(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) Scott Eckersley’s campaign entered the conversation surrounding the accusations made by Jennifer Case Thursday, by releasing a campaign commercial featuring her comments.
Case first emerged with her allegations in a letter written in late September, obtained by TFJ. There, Case alleged “demeaning” comments by Long toward minorities, including women, African Americans, and homosexuals. She also alleged Long participated in unlawful poker at an upscale Springfield restaurant, and attendance at parties where strippers were present.
“When I found out that Billy Long was running, I thought ‘Boy he has some nerve’”, said Case in the new commercial. “When he’s around his friends, he doesn’t have a problem talking negatively about people of color – talking down to women. The people that we send to Washington should be people that we can absolutely trust.”
Long has denied the allegations on numerous occasions. In a statement Friday, he said, “It is 100-percent false. It’s a flat out lie. Anyone who knows me knows that it is completely false. This is hurtful to me and my family.”
Case’s claims were reiterated by a letter written by Robert Bush, a former Cook at the restaurant, released by the Eckersely campaign.
“As an employee I learned that Billy Long refused to have people of color wait on him,” Bush wrote. “That night the typical ‘Metro mafia’ crowd was present – including Billy Long. Poker tables were set up and gambling was going on. I had the job of taping the windows with brown paper, so as to limit the view from outside.”
Eckersley says the allegations question Long’s character. “Character counts in this election,” he said at the close of the ad.
Long agreed on the character point. “Character does matter in this race and Scott Eckersley has shown his by choosing to air a slanderous ad in a desperate bid to get elected.”
Caught in the middle of this is the Metropolitan Grill, an upscale restaurant in Springfield. Restaurant chef and owner Pat Duran told KOLR10 had no knowledge of the allegations, that Billy Long has never been inside the restaurant past 10 p.m.
He also said that he’s fearful that the ‘Metro Mafia,’ something he says started out for good of the community, has turned out horrible.
KOLR10 reports it to be a daytime group. In fact, on it’s website, it very much advertises meeting from 9PM to 1AM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
“Pat wanted to create an atmosphere for the more seasoned working professionals, who migrate to the Southeast side,” says the group’s website. “The Metro Mafia, just like age, is nothing more than a state of mind.”