Massa Massages

Joshua Green at the Atlantic has on-the-record confirmation from named sources who essentially confirm the charges made by Bob Lonsberry last week. When serving in the Navy, Massa was "notorious" for making unwanted advances toward subordinates, and offering "Massa massages".

One of Green's sources for other Massa-related information is Sanford Dickert, the man Massa fired in 2006 from his campaign. One of the charges that Massa made about Dickert was a hint that Dickert tried to make a pass at Massa's then-teenage son. Green publishes a set of documents from Dickert that detail the whole affair. I read all those documents in 2006 and published this summary.

One interesting sidelight to this is the strange behavior of Dickert. In hindsight, my guess is that he knew Massa's secret and was holding it as leverage over Massa to force a quick settlement to his lawsuit. His strategy didn't work. He did prevail in the legal action, but it was a pyrrhic victory at best -- he probably paid his lawyers more than he made.


As Chris Matthews just said on MSNB's "Hardball": Congress, surprisingly or not, ends up being a collection of all types of people just as in society---including those with identity confusion issues and the like. If Eric has had this as a lifelong issue (I for one believe in genuine bisexuality) it is sad that the matter now has to be outted (no pun really intended) in such a painful, public way. IF there is anything to this foolishness and innuendo, where does it end? Does he next announce that he's not gay, as was his response to Larry King, but in fact "bisexual"? I just feel so badly and concerned for him and his family. He is such a smart, ambitious, hard-driving guy--who really did represent this district with passion (whoops, no pun intended there either) and devotion.

There's nothing wrong with being gay, bi or straight. But he knew damn well that the harassment would kill his political career.

Right. Understood!

I read the Atlantic, and you misstate the source of thier information. It appears that the Atlantic got their information from the Court documents, not from Dickert himself.

What is more troubling is the documents themselves. It seems that to fight a bill, Massa lashed out with admittedly untrue allegations. Seeing now how many times he has changed his story, his lack of credibility is now way clear, but back then, think of the harm he caused.

The third decision they post shows that Massa then tried to hide the "discovery" in the action. Finally Massa appears to have settled the matter, which again is hush-hush, but a google search shows that he cleared Dickert's name, admitted he lied about it all and the allegations were "unfounded" in a “joint statement”.

So when you praise Massa, I'm sorry, but I can't agree with you or identify with him at all. He nuked the life of an innocent guy with horrible and admittedly untrue stories, and dragged his own son through his muck and lies (as noted by the second decision) becuase he didn't want to pay a bill. Ridiculous!

Here's what the Atlantic said: "A couple years ago, I got a tip about Eric Massa. It involved his aggrieved former campaign manager, Sanford Dickert, who was involved in an ugly dispute. "

In my experience, the person who sends tips about the Sanford Dickert case, and the person most invested in it, is Sanford Dickert. Sanford Dickert sent me a similar set of documents that the Atlantic reporter had. In fact, he posted most of them to a website to publicize the case. I have no evidence about who tipped off the Atlantic reporter, but Dickert was involved in a campaign to publicize the case far and wide "a couple of years ago" so I can only guess that the source was Dickert or one of his allies.

In general, Dickert's far from an innocent victim in all of this. While it was going on, he did things like astroturf this blog (i.e., posting as multiple individuals). After it was over, he contacted me and asked me to take down all the posts I made about the whole thing.

Also, I do not, and did not, praise Massa's conduct in this case. All I said is that he didn't commit perjury. I said he showed bad judgment. So did Dickert.


Imagine for a second that it was your son who was enjoying the splendor of Washington DC and interning in a Congressional office and then his Congressman boss groped his penis.

Imagine now that your son was serving his country and his roommate -- a senior officer in the military -- crawled up into his bed and tried to perform fellatio on him.

Imagine it was your son who was working proudly a campaign to elect a veteran to Congress and the candidate leveled a bunch off false charges against your little boy because he didn't want to pay a bill.

Pretty awful, isn't it. Your son's excitement is crushed, his name is sullied, his faith shattered.

I think it is terrible that you are saying that Sanford Dickert is somehow guilty of the charges Massa alleged (and later retracted) because he wanted what Massa was saying to be erased from your blog. If you were in Sanford Dickert's shoes would you have acted so differently to clear your name?

How possibly does Sanford's asking a blogger to take down allegations about him make him guilty of anything except being human?

Others just avoided confrontation with Massa. This is what a bully like Massa counts on -- people to back down. Sanford didn't back down. He fought back. Others before him just let Massa bully them, but Sanford fought back and Massa settled.

Fighting back is every American's right when accused to confront his accuser. Sanford Dickert did fight back, and the accuser settled and made a statement that his accusations were in error. What possibly about fighting back makes Sanford more guilty in your eyes.

I think you should take a fresh look at the situation given the admissions that Massa has made and seriously question if this Massa's allegations about Sanford are worth your unquestioning faith.

Let me be transparent -- I know Sanford. I've known him for 8 years now and I know all of this garbage that has been said about him by Massa is total BS.

Sanford Dickert is an innocent victim of Eric Massa.

Given all that has happened with Massa this week and the revelations about his past in the Navy, I am asking you to publicly and unequivocally end your condemnation of him -- especially when it appears to be hinging on blog misconduct unrelated to the allegations (which have been retracted).

Please feel free to email me with your number if you need proof that I am not Sanford.


I'm not going to confuse the awful stuff that Massa did with my view of the Dickert/Massa dispute. It's two different issues.

I read those documents. Dickert was mainly concerned about getting his employment contract honored. I don't understand why there wasn't more negotiation between Massa and Dickert before the lawsuit was filed by Dickert. Once it was filed, it turned into a pissing match royale.

I did not say that Dickert was guilty of Massa's charges. Dickert explained his behavior to me via email and I thought it was more naive than anything else.

But, if he knew that Massa was a closet case predator, why didn't he out him and save us all a bunch of headaches?