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Morrison writes: "Earlier this year, I secretly made an audio recording of Sen. Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican on the planet."

The released portion of the recording clocks in at less than 12 minutes. (photo: Curtis Morrison)
The released portion of the recording clocks in at less than 12 minutes. (photo: Curtis Morrison)


Why I Secretly Taped Mitch McConnell

By Curtis Morrison, Salon

31 May 13

 

arlier this year, I secretly made an audio recording of Sen. Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican on the planet, at his campaign headquarters in Kentucky. The released portion of the recording clocks in at less than 12 minutes, but those few minutes changed my life.

I leaked the recording to Mother Jones, which published it with a transcript and analysis in April, and over the days that followed, blogs and cable news shows lit up with the revelations from that one meeting. At the time, McConnell was prepping for a race against the actress Ashley Judd - it was "the Whac-a-Mole stage of the campaign," McConnell said smugly - and the recording captures his team in some Grade-A jackassery, including plans to use Judd's history of depression against her.

But also up for debate was the the ethics of the audio recording itself. Here's the latest: An assistant U.S. attorney, Brian Calhoun, telephoned my attorney yesterday, asking to meet with him next Friday as charges against me are being presented to a grand jury.

In a technology age marked by vigilante heroes like Julian Assange and Anonymous, the line between journalism and espionage has grown thin. McConnell was quick to frame himself as the victim of a crime, which was to be expected. It was the guilty repositioning of a politician who has been caught being craven.

What I never expected was the pushback from my own political side. One day in April, I turned on MSNBC and saw U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat from Louisville and one of my personal heroes, rip me a new one:

"These are like petty thieves," Yarmuth said, referring to me and my friend, Shawn Reilly, who had accompanied me as I made the recording. "They're an embarrassment to the system. They're an embarrassment to politics."

In the days that following the audio leak, I lost my friendship with Shawn. I lost my apartment. I lost my job and my career path.

Unlike Mitch McConnell, I will not paint myself as a victim. I've learned a lot in these weeks. But nothing stung like hearing Yarmuth brush me aside like that. I was so upset that all I could do is go for a long run. Frankly, I had a good cry. And as I pounded away the stress and frustration of that moment, I had to wonder: Did I make a mistake?

I'm a liberal activist in Kentucky. I'm also a citizen journalist - at least I used to be - because I don't subscribe to the lie that activism and journalism can be separated. Howard Zinn wrote,"You can't be neutral on a moving train." That's how I see it: Journalism is a moving train, and we all choose which perspectives to bring along on the ride. Needless to say, journalists tend not to like me.

Since 2009, I've run a blog that hoped to fill a narrow void in Kentucky media by covering a ridiculous amount of public meetings, civil disobedience actions and political events, where I'm often the only person who shows up with a tripod. My blog's YouTube channel has more than 100 videos. I started it because I have a long-standing interest in improving the collective knowledge of Kentuckians. The more informed we are, the better decisions we make. But I have other interests as well. One of my goals is to unseat Mitch McConnell.

I don't personally dislike McConnell, but I believe he has failed Kentucky. He has prioritized his personal agenda du jour over the needs of Kentuckians for more than three decades of his so-called public service. It took the two years leading up to the 2012 election - during which his only aim was to sabotage President Barack Obama - for a wider audience to catch on to his disgraceful behavior. To hell with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, to hell with the country.

According to Public Policy Polling in their December 11, 2012 poll results, McConnell was "the most unpopular Senator in the country." And now he faced a high-profile, high-stakes face-off with a Hollywood star.

Of course I was watching, but I also became invested. I've never met Judd, but I identify with her. We're both the same age, have endured similar personal struggles. We both spent our 20s looking out for ourselves while suppressing a calling to higher service. Her transition into a life devoted to public interest has been more streamlined and effective than mine, but I root for her. (Frankly, I hope she reconsiders her decision not to run, and jumps in the race by January.)

I learned about McConnell's February campaign launch a week prior to the event, through a tip from a reader of my political blog. The tipster did not tell me the time or precise location, but I discovered in only a few days that his HQ was only 1,000 feet from where I then lived. If Sarah Palin had said she could see the McConnell campaign HQ from my deck, she would have survived a fact check.

The meeting was on Groundhog Day, a holiday that would seem to have great ironic meaning for the American political system, and it was freezing cold that morning. I skipped my shower, threw on sweats, enjoyed hot coffee while I checked my email. Typical Saturday on my Mac. In the course of a few minutes, a few hours had passed. I didn't want to go outside - I didn't want to go anywhere - but I remember thinking if McConnell's launch was so close to my home and I spent the day hibernating, then I suck at both journalism and activism. And since I don't have aptitude or passion for much else, that would be problematic for my self-esteem. So I put on my coat and shoes, grabbed my Flip camera, and headed out the door.

At the last minute, I recruited my neighbor, Shawn Reilly, to come with me. Shawn had a phone with access to Twitter, which I thought might provide clues on the meeting's exact location, and my smart phone had not survived a fall from atop the roof of my moving Jeep.

So we drove to Bishop Lane and scoured the parking lots for McConnell's black Suburban or any BMWs with "Friend of Coal" license plates. No luck. Twitter was no use either. But that's when my phone rang.

On the other line was the source who first let me know about the HQ opening. He told me I had missed the launch, pronouncing the donuts cheap and stale and the coffee cold, but the meeting was still going. And he told me the location of the headquarters: the second floor of a building named Watterson Towers.

We headed over.

The front door to the office building was unlocked, and there was no one behind the reception desk. Walking down the hall of the second floor, I recognized McConnell's voice. He was talking about Sen. Rand Paul's strategic use of the Tea Party in procuring his 2010 election.

The voices were coming from the other side of a nearby door, which had a window. I pulled out my Flip camera and started to record.

I don't need to tell you what a weapon the pocket video camera has become. Bartender Scott Prouty changed the trajectory of the entire 2012 election when he captured Mitt Romney in his now classic "47 percent" speech. You just never knew when a politician was going to open his mouth and accidentally reveal his true agenda. And as I held my Flip up to the window, that's what I was hoping for, but I soon realized that the video I was capturing was the back of a projection screen, and only the audio was of value. So I held the Flip closer to the door vent instead of the window, and began recording the 11:45 minutes of footage later released by Mother Jones.

I was sweating. My heart was racing. I tried to record backup audio on my phone, but my cheap replacement phone would only let me record voice memos of one minute in length. Every time the minute was up, the phone would beep, which was excruciating for the person crouching by a door vent. When a gentleman walked out of the campaign headquarters and into the hall, I put my Flip and phone back in my pocket, and headed to the elevator.

Shawn was already there. We made our escape.

At the time, I wasn't clear exactly what I had captured on tape. It wasn't until I listened back to the recording that I heard the entirety of what was taking place. I heard his campaign staff revealing the ugly nature of their pending electoral strategy. I heard an oppo research presenter, whose identity is still a tightly guarded McConnell secret, suggesting that the senator may have used his legislative aides to gather the dirt on Judd. It's unlawful to use government resources for campaign work, a lesson McConnell should have learned in 1981, when the Louisville Times and a subsequent lawsuit allege he did the same, back when he was serving as the Jefferson County Judge/Executive.

I knew the recording had given me an opportunity, and I wanted to seize it. Though my initial instinct was to release the tape that day, I wondered if it wouldn't have more impact closer to the election. When announcing her decision not to run, Judd wrote in her statement, "And it's time Kentucky had an alternative to the cynical politics and self-serving tactics of Mitch McConnell." For me, that confirmed Judd understood Sen. Whac-A-Mole even more than I did. If only there was something I could do to show a broader audience what Kentucky's senior senator was all about? Boy, that sure would be in the public interest. I decided to release the recording sooner.

And so in late March, I reached out to David Corn at Mother Jones, the journalist who released Scott Prouty's 47 percent tape. I trusted him with the material. On the morning of April 9, he published the full recording and transcript, as well as an analysis – and the circus began.

That day, McConnell refused to answer reporters' questions about the recording, deflecting repeated inquiries with portrayals of himself as the target of "Nixonian tactics."

Before noon, his campaign had fully integrated the McConnell-as-victim strategy, sending out a fundraising email with the heading,"Liberals Wiretap McConnell's Office." McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton spoke to the press using words like "illegally and illicitly" and "unethical and immoral." And it just wouldn't be Benton if he didn't also compare me to a Nazi."This is Gestapo kind of scare tactics," he said.

I thought back to a quote of McConnell's from back when Sen. Bob Packwood protested the release of evidence from the Senate Select Ethics Committee that would lead to his 1995 resignation. He said, "As happens with increasing frequency these days the victimizer is now claiming the mantle of the victim. The one who deliberately abused the process now wants to manipulate to his advantage. That won't wash."

Increasing frequency, indeed.

Meanwhile, my personal life hit a wall. Shawn never wanted me to release the recording, and our friendship ended in the wake of that disagreement. I was renting a room from his sister-in-law at that time, and to avoid awkwardness, I put my stuff in storage and lived mostly in my Jeep.

It is important to state that sleeping in my car was not a disaster. The self-reliant part felt good, and in the heavy-drinking days that followed, the arrangement solved a few practical matters: Getting home from the bar is real simple when you live in your car. For a short time, I entertained buying a custom van. Maybe next time?

Also, I was unexpectedly liberated from my ambitions to grow as a Louisville journalist. For years, I'd been a contributor to Insider Louisville. But when news broke that I was involved in making the recording, my editor not only fired me, but he wrote an essay about me.

So I can take a hint. I'm in California now, and plan to attend law school here in the fall. I'm 44 years old, and my life path has shifted a bit, but I'm still alright. So far, McConnell has failed to cause me even a fraction of the suffering or inconvenience he's caused most Kentucky families.

But I do wonder sometimes. Like when Yarmuth - the politician I have referred to over the years as "Congressman Awesome" - slagged me on MSNBC. (Although I'd like to point out that Yarmuth went on to stress the importance of the recording's contents, drawing attention to how McConnell hadn't addressed the thorny questions that it raised.)

It was a frustrating moment, but in truth, I've never doubted that making the recording was ethical. I believe in the philosophy of Julian Assange: When we open up governments, we bring in freedom. Helping the voting population better understand a political leader's true priorities is a good thing. And hell yes, it's ethical.

I'm reading a book now called "Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy," which was put together by Ted Widmer and Caroline Kennedy. In case you didn't know, Nixon wasn't the only president to make secret recordings in the White House. Most presidents since FDR did, but Kennedy was the first to take recording seriously, making 265 hours of taped material in all. Interestingly, there are times when Kennedy left the Cabinet Room, and the Joint Chiefs were recorded without their consent, but please don't tell McConnell about that. He'll have a cow.

What's fascinating about Kennedy's recordings is that he appears to have made them in the interest of preserving history, and dispelling mythology, which he knew to be a distraction from truth. He probably intended to use those recordings to write a memoir we'll sadly never read, but now they offer an uncut look at a real presidency.

Widmer writes, "It has been a problem since the dawn of the presidency - how do we capture the words and thoughts of the individuals to whom we give so much power? Do they not have a certain obligation to report back to us?"

I would argue that yes, our leaders have an obligation back to us. But we are also allowed some due diligence to capture their words and thoughts however we can.

As for whether my actions were illegal? I don't believe so, and that position has been supported by some high-profile attorneys, including John Dean, former counsel to President Nixon. Not everyone agrees with Dean, of course. Erik Wemple, whose wife works for Mother Jones, cleared David Corn of wrongdoing in the Washington Post, but me not so much. Wemple wrote: "Yes, reporters, you may accept clandestine recordings from law-breaking scumbags. Just don't help them do their work."

I could still be prosecuted. And wouldn't that be smart? Here we are - the sequester in full tilt, special-education teachers and air traffic controllers are being laid off, funding for medical research is being cut – and let's funnel those savings into taking down that destitute guy with the Flip camera.

But I still think it was all worth it. McConnell's numbers continue to slide. On the morning of the recording's release, Public Policy Polling released another poll setting McConnell up in virtual races against hypothetical potential candidates like Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. In that poll, McConnell only led Grimes by four points, 45-41.

Last Tuesday, the Huffington Post reported that McConnell and Grimes are now tied, 45-45. Granted, this is still a hypothetical race. But no matter who McConnell actually faces in 2014, Kentucky voters can be on the lookout for his "Whac-A-Mole" game like never before. Already, Grimes is on to him. After McConnell political director Iris Wilbur made it her life's work in late April to bully Grimes into denouncing what McConnell's campaign was still calling "an illegal bugging," Grimes brought it:

"I will tell you that the bully tactics that we see displayed are a continuation of those exemplified in the recording that has surfaced by Mitch McConnell…This Kentucky woman won't be bullied."

I believe all opportunities come with risk, and knowing them in advance allows you to accept the consequences. So I took a risk on Groundhog Day. I stuck my head up to try to raise the general public's awareness about what the most powerful Republican on the planet is really like. If I get whacked in the process, so be it. At the very least, I hope people will see that McConnell is not what he purports to be. He wants you to think he is sound and moral, but he is neither. He wants you to think he's a statesman and a leader, but he is a moral coward.

If given another chance to record him, I'd do it again.

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+259 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-05-31 11:16
Don't exactly know how it will work out for you in the future. I would think that your courage will reward you. The glass is more than 1/2 full for you. I salute you.
 
 
+164 # maddave 2013-05-31 12:33
Let's all hope so! Hang in there Curtis. If only more people had your guts.

But in passing: Insofar as Yarmuth's negative reaction on MSNBC to the recording is concerned, this is only heaps on more evidence (to me) that when under a threat from a practice (such as taping and recording) that could undo any one of them at any time, politicians close ranks (tighter than a fish's rectum) to defend one another - the elite - against we, the great unwashed people . . . to whom, were it not for Citizens United, etc, they would all be accountable and -God forbid - respectful.
 
 
+64 # angry 2013-05-31 12:57
Hey guys, they (both sides) are crooks. Get used to it. They BOTH get paid campaign bribes to keep the system broken. ONLY a near-100% turnover in 2014 will fix it.
 
 
+24 # alfredo_tomato 2013-05-31 14:47
At least the Dems kiss us before they shove it in.
 
 
+1 # RLF 2013-06-03 06:41
They still shove it in uninvited!
 
 
+26 # DPM 2013-05-31 16:41
Yarmuth...your hero? Here is a quote from your article. "You just never knew when a politician was going to open his mouth and accidentally reveal his true agenda." They are ALL looking over their shoulders, afraid the WRONG people may learn the truth about them. I'm sure that includes Yarmuth. Sorry.
 
 
+37 # bingers 2013-05-31 22:37
Quoting angry:
Hey guys, they (both sides) are crooks. Get used to it. They BOTH get paid campaign bribes to keep the system broken. ONLY a near-100% turnover in 2014 will fix it.


Yeah? But since Republicans get 7 times as much dark money will you at least admit that Republicans are 7 times as corrupt?
 
 
+3 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-06-03 23:15
One problem that can not ignored. Move the hell out one group and another group is about to be moved back in complete with a duffle bag waiting for the money drop. Remember when Boehner was caught handing out corporate issued checks on the house floor to "those on a leash." Laws, system has to change. And who I ask is going to change a system that offers bribes for votes? I doubt that the bribers and the bribees want the system to change. I'm 72 and I doubt I'll see it happen (when the bribers and bribees decide to pack it up) before I "buy the farm."
 
 
+8 # dovelane1 2013-06-02 02:13
First of all, I am not on the side of Mr. Morrison, nor am I on the side of Mr. McConnell, per se. The side I'm on is the side of the truth.

I'm on the side of anyone wanting to get to the whole truth. The truth is that many people will tell you the part of the truth that makes them look good, or, at least, doesn't make them look bad. Many people love the lie that saves their pride, but never the unflattering truth.

If most people carry skeletons in their closets, won't they end up supporting the people in power who also have skeletons in their closets? Won't they be the ones who understand what it means to be afraid of having the skeleton exposed, and fight against that happening?

there is an A.A. saying that goes: "Not keeping secrets is the same as telling the truth."

If we live in a culture that supports the keeping of skeletons secret, how hard is it going to be to change what our politicians are doing? Aren't they, after all, a reflection of what is going on with the public? Don't we, in the long run, get the government we deserve?

McConnell's behavior is representative of a tendency towards aggressiveness in this culture. If this culture continues to reward aggressive behavior, on all levels, from the president on down, how are are we going to become an "assertive" culture?

Aggressiveness is based on fear; assertiveness on love. Isn't that the basic change that needs to happen in this culture?
 
 
+70 # jwb110 2013-05-31 11:17
You might want to see if there are any extra beds in the Ecuadorian Embassy in your town.
 
 
+192 # Malcolm 2013-05-31 11:35
Let's see. The government, in the form of TSA, TIA, HSA, CIA, and FukkinA, are now spying on our phone calls, emails, texts, snail mail, homes, cars, cell phones/location s, credit card purchases, travel itineraries, (did I miss any?), and THEY are prosecuting US?

SHEESH.
 
 
+185 # babaregi 2013-05-31 11:41
Playing "fair" when the game is rigged against fair play is naive.
Machiavelli said that to be completely honest and good in a world where men are bad is a formula for losing.
The bad man will simply take advantage of the good man's trust in him.
Mitch is a bad man that takes advantage of
the public's trust in him.
Such is the hellish world we live in.
 
 
+3 # mclaire12 2013-06-02 15:58
AGREED!CURTIS WAS RIGHT!
 
 
+73 # mdhome 2013-05-31 11:44
Does he have a problem with the truth getting out to the voting public? and why should he?If he does not like what he says , why say it? Why believe it?
 
 
+75 # NAVYVET 2013-05-31 11:45
You're brave, and I hope you have independent means.
 
 
+118 # Onterryo 2013-05-31 11:52
Most Republicans, like Democrats, obey the laws. But to gain and keep power Republicans like McConnell consider the law to only be used as "moving guideposts", except for when it suits them to claim otherwise. McConnell and his ilk are not victims but hypocrites living in a moral vacuum where only power and wealth, not the American people, matter.

I wish Curtis good luck with his studies.
 
 
+126 # fredboy 2013-05-31 11:54
As a journalist I openly or secretly recorded every interview. Also every public address or source discussion within earshot--thus there was no "expectation of privacy." Caught a Baptist politico minister demeaning Jews, a gubernatorial candidate admitting to date rape, and more. The spoken truth is the spoken truth, the actual words shared. Nothing more hilarious than quoting a jerk in the newspaper then have they cry "I didn't say that!"--then turning on the tape and sharing their exact quote with the lying bastard.

States that ban secret tape recording of a conversation or meeting you are a part of protect criminal behavior. It's that simple. Most states uphold the freedom to tape any conversation you are a party to.

Glad I was a journalist in Virginia. Kentucky must be a real shithole.
 
 
+2 # hammermann 2013-06-06 04:43
Exactly. Many states have crazy laws now that would criminalize almost any cell phone video. Meanwhile everything we do is being illegally swept up and stored by the gov. It should be expected that any politician is being recorded when speaking to a journo- we actually need that to prevent them denying what they say later, or to avoid mistakes- I've thought quotes were totally different than what they said. But they often have a fit when you ask them later if you can put something online.

After 9-11, we have no rights- I was terrorized by fascist cops for 30 min after I took a photo in a strip mall parking lot 100 ft from any bldg in the dark! These retards searched my car, were shoving me immediately, and were saying "You have pictures of people, that's illegal."
 
 
+92 # cordleycoit 2013-05-31 12:17
Looks like Kentucky cancelled the Constitution.Al ong with removing all those mountains they've given lobotomies to the populous. Remember to read H.L. Menkin on how the Bible Belt becomes a noose in the hands of the Christian White male.
 
 
+19 # no jojo 2013-05-31 12:35
Sad--lost most of everything. My advice stay away from politicians--th ey are all the same--crooks.Am erica does not have democracy but demockracy elections.Both parties are same and controlled by one religious group.Recall--E manual head of the Demo candidate funding selection group--only candidates that signed a statement to support Israel need apply for funding. Want results demand term limits 2 x $ and leaders one term 4 years. Sure cure to kick out crooks :^(
 
 
+92 # reiverpacific 2013-05-31 12:36
"I'm a liberal activist in Kentucky."(Quote)
That alone takes a great deal of moxie and cojones, as I can tell you from personal experience from my time there.
I had never been fired from either a job or a consultancy contract before I worked in the South and KY in general. They never could fault my work but I consistently tread on some powerful toes in the attempt to honestly and efficiently execute my profession per contract and specs, threw people who tried to manipulate and even bribe me, out of my office (Including a recent Governor) and was an outspoken socialist and activist (this was especially too much comin' from a damn Furriner, not even a Yankeh).
Conformity is way of life -and narrow conformity at that-, which is what ol' "bitch" McC' is all about -to his big coal, mining, tobacco and other corporate backers, and how he's been in his cesspool of Reprobate party-dirty-tri cks-fueled power spot for so long, dedicated to putting down anything even mildly progressive.
His own conduct and ethics are so chock full of hypocrisy and skullduggery at a state and local level, that any candidate who had the courage to run against him on his own muck-raking terms, would have enough material to bury him in if they could get the support; there's the rub, innit!?
This author is just another victim of being honest and turning the power-drunk incumbent's own tactics against him.
 
 
+83 # WallStWallFlowerGirl 2013-05-31 12:48
I haven't the words to express how MUCH I owe you, Curtis Morrison, for using your spine to stand up to specious "public servants" eroding America's foundation like a fracking expedition on meth.

It is because of YOU; the courage of conviction that my glass remains half full. THANK YOU for not just accepting what the malfeasance on the Hill wants us to, which is to be food for the Solient Green machine of American plutocrats.

Monsanto has been my "cause celebre" ever since I was awakened to what GMO's are, which never would've happened without the passion of Pamm Larry to awaken us. Now, because of your passion for the lost art of investigative journalism, I am more committed to removing egregious politicians like McConnell from power. Politicians like him, regardless of party, are like bad cops abusing the badge; taking the trust of their constituents to only serve themselves. Our only hope in preserving a country "for the People, by the People," is to fire the people who take from the people.

I am going to share your story wherever I go and fight for the veracity of your journey. Defeating McConnell won't be easy, knowing that he'll use all his power and money to play very dirty. But if irony is to play its hand, when Humpty Dumpty takes a great fall and all the Kings horses and all the Kings men cannot put Humpty back together again- it'll be because Dumpty was so arrogant to think that he could never fall.
 
 
+47 # Artemis 2013-05-31 12:52
Hope it all comes round and John Yarmuth apologizes. Old-fashioned moralizing does not hold water in the rotten political world of today. We are fighting for our lives, for decency, honesty, for the Constitution, for justice, and they expect us to be so much better than they are. Well, we are, but sometimes we just have to make a record of the bullshit that comes out of their mouths when they think noone is listening.
 
 
-38 # FDRva 2013-05-31 13:01
Lost me on the first sentence.

The most powerful elected Republican on the planet is Barack Obama.

And he has expanded his powers under the Cheney-Scalia doctrine of the Unitary Executive.

No bailout ended. No torture center closed.

And no Wall Street request refused.

Methinks my 'progressive' friends cling to this president--out of reverse racism--and nothing else.
 
 
+42 # kelly 2013-05-31 14:59
If you were lost on the first sentence, then you shouldn't have commented. What you said was irrelevant to the point of the article.
 
 
-2 # RHytonen 2013-05-31 16:00
Quoting FDRva:
Lost me on the first sentence.

The most powerful elected Republican on the planet is Barack Obama.

And he has expanded his powers under the Cheney-Scalia doctrine of the Unitary Executive.

No bailout ended. No torture center closed.

And no Wall Street request refused.

Methinks my 'progressive' friends cling to this president--out of reverse racism--and nothing else.

I have to say I agree.
I voted for him
-or I should say, for who I thought he was- he first time.
The second time, I voted for Jill Stein, and changed my affiliation to Green (Mountain) Party.
Read their actual positions,at jillstein.org/i ssues and you may too. That is, if you're part of the 73% who poll in agreement on those issues, many of which are in your post.
 
 
+3 # hammermann 2013-06-06 04:49
And where would you have hidden if your vote helped elect Romney? I still am stunned that cartoon plutocrat came within 3% of Obama, who has disappointed on a bunch of issues, but still is light years ahead of any Repub. If Romney had become Prez, I would never return to America.
 
 
+31 # WallStWallFlowerGirl 2013-05-31 18:00
Obama is the most powerful head of state on the planet, who was not elected as a Republican but campaigned as a Democrat. I understand feeling sold-out but as a fellow progressive, I take offense at telling me that I only support him out of "reverse racism." The color of his skin was as important to me as the boobs on Sarah.

This is exactly what isn't helping us, the worker bees (on the verge of extinction). We will only survive if we band together because divided, we hurt ourselves. Left, Right; woman, man; black, white; straight, gay- We the People are up against them, the Plutocrats, who WANT us to fight each other because then we're not paying attention to the real FOXes in the hen house.

Am I content w/all of Obama's decisions? No. But I'm pretty sure that if he (or any leader) had a team willing to work together for the good of country, instead of their Country Clubs, the people responsible for electing him would feel less sold-out today.

Obama is out in less than four years- but these Senators, unless we fire them, stay on term after term after term after term...
 
 
+36 # David Starr 2013-05-31 13:12
Morrison definately has more "cajones" than McConnell. The former exposed McConnell's cynical tactics. The latter not only kept this descrete, but apparently doesn't have the "cajones" to stand on his merits, or "merits" when campaigning. What a sign of weakness.
 
 
+56 # tbcrawford8 2013-05-31 13:14
According to my grandmother, Lincoln once said, "A Man's face is his own fault by the time he's forty." McC's is a frightening mask of humanity run amok...
 
 
+15 # DPM 2013-05-31 16:50
He is the "Portrait of Dorian Gray".
 
 
+76 # video4315 2013-05-31 13:20
Rarely is the one who discloses the dirty truth celebrated. Remember those photos from Abu Ghraib and the soldier who made them public? He paid a price. So, too, did Daniel Ellsworth and now Bradley Manning. Where would we be if they had not had the courage to tell the world? Go, Curtis!!!
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2013-06-03 16:39
SHE
 
 
+29 # vgirl1 2013-05-31 13:48
I wish Mr. Morrison the best as he fights the McConnell machine of hate and fear of being exposed. I thank him for his courage in bringing the ugly truth about McConnell out into the open. Again, good luck, sir. I hope the grand jury will deny McConnell and crew. However, if a trial occurs I hope you can avoid anything more than probation and perhaps community service, if any punishment at all.
 
 
+23 # stanhode 2013-05-31 14:36
You are in good company:
"
Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Drake, and William Binney highlight their searing experiences with the Department of Justice and the National Security Agency, when they were marked as criminal targets of the US government due to their whistleblower disclosures involving rendition/tortu re, national security, multi-billion fraud, pervasive institutional corruption, violations of the 1st and 4th Amendments, civil and human rights, illegal surveillance on a vast scale and other unlawful secret government conduct and wrongdoing. "
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBp-1Br_OEs&list=PLOcrXzpA0W81zc6BiXpwEBx14w9nmtG2r&index=13
The nature and circumstances of these types of actions vary widely, but we do need to use our numbers to end the surveillance state, and hold state and corporate criminals accountable.

Julian Assange gave very hopeful testimony in this 40-minute interview on Wed:
http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/5/29/extended_interview_julian_assange_on_international_crackdown_on_wikileaks
 
 
+47 # alfredo_tomato 2013-05-31 14:46
A few years ago a single mother tried to ask McConnell a question, but he kept dodging her question. He found out who she was, and had her fired from her job. This was in Paducah, Ky.

So this latest flap is typical of that worm.
 
 
+30 # seeuingoa 2013-05-31 14:59
Keep on tracking Curtis !
 
 
-40 # Collkito 2013-05-31 15:10
.......so who did you convince?...we already knew he was/is a bastard...not one word you print will change anything...You have not told ANYONE what we didn't already know...Very unimpressive article...you won't disturb his sleep....talk the people there...
 
 
+38 # Vegan_Girl 2013-05-31 15:33
Mr. Morrison, please know that you are making a difference. I hope that the unfortunate things happening will be balanced out. Thank you for your service.
 
 
+37 # mikehz 2013-05-31 15:55
Curtis you're to be applauded in the same context as Woodward was applauded for exposing Nixon. When will the public ever grow up and take action on election day to throw McConnell and his kind out on the street? We have too many earthshaking problems facing our country to tolerate their behavior and ethical void. Hats off to you Curtis!
 
 
+21 # charsjcca 2013-05-31 16:19
If Mitch does not expect to be TAPED he need to tape his mouth shut. we all get taped. i have not used a secure phone since 1963 and never worry. I tell the truth, as I know it.
 
 
+30 # mighead 2013-05-31 16:51
IMO: 'whistle-blowin g' is often dangerous to the health of the 'whistle-blower'...
My understanding is that 9 out of 10 of them end up getting 'killed' while the 'other party' usually goes on their merry way.
But once out of 10 tries, the 'whistle-blowin g' works in the right direction.
Just think if no one had 'blown the whistle' on Mitt Romney's 47% speech.
So keep up the good work...but expect a lot of grief for your trouble.
And many of us are grateful for the information.
 
 
+33 # fosterfell6 2013-05-31 16:51
Curtis, I did not realize the price you paid for the very gutsy service you provided us all. Those. like you, who can capture these powerful, arrogant men when they are being absolutely candid and forthcoming remind us that they are not like you or me. That McConnell was able to turn what should have been an embarrassing moment for him into a devastating turn of events for you shows how tightly bound together the political/media /PR complex can become when one of their own is unmasked.
 
 
+11 # scribe 2013-05-31 19:56
I find it ironic that the US Attorneys are prosecuting things like this considering that the Justice Department is under attack for similar behavior. We really need to get rid of Eric Holder.
 
 
+15 # brianf 2013-05-31 22:02
Sorry to break it to you, Curtis, but this Justice department is not on "your side". They are on the establishment's side. Republican justice departments have been very partisan, but Holder's department is beyond politics. It is for those in power, regardless of party.
 
 
+11 # marniedove 2013-06-01 06:02
i would be interested in knowing exactly what David Corn's role was in releasing the name of Curtis Morrison.
 
 
+7 # wrknight 2013-06-01 10:56
No good deed shall go unpunished.
 
 
+1 # 4merlib 2013-06-01 13:07
I gather from this discussion that we mostly all agree that basic human rights are not meant to apply to people we disagree with. Banana Republic, here we come!
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2013-06-01 18:37
Quoting 4merlib:
I gather from this discussion that we mostly all agree that basic human rights are not meant to apply to people we disagree with. Banana Republic, here we come!

Well, you (as in the US) have been supporting and arming enough of them for decades.
A bit like the dog-owner who gets to look like his (or her) mutt, I guess.
 
 
+8 # Edwina 2013-06-02 09:25
Thank you, Curtis Morrison. Seems like we are having to rely more and more on random acts of courage to stem the tide of corruption at all levels of our government.
 
 
+7 # Skeeziks 2013-06-02 11:55
"...You just never knew when a politician was going to open his mouth and accidentally reveal his true agenda..."

That in the ol' nutshell, is the crux of today's political louts. They very seldom speak out with their true intentions. Because if we knew those true intentions, these guys just would not be chosen as our "representative s"...in the House or the Senate. Or even President. Though as we have seen with Obama, his intentions were on the whole...open. Another reason Mitch the _itch wanted to see Obama fail.

Mitch and the rest of the G.O.P. see a huge change coming in our nation's psyche...and they are so afraid of it.
 
 
+6 # opieee 2013-06-02 21:08
You did not commit burglary, nor did you break and enter.

If McConnell actually said it and you did not falsify the recording I see nothing wrong with you broadcasting it on the streets from a sound truck!

Good for you man!
 
 
+2 # RMDC 2013-06-04 04:47
McConnell is a public official. He can be filmed any time and any where. It is all legal. The justice department is just trying to intimidate you, probably at the request of McConnell. Keep you camera handy. You'll need it.
 
 
+2 # Bookmark 7 2013-06-05 07:14
Curtis...thank you for what you did, as it is indeed bravery to fight the current system. And I would say that you are indeed a true journalist. You may have a difficult road ahead of you, but I feel certain that you will prevail. Perhaps the law is where you should finally land.
A simple thanks to you is not enough.
 

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