Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Schick network

"Say ... didn't you used to be George Murphy?"In the 1970 California Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate seat, the incumbent,  former entertainer George Murphy, was challenged by businessman Norton Simon. The following excerpt appeared in THE MACHINIST, APRIL 30, 1970:
California's June 2 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate will pit two candidates, each from a giant business corporation. The contest matches business genius Norton Simon, 63, head of the billion-dollar-a-year conglomerate, Norton Simon, Inc., against 67-year-old U.S. Sen. George Murphy, an employee of another huge business complex, Schick-Eversharp-Technicolor.

Simon's firms owns the companies that make or distribute Canada Dry beverages, Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, Wesson Oil, Hunt's tomato and fruit products, Ohio Blue Tip matches and Mc-Calls, Redbook and Saturday Review magazines. 

The group employing Murphy [Frawley's group] controls the companies making Eversharp pens and pencils, Taxi ball point pens, Schick blades and electric razors, Technicolor movies and TV shows and Twin Circle TV and radio programs. Those are the firms dominated by far-right Patrick Frawley, Jr.  Frawley's Schick-Eversharp-Technicolor group has about $200,000,000 of annual sales, while Norton Simon's complex sells about a billion dollars worth of goods each year. 

Frawley has been identified with many right-wing groups. His views are reflected by Murphy in the Senate. Before he entered the Senate in 1965, Murphy was a $40,000-a-year Technicolor vice president. Recently he revealed that since his election, he has been receiving a $20,000 annual retainer as a public relations consultant for Frawley's Technicolor. The Frawley firm also gives Murphy an annual air travel card and pays half the rent on his $250-a-rnonth Washington, D.C., apartment.  

Frawley got into the political columns in 1964 as a result of an attack on the liberal California Republican, former U.S. Sen. Thomas Kuchel. A Schick public relations man, J.T. Fergus, and another far rightist, Frank Capell, were caught distributing a phony affidavit falsely accusing Kuchel of homosexuality. In court, Fergus and Capell pleaded nolo contendere and were each fined $500. Simon is generally regarded as a moderate Republican. His publications are in that vein. He is a trustee of Reed College, Portland, Ore., member of the Board of Regents of the University of California, and a member of the board of the Los Angeles Museum of Art. During the 1940s and 1950s he parlayed several smaller food companies and Ohio Match Co. into giant Hunt Food and Industries, Inc.  Murphy, like his patron, Frawley, is ultraconservative and his U.S. Senate voting record reflects it.
 Time magazine reported five years earlier about the incident in the Kuchel campaign:
Last June, when Kuchel was campaigning against Barry Goldwater's candidacy in the California presidential primary, a vicious document was circulated around the state. It purported to be an affidavit signed by a Los Angeles police officer and saying that in 1949 he had arrested Kuchel, then state controller, on a drunkenness charge. But that was only the beginning. The document went on to say that when arrested, Kuchel had been in the midst of an act of sexual perversion. Kuchel's fingerprints, the document said, had been sent to the FBI.
Kuchel did not learn of the accusation until October, when his Los Angeles office came into possession of a copy of the affidavit. The Senator denounced the document as "a monstrous falsehood," demanded an investigation by Los Angeles police. They reported that they had no record of any such arrest. Neither did the FBI, said Director J. Edgar Hoover in a personal letter to Kuchel. Kuchel then demanded criminal proceedings, which resulted in last week's indictments.
The four men indicted were: Norman H. Krause, 44, bar owner and ex-Los Angeles policeman, who in 1950 did arrest two employees of then-Controller Kuchel's office for drunkenness; Jack D. Clemmons, 41, a Los Angeles police sergeant until his resignation two weeks ago; John F. Fergus, 47, until recently a public relations man for Eversharp, Inc., who in 1947 was charged with possession of a concealed weapon and given a suspended sentence, and Francis A. Capell, 57, of Zarephath, N.J., publisher of a rightist newspaper, Herald of Freedom, and author of a pamphlet entitled The Strange Death of Marilyn Monroe, which suggests that Marilyn met death at the hands of Communists. In 1943, as an investigator for the War Production Board, Capell was fined $2,000 for "agreeing to take a gratuity from a clothing manufacturer." If convicted, each of the accused could be fined $5,000 and sentenced to three years in prison.
Whoever instigated the dirty trick, reminiscent of what Donal Segretti's team involved during the Nixon presidential campaign in 1972 would call "rat fucking," seems to have had an ax to grind against Robert F. Kennedy who was then serving as Senator of New York, as another account of this incident stated that Capell's book, The Strange Death of Marilyn Monroe, "asserted Sen. Robert F. Kennedy ordered 'Communist agents' to kill the actress."

Four months earlier, 23-year-old Dennis P. Mowrer (identifying himself as the "founder and
president of the Southern California Freedom Councils"), had marched into Senator Kuchel's office with two other men, demanding to show the Senator an affidavit. As he phrased it, "We have something that relates him to Walter Jenkins." President Lyndon Johnson's aide, Jenkins, had been arrested in October 1964 charged with making "disorderly (indecent) gestures," at the same time as a retired army sergeant  named Andy Choka, who in one newspaper was said to have been from Communist Hungary. Mowrer's ties to the Southern California Freedom Councils would help to identify who was behind this ploy to cause a scandal for Senator Kuchel. Intriguigingly, a small news item appeared in the Reno Evening Gazette on August 13, 1964 which stated:
VAN NUYS (AP) — The local council of the Knights of Columbus says it is cancelling plans to rent its hall to the Southern California Freedom Councils for a speech Friday by Troy Houghton, regional director of the Minutemen. Ed Filia, grand counselor of the lodge said the reservation was cancelled Wednesday because it hadn't been confirmed.

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