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Watergate Educators

John Simkin

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I guess I might also characterize myself as an "amateur historian."

In December 1971 I was the State Chairman of the Wisconsin College Republicans and I was approached in Madison, Wisconsin (where I was attending the University) by a man identifying himself as Don Simmons. "Simmons" wanted me to assist in a campaign of espionage and sabotage against the Democrat candidates. "Simmons" implied he was acting with the highest authority but that no one at the White House or in the Committee to Re-Elect the President would so acknowledge if I inquired. It was very similar to the opening of the then-popular TV show "Mission Impossible" ("If you are caught, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your activities.")

I thought what Simmons was proposing was terrible, so terrible that I even thought he might be an agent provocateur for the Democrats. Naive as I was at that time, I could not contemplate that anyone with sufficient intelligence to have a high position in the White House or in CREEP could be involved in a scheme I considered puerile.

Moreover, although "Simmons" was acting like he was engaged in a James Bond type of secret mission, he looked and acted more like Woody Allen than Sean Connery.

I thought CREEP should be aware of this creep so I had a friend who was the National Chairman of the College Republicans contact a high echelon officer of CREEP. CREEP sent an agent named Anthony Ulasewicz to Madison to try to tape record Simmons' next call to me. Ulasewicz introduced himself as a former New York City police officer who was doing security work for the Nixon campaign.

But I never received the expected call from "Simmons" who, I am sure you have deduced was Donald Segretti. I discovered why only after reading the memoirs of Anthony Ulasewicz ("The President's Private Eye"). It was while Ulasewicz was in Wisconsin that CREEP discovered that Segretti was in fact being run out of the White House (as I recall his controller was a White House operative named Dwight Chapin). Ulasewicz was ordered back to Washington.

When the Segretti operation was discovered, I was interviewed by two FBI agents. The incident is reported in the Senate Watergate Committee Report. Segretti is shown in the movie "All the President's Men". Although his Wisconsin activities are not shown, the movie does briefly show Segretti's receipt for his hotel room in Madison.

Segretti did jail time for violations of the campaign laws.

Ulasewicz received notoriety as the "bag man" who delivered the hush money payments to the Watergate defendants. As I recall his testimony before the Erwin Committee was well-received because he had a dry sense of humor.

Of course, my very minor involvement in the "Watergate affair" increased my interest in it. For what it is worth, I tend to subscribe to the "conspiratorial" view of Watergate as set forth in the books "Silent Coup" and "Secret Agenda".

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I am a working historian. In my graduate seminar work, I wrote a historiography (history of the history) of Watergate. Stanley Kutler is the leader in the academic study of Watergate, and I am reading his book right now, Abuse of Power. I have read all the principle memoirs and transcripts, and can answer basic questions.

Students are welcome to email me at:


Watergate is only a short hand term for the abuses of power 1969-1974. Nixon was impeached by the House for abusing the IRS and paying "hush money" and he resigned before the Senate could convict him in an impeachment trial. It has great usefulness as a tool to approach Presidential, Congressional, Judiciary and media in the US...............

Shanet Clark

Woodruff Fellow of History

Georgia State University, Atlanta USA

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My name is Anders MacGregor-Thunell. I’m currently a full-time teacher of History and the Head of the History Department at Hvitfeldtska Gymnasiet, an Upper Secondary School with 1800 students, in the centre of the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. I'm not an expert on the Watergate scandal but I have a keen interest in this topic...

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My name is Justin Quinn Olmstead and I hold BA's in both Political Science and History and am currently working on my MA in U.S. History. I teach U.S. Government and U.S. History at the high school level, which includes a week long look at Nixon and the Watergate scandal.

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  • 11 years later...
On 5/3/2005 at 7:55 AM, John Simkin said:

I have been a history teacher (students aged 11 to 18) for 25 years. I am also the author of a website on Watergate.


That link does not work for me. Perhaps the page moved here:



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