April 19, 2000
37th 'smear' suit dropped;
Lemon satisfied by apology from Harley consultant
By Tom Murse A political consultant to Kevin Harley's state House campaign has apologized for last-minute negativetelephone calls against two of the candidate's April 4 primary opponents.The consultant, Don Raymond, "regrets any misperception" that Marc Lemon was behind more than2,800 calls that accused fellow Republican candidate Tom Creighton of wrongdoing as a townshipsupervisor, according to a letter written by Raymond's attorney.The phone messages indirectly suggested that Lemon had commissioned the calls.Raymond's apology does not state who asked him to commission the phone calls. And Harley said todaythat Raymond acted on his own without consulting him or his top strategists.The letter, dated Tuesday, apologizes to both Lemon and Creighton for any misperceptions created bythe negative message.Today, Lemon said he was satisfied by the apology and will not file a lawsuit against Raymond or any of the other parties involved. And inquiries by the Lancaster County District Attorney's office and stateBureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation are also likely to be dropped."At this point, I think the record's been cleared and I'm moving on, and we're all moving on," Lemon said."I am suspending the matter...because they have responded and I think they've sufficiently met mydemands."Creighton, who won the Republican primary, said this morning that the apology "is totally satisfactory tome."Raymond is vice president and treasurer of Raymond & Cliggett Inc., now called RCR Inc., of Phoenixville, Chester County. The firm was hired by Harley's campaign for the 37th Legislative Districtseat.Raymond hired Eagle Consulting Group in Harrisburg to make the calls, Eagle president Christopher Nicholas has confirmed. Nicholas then paid a Virginia company, Conquest Communications, to make thecalls on the eve of the election. Although Raymond worked closely with Harley, Harley and his top strategist both maintain they had noidea that he commissioned the calls."I think Raymond did it on his own, as far as I know. I mean, that's what he told me," Harley said. "I had avery frank discussion with him. I'm extremely upset and disappointed that he would take it upon himself todo something like that."