And, Flap suggested that Mitt Romney and his campaign should condemn this activity and apologize for this blatant â€œdirty trickâ€, presumably by an over enthusiastic campaign supporter.
The site was the work of the political consulting firm of Warren Tompkins.
Now, the Thompson campaign is calling for the firing of Warren Thompkins one of the partners in the consulting firm that oversees Romneyâ€™s Palmetto State effort and the former governorâ€™s top SC strategist.
Will Romney sensing a GAFFE through Thompkins throw his firm â€œUNDER THE BUSâ€ like he did with feaux-trooper Jay Garrity?
Flap receives an e-mail from the Romney campaign:
As reported in the Boston Globe, the site has no direct affiliation to our campaign, and we had no knowledge of its development.
Once we received inquiries about the site, we discovered it was created by an individual who parked the site temporarily on the company server space of a firm whose financial partner is a consultant to the campaign- Mr. Tompkins. Mr. Tompkins also had absolutely no knowledge about the development of the site or that it was temporarily parked on the firmâ€™s server.
We informed this party that as a result of that server use, we were receiving inquires about the site. We made it clear that we did not approve of the site and asked for immediate action to make sure it was again in no way affiliated with the campaign.
The person responsible is not an employee of ours, but we took immediate action to make sure it was clear the site was not affiliated with the campaign.
Iâ€™d appreciate an update with this information and/or link.
Stephen B. Smith
Director of Online Communications
Romney for President, Inc.
phone number redacted (w)
phone number redacted (m)
address redacted(Google / AIM)
Iâ€™d ask that you please remove my contact information from your blog post as soon as possible.
As the Associated Press reports, the responsible individual is a managing partner of a firm jointly owned with Tompkins. Tompkins was unaware the site had been developed or that it was hosted on the firmâ€™s server.
Following the link from Stephen Smith yields the following:
A spokesman for Republican Mitt Romney said Tuesday that the presidential candidate did not approve the creation of a Web site severely critical of the personal and political life of his GOP rival, Fred Thompson.
The Web site, PhoneyFred.org, was created by Wesley Donehue, a business associate of Warren Tompkins, a South Carolina political operative on the Romney payroll and the candidate’s top adviser in the early voting state.
The site was created without the knowledge of Tompkins or Romney, said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden. After the campaign received media inquiries about it, Romney aides traced the site to Donehue and complained. It was taken offline on Monday.
The Web site was hosted by a company called bluehost.com, based in Orem, Utah. It had links to Under the Power Lines, Tompkins’ political consulting firm.
A Web site for another Tompkins venture, TTS Political Strategies, said Donehue “runs the daily operations of the firm.” A TTS partner, Heath Thompson, is a media adviser to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another Fred Thompson rival, but Heath Thompson took a leave from TTS last year when he and Tompkins started working for different candidates.
Tompkins, a former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party, is a veteran of Palmetto State politics. He served as President Bush’s 2000 Southeast regional director at a time when Bush criticized then-rival Sen. John McCain and defeated him in the state’s GOP primary.
Tompkins has been paid $12,000 monthly to guide Romney’s effort in South Carolina.
Looks like Romney has thrown Wesley Donehue “UNDER THE BUS” like faux-trooper Jay Garrity. Soren has it RIGHT when he says the Romney folks threw an underling out without taking responsibility for their own companiescampaigns actions.
Or was Wesley Donehue acting on his own?
Uh-huh. Romneyâ€™s spokesman also says Donehue is â€œnot an employee of ours,â€ yet Donehueâ€™s â€œOn The Markâ€ direct mail firm received $81,225.02 from the Romney campaign during the second quarter of 2007, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Incidentally, Time Magazineâ€™s political blog, aptly-titled The Swampland, has an interesting piece this afternoon detailing Tompkinsâ€™ shady past. The post even links to a story we wrote on the old FITS last year about the consultantâ€™s declining influence in Palmetto politics.
UPDATE – If there was any doubt as to the inter-connectivity of Donehueâ€™s â€œOn The Markâ€ direct mail firm and the â€œUnder The Power Linesâ€ netroots firm (which created the anti-Thompson site), both are prominently featured on Tompkins and Sullivanâ€™s corporate website. Or at least they were prominently featured before the website was taken down earlier today. Donâ€™t worry, we saved it for you here.
Maybe someone should interview Donehue?
Or maybe Mitt should come clean and apologize. Flap doesn’t think the Thompson folks are going to let this go.