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NY-26: The Buffalo Bean Interviews Erick Mullen

by on August 4, 2008

With the ongoing brouhaha over the anti-Jon Powers site,, (called The Real Jon Powers) put out by the Jack Davis campaign, I contacted Erick Mullen of Mullen & Company, the strategic communications firm retained by Davis’s congressional campaign, to answer a few questions about the site.

The interview was conducted via email. Prior to responding to my slate of questions, he has some words regarding Jon Powers and his attacks on Jack Davis. “Jon Powers and his campaign have launched online videos attacking Davis, sent out a trumped up press release to gin interest – all negative campaign tactics,” he explained.   “He’s called Davis ‘Exxon Jack’ even though Powers’ own retirement fund is bulging with energy and oil company stocks.  He’s spent half his treasury already without saying one thing about himself, but instead going after a fellow veteran.” Mullen undoubtedly sees a difference between the attacks by the Powers campaign against Jack Davis, and their anti-Powers website. “This website of ours draws no conclusions, infers no baseless charges, but simply lays out the press coverage and publicly available data on The Real Jon Powers.”

THE BUFFALO BEAN: Why did the Davis campaign create

ERICK MULLEN: Jon Powers has a record of flip flopping on core progressive values and gorging himself on special interest money, contradicting himself from his DFA statements condemning the same money. is a place where people can read news accounts, data summaries and decide for themselves what is relevant or not.  It’s not nasty, or personal and it doesn’t call him names.

TBB: Do you believe the objections by some to are really due to the site’s design, or its content?

MULLEN: Good question:  As far as I can tell, Powers hasn’t pushed back at all and in fact is nobody has disputed the facts presented there.  Many have spun it or made apologies, especially Harding in his outrageous defense of strip clubs [link], but nobody has contradicted what we’ve laid out for the voters:

Powers solicited support and money from pro-lifers who were led to believe he was like minded.  He then flipped on them when Rochester NOW.  Is that “Leadership by Example”? (his campaign slogan).

93% of Powers’ money has come from outside the congressional district, and 40% of it from DC PACs and lobbyists.  He condemned it in his DFA statement, but has flipped.  Leadership by Example?

He’s spent 68% of all his money this quarter, mostly on out of state consultants – hardly the “grassroots” campaign he claims.

This is a guy who claims to have made less than $700 in twelve months, according to the Clerk of the US House.  He’s living on $1.91 per day?  Really?

This boyscout mythology he’s selling just doesn’t pan out when we shine a light on it, and is an effort to get the dialogue started.

TBB: Another aspect of the site that has caused a stir is “The REAL War Kids Relief Story” which is “coming soon.” While I’m sure you can’t tell me what exactly will be revealed, can you tell me when we can expect to see that posted on the site?

MULLEN: There are no “dirty tricks”, secrets or surprises here.  It’s all there for people to find.  WKR is the basis upon which Jon built a national profile and it therefore deserves a hard look.  It’s the horse he road in on, so to speak, and it’s time to look it in the mouth.

TBB: Is there anything else you’d like to add about The Real Jon Powers site that you feel people should know?

MULLEN: Yes, people should do their own research, ask their own tough questions and then vote their conscience.

TBB: Thank you for taking the time the answer these questions.

It should be noted that not all of my questions were answered. Mr. Mullen did not answer any questions regarding the site’s design or about the reactions to the site and allegations of some bloggers who support Jon Powers. Nevertheless, I appreciate the fact Mr. Mullen took the time to answer the questions he did.

UPDATE: The Albany Project’s Robert Harding responds to the interview.


From → Campaign 2008, NY-26

  1. Because your blog is half-baked, feeble-minded and slack-jawed. Both this blog and Phil’s try to present thoughtful opinions while seeking the truth. I did not do an interview with Harding either, he just blog-stalked me.

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