WHILE OUR LOCAL
MEDIA DESPERATELY TRIES TO REINVENT CRAIG CALLAWAY ...
REMINDER FROM LESS THAN 4 MONTHS AGO ...
Fraud issues haunt canvasser
By ADAM C.
Published October 26,
New Jersey political operative who has faced repeated accusations of election
fraud recently went to work for the John Kerry presidential campaign in Pinellas
Craig Callaway, who is also a part-time city council president in
Atlantic City, was asked to leave the Kerry-Edwards campaign late last week, the
"We heard some of the stories from New Jersey and just
decided it was in the best interests of the campaign," Kerry-Edwards spokesman
Matt Miller said.
He said Callaway left the campaign prior to the St.
Petersburg Times inquiring about him last week, and he described Callaway as
merely one of more than 1,000 door-to-door canvassers working for the campaign.
He said Callaway only worked for the campaign two weeks.
hardscrabble communities in and around Atlantic City, Callaway is known as a
colorful and highly controversial master of street level politics - especially
at producing piles of last minute absentee ballots. His tactics have generated
well-publicized suspicions and accusations of election fraud, though he never
has been charged, let alone convicted, of any election-related
"I am a decent human being who abides by the law of the
land," Callaway said in a brief telephone interview in which he declined to
discuss his work with the Kerry campaign.
A civil court judge last year
voided Callaway's city council election, concluding that more than 200 votes
Callaway received came from forged or fraudulent absentee ballots. The election
"was so contaminated by fraud and misconduct that the mathematical result must
be rendered in doubt," the judge said.
A judge also overturned another
election won by his brother in a nearby town because of similar questions about
the legitimacy of absentee ballots.
In Pinellas, Kerry-Edwards spokesman
Miller said, Callaway was a low-level canvasser, going door to door to mobilize
Democrats. Hundreds of out-of-state volunteers have come to Florida to help on
"We hired him as a canvasser, just as we hired over 1,000
people as canvassers," Miller said. "He didn't have a supervisory role or any
role in our absentee program."
Kerry's Florida campaign director, Tom
Shea, is also a veteran Democratic operative in New Jersey, having served as
chief of staff of New Jersey Sen. Jon Corzine and worked on the campaign of Sen.
Shea said he had never met Callaway and had nothing to
do with his work on the Florida effort.
"I've heard of him," Shea said,
"but only for the wrong reasons."
February 22, 2005