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The Strange Case of J. Timothy Gratz

John Simkin

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""Researcher William Turner has turned up evidence in Milwaukee and surrounding towns in Wisconsin that Bremer received money from a group associated with Dennis Cossini, Donald Segretti and J. Timothy Gratz. Several other young "leftists" were seen with Bremer on several occasions in Milwaukee and on the ferry crossing at Lake Michigan. ""

Are we going to see the evidence that William Turner turned up.... for clarities sake here....We all can say and quote anything we would like, but we must be prepared to have the documentation and or evidence to prove such an accusation, if not noted as being supposition.....

IMO...B :ph34r:

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Thanks, Bernice! That was my point in asking John if he had attempted to contact Turner to determine what Sprague was talking about before he posted the paragraph.

And why does Sprague call them "leftists"? I have no knowledge that Segretti ever posed as a leftist, and I certainly never did.

I can also state that I was never contacted by Sprague or Turner.

This whole paragraph just seems cock-eyed.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Here are some references (from the Amazon "Search Inside the Book") from the memoirs of Anthony Ulasewicz where he reports his trip to Wisconsn to investigate my complaint against Segretti (who was using the alias "Simmons"). It was while Ulasewicz was in Wisconsin with me that his boss found out that Segretti was working for Haldeman (through his aide Dwight Chapin as I recall).

1. on Page 238:

"... arrived in Wisconsin to check out what a guy named Don Simmons was up to. On December 18, 1971, Timothy Gratz, Chairman of Wisconsin's Republican Party College Organization, received a call from a man calling himself Don Simmons. Simmons said he ..."

2. on Page 239:

"... THE ROAD TO WATERGATE money. When Gratz reported his meeting with Simmons to top Republican officials in Wisconsin, who in turn passed the information along to the ..."

3. on Page 240:

"... Tony," Caulfield said. "Simmons is Haldeman's man. Get out of there. Back off. Simmons will be told to lay off Gratz." When I returned to Gratz's apartment I told him that the matter had been taken care of and that he ..."

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It is clear that you were not part of the plot to assassinate George Wallace. If you had been part of such a plot you are unlikely to have used your real name when you joined the Forum. I suspect that the reason William Turner said you were is due to some documents he has seen. Maybe you were the victim of some conspiracy. This might explain why Turner wrongly describes you as a “leftist”.

Let us look at what we know about Nixon’s dirty tricks campaign and George Wallace. The polls in January, 1972, shows that if Wallace ran as a independent he would get 13 per cent of the vote. It was believed by the Republicans that if Wallace withdrew from the contest, his supporters would vote for Nixon instead.

Operation Gemstone had two main objectives: (1) To get the Democrats to select a left-wing candidate that Nixon could defeat. (2) To get Wallace to drop out of the contest.

Most of the Operation Gemstone papers were destroyed before the Watergate investigation could take place. However, some documents did survive to show how the “Plumbers” achieved objective (1). This was highly successful and they got George McGovern as the candidate.

However, some evidence has emerged that helps us understand the campaign against Wallace. Bob Woodward heard via a Senate attorney that an hour after Wallace was shot Howard Hunt received a phone call from Charles Colson. Hunt was asked to fly to Milwaukee and break into Bremer’s apartment and “bring back anything that might help in connecting Bremer to left-wing political causes”.

This was later confirmed by Colson, Hunt and Ken Clawson. Hunt claims he did not carry out the assignment. He might be telling the truth. I suppose even people like Hunt tell the truth sometimes.

Colson and Clawson claim that they wanted Hunt to find information that Bremer was linked to George McGovern. After all, if such information could have been found, it would clearly hurt his campaign to become president. However, those who know anything about Nixon’s dirty tricks campaign have raised concerns about the truth about these statements.

For example, why not rely on the FBI to discover these documents if they existed? Why would the FBI hide this information?

An alternative view was that Hunt was not asked to find documents that linked Bremer to McGovern. Instead he was asked to plant documents that suggested a link between Bremer and McGovern. Another possibility is that Hunt was asked to remove documents that linked Nixon to Bremer. If these documents existed, it would have destroyed Nixon’s chances of being re-elected.

When the FBI arrived on the scene they found both left-wing and right-wing propaganda in Bremer’s apartment. Local reporters claimed that the FBI left Bremer’s apartment for around 90 minutes before coming back and sealing it. During this time reporters and other unidentified figures took away papers from Bremer’s apartment. The FBI strange behaviour has never been explained. It was as if someone in authority and asked them to make it possible for Bremer’s property to be looted.

The Washington Post received an anonymous phone call saying that a member of the Plumbers had met Bremer before he shot Wallace and that he was given a large sum of money in $100 bills. Woodward and Bernstein investigated this story but was unable to obtain any confirmation of this meeting.

Colson admitted that Nixon took a keen interest in the assassination attempt on George Wallace. He immediately voiced concern that Bremer “might have ties to the Republican Party or, even worse, the President’s re-election committee”.

Why should Nixon say this? Is this what he meant when it was suggested to Richard Helms that Watergate had something to do with the JFK assassination. Had Bremer being playing a similar role to Oswald? Had the CIA done something it had done before? Did Nixon believe he was being set-up? Or had Bremer being working for CREEP? If so, what had gone wrong? Why had the contents of Bremer’s apartment been sorted out before the assassination?

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This interview between Sherman Skolnick and Aguay Banar, a.k.a. "Ciba" took place on the Chicago public access television program, "Broadsides" in 1995.

SKOLNICK: At the time Wallace was shot -- so to speak into a wheelchair and not into the cemetery -- he was running for President and pulling about 21 percent of the vote.

CIBA: Which comes to 26 million popular votes.

SKOLNICK: But because of the different states that it was into, he could have had the whole thing thrown into the House of Representatives, where it would have been a turmoil.

Recently we did a show with spokespersons for some third-party candidates, including those for Perot. And I raised the same question. (Perot had 19 percent in the '92 election.) And when I raised this question, they said, "Oh, so if Perot had 21 percent, like Wallace, they'd have to shoot him?" I said, "In my opinion, yes." Why is that? I mean, some of us believe that the ultra-rich believe in the bullet, not the ballot. Is that the bottom line?

CIBA: The bottom line is money, the almighty dollar: who can best serve the interests of the Northeastern Atlantic elite and the Southwestern Pacific elite.

SKOLNICK: Just prior to Wallace being shot, he had made a statement. He said, "There's not a dimes worth of difference between the Democrat and Republican Parties." (He was a third-party candidate, very populist.) He said, "If I'm elected, one of the first things I'm going to do is tax the Rockefeller Foundation." When I heard that, I said, "Wallace, you haven't got enough life insurance." So you weren't able to get Wallace on video, but you still got pictures.

CIBA: One of the questions that I asked the Governor in writing was, "Was there a conspiracy behind the shooting of your person?" He said, "Yes. Definitely a conspiracy." And then he looked up, on the page, to where a previous question had been asked regarding Richard Nixon. And with the stub of his cigar he poked at the name of Richard Nixon. He said, "Conspiracy! Conspiracy!" And he jabbed at the name of Nixon on the page.

SKOLNICK: What else leads you to believe that there was a conspiracy?

CIBA: There was no way that Richard Nixon was ever going to be re-elected with Wallace in the campaign. To get back into the Oval Office, you had to do away with Wallace so that most of those 26 million votes -- which were center, or right of center -- would come over to the side of Nixon.

SKOLNICK: What do you make of the fact that 6 weeks after they took Wallace out of the campaign by almost killing him, the Watergate break-in occurred?

CIBA: The Watergate break-in was nothing more than a contrivance: a poorly executed mission that had, at its very bottom, a very sharp hatchet. And the hatchet was aimed at Nixon's head. The Watergate break-in was designed to be found, and to point the blame at Nixon and bring him down.

SKOLNICK: E. Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis, and others, were involved in the break-in at the Watergate. And there's reason to believe that the White House sent E. Howard Hunt to Arthur Bremer's [bremer found guilty of shooting Wallace] apartment in Milwaukee...

CIBA: ...on orders from Charles Colson.

SKOLNICK: Bremer's apartment, after the shooting of Wallace, was not sealed off; stuff could have been planted there, such as fake diaries. In other words, Arthur Bremer's diary showed up.

CIBA: Yes, but the diary showed up in the car.

But when Bremer shot Wallace, the first people that went physically into the apartment were from a bogus news organization known as "TIPS" -- Transcontinental International Press Services. Now they are a creature of the Guardians, which are the militant wing of the Church of Scientology. And I'm talking about the branch in Los Angeles.

SKOLNICK: The Secret Service allowed Bremer to penetrate Nixon's security. In other words, if you create a vacuum where a would-be assassin can penetrate Secret Service security, then it becomes easy to kill somebody. Like they did with Dr. King: withdraw the security.

CIBA: Bremer was in the city of Ottawa, Capital of Canada, when Nixon was visiting Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister at the time. Bremer and Frank Sturgis stayed at the Lord Elgin Hotel, in Ottawa. They stayed in the same section of the Hotel. Frank Sturgis was the control officer of Arthur Bremer on the road. It was he who was passing on money and information to Bremer.

Sturgis and Bremer stayed in the same section of the Lord Elgin Hotel that the Secret Service detail of Richard Nixon was staying in.

SKOLNICK: Could Bremer, at one point, have targeted Nixon for assassination?

CIBA: You will recall that the same mythology was created in the assassination of John Kennedy: that Oswald was after Nixon and then, because security was so tight, he instead trained the crosshairs of his weapon on Jack Kennedy. The same thing here: they want you to believe that Bremer was after Nixon and because security was so tight, again, the "lone assassin" trained his gun on someone else --Wallace.

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A couple of points on this issue.

1. While I have respect for Tim and have no reason to doubt his sincerity, I think it would prove helpful if he were to tell us the whole story of his relationship with Segretti and the Nixon campaign. After all, if it turned out I was a former publicist for the Kennedy family, I wouldn't expect anyone here to take me seriously unless I was willing to disclose my experiences working for them, good and bad. Specifically, I think Tim should come clean on what kind of "rat-xxxxing" he was asked to perform by Segretti, and what kind of "rat-xxxxing" he did perform on behalf of the GOP, before and after meeting Segretti.

2. A few years back, I had dinner with my best friends' relatives from Maryland, including his cousin and her husband. Over random discussion, I discovered that the husband worked at the State hospital where Bremer was kept, and that Bremer had been considered sane for years and had been elevated to the position of trustee, whereby he was basically an un-paid orderly. He told me that Bremer was only kept locked up for political purposes. Since Bremer didn't actually kill anyone, this seemed a bit strange. The thought occurred: was Bremer kept locked up to keep him away from the U.S. public, or to keep the U.S. public away from what Bremer might have to say? I'm still wondering.

3. At one point, while looking through old magazines to read contemporaneous articles on Watergate, I came across the curious fact that Maryland Congressman William Mills killed himself in a neighbor's barn within a year or so of the Wallace shooting. I suspected a connection between the two shootings, but was unable to come up with anything concrete. Of course, Agnew was also from Maryland. If anyone knows of any connection, or of any book that examines the Maryland connection to Agnew, the Wallace shooting, and the Mills shooting, I'd be appreciative of the tip.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Pat, I think my post in another thread adequately summarized my dealings with Segretti.

I met him only one time, in the lounge of the Park Motor Inn, a fancy hotel across from the Wisconsin Capitol building in Madison, WI. He had originally contacted a Randy Knox, who had been the chairman of the University of Wisconsin Young Republican Club. He had only talked to Segretti over the telephone; Knox said he was too busy to get involved and Knox gave him my name.

Segetti, using the name Simmons, said he wanted to organize a "dirty tricks" campaign against the Democrat candidates. I do not remember all of the things he mentioned but I do remember he suggested printing counterfeit tickets to Democrat fund-raising dinners and passing them out to hungry indigents. His primary emphasis to me, however, was to find a college student to plant as a spy in the Muskie campaign.

Although I did not tell him this, I was immediately suspicious of him. I could not believe that the ideas he was proposing could have been endorsed by either the White House or CREEP. Segretti implied to me that he had authority from the very highest level but his sponsor would deny it. My suspicion was that he was in fact an agent provocateur for the Democrats manipulating to implicate Republicans in embarrassing situations or was working for a wealthy Nixon supporter who had not cleared his activities with either the WH or CREEP. In either event, I was convinced that what Segretti was proposing would hurt the Nixon campaign because I was certain his activities would be discovered. Moreover, I was concerned about both the ethics and the legality of some of the "pranks" Segretti was proposing.

So I immediately contacted my "superior", the National Chairman of the College Republicans, told him the story, and asked him to check on it with the highest authority in CREEP.

A week or two later someone in CREEP called me back and said they had not heard of Simmons and that I could cooperate with him if I chose to do so. I considered this a ridiculous response. If they had of heard of the guy, they darn sure should want to find out what he was up to. The last thing they needed, IMO, was some "loose cannon" trying to sabotage the Democrats and play dirty tricks on them. I was convinced that whether it was a Democrat or a Republican sponsoring Segretti, what he was doing was wrong, would be discovered, and would hurt the Nixon campaign.

So I reinitiated my contact with the CRNC Chairman and told him of the response.

He agreed with me.

A short time later I was recontacted by CREEP. I believe it was Bart Porter who called me. This time they said they were concerned about "Simmons" because they had received similar reports from New Hampshire. They suggested I ask Segretti to meet me for lunch in Washington so they could observe and photograph him. I told them I thought this would only make Segretti suspicious. They then asked me when Segretti was next scheduled to call me. (He kept calling to see if I had yet located a spy for the Muskie campaign; I kept stalling him.) I told them the date of his next scheduled call. That is when they sent Ulasewicz out.

He was going to tape record the call. The call was going to go to my parents' phone. Ulasewicz set up his recording equipment on the phone but the call never came. This was the first time Segretti had missed a scheduled call. Ulasaewicz then told me I should call him if Segretti ever contacted me again.

For along time I wondered if the entire Ulasewicz trip to Wisconsin had been a ruse to get me off their back. It was suspicous to me that after I contacted Washington Segretti stopped calling me. It was only after I read Ulasewicz's memoirs did I understand that, according to him Segretti was being "run" out of the WH without the knowledge of CREEP and that CREEP only discovered the Segretti operation because of my protestations.

Again, according to the Senate Watergate Committee Report, I may have been the only person contacted by Segretti who refused his entreaties.

I hope this answers your questions, Pat.

I am always amused when I watch the movie "All The President's Me" and see Segretti's receipt from the Park Motor Inn. Segretti did everything by credit cards so when he was discovered he left a very lengthy paper trail. The FBI found out about Segretti's contact with me through his phone calls to me and I was interviewed by two FBI agents during the pendency of the Watergate hearings.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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John wrote:

It is clear that you were not part of the plot to assassinate George Wallace. If you had been part of such a plot you are unlikely to have used your real name when you joined the Forum. I suspect that the reason William Turner said you were is due to some documents he has seen. Maybe you were the victim of some conspiracy. This might explain why Turner wrongly describes you as a “leftist”.

John,I guess I must now admit that there were some members of the Young Republicans so far to the right that they considered me a "leftist" (if you can imagine that!). That, however, is not, I am sure, the reference to "leftist" in the book.

There is a stronger reason to know I was not part of a plot to assassinate Wallace. For heaven's sake, I objected to the morality of Segretti's printing counterfeit tickets to dinners! And I do not recall if this was one of the things Segretti proposed to me but he would print fliers attacking a Democrat candidate attributing the fliers to another Democrat's campaign, to create disharmony within the Democrats--obviously illegal and I think Segretti's criminal conviction may have related to this activity.

I want to repeat however that you do not KNOW that Turner made the statement attributed to him by Spague. It may be solely Sprague's deliberate or unintentional misinterprtation of something he heard. As I stated above, I have respect for Turner but none whatsoever for Sprague. IMO Sprague's book is full of unsupported, wild charges and his statement linking me to Bremer is adequate proof of that. In fact, my knowledge of that error alone is sufficient reason for me to reject every single statement in Sprague's book. You would feel the same way about a book that made a wild charge that you knew from your personal knowledge was false.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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I met him only one time, in the lounge of the Park Motor Inn, a fancy hotel across from the Wisconsin Capitol building in Madison, WI.  He had originally contacted a Randy Knox, who had been the chairman of the University of Wisconsin Young Republican Club.  He had only talked to Segretti over the telephone; Knox said he was too busy to get involved and Knox gave him my name.

Tim, this is a fascinating story. I think it helps to explain why William Turner mentions you in regard to the plot on George Wallace. According to Sprague the information on you comes from William Turner’s Report of an Investigation. This apparently was funded by the Committee on Government Intelligence. It indeed would be interesting to contact Turner. Does anyone have his contact details?

Tim, I think you are wrong to describe yourself as playing a bit part in the Watergate story. In fact, I think you could have been a key figure.

The main problem with running a covert dirty tricks operation against your political opponents is that if it is revealed before the election, it has the potential to destroy your own campaign. Once you contacted CREEP you became extremely dangerous to Nixon’s chances of being re-elected.

I am sure you are right to suggest that CREEP warned off Segretti from making contact with you again. However, it was not enough to break-off contact. You were obviously an idealistic Republican and had the potential to be another “Deep Throat”. Therefore they had to provide documents that discredited you. I suspect that these were the documents seen by William Turner. These documents portrayed you as a “leftist” linked with Arthur Bremer. We now know that at this time Bremer was being given money before the assassination attempt on Wallace by one of the Watergate burglars (Bernard Barker). We also know that Hunt was asked to break into Bremer’s apartment. This was probably an attempt to plant documents linking Bremer with George McGovern (or as Nixon liked to call him and his supporters “leftists”).

Did Segretti ever write a book about his relationship with CREEP? I know he is still active in Republican politics in Orange County. I wonder if he would be willing to join the forum and answer a few questions.

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John, there is even more to the story. During the Watergate investigation, when Segretti's activities began to be exposed, I received a call from Randy Knox. Knox reminded me of the Donald Simmons that he had introduced me to and asked whatever had happened. He said he was asking because what Simmons had proposed to him sounded like what Segretti was doing. He asked me if I thought Simmons was indeed Segretti. I told him I was not sure because I had never seen a photo of Segretti. He asked me if I thought I should contact the FBI with the Simmons story. I replied that I certainly would once I could verify that Simmons was indeed Segretti. Well, the very next week Segretti's photo was in either Time or Newsweek and then I knew. I have to admit I had a bit of trepidation about contacting the FBI because I thought the information I had could be "dangerous knowledge" so I can understand why some witnesses in the Kennedy assassination could be fearful of contradicting the official story. (I should add that I have no reason to believe that the Nixon administration would actually silence witnesses although as I recall someone once talked, apparently half-seriously, of killing Jack Anderson.) The decision to contact the FBI became moot when, within a week after my verification that the man I had met as Donald Simmons was indeed Donald Segretti, I was contacted by two FBI agents at my place of employment. Gordon Winslow suggested I ought to get a copy of the FBI reports just for my scrapbook.

I agree it would be interesting to contact Turner to see what his report was about and your speculation that I was being "set up" in case I came forward before the election is certainly interesting.

My judgment was proven correct that what Segretti was proposing was morally wrong and illegal. I was wrong in believing that his plans could not possibly be endorsed by "mucky-mucks" in either the WH or CREEP. (If for no other reason that that most of his proposed "pranks" did not seem sufficiently important to risk the consequences had they been discovered.) I was also wrong in assuming that Segretti's operation would be exposed before the election to the detriment of Richard Nixon. In retrospect, it surprises me that none of the intelligence arms of the Democratic candidates apparently ever caught on to Segretti's tricks.

One interesting anecdote. I do not know why he did it but Ulasewicz made a point of showing me that he always carried several bags of quarters so he could pay cash for all of his phone calls to avoid a paper trail. Well apparently this common sense was not apparent in the White House since Segretti's credit card records showed every hotel where he stayed and every phone call he made.

Finally, I am sure many of you know that there was a Democrat prankster who pulled "dirty tricks" on the Nixon campaigns dating back to 1960. If I recall correctly his name was Dick Tuck. I do not recall what pranks he pulled or whether he engaged in illegalities as Segretti did but I suspect that Tuck was the Nixon White House's "inspiration" for the Segretti caper.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Dawn Meredith wrote:

GREAT book and it's online for all to read.

I await Mr Gratz' response with baited breath, anticipating a prompt denial.

I do not want to "pick on" Dawn but the above is further demonstration that she lacks critical judgment at least as far as the Kennedy assassination.

It is a matter of historical record that I objected to Segretti's dirty tricks and immediately reported his approach to me (see both the Senate Watergate Committee Report and "The President's Private Eye" by Anthony Ulasewicz). Therefore, it is clear that I was never "associated" with Segretti or participated with him in a scheme to fund Arthur Bremer.

Therefore, it is also clear that the statement in Sprague's book is wrong.

Any astute reader of the historical record will thus recognize Sprague's error. And since Sprague should also have known my record with Segretti, it shows that his scholarship was flawed, rendering every single statement he makes in his book questionable.

But Dawn, of course, will believe uncritically ANYTHING written in a book that attempts to link the Kennedy assassination to the power structure.

I contrast her with, for instance, Bernice, who requested to see the actual evidence to support it before uncritically accepting the statement. And I also suspect that even when John originally posted the statement in the Sprague book he knew the statement to be false.

Dawn, I am NOT trying to pick on you. I just hope that perhaps this little incident will teach you not to accept at face value everything you read in a book merely because you agree with the author's POV re the assassination.

And, BTW, in my opinion Sprague's book is TRASH. Better stated, I think it is full of speculative statements that lack any historical support whatsoever so it ought to be classified as fiction. Contrast it, for instance, with Larry's great book where he does his best to show the basis for almost every single factual assertion that he makes.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Tim, some of the books I've read on Nixon get into the Dick Tuck thing, and how Nixon revealed his utter lack of humor by justifying his dirty tricks by recalling Dick Tuck, when Dick Tuck's style was actually very light and humorous. The classic Dick Tuck story occurred during Nixon's 62 campaign for California Governor. Nixon was campaigning in Chinatown in an assembly hall lined with Chinese banners. The way the story goes, it wasn't till after Nixon spoke that one of his Chinese supporters told him that the banners, written in Chinese, said, "Ask Nixon about the Hughes loan!"

And now for a left-field question. In your early years as a collegiate Nixon supporter, you didn't happen to run across Karl Rove, did you?

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There is a fascinating bit of information about Arthur Bremer in John Dean’s book, Lost Honor (1982). Dean describes his efforts to discover the identity of Deep Throat. Dean was friendly with Woodward’s editor (Barry Sussman) at the Washington Post. Dean asked Sussman if he knew the identity of Deep Throat. He admits he doesn’t but offers the clue that Watergate was not the first story that Deep Throat helped Woodward with. Woodward first used Deep Throat when he was working on the story of the assassination attempt on George Wallace. Deep Throat gave Woodward a great deal of information about Bremer within a couple of hours of the assassination. This included his name (at that time it had not been released to the press). This raises two questions:

(1) Why did Woodward think Deep Throat would have details about Arthur Bremer?

(2) How did Deep Throat have details of Arthur Bremer?

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Pat wrote:

And now for a left-field question. In your early years as a collegiate Nixon supporter, you didn't happen to run across Karl Rove, did you?

Pat, when I was the State Chairman of the Wisconsin College Republicans, Karl was the National Chairman of the College Republicans so indeed I knew him well. We conducted a seminar on college political organization in Wisconsin and worked together on a project to assure passage of the constitutional amendment lowering the voting age to eighteen.

So when I needed to contact someone at the upper level of CREEP about this Simmons guy who was, in my opinion, suggesting involving college-age Republicans in inappropriate behavior, I contacted Karl and he was the person who contacted the mucky-mucks at CREEP on my behalf.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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