[Posted with email permission from Ms. Akers — full text is otherwise behind Roll Call’s subscription barrier. She also gave permission for Raw Story to reprint it.]
Phony Blogger Busted
September 25, 2006
By Mary Ann Akers,
Roll Call Staff
Liberal bloggers in New Hampshire busted an aide to Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) who was posing as a liberal blogger on such blogs as Blue Granite, NH-02 Progressive and others. Bass office admitted culpability to HOH and said the staffer would be appropriately disciplined.
The unnamed aide to Bass who, like many others in his party, faces a tough re-election fight was routinely trolling liberal New Hampshire political blogs calling himself IndyNH and more commonly IndieNH, pretending to be a progressive.
Finally, after noticing that lots of things he said just didnt add up, a couple of the bloggers traced IndieNHs IP address to the House of Representatives.
And they thought, How many offices in the U.S. House would be interested in one race in New Hampshire? The answer: Very few. Probably only one.
Laura Clawson, who runs the Blue Granite blog and writes as Miss Laura, told HOH that she and another blogger easily traced IndieNHs IP address to the House server. They could even see the searches Mr. or Ms. IndieNH was doing to gather opposition research on Bass challenger, Paul Hodes (D), such as Hodes and gay marriage and Hodes and taxes.
The poseur had raised suspicions among liberal bloggers after he pooh-poohed a recent poll showing Bass tied with Hodes and suggested that Democrats should not waste any more time or money on the Hodes race and instead should invest their resources in other races.
I am going to look at the competitive race list to figure out where to send another mydd.com/netroots donation and maybe help out in other ways, IndieNH posted. Maybe CT or NY for me they are at least close by. Anyone interested in pooling NH efforts for some of those races? Maybe we could even go help out for a few days in buses or something in November?
After Clawson posted a notice on her site informing IndieNH that he (or she Clawson wasnt sure) had been rooted out as a GOP aide in Bass office, the postings ceased.
The aides job could cease, too. John Billings, a spokesman for Bass, acknowledged that we have questioned the staff and found that a staffer in this office did indeed post to some blogs under the pseudonym IndieNH. There was no good reason for this, just a
serious lapse of judgment, and the staffer will be appropriately disciplined.
Billings, who would not identify the offending staffer, said the office issued a memo clarifying that posting messages to blogs or other web sites from government computers is a violation of office policy. Congressman Bass will not tolerate this sort of activity in his office.
The incident follows a string of cases in which Capitol Hill aides have been caught modifying entries on Members in Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.
Billings added that while the action was certainly a violation of office policy, whether or not it was a violation of House rules and what disciplinary action is necessary or appropriate is under review.
No one was more disappointed to hear of the transgression than the folks on the Hodes campaign. (Yeah, right.)
Its a safe bet that Bass staffers are the only people on the House network who spend their days reading blogs on the district and running Internet searches on Paul Hodes, said Hodes spokesman Reid Cherlin. I guess when you roll over on the big issues you end up with a lot of time on your hands but Im pretty sure the taxpayers meant those computers to be used for legislating, not campaigning.
Loose Cannon Lets Loose.
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) is more than just a conspiracy theorist. Hes a master of alliteration as well.
Weldon lost it, so to speak, on the spokesman for his Democratic challenger, retired Navy Vice Adm. Joe Sestak. After dismissing a new poll as a crock of crap during an interview with the Sunday Times of Delaware County, Pa., Weldon teed off on Sestaks spokesman, Ryan Rudominer, calling him a loose-lipped lunatic from Long Island.
Actually, Rudominer, who is on leave from his usual job flacking for Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) to help Democrats take back the House, is from Milwaukee. (Yes, Israel represents Long Island, but lets face it, loose-lipped lunatic from Milwaukee just wouldnt have had the same oomph.)
Rudominer, for his part, rattled off a litany of alleged improprieties by Weldon. Rudominer said, Of course, Curt Weldon has been a tad bit busy during this campaign, plotting his secret mission to unearth weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, calling the police on an Eagle Scout and honor student for standing near his campaign office and launching personal and swift boat attacks against former Vice Adm. Joe Sestak. Its more clear than ever this district needs change Nov. 7.
The lad is a little loose-lipped, isnt he?
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