Friday, October 15, 2010

Who is Jason Klindt and why did Billy Long hire him as his spokesperson?

On October 13, Cory deVera, reporter for the SN-L wrote an article based on an email distributed to her by the Long campaign spokesperson Jason Klindt:

Jason Klindt, spokesperson from Billy Long's campaign, distributed an e-mail Tuesday to the News-Leader regarding Eckersley's "criminal history," citing 11 "apparent" traffic violations, including three from Utah and two from Arizona.
Who is Jason Klindt?

I recalled there was a legislator from up in northern Missouri named Klindt, was this the same guy?

No, it wasn't him, the legislator's name is David Klindt.

Maybe Jason is related to David? Nope. David Klindt has a wikipedia page on which he lists his children and grandchildren, no Jason Klindt listed there.

I knew I recognized that name from somewhere, but I couldn't place where from.

Jason Klindt, Jason Klindt.

And I knew I knew of him through some political connection. I just couldn't remember the connection.

I started to google "Jason Klindt", got sidetracked, and by the time I got back to it, Bungalow Bill had already done a lengthy post about Jason Klindt and his affairs:

Jason Klindt

Remember Billy Long told the Springfield he was tired of negative campaigning? From October 3, 2010,"I deal from a positive prospective," he said. That's one thing about this political world I don't like: all the negative. I finally decided I just have to let it go like water off a duck's back."

For someone who claims to be sick of the negative in campaigning, Billy Long sure keeps some interesting company. Yesterday, we saw how deep the Long campaign is willing to dig to go negative, laying out a story of traffic tickets to Cory DeVera busy in the News-Leader, and delivering this attack propaganda was Jeff Roe operative Jason Klindt. Like I said, for Billy Long to claim he is sick of the negative in campaigning, he keeps some interesting company.

The Long campaign is about to go extremely negative. I have no doubt about it. This little traffic story was the warning shot, and Billy Long's handlers have quite the reputation for launching some very nasty campaigns, and Klindt is closely connected to what has been labeled as the Goon Squad. A group even detested by many in the GOP across the state of Missouri, most recently noted by Republican Brian Neives and his supporters. These Goons threaten unity within the ranks of Missouri's GOP.

Any Republican connected to the Goons mentions above deserve a level of scrutiny in their character and judgement. There seems to be a good reason Klindt was brought into the Long campaign. As you know Billy Long doesn't like to be asked questions in uncontrolled environments that may show Long's weakness on the issues. Klindnt has a history of being the attack dog against any moves the media may make against the candidate he serves and insulating the candidate from the media. Long has been successfully insulated from the local media since Klindt showed up on the scene. Consider the following description of Klindnt's work with Conrad Burns and apply it to what you know about Billy Long.

In addition to his role as one of a half-dozen or so folks charged with making sure an actual reporter doesn’t get anywhere near Conrad Burns, and maybe turning hot laps around Billings in his Mazda, Klindt will also have another title while he’s in the Treasure State: Tourist.

Consider how distant Long keeps from the media and how controlled the situation is when Long is in front of the media. It's obvious why Klindt was called into the Long campaign.

Dirty campaigning is part of Klindt's specialty and he is one of the reasons people around Sam Graves came to be known as the Good Squad.

"They're evil," says Clay County Assessor Cathy Rinehart, who challenged Graves in 2002. "Their tactics are evil."

These tactics are well known with both republicans and democrats across the state of Missouri. A well reported story about Klidnt's role in the Goon Squad told across multiple Web sites, includes intimidation of many by shoving cameras in their faces. It's funny how Billy Long doesn't like these tactics used against him, but he hires people well familiar with the tactic.

In 2004, when Klindt was Graves’ deputy press secretary in his race for the 6th District house seat in Missouri, Graves took part in what could only be described as the Intimidation of a Missouri Senior Citizen. As he walked to his car, 66-year-old Charlie Bloomfield – Graves’ opponent in the race – was approached by a man hiding his face with a camera. The man, who refused to give his name, got in Bloomfield’s face with the camera while yelling at him and snapping pictures, then jumped in a waiting car and sped away. Bloomfield jotted down the plate number for the car, a Mazda sedan owned by none other than Jason Klindt. Half an hour later, Bloomfield filed a report with the Gladstone, MO police. “I think it was fairly close to assault, if not actually assault,” he said at the time.

And as it turns out, this wasn’t exactly an isolated incident.


"Their tactics are the worst I've ever seen, and I've been in politics fifty years," says former Kansas City Councilwoman Teresa Loar, who opposed Graves in a Republican primary in 2000. "It's truly incredible what they get away with."

So, as Billy Long's Minister of Attack propagranda launches the first negative attacks against Scott Eckersley, after Long claimed he was sick of the negative in politics, it's interesting who Long has befriended in his quest for Congressional power. Long picked the most negative campaign team he could, which shows as much hypocrisy on Long's part as about everything else he has claimed to be.
Why do you think Billy Long hired this guy to be his spokesperson? Remember this quote from an interview Long did early in the campaign?
I think you get me up against some of these people that are prim and proper and their handlers have told them just what to say and then you get me out there and I think it's going to be very interesting.
Yes, this Long campaign is very interesting. It' full of Missouri values.
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