A Darker Shade of Ted

Second of a three-part series
Part One can be found here

Disclaimer - To my knowledge, no person mentioned in this article has committed a crime, pleaded guilty to or been convicted of any crime associated with events listed here.

The year 1992 appears to be a turning point for Ted Sampley. In his biographies Sampley says he testified before the Senate Select Committee on MIA-POWs in 1991. Most of the hearings were held in 1992. Senator John McCain and Senator John Kerry were involved in the hearings and both drew the ire of Ted Sampley.

The Senate Select Committee on POW-MIAs covered many issues. One of the topics was fundraising of the POW-MIA organizations. Several were singled out as using unscrupulous tactics and having dishonorable intentions. Sampley's Homecoming II was among those singled out. From the transcript:

In stark contrast to the vast majority of volunteer POW/MIA organizations, stand a few private organizations who solicit money from millions of American households. In response, the American public has contributed tens of millions of dollars to the POW/MIA cause since Operation Homecoming. In many instances, however, well over half of the money raised was spent on fundraising.


The Committee found that professional fundraisers created solicitation materials designed to maximize the emotional impact of the POW/MIA issue by stating that POWs remain alive in Southeast Asia and by stating that for a few dollars more, a private organization can rescue them. In virtually every case, materials relating to the existence, identity and location of POW/MIAs and attempts to rescue them were held out as factual but were based on circumstantial and hearsay evidence far weaker than claimed.


The Committee's investigation was hampered by the refusal of the most active fundraising organizations to cooperate, in particular when it tried to verify statements made in the fundraising appeals of Account for POW/MIA, Inc. (Skyhook II), Operation Rescue, Inc., American Defense Institute, Inc., Homecoming II, Inc., and Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. (Emphasis my own)

Please follow below the fold for more....

After discussing tactics and intentions, they turned to look at amounts raised. This is in the record for Homecoming II:

Homecoming II reported to the IRS that it paid Ted Sampley, its founder and the publisher of U.S. Veteran News and Report, more than $300,000, ostensibly for t-shirts sold at Homecoming II's stand at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Sampley has fought all efforts by the National Park Service to stop merchandising the t-shirts and other merchandising on national park property, and at publication time was involved in a lawsuit over his right to use the picture of the memorial statue without paying the artist. Another lawsuit, against the National League of Families, also is pending. Despite promises of cooperation, Sampley refused to provide financial records to the Committee for his tax-exempt organization.

Some say it was the questioning of his intentions that angered Sampley. The Boston Globe reported on February 29, 1992 that Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) defended Senator McCain on the floor of the Senate after Sampley had accused McCain of working as an agent for either Hanoi or Moscow. The Washington Times reported that Sampley ran a composite picture of Kerry shooting an MIA with a caption claiming it was Kerry eliminating another man from his discrepancy list. On December 3, 1992 Kerry had Sampley removed from the hearings after he disrupted a speech from someone claiming that some POW-MIA groups were taking advantage of donors.

In an extensive article dated March of 1999 the Phoenix New Times delved into the accusations Sampley and others made against John McCain. The conclusion:

Sampley offers no credible proof of these allegations, other than quotes from unnamed former POWs and suggestions that the Vietnamese still have film of McCain's activities in the prison camps.

On December 12 of 1992 Sampley walked the halls of the Senate distributing his U.S. Veteran News and Report with the Manchurian Candidate article he wrote about John McCain. He went to McCain's office to deliver a copy and was confronted by a McCain staffer. Stories differ, but there was a scuffle and Sampley spent two days in jail and 180 days on probation. He was also ordered to stay away from McCain and his staff. The article mentioned above gives Sampley's version of events.

It's interesting to note that Sampley attacks McCain and accuses him of colluding with the enemy while at the same time serving as an apologist for Bobby Garwood, a man actually court-martialed for colluding with the enemy in Vietnam. Sampley refuses to believe reports of McCain's resolve in the face of torture and months of solitary confinement. One last bit from the Phoenix New Time's piece on the behavior of the more radical POW-MIA activists like Sampley:

Stanley Kutler, professor of law at the University of Wisconsin and editor of The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, calls the behavior of these people "Sick. If it weren't so sick, it would be laughable. These are not nice people.
The Last Firebase Veterans Archive, U.S. Veteran Dispatch
(1993 - Present)

The Last Firebase Veterans Archive Project

Once again, it is easiest to start the story of The Last Firebase Veterans Archive in the words of Ted Sampley.

On December 10, 1992, Judge Charles R. Richey, entered a judgement of $359,442.92 against Homecoming II Project, Red Hawk Inc. and Ted Sampley.

From a separate Sampley piece we find this:

In 1993 Homecoming II changed its name to the Last Firebase Veterans Archives Project.

Those are Sampley's own words on two different sites that he runs. However, he gave an interview for a book written by Susan Katz Keating. According to Ms. Keating, this is the accounting he gave her when she asked Sampley how he had been able to avoid following the court's order:

"I immediately put Red Hawk out of business," he said. "I sold everything they owned, and paid bills. I closed down Homecoming II. I heard that Scruggs was planning to levy the vigil site, so I gave it away. I put everything into another nonprofit group."

This particular version of the story, if true, lays bare another possible problem for Sampley. It is illegal to hide,liquidate, redistribute, assign, etc. assets in order to avoid satisfying a judgment. I have not investigated the laws on the books back in 1992/1993, so can't say with certainty that he was violating any laws at the time. Sampley tells other versions of the events as well. Here is one that is posted in the archives of the U.S. Veteran Dispatch.

With the judgement in hand, Scruggs quickly moved to foreclose on Homecoming II and me, its non-paid chairman. Homecoming II, which could hardly afford attorney fees, was forced to dissolve. Red Hawk also had no money and had to be liquidated. Both organizations were dissolved before Scruggs attorneys could get to them.


Not to be deterred by such trivialities as bankrupt organizations, the spiteful Scruggs hired lawyers in my hometown, Kinston, North Carolina. They placed judgements on my personal property and the Sheriff set a date to auction off anything that I owned.

On the day set for the auction, a group of my veteran friends showed up on the court house steps to protest the foreclosure.

Scruggs backed down when the press started calling the Memorial Fund asking for an explanation as to why a veterans organization was foreclosing on a decorated Vietnam veteran and his wife, whose father, SFC Robert D. Owen, is still missing in action and listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Regardless of the version of the story you choose to believe, The Last Firebase Veterans Archive was formed and still exists as a 501c3 charitable organization. According to the date/time stamps on the copies scanned for public view, Sampley has consistently been late filing the required 990 tax forms. In 2006 Sampley filed the 990s for 2003. These papers show an income in public money(contributions) of over $60,000.

Once a charitable organization receives $25,000 in public contributions it is required to become licensed to accept contributions in the state of North Carolina. To date, Sampley has not registered The Last Firebase Veteran's Archive in the state of North Carolina to my knowledge. A search of state records has come up empty. It is impossible to know if subsequent years will yield the same results since Sampley has either failed to file the 990s for 2004 and 2005, or the IRS has failed to make them available for the public.

After searching as many variations of the name as I could think to search, I've not been able to find any record of The Last Firebase Veteran's Archives in the listings of incorporated businesses in the state of North Carolina. A review of the Lenoir County Register of Deeds online records also does not show a listing indicating that Sampley has filed to use it as an assumed name. To my knowledge, the state of North Carolina requires that a business either be incorporated in the state or the assumed business name be registered with the county in which the business is located. If online records are current, it appears that The Last Firebase Veteran's Archive may not be properly registered to do business in the state.

U.S. Veteran Dispatch

I'm not sure of the exact date that Sampley quit printing the paper version of the U.S. Veteran Dispatch, but the publication is now found online. It continues to have very political content and is directly linked to the 501c3, The Last Firebase Veteran's Archive via the web site. This is possibly a violation of the political activity ban placed on 501c3 organizations.

Sampley Enterprises, Inc. (3/10/94 - 5/5/05)

A few months before the formal dissolution of Red Hawk Corporation by the state of North Carolina, Ted Sampley started Sampley Enterprises, Inc. It's incorporation date was 3/10/94 and the address was given as 413 Queen Street in Kinston. I have few details about Sampley Enterprises, but during this time Sampley was receiving rental income from properties and the U.S. Veteran Dispatch was being printed at the same address and may have started it's online presense.

Sampley filed the annual fee and required forms with the state from 1994 through 2000. There were no other annual filings after 2000 according to online information obtained at the NC Secretary of State's web site. The date of administrative dissolution was May 5, 2005.

It is believed that Sampley Enterprises replaced Red Hawk as Sampley's for-profit company so that the printing of the shirts could continue and he could continue earning income by serving as the middleman for his own charitable organization. In one of his biographies Sampley claims that Sampley Enterprises then owned U.S. Veteran Dispatch.

Neuse River Antiques

While Ted Sampley was busy writing articles attacking John McCain and trying to keep his U.S. Veteran Dispatch in the public eye through efforts at the vigl site, he was also working to open a new business in Kinston. There is no denying that Sampley had plenty of practice opening businesses.

Neuse River Antiques opened sometime around 1996. Sampley was in partnership with Jan Barwick, a woman who ultimately operated several businesses with Sampley. The shop was located on Herritage St. It closed Christmas Day 2003 when the city of Kinston foreclosed on Sampley's Herritage Street property after he failed to pay overdue property taxes. Sampley had several properties that were threatened with foreclosure, but it appears that this Herritage St. property was the only one lost to tax collection.

A check of public records finds no record of Neuse River Antiques having been incorporated in the state of North Carolina, nor was it a registered assumed name with Lenoir County.

In 1997 it looked like the National Parks Service would win out and Sampley would no longer be able to sell his tee shirts at The Last Firebase Vigil stand. This prompted a letter from Sampley to then President Clinton. In the letter Sampley not only uses his veteran status, but the MIA status of his 5-yr-old son's grandfather.

I am a decorated Vietnam veteran whose five year old son's grandfather, Robert D. Owen, is still missing in Laos and listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I am Chairman of the nonprofit Last Firebase Veterans Archives Project, a twenty-four hour POW/MIA vigil that has been located adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial since 1986.

In Sampley's version of the lawsuit against Hart and the subsequent judgment, he had also used his veteran status as a badge or shield to imply he should have special treatment. Recall this passage posted above:

Scruggs backed down when the press started calling the Memorial Fund asking for an explanation as to why a veterans organization was foreclosing on a decorated Vietnam veteran and his wife, whose father, SFC Robert D. Owen, is still missing in action and listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

How many times has Ted Sampley used his veteran status or his father-in-law's MIA status to gain favorable treatment or public sympathy? Does Ted Sampley think he is above the law because he is a veteran? At what point do we stop making excuses for a person's mistakes, indiscretions and illegal activities just because he or she is a veteran?

With Sampley's notoriety waning and his lucrative novelty shirt business being threatened by the National Parks Service Sampley must have been on the lookout for something new to catapult him into the public eye. McCain's reference to Sampley as having a nose for publicity was no accident. The presidential election of 2000 and 2004 would bring renewed and increasingly vicious attacks on John McCain and John Kerry.

Tomorrow: Fresh attacks on McCain and Kerry and Sampley's ship comes in.

Gregflynn helped tremendously on the research for this piece and has provided invaluable technical guidance.


Fabulous reporting, Southern Dem.

It must have been hard to hold your nose while typing this story. What a sleaze ball!

I've met plenty of people who get all teary eyed as they play their 'veteran' card for sympathy and special treatment, but Sampley appears to be in a class by himself. Too bad he's not very smart. It looks like his out-sized ego often gets in the way of his under-sized brain, especially when he's talking to writers and journalists. It's interesting that he freely admits to this particular crime:

"I immediately put Red Hawk out of business," he said. "I sold everything they owned, and paid bills. I closed down Homecoming II. I heard that Scruggs was planning to levy the vigil site, so I gave it away. I put everything into another nonprofit group."

As I asked yesterday, I wonder why the mainstream media haven't bothered to dig in to this guy's house of cards? The must have been too busy looking for Robin Hayes at Ft. Bragg when Bush was in town ... I hear they're still looking!

Great job on this story. I can't wait for the next edition!


PS Has the news of your Sampley story hit enctoday.com yet? It'll prove to be one big embarrassment for the public officials who are carrying Teddy's water and doing deals with a self-professed shyster.

Thanks you for your support, A

I have been trying to post this for half an hour. I'm going to shut down the puter and see if it just needs a break. I don't know if it's my modem or Firefox, but I'm going to be bald if I pull out any more hair.

I didn't think it was possible, but I found something last night I hadn't found before. Oh My!

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Please front page this

and stick it at the top for the rest of the day. Purty please?

This is a long one

and with the problems I'm having with my computer I will go back in and add some pictures in a bit. I need to let this rest, shut it down, run a scan and see if I can't eliminate the hitch.

Yesterday's piece was linked to and promptly ignored, which is kinda funny. The way I see it, this is simply bringing more of Sampley's dealings under one roof. There is so much that is left out because there simply isn't space to write it all.

I hope I'm not missing anything important.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Looks like this story is on the radar

with the Kinston Krowd.

This is some great reading and you should make this a separate thread. Wonder how all of the supporters of TS would feel once they read this series of articles. Sounds like TS has had some problems with the IRS before and maybe once folks read these articles they will understand why Pride put the restrictions on the deed that they did.

Plus Teddy seems a little spooked. He wonders libruls hate George Bush so much instead of fighting for the environment? ?!?!?!?

Tomorrow should be interesting.

Samply's So Sleasy !

SD, i bet you bathe once an hour delving into this....how....HOW does he consistently slime his way out of these crimes? Are the Republicans so gone that this is acceptable?

Is he smart enough to have come up with the propaganda he spreads about McCain and Kerry? Does he have dealings with any other "Movers and Shakers"?

Damn good reporting SD, have you offered this to the Kinston Press the N & O or any others that could give it more attention?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

The Kinston Free Press

is aware of my posts. They are welcome to use anything they like and I will provide them with any assistance they need. I have a feeling that they have plenty on their plates and may have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Thanks and yes, many showers.

Sampley does have a functioning brain. I think he can read and write and that is the nicest thing I can think to say about him.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Sampley's response

ENC Message board, Wed. Sept.26

"A funny thing about those leftist, they get so consumed with
their hate for George Bush that they forget what their declared war is about. I thought they were suppose to be
fighting for the environment." Posted by Shucks, aka Ted Sampley.

Sampley needs to realize that this is about Ted Sampley. Only he would elevate himself so much as to think that he is on a level with a U.S. President. I would think that exposing
sleaze such as Ted Sampley would qualify as cleaning up the
Excellant work Southern Dem.

Thank you, very much

I hadn't noticed that little slip. He has quite the ego, doesn't he?

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

For better or for worse,

Sampley is a tier-three player in national politics. Someone made a comment on the last post (working for change, I think) about how being able to operate largely out of public view allows people to pursue their agendas without any kind of gut-check on the part of the general populace.

So thanks for shining a light. Left or right, sane or Sampley, us regular folks should know who these minor players are and what they're doing to our political landscape. And knowing opens up the possibility of rejecting or reinforcing, to paraphrase G.I. Joe.

You hit it exactly

McCain even spent a few pages on Sampley in one of his books, so I know he has been able to get under his skin. People write players like Ted Sampley off because he is a minor celeb who promotes himself and then when the tables are turned he pulls that "I'm just a veteran, why would you attack me?" card. The fact is, though, in Kinston, he isn't a minor player so you can imagine the chaos he can cause in that small town.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


I got a kick out of this:

Bluenc is concerned about Sampley because he's a threat to them. (Don't know how they acquired this perception, so don't ask me.) When you feel threatened, you strike out and try to hurt somebody -- in this case, Sampley. If someone is unimportant to you, you don't waste the energy.

Teddy is a threat to BlueNC! Now there's a good laugh.

Note to Kinston Krazy: Sampley is a political cockroach. No one besides the good people of Kinston need feel threatened by him. For my part, I want North Carolina to be a progressive state ... that is, I am for progress. That's not possible when societies allow shady characters to operate in the dark, on the edges of what's right and honest. That's why I welcome the series Southern Dem is writing. If you want to refute the substance of the stories, by all means, let's hear it.

That comment is by Sticks and Stones

That user name belongs to Lee Raynor, the editor of the Kinston Free Press who was allegedly fired for her involvement with the last mayoral race. Rumor has it she gave Ted free reign to dictate what should go in the paper.

Oh...well....must get the final edition up. It's taking a while, but hopefully will be worth it.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Meanwhile, down by the banks of the Neuse River.............

I have enjoyed reading about our most infamous citizen down here in Kinston. Ted is truly the “jewel of the east.” Well, at least in his own mind.

You mentioned the ENC Message Board. Ted is the most active participant in the board, having multiple personalities and a host of wannabe dissidents. Sampley throws out a topic on the message board and his minions jump on it like Willie Ray jumping on Art Pope’s “soul train,” or is it a “soul saving train ? ”

Kinston has an older population which likes for things to go along nice and easy and we are congenitally conflict-averse. We try to ignore Sampley whenever possible and we try to be off the streets by sundown. There are quite a few down here in Kinston who love Sampley. Well, let me rephrase that. There are some down here in Kinston who like Sampley. Well, let me rephrase that. There are some down here in Kinston who tolerate Sampley. Well, let me rephrase that. Most of us cross to the other side of the street when we see him coming and get down on our knees, praying that some other poor and wretched soul will catch his wrath this day.

He always has a “cause” of the day which usually involves some locals who have “crossed” him in some way. Of course those “crossing” him are Commissars who are members in good standing with the local chapter of the Politburo. He really is “hot on the trail” of the Proletarian Elite who are “insidious little backscratchers” who live off their trust funds. Sampley is a great defender of free speech as long as he is the one speaking. Of course your comments are not covered by freedom of speech because your comments are “leftist and vile.” His most severe critics are the cable stations and the local theaters. They want him gone because their revenues are down drastically. You see, most Kinstonians would rather follow Sampley’s antics than go to the movies or watch “Desperate Housewives.”

He is strongly opposed to house candidate Braxton. His beef with Braxton is rumored to be due to the fact that Braxton intends to introduce legislation limiting Sampley’s conspiracy theories to 4,999. Of course, inactive conspiracies will have no cap.

I have compiled many of Sampley’s posts to the ENC Message Board and was planning to assemble them in a book format. However, after reviewing the posts, it is my opinion that the collection might infringe on the international copyright laws of the book, “Mein Kampf.”

But one of his ideas does have merit. Kinston is a member of the Electricities group and therefore has higher than normal electricity rates. Sampley published that in order to reduce our electricity rates, that the city simply refuse to pay Electricities for our electric current. He wrote, “It is so simple. Kinston government must start holding back electric use payments to the Municipal Power Agency. “ (Jan. 18th under the thread “Sampley’s Solution to Kinston’s Electric Power Ripoff.”) I personally am in favor of receiving “free” electric current but I am not sure if Electicities would agree to supplying Kinston with “free” electricity. I believe that this proposal may fall into the “voodoo” economic category or it may be part of one of his 501c schemes.

His latest project is the building of a replica of the Confederate Gunboat, the Ram Neuse. If all the words written and spoken about the replica gunboat could be turned into actual work, we could have built the entire US Naval Fleet. We burned the original Ram Neuse so that it would not fall into the hands of the Yankees. I sometimes wonder if it would have been better to have let those Yankees have it. After all, they are certainly not all that bad. I remember dating an ole gal from upstate New York. She was “stronger than Waffle House Coffee” and I was so smitten with her that I gave up grits, collards, and started changing my underwear weekly. Ah, the memories of past love !

On a brighter note, the Weather Channel is considering filming a full length motion picture about Ted entitled, “Teddy Krueger Terrorizes Kinston,” or an alternate name being, “Sponge Bob, Square Pants - What Happens When Your Shorts Draw Up.”

After Ted’s groupies read your articles, their standard defense will be that “he does a lot of good.” I understand he bought a box Girl Scout Cookies several years ago. That squares everything, doesn’t it?

Laughing so hard I'm crying

Thanks for posting RedHawk. I keep asking myself why I'm bothering. I recognize a few of his identities just from the writing. I had figured Dexter, but I thought there was one other from back in 2005. As you can see, I've spent waaay too much time reading the message boards.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You're good.

This is a beautiful piece of commentary! Nice work.

I disinfect after each visit

Thanks for your concern, Thomas. :)

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Final episode due out tomorrow

I'm sorry for the delay, but I can't get into my blogger account to get the piece transferred here to BlueNC. I have to go do the soccer mom thing and the dance mom thing before I can come home and try again. I'm very sorry.

I hope it will be worth the delay.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I'm sure Mr. Swiftboat

will be on pins and needles all night!

Yes, the Tubes are acting up today for some reason . . .