It All Comes Together: Mark Towner Was Hired by PCE, Probably to Send Spam

With the excellent detective work from around the bloghive (hat tips to Bob Aagard, Mata Hari (twice!), Utah Conservative and a shall-remain-nameless e-mailer), the picture has become clear: Mark Towner sent the now-infamous "Voucher News" e-mail AND has been paid $5,000 through his consulting business just weeks prior. Is there a solid link? Not enough to completely hold up in court, but enough that any reasonable person can read the writing on the wall.

We know that Towner is the owner of the domain since it has a directory on it named thepsyglass. If we look at the registration info, it was registered on September 4. It's also registered with the same host as, the domain Towner used on his last round of spam. The registration was less than two weeks prior to the PCE filing that shows a payment to SG Consulting (excellent job Mata Hari), a company whose address is the same as Towner's home address (good work Bob). We have two solid links: Towner got a fat sack of cash for providing "web services" to PCE and Towner was later behind the faked "Voucher News" e-mail that made the Deseret Morning News on Thursday. (Hey newspaper? A bunch of bloggers just scooped you. How do you like them apples?)

Of course, Mark did his usual thing and called me a liar and a thief (again) instead of owning up to what he did. Now he's been spanked publicly by the whole bloghive and likely faces a thrashing in the papers once they pick up on the same facts we did. There's also the implications that he used a phishing attack to solicit contact information from folks who received the e-mail and attempted to deceive people on the source of the message. In a political campaign, I think they usually consider that to be illegal.

As a voucher supporter, I have gone from embarrassed with to disgusted by PCE. This event, going from unethical and sleazy to potentially illegal, is absolutely inexcusable and I would encourage every Utahn to immediately stop donating to them and every candidate to refuse their filthy money and return whatever campaign contributions they've been given. Utah businesses should refuse to do business with them and Utahns should refuse to work for them. Astroturfing, phishing, push polling… these are not acceptable. PERIOD.

If you truly support vouchers like I do, you will run as far away from PCE as possible and give them the stern and harsh punishment they now deserve. Starve them for dollars and make them wither and die in this state. They have done more to damage the concept of vouchers than any anti-voucher group could ever dream of. Their loud and visible bad example makes everyone else look bad by association. Thanks to PCE, anyone who supports vouchers, no matter how honest, sincere and open they are, will be tainted with the labels of dishonesty, trickery and ulterior motives.

PCE, get out of our state and don't leave until the Virgin River hits you on the way out. Voucher supporters don't need or want your help anymore.

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8 Responses

  1. Hmmm…the silence from Mark is deafening.

    What’s also disturbing about the PCE PIC disclosure you link to, is that they paid over $13K to the Girl Scouts of America (at the same address as the PCE office, interestingly) for something called “rent”.

    Huh? Does that mean 4500 South 445 East is owned by the Girl Scouts?

    Man, I’m sure gonna miss those cookies…

  2. PoTP, it’s like Christmas in October, isn’t it?

  3. Jeremy says:

    The sad thing about all of this is that your suggestion to cut off funding to PCE will amount to exactly jack as far as they are concerned. It seems that nearly all their funding comes from either out of state sources or 2-3 multi-millionaires here in Utah.

    Kudos to you for doing all of this Jesse. It is fun to see bad guys getting smacked down as you have done to PCE and Mr. Towner here. Very cool.

  4. marshall says:

    The sad thing is Jesse is a voucher supporter. Do you see why we are so against this voucher legislation? Its not the idea, its the implementation. Read this post about What Would Milton Do?. This isn’t even how Milton would have done vouchers.

    I was also very wary of vouchers from day one because of the way I saw it was being shoved through the state house. It didn’t seem right, it didn’t seem like the way to treat legislation that supporters believe would HELP improve education. It was more along the lines of “don’t look over here, nothing happening”.

  1. October 24, 2007

    […] a voucher supporter I have to agree with Jesse: As a voucher supporter, I have gone from embarrassed with to disgusted by PCE. This event, going […]

  2. November 1, 2007

    […] a webmail service in Australia. Here's where it gets interesting. Remember the old Voucher News e-mail that caused such a flap? It seems that is owned by the same company as […]

  3. December 7, 2009

    […] website, hopefully as a joke: Mark E. Towner. (h/t: Misty Fowler) Yes, that Mark Towner, the one of spamming, legal threats, and general pest fame. (As a side note, his most recent legal threat against me […]

  4. May 15, 2011

    […] replacement. (If you want a good laugh, watch him trashing on vouchers despite having been deeply entrenched on the pro-voucher side.) Why is the GOP leadership so willing to continue Towner’s personal vendetta with Ridgway […]

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