“Sloppy Joe” Perkins, the infamous founder of the obscure political consulting firm Matrix, and his once-protégé “Jittery Jeff” Pitts have made headlines again.
The Guardian published an investigative report on the ugly he-said, he-said fighting between the two men of mythical fame.
After a document dump landed in journalists’ laps, the two mud wrestlers smeared each other. The Guardian writes:
Perkins declined to say whether he is the source of the documents leaked to journalists but verified that the records are legitimate. He confirmed that Matrix was able to locate the records on Pitts’ former laptop. Perkins blames Pitts and other “rogue” employees for the surveillance.
He denied directing anyone to spy on [journalist Nate] Monroe.
“I had no knowledge that it ever took place until I saw the material on Jeff Pitts’ computer,” he said.
In a statement responding to questions from the Times-Union about the records, Pitts’ attorney John Collins accused Perkins of “leaking partial and misleading confidential client documents”.
“For years, Joe Perkins directed and paid for the surveillance of individuals – in many cases, without client knowledge or approval – and he often leveraged this information for whatever suited his needs regardless of ethical boundaries,” Collins said. “This is one of the many reasons Jeff left Matrix.”
The mud wrestling was over an affirming revelation: a journalist in Florida was under surveillance and photos of the man and his girlfriend, who were spied on, were taken.
The acts affirm the alleged unsavory if not criminal conduct tied to Matrix’s biggest client: Alabama Power and the utility’s sister-wife Balch & Bingham.
The Florida surveillance reminds us of Balch attorney Irving Jones, Jr. who infiltrated meetings and monitored the social media of GASP, a small but loud environmental group and public charity, during the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal. Drummond Company was apparently petrified of GASP’s successful efforts.
Of the numerous Dirty Deeds we documented in January that may or may not be tied to Matrix stooges, law enforcement clearly indicated that the wife of Burt Newsome was targeted by thugs who were specifically looking for her car when they broke her car window and stole her purse. The incident occurred at the height of the Newsome Conspiracy Case. The thugs were apparently attempting to obtain her cellphone which was not in her purse.
The Guardian sheds light on the surveillance:
The surveillance happened after the journalist wrote critically about how Florida Power & Light (FPL) tried to sway city council members to sign off on its business plans. Text messages show an FPL executive was kept abreast of Florida Times-Union columnist Nate Monroe’s movements while he was on vacation in the Florida panhandle in November 2019, an investigation by the Florida Times-Union, the Orlando Sentinel and Floodlight has found.
In an interview with a group of Florida-based reporters in early June, Eric Silagy, the power company’s CEO, denied that the company had asked the consultants to spy on any journalists.
“I have never authorized or approved or been a party to following you or any other reporter,” Silagy said to Monroe and others.
FPL’s relationship with Matrix has come under scrutiny after reporting by the Orlando Sentinel revealed Matrix operatives orchestrated a campaign to promote spoiler candidates that diverted votes from Democrats so Republicans could retain control of the Florida senate. FPL denies knowledge of or involvement in that scheme.
The mud is getting foul-smelling.