Byron York has a great piece up today about Sen. Allen's stalker heckler, Mike Stark. Despite all the "OMG Allen's Thugs Attacked a Poor Innocent Blogger" headlines, all is not quite what it seems...
In late August, a man named Mike Stark posted a plea on the popular Democratic website DailyKos.com. He was a political prankster, Stark explained, and he’d been pulling pranks on conservatives for quite a while. He had had some success slipping past Rush Limbaugh’s call screeners. He managed to slip onto a radio program to ask Newt Gingrich about his first marriage.* And once, during an episode of Hannity & Colmes, he held a sign up behind Sean Hannity that said HANNITY SUCKS ASS. Stark proudly recounted his work on the DailyKos and on his website, Callingallwingnuts.com.
As usual the Washington Post presents it from a Lefty viewpoint. But they also have a quote from Jim Webb's campaign staff denying any knowledge of Mike Stark...
Kristian Denny Todd, a Webb spokesman, said Stark has no affiliation with the Webb campaign. "I have no idea who this guy is or what he was trying to accomplish," she said. "I saw the video, and from what I saw, he was wrestled to the ground by a bunch of Allen supporters so that is not very nice behavior."
Wait a minute Mrs. Denny Todd - that's not quite true. People in the Webb camp certainly know who Mike Stark is. Here's a blip from one of his postings at the KOS asylum. Stark is talking about a video he made of one of his other verbal ambushes against Allen.
I know for certain that the Webb campaign has the video, but for some reason, I guess they don't want to encourage this type of accountability.
Then there was this little incident in August 2006. Here is Mike Stark's recounting of the event...
Instead, I hung about till the room had almost emptied. People were having their picture taken with the Senator when I went up to an underdressed guy with a camera and asked if he was documenting the event for the Allen campaign. He said no, that he was with the Webb campaign… I told him to put his still camera away and get out his video camera.
At about this time, the picture taking was breaking up as the Senator explained that he had something to do. I walked up to him and said, “If you don’t mind Senator, I’ll walk with you. You know, you gave a great speech, but given the events in the news, some people back at the law school, I’m sure would like to know the answers to some different questions. Have you ever used the word ‘nigger’?”
Here's what the Webb Campaign said to a reporter for the Augusta Chronicle about the "N-Word" Ambush...
A Webb campaign volunteer who witnessed the incident told the AFP that Stark had introduced himself to him earlier as being a Webb supporter and University of Virginia law student.
The volunteer, who declined a request from the AFP to identify himself, said Stark is not affiliated with the Webb campaign. Webb campaign press secretary Jessica Smith reiterated that in an interview with the AFP this afternoon.
"The person who asked Sen. Allen those questions is not affiliated with us. And we're not sure that we know who he is," said Smith, who was briefed on the incident by the volunteer who was at the event.
"It certainly sounds like there is somebody who is upset and trying to create a situation there. It's clear that after the last couple of weeks that there are a number of people who are upset with Sen. Allen because of his remarks. But I have no idea who he is. He's certainly not on staff with us - that's for sure," Smith said.
So they knew about Stark back in August 2006. While he may not be an official member of the campaign staff, Stark's antics put him in the spotlight as representative of Jim Webb's supporters.
Also there have not been any "denouncements" of Starks' antics by Jim Webb. This silence gives the appearance of tacit approval for Starks' action plan. As a matter of fact, Webb ran with the "n-word" crap until the WaPo got tired of writing about it.
And we must not forget about the Macaca incident - especially since the "innocent bystander who got racially slurred by Allen" just happened to be a Webb campaign operative. Stark may not be a paid staffer but make no mistake - Stark is a Webb operative.
This whole thing stinks like macaca.