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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Buckeye State Blog Blowup: So Far e-Mails Show Sharp Words, No Extortion

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Jerid Kurtz, the current proprietor of Ohio's Buckeye State Blog, has shipped to The Bellwether a string of private e-mail from March and April 2007 between himself and Democratic political consultant Paul Ackerman, a founder of the blog with whom he's had a falling out. The correspondence won't be reproduced verbatim here -- suffice it to say there are some personal things discussed. Those portions are neither racy nor outrageous so don't get the wrong idea. They simply touch on neighbors, or events that happened while growing up, and they really are nobody's business.

However, in the pertinent portions of the e-mails about the feud, Ackerman and Kurtz swap and exchange sharp words about Buckeye State Blog content, the reach or circulation of the blog, how much an ad would cost, and who might be likely to see it. Strip away the personal animosity between Ackerman and Kurtz that erupts in their private exchange, and the correspondence is pretty bland fare. Recently, Kurtz has said he felt Ackerman was trying to shake him down because of some of the words used in the March set of e-mail, which is something that I was not able to read into the e-mails that I have seen. Kurtz has also explained in a separate e-mail to me the shakedown remark was an unfortunate comment not meant to imply extortion. It was a riff that grew out of his opinion of Robin Weirauch, an OH-05 congressional candidate who was a client of Ackerman's consulting firm. I will quote from that e-mail:

''However, I won't let anyone maintain a chip that they think they can use against me or the site. Please keep in mind this particular blowup sparked from a Columbus political consultant that is unhappy with how I describe one of his former (and perhaps future) clients, Robin Weirauch (who for all I know is a perfectly wonderful woman). I'd say his threat reflects poorly on Paul's acumen.

"And, that claim that I made that forced Paul to threaten me?

"'His problems linger from past issues with that site, and with not being able to shake me down when he's contacted me previously. First time I ever conversed with the guy he was an ass (was pissy asking for site statistics, and gave me some lip about Russell lying to him.'"

"A simple misunderstanding. He interpreted the statement I made to mean I was claiming he was extorting me for money. In the context of the sentence, I just meant he was shaking me down for current site statistics (which I try to avoid advertising are in fact accessible to the public via blogads. Generally, nothing good comes out of a request for statistics). Regardless, an email my way from Paul during our blowup could have clarified that that wasn't what I was implying.

"Sorry to bug ya' or drag you in."

Kurtz also forwarded a copy of Ackerman's message from Monday Sept. 10 that demands a formal retraction of the shakedown allegation. Ackerman contends he has been defamed. (I won't quote verbatim what he says because he didn't send me the message himself).

The feuding between the now-fractured Buckeye State Blog family members appears to be continuing. Will Ackerman accept Kurtz's retraction? Or will there be some sort of legal action? At the moment, it still seems to be up in the air.


  1. Point of public clarification.

    Robin has never been a client of Linwood Campaign Services. I did have a phone conversation with Robin in 2005 (I believe the month was May) but at no time did she hire us to do anything and I haven't had the pleasure of talking with her since that point.

    I'm very interested to see that Jerid, after having been put straight on this issue is STILL saying that Robin has been a client and that we were defending her on that basis. That should make it very clear his motives in this.

    This all came about because Jerid, in is smarmy way insulted a very hard working Democrat and wasn't man enough to admit that fact and Ryan and I both called him on it and in Jerid's world, you just don't do such a thing.

    I'm also glad to learn that he's finally cracked a book from his first year of law school and learned what "Shaking Down" actually means. I'm not a lawyer but even I understand that lawyers need to learn to use language carfully. Perhaps that comes in the second year of law school -- I don't know.

    If he hadn't have gone there, this would have died on Thursday night and not got to that point.

    Interesting that he sent YOU an email saying that he didn't "mean it" when he never sent me one. I guess he's more worried about what you think about his "unfortunate comment" (I can think of stronger terms) than what I think of it.

    And yes ... I certainly was pissed that he was so flippant about his statistics when I was looking to spend money on his site. Why should that be a surprise to anyone? Image that you were looking to take out an ad in a magazine and the proprietor said "never mind how many copies we sell" ... what would YOU think about that?

    Frankly to me the statistics thing is the least important part of all of this except that when it came time to spend some of our client's money (a different client - a state house candidate) I wanted to know the REAL information, not some number that was so overinflated at the time that no one believe it.

    Since you focused to much on honesty in your original post about this, I look forward Bill to your call for Jerid to open up the sitemeter account to public viewing so that that nonsense can be laid to rest. Why does he have it so locked down in the first place?

    Why did Jerid in his email back to me in March chortle that he probably would have done the same thing as Russell did?

    His dishonesty with you about Robin and LCS' relationship, coupled with this, must begin to form a pattern in your mind, I would think.

  2. Almost as comical as a Dave Hickman sighting. You really are a piece of work Paul.

  3. And wouldn't have gotten to this point if you weren't issuing threats and trying to goad me into action.

    Speaking of action...when you get around to drafting whatever your fancy is, I can let you know where to send the papers to serve me. If that's not your intention, I'd advise against further claiming I broke the law. And yes, Robin Weirauch still is an "annual" candidate (although I'm sure she's a very nice woman).

  4. Hi Paul and BSB --

    Any chance I could take you guys somewhere, buy you a beer or two and try a peace negotiation. Any date or time or place? You all are very, very smart and intelligent guys. A lot of people have admired and respected what you all have done, and accomplished as allies -- maybe not as friends but as allies. (Jerid, I have tried to call but the cellphone number I have for you does not work anymore. Can you contact me privately by e-mail with a # so we can chat? And Paul, I can find you by phone and have spoken to Ryan earlier today). This combat that is taking place is not a war that should go on any longer.

  5. Jerid - you seem to be seeing shadows (or is it Reds) under the bed.

    I looked back at what I've written and I don't see anywhere where I said I was drafting anything. You do have a good imagination, I must say.

    Don't wet your pants over it, bud.

  6. Just a simple recommendation that you should draft something, or else shut up. Your hot air and moanin' gets old. All talk...

  7. Why bother?

    You've admitted that you were wrong, and also admitted that you don't understand the very basics of language and how it's used:

    "A simple misunderstanding. He interpreted the statement I made to mean I was claiming he was extorting me for money."

    Of course if you actually consult a dictionary, you'd know what it means, but yours' is probably under a couch leg or something.


    Main Entry: shake down
    transitive verb
    1 : to obtain money from in a deceitful, contemptible, or illegal manner (racketeers shaking down store owners for protection)

    (Unless of course you were talking about a shake down test - I'd try that one next)

    You didn't have the balls to actually say this to ME, but saying to Bill I guess is good enough to let you slither and frankly this concept was only ever in YOUR mind. Sounds like a plea for attention to me.

  8. I'm done with this one Paul. I admitted you interpreted things wrong. And as I've mentioned, unless you want to bring something against me (which by all means, good luck friend) I'd recommend dropping all of your defamation claims.

    Also, your references to my academia are entertaining. Keep it up sport.

  9. The Site Statistics through the Blog Ad network show BSB gets 14,349 ad impressions - if you look at Liberal Oasis - which is listed higher with 15,164 ad impressions then look at their sitemeter? They list they have 1,616 visitors per day. First Draft which is above Liberal Oasis in ad impressions by just a bit has a daily average visitor number of 1,442.

    This means it is pretty far fetched for BSB to be getting 6,969 visits a day that Russell stated they were getting that Bizzy Blog pointed out was said. Or there has been one hell of a drop in daily visitors.

    The Left Coaster which shows a daily visitor average of 4,075, which is still less than what BSB is trying to claim they had/have lists 40,441 ad impressions.

    By Jerid's own admission that these were accurate numbers that shows where the bullshit is coming from and it's not Paul.

  10. As to the last comment, here's the same thing I mentioned at bizzy whizzy blog...


    Always a pleasure. One thing you failed to point out is that Russell’s claims were made during the middle of the 2006 cycle…a cycle which started with a bang with the Senate primary and chairs race, and continued with a lot of juice all the way through. However, I suppose that would throw some doubt onto your conclusions.

    That said, I don’t have any evidence either way as to Russell’s claims. But I do know that BSB’s statistics swing dramatically based on what’s going on. That said, what’s your traffic like these days Tom?