Today is one of those occasions where we are going to expose the underbelly of those who have gotten away with outright thuggery for far too long. Today, we’re going to outline for you one of the favored tactics of the besieged old guard of our Party: the smear campaign.
You will see firsthand how ruthless and malicious some Republicans can be toward their brethren who threaten established power and privilege. You will see and be appalled by the depths of deception to which some so-called conservatives will go to score cheap points against other conservatives. And, you will see careless, malicious, and vindictive behavior that should make you sick to your stomach. It gives us no pleasure to expose this behavior within our Party, but we cannot allow it to go unchallenged any longer because they are attempting to destroy the character of good people.
PART 1: Get people talking. Prior to the 7th District Committee meeting on June 25th — where Fred Gruber would serve as newly-elected Chairman after the upset victory over long-time chairman Linwood Cobb—the air was thick with false rumors of Fred Gruber’s “sordid” history. Certain people who have been friendly to Cobb for years were involved in shopping these rumors to various media outlets, including a number of newspapers and blogs. News sources refused to touch these rumors, because they saw it for exactly what it was – false and malicious character mudslinging.
They were desperate to have the rumors published somewhere on the internet prior to the 7th district meeting, and finally it made its way to a sympathetic blogger, who was all too eager to score cheap political points. This blogger—who admittedly acknowledged the information was unsubstantiated—wrote a post about how reporters were hearing rumors about Gruber posting his “little Gruber” on an adult-themed website, and that he had been arrested for solicitation of a prostitute, among other seedy activities. The objective of the people spreading the rumor was obvious: spread it long enough, get it published somewhere, and people will assume it is true. These malicious rumors and blog post served as the backdrop to the 7th District meeting, galvanizing opposition to Gruber’s desire to invest the Committee’s war chest on grassroots operations and party building inside the district, so that Ray Allen could not send the war chest off to Washington, DC.
PART 2: Drop the hammer. So the stage had already been set when many Virginia Republicans received a blast email last Friday from former Delegate Tom Gear. Gear’s email, entitled “Tawdry Tendencies makes Chairman Fred Gruber the first to the go to the Woodshed,” said that Gruber had listed a profile on sexually suggestive and pornographic websites, and that Gruber is searching for opportunities to hook up with young girls. Gear also posted Gruber’s email on his website.
We delve into the details below, but beware, as Gear himself says, “This content is Rated M for Mature audiences only.”
PART 3: Don’t let the truth stand in your way. Fred Gruber has been a single man for 20 years. He is a Marine, Christian, father and patriot. He has had a profile on Match.com and a free dating site for years. In today’s world, it is extremely common for people to meet via dating websites. In fact, our own Jamie Radtke met her husband on Matchmaker.com back in 1998, and they have now been married for more than 15 years! But Tom Gear is not accusing Fred of being a member of a dating website, but rather something seedy and unbecoming a GOP official.
PART 4: Lie, and then mislead, and then deceive. Gear posts what he wants you to believe are screen capture images of a pornographic website where Gruber posted a profile. Gear warns the reader that if they were to visit the site themselves they would be inundated with porn, and would be required to sign up with their own profile to see Gruber’s profile:
Note: For a reader to see the full site and Gruber’s profile, they must sign up and add their profile to adultfriendfinder. If you dare to sign up to site be prepared to be bombarded by other sites you wouldn’t want your mom to know exist.
This is a not-so-subtle way of discouraging anyone from actually seeking the truth. If you brave Gear’s dire warnings and actually click the link, what you’ll see is something very different than what Tom Gear has alleged in his email…you’ll see a perfectly innocent dating website, with a very sweet profile from Fred Gruber. It is not a pornographic website like Tom Gear claims!
Here’s what Gear alleges. First, he references a number of salacious and pornographic banner ads on Fred’s profile as evidence of the site’s sexual nature. The problem is that these banner ads have absolutely NOTHING to do with Fred’s profile or the website. They are assuming that people won’t know how these kind of banner ads work. Banner ads are tailored to the viewing habits of the person’s computer that was looking up Fred’s profile.
PROOF: Look at these two screen shots of Gruber’s profile page done by regular users. The banner ads are for credit score checks and weight loss.
Now look at the one that Tom Gear has emailed with the porn banner ad:
So these banner ads actually reflect on Tom Gear, and tell you one of three things:
Second, and probably the most convincing evidence that Tom Gear is BLATANTLY LYING to people is this: Tom Gear shows screen shots of Fred’s profile and has the word “CENSORED” on the last two photos in Fred’s photo album, suggesting they are lewd (see above pictures again). But those censored photos are beautiful pictures of Fred at his son’s wedding!!! There is nothing lewd about them.
Tom Gear went on to grab additional screen shots supposedly of other parts of the dating website, showing more pornographic banner ads. Again, these banner ads are on Tom Gear’s computer either because of HIS porn habits, or because he’s just plain lying.
PART 5: Find allies to carry your water. The smear works when misinformed people who are already likely to oppose the target can be made unwitting accomplices. Hence, Gear writes his email in a way to particularly incense supporters of Rep. Eric Cantor:
I have to wonder what David Brat, the Republican nominee for 7th District was thinking when he pushed to get Gruber elected. His actions now will tell me where his moral compass points when he becomes publicly aware of his District Chairman’s dark secret.
(Emphasis added). Then, to buck up the skeptical warriors, you must promise them that this is only the tip of the iceberg:
So now we know the real Fred Gruber and with rumors swirling about other troubling issues in Gruber’s past this story is far from over. What is sad is that a family man of character and high moral fiber was replaced by a man who at the least lacks good judgment. I wonder after reading this article and seeing Gruber’s profile on this website will the GOP faithful in the 7th District rally to call for Gruber’s removal?
And now you know what it is all about! This entire smear campaign is an effort to get Gruber to step down as chairman. Sadly, there have already been some people snookered by Tom Gear’s depraved hit job, and some people who should know better than to be seduced by this kind of garbage are nonetheless trading knowing looks and “I told ya so” grins as they set aside their critical thinking to engage in the hatred Tom Gear is inciting.
HOW IT WILL END
A malicious and libelous email has been sent to thousands of Republicans in the hopes of creating enough pressure to have Gruber forcibly removed as chairman in the 7th District. More rumors and innuendo are already surfacing from the same sources bitter about Cobb’s and Cantor’s losses. Rather than go about the business of the Party until it’s time to back a different candidate for chairman, they are going to try and destroy Fred Gruber’s character with purposefully false information. This behavior is reprehensible.
The Bull Elephant has learned that Chairman Gruber has retained an attorney who has issued a cease and desist letter to Tom Gear, demanding a public retraction. This type of flagrantly malicious character assassination will not be disregarded or taken lightly any longer. Mr. Gruber is also considering further legal steps against Tom Gear. See the embedded letter below.
Furthermore, we know that Tom Gear does not operate alone. We know who is behind these attacks with him. These individuals have gotten away with this type of thuggish intimidation for far too long and it must stop immediately. So, if you have found yourself in possession of anonymous emails from info@vagopnow that peddle lies about leaders in the Virginia conservative movement (including those here at TBE), be aware these emails are generated by the same people supporting Tom Gear’s efforts. These individuals have been found, and include certain former and current Party officials. More will be coming to light on them shortly. As the saying goes, an elephant never forgets. As it turns out, neither does the internet.
A copy of Fred Gruber’s cease and desist letter to Tom Gear is embedded below: