June 11th, 2010 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Legislature

Fighter, Candidate Chael Sonnen Lies About Twitter Account

Chael Sonnen

Chael Sonnen, the Republican nominee for state House District 37 (West Linn and parts of Washington County) comes to politics from the world of ultimate fighting.

On Aug. 7 in Oakland, Sonnen will battle Ultimate Fighting Championship world middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen, a 33-year-old former University of Oregon All-American wrestler, will be an underdog against the man who some mixed martial arts fans consider the sport's top fighter.

Sonnen has not been shy about saying he's ready for Silva. “I'm going to put him on his prissy little ass,” he told reporters at an April press conference in California, according to the MMA website Sherdog.com. Subsequent Twitter posts upped the ante.

“Anderson, you are going to be on your back more than a pornstar with a mortgage,” read a tweet from the Twitter page sonnench on May 26.

Then Sonnen went after Ed Soares, who manages several Brazilian fighters, including Silva, who is black. “Ed, pray to whatever Demon effigy you prance and dance in front of with your piglet tribe of savages that I decide not to CRUCIFY you,” Sonnen tweeted on May 31.

That comment irked Maryland-based MMA fan and blogger Dedrick Muhammad.

Muhammad says Sonnen's comments are “racist” and “xenophobic,” in a June 10 piece he wrote for The Huffington Post. “Some might say this is just the way fighters talk, but as a fan of MMA, I can tell you this isn't the way most fighters talk,” Muhammed adds.

After Muhammad alerted WW to the Twitter comments, WW placed a call to Sonnen. He did not return that call but responded to email questions. Here is that exchange:

On Mon, 07 Jun 2010 15:44:16 -0700 "Nigel Jaquiss" writes:
Hi Chael—

I'm a reporter at Willamette Week in Portland.

I saw your comment about Ed Soares on Twitter, in which you said, "Ed, pray to whatever Demon effigy you prance and dance in front of with your piglet tribe of savages..."

I realize you've got a big fight coming up against Anderson Silva and I realize that pre-fight verbal sparring has a long tradition and that your comments were made about Silva's manager and teammates rather than a political opponent or interest group.

But in view of the fact that you're running to be one of the people who makes laws and important budgetary and policy decision for nearly four million Oregonians who include a broad diversity of ethnic and religious backgrounds, I wanted to ask you whether you whether terms like "Demon effigy" and "piglet tribe of savages" are terms you think are appropriate for public discourse?

An MMA fan who brought the comments to my attention called them xenophobic and racist. Could you please respond to that characterization?

I left a message for you at [redacted] also. If you could either give me a call at 503-445-1539 or respond to the above questions by email by 3 pm Tuesday June 8, I'd appreciate it.


Nigel Jaquiss

From: Chael Sonnen [mailto:redacted]
To: njaquiss@wweek.com
Sent: Mon, 07 Jun 2010 17:50:58 -0700
Subject: Re: reporter's question about Ed Soares tweet

Hi Nigel, I do not have a "twitter," account. Thanks for following my career.

On Tue, 08 Jun 2010 08:52:02 -0700 "Nigel Jaquiss" writes:
Hi Chael—

Thanks for getting back to me.

Sorry, but I'm a little confused.

There is a Twitter account called sonnech, which contains links to your facebook and campaign pages and at least appears to be intended to convince viewers that it is yours


Are you saying that sonnench is a fraudulent account and that the words on it are not yours but somebody else's?


From: Chael Sonnen
To: njaquiss@wweek.com
Date: 06/08/2010 12:12 PM
Subject: Re: reporter's question about Ed Soares tweet

You aren't the first person to bring this up, it's an issue for me. There are also several "facebook," sites out there for me, but I don't have anything to do with them either (except votesonnen.com of course). Have a great week, and thanks for looking out for me!

Sonnen's denial seemed categorical and it appeared the he was the victim of somebody creating a fake Twitter site. Except for this: on April 23, 2010, Sonnen appeared in a behind-the-scenes videotaped interview with Ariel Helwani to discuss upcoming UFC bouts.

At about 45:40 mark in the interview, Helwani asks Sonnen about his activity on Twitter. Here are the key points of that exchange:
Q: You're on Twitter, right?

Sonnen: “Yeah…I'm trying.”

Q: Tell the people what your Twitter page is

Sonnen: “I believe it is ‘s-o-n-n-e-n-c-h'….'s-o-n-n-e-n-c-h'”

So not only did Sonnen say he had a Twitter account—contrary to his written denial—he spelled out the address of the account that broadcast the comments that Muhammad terms “racist and xenophobic.”

Sonnen faces Democrat Will Rasmussen in the November election to replace Rep. Scott Bruun (R-West Linn), who is running for Congress. The Sonnen-Rasmussen race should be close as Democrats hold a narrow registration advantage of only 744 voters in the district.
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