Corporate sockpuppetry for Team Obama?

Rusty Shackleford has done extensive research into the efforts to smear Sarah Palin as a member of a secessionist party, when in fact she has been a lifelong Republican.  Videos that appeared on YouTube supporting this smear have been tracked — circumstantially, but substantially — to the CEO of a public-relations firm, strongly suggesting that the smear campaign did not arise organically as an outgrowth of Palinmania but had financing, planning, and intent.  Who would have had the means for such a campaign?  I’ll get back to that in a minute.


Rusty runs down the evidence at hand:

  • Evidence suggests that a YouTube video with false claims about Palin was uploaded and promoted by members of a professional PR firm.
  • The family that runs the PR firm has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, the netroots, and are staunch Obama supporters.
  • Evidence suggests that the firm engaged in a concerted effort to distribute the video in such a way that it would appear to have gone viral on its own. Yet this effort took place on company time.
  • Evidence suggests that these distribution efforts included actions by at least one employee of the firm who is unconnected with the family running the company.
  • The voice-over artist used in this supposedly amateur video is a professional.
  • This same voice-over artist has worked extensively with David Axelrod’s firm, which has a history of engaging in phony grassroots efforts, otherwise known as “astroturfing.”
  • David Axelrod is Barack Obama’s chief media strategist.
  • The same voice-over artist has worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign.

Rusty tracks this down to Winner & Associates, and to Chuck and Ethan Winner, the family that owns it.  If all of this is true and the Obama campaign can be connected to it, it would represent a massive set of FEC violations, as well as the ultimate repudiation of “hope and change” and “New Politics”.  In fact, it would be a massive demonstration of Chicago Politics on a national scale.


Could this be true?  Normally, one would shrug off such a suggestion by saying that no national campaign would be dumb enough to try this, especially one ahead in the polls.  However, consider what Team Obama did to Stanley Kurtz and David Freddoso.  They don’t seem hesitant in the least to conduct smear campaigns and character assassination to win elections, and they conducted those two attacks openly.  With that kind of track record, it doesn’t seem out of the question for them to have conducted a slimy, unethical attack on a political opponent who threatened to steal all of the oxygen away from their campaign in a way that hid their involvement.

This would normally be a great story for our national media to investigate and expose.  Will they?  Don’t hold your breath, but do read all of Rusty’s post and his continuing updates.

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