A former campaign volunteer for Eric Massa tells TPMmuckraker that Massa asked to share his room at the 2006 YearlyKos convention in Las Vegas — but “nothing happened that was more interesting than snoring.”
“It was reasons of economy,” Howard Park, an independent bookseller in Washington, tells us. Park was at the time a netroots activist who was helping Massa on his ultimately unsuccessful 2006 campaign for Congress.
Massa shared the room with Park for two nights, Park says.
He first met Massa in 2003 while volunteering in New Hampshire for Wesley Clark, who Massa, while in the Navy, served as special assistant during the Bosnian conflict.
“Eric is a intense, passionate person, who at times certainly seemed to be less controlled than a lot of politicians — which goes along with intensity and passion,” Park says.
Massa kept an online diary at Kos about his experience at the 2006 conference, which, in later iterations, has been called Netroots Nation.
Massa, who has reportedly been accused of groping male staffers, has acknowledged that he told a staffer “what I really ought to be doing is fracking you,” that he had a “tickle fight” with staff, and that he was accused of sexual misconduct during his Navy days.
“I’ve never seen … any interactions with him that would have raised any red flags with me,” Park tells us. “I was as shocked as anyone else by what I’ve read.”
Another former Massa volunteer, Mike Pridmore of Arkansas, tells TPMmuckraker that Massa “is a very touchy feely kind of guy” who “likes to wrestle and play.”
But Pridmore has never heard of Massa doing anything untoward, and believes the former congressman merely failed to draw a strict enough line between his personal and professional relationships.