John Hart, communications director for Sen. Tom Coburn, to his collegues, on his boss’s desire to investigate a company that employs the son of Sen. Ben Nelson: “This will shut that f—er up… I can’t wait to send an In Case You Missed It to Nebraska press that will be forwarded to a–face.” Coburn’s legislative director Roland Foster had the reply-all follow-up zing:
“How many weeks has this been in the press now? If we are shut down by the boss, you can just say we won’t comment since the company is under investigation. We refer all questions to Sen. Nelson’s hair dresser and his son’s probation officer,” Foster stated in his reply e-mail.
Really, things get even funnier from there:
When Hart typed out the three recipients for that first e-mail, he was one letter off on one colleague’s name. That meant that when he hit “Send,” the e-mail went to a staffer in the office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska.)
It was a mistake that could have happened to anyone, but not every senator spent much of 2006 trying to strike an earmark for a bridge in Alaska, as Coburn did.
When Hart realized his error, he sent another e-mail to Murkowski aide Brian O’Leary apologizing for the exchange and asking him not to pass it on.
Coburn and Nelson have hated each other for years, but Senators are expected to be polite to each other while their staffs savagely insult and demean one another. Neither one will be leaving the Senate 3-5 years so maybe they’ll eventually have a fistfight or something.
Senate earmark battle turns very personal [The Hill]