Monday, August 24, 2009

What the Post-Dispatch Missed About Milton "Skip" Ohlsen

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 8:07 AM

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"We taped the Missouri delegation as they attended parties and the convention," recalls Wathan, who describes Ohlsen at the time as appearing "very articulate" and "professional." "We were supposed to be making a memento of sorts for the delegates, though I can't say I ever saw the finished product."

Wathan parted ways with Ohlsen a few years ago and claims he is still owed money for some graphic-design work he did for his former employer.

Wathan says he was surprised recently when he learned his name was mentioned in a Federal Elections Commission investigation into Ohlsen and Jeff Smith's 2004 campaign for U.S. Congress. According to the FEC report, Wathan's name appears in financial records as a signatory to a mysterious political committee called Voters for Truth (VFT). Wathan says he knows nothing about VFT. And in their report, FEC investigators clear Wathan of any involvement in the organization.

Another of Ohlsen's former associates with more insight into VFT says Ohlsen formed the committee to serve as a political action committee like Swiftboat Veterans for Truth and other PAC's that made a splash during the 2004 elections.

According to the source, who spoke to Riverfront Times only on the condition of anonymity, Ohlsen created Voters For Truth (VFT) to hide political dirty work.

One of Ohlsen's initial ideas, says this person, was a website designed to smear Claire McCaskill (who challenged and defeated fellow democrat Bob Holden in the 2004 gubernatorial primary). The Holden campaign, however, rejected Ohlsen's idea.

Later, VFT is what Ohlsen allegedly used to mail out postcards questioning the voting record of Russ Carnahan during his race against Smith and other contenders for U.S. Congress in 2004. Those postcards later prompted Carnahan to ask the FEC to investigate the Smith campaign.

Perhaps most interesting, says the former associate, was Ohlsen's habit of tape recording nearly all his conversations.

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