Creating havoc during political campaigns is nothing new in the present or on the past. Lies, fake news, false ads, pranks, jokes and decisions that would be costly were made as we enter the world created my Martin Kelly where mistakes were made and regrets were stated in Dirty Trickster Corporate Spy enlightening, filled with humors,moments, dirty lies, secrets and some practical jokes that will either make you laugh until your stomach is in pain or wonder why someone would resort to such antics.
Taking part in the infamous Watergate scandals in the history of our country would put Martin Kelly in the limelight for many reasons. At the age of 22 his political career took on an unusual persona as he decided to become the point guy who would create the pranks, deliver the messages and pull stunts that someone his age might have thought twice about and in retrospect now he does. Using false names, going by Doug, his middle name, becoming entrenched with Donald Segretti a political operative, as part of the Republican Party and chairman of his college, he pulled pranks that will astound you on the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972. Imagine doing this on behalf of President Nixon to get him reelected and going to any lengths and at anyone’s expense to achieve the goals set by those who encouraged and enlisted his help. Nixon might have had what you will learn done in his behalf and forced to resign and pardoned in 1974, but illegal actions were prime and the fact that the author escaped prison or jail time startling. Reading this book, I learned that he was not involved in what happened in the Watergate Hotel, yet he was part of the peripheral damage done to Humphrey, Muskie and any other candidate running in the Democratic party. Consequences were dished out but first you need to hear and read what some of the original pranks he pulled were and why the man who enlisted him, Segretti and 49 others paid the price and were indicted and jailed.
The primary target was Muskie and the pranks pulled some would say were priceless. A young girl for 20 dollars streaked in front of the hotel of Democratic candidate Ed Muskie and yelling at the top of her lungs,” I love Ed Muskie. The site created media furor and the result was a photo of Kelly on October 5, 1973 and the front pages on the front page of the Times. Where did it all begin and how? He received a call from Karl Rove who asked him to do something to reelect Nixon. Entering the forum where Ed Muskie would field questions and make statements, he was told to plant ones that would take him down and the embarrassment following it would blindside his team and take down his chances in Florida and get on record his position on current issues. Such is what is called negative campaigning which is not foreign to what we hear during political campaigns now. Donald Simmons as he was called was really Donald Segretti who formed as the author relates ad Black Advance Team which was not to affect voters but how the candidates would deal or feel about each other by creating dirty pranks and tricks and laying the groundwork to form lies and dissension among those running against the President. They would be blameless, but the pranks will revert to one of the candidates. Friction was an impetus. Nothing the did was illegal but he was not blameless.
The author relates how he became a corporate spy for different companies moving into many different positions and then deciding to work for Marriot Security Services telling about the many interesting cases he encountered until forming his own company. The impetus for getting into security the author relates was from his day who dealt with government intelligence agencies so when the dust settled after Watergate and his testimonies and dealing with the press were over, he became an investigator. But, the chapters where he skirts the press, does not answer questions during interrogations pleading the fifth amendment of the constitution and then finally getting immunity for his testimony in front of the Senate Watergate Committee, you hear his voice, what he relates and you understand that he realizes that he made some bad moves, bad decisions and he even tried to seek forgiveness from Muskie, Humphrey and McGovern. Owning his own company they did polygraph testing, mystery shopping where they would go on cruises and pose as passengers.
. The most interesting sections were when he described his interaction with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin doing sweeps or technical surveillance measures. Enamored with both men and yet asked to one specific client and denied the job leaving him without anymore contact with either one. Trying to find bugs and listening devises, telephone taps and anything planted excited him and learning that some were bugged and how it was done was interesting and informative. The case involving the Miami Dolphins and Eastern Airlines kept my interest. Giving polygraph tests was another service and hearing the participants and the procedure would make someone hesitate before agreeing to this type of scrutiny and yet most did. Becoming a mystery shopper is something I know about and learning how to spot one in a restaurant, learning when waiters palm money or steal as well as when dealers do not pay close attention and capping eludes the persona and the dealer’s eyes are not on the layout when he waves his hands and announces no more bets. Test probes were described and how they sent in plants. This really kept my interest. Adding in the full testimony he endured with the Senate Watergate Committee was informative, enlightening and his answers quite revealing as he was straightforward, answered honestly but you the reader will decide if he was truly sorry and realized that he did many wrong things as the last section explains how campaigns can be dirty, lethal and what his role was in taking down Senator Muskie and if he regretted anything he did from the false ads, the articles written, the pickets and their signs just a few pranks and things targeting this man. Pages 385-386 allowed the reader to explain and summarize his comments in detail about his testimony and like any mystery or untold ending you need to read this for yourself and form your own conclusions. Informative, humorous, lighthearted at times, frightening to think that these events happened and could still happen, and a President named Nixon who basically set it into motion and so many who followed suit and enacted what was requested of them as we get to hear the words of Martin D. Kelly during his testimony and we see the entire picture through his eyes and you in your own light. Some true events will make you wonder if there will ever be a political campaign filled with discussions about the issues, what concerns Americans and lack of backstabbing and using backhanded tactics and pranks to win the election on intellectual terms. Just think about the one in 2016 and ones that preceded it and hopefully the ones to follow will change the tide.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Network/MJ magazine
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