Snakes In Guam! Snakes in Guam!

Brown Tree SnakesWhat’s all this fuss about “snakes in Guam” that I’m hearing about on the radio?

The last few weeks, Senator John McCain has had some raspy-throated woman shilling for him in a political ad claiming that JD Hayworth voted for some snakes in Guam.

I decided to look into these “snakes” in Guam and instead of diving into the wealth of knowledge provided by the US Department of Agriculture and other scientific papers, I went to one of my favorite websites – YouTube! Here are a few clips about these “Brown Tree Snakes” that have invaded the island of Guam and devastated entire bird populations in addition to terrifying the citizens of Guam.

After viewing these videos, take a moment to read how these snakes are affecting the island of Guam and how they have even become a potential problem to Hawaii.

The Impact of Brown Tree Snakes on Guam’s Island Ecosystem

The spread of brown tree snakes throughout Guam is directly linked to changes in several animal populations. Eight species of forest birds, some found only on Guam, have disappeared from the island. Three other bird species are listed as threatened or endangered and remain in small numbers in the wild. Brown tree snakes eat young Mariana fruit bats (Pteropus mariannus mariannus), which are also listed as endangered on Guam. Small mammals are rare in forests and scrub habitat to begin with. Two gecko species once common on Guam are now considered rare, though they flourish on snake-free Cocos Island nearby. Indirectly, brown tree snakes may disrupt other aspects of Guam’s island ecosystem. Some native trees and plants that depend on birds and fruit bats for seed dispersal and pollination may not reproduce. Insects and spiders, normally controlled by forest birds, have become more abundant.

Economic Effects

Substantial economic losses are associated with brown tree snakes. Guam Power Authority reports millions of dollars in increased costs and lost revenue caused by brown-tree-snake power outages. Snakes climb on electrical transmission lines and short-circuit wires. After snake-induced power outages, electrical distribution equipment frequently needs replacement or repair. Thus, maintenance crew costs rise with overtime and night shifts, compensation must be paid to consumers for damages to electrical equipment, and the need for backup equipment increases. Island residents incur additional costs when food spoils during power outages and shops have to close.

The agricultural community also reports losses due to the brown tree snake. These snakes eat valuable pet birds, young chickens, and chicken eggs. Snakes will often kill prey too large to be eaten, including puppies, rabbits, and young goats. Medical expenses for treatment of bites by brown tree snakes are an additional cost. No human fatalities are known.

Here are a few other resources on the Brown Tree Snake problem in Guam:

USDA National Invasive Species Information Center: Brown Tree Snake

USDA: No Escape From Guam: Stopping the Spread of the Brown Tree Snake

United States Department of Defense Report to the Congress: Control of the Brown Tree Snake – August, 2008

FY04 Authorization for Guam Invasives Pilot Program

Finally, here’s the legislation related to the controlling “Snakes in Guam”  H.R. 1588 otherwise known as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004

And the Roll Call Vote on the bill? Both Senator McCain and Kyl voted for the bill (H.R. 1588) as did 93 other US Senators.


  1. This should be an economic boon.
    prizes galore, become an independent businessman, make: belts, billfolds, purses, boots, etc. from plentiful and valuable snake skins. Get a hoe, machete, hatchet, shovel, or what ever your favorite snake tool is and seek your fortune.

  2. McCain takes out an ad complaining that JD voted for a bill when he voted for it too?

  3. “…devastated entire bird populations…”

    While I’m glad conservatives occasionally care about the environment, aren’t you all also in favor of the widespread deployment of DDT which would lead to the global devastation of bird populations?

  4. ……………………
    The Klute Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 12:04 am
    “…devastated entire bird populations…”

    While I’m glad conservatives occasionally care about the environment, aren’t you all also in favor of the widespread deployment of DDT which would lead to the global devastation of bird populations

    I am 100% in favor of DDT being used in specific applications.

    The knee-jerk banning of DDT – not a common-sense redesign of better usage, but a blanket UNTHINKING BAN – allowed malaria to re-establish in areas where it had almost been wiped out. MILLIONS and MILLIONS and MILLIONS of Africans have died of malaria as a result.

    We almost lost three immediate family members to malaria, we’ve spent quite a bit of time sleeping on African hospital floors, at 24/7bedside vigils for our children who required 3 days of IV quinine drips for it and know plenty of people who’ve suffered with it and have had family members die from it, including a full term baby dead from malaria two days before birth, and know very well the debilitating effects endured by sufferers of chronic malaria. Africa and other malaria-endemic regions lose enormous amounts of GNP every year due to the seriously degraded efficiency and productivity of chronic sufferers.

    The AFrican people came to Washington DC to THANK President Bush for his efforts to lift the DDT ban expressly to combat MALARIA so they could use it to SAVE LIVES.

    I was certified as a pesticide applicator years ago to work in a greeenhouse. Safety, cautions, when a pesticide is indicated when it is not, proper disposal are 98% of the training, before actual application protocols. DDT has its uses, with correct protocol, it is effective without damaging the environment.

    Malaria and Yellow Fever were once found in America. Phildelphia and Washington DC were especially dangerous at certain times of the year. Draining of standing water, clean-up around homes and neighborhoods of junk that could hold stagant water in any way, screening of windows and doors and the use of DDT killed the mosquitos that carry these diseases. Everyone can attest that America is still full of mosquitos, but they are not the species that carries these diseases.

    It worked for America, and has greatly improved American quality of life, but the envrionmental movement has denied for decades the use of DDT to Third World PEOPLE, to “save the birds.”

    Guess “colored people” rate less than birds to environmentalists who don’t have to live in malaria endemic zones, because they’ve been ignoring pleas to lift the DDT ban expressly for use against the malaria mosquitos, for years.

    So, is the cardboard stereotype true that conservatives “don’t care about the enrvironment” or is there another part of this story that isn’t being told?

  5. Snakes in Guam – we have our military base still there. For them – it was necessary to protect them and their families from snake problems as well as the residents of Guam.

    Oh, but if we were infested here – the story would be different..oh yuck icky snakes, the government needs to get rid of them NOW…why wasn’t something done to prevent this!!. Well it was…and for now Hawaii is still safe – happy vacationing.

    (1) The actions currently being taken (including the resources being
    made available) by the Department of Defense to control, and to
    develop new or existing techniques to control, the brown tree snake on
    Guam and to prevent the introduction of the brown tree snake into
    Hawaii, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the
    continental United States, or any other non-native environment as a
    result of the movement from Guam of military aircraft, personnel, and
    cargo, including the household goods of military personnel and other
    military assets. Such actions shall include any actions taken by the
    Department of Defense to implement the recommendations of the
    Brown Tree Snake Review Panel commissioned by the Department of
    the Interior, as contained in the Review Panel’s final report entitled
    “Review of Brown Tree Snake Problems and Control Programs”
    published in March 2005.

    • Okay, a local friend around my age (late 50’s) told me she remembers when the birds were abundant on our island. She said when the Vietnamese boat people escaping communism came as refugees to Guam, they brought with them malaria. So the US government decided to spray DDT throughout our jungle land, which comprises most of the island, of course. When they did this, it wiped out the bird population within a VERY short time period – a month or so. The government of Guam has tried to reintroduce the native birds brought from other Marianas Islands, but the birds have not been able to take hold again here due to the brown tree snake problem.

      The snakes are diminishing somewhat, I’ve been told. My husband and I moved here three years ago, and we have seen only TWO snakes alive and probably TEN dead during that time. We have power outages occasionally, but I don’t believe they are all caused by the snakes. You never hear in the news about the snakes biting anyone. They are nocturnal, so only come out at night while most people are sleeping. There is no reason the snakes being here should affect tourism at all. Many other island vacation spots around the world are populated with many species of spiders, scorpions and dangerous snakes. All we have is the brown tree snake and some large centipedes (5-6″ long), and of course the giant cane toad, which no one mentions. 🙂 We have tons of gecko/skinks everywhere that eat up the insects. And we have praying mantis and butterflies everywhere. Our island is a paradise, and we LOVE it!!!

  6. HR 3479 Title: To provide for the control and eradication of the brown tree snake on the island of Guam and the prevention of the introduction of the brown tree snake to other areas of the United States, and for other purposes. 108th Congress

    Congressional Record on 10/10/2004:
    Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.

    John McCain (R-AZ)Senator for Arizona 108th Congress, from January 3, 2003 to January 3, 2005 – Or was he ONLY present!?!

  7. wanumba,

    Knew you were going to chime in. Could’ve almost set my watch to it.

    “Safety, cautions, when a pesticide is indicated when it is not, proper disposal are 98% of the training, before actual application protocols. DDT has its uses, with correct protocol, it is effective without damaging the environment.”

    Except that’s not what happened was it? Correct protocols weren’t followed, proper disposal wasn’t used, and as a result the raptor populations, the brown pelican, etc. all crashed to the point where they almost went extinct.

    Fun story: I lived off of Lake Worth Road in Florida, right down the street from the South Floria Water Management Districts mosquito control facility. My neighborhood was used a test control facility, because South Florida is home to the Anopheles mossquito which carries malaria. In fact, two homeless people caught it back in the ’90s, and the Palm Beach County Health Department started warning residents. So this:

    “Everyone can attest that America is still full of mosquitos, but they are not the species that carries these diseases.”

    Another lie, wanumba?

    Now, how did PBC knock down the beginnings of a malaria outbreak? Not with DDT. If memory serves, malathion. Mosquitos can be controlled with IPM, other less destructive pesticides, nets, upgrading infrastructure so windows can be closed at night. Spraying of DDT is quick, dirty, ultimately self-defeating (tilapia, for instance, the major food fish of central Africa, eat larvae and adults).

    “Guess “colored people” rate less than birds to environmentalists…”

    Projecting much, there wanumba? See, I would’ve just said “Africans”, but I guess any opportunity you get to drop a racial slur, you can’t stop the Freudian slip…

    Was it you holding that sign in Texas?

  8. Guam is a terrority of the United States. It’s not like sending money to Tahiti, it’s US citizens and US land that are being overrun by a snake population that has passed the simple nuisance stage into to the destructive stage.

    Guess the McCain ad assumes most Arizonians haven’t been educated enough by the Arizona school system to know that Guam is America.

    What’s the difference between Washingtonians sneering about say, a sidewinder snake problem in Arizona and Arizonians being egged on by Beltway poltics to sneer about a snake problem in Guam? If it’sn’t isn’t a problem in Georgetown, it isn’t worth attention?

    You’d think Arizonians more than Washington Beltway types woud have an heightened appreciation for snake problems and would be naturally more sympathetic to Guam residents having to deal with being overrun by brown snakes.

    Bet Nancy Pelosi would find it easy to spend heaps of taxpayer money if she found brown snakes on her tax-payer funded jet.

  9. wanumba,

    And here’s something from the University of Florida, annotations theirs:

    Medical Signifance

    Anopheles quadrimaculatus is the most important species in the eastern United States regarding malaria transmission. This species is susceptible to experimental infection with the parasite that causes malaria and has been captured in nature with salivary gland infection capable of transmission several times (Carpenter and LaCasse 1955). Although malaria has been considered eradicated from the United States since 1954, the CDC continues to report between 1,000 and 1,500 cases in the United States, the majority of which were acquired outside of the country (Robert et al. 2005).

    Even though malaria has not been a severe problem in Florida since the 1950’s (Rutledge et al. 2005), local transmission does occur occasionally. There were eight cases of locally acquired malaria reported from Palm Beach County, Florida, in 2003 (CDC 2005). The common features shared by outbreaks in the United States include 1) an initial case without known risk factors, 2) proximity to a person with parasitemia, 3) presence of known mosquito vectors, and 4) environmental conditions favorable to completion of the malaria parasite in the mosquito (Robert et al. 2005).

    The risks of importation and transmission of malaria are enhanced with the increase in immigration, global travel, and the presence of anopheline vectors (Robert et al. 2005). However, it is unlikely that malaria will cause major epidemics in the future in the United States because of the strong public health infrastructure and the shorter life span of the vector insufficient for complete development of the infective sporozoite (Robert et al. 2005). The reintroduction of endemic malaria can be prevented through prompt recognition, reporting and treatment of cases, and vector surveillance and control (Robert et al. 2005)

    “Vector surveillance and control” – which Florida, is doing through existing, non-banned pesticdes and IPM.

    From a later part of the article:

    “Conventional mosquito control in rice growing regions uses resmethrin, malathion and permethrin for adult control. Resistance against malathion has been reported, and permethrin is less effective than resmethrin (Efird et al. 1992) for control of the adult stage. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) is an effective active ingredient for control of An. quadrimaculatus larvae in rice growing regions (Lacey and Inman 1985). Bti controls earlier instar larvae more effectively than late instar, but demonstrates a high level of control overall against the larval stage of An. quadrimaculatus. Economically, Bti may not be the first choice of control for many growers; however it is a good alternative to traditional insecticides in areas where resistance occurs (Lacey and Inman 1985).

    Gambusia affinis fish have been shown to be effective at controlling mosquitoes in white rice but not in wild rice because of variation in cultivation of the two types (Kramer et al. 1987). Some important differences are days to maturity are longer in white rice, and wild rice has a much fuller canopy, growing three times as high as white rice.”

    They mention resistance to the existing pesticides, which would be an inevitability with DDT, and in X amount of years, Africa would be right back where it started, and in a worse place, because you have to then create something stronger than DDT to knock down the resitant mosquitos.

    Now, far be it for me to knock down you smug sense of self-satisfaction for temporarily taking care of a problem, but environmentalists would like to a see a ***permanent*** management solution.

  10. ……………………..
    The Klute Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 11:04 am
    Now, far be it for me to knock down you smug sense of self-satisfaction for temporarily taking care of a problem, but environmentalists would like to a see a ***permanent*** management solution.

    DDT ban for use against malaria is more effective than Planned Parenthood in keeping down Third World populations.

    That’s what the Third World has come to the conclusion after their pleas for help against malaria came to nothing. When the Clinton Administration in the 1990s reordered USAID priorities from roads, wells, and other useful infrastucture development to condom distribution and “environmental issues,” the Third World got the message loud and clear.

    The environmentalists’ “permanant solution to the problem” is seen in Africa as FEWER Africans, not fewer malaria mosquitos.

    They’ve had decades to prove otherwise, but the Left and the environmentalists who claim “they care” haven’t done anything except fund more reduction of population initiatives.

    I’m not smug about this, I’m furious. Unlike you, we KNOW first hand what malaria feels like. We came very close to losing two kids to it. It starts quite a bit like the flu, so it’s very deceptive. The chonic forms behave like mononucleosis that never improves.

    There has been a deliberate blocking of resources in the name of “the environment” that have condemned not just Africans but anyone who lives in a tropic and semi-tropical edemic belt that runs around the world to die or live debilitated lives, though AFricans have experienced the brunt of the ever-growing epidemic.

    While Democrats talk talk that they “care” and that Republicans are “racist” it took President Bush to create a multi-billion-dollar initiative to do something significant to SAVE LIVES in AFRICA. Hundreds of millions of people affected. Weakened by malaria, people become extremely suspetible to catching other diseases, especially TB. The ripple effects are enormous.

    WHen Bill Gates and his wife steered some Gates Foundation resources to the malaria research efforts, they were shocked to discover they’d more than doubled the global resources, so ignored had this problem been. They added millions, George W. Bush added BILLIONS.

    It has taken the Democrats led by Barack Obama to DEFUND IT.

    As one former African President said a few years back, “Democrats talk, but Republicans deliver.”

  11. Back to the subject of this original post of “Snakes in Guam” and the very useful background to the political ad that puts it into perspective.

    So far, haven’t heard a McCain ad yet on any subject that’s any good at all. They’re all pathetic. Really surprised he has approved them. Honestly thought he had more savvy sense than that – or he’s passively letting other people run his campaign … uh oh, didn’t McCain JUST make that mistake?

  12. wanumba,

    “We came very close to losing two kids to it.”

    Well, maybe next time don’t bring them to a hot zone.

    “The environmentalists’ “permanant solution to the problem” is seen in Africa as FEWER Africans, not fewer malaria mosquitos.”

    Whatever, sing me a new one. I’ve got studies (one of many referenced above) to back up my position. You’ve got a bunch of anecdotes strung together by your own sense of personal superiority.

    “As one former African President said a few years back, ‘Democrats talk, but Republicans deliver.'”

    Name, please.

    “They’ve had decades to prove otherwise, but the Left and the environmentalists who claim “they care” haven’t done anything except fund more reduction of population initiatives.”

    Let me tighten this up for you: “Rachel Carson is worse than Hitler and Stalin combined.” There you go.

  13. McCain is the first line of defense? Standing tall against Obama? Huh? Huh?

    Honestly expected better. Not really enough to overcome by simple rhetoric his actual voting and legislative record, but a respectable showing befitting a politician with years of experience, NOT this drivel.

  14. Stephen Kohut says

    Standing tall against Obama? The McRINO supports should take Sen. Gregg’s Minority Rights memo and check off every item that McRINO’s voting record on the HC bill shows he did fully and consistently. Number of check marks? ZERO.

    The only snake here is the one running the ad.

  15. ………………
    “I’ve got studies (one of many referenced above) to back up my position. You’ve got a bunch of anecdotes”

    Yup. Sure do. Got lots more, too. Malaria eradication, and avoiding malaria infection are subjects I actually have a strong personal vested interest in. I’ve delivered more than my share of malaria stricken people to the hospital, in addition to my own family, so, I wouldn’t DREAM of informing ANYONE dishonestly in ANY manner about this. It’s a lethal disease, ESPECIALLY for children.

    If you go to a mechanic and ask a technical question about your car, would you call him holding a “superior attitude” if he told you what’s he’s learned in twenty years about it? But I bring up the reality of malaria politics, which many people are not aware of thanks to our worthless media, and it’s some “superiority” thing.

    Africans came to the White House to formally show President Bush their appreciation for the BILLIONS in funding to eradicate malaria and the media used the occasion to mock Bush. They didn’t use any footage of AFricans speaking about the issue of malaria, the importance of this initiative and how much they appreciated Bush’s incredible support. The Democratic Party had created a correct stereotype that Bush was a mean, racist Republican and nothing that dispelled that fraud was permitted to be shown to the American People.

    So, acting as one eensty-weensty contributor to the New Media, I just informed ya’ll about what we weren’t told. Next time a Liberal, Dmeocrat or Independent, intones about conservatives who don’t care, the readers will be armed with some information that they can use to dispel that fraudulant notion, one issue at a time.

    But the subject isn’t to continue to flatter me with attention, it’s McCain’s hysterically deceptive political ad about snakes in Guam, which of course is a US terrority and by that has every right to get US taxpayer resources to help them get this invasive pest under control.

    More right to US taxpayer resources than Haiti, but McCain’s ad insinuates a Congressional voting for a frivolity that isn’t true.

  16. WHat ya find with Youtubing McCain and snakes:

  17. “If you go to a mechanic and ask a technical question about your car, would you call him holding a “superior attitude” if he told you what’s he’s learned in twenty years about it? But I bring up the reality of malaria politics…”

    I must have missed the part where you’ve got a degree in epidemiology, tropical diseases, or pest management. Maybe you did to, probably why you thought that mosquitos that carry malaria don’t exist in the United States, and probably why you’re not interested in how South Florida handles the problem without laying down a cloud of DDT.

    “So, acting as one eensty-weensty contributor to the New Media…”

    Acting a lot like the old… “Human interest stories! They tug at the heartstrings and fog the mind!”

  18. Yup!

  19. Ugh.
    From one of the links:
    “Brown snakes are mildly venomous. Their bite can case severe sickness in children.”

    Now look again at that top photo.

  20. wanumba says:
    “Guess the McCain ad assumes most Arizonians haven’t been educated enough by the Arizona school system to know that Guam is America.”

    Yeah, kind of like the recent article on here that had the headline “$50 Million for a National Park That’s NOT in the US.”

  21. Neither Guam nor the US Virgin Islands are in the CONTINENTAL USA.

    Headlines have to be short. After a read, it was very obvious that “Continental” was implied.

    Back to the fun:

    McCain’s ad snarked at an opponent for voting to fund a program to combat a pest that is actually causing damage to Guam’s native wildlife, Guam’s economy and the health and safety of Guam’s citizens. Why the dishonest snark? McCain voted for it, too. Not much of an ad if he’d mentioned that disclaimer.

    Meanwhile, not a boo from McCain criticising the opposition PARTY,the DEMOCRATS for WASTING taxpayer money on a beach purchase ostensibly for a national park that is literally too far for most Americans to be able to visit.

    The Democratic Majority Party is wailing we all have to sacrifice, Bush caused ALL this economic horror so they are FORCED to spend as much money as they can collect on “rescues” and “stimulus” and then turns on a dime and buys TROPICAL BEACHES.

    Wonder who the very very very lucky sellers are. $50,000,000 is a pretty penny. Wonder if in this economy when NOBODY IS BUYING and ALL properties are depressed, whether the owners would have been able to secure that sort of price through their local real estate agent. Wonder who they know to have been able to have brought this to the attention of the US Congress.

    McCain has a target-rich environment, but lames around instead with stenorious insinuations of nothing.

  22. Snakes in Guam and RINOs in Arizona!

    Both are a danger to the environment!

    So let’s take care of the home necessities first and “Flush the John”!

  23. Sonoran Weekly Review has uncovered a new series of disturbing, unethical actions perpetrated by Arizona’s newest US Senate candidate, JD Hayworth. In the weeks to come, SWR will bring you the stories that have not been reported in any other media outlet in the country – stories that have not been manufactured by affiliates of Hayworth’s public relations team.

    Former conservative talk show host turned 2010 US Senate candidate, JD Hayworth, has spent nearly a year exercising his First Amendment rights – using the Arizona airwaves, Republican meetings and town halls to angrily call Senator John McCain a bully, an intimidator, and a scared political heavyweight has-been.

    What a rookie error. A Senate rookie, that is.

    Hayworth has repeatedly and publicly mischaracterized Senator McCain’s finely-aged confidence, world-wide respect and manhood – his lifelong legacy – as merely some kind of juvenile, schoolyard victim story that has left him paralyzed with fear after all of these years in Washington.

    Hayworth desperately wants to believe that Senator John McCain is scared of him. The truth is almost laughable. Senator McCain has wrestled bigger demons and principalities during his lifetime than JD Hayworth has ever wrestled in his dreams.

    But sadly, reality will not stop JD Hayworth’s mouth. He believes it is his greatest weapon but it is, in fact, his darkest curse.

    Years ago, The Arizona Republic christened JD Hayworth with the nickname “The Bully” for exercising his free speech incessantly and brutishly. It is a name that has served him well both in Arizona and in Washington DC.

    Just ask some of the good folks at Phoenix television station, KTVK – Channel 3.

    In what can only be described as alarming and despicable behavior unbecoming to a conservative Christian, SWR has discovered that JD Hayworth participated in an extortionate scheme to shakedown the #1 independent television station in the United States and the #1 station across Arizona, Phoenix’s KTVK – Channel 3.

    With the gratuitous help of his favorite high-powered Washington DC legal firm, Foley & Lardner, Hayworth’s threatening interference with KTVK’s broadcasting license kicked off a desperate attempt to stifle political free speech just two weeks before Hayworth’s embarrassing general election loss to Democrat Harry Mitchell in November, 2006.

    Responding to an October 18, 2006 complaint from JD Hayworth’s campaign which accused the National Education Association’s Fund for Children and Public Education (NEA) of running a television ad that falsely attacked Hayworth’s legislative voting record and policy positions, admitted McCain-Feingold hater, Foley & Lardner election law attorney Cleta Mitchell, fired off a nasty three page “cease and desist if you want to exist” letter to the Station Manager of Belo Corporation’s KTVK – Channel 3 – “Arizona’s Family”.

    In her legal letter on behalf of Hayworth, Mitchell threatened KTVK with the loss of its broadcasting license if it did not immediately cease airing the NEA’s ad. If any attorney in Washington DC would petition and sue to revoke a broadcaster’s license, provided that best served a client – that attorney would be Cleta Mitchell.

    Mitchell’s letter to the KTVK Station Manager said,

    “….this is not political advertisement as that term is defined by the Federal Communications Act. Your station is not protected from legal liability for airing false and misleading advertisement sponsored by the NEA……your station is not obligated to air any advertisement from the NEA……a licensee who fails to properly supervise the airing of (among other things) ‘false and misleading advertising’ can be properly divested of its license….you are subjecting your station to potential liability….please be advised that the NEA has falsified its required report which was to have been filed within 24 hours of the airing of this advertisement. A complaint is being filed today against the NEA…..”

    Mitchell finished her rude letter with a big lie. One she’d hoped might influence the election for her client.

    Cleta Mitchell told KTVK management that the NEA had falsified its required FEC report regarding expenditures at their station, even though she knew the NEA had not yet filed any report with the FEC and that they had still had 48 hours to do so. Considering the NEA had spent over $308,000, the stakes for all players were high.

    The emergency dissemination of this letter to Arizona’s favorite television station was a decidedly anti-First Amendment maneuver from a First Amendment hypocritical-blowhard and his legally blond sidekick who lawyers-up with any constitutional politician, PAC or ultra conservative cause that will have her. She is a featured performer on that circuit. Not bad for a gal that spent the first 40 of her 60 years….as Democrat.

    The investigation by SWR also found that JD Hayworth and Cleta Mitchell filed a stealth 2006 complaint with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) against the NEA on October 20, 2006, just two days after threatening to shut down KTVK. This complaint formally became known at the FEC as Matter Under Review – 5855 (MUR 5855). All public documents can be found here. Just type 5855 in the case # window.

    Curiously, Hayworth’s formal FEC complaint neglected to mention Mitchell’s strong-armed letter to KTVK. However, the last few pages of the NEA’s formal response to the Hayworth’s complaint contained a gem of a copy of the KTVK letter.

    The NEA’s copy of the KTVK letter shows three faxed time stamps and phone numbers. This copy of the KTVK letter went from JD Hayworth’s Scottsdale office, to the KTVK – Channel 3 Sales Department and on to Media Strategies – the media buying firm that purchased the airtime on KTVK for the NEA’s 30 second spot.

    The KTVK letter was a hot item then. It still is, even now.

    Following Hayworth’s formal complaint to the FEC, the FEC notified the NEA that Hayworth had filed a complaint against them. The NEA already knew about the KTVK shakedown and didn’t hesitate to repeat the dirty details in its reply to the FEC.

    The NEA’s lead counsel, Richard Wilkof, drafted a poignant response to Hayworth’s formal FEC complaint saying, “….the Complaint is entirely groundless, to the point of being frivolous. It appears to be merely part of a larger effort to bully a television station that broadcasts in Arizona’s 5Ih Congressional District into pulling from the air an independent expenditure paid for by The NEA Fund that was critical of Congressman Hayworth. In that sense, the Complaint would be the functional equivalent of an abuse of the process, and should be summarily dismissed by the Commission…… We submit that allegations in the Complaint are disingenuous, and that the Hayworth committee filed the Complaint merely as part of a multi-faceted strategy to pressure KTVK-TV into pulling The NEA Fund’s television advertisements from the air.”

    Responding to Cleta Mitchell’s manufactured lie about the NEA’s falsified expenditure report to the FEC, the NEA responded, “The complainant alleged that the National Education Association Fund for Children and Public Education (“NEA Fund”) violated the Act by failing to report within 48 hours its independent expenditures for television advertisements that were critical of Rep. J.D. Hayworth. However, the complaint was filed roughly twelve hours before the NEA Fund’s report was due to be filed with the Commission. In fact, respondent did file timely its necessary 48 Hour report. Hence, no violation occurred.”

    For the next seven months, the FEC kept MUR 5855 under investigation but had classified the complaint as a low-rated matter and recommended it for dismissal. On May 16, 2007 the FEC’s Office of General Counsel dismissed the case, saying that Hayworth’s filing of the formal complaint was premature, as the NEA still time to legally file its expenditure report after Hayworth filed his complaint.

    However, on May 30, 2007, the FEC commissioners met and unanimously voted to reject the Office of General Counsel’s recommendation to dismiss MUR 5855 on the basis of prosecutorial discretion. The FEC commissioners, instead, voted to find no reason to believe that the NEA violated and campaign finance laws or FEC regulations.

    The FEC commissioners handed JD Hayworth and Cleta Mitchell a definitive rejection of their frivolous complaint, saying that no violation occurred. By June 20, 2007 the FEC commissioners had all signed off on their unanimous decision in favor of the NEA.

    By this time, Hayworth had already lost his US House seat to Harry Mitchell and had been the afternoon talk show host at KFYI-550 AM for a couple of months. Hayworth had not been a radio broadcaster since his college days. Prior to becoming a US House Representative in 1995, Hayworth had been a longtime Phoenix television sportscaster but he was unable to find a job in that venue, at any local station.

  24. Stephen Kohut says

    HONEST ABE = Yellow Sheet Journalist.

    Print out some extras ABE they were out of TP the last time I checked.

  25. Regardless of the debate between Senator McCain & J.D. Hayworth, I don’t know why so many people are afraid of and hate every snake alive. My family caught a bullsnake when I was back in 2nd grade and almost 24 years later Harry is still alive and well and a great family pet. I am a reptile lover and a snake lover.

    Snakes get a bad rap!

    Obviously, it would be stupid to have a snake bigger than human adults around children or to own a venomous snake. But who’s to say that the brown tree snake in Guam doesn’t have just as much right to that island as any birds that can’t be found anymore.

    I know that this whole anti-snake thing has something to do with Adam & Eve and the serpent convincing them to eat the fruit & get kicked out of the Garden of Eden. But the snake-bashing from all sources has gone too far and most snakes do not deserve it.

  26. Jon Altmann, ISCS, USN (Ret.) says

    At the U.S. bases in Guam, there are snake hunting teams that go out to get rid of as many of these vermin as possible every night around the runway areas.

    In the mainland U.S., I think these teams are now call “Tea Party” groups, but the vermin is a bit different.

  27. wow.I have to say, those snakes definitely keep you guys talking. LMAO though the youtube thing.

  28. Tyler, I am also a great snake lover. My son raises ball pythons because I had a pet garter snake when he was a little boy. However…I now live on Guam, and this brown tree snake is a different matter all together. The birds of Guam were actually almost made extinct by the spraying of DDT in the jungle. Local people here told me that the birds disappeared suddenly. The spraying of DDT was done to kill mosquitoes that were carrying malaria, brought to Guam in the 80’s by Vietnamese boat people. The way I feel about it is…I’m glad they killed the mosquitoes and I’m sorry the birds also died. Our bird population has been growing again, in spite of the presence of the brown tree snake. Just to let you know, in case you didn’t notice from the article and the messages, the brown tree snake is not native to Guam, but is an invasive creature. Anyway, I recently bought a home that is near some jungle area, and I expect I’ll be having to deal with the snakes occasionally. I like snakes, but these snakes are NASTY. They are aggressive, and they stink (a horrible smell like a wet dog) and they go after infants. Babies have been bitten by them in their sleep, and had to go to the hospital with respiratory distress. One lady I know told me that her husband woke up one morning and leaned over the bed, and was bitten on the forehead by a snake. I’m planning to buy a machete, and will kill any snake I find, as any good citizen of Guam would also do.

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  1. […] John McCain’s campaign seems to have conveniently dropped the “Snakes in Guam” radio ad in the last few days from its political hit piece repertoire. I suppose their removal of the ad and adjustment of messaging had something to do with my research revealing that McCain himself also voted for the same bill (see my earlier post, “Snakes in Guam! Snakes in Guam!”). […]

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