by Alan Lange
Editor –

“Someone once said all is fair in love and war. Politics will classify as both”, said State Representative Erik Fleming (D-Clinton) in the initial stages of a tapdance around his political past.

Fleming has long-held political ties to Lyndon (or “Lyn” as Fleming calls him) LaRouche. LaRouche is a perennial presidential candidate with a long history on the political fringe. Although he received 22% of the vote in the Arkansas Democratic Primary in 2000 against Al Gore, the Democratic Party succesfully fought a lawsuit brought by LaRouche to prevent them from officially awarding delegates to LaRouche’s campaign.

A self-described political prisoner, LaRouche was convicted in 1989 and began a fifteen year prison sentence in a scheme to bilk “campaign contributions” disguised as loans from the elderly. Interestingly, while in federal prison, LaRouche shared a prison cell with none other than 1980s televangelist Jim Bakker. He was paroled in 1994 after serving five years of his sentence. He has been widely accused in holding socialist and even anti-Semitic views by his critics, which include the Anti Defamation League (ADL).

Fleming has a long and well documented past with the LaRouche political organization. From supporting various letters and petitions to speaking on his behalf, up until his announcement for the US Senate campaign, Fleming’s support of LaRouche was unabashed. Fleming introduced him during a 2004 campaign swing through Tougaloo College. In his recent 2004 endorsement letter of LaRouche for President, Fleming called “Lyn” a “visionary genius”. He went on to say that “Lyn has given me an opportunity to lead, whether it was chairing a panel to discuss domestic issues or to travel to Mexico to convince government officials not to sell their oil and mineral rights to Enron months before that company’s bankruptcy.” The piece de resistance was stating “he (LaRouche) is a man of great character and strong moral fiber.” Not bad for a guy that spent five years in the federal pen for stealing money from old ladies.