As public jesters from Jerry Rubin to Jerry Ford to Hunter Thompson to Frank Rizzo to Nobody have discovered, any fool with twenty-five dollars and twenty-five signatures can run for public office. As Rubin asks, “What better way to make fun of the political system than to run for public office?”
He’s right. It gives you a legal platform to attack and ridicule the institutions and people who deserve such attention. If you have either sophisticated or totally rustic local media, and know how to manage and manipulate media people, you will get oodles of free publicity. That isn’t very difficult, as many people demonstrate daily.
Neil Mothra, who understands politicians, came up with this stunt. If your mark is a candidate or political VIP, if his coterie doesn’t know you, and if it’s a very hot, shirtsleeve day, you’re all set. Slip into the meeting or reception area, walk briskly up to the mark, and offer politely, “May I take your coat, sir?” The impression is that you are going to hang it up for him. It will be best if you are dressed up or in some form of institutional-looking uniform. You simply take the coat away with you. If you also have the person’s wallet, you must do what you think is best and most honest to all concerned.
One of the grandest tricks of all time happened in 1960, when a beaming crook named Richard Nixon was posing in San Francisco’s Chinatown with a group of Chinese youngsters holding a large banner spelling out a slogan in native characters. The photo ran locally and was picked up by both wire services and network television and disseminated to the entire nation.
The very next day, a worried staffer told canidate Nixon the Chinese banner had said, “What about the Hughes Loan?” It was a reference to the Howard Hughes cash payoff to Nixon’s brother Donald, in the form of a “loan.” At the same time, Nixon found out that thousands of fortune cookies had been passed out at the same rally, each containing the same message, this time in English: “Ask him about the Hughes Loan.”
The antics of Donald Segretti, court jester to the Committee to ReElect the President (CREEP) in 1972, should fill your imagination with enough fertilizer to devise tactics of your own, should you wish to advise a political candidate.
For example, during the Florida primary, one of Segretti’s raiders paid a young lady twenty dollars to streak naked outside Ed Muskie’s hotel room, shouting, “I love Ed Muskie!” and “Father my child, Ed!” During a Muskie picnic, a Segretti trooper had a chemist mix up a batch of butyl percaptan, which is, as you know, a grossly foul, stinking mess. The after-action report to Segretti noted that among the guests, “everybody thought the food was bad.”
If the bigshot candidate is having one of those hundred-dollar-a-plate fundraisers, your candidate should hold a ninety-nine-cent, blue-collar special — chipped-ham or bologna-and-cheese sandwiches. Blue paper plates and cups would contrast nicely with the power establishment’s fancy eatery. The theme could be “Why pay a hundred dollars for bologna from [other candidate]?”
Here’s some further nastiness at the expense of three marks — a politician, the Postal Service, and the citizen you’ve chosen. You secure a franked postal envelope from your political mark. Carefully steam and remove the original mailing-address label. Using a rented or public IBM electric typewriter, carefully type in the name of your citizen mark on an IBM address label. Stick this label on the envelope.
The rest of this stunt depends on how nasty you are and how much revenge you feel you must squeeze from the mark(s). Some general suggestions for the contents of this envelope include: Heavily anti-Semitic propaganda for a Jewish mark; fanatical antireligious material for a religious sort; very explicit pornography for a very straight person; homemade Polaroid photos featuring closeups of dead pet animals — roadkills and mutilations — for sensitive animal lovers; Polaroid closeups of genitalia, both human and animal, for very proper people; and on and on.
Most marks will blame all this on the person whose return address is on the envelope — the political candidate.
Congressmen (there are rarely Congresswomen) have postal franking privileges that allow them a lot of free mail. A longtime politician baiter, Ted Shoemaker, decided to help a least-favored Congressman. Obtaining a franked envelope from his own mailbox, Shoemaker had a printer duplicate the postage-free envelope. By the way, this is a serious federal crime. He also prepared a mailing in which the ultraconservative congressman announced his backing for abortion and legalized marijuana, saying, “Times have changed, and we old farts have to change with them.” Further, the letter had the politician saying, “You get drunk on booze — why not let the kids get high on pot? You cheat on your spouse — why not let the kids get a little free fun too?”
As you might imagine, the constituency was terminal Bible Belt. Shoemaker addressed, stuffed, and mailed a thousand of these messages, including copies to many media outlets. It only took two days for the old pol to claim fraud, but by that time the bogus letter had received lots of media attention, and more than a few old voters had made up their minds their good old boy was actually guilty of the whole thing anyway.
Shoemaker says, “He may have gotten some sympathetic backlash, though. This kind of thing can backfire, so be careful.”
Barclay Skinner, the activist who championed women for membership in the National Jaycees, developed a frothing dislike for an especially weasel-like political candidate. This man’s major credentials were that he’d served as a legal advisor for the Warren Commission, which tells you a lot about his lack of honor, intelligence, and integrity.
Skinner hired an actor who was a real lookalike for this politician and had the ringer travel the state giving speeches and press conferences in the real politician’s name. The actor made all sorts of oddball, controversial, and asinine statements. He insulted local leaders, heroes, and institutions. He came off as a real sphincter.
Because the real politician was not really well-known either personally or visually, the impersonation worked well for the planned week. The real candidate found out about this and tried to stop it, but he was a week too late. He did not do well on election day. By that time, Skinner and his actor friend had faded back into the shrouded mists of heroic anonymity.
“Ah, politicians, God’s unchosen people!” Skinner beamed.
More revenge stories related to Politics
Dr. Neil Barrister, the Hayduke legal adviser, says you should *never* forge your mark’s name, seal, or signature advocating violence against public figures – especially a certain chief executive type. Rather, he suggests you send loving letters from your mark suggesting pornographic acts between the mark and the addresse of the letter. This should be a juicy love letter. Tell the politiciam that he sexually turns on the mark. Make no threats, just nice lovely stuff.
“It works great if this mark is a staunch GOP supporter with no sense of humor. It’s even better, too, of you can actually swipe and use some of his buisness or personal letterhead and envelopes. You can also include these types of letters when you return requests for political contributions,” Mr. Barrister notes.
Our resident inside sourse at the Secret Service tells me that these types of cases are always assigned to very serious investigators with absolutely no sense of humor, personality, or trust of anyone. Perfect.
If you have a typical GOP redneck legislator running your home district, you can do what some intelligent young folks did a few years back in one of our upnorth hillbilly areas. One of the youngsters became a mole in GOP circles and after six months got himself on a radio talk show speaking on behalf of The Candidate (nee mark). Without going into details, he made Earl Butz seem like a member of CORE and Mike Wallace sound like a Chicano…all in The Candidates’s name.