A L S O__T O D A Y
The voyeur general's report to Congress
Secret lives of the Republicans, Part One
Lucianne Goldberg dishes on the Starr Report
A call for moral renewal
T A B L E+T A L K
Should Starr's report be made public? Sound off on his $40 million investigation in the Politics area of Table Talk
D A I L Y+Q U O T E
R E C E N T L Y
The Salon Report on Kenneth Starr
"Everyone will be punished"
Now he belongs to the ages
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THE OTHER WOMAN | PAGE 1, 2
In March 1990, the job that Gennifer Flowers and Charlotte Perry were to compete for became available. At first glance, things did not look good for Flowers. She ranked ninth out of 11 applicants.
But then Flowers caught a break. On April 26, 1990, Don K. Barnes, the chairman of the Arkansas Board, abruptly changed the qualifications for the job. He did so at the direction of his boss, William Gaddy, the husband of Judy Gaddy, the governor's assistant to whom Clinton had earlier assigned the task of finding a job for Flowers.
The new requirements for the job now included experience with computers and public relations. As it happened, Flowers had listed those precise qualifications on her résumé a month earlier when she applied for the Arkansas Board of Review job.
In two telephone interviews last year, William Gaddy told me that he could not recall any role in changing the job requirements to help Flowers: "I just don't know what to think about that ... I'm not sure why my name has come up in this." William Gaddy also denied to me that he had ever spoken with his own wife, Judy, about the potential job for Flowers: "She does her thing and I do mine," he said. "We never talked with each other about Gennifer."
After failing to get the promotion, Perry filed a complaint with the state Grievance Review Committee, the Arkansas equivalent of a merit protections selection board, saying that she was unfairly denied the job awarded to Flowers.
Barnes testified to the committee that he changed the job description at the direction of William Gaddy. He said that he had supported Flowers because she had told him about her experience with computers during a job interview.
In her own sworn testimony, Flowers, however, could not recall any type of computer that she knew how to use. And asked how she had learned of the state job, Flowers swore: "It was advertised in the newspaper and I had heard about it through the personnel department."
Barnes, the state official who hired Flowers, told Newsday in 1992 that he believed Flowers had committed "perjury" by not disclosing the Gaddys' assistance in finding her the state job.
Newsday also discovered that Flowers had told a few lies on her job application. She had stated that she had been "director of public relations" for the Dallas-based Club Corporation of America, even though in an earlier application for a state job, she had said that she was only the "membership director" for that group. Flowers further represented on her résumé that she had an associate degree from the University of Arkansas. But that college had no record of her ever attending. And Flowers had also lied about her experience working on computers.
In early 1992, as disclosures about their affair were on the verge of going public, Flowers called Clinton and secretly recorded the conversations. Flowers told her former boyfriend she was concerned that someone might find out about his assistance in her obtaining the state job.
"The only thing that concerns me, where I'm, where I'm concerned at this point, is the state job," Flowers told Clinton.
"Yeah, I never thought about that," Clinton responded, in that earnest manner we are all so familiar with. "If they ever ask if you've talked to me about it, you can say no."
When Flowers told Clinton that she had lied about how she learned about the job, he responded: "Good for you!"
Clinton's deceptions did not end there. As Salon recently disclosed, during that telephone conversation between Clinton and Flowers, Hillary Rodham Clinton was standing only a few feet away from her husband.
According to a version of the story that Hillary Clinton has told two close friends, the first lady-to-be was standing right next to her husband as he talked to Flowers on a phone extension in the kitchen of the Arkansas governor's mansion. The first lady had told the friends that her presence was evidence that her husband could not have possibly been deceiving her when he claimed that he had no relationship with Flowers.
It was vintage Clinton: He was simultaneously encouraging Flowers to conceal the relationship while saying nothing too incriminating in case she was taping the conversation, and he was putting on a show for his own wife as well.
On Jan. 23, 1992, Flowers held a press conference to publicize a story in the Star tabloid, alleging that she had had a 12-year relationship with Clinton. Having been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the confession, she no longer had any use for her state job. She never even bothered to call work to tell her bosses that she wasn't coming in anymore. They had to figure that out on their own when she simply stopped showing up.
Apparently believing her husband's explanations that Flowers' charges were the result of Republican dirty tricks, Hillary Clinton personally directed a campaign to raise similar allegations against then President Bush. There had been rumors circulating around Washington for years that Bush had had an extramarital affair with an aide named Jennifer Fitzgerald. The only problem was that there was little evidence to support the charges, which were most likely false.
According to three sources, the first lady personally, and through her surrogates, began to encourage a number of journalists to look into the allegations. Eventually, New Republic writer Sidney Blumenthal, now Clinton's aggressive spin doctor, convinced a Spy magazine writer to include the Fitzgerald allegations in an article just prior to the 1992 presidential election, even though the piece contained no compelling evidence to support the rumors.
Blumenthal then publicly questioned the ethics of Spy for publishing the story, even though he had put the magazine up to publishing it in the first place. Hillary Clinton and Blumenthal then spearheaded a further effort to have the sex allegations against Bush circulated in the mainstream press.
"That was probably the genesis of the so-called scorched-earth strategy ... You investigate our sex-lives, we investigate yours," recalls one veteran of the 1992 Clinton-for-president campaign. (A spokesperson for the first lady declined to comment for this story.)
New Yorker columnist Kurt Andersen, who was then editor of Spy, said he didn't know about Blumenthal's involvement, but offered: "Sidney's first political crush was Gary Hart, whose career was ruined by a sex scandal ... a tragic and compulsive motif in Sidney's career."
The Flowers allegations were only a momentary distraction for Clinton, who would quickly move on to the presidency and recidivism.
As for Charlotte Perry, the Arkansas state Grievance Review Committee ruled in her favor. It concluded that there had been favoritism and "irregular practices" in the hiring of Flowers and recommended that Perry be awarded Flowers' job, and also that she be compensated for back pay.
Still, justice was never done. The review committee's findings were not binding. They were overruled by Barnes, the very same official who was found by the committee to have engaged in favoritism on Flowers' behalf in the first place.
Unlike Flowers and Lewinsky, Perry is the other woman we should care about. Flowers and Lewinsky were never the victims they have portrayed themselves to be. Flowers received a state job and a half million dollars for her story, using Clinton perhaps as much, or more than, he used her. As for Monica, now that she has confided to Starr's grand jury her tales of White House trysts in all their glorious detail, fortune will surely follow fame.
In contrast to all of them,
Charlotte Perry is a true victim of the president's sexual misconduct.
As we consider her story, it illustrates why, despite the president's
desire to the contrary, his private affairs are sometimes public
Murray Waas has published numerous investigative reports in Salon.