By: Donna Osborn, CCHeadliner.com
Local blogger Clay Bowler said newly-elected 7th District Rep. Billy Long has tried to silence him before. And, after the FBI paid him a visit at his Ozark home Jan. 12, he thinks heâ€™s trying to do it again.
â€œItâ€™s political payback,â€ Bowler said after visiting Christian County Sheriff Joey Kyle Jan. 13 apprising him of the FBI investigation.
Bowler writes the Bungalow Billâ€™s Conservative Wisdom blog and said heâ€™s been critical of Long since his candidacy for Congress. Bowler is also the author of the Long is Wrong blog thatâ€™s been gone since Long won the general election in November.
â€œIâ€™ve poked fun at Billy,â€ Bowler said. â€œPart of it was satireâ€”exposing Billy as not being a real Tea Party candidate.â€
Bowler said Long even offered him a job on his campaign if he would give up his critical blogging.
Bowler was accompanied to the Sheriffâ€™s Department by Michael Wardell, Nixa, who was also on the Republican primary ticket. Wardell said he just wanted to support his friend in what he believes to be intimidation.
â€œClay is a friend,â€ he said. â€œThis almost smacks of an overreach of power.â€
Kyle said he was unaware that an FBI agent, along with Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, paid a 30-minute visit to Bowler, but cautioned against an overreaction.
â€œThis could be a knee-jerk reaction to the Tucson situation,â€ he said. â€œIf you satisfy them youâ€™re not a threatâ€”they wonâ€™t be back.â€
Bowlerâ€™s complaint comes on the heels of another developing news story about Long.
KSMU, Ozarkâ€™s Public Radio, reported Jan. 12 that Scott Eckersley, who opposed Long as a Democrat, said a campaign fraud complaint made by Eckersley in the last days of the election cycle is formally being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department.
That complaint sprang from a fake e-mail sent to media, including the Headliner News, that Eckersley had quit the campaign just short of election day.
Eckersley said he filed two complaintsâ€”one with the Department of Justice and one with the Federal Elections Committee.
To read more, visit: http://ccheadliner.com/news/article_3f8f1968-1f4f-11e0-91a1-001cc4c002e0.html
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