Consider this an HOH public service announcement. Political operatives, beware. When you bring folks’ spouses into the mix, things get unpredictable. On Tuesday, HOH reported that an internal memo, circulated to Rep. Buck McKeon’s senior staff, laid out the office’s strategy for addressing the California Republican’s involvement in the latest Countrywide mortgage scandal.
McKeon is one of four Members referred to the House Ethics Committee to discern whether Countrywide provided preferential treatment to influential lawmakers through an exclusive loan program.
The memo included a reference to a California state Assembly race that pits a former McKeon aide, Scott Wilk, against McKeon’s wife, Patricia.
According to the memo, McKeon’s strategy should include “thorough background checks into the relationships between Wilk, [Wilk’s political consultant, Jason Cable] Roe, and their recent shady political connections.”
After reading the item, Scott Wilk’s wife, Vanessa, leapt to her husband’s defense, sending a furious email to McKeon.
“I’ve decided to cc the press because someone needs to hold you and your staff accountable for their actions,” Vanessa wrote in the email introducing her angry letter. “[A]nd I guess that is going to be me.”
Not sure why we’re included on the email if Vanessa Wilk is the one holding McKeon and his staff accountable. But we digress.
The letter stated that McKeon and his campaign and legislative staff “systematically slandered and attacked my husband because he has the audacity to run for an Assembly seat that you would like your wife, Patricia McKeon, to have.”
Vanessa Wilk implied that many Wilk supporters in the district have been “bullied and have been afraid to speak out.”
“The actions of you and your staff have been in violation of the House Ethics Rules and probably Federal Election law,” she continued. “And we have held our tongues.”
The letter accuses senior McKeon staffer Bob Haueter of smearing her husband.
“As late as yesterday, Bob Haueter told people that Scott is being investigated by Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley,” Vanessa Wilk wrote. “This campaign tactic is sleazy!”
Cooley, it should be noted, is supporting Patricia McKeon in the state Assembly race.
Vanessa Wilk demanded that the McKeons return money that the angry couple donated.
Calls to McKeon’s office were not returned.
Read the letter below: