Bil Browning

Scott campaign: Feds should shut down Twitter & Facebook

Filed By Bil Browning | September 16, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Andre Carson, homophobic behavior, IN07, Marvin Scott, Stan Solomon, Twitter, xenophobia

My original story about Indiana Republican congressional candidate Marvin Scott's campaign manager grew legs and was reported all over the country and resulted in his termination from the campaign. The manager, Stan Solomon, repeatedly made anti-gay, xenophobic, and racist comments on Twitter.

scratching_head.jpgThe Associated Press ran two different stories, CBS, ABC, and NBC all broadcast something on it, multiple large sites and pundits like Alan Colmes picked it up, and the Indianapolis Star ran an editorial yesterday that roundly condemned Scott as "leading a campaign overrun by bigots."

Sadly though, during a 45 minute sit-down with Star editors and columnists, Scott said that Solomon had resigned from his campaign over the remarks, but continued to disparage Muslims. That's not the only flip flop his floundering campaign has performed this week. Lead on to see how this madness has continued - including an exclusive interview with Dr. Scott himself.

First Dr. Scott responded to a post on his campaign's Facebook page and said that Solomon had apologized. The problem? Solomon didn't apologize. In fact, he's not acted contrite in the least. He was still tweeting racist, anti-Muslim and anti-gay messages right after Scott said he'd apologized.

solomon-3.jpg

After I pointed out on the thread that Solomon hadn't actually apologized (although Scott did), the post was removed entirely from Scott's Facebook page.

Once the news broke about Solomon's twitter comments, Scott told CBS he was going to fire Solomon. He told the Associated Press and other outlets, however, that Solomon resigned.

A short while later, Indianapolis Star political columnist Matt Tully (the author of the scathing editorial) posted the following to his Twitter account:

tully-solomon.jpg

Yes, that's right. The fired resigned campaign manager was still answering the phone after leaving the campaign the night before. Curious to see if Solomon was still on staff, I called the number listed on the campaign website to see who answered the phone. To my surprise, it was Dr. Scott himself.

Before I break out the incredibly ignorant remarks Dr. Scott said to me, let's review a wee bit of Tully's editorial, shall we?

If there is a worse candidate for U.S. Congress than Marvin Scott, I haven't found him.
...
On Tuesday, Scott spent about 45 confusing and pathetic minutes defending his campaign before columnists and editors at The Indianapolis Star. During his visit, he attempted to link Carson with Muslim extremism simply because of an advertisement that ran in the back of a magazine that had written about Carson. It was a ridiculous and desperate ploy, one apparently aimed at trying to scare up votes from people who have a problem with Carson's Muslim faith.

It was shameless. But it wasn't surprising. It came, after all, from a guy whose campaign tactics have been routinely questioned, even by members of his own party.

Scott's visit came less than 24 hours after a local blog, Bilerico.com, reported that his campaign manager had been spewing hateful anti-gay slurs online...

Scott insisted he was appalled by Solomon's words and said Solomon had resigned from the campaign. But he also acknowledged knowing the aide had a long and disturbing record of making such statements. That history had been forgiven, Scott said, simply because Solomon offered his services at no charge.

"He seemed willing to work," Scott said, "and he worked very hard."

Yes, he worked hard as he bashed gays and called Carson a "radical lib Muslim."

Earlier this year, Scott was accused of bigotry after trying to drag Carson's religion into the campaign. And during the primary, his Hispanic opponent accused Scott of telling voters he wasn't a U.S. citizen.
...
Scott likes to play the role of the clueless congressional candidate when the issue of bigotry coming out of his campaign arises. He likes to point the finger of blame at those who work for him. He likes to feign indignation when he's called on his campaign's ugly mistakes.

But this isn't only about those who work around him. Scott is his own campaign's biggest problem. He sets the tone for his operation.

When Dr. Scott answered the phone when I called, I asked him about Solomon's apology. He insisted that the apology was made until I asked him who Solomon had apologized to and if I could see a copy of it to run on the site. He suddenly backed off the claim and said that he had apologized and that should be good enough.

"I looked right in the camera and said I was sorry for offending your people," he told me. "I'd have fired him earlier if I'd known what he was saying.

"People need to know I had nothing to do with it. He was doing it on his private computer and doing it on his time. He only worked for me two days a week. All the people on my staff are volunteers. I can't afford to pay them."

When I pointed out that Dr. Scott had posted the statement himself about Solomon's apology, he quickly disputed the statement.

"I don't know Twitter from kitty litter," he said. "And I don't do Facebook either. Anyone can use these things and post stuff to my page without my permission. It's out of control."

Dr. Scott has previously come under fire for making anti-Muslim statements on his Facebook page and leaving up anti-Muslim and anti-Latino posts from fans while deleting comments pointing out the inherent xenophobia of the statements.

"Twitter and Facebook are out of control," Scott told me. "The government should intervene and shut them down. Look at all the trouble they've caused my campaign."

When I asked if he would consider adding the abolition of social media to his platform, Dr. Scott refused to answer. Instead, he ended the interview by admitting that his original posting to his Facebook fan page - which he had earlier denied doing - was false.

"To my knowledge he has not issued an apology," Scott finally said. "But I did."

Scott's apology rings about as hollow as his now deleted Facebook comment. After all, it didn't stop him from continuing his all out assault on Muslims. It didn't stop Solomon's either.


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Bil,

It's been no secret among the blogosphere that Scott's "Fan" page on Facebook (facebook.com/scott4congress) is run by Robert Croddy, one of his campaign's volunteers who has also donated in both his own name and through his business, Croddy Financial. Scott also has TWO personal pages on Facebook, one set up after the GOP primary, and one that was at least active before but seems to never be used other than to add new friends.

I've long suspected that the more recent personal profile was also made by Croddy. The atrocious grammar in some of Scott's postings, as well as the cliched phrases sometimes used, and the signing of his name at the end of every post does not reflect the level of intelligence that someone who has earned a PhD should have.

I also checked to make sure, and one of his personal pages AND his Twitter account are both linked to on his campaign's web page. Now while he might not "administer" the site himself, he certainly has at least seen it. Those videos of Solomon and him display his web site on a large, flat-screen TV that he stands in front of!

Scott did this exact same song-and-dance during the primary in regards to this supposed apology, when some in the GOP started posting questions and expressing concerns on his campaign on his Facebook Fan page. These concerns were deleted and never answered. Brian Jessen of Indiana's Conservative Hardball made a post about it, and later received a phone call from Scott himself. Scott initially denied deleting the posts, but then admitted he doesn't run the "day-to-day" operations of the Facebook page.

I certainly understand the struggles of running a campaign on a shoe-string budget, but this isn't Scott's first campaign. He's done this before, and he should understand that his volunteers are representatives of him. He should clean house. Of course, if he did that, I wonder how many people would still be there?

Scott evening being in the race and undermining the candidacy of Carlos May was offensive enough; but, clearly this bozo (my opinion) doesn't need to be ignorantly voting on anything in D.C. This is one of those were both parties either by ignorance of economics and human motivation, having bad candidates or being ignorant of civil liberties and equal treatment under the law make it easy to vote third party and sleep really well at night.

Great article and good work.


Scott's Democratic opponent is our Indianapolis incumbent Congressman André Carson -- a young progressive African-American and one of two Muslims in Congress. He's also a proud member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus!

http://www.AndreCarson.com