Just last week, Hillary Clinton and her campaign crowed that they had busted James O’Keefe and Project Veritas Action investigators who tried to infiltrate their campaign. Time’s Zeke Miller reported that Team Hillary had bragged that they thwarted an attempted exposé on voter registration efforts, which require campaigns to register any voter regardless of candidate preference:
A Clinton campaign official alleges that the women engaged in several efforts to entrap supporters. In one scheme, described by Clinton staff, a woman attempted to pass a cash donation to Clinton volunteers and interns. In another, a woman approached the campaign on Aug. 19 and said both her parents had donated to Clinton the legal maximum of $2700 each and wanted to funnel an additional donation through their daughter, a violation of federal law. On Aug. 13, a woman claiming to be Canadian approached another Clinton fellow to ask how to falsify an address for a campaign donation.
In another instance, a woman volunteering with the Clinton campaign on voter registration efforts in Iowa City returned to the campaign’s office in Des Moines and asked whether it was okay that she refuse to register people who don’t support Clinton, the campaign official said. The Clinton campaign maintains that its policy is to register all voters, regardless of their preference in candidates.
But is that what happened? PVA has released its first video focusing on Team Hillary, and let’s just say that her workers used a familiar phrase when it comes to non-Hillary voters looking to register:
When discussing voter-registration efforts — a key for any campaign — paid staffer Sarah Sterner cautions that it cannot be emphasized in their outreach efforts, lest they end up registering non-Hillary voters. “And so that’s why I want to keep our primary focus on, ‘Hey, are you a Hillary supporter?'” Sterner tells the undercover reporter. “And then if not, then, like, ‘Great, move on,’ you know?”
Can you use “MoveOn” without a trademark? Just wondering.
Zeke Miller reports on the new video for Time today as well, and notes that this is pretty much standard operating procedure for all campaigns:
Filmed by hidden camera by Project Veritas supporters posing as Clinton volunteers, the video shows a Clinton campaign staffer discussing strategies for targeting voter registration efforts. The campaign’s policy is to register all those who ask to register, a fact the staffer repeats.
But the staffer is also seen encouraging the “volunteer” to first ask whether the Iowans they encounter are Clinton supporters before asking if they are registered to vote. “We don’t want to make our focus be voter registration, because then we have to, like, register everyone regardless of whether they’re supporters or not,” the Clinton organizer is shown saying.
Nothing in the video shows the Clinton campaign violating the law, or the campaign’s own policy. But Veritas claims, nonetheless, that the campaign is “skirting the law” by first asking whether potential voters are supporters before making the registration offer. This approach to training volunteers is standard operating procedure across field campaigns, according to a Republican field staffer, who requested anonymity.
That’s almost certainly the case, but that’s not what Hillary and her campaign said last week when they bragged about outing PVA. They claimed that it was their policy to register everyone, as Miller originally reported. Miller tried getting a comment from Team Hillary today, but unsurprisingly, they chose not to do so.
On its own, this may not do much damage; Hillary has much bigger trust problems with the e-mail server and the Clinton Foundation. A source within Project Veritas Action tells me that they have more coming, however, and that Team Hillary was not nearly as successful at finding their reporters as they thought. Stay tuned.