The 2nd District race begins | Arkansas Blog

The 2nd District race begins



Tim Griffin, Republican nominee for Congress in the 2nd District, issued a brief statement of congratulations to Democratic nominee Joyce Elliott Tuesday night and said he looked forward to an issue-based campaign. He can take the high road knowing independent expenditures in the millions with the coarsest sorts of attacks will rain down on Elliott.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee didn't wait long to get personal on the former Karl Rove hatchetman whose plan to leverage a stint as U.S. attorney for political gain was marred by Bush White House skulduggery and shabby treatment of former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins. "Disgraced political operative known for dirty tricks, voter suppression and backroom dealing," is how the DCCC described Griffin.

Will voters care about Griffin's past? They should. Doesn't mean they will.


Last evening, Arkansas Democrats nominated Joyce Elliott as their candidate to face Tim Griffin in Arkansas 2nd district. Republicans have nominated a disgraced political operative known for dirty tricks, voter suppression and backroom dealing to be the Republican nominee. Griffin resigned in disgrace as an U.S. Attorney amid a national scandal and has been implicated in voter suppression scandals during the 2004 elections.

“Tim Griffin’s record as a morally bankrupt political operative makes it as clear as day why he can’t go to Congress,” said Jesse Ferguson, Southern Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Tim ‘Dirty Tricks’ Griffin was never confirmed as a US Attorney because he couldn’t be... there were too many ‘dirty tricks’ in his closet. As this campaign unfolds, families in Arkansas will realize that Tim Griffin’s economic agenda is bad for families and that someone with his sleazy background doesn’t belong in elected office.”

As the Arkansas Leader wrote a few weeks ago: “Griffin is a political operative and nothing more. He won his spurs with the party by manufacturing political attacks on Democrats, first for the party and then for the White House. When the White House decided that a number of Republican prosecutors around the country were not using their jobs to discredit Democrats and protect Republicans, it had them fired and replaced by men like Griffin who were not so committed to impartial justice. Bush sneaked Griffin into the U. S. attorney’s job for east Arkansas by a recess appointment, angering even good Republicans like John Boozman. Unable to be confirmed, Griffin left after a few months to run for Congress.” [Arkansas Leader, 5/16/10]


In 2005, Tim Griffin was appointed a “special assistant to the president and deputy director of political affairs — No. 3 to political guru Karl Rove.” One of his “primary jobs will be firming up grass-roots support for President Bush’s agenda.” At the time, it was clear that “Social Security will be the type of thing he will help coordinate.” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 4/28/05]

In 2005, President Bush went on a 60 stops in 60 days Social Security tour, following him outlining the details of his private account plan in his February State of the Union Address. [Washington Post, 4/27/05]

May 2007: “Allegations that Tim Griffin had Been Involved in Vote Caging”
Justice Department Aide Monica Goodling testified to the House Judiciary Committee that knowledge about allegations of vote ‘caging’ by Griffin had not been disclosed during his selection process for U.S. Attorney.

"The deputy was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement (and) ...failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of the White House's interest in selecting Tim Griffin as Interim U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote 'caging' during his work on the president's 2004 campaign." [Eureka Times Standard, 5/31/07; York Dispatch, 5/23/07]

June 2007: Griffin Resigns as Interim District Attorney Griffin’s resignation as intern District Attorney became effective June 1, 2007. While discussing his resignation after only 7 months in the position, he said he wanted to move home and stay in Arkansas “for good” with his family. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/15/07; Associated Press, 6/15/07]

Griffin Replied “Thank you, Perfect,” to an E-Mail Containing Spreadsheets Titled “Caging”

“Thanks to his friends at, an anti-Bush parody site, BBC journalist Greg Palast was given confidential e-mails with attached files named "Caging.xls" and "Caging-1.xls." These e-mails were sent by the Republican Party of Florida to a long list of national Republican officials and were accidentally also sent to the ".org" address. Among the intended recipients was Tim Griffin, research director and deputy communications director for the Republican National Committee, who responded to one with, "thank you, perfect." [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 9/02/07]

Caging Lists Included Students and Soldiers
The RNC caging lists obtained by BBC Journalist Greg Palast, and written about in his book, contained nearly 2,000 names of voters. The names specifically included students and soldiers. [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 9/02/07]

Griffin a Protégé of Karl Rove, Part of Larger U.S. Attorney Scandal
In 2006, U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins was removed from office by President George W. Bush in what became a national controversy over undue political influence by the Bush administration on U.S. Attorneys.

“Griffin, a protégé of key Bush adviser Karl Rove, was named to replace Cummins after Rove advanced his name in e-mails to White House officials for the position.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/22/09]

Said He Would Welcome Karl Rove’s Advice on Running
In an interview with the Democrat-Gazette, Griffin talked about his relationship with Karl Rove, and whether he would accept Rove’s advice.

“…Karl has over the years never been anything but gracious and nice to me and my wife. And I have always found him to be very kind. …I’d be stupid not to seek anybody and everybody’s advice. If I could get him to give me advice, I certainly would welcome it. He's clearly one of the sharpest minds in politics in the country.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/22/09]

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