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The Dirty’s Nik Richie on Going “CSI” on Anthony Weiner’s Penis, and Other Revelations

Nik Richie is the proprietor of TheDirty, the gossip website that posted dick pics and dirty chats that Anthony Weiner sent to a 22-year-old he met online–after resigning from Congress and amid a year-long apology tour that preceded an announcement that he intended to run for mayor of New York.

It’s the biggest story that TheDirty has ever had–the second biggest, to give you an idea of the material the site typically trafficks in, were naked pictures of disgraced Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean.

Richie says that the young women approached him on three separate occasions, over the course of more than three months, before he took her claim seriously. Richie tells the Voice, “I said, ‘I’m not trying to be mean, but I don’t believe you.'”

The first time she came to him was in April 2013, shortly after the New York Times magazine profile of Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin. The profile upset her. “She told me that what bothered her the most was the fact that he said that once the scandal happened it was done with and he moved on and he got therapy and he was fixed and she looked at it like he was lying,” Richie says. “She was like ‘Wow, I can’t have this guy being a mayor and doing this to other girls.'”

But she didn’t offer any hard proof. “From the get-go she was like, ‘I had a relationship with Anthony Weiner for six months, a sexual, phone sex thing. He had a shoe fetish.’ Basically telling me but not giving me any kind of factual information.”

It wasn’t until last Friday that she said what were, for Richie, the magic words. “The third time she reached out to me was last week around Friday, saying, ‘You know, I have screenshots of conversations.'”

That was something Richie felt he could run with. He compared the pictures with the pictures still circulating online from the scandal in 2011. “I did my research online, I looked at pictures of his legs. I zoomed into his hair on his legs, I looked at his toes and his feet.”

But not just his feet. Richie says, “I looked at the bulge of his pants, because the type of Carlos Danger or wiener or whatever you want to call it–he has a very mushroom-type head, which is very defined, and it’s defined in the bulge. So, I went CSI in a no-homo way and kind of looked at things for what they were from a professional standpoint. I thought, ‘This is him. This is him.'”

Since the news broke, Richie says he has remained in close contact with his source. He would not confirm whether online reports that purport to reveal her identity are true or not, but, he says, “I expect her to come forward in the next day or so.”

The campaign on the other hand has not been in touch with him at all.

Richie says he empathizes with the young woman. “I feel like she got lured in a trap. I feel like this is what he does. Don’t get me wrong, she knew he had a wife and kids and she was sending naked pictures to him. At the same time, Anthony Weiner gave her the confidence, and convinced her every day, [saying] ‘I want to see you naked, make sure you’re wearing heels.’ This is what a sex predator does.”

After Weiner’s press conference, his source told Richie that “she felt vindicated. She liked that Anthony Weiner basically apologized to her. He’s very smart with his words. Everything he did was very subliminal–I just didn’t want her to fall for that trap. There was that glimmer of ‘Wow, he has my back again.'”

More revelations may trickle out in the coming days. “She sent me a ton of stuff, a ton of screenshots, and I only put out the ones that were relevant to the TheDirty.com–the sexual stuff. I didn’t get into the conversations and the e-mails and screenshots that I have because, to be honest, they weren’t as sexy,” Richie says.

He would say, however, that the information she provided suggested her relationship with Weiner was an extended one. “He would constantly check in on her like he was her boyfriend to the point where he would get jealous if she was hanging out with other guys.”

Other women may be coming forward, Richie says, but he hasn’t been able to check submissions to TheDirty. The traffic has been so heavy that the backend of the website crashed.

Richie, for his part, has a theory about the whole Carlos Danger thing. “No one has really said multiple personalities yet, but I feel like he might have one. I think this Carlos Danger character kind of proves that he’s more than one person. Obviously he thinks that he is invincible.”

He adds, “He thinks he’s one person one second and he’s another the next. I really think that what he did was crazy, but he’s a Democrat so what can you do?”

Richie, who says he voted for Romney but doesn’t consider himself a Republican, says, “I have nothing against Anthony Weiner; I’m not trying to say ‘Let’s take this guy down.’ He’s running for mayor of New York. It’s not my market. I’m a West Coast guy. I was born in Jersey, but we’re a West Coast website. We’re not a Gawker.”

This afternoon, Weiner sent an e-mail to supporters. “Before and after announcing my run for Mayor, I repeatedly answered every question about these mistakes. I was clear that these relationships took place over an extended period of time with more than one person. I regret not saying explicitly when these exchanges happened,” he wrote.

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N.Y. Politicians on Zimmerman Verdict: We’re Pissed, Too

On Saturday, a Florida jury shocked the nation by acquitting George Zimmerman of all charges in the shooting death teenager Trayvon Martin. In New York City, politicians and candidates for office made sure voters heard their opinions of the verdict loud and clear.

Mayor Bloomberg used the occasion to criticize Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, the key piece of legislation keeping Zimmerman out of jail.

“Sadly, all the facts in this tragic case will probably never be known. But one fact has long been crystal clear: ‘shoot first’ laws like those in Florida can inspire dangerous vigilantism and protect those who act recklessly with guns,” Bloomberg said in a statement on Sunday. “Such laws–drafted by gun lobby extremists in Washington–encourage deadly confrontations by enabling people to shoot first and argue ‘justifiable homicide’ later.”

The candidates vying for Bloomberg’s job–former Representative Anthony Weiner, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John C. Liu, and Erick Salgado–issued their own statements about the verdict on Twitter.

City comptroller candidate and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer added his voice to the calls for justice both on Twitter and at the Union Square rally on Sunday.

Today at 1 p.m., New York Congressmen Gregory Meeks, Hakeem Jeffries, and Charles Rangel will gather outside Manhattan’s federal courthouse and call on the Department of Justice to investigate whether the verdict violates civil rights.

Jeffries and Meeks both issued statements earlier this weekend. Meeks said he was “deeply disappointed” in the jury’s decision, adding, “I hope that our common humanity compels us to say that we cannot be content that a 17 year old youngster, who did nothing wrong–absolutely nothing–will never go home to his family while George Zimmerman is free to go home to his family.”

Jeffries struck a similar tone. “Once again, the court system has failed to deliver justice in a racially-tinged matter that involves the killing of an innocent, unarmed African-American male,” he said in a statement. “The Justice Department must open an immediate investigation to determine if George Zimmerman can be charged with violating our nation’s civil rights laws in the cold-blooded killing of Trayvon Martin.”

Both men repeated those sentiments on Twitter, where they were joined by fellow Congressman Jerry Nadler.

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Anthony Weiner Is the New Democratic Frontrunner for Mayor

In late April, the polling team at Marist released a survey titled “Weiner Candidacy for Mayor Could Scramble Democratic Primary Contest.” it projected major percentage points of approval for the former congressman, should he decide to step into the fray. A few weeks later, he did. And, nearly two months after that original sampling, its title has validated itself: according to the newest WSJ-NBC New York-Marist poll, Anthony Weiner is now the leading Democratic candidate for mayor in New York City.

]

Last night, the results came in: leading at 25 percent is Weiner–a rating City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had for months. Quinn, the assumed frontrunner, clocks in at 20 percent of the vote, edging 7 percent ahead of bronze medalist (and UFT favorite) Bill Thompson at 13 percent. Behind them, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is at 10 percent and Comptroller John Liu remains stalled at 8 percent.

Mathematically, that leaves us with a quarter of Democrats who still have no idea who the hell they want in City Hall. And, as we know, never discount the undecided voter.

It didn’t take Weiner long to rise in the polls, nearing Quinn’s solidified spot on top. In the past few weeks, the speaker has fallen victim to criticisms of all sorts, be it her standing amongst the LGBT community, her campaign’s ties to the real estate community, or a view of Quinn as Bloomberg Lite.

Meanwhile, the politician who was caught cybersexting just two years ago has certainly gathered that following predicted by Marist in April; a rise without the help of any major union endorsement and a testament to just how split the labor vote could be in the primaries. But the newest poll adds flame to the fear of Democrats when Weiner first stirred speculation of a run with the New York Times Magazine profile on him and his wife, Huma Abedin: that his entry could lead to a runoff and, as a result, hand the election to the Republicans.

Then again, what’s an election without a little competition? Besides, September is still three months away.

Send your tips on the 2013 mayoral race to jsurico15@gmail.com. Follow his tweets here.

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The Ghost of Anthony Weiner’s Rent-Stabilized Past (UPDATED)

Why No Tenant Should Vote for Anthony Weiner,” read the headline in May’s issue of Metropolitan Council on Housing. The op-ed, written by tenant advocate Michael McKee of the Tenants PAC, highlights a 1994 flip-flop by the then-councilman on rent stabilization–a term that has slowly evaporated from Big Apple real estate talk in the modern age. The vote cast by Weiner had angered the tenant community at the time and, now that he’s running for City Hall, has only fostered more backlash. And, in a display of how utterly dismal the New York City housing market truly is, it’s one of the first times the issue that should be a top priority has made an appearance in this election cycle.

In 1994, as the age of municipal and New Democrat deregulation trickled down from Washington to New York, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. was hard at work pulling together supporters and donations for a potential mayoral bid; of course, one of these hopeful bastions of immense wealth came from Big Development. He proposed (and would later pass) a bill that would enact vacancy deregulation (or Decontrol), which McKee pointed to as the beginning of the decline for rent-stabilized apartments in New York.

Under the law, when an apartment became vacant, a landlord could tack on an interest and add thousands of dollars in improvements to bump up what was a rent-stabilized apartment past the $2,000 threshold (now $2,500). Once over, that apartment falls victim to the market, allowing the landlord to charge whatever the hell he or she wants, and begins to absorb the worst of the worst Craigslist ad descriptions (“LUX,” “2BDR,” “LOTS OF ROOM,” etc.)–all of this without the oversight of a state housing agency. McKee provides formulaic demonstration here:

For example, a rent-stabilized apartment renting for $1,000 per month becomes vacant. The moment the unit turns over the legal rent rises to $1,200 because of the statutory vacancy bonus of 20 percent–a bonus, not requiring any work to be done. The landlord then spends $32,000 on improvements (new appliances, granite countertops, whatever) and the legal rent rises to $2,000 per month, as the landlord can impose a monthly rent increase equal to 1/40th of the amount spent on improvements ($32,000 ÷ 40 = $800). The legal stabilized rent is now $2,000 per month, the apartment is permanently deregulated, and there is no limit on how much the landlord can charge.

At the time of the bill’s passage, Anthony Weiner had just entered his second year as the youngest councilman in the city’s history, hailing from Park Slope, Brooklyn. He had won support from the tenant advocacy community–a usual ally of the Democratic base–by promising to vote against deregulation attempts. Hence McKee’s frustration: When the vote came in at 28-18, establishing vacancy deregulation as the rule of law, Weiner found himself on the opposite side of the aisle from a promise he had made only months before. It was reported later that Vallone had promised favors in return for the necessary votes.

Then, Weiner argued that the bill would ultimately help tenants because the rich would not have rent-stabilized apartments–a position that, according to the Post, he still holds now as a mayoral candidate. It’s a platform that came from another provision in the bill, allowing for deregulation based on income. So, instead of vacancy, a landlord could deregulate an apartment if the person’s income was over $175,000 two years in a row (now $200,000); such income-earners could totally afford an apartment at market rate.

However, this requires an order from the state housing agency. With deregulation pegged to vacancy for the less-well-off, the landlord is in control; with deregulation pegged to income for the more-well-off, you have government protection. That makes a whole lot of sense.

This would explain the following numbers. In between 1994 and 2012, approximately 400,000 apartments were deregulated due to vacancy; for income, that number was a little over 5,000. So Weiner’s “protect the tenants” defense looks great on paper, but, as reality shows, it hasn’t matched up too well. For housing advocates like McKee, that’s unforgivable:

“Unlike many council members who argued that the bill was not particularly harmful, Weiner told us emphatically that he would definitely vote against deregulation,” McKee tells the Voice. “He seemed to grasp what the bill really would mean, unlike many council members who were clueless, who only understood what Vallone and RSA lobbyists told them. That made his sellout even more galling.

“He might have been the only sellout who actually understood why the bill would be detrimental to the rental housing situation,” McKee continues. “That is why his continued justification for his vote, that ‘rich people do not deserve to live in a rent-regulated apartment,’ is so hypocritical.”

In a response to the Voice from his campaign, Weiner once again defended his 1994 vote for deregulation by income. “It undermines confidence in rent regulation when wealthier individuals live in residences that are intended to be for those in the middle class or struggling to make it,” he said.

He also gave us a preview of his platform on the issue: “I’m a strong supporter of rent control and I believe that rents are far outstripping the ability to pay for many in the middle class and those struggling to make it. We need a cooling off period on further rent increases for at least a year.”

BRent control’s utmost significance in the upcoming mayoral election should be noted. As we all know too well by now, New York City is becoming wildly unaffordable. Manhattan’s average rent for one person is now around $3,000, an all-time high for a borough at the top of the Most Expensive Places in the Country to Live list, with no-longer-cheap Brooklyn in second place. Homelessness is at Great Depression levels, half of the city is more or less living in poverty, and we’re only just now getting an election-related story that has to do with the unbelievably high living standards in New York.

Weiner, Quinn, and the rest of the Democratic roster continue to promise a return of the middle class in the city, with plans for more public housing and the like. Joe Lhota and his fellow Republicans have, too, just with a bit more of a return-to-Giuliani kick. But none of the candidates have yet to tell us how or when we can stop saying to our friends in other cities, “Yeah, we get it: Everywhere else besides New York is cheaper.” Or when we’ll stop seeing eyebrows raise when we tell family members that we’re paying four figures a month for a tiny one-bedroom.

McKee’s group is sending a questionnaire to each candidate in the race and should reach an endorsement sometime in July. As New Yorkers who all find ourselves in this financially sinking boat, we await their responses. And so does Jimmy McMillan.

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Poll Confirms That a Weiner Campaign Would Shake Up Mayoral Race

When word spread last week that former Representative Anthony Weiner was contemplating a mayoral run, the questions of what it meant for the electoral future immediately arose. How would his candidacy affect the race? Would the Democratic primary become a showdown between Weiner and Christine Quinn? Could people forgive the disgraced politician enough to elect him?

Well, as this was all happening, NBC and Marist University took to the streets (figuratively speaking, of course) to find out what Weiner’s chances of success were. And, yesterday, those numbers came in with a report titled “Weiner Candidacy for Mayor Could
Scramble Democratic Primary Contest.”

If Anthony Weiner joined the race today, he would tie Bill de Blasio for second place, with 15 percent of New York Democrats saying they would vote for him in the primaries. Quinn still dominates the lead with 26 percent of the vote, John Liu struggles behind with 12 percent, and Bill Thompson is in last place with 11 percent. But, if you consider the margin of error, all the contestants below Quinn are in a dead heat, making their candidacies Quinn’s to mess up real bad.

In his NY1 interview the other night, Weiner made it clear that his first goal was to get New Yorkers back on his side. And that seems to be working: in October, only 28 percent of voters said they wouldn’t mind if he ran; now, that number is around 40 percent.

Honesty and forgiveness are powerful emotions to have in your arsenal. But can they keep up a mayoral campaign until November? That remains to be seen.

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Anthony Weiner Gives Television Interview to Foster Mayoral Campaign

Looks like the prospects of Weiner on the campaign trail are getting a bit more serious.

In an interview with NY1 last night, the former congressman sat down with Inside City Hall host Errol Louis to discuss the news he spurred last week with his New York Times Magazine profile, in which he mentioned that he’s considering a run for City Hall.

Louis asked several questions about the scandal that happened almost two years ago. And, right off the bat, Weiner made it clear that he wanted to put the situation behind him so he could take this race seriously. “I think I’ll be spending a lot of time, here on out, saying I’m sorry,” he said.

Stating that he wanted to be “part of the ideas primary,” Weiner called the mayoral race “a little bit disheartening” so far, and then dove a bit into his policy views. He demanded more transparency if stop-and-frisk was to continue–a stance that sets him apart from his Democratic rivals. Also, he said he would oppose an inspector general for the NYPD, a proposal at the center of the Community Safe Act that has become a talking point of the race. This can all be found in a policy booklet he released earlier in the day.

You can watch the entire interview on NY1’s website. We’ll be busy getting our lives ready for the impending pun explosion should Weiner step into the mayoral foray.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JohnSurico]

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Wait, So What’s Going On With Anthony Weiner’s Mayoral Idea?

Maybe this is exactly what the mayoral race needs. Or maybe we’ve all just gone crazy.

If you haven’t heard by now, The New York Times Magazine published a lengthy profile of former city councilman and U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner yesterday, in which he mentioned that he’s seriously considering a run for City Hall. This would be his second time running for the position–he also ran against Bloomberg in 2005, but never made it out of the Democratic primaries. Probably because one of his ideas for neighborhood revitalization was cleverly titled “Weiner’s Cleaners.”

We’re talking about Anthony Weiner, the Clinton-friendly congressman from Brooklyn who served on the Hill for over a decade. Anthony Weiner, the politician who was caught sending genital shots to lady friends via Twitter direct message and who then resigned once details of the scandal erupted. Anthony Weiner, the man with the most unfortunate last name for such a situation.

Yeah, that guy.

“It’s not the single animating force in my life as it was for quite some time. But I do recognize, to some degree, it’s now or maybe never for me, in terms of running for something,” he told the Times.

In this case, “something” can only be one of three things: mayor, public advocate or comptroller. And he slashed public advocate from his list in the interview.

It’s evident that Weiner has done some soul-searching since the scandal. He rarely makes public appearances (as he was known for), instead staying put somewhere in Manhattan. Also, he’s asking himself some serious questions:

“I’m trying to gauge not only what’s right and what feels comfortable right this second, but I’m also thinking, How will I feel in a year or two years or five years? Is this the time that I should be doing it? And then there’s the other side of the coin, which is, am I still the same person who I thought would make a good mayor?”

So what if he does run?

Well, it’s safe to say that his name is beyond recognition at this point. Anthony Weiner is an urban legend now. He has the experience; he has the friends; he has the money. According to recent polls, people have for the most part forgiven him and are willing to give him a “second chance.” And, come on, if Anthony Weiner ran for mayor, everyone and their mother would at least watch him try.

This poses a threat to the Democratic agenda right now. An outside figure like Weiner could disrupt the candidates’ electoral strategy, which–aside from Christine Quinn–is basically ‘How to Take Down Christine Quinn.’ Because Weiner could pull that off.

At a forum in the Bronx, the candidates were asked how they felt about the former councilman’s possible entry into the race. Thompson and de Blasio verbally shrugged at the idea. Albanese, on the other hand, was a bit suspicious of Weiner, given what happened two years ago. Later on, Quinn’s campaign released a statement saying the decision was “between him and his family.”

But what can they really say? It’s not up to them. If Weiner decides to run, that’ll be his own decision on his own time (based on how the public receives this article, which arrives in print on Sunday).

Whatever that choice may be, we’ll be awaiting his call.

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Mayor Joseph Lhota? Calls For MTA Chief’s Candidacy Continue

As much as you may absolutely loathe the Metro Transportation Authority — and, in many cases, for good reason — credit must be given where credit is due; the public transit agency did a bang-up job getting the City moving again after the devastation of last month’s Hurricane Sandy.

The quick recovery has led to chatter that MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota should throw his hat in the ring to run for mayor in next year’s election — again, despite the fact that the MTA doesn’t exactly have the best reputation amongst the millions of New Yorkers who rely on it to get around every day.

What a difference a hurricane makes.

Lhota — who served as a City budget director before getting tapped to head the MTA last year — likely would run as a Republican.

Other potential mayoral hopefuls include City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and a collection of other pols, including rumors that shamed former Congressman Anthony Weiner might take a shot at City Hall.

But would you support Lhota?

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Newt Gingrich Defends Michele Bachmann’s Terrorist Witch-Hunt Into Huma Abedin

Call us crazy (read: rational), but we’re gonna go ahead and assume that Hillary Clinton aide/wife of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin, isn’t a Muslim Brotherhood operative who’s infiltrated the highest levels of government — including marrying a once-powerful New York congressman — in a plot to turn America into an Islamic stronghold.

As we reported in a prior post, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann apparently doesn’t find the aforementioned scenario as unlikely as we do — and she’s apparently not alone.

Despite several high-ranking Republicans (who still actually have jobs in government) — like Senator John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner — calling Bachmann out for her insulting witch-hunt, former House speaker/presidential candidate Newt Gingrich seems to think modern-day McCarthyism isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Gingrich appeared with Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen on POLITICO Live’s Driving the Day this morning where he actually defended Bachmann’s probe of Abedin’s ties (or lack thereof) to the Muslim Brotherhood.

“There weren’t allegations, there was a question,” Gingrich said this morning, adding that “the question ought to be asked across the board.”

Only problem is, the “questions” aren’t being asked “across the board” — they’re being asked (by a Republican) about an aide of a prominent Democrat who just so happens to be Muslim.

If you missed it, here’s a rundown from our prior post of Bachmann’s probe:

In June, Bachmann sought the help of inspectors general in the State, Homeland Security, Defense and Justice Departments, asking them to investigate “policies and activities that appear to be the result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Bachmann later noted on a radio show that “It appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

When asked by fellow Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison to provide “a full accounting of the sources you used to make the serious allegations against the individuals and organizations in your letters,” Bachmann provided precisely jack shit.

From Salon:

As evidence, she pointed to Abedin’s late father, Professor Syed Z. Abedin, and a 2002 Brigham Young University Law Review article about his work. Bachmann points to a passage saying Abedin founded an organization that received the “quiet but active support” of the the former director of the Muslim World League, an international NGO that was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe in the 1970s through 1990s. So, to connect Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood, you have to go through her dead father, to the organization he founded, to a man who allegedly supported it, to the organization that man used to lead, to Europe in the 1970s and 1990s, and finally to the Brotherhood.

As noted above, high-ranking Republicans already have come out in support of Abedin, and against Bachmann’s whacky probe — Gingrich, apparently, didn’t get the memo.

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Tea Party Nut Wants To Recall John McCain Because He Doesn’t Think Huma Abedin Is A Terrorist

As you may have heard, failed GOP presidential candidate/Minnesota Congresswoman/fagala-phobic madwoman Michele Bachmann has launched a McCarthy-esque witch hunt into several Muslim employees of the federal government whom she decided could potentially be working as spies for Islamist terrorist groups.

One of the targets of Bachmann’s bat-shittery is Huma Abedin — a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and wife of shamed former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner — who happens to be Muslim.

Last week, just to get it on the record that Bachmann’s a lunatic and that Abedin’s not a terrorist, Arizona Senator John McCain gave a lengthy speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate in support of Abedin’s patriotism, and criticizing Bachmann’s being a fear-mongering nutjob.

Now, because McCain doesn’t think that being Muslim necessarily means Abedin is a terrorist, a group of Tea Party sand-billies in McCain’s home state is trying to get him booted from office.

Before we go any further on how crazy/par-for-the-course for Arizona this is (we lived there for seven years — trust us, we know), a little more on the gentlewoman from Minnesota…

In June, Bachmann sought the help of inspectors general in the State, Homeland Security, Defense and Justice Departments, asking them to investigate “policies and activities that appear to be the result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Bachmann later noted on a radio show that “It appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

When asked by fellow Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison to provide “a full accounting of the sources you used to make the serious allegations against the individuals and organizations in your letters,” Bachmann provided precisely jack shit.

From Salon:

As evidence, she pointed to Abedin’s late father, Professor Syed Z. Abedin, and a 2002 Brigham Young University Law Review article about his work. Bachmann points to a passage saying Abedin founded an organization that received the “quiet but active support” of the the former director of the Muslim World League, an international NGO that was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe in the 1970s through 1990s. So, to connect Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood, you have to go through her dead father, to the organization he founded, to a man who allegedly supported it, to the organization that man used to lead, to Europe in the 1970s and 1990s, and finally to the Brotherhood.

So, because Bachmann claims Abedin’s a terrorist for no apparent reason, and McCain spoke out about it (in a speech you can read in its entirety below), the far-right-wingers in Sand Land want him booted from office.

As first reported by the Arizona Capitol Times, Wes Harris, the founder and chairman of the Original North Phoenix Tea Party, says McCain is an “embarrassment” and should be recalled. He goes on to say that it’s impossible for a Muslim to be loyal to the U.S. because their faith in Islam comes before everything else (Note: Harris did not respond to our request for comment. A spokesman for the Tea Party did get back to us, though, and we told him we wanted to speak with Harris. We’re yet to hear back).

“Have you ever read the Quran? I suggest you do so, because anyone that is a Muslim is a threat to this country, and that’s a fact,” Harris says in an email to the Times. “There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. If they are Muslim they have to follow the Quran. That’s their religion and that’s their doctrine.”

Because of their allegiance to Islam, Harris says Muslims should not be allowed to serve at the State Department.

“Is [Abedin] a Muslim? Is she an active Muslim?” Harris asks. “I rest my case. That’s all she needs to be.”

This is Wes Harris...and his airplane.
This is Wes Harris…and his airplane.

Harris concludes his (ahem) eloquent email with “Go to hell, Senator, it’s time for you to take your final dirt nap” (and if you were wondering why the Tea Party often is seen as a group of knuckle-dragging hillbillies, there it is).

For context, the hatred of McCain amongst Arizona’s far-right is nothing new. He is loathed by Conservatives in the state because he’s sided with Democrats in the past and is perceived to be soft on Arizona’s issue-Du-jour: immigration. There’s also a current recall craze in the Grand Canyon State after voters ousted former State Senate President Russell Pearce, the man behind Arizona’s controversial immigration bill, in a recall election last year, outraging his Conservative supporters like Harris.

In any event, a few things are clear: Huma Abedin’s not a terrorist, John McCain’s not getting recalled, and Arizona Republicans continue to make themselves the laughing stock of the entire country.

See McCain’s entire speech in support of Abedin below:

“Mr. President: Rarely do I come to the floor of this institution to discuss particular individuals. But I understand how painful and injurious it is when a person’s character, reputation, and patriotism are attacked without concern for fact or fairness. It is for that reason that I rise today to speak in defense of Huma Abedin.

“Over the past decade, I have had the pleasure of coming to know Huma during her long and dedicated service to Hillary Rodham Clinton, both in the United States Senate and now in the Department of State. I know Huma to be an intelligent, upstanding, hard-working, and loyal servant of our country and our government, who has devoted countless days of her life to advancing the ideals of the nation she loves and looking after its most precious interests. That she has done so while maintaining her characteristic decency, warmth, and good humor is a testament to her ability to bear even the most arduous duties with poise and confidence.

“Put simply, Huma represents what is best about America: the daughter of immigrants, who has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies so fully. I am proud to know Huma, and to call her my friend.

“Recently, it has been alleged that Huma, a Muslim American, is part of a nefarious conspiracy to harm the United States by unduly influencing U.S. foreign policy at the Department of State in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes. On June 13, five members of Congress wrote to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State, demanding that he begin an investigation into the possibility that Huma and other American officials are using their influence to promote the cause of the Muslim Brotherhood within the U.S. government. The information offered to support these serious allegations is based on a report, ‘The Muslim Brotherhood in America,’ produced by the Center for Security Policy.

“To say that the accusations made in both documents are not substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it. It is far better, and more accurate, to talk straight: These allegations about Huma, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant.

“The letter alleges that three members of Huma’s family are ‘connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.’ Never mind that one of those individuals, Huma’s father, passed away two decades ago. The letter and the report offer not one instance of an action, a decision, or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government. Nor does either document offer any evidence of a direct impact that Huma may have had on one of the U.S. policies with which the authors of the letter and the producers of the report find fault. These sinister accusations rest solely on a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations of members of Huma’s family, none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the United States in any way. These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now.

“Ultimately, what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the reputation of one person. This is about who we are as a nation, and who we aspire to be. What makes America exceptional among the countries of the world is that we are bound together as citizens not by blood or class, not by sect or ethnicity, but by a set of enduring, universal, and equal rights that are the foundation of our constitution, our laws, our citizenry, and our identity. When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.

“Our reputations, our character, are the only things we leave behind when we depart this earth, and unjust attacks that malign the good name of a decent and honorable person is not only wrong; it is contrary to everything we hold dear as Americans.

“Some years ago, I had the pleasure, along with my friend, the Senator from South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham, of traveling overseas with our colleague, then-Senator Hillary Clinton. By her side, as always, was Huma, and I had the pleasure of seeing firsthand her hard work and dedicated service on behalf of the former Senator from New York – a service that continues to this day at the Department of State, and bears with it significant personal sacrifice for Huma.

“I have every confidence in Huma’s loyalty to our country, and everyone else should as well. All Americans owe Huma a debt of gratitude for her many years of superior public service. I hope these ugly and unfortunate attacks on her can be immediately brought to an end and put behind us before any further damage is done to a woman, an American, of genuine patriotism and love of country.”