigned the instant it happened or have been fired for not having the integrity to quit.

KevinS 9 years, 9 months ago

I doubt this is the sort of publicity the campaign wants. These campaigns are staffed by young college kids - one of whom made this stupid, childish mistake.But it does drive home the fact that Kansans need to be able to see the candidates debate the real issues facing our country instead of trading sound bytes.

EarthaKitt 9 years, 9 months ago

They could have put my name as the source of the quote and then just apologized for citing the wrong person.

staff04 9 years, 9 months ago

"Sen. Roberts and his staff so far have responded gracefully."By refusing to accept a candidate-to-candidate apology?Yeah, that's graceful. Mature, too...

Mike Blur 9 years, 9 months ago

"Accidentally sending an email" is like "accidentally getting pregnant."

Tony Kisner 9 years, 9 months ago

Was the error that the sender intended the "is" to be "has"? That would be a little more factual and hard to refute. Although the Democratic candidate would also, which all and all, gives both candidates and everyman type appeal.

RawkChawkJHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Staff: Nah, it was Sally. Nancy was retiring and Pat was campaigning against Sally Thompson to fill Kassebaum's seat.From NY Times 10/27/96:After a meeting with editors of The Kansas City Star, Mr. Roberts lingered in a third-floor corridor as Ms. Thompson walked ahead.''I'm not getting into the elevator with the bitch,'' Mr. Roberts told his son David, 23, who was upset with Ms. Thompson's remarks about his father at the meeting.Mr. Roberts later apologized publicly to Ms. Thompson. ''It shows he doesn't have respect for women,'' Ms. Thompson said this week.

RawkChawkJHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I have no doubt that this played out exactly as the campaign described. A young staffer typed it up as a "funny" placeholder and was absolutely sick when it ended up being sent out. This is why they teach students in journalism school to never type something you don't want to see in print -- because it inevitably will be!Maybe Pat Roberts is cutting the campaign some slack because he remembers the time he called his opponent, Sally Thompson, a "bitch" -- right in front of reporters from the Kansas City Star.

63BC 9 years, 9 months ago

Interestingly, nobody is disagreeing that Pat Roberts is an a$$h*le.Actually, even the Slattery campaign thinks this is uncalled for.Slattery campaign spokeswoman Abbie Hodgson said the inclusion of the quote was an unfortunate error and that she had called the Roberts campaign and apologized. "I don't think there's probably any excusable explanation for this mistake," Hodgson said.Hodgson said that Slattery believed the comment was completely inappropriate and unprofessional behavior on the staffer's part. It does not reflect the campaign's opinion of Roberts, she said."He is and has been a very respectable senator and he in no way deserves to be treated with such disrespect," Hodgson said.Enough said.

TheOriginalCA 9 years, 9 months ago

staff04 (Anonymous) says: "Sen. Roberts and his staff so far have responded gracefully."By refusing to accept a candidate-to-candidate apology?Yeah, that's graceful. Mature, too:......................I interpreted that comment as, "No need to sweat the apology..."

Meatwad 9 years, 9 months ago

My computer sent it out accidentally?? C'mon.I'm voting for Slattery... but c'mon

beatrice 9 years, 9 months ago

Lynn, really? An office staffer sends a message and tries to cover, and that is truly enough to clinch your vote? You really should try getting out of the shallow end of the poll every once in a while.

OnlyTheOne 9 years, 9 months ago

"Software problem" yeah, right, definitely, sure.Some of us have a name for this type of spin it's "stretching the truth."

staff04 9 years, 9 months ago

Gnome, people who throw around childish insults like "demorat" really don't deserve the time it takes for me to respond to them, but here goes-First, that wasn't a quote from Roberts' office, that was from Slattery's staff--perhaps being the bigger person by not telling the press what Roberts really said. I base this on no direct knowledge of this incident, however I have worked on a professional level with both Slattery's and Roberts' staff in the past...and that's my opinion.Second, it's Pat Roberts. Pat Robertson is an entirely different a-hole.Last, are you ordering me to post a retraction? Really? I'll get on that...

acg 9 years, 9 months ago

Oh come on! This is funny. It would still be funny if Roberts' camp had sent it out about Slattery. There's no love lost between these guys, or the parties in general. Why pretend everyone loves each other when truthfully, you just know that the Republican schmuck in the cubicle next to you is an a**hole.

gccs14r 9 years, 9 months ago

It happens in the corporate world, too. Someone wants to vent, types up a bunch of vitriol just to get it out of her system, then accidentally sends it instead of deleting it and writing the diplomatic e-mail that's supposed to be sent. Sometimes the vitriol works better.

staff04 9 years, 9 months ago

I suspect that if everyone who had ever accidentally hit "reply all" on a group e-mail before typing something intended for only one receipient was fired rather than allowed to apologize, we'd have a lot higher turnover in all fields...

staff04 9 years, 9 months ago

Good point, rawkchawk, but it was Nancy Kassebaum that he called a bitch.Maybe you just typed Sally Thompson as a placeholder? ;)

bombshell 9 years, 9 months ago

haha this just made me laugh out loud in my own cubicle. this is like the time i was talking in a text message about some guy i was dating who was coming on too strong - i meant to send it to my best friend but sent to the guy by mistake.... then had to go with the flow and act like i meant to just straight out tell him... awkward. but hey, that guy is now my boyfriend of 5+ months and he's great. he just had to prove he was able to take it i guess now roberts just has to prove he isn't an Ahole

bearded_gnome 9 years, 9 months ago

this guy is still working for the campaign? that's very telling. Staff, you're displaying your intensely vapid demorat partisanship! please reread the article, then post an retraction! Robertson/his campaign said it wasn't necessary! there's a mile's worth of difference between that and your far-left-fringe spin.
no, PatR isn't an @$$ho|e...he's a great guy and a marine. Slatternly=lobbyist who recieved millions as a lobbyist. Slatternly doesn't represent Kansans' values.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 9 years, 9 months ago

No way. Computers don't malfunction and send e-mails. A Slattery staff member malfunctioned and hit the enter button. I was going to vote for Roberts anyway, this just clinches it. I happen to be quite pleased with the job Roberts has been doing for me. Thank you, Lynn

SeaBee 9 years, 9 months ago

Bearded Gnome writes regarding Pat Roberts:"he's a great guy and a marine".Nothing against Marines, but Lee Harvey Oswald and Oliver North were also Marines.Your point being?

staff04 9 years, 9 months ago

Actually, defender, to be clear, Vice President Cheney said to SENATOR Leahy "Go F-CK yourself." A little different than a staff member calling someone who is a duck a duck.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 9 months ago

"Instead, he and his team chose to throw a junior staffer under the bus and hoped no one would notice."----------At least they haven't graduated to retaliating by outing CIA operatives and throwing senior staffers under the bus, subsequently pardoning their prison term, hoping that no one would notice.

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