“Dean Accused Of Out-Of-State Plot” Rick Klein, Boston Globe, 1/9/04
Presidential candidate Richard A. Gephardt's campaign accused Democratic rival Howard Dean yesterday of planning to unleash hundreds or thousands of out-of-state campaign workers to vote in the Iowa caucuses, in violation of state law.
The Dean camp angrily denied the allegation, saying it was part of a calculated effort to cast doubt on Dean's Iowa results in case he beats Gephardt in the Hawkeye State. Gephardt's campaign manager, Steve Murphy, sent a letter to his counterpart in the Dean camp demanding that he stop any plans to have supporters from outside Iowa participate in the Jan. 19 caucuses. Such a move could ruin the Iowa caucus process this year and in the future, Murphy said.
"You must identify those in your campaign involved with this illegal endeavor and fire the individual or individuals," Murphy wrote to Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign manager.
Trippi, who worked for Murphy in Gephardt's 1988 presidential campaign, fired back a letter that called Murphy's assertion a "sleazy tactic" with no grounding in truth. "Your allegation is ridiculous," Trippi wrote. "People are tired of this type of campaigning, which is why we've been energizing voters across the country with our message of hope and of a better democracy."
Murphy said his campaign learned of Dean's plans through a conversation a Dean field organizer had with a member of Gephardt's staff. According to Murphy, the Dean organizer said that people who will have been in Iowa for as little as one day would attend caucuses and vote for Dean. But in a conference call with reporters yesterday afternoon, Murphy declined to name either staff member, saying he wanted to protect the identity of the "whistle-blower."
“Kerry And Gephardt Campaigns Accuse Dean Staff Of Dirty Tricks” Tony Leys, Des Moines Register, 1/9/04
The two main rivals of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean accused his staff Thursday of using dirty tricks to try to win Iowa's Democratic presidential caucuses.
Dean's campaign said it was looking into one of the charges, but had determined that the other was an outrageous attempt to smear the young supporters who are fueling his surge in Iowa and across the nation.
Both allegations involve out-of-state Dean supporters misrepresenting themselves as Iowans.
Sen. John Kerry's Iowa campaign manager said a Dean worker from Georgia confessed Thursday that he and another Dean supporter had falsely told Kerry's staff that they were Iowans interested in the senator's effort. John Norris said the young men had appeared at Kerry's Creston office this week, said they lived in the area, and asked unusually detailed questions about Kerry's campaign efforts.
Dean spokeswoman Sarah Leonard said Norris' letter was a surprise. "It's very disconcerting," she said Thursday evening. "It's a very serious allegation, and we are trying to get to the bottom of it."
The charges came amid speculation that Dean's corps of out-of-state supporters would try to steal the election by passing themselves off as Iowans on caucus night.
Dean's campaign has denied any such plan, but the rumor boiled up again Thursday in a letter from the campaign manager for Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt. Steve Murphy complained to his Dean counterpart, Joe Trippi, that an unidentified Dean staffer had confessed the plan.
“Dean Fires 2 Campaign Aides” Ed Tibbetts, Quad-City Times, 1/9/04
Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in Iowa fired two workers Thursday who were accused earlier in the day of trying to infiltrate rival John Kerry’s campaign.
In a letter to the Kerry camp, Jeani Murray, Dean’s Iowa campaign manager, said the two were terminated after an investigation prompted by complaints by John Norris, who is running Kerry’s Iowa effort.
Norris complained in a letter to Murray earlier in the day that the two men claimed to work for Dean and approached the Massachusetts senator’s Creston, Iowa, office, earlier in the week asking about the operation. Norris said one of the men, Mitch Lawson, admitted Thursday to being employed by Dean and said they were trying to get their hands on “calling scripts.”
Sarah Leonard, a Dean spokesperson, said the two only recently joined the campaign and are from out of state. She did not say what they specifically tried to do, but in her letter, Murray said, “we will not tolerate any misrepresentation of the Dean campaign in any way.”
The firings came on the same day that Dick Gephardt’s campaign manager alleged that the Dean camp was planning to flood Iowa with out-of-state voters who would pose as Iowans at the Jan. 19 precinct caucuses. That prompted a sharp response from Dean’s campaign manager, who labeled the charge “ridiculous” and said Gephardt was engaging in “sleazy tactics.”
This is not the first time the prospect of out-of-state voters coming to Iowa has come up. In November, Newsweek magazine reported that someone from Dean’s Vermont campaign office had called the Iowa Democratic Party to inquire whether it was legal to list a hotel as a place of residence.
The Dean campaign dismissed it as the action of a single person and said it never would do such a thing.
“Dean's Rivals Accuse His Campaign Of Dirty Tactics” Deirdre Shesgreen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/9/04
Howard Dean's rivals accused his campaign Thursday of trying to undermine the Iowa caucuses by engaging in questionable tactics.
Sen. John Kerry's Iowa campaign director, John Norris, accused the Dean campaign of "dirty tricks." Norris said two Dean supporters had come into Kerry campaign offices and misrepresented themselves while trying to get information about Kerry's Iowa operations.
Dean's Iowa state director, Jeani Murray, later released a statement saying the two staffers had been fired. "After we investigated the circumstances independently, we determined it was necessary to terminate these two individuals," she wrote in a letter to Norris. "These two staffers, however earnest, misrepresented themselves and the campaign."
Meanwhile, Steve Murphy, Rep. Richard Gephardt's campaign manager, said Thursday that one of Dean's Iowa field organizers recently told a Gephardt staffer that the Dean campaign planned to send non-Iowans to vote in the caucuses - a contention the Dean campaign sharply denied.
Murphy declined to identify that field organizer, saying he wanted to protect the "whistleblower" who came forward with the information. He said it was relayed in a "casual conversation" between the two campaign aides.
Dean's campaign manager, Joe Trippi, dismissed Murphy's charges as "baseless political allegations" sparked by concern that the Dean campaign's ability to mobilize new voters threatens Gephardt's campaign here.