Patterico's Pontifications

1/24/2010

The Recent Evidence of Astroturfing, Summarized; UPDATED: Ellie Light Located?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:01 pm

This post summarizes the evidence of Astroturfing by Obama supporters that surfaced over the weekend.

Astroturfing is phony “grassroots” activity. The term refers to opinions that seem to be genuine — but, in reality, are directed by a Central Planner.

Over the weekend, we discovered two types of Astroturfing:

Donald Trump Astroturfing: A letter published in multiple places from one person claiming to live in multiple cities

Ellie Light was the quintessential Donald Trump Astroturfer. In fact, her real estate holdings would put Trump to shame. She published the very same pro-Obama letter in 65 publications — including 31 states, and the District of Columbia. It also appeared in 3 national publications and a Yahoo link — and in 2 foreign publications, including a publication in Bangkok, Thailand.

And she claimed to live in almost all of these locations. Because that claim enhanced her ability to place her letters. So she claimed to live in Philadelphia, PA; and Daly City, California; and Mansfield, Ohio; and Waynesboro, Virginia; and Algoma, Wisconsin; and Bangor, Maine — and dozens of other places.

Who said Obama supporters were all downtrodden?

Mark Spivey appeared in several places as well. And Ellie Light and Mark Spivey claimed residence in almost every publication to which they sent their letters.

Not even Donald Trump can claim such extensive real estate holdings!

The conclusion is simple: Ellie Light and Mark Spivey are liars. They pretend to be from multiple places to enhance their credibility. In fact, they are from one location — and they are trying to pretend they are individuals from all over America.

But they aren’t. And that leads us to Category #2:

David Axelrod Astroturfing: Identical letters published in multiple places claiming to be from different people

You get suspicious when you see the same letter appearing in multiple locations with multiple names.

In this post, I documented the same letter being written by Janet Leigh and Earnest Gardner. And another letter written by Gloria Elle — and Jan Chen. And another written by Jen Park — and Lars Deerman. And another written by Jen Park — and John F. Stott.

And identical paragraphs from another letter were written by Gordon Adams of Danbury, Connecticut. And Joe Rodriguez of La Porte, TX. And Robert Stephenson of Austin. And Ron Avila of San Francisco, CA; Mary Acosta of Baldwin Park, CA; Nancy Speed of Tulsa, OK; Sheila Price of Valencia, CA; Clarence Ndangam of Clarks Summit, PA; Vernetta Mason in the Suffolk News-Herald; Greg Mitchell of Fort Mitchell, Ohio; Ermelinda Giurato of Elk Grove Village, Illinois; J. Scott Piper of Cape Coral, Florida; Robert Vander Molen of Camdenton, Missouri; and Terri Reese of Vista, CA.

This latter group appeared to be copying a letter they saw on the Web site of the Democrat party. But that doesn’t explain all of the similar letters.

One of two things could be happening.

Maybe there’s a P.R. firm behind it all.

Or maybe there’s a centralized entity (like Organizing for America or the Democrat Party) which says: Hey, guys! It would really rock if you all sent a letter to your local newspaper that read something (or, hell, EXACTLY) like this. And then they give you the text to send on to your local paper — of course, using your real name and location.

There appears to have been a lot of this as well. And readers of those Letters to the Editor were fooled.

While the participants were undoubtedly well-meaning, the effect is simple. A Centralized Body determines a message. Minions repeat it. And readers are tricked into thinking that the message is individualized.

So now that you’ve seen the evidence, what should you do?

Simple. Don’t take anything at face value. Look at pro-Obama letters in your own local paper and search phrases on Google to see if they are examples of Astroturf.

Then report back here with the results. E-mail me at patterico@gmail.com.

It’s our duty to get to the bottom of this.

Because Big Media never will.

It’s up to us.

UPDATE: Ellie Light left a comment at Amy Kane’s blog with a long justification of why she did it — but no explanation of why she lied about her addresses. The IP address of that comment: 174.144.15.155, which appears to come back to Huntington Beach, CA.

UPDATE x2: Joy McCann also received a comment from Light, and e-mails to say that IP address is the same as the comment left at Kane’s blog. The comment was also left early this morning, so there’s no guarantee that’s a static IP address. It would help to have the IP address on comments she left in other places on other days.

For what it’s worth, nobody using that IP address has ever left a comment at my blog. If you have a blog, you might check your past comments for that IP address. And if she comments anywhere else, please pass along the IP address.

UPDATE x3: It bears repeating that, as I noted in a previous post, a series of letters published in newspapers recently has been traced to the web site for the Democrat Party. And Barack Obama’s Organizing for America has been in on the act, too. More on that here.

137 Responses to “The Recent Evidence of Astroturfing, Summarized; UPDATED: Ellie Light Located?”

  1. I seem to vaguely recall something about a “vast right-wing conspiracy” being proposed by certain Democrat leaders during the last administration…

    Maybe this is actually a bunch of REPUBLICANS, led by Karl Rove, of course, trying to make the Progs look bad by pretending to be Democrats trying to make the REPUBLICANS look bad!

    A precise and compricated pran….

    Steve B (5eacf6)

  2. This could be very, very big.

    Michael R. Brown (850cc3)

  3. At the “or, hell, EXACTLY” part, I lost it — ice-cold diet pepsi all over the keyboard!

    Pons Asinorum (1f16cc)

  4. But but but…individual letters from all those people would require, like thinking and writing and proof-reading and stuff. And horrors, independent thought.

    Dems don’t do that. They are so used to getting everything spoon-fed that they even do their astroturfing letter-writing that way.

    And the media….well, how convenient, all those nice letters coming in from all those nice Dems (or maybe that nice Dem??). Who needs to work at verifying them? Being spoon-fed the party-line is so much easier.

    Bill M (d248fb)

  5. It’s difficult to believe people could be so dishonest, but even harder to believe they could be so stupid about it. If they were secure in their political ideology, certain of the philosophy, and proud of its ideals – then why would they use such lies to sell it?

    btw: the categories are a brilliant classification system; real user friendly and intuitive.

    Bravo on this whole subject!

    Pons Asinorum (1f16cc)

  6. ssssshhhhh!

    be vwey vwey qwiet!

    we’re hunting wascals!

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  7. > It’s difficult to believe people could be so dishonest, but even harder to believe they could be so stupid about it.

    Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    To which I’d append:
    “Never attribute to improbability what can be adequately explained by simultaneous dishonesty, stupidity AND incompetence.”

    The latter three, are, after all, the hallmark of leftists everywhere all too often.

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  8. Just one more example that shows that the Democrats can not be trusted. They are cheaters, they are liars, they are despicable. How average people can align themselves with them and look themselves in the mirror every day is beyond me.

    crosspatch (6adcc9)

  9. [...] to California and all points in between. Open-source-optimizing blogger Patterico has added much more information on both “Donald Trump Astroturfing” (”a letter published in multiple places from [...]

    Michelle Malkin » The Astroturf Presidency (e2f069)

  10. [...] is a remarkable story being tracked by Patterico involving letter writing in support of Obama to local newspapers across America: A woman has [...]

    Astroturfing Rears It’s Ugly Head Again | Conservative Cabbie (5b242e)

  11. Isn’t the substance of the letters more important than who wrote them? Or can’t you address that? Sounds to me like you have a case of what you like to call “hey look, something shiny!”.

    Intelliology (00d844)

  12. The “substance” is exactly the same. Would you think to engage with a radio show spewing out content, or would you think it more intelligent to engage with a real, actual person?

    This is a way to change the debate without the fuss of having a real human mind behind the argument.

    I don’t find it interesting to consider the argument because the organization behind the argument can’t seem to get real people to accept their position; instead, they have these fake letters being posted by fake people.

    You want to engage them, go ahead. You’ll be arguing with a radio.

    steve miller (af41c9)

  13. This is a mark that the argument on their side has failed; they can’t get anyone to accept their argument, so they are trying to create a fake “popular will” expressing their argument.

    I am not convinced & I don’t think it worthy of my own mind.

    steve miller (af41c9)

  14. “Rock the Vote” and “Organizing for America” BOTH have automated letter-to-the-editor tools that would allow this to work.

    http://makesmybrainitch.blogspot.com/2010/01/is-ellie-light-rockin-vote.html

    You can choose multiple papers, and they offer handy talking points…

    Scratcher (c7c5d8)

  15. They are clever letters, meant to put the Republicans on the defensive and change the argument from whether Obama is at fault or responsible or even capable to whether there were WMDs in Iraq or if its cool for the GOP (uniformly, natch) to be birthers who want him to fail.

    I’m sure a lot of people were goaded into responding about the WMDs we did find in Iraq (that aren’t Powell’s promised ones) or the other reasons we had to deal with Saddam since before W took office, or respond that most republicans don’t oppose Obama on birther grounds, or perhaps even explain that they want Obama to succeed by failing to go in a bad direction.

    Regardless, if those letters even got printed (since the odds are usually against you to get one of these printed), they miss the point. Obama promised all these things, and the GOP noted that it wasn’t going to be possible. Reduce the deficit and drastically ramp up entitlements? Win the war against terror and ignore the more difficult aspects of it? Give Iran a hug and reduce nuclear proliferation? Transparency and negotiate with his Capital Hill thugs?

    Obama said he could do all these things, and he can’t, and this coordinated effort is meant to distract people from holding Obama to his word. Somebody actually sat down and thought this up and put a ton of effort into getting this attack out there. That’s all it is… an attack on a party that isn’t in power at all, even though when they were in power we were a lot better off.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  16. “Isn’t the substance of the letters more important than who wrote them? Or can’t you address that? Sounds to me like you have a case of what you like to call “hey look, something shiny!”.

    Comment by Intelliology”

    No, it’s important if the president’s organization is lying to you and pretending to be a bunch of citizens all over the country. If Bush did that you’d think it was a problem.

    And the letters lack substance anyway. It’s a bunch of dumb generalizations about how evil Republicans are. It’s very similar to the fodder comment board trolls use to distract debate.

    There’s a topic: how the democrats have destroyed the economy they inherited in 2006. How Obama has made things even worse than they were in 2008, and promised he knew how to fix everything marvelously. And the president is using a scam to change the topic.

    Just like you are here (Albeit you are being more direct and honorable here than Obama). You’re telling us to ignore the obvious dishonesty and actually address a bunch of letters that are simply attacks on Republicans.

    Patterico’s addressed the “We want him to fail” and “birther” claims, a damn long time ago. Why go over it again?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  17. There’s a difference between the Ellie Light/Mark Spivey letters, which have obvious lies in the addresses, and the form letters from different people: many, many organizations, including both parties, pro-life groups, the NRA, Sierra Club, etc, have had “sample” letters to congressmen available at different times and through different mailings. The “write your congressman” or “write the local paper” plea is as old as publishing. If someone tracked this stuff down, and could ascertain that the senders were actually not who they said they were, it would be a different matter.

    The Dana who isn't naïve (3e4784)

  18. As I noted on the previous thread on this subject:

    The my.democrats.org web site page from which the talking points were lifted specifically warns supporters not to do what was done: copy the points word-for-word (emphasis in the original):

    Note: These points are only to provide extra information and suggestions. Do not use these points verbatim. Your letter must be original and should focus on your personal views and experiences.

    aunursa (a1573d)

  19. Just be prepared for the left to point to a time in 2003 when the either the GOP or the RNC used a software tool where someone could sign there name to a letter and send it in to papers. We use this with petitions all the time.

    The difference is that that is used for people who aren’t good at writing letters or just don’t want to and it’s easy, but they agree with the content of the letter, so they sign their names to it. In this case it is a FAKE person pretending to be from the local areas. So this wasn’t sent from different people with the same thoughts. This is sent from one person or organization pretending to be all these different people.

    Kathleen McKinley aka Rightwingsparkle (a48952)

  20. “David Axelrod Astroturfing: Identical letters published in multiple places claiming to be from different people”

    What’s the Axelrod Connection? That this has been done by a major party before?

    “Or maybe there’s a centralized entity (like Organizing for America or the Democrat Party) which says: Hey, guys! It would really rock if you all sent a letter to your local newspaper that read something (or, hell, EXACTLY) like this. And then they give you the text to send on to your local paper — of course, using your real name and location.”

    This has happened before, which indicates it may be an old tactic that is being used here.

    http://irregulartimes.com/astroturf.html

    http://irregulartimes.com/astroturf2.html

    And

    http://www.politechbot.com/p-04334.html

    My guess is there is another layer, of people sending out several letters under their name, with fake hometowns. The ones that are not duplicate names are the result of a system like was used in 2003.

    imdw (de7003)

  21. “Just be prepared for the left to point to a time in 2003 when the either the GOP or the RNC used a software tool where someone could sign there name to a letter and send it in to papers.”

    It appears that this is what Patterico has coined “Axelrod astroturf.” For some reason.

    imdw (d8bea7)

  22. hey, what a shock, imdw wants to change the subject!

    I’m stunned.

    This story isn’t about Axelrod at all! Why, it’s ridiculous to point out that Obama’s lead strategist, David Axelrod, is an astroturfing pioneer. Even though Obama repeatedly cited his leadership of his political machine as his entire executive resume, we can’t blame these leaders for anything.

    Let’s look at some very vague and un-credible website, no one’s ever heard of, dated 7 years ago instead of looking at the piles and piles of evidence right here in front of us that show Obama and his orgs are pretending to be citizens. I am just stunned that imdw wouldn’t want to talk about this scam.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  23. Surely, a great many letters to the editor are received every day.

    It reveals a great deal that so many MSM organs deemed the letter(s) worth publishing. Apparently, the words resonated so strongly with all those editors that they selected them to be among the few to be published.

    In other words, all those editors wanted those words in print, and wanted it so strongly not to ask questions.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  24. “This story isn’t about Axelrod at all! ”

    Yeah what’s the connection here?

    “Let’s look at some very vague and un-credible website, no one’s ever heard of, dated 7 years ago ”

    Why not just read “right wing sparkle”? Here’s what she has to say: “a time in 2003 when the either the GOP or the RNC used a software tool where someone could sign there name to a letter and send it in to papers. We use this with petitions all the time.”

    So maybe it did not happen and is not used with petitions “all the time.”

    Thanks for reading my links.

    imdw (ae4236)

  25. This is Tactic #1 for I’m-a-douchebag-wearer: Assert that the other side ‘did it first’; which, whether true or not, still indicts the current subject as being just as bad — if not worse for failing to learn the lessons of history.

    Icy Texan (fce99c)

  26. I did click you link this time imdw, it was nothing. A dumb text vague thing from 2003.

    Completely pointless contribution that isn’t trustworthy, timely, or even similar in scale or degree of organization.

    It’s stupid.

    I won’t bother to repeat the point I’ve made many times that you have no credibility. If you really wanted to make us doubt this story, you should claim you agree with it. You could only aspire to Bagdad Bob.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  27. “This is Tactic #1 for I’m-a-douchebag-wearer: Assert that the other side ‘did it first’; which, whether true or not, still indicts the current subject as being just as bad — if not worse for failing to learn the lessons of history.”

    Understanding what has happened before is part of understanding what is happening now. The fact that automated letter senders existed in 2003 — and continue to be something that is regularly used, per right wing sparkle — helps us to guess how it happened now. For example, my guess that this is one or a few people using consistent names for several locations in an automated letter sender comes in part from knowing that these technologies are prevalent and have existed for years.

    How an automated letter sender gets Axelrod’s moniker, that I don’t know.

    imdw (34c127)

  28. “Completely pointless contribution that isn’t trustworthy, timely, or even similar in scale or degree of organization.”

    Oh it is not timely? That’s a good point. It is from years ago. Now, as to trustworthyness, there is the fact that other people have talked about it here — yet you don’t doubt them do you? Plus other articles about how it occured. Reading them might help you understand what is going on now. Here are more links:

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1022049/republican-party-blanket-emailed–newspaper-editors

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/108911/support_bush_win_a_mouse_pad.html

    http://www.slate.com/id/2077553/

    Note that these point out another factor that we have been ignoring — the possibility that the emailer is being rewarded for sending letters to the editor. That was happening in 2003. Creating incentives for sending or publishing letters makes it more likely they will be sent with devious intent.

    You see how understanding the past helps us understand the present. What I still don’t understand is why this 2003 (at least) tactic got Axelrod’s name.

    imdw (842182)

  29. Obviously these letters were put out by the vast right wing conspiracy in order to discredit the important work the Obama administration is doing to bring social justice to America and the world.

    Hillarity (1664b9)

  30. by “dumb text”, I mean it’s a cut and paste free of formatting. some, likely imdw, aren’t familiar with the expression. But that’s got nothing to do with this amazing and massive effort to astroturf.

    If imdw had something more recent than 7 years ago, or somehow comparable to this effort, he wouldn’t have to rely on something that pathetic.

    Just imagine that he probably dug around for quite a while before finding that terrible comparison. Air America fails, so prove Rush isn’t racist! Obama czar resigns, so prove Beck isn’t a rapist! I point out imdw is passing on something particularly disturbing and wrong, so I have to prove he’s not the original liar. In this case, we have to defend something that is so stale and old and tiny (if it even happened).

    It takes a special mind to respond to important Obama debates by trying to distract. When someone asks you about something, isn’t it likely you won’t even consider that approach? It reminds me of Goldblum in Independence Day making ridiculous thought associations. But he was supposed to be crazy.

    The professional that wrote this astroturfed Ellie letter knows damn well that Obama has failed. He inherited a booming economy in 2006 and every action he’s taken has ruined lives. He promised progress and instead gave us setbacks. So this professional makes absolutely no effort to talk about Obama himself, resorting to generalizations about republicans that aren’t even accurate. The unfairness goads Republicans to defend, and the topic is changed and no one is thinking about Obama’s failure.

    imdw is impliedly admitting he lost the argument, usually in his first contribution to any thread, just as Ellie Light’s organization is. And when Obama runs against Bush in 2012, he will be too, and the voters will send him home.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  31. What I still don’t understand is why this 2003 (at least) tactic got Axelrod’s name.

    Comment by imdw

    imdw will ignore that Axelrod is notoriously associated with the term Astroturf.

    It’s like associating Barack Obama with snorting cocaine. It’s like associating imdw with attempting to dodge a topic. It’s not like there aren’t other people who do that stuff, but Axelrod = astroturfing master.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  32. “Just imagine that he probably dug around for quite a while before finding that terrible comparison”

    I read it in comment #19… Did you?

    Now, see if you find one of the campaigns from 2008 giving out “points” for people who repeat talking points in blog comments. Can we give that the Axelrod name?

    imdw (c5488f)

  33. What is “AKP&D Message & Media”?

    Hint, it was around for years before 2003, and is a pioneer of astroturf. Founder, David Axelrod.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  34. [...] of this sudden and partial epiphany is that it comes as the Democrats (and perhaps the White House) launched a wave of Ellie Light astroturfing that features — you guessed it — a blame-Bush theme.  They [...]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Democrats rethinking “blame Bush” strategy after Massachusetts flop (e2f069)

  35. Maybe there’s a P.R. firm behind it all.

    Or maybe there’s a centralized entity (like Organizing for America or the Democrat Party)

    Don’t discount this being pushed by WH’s Office of Public Engagement. What’s Buffy Wicks doing these days?

    Dusty (7bba43)

  36. Now, see if you find one of the campaigns from 2008 giving out “points” for people who repeat talking points in blog comments. Can we give that the Axelrod name?

    Comment by imdw

    I don’t understand what this means or how it is relevant to anything, but if I did do as you asked, you would ignore me. I have no doubt I could. But you make these demands, have them answered, and ignore them.

    I asked you several questions in this thread. Can you explain what AKP&D Message & Media, and how it answers your questions about Astroturf and Axelrod?

    I mean, it’s not like Axelrod denies that he’s the man to go to if you are interested in, say, “giving out “points” for people who repeat talking points in blog comments.”

    Oh, what’s that? You say you have some completely unrelated GOP scandal you want to talk about now? Something already debunked 100 times and irrelevant? Really? Wow.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  37. In another thread, I predicted the trollish response. Nice to see that these two are so lockstep on the topic.

    It will continue.

    Eric Blair (9ab2c9)

  38. Can anyone cite someone other than David Axelrod being referred to in a major journalism piece as the “master of astroturf” or “astroturf master”?

    Strange that the astroturf master happens to be the political strategist for someone whose political strategy has turned out to be astroturf.

    Indeed, imdw’s repeated whining that we associate Obama supporting astroturf with Obama’s chief strategist master astroturfer makes tons of sense to everyone.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  39. It will continue.

    Comment by Eric Blair

    That’s the lesson I am sure everyone has taken to heart, and why most people ignore imdw while I, the dumbass, actually engage him with counterarguments and analysis of his claims.

    It will continue. Honestly, I am not all that worked up about it. I think it’s really entertaining how imdw will show up to make democrats look terrible in every thread about democrat scandal.

    OJ Simpson: “Well, can you prove Ron Goldman was a good waiter? And Nicole had terrible fashion sense!”

    It’s not just a naked deflection, but it’s never even a good deflection.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  40. Any thought given to composing a letter that brings notice to what has happened and repudiates the false information and sending it to all of the papers involved with a request/demand of publishing it for clarification?

    It seems that it is agreed organizations often provide a sample letter for people to copy (and preferably modify to their own liking), but what is most objectionable in the current instance is the dishonesty involved.

    If we had a public that was educated in critical thinking it wouldn’t be necessary to worry about this stuff.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  41. I wonder if Dr. Roxana Mayer has been sending out any letters.

    Houston Native (aa2dc4)

  42. MD, you’re right that it is important not to overreact.

    … lots of people have seen these petition style ‘send a letter along these lines’ things. Most people who have worked in DC are familiar with getting tons of similar letters and faxes. It’s lame an unpersuasive, but it’s common. I think one group does this all the time against TV profanity.

    This is different. People all over the country did not decide to claim they are Ellie Light, that they, locals, agree that this letter is their views without modification, and took the effort to get it printed.

    One person or (more likely) organization decided to send their letter out to the entire country under the Ellie pseudonym, and that’s quite a bit different (And worse) than locals sending a letter in that they didn’t actually write.

    And it being written nearly doesn’t explain 65 papers printing it. Only a couple of possibilities explain that. Of course, at this point, it’s important to find out who is behind this, and then work from there. I wonder if some journalist somewhere knows who Ellie Light really is.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  43. The REAL question is why so many editors all chose the same letters to publish!

    Saskatchewan Conservative (9be4eb)

  44. I just sent a link to this thread to the local paper’s executive editor. He’s left of center and has persecuted the GOP for sending in letters copied by local people. This is far worse, but I doubt he’ll follow up on it unless it is proven he published such letters, but he has published such letters from outside the area if it supported the Democrat party.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  45. “imdw will ignore that Axelrod is notoriously associated with the term Astroturf.”

    I understand the moniker plays off this association. But here were two tactics, one which has been used in the past and is apparently a regular thing to use now. Why give that the Axelrod moniker other than to play up this association? Has he even used this tactic before? or is it just that we know he is an “astroturfer” and therefore this one (but not others) astroturf tactics get his moniker?

    The article you linked showed his firm engaging in basically major ad buys disguised under public interest sounding names. An old tactic, but not this one here.

    “I mean, it’s not like Axelrod denies that he’s the man to go to if you are interested in, say, “giving out “points” for people who repeat talking points in blog comments.””

    Oh really. Wow.

    So did you read comment #19?

    imdw (3bb5c3)

  46. “Indeed, imdw’s repeated whining that we associate Obama supporting astroturf with Obama’s chief strategist master astroturfer makes tons of sense to everyone.”

    That’s what I think is going on. And it appears as if we agree. We associate Axelrod with “Astroturf” and so when we see a tactic of astroturf we can give it the moniker “Axelrod astroturf.” In contrast to a different tactic that gets the moniker “donald trump astroturf.” Even if we don’t know of a situation where the specific tactic he is being named for has been used by him.

    imdw (017d51)

  47. So did you read comment #19?

    \
    Oh, you mean you’re ignoring what I said to make an irrelevant argument? I’m stunned.

    Comment #19 is not relevant and the links you cited are not persuasive, as I explained. It doesn’t matter that you were parroting someone… you think you can stubbornly stump on this question for a few hours, and you’re right… you certainly can do that. Good job winning the debate! My hat is off to you and your brilliant argument.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  48. Even if we don’t know of a situation where the specific tactic he is being named for has been used by him.

    Comment by imdw

    I see that you didn’t read my links or are lying.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  49. The Cleveland Plain Dealer published an “explanation” from Light, written via email. THERE IS A BIG STORY HERE FOR ENTERPRISING RESEARCHERS! Note that Light’s response-
    1. Doesn’t address why she lied about living in different areas
    2.Doesn’t say where she actually lives
    3. Doesn’t state whether she has had, or continues to have, any connections with the Obama campaign or administration, or any of thier paid consultants

    The cover-up is what gets you… when “Ellie Light” is revealed for who she (he?) truly is, then we will see the connections. I would bet $ those connections will be direct to the Democratic machine.

    TimT (aee116)

  50. This is a whole new level of willful ignorance or aggressive stupidity for imdw.

    Ellie Light (d0aa0e)

  51. Now all you have to do, Ellie, is cut and paste that comment over and over again.

    That shouldn’t bother imdw. After all, your point is correct…

    Eric Blair (20b3a8)

  52. [...] UPDATE III: Patrick’s got the Master Guide Pro-Obama astrotuf, right here. [...]

    Ellie Light and Her Brothers-in-Arms | Little Miss Attila (62389c)

  53. “Comment #19 is not relevant ”

    You told me I probably “dug around for quite a while.” I told you I just read a comment to find what I posted. Relevant.

    “links you cited are not persuasive”

    I’m not following. Are you saying you don’t think what happened in 2003 actually happened?

    imdw (f7b257)

  54. Astroturfing campaign underway by Team Obama?…

    Read this post from Patterico on the issue of what is clearly evidence of some type of coordinated campaign to have people write letters and submit them to different papers across the country either using the same message and name for each letter, or t…

    Sister Toldjah (4daa3c)

  55. I got an answer back from the paper. The executive editor weakly says both sides do it.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  56. Re: #53—see how the troll bats it back, asking others to do the work?

    And not dealing with the point at all.

    Troll 101.

    Dustin, you aren’t a “dumbass” for treating this character like a person who acts in good faith. You don’t have the problem with ethics and honesty.

    Eric Blair (20b3a8)

  57. Oh, and Dustin? The good news is that the person is using the caps key for now.

    Eric Blair (20b3a8)

  58. “Rock the Vote” and “Organizing for America” BOTH have automated letter-to-the-editor services that would make this possible…

    http://makesmybrainitch.blogspot.com/2010/01/is-ellie-light-rockin-vote.html

    One person could cut & paste hundreds of letters, or share them with friends to send…

    I’m techno-impaired. Is it possible to track IPs of these sites?

    Scratcher (c7c5d8)

  59. Iamadickwad – Do you ever get dizzy from all of your spinning?

    JD (d4625e)

  60. Maybe we could add “dervish” to his name. After all, they spin.

    Eric Blair (20b3a8)

  61. I’m not following.

    Comment by imdw

    Apparently. In this case, I have already answered your questions. Your links (whether you dug them up or not) are not relevant, are not credible, and describe something that is not on parity with 65 newspapers printing a lie together.

    You already know that I said this because you quoted other sections of comments where I explained this. You ignored it. You always ignore it when someone directly refutes you or challenges you on anything. You want to keep talking about something that probably didn’t even happen in 2003. Even if you lose that argument 100 times in a row, that’s better than discussing Obama’s use of Axelrod style astroturfing today, in a massive scale that has no peer anyone here is aware of.

    You aren’t repeated your point, already debunked, because you believe it. You are repeating it to change the topic. Do you have an argument defending this obvious democrat lie on such a scale? If you did, would you have to resort to repeatedly freaking out about something irrelevant?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  62. Thanks, Eric. Appreciated.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  63. The REAL question is why so many editors all chose the same letters to publish!

    My guess is because the letters were (1) well-written and (2) useful in presenting “balance,” since the great majority of letters are anti-Obama.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  64. Brother Bradley – imdw writes a better sentence than the Axelturf examples. And if it were 5 or 10, I might agree, but this was multiples of that, all across the country.

    JD (d4625e)

  65. “the Axelturf examples”

    LOL, I love this term. Axelturf is going catch on in usage.

    JD’s right… 65 papers? I don’t care if it was written by Shakespeare, that’s pretty suspicious. And the letters weren’t that interesting. “Birthers who want Obama to fail” is simply not all that novel.

    Maybe Axelrod sent it to 365 papers and only 65 printed it. Or somehow Axelrod had a way of getting this in blogs and newspapers more easily. We know many journalists collude on stories in secret, so the idea that they would cooperate to get out this propaganda isn’t unrealistic. The truth is probably both that some papers found it to be a great letter, some blogs and papers knew what was going on and wanted to help, and some papers didn’t print the letter (and there was a more massive effort than we’re aware of).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  66. JD,
    In that case, it must be (2), and the plight of Obama is worse than I thought, if editors have to scrape the bottom of the literary barrel to find Obama supporters.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  67. You know, Bradley, I have not noticed that the MSM strives very hard for “balance” in their letters to the editor. I do notice that they appear to have a bias in what they like to print in general.

    And Ellie Light sure fit their preconceptions!

    Eric Blair (20b3a8)

  68. [...] AN UPDATE ON THE “ELLIE LIGHT” ASTROTURFING STORY: Patterico notes that we’ve actually seen two types of astroturfing: [...]

    Instapundit » Blog Archive » AN UPDATE ON THE “ELLIE LIGHT” ASTROTURFING STORY: Patterico notes that we’ve actually seen two typ… (fe8e62)

  69. If any member of the Government participated in this scheme, then that changes the whole ball game. Whether a first year staffer or a member of Obama’s inner circle, it’s unacceptable. There is nothing legitimate about this tactic, the Government doesn’t lack for opportunities to make their views known. Seeding public discourse with self-aggrandizing alibis while writing under a pseudonym is about as insane an act of narcissism as I’ve ever seen. Never mind what it says about the paucity of ideas in the Obama “machine”.
    If any person that is drawing a Gov’t paycheck (or a grant or “stimulus” money, etc…) got within ten feet of this Ellie Light character, they must go.

    Lincolntf (3c40c5)

  70. A close reading of the letters reveals that all the writers are gay people of color and y’all here are homophobic racist gun-clinging moose-hunting white-trash Alaskan crackers in trucks.

    liamascorcaigh (367deb)

  71. A close reading of the letters reveals that all the writers are gay people of color and y’all here are homophobic racist gun-clingin’ moose-huntin’ white-trash Alaskan crackers in trucks.

    liamascorcaigh (367deb)

  72. Editors need to start using plagiarism-catching programs, like, yesterday. Already a professor or two use such programs to unfairly kick students out of class.

    John Hitchcock (09f4ee)

  73. Propaganda Campaign Launched by Someone in the Obama Admnistration Posing as a Concerned Citizen?…

    Ellie Light responds: Prolific pro-Obama letter writer talks about her online critics

    By Sabrina Eaton, The Plain Dealer

    January 24, 2010, 9:00PM
    A well-traveled letter writer who has used dozens of different
    addresses to publish a……

    Defend America (347d54)

  74. Johnh’s right. And granted, google is probably all the plagiarism catching program needed in this instance.

    But I’ve found that software, the specialized kind, is pretty bloody expensive. Thousands of dollars. I guess that’s not asking too much of professional publications that have large circulation. Every newspaper ought to have one in today’s world, just to check on their own employees let alone letters from supposed citizens.

    Does Ellie’s letter indicate that these newspapers are not using adequate plagiarism software? Or the corollary, if they do use the software, is that evidence that some of them knew what was going on and printed it anyway?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  75. [...] Until the Cleveland Plain Dealer blew the lid off “Ellie Light” and people like Patterico began digging, an inordinate number of newspaper editors couldn’t spot the [...]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Ellie Light speaks … and speaks … and speaks …. (e2f069)

  76. Ellie’s snide remarks about Tea Partiers makes her sound like the kind of condescending jerks people are rebelling against at the ballot box.

    Hawkins (1fc204)

  77. “Your links (whether you dug them up or not) are not relevant, are not credible, and describe something that is not on parity with 65 newspapers printing a lie together.”

    What’s not relevant? It’s an automatic sender for editorial letters. What’s not credible? It happened and is posted about on this and several other blogs and news sources.

    “You want to keep talking about something that probably didn’t even happen in 2003.”

    Do you really not believe it happened? Even Pat’s 7:50 am post said it happened 2003.

    The only difference is the potential scope and the fact that people used their same name under several addresses.

    “Even if you lose that argument 100 times in a row, that’s better than discussing Obama’s use of Axelrod style astroturfing today, in a massive scale that has no peer anyone here is aware of.”

    I see how an ad buy that is disguised to look like a public interest group is astroturfing that Axelrod has engaged in. You provided a link to that. I don’t know if he deserved moniker recognition for inventing that, but that’s another story. But this is a different kind of astroturfing going on here, again, one that has existed at least since 2003. So I don’t know why he gets the credit for the moniker either.

    imdw (c5488f)

  78. You guys just can’t win against a proud resident of a “minority majority neighborhood.”

    SPC Jack Klompus (237c0e)

  79. Of course not, SPC, he crank is so easily yanked out of place by anything that he can’t even see what he looks like. Rush is an antisemite, Beck is a rapist, whatever. imdw is going on and on with no sense of self. I have no idea if that degree of absorption is even possible. If he’s serious, then his refusal to answer or focus on a topic reflects a severe suffering. There’s a reason he has posted many comments in this thread without actually discussing the massive and unprecedented (chuckle) effort to Axleturf. He’s admitting that he loses that argument every time he shows us that his best retort is to make a non sequitur.

    Ellie really does go on and on about the relevance of Samantha Powers, Ellie winner and wife of Cass Sunstein (crazy astroturf lover).

    The responses also sound so much like an independent nut (the hatred of TEA partiers as a bunch of birther nuts is so passe’).

    Is this a act of confidence that we won’t ever learn who Ellie is? Is it an attempt to throw us off the scent by focusing on Samantha? I guess it doesn’t really matter. The scale of these letters says something.

    I guess if IMDW is possible, then Ellie Light is possible. She’s contacted with “we know you lied to everybody about who and where you are. Why?” And she replies “samantha powers is awesome, my uniform spam letter is also unique, and poor Obama!”

    People like this might actually be out there, completely certain that it’s OK to lie like imdw does while demanding people respond to every irrelevant thing they bring up. Ellie talks about how the entire GOP can’t be worked with because they make all make all these ridiculous assumptions. If she’s real, I guess it didn’t occur to her that it’s not the GOP making the ridiculous assumptions.

    Of course, she isn’t real.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  80. [...] bloggers continue to push stories that the mainstream media won’t touch, beginning with the Ellie Light Astroturf story which broke last week, and has been covered in depth so far only by blogs, whose astute [...]

    Doing The Job The MSM Won’t Do « Grand Rants (3d8069)

  81. [...] to find out who she is and why she’s doing this. Unfortunately for her, these people include Patterico and Ed Morrissey. If you’re being dishonest, you do not want these guys to find out about [...]

    End of the tunnel for Light? | The DC Trawler (3870e4)

  82. All this has echoes of the vile astro-turfing that went on during the late summer of 2008, beginning with Sarah Palin’s convention speech. The same smear machine that done in Hillary, and lay dormant for a few months, woke up after GOP convention. The machine seems to oscillate between veneration of Obama and smearing of his opponents. The Jawa Report did extensive reporting back then. It’s worth revisiting some of those posts. They trace the links between astro-turfers and private firms allied with David Axelrod.

    sharmajee (3cf5d3)

  83. [...] explains that there’s two kinds of astroturfing going on, Donald Trump astroturfing, which features [...]

    The Astroturf Brigade In Action « The Underground Conservative (bd1ac8)

  84. [...] throughout the blogosphere. Apparently, one person, supposedly named “Ellie Light”, has written letters to the editor in dozens of newspapers across the country, using different [...]

    Right Ohio » President Obama’s Astroturf Campaign Identical to Ted Strickland’s (ba367c)

  85. [...] are aware, an extensive pro-Obama astroturf campaign has been discovered in recent days. Blogger Patterico has been all over it. There have been Facebook pages devoted to discovering who these pro Obama sock [...]

    Is Recent Astroturf Campaign Part of Dept of Justice Propaganda Unit? « Nice Deb (942eaa)

  86. imdw – The two cases are not in any way comparable.

    In 2003 people were asked to write their local newspapers. If they needed wome pointers some were provided. If a person did not have the time or did not feel that they were able to write a persuasivel letter a sample letter was included that they were given permission to use under their own name. And the entire effort was (of necessity) public.

    This effort was one person (or organization) on its own sending hundreds of letters to newspapers claiming to be discreet citizens, each a resident of the local area, residents who do not exist, never existed. It is (by necessity) secret.

    You are apparantly trying to imply (without explisitly saying) that these letters were actually sent in to each paper by a local resident who -in every case- for some reason used the nom de geurre “Ellie Light”. Do you have any evidence of this or is this just another ass pull from the king of ass pulls?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  87. Hopefully it’s a high-school science project to map the bias of local press. Some enterprising student sent out equally polemic left-and-right letters to all these local papers with similar dissembling about authorship and is now counting what was published and not. When the science fair happens in April we’ll find that what we know for the MSM is also true local media.

    Well, I can dream.

    Ari Tai (3ddc6b)

  88. @11 — Comment by Intelliology — 1/25/2010 @ 2:37 am
    Isn’t the substance of the letters more important than who wrote them? Or can’t you address that? Sounds to me like you have a case of what you like to call “hey look, something shiny!”.

    The dishonesty and tactics belie the credibility of the authorship (do you really not understand that?). Anything said by such an author is suspect and cannot logically be trusted. The reliability and genuineness of any substance is gone. These authors have failed to present honestly, and upon discovery of their dishonest tactics, there is no reason to parse further among those eager for honest debate and an exchange of ideas.

    To hear genuine arguments and ideas one must seek those that are capable of engaging on an intellectually honest level, free of logical fallacies and based on evidence-driven facts. This is not a problem if one genuinely believes in the underlying philosophy of their argument. Such an argument stands true and without need of deceitful tactics or other disingenuous enhancements.

    Of course, this leaves you out – (aside from your past behavior, it’s one of those things: if you have to ask, you won’t understand the answer).

    Pons Asinorum (1f16cc)

  89. I think the better insight is the confirmatory evidence of MSM behavior. This incident should not be forgotten in the months ahead leading up to the elections. That is, based on the Axelrod stuff in the last election, we will see a lot of this and in many variations.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  90. [...] More on Ellie Light, her vast real estate holdings and astroturfing at Patterico’s Pontifications. Could she be writing from the website of the Democrat Party? Say it ain’t so, [...]

    Obama Has Suspicious Number of Letter-Writing Fans Named “Ellie Light” « TeeJaw (a6cc23)

  91. Why didn’t they change the names as well as the addresses? They wanted the names to be the same. Did they want to be found, like Greg Packer? Why? Given how well-planned and massive this campaign was, I do not believe that the common names are an oops.

    It’s good to know that this is happening. I just find it hard to believe that this was meant to be a secret. Trails are made to be followed.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  92. I see the righttard circle jerk is in full swing. Everyone knows that Republicans always attack the thing they are most guilty of doing themselves, and this is a prime example. Freedomworks/Dick Armey, Fox News, and countless “GOP strategists” have created the Tea Party “movement” and all you suckers fell in line, thinking it was some sort of populist uprising.

    Joe in Jersey (a8ce10)

  93. 90, Thenk you Joe “Axelrod”.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  94. Joe in Jersey, who’s your governor? Go up to Boston and ask who their Senator is. And then drive down to Florida and ask Crist how well the GOP has controlled the TEA parties.

    What’s sad is that you know by now that the TEA message resonates with the people. It’s not fake and you’re slandering good people when you freak out about it being astroturf. And yet here you are, defending astroturf when it’s pretty darn obvious.

    “Amphipolis”, you’re right… someone knew this would be discovered across the country. But if you’re going to spread out hundreds of identical letters, you have to choose your image. The image of a lone nutty lady sending out dozens of letters probably focused group less badly than dozens of identical different automatons.

    Imagine if Greenwald’s many sockpuppets had all used a single name. It wouldn’t have come across nearly as badly for him.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  95. Vote fraud is not just done to win elections. It is done blatantly in order to bring the entire electoral system into disrepute.

    What then is this meant for?

    Is this a way to prove that freedom of speech is a fantasy, because mass communication can be manipulated with impunity? If so, a better defense would be to show how little this affected public opinion.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  96. Amphipolis,

    The TEA party movement is growing, Obama is losing popularity every day as he screws with banks and our jobs and the deficit.

    While it’s true this makes it hard to trust anything you read in a newspaper at face value, that itself is the best defense. Grains of salt.

    You are probably right that some people are delighted to see how dispiriting this kind of crap is, but these days, that’s driving people to join protest movements, donate to good candidates, and “win beyond the margin of fraud”. Tactics are available to channel the reaction to Axelroding and ACORNing the vote.

    However, I don’t think we can “show how little this affected public opinion” because astroturfing works. A lot of people do read this crap and decide to blame Bush. A lot of people were convinced to abandon Hillary in the primaries. A lot of people probably think the TEA movement is all about birthers and lunatics. Axelrod is not a stupid man, and he’s not doing this ineffectively. I think examining its effect is good, but it’s not going to reach your conclusion. The only reason people are turning on Obama is that his message did not lead to the promised results. Hard realities are making mass communication of propaganda ineffective.

    The best defense is to laugh and mock and criticize the papers who played a role, knowingly or foolishly, in this effort, so they verify letters in the future. And we should find out who Ellie is.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  97. While it’s true this makes it hard to trust anything you read in a newspaper at face value, that itself is the best defense. Grains of salt.

    There is no better advice. Caveat lector.

    Bradley J. Fikes, C. O.R. (a18ddc)

  98. Folks, It doesn’t matter if there is an Ellie Light or Mark Spivey. They’re all just using mybarackobama.com to spam the newspaper editors. Obama has made it easy for them to do so. Of course you can use the same tool to inform the editors themselves of what has happened. Check my blog for details. Pretty funny.

    Maceo Collins (c8f62a)

  99. If they were astroturfing, why didn’t they change the names? It seems like they went to a lot of effort just to have it all exposed as spam so easily.

    It’s either the work of an idiot, a prankster, or someone’s weird plan. The more I think about it the more I think it was a prank.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  100. 92…. Everyone knows that Republicans always attack the thing they are most guilty of doing themselves, and this is a prime example….
    Comment by Joe in Jersey

    Projecting about projecting.

    I suggest Patterico and colleagues on the editorial board here create an “Ellie Award” to give anually in recognition and remembrance. I’ll let you folks think of the particular qualifications, if interested.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  101. Comment by steve miller — 1/25/2010 @ 3:12 am

    Are you saying that a robot wrote that? I assume that it was written by a real human, and not the T1000.

    Intelliology (00d844)

  102. If they were astroturfing, why didn’t they change the names? It seems like they went to a lot of effort just to have it all exposed as spam so easily.

    It’s either the work of an idiot, a prankster, or someone’s weird plan. The more I think about it the more I think it was a prank.

    Comment by Amphipolis

    Um, whether they did it well or not, this clearly fits the definition of astroturf. That part isn’t in question. Someone or some organization wanted many places to think a local had this view, and that person didn’t exist. That’s astroturf.

    Was it also a prank? I don’t know. If it was, it’s a pretty good one! All we know is that Cass and David like this tactic, and it was just used for their president. There’s no evidence it’s anything but exactly what it looks like… plain astroturf.

    Maybe aliens sent the message. Maybe it’s terrorists in secret code. Maybe this is some glitch in syndication. Maybe Ellie Light really is a billionaire with homes all around the country (ok, that one isn’t true). There are infinite possibilities, all pretty unlikely. All we know is that someone lied while blaming the GOP for all of Obama’s problems.

    And we should find out what each newspaper knows about it.

    I think the dismissal of this because it’s idiotic makes no sense. Did you see the ACORN videos? Only an idiot would help Giles and O’Keefe’s personas pimp children. Repeatedly across the country.

    Some people in politics are idiots. I think this was a genuine attempt to help Obama that has backfired because of an idiot.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  103. [...] to California and all points in between. Open-source-optimizing blogger Patterico has added much more information on both “Donald Trump Astroturfing” (”a letter published in multiple places from one person [...]

    The Astroturf Presidency – Who is Ellie Light? « Count Us Out (962ecf)

  104. [...] Pontifications: The Recent Evidence of Astroturfing, Summarized —  This post summarizes the evidence of Astroturfing by Obama supporters that surfaced over the [...]

    Sockpuppets Confused About Astroturf « his vorpal sword (661794)

  105. If you heard any of the conference call the White House had with the National Endowment for the Arts group, it “encouraged” the people to create arts (posters) and crafts that were PRO administration and pro campaign. The person that recorded and released it was not invited back.

    Freedom to say what you want? It didn’t sound that way. It took me some time to think this LTE campaign may have been related to this group or persons and the white house. The idea was to have an impact on the public in swaying their thinking.

    Travis (fbadc0)

  106. The more I think about it the more I think it was a prank.

    It this was a prank, how awesome would that be, in the end? Making fools out of so many newspaper editors at the same time would be hilarious, if not unsurprising.

    Dmac (539341)

  107. Tracing IP addresses is fine, but putting pressure on editors and reporters is much more likely to get results, and much sooner.

    IP addresses can be forged, spoofed, hidden, altered, etc.

    The fact that effectively the same letter was selected for publication in about 47 different papers around the country is unquestionable fact. What are the odds of this happening randomly?

    It looks to me like at least 47 editors have no journalistic integrity or ethics. Were they bought? Are we seeing payola in the newspapers?

    Hammer these questions home. The LA Times is regularly embarassed by being shown to be wrong, newspapers are dying everywhere, and more than a few “cub” reporters are likely to want a slice of their own local J. Jonah Jameson for a tirade or two.

    Then there’s the layoff aspect; many of these journalists know they’re on borrowed time. Who will hire journalists / reporters / editors that can be bought?

    If you’re a journalist, and reading this, remember, only the first guy to toss his cookies gets the pass; there’s only one. The rest get to live with the “propagandist” / ” astroturfer” / “unreliable reporter” label for their remaining careers. Think “Jason Blair or Snotty Thomas Beauchamp, but without imagination or skill”

    Arbalest (4a48eb)

  108. Before I retired a couple of years ago, I worked on the editorial/opinion side of four different papers over nearly 20 years (one leaned left, three right) and I still read the list maintained for members of the National Conference of Editorial Writers. Flagging astroturf is a prominent topic on the list. Editors hate astroturf, of any political ideology, and don’t publish letters they’ve identified as such, but if they’re publishing 2,500 letters a year, sometimes they’re fooled. Until it started showing up all over the place, the Ellie Light letter wasn’t particularly suspicious by itself.

    If you check the circulations of the papers that published this letter, most of them (not all, of course) are very small, and probably publish every (plausibly publishable) letter they get. I mean, no poetry, no people asking for money to have the radio chips in their heads removed . . .

    Papers have different verification policies in place, partly because of the limits of available staff time. But no verification policy I’ve ever encountered, or even heard about over drinks in the hotel bar at the annual convention, is based on the political content of the letters.

    Instructions to the letters editor run along the lines of, “choose a representative sample of what we receive.” People don’t believe that, because they tend to overestimate how many people agree with them, and therefore accuse their paper of suppressing views like theirs. On both sides.

    You don’t need a conspiracy on the newspapers’ part to explain Ellie Light, just one person who knows how newspapers work, and clever enough to exploit the knowledge.

    linda seebach (690aca)

  109. You don’t need a conspiracy on the newspapers’ part to explain Ellie Light, just one person who knows how newspapers work, and clever enough to exploit the knowledge.

    Comment by linda seebach

    Not that this sounds unreasonable, but I would expect these newspapers to be reaction to this dishonesty by now. I think it should be a well discussed story in every affected newspaper. I certainly don’t expect papers to be free of error, but I am suspicious that so many carried the same letter. And many of them had some time to learn this was astroturf if they employed even rudimentary searches.

    But I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, and if they investigate and report, I will.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  110. [...] of this sudden and partial epiphany is that it comes as the Democrats (and perhaps the White House) launched a wave of Ellie Light astroturfing that features — you guessed it — a blame-Bush theme.  They have [...]

    Democrats rethinking “blame Bush” strategy after Massachusetts flop « Cliftonchadwick's Blog (93c9c4)

  111. Some people in politics are idiots.

    Comment by Dustin — 1/25/2010 @ 1:52 pm

    You post with them every day, Dustin. Dmac, JD, PCD… all morons.

    Intelliology (00d844)

  112. You think that’s hilarious, don’t you?

    Hey, at least you aren’t laughing at sick rape trash like imdw.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  113. #97 Preston: the issue about Obama being properly qualified to hold his office is NOT one of the place of birth of one of his critics (Moldavia, Montenegro, or Montana), or even that she is right, or wrong, about her claims – the issue is that NO Secretary of State even bothered to do their job and ask to see any proof of Obama’s assertions of eligibility, and in CA, in the face of a complaint – before the election – by a legitimate opposing candidate.

    The CA SOS failed to do his job; he accepted an affidavit from the candidate instead of asking for a copy of relevant documents.

    Are we to understand that election fraud is no longer a crime if you win?

    Are we to understand that there is NO legal recourse for a candidate who has been harmed by admission of an opposing candidate who is not legally eligible to hold the office?

    Are we to understand that the CA SOS can unilaterally decide to admit (or reject?) unqualified candidates?

    Think how you would react if this was done to YOUR candidate…

    Oops, almost forgot, I figured out who E. Light really is - she is actually a machine!

    http://www.bikudo.com/product_search/details/124771/portable_e_light_beauty_equipment.html

    We may go in business together, follow the lead of the door-to-door ‘salesman’ offering free massages, and offer light therapy free trials (see device uses).

    Sashland (98285d)

  114. So, Dustin, based on this nonsense, how old do you think “Intelliology” is?

    And I don’t know everyone who posts very well, but I do know JD and Dmac.

    I think it is very telling that this poorly named Intelliology person doesn’t directly call them “morons.”

    It would be, well, intelligent on all kinds of levels.

    But then, he is just here to troll and try to stir up trouble in a safe way. Emphasis on safe.

    Eric Blair (20b3a8)

  115. “All we know is that Cass and David like this tactic, and it was just used for their president. ”

    And there’s not much more we need to know.

    “The CA SOS failed to do his job; he accepted an affidavit from the candidate instead of asking for a copy of relevant documents.”

    Oh man it’s been a while since we’ve had a birther thread.

    imdw (f7b257)

  116. Eric, it’s very hard to say.

    Public education can make 18 year olds sound like they are 15. A prestigious college might make a 21 year old sound like he’s 12. Go to grad school, and you’ll be lucky to graduate prenatal.

    But yeah, he’s acting like a baby. Which, if that’s how he wants to present himself, is fine. It’s not very persuasive, but if he had something persuasive to say, he wouldn’t have called people “idiots”.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  117. So…. let’s just highjack those websites and do our own axelturfing.

    And even better… let’s use THEIR names!

    heh

    Scott B (a45cf8)

  118. #115 by whatever…

    What’s a “birther”? someone who was born and not hatched?

    I’m a “Legaler”, as in, do what is legal and lawful.

    I’m an Evidencer, as in, taking the time to read, learn, and be present in reality,

    I guess that makes me a Realer, too?

    Since I suspect that you distain this “birther” thing (and probably Evidencers and Realers, too), does that make you a Hatcher (and a Make Things Upper & Fantaser) ? ? Are you implying that you believe that Obama was Hatched? I’ll stick with the conventional wisdom; Obama is human and was born human in the conventional sense…

    Now, have you ever bothered to investigate in any way the conduct of the CA SOS? I heard rumors on this site that you have a different source for your spew.

    BTW, would you like a free E Light treatment?; I read that it removes “speckles”.

    Sashland (0b25f5)

  119. [...] blogs is to keep Big Media in check. If you are concerned by the discovery this past weekend of a spate of pro-Obama Astroturfing, it’s because you agree that political persuasion should not be accomplished through [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Newspaper Editors Begin to Address Pro-Obama Astroturfing (e4ab32)

  120. Sashland, don’t let imdw goad you. He’s not here to debate, and he would like nothing more than for this and every other thread to be about Obama’s birth certificate.

    Of course many of the bureaucrats didn’t do their job. That sucks. I am convinced Obama is eligible and was born in Hawaii, and I still agree it sucks. Now that some state bureaucrats have broken the law for Obama, such as their investigation of Joe the Plumber, some people just don’t accept any computer generated (bureaucrat made) evidence as proof. It’s a system meant for chaos, though. They announced his birth when he was born in Hawaii. He’s probably listed as Caucasian on his birth certificate, or something else politically inconvenient.

    Anyway, what my point is is that part of this astroturf mission was the paint the GOP as “birthers”. It’s a shame, but the political reality is that Obama is our president now and he really is who the voters wanted, even with so much secrecy about his background. Don’t let Ellie Light decide what we are all about. The right and the center are outraged at what we know for sure about Obama. He’s ballooning the deficit, and he lied a lot about transparency. He’s costing us millions of jobs and he’s boneheaded on national security.

    At this point, mentioning that his documentation isn’t ideal is simply giving the left a gift. They want to pretend that’s all there is to opposition to Obama. Fuck that noise.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  121. I don’t know if anyone else has also checked, but here’s the Yahoo profile that goes with the Yahoo username ellie.white (with a period separating first & last name per the Yahoo email addy).

    http://profiles.yahoo.com/ellie.light

    Here’s a screenshot of the profile:

    http://i46.tinypic.com/10s9lqw.jpg

    Not much info on the page: “Ellie”, “female”, “Massachusetts” and “Member Since: 01/06/2010″.

    snowbirdman (fee4a1)

  122. [...] and Patterico.com have some follow-up updates including email headers, IP addresses and potential origins from and of [...]

    The Right Side of Life » The Curious Case of “Ellie Light” (fa89c7)

  123. For the last time, it is the Democratic Party, not the Democrat Party. To call us the wrong name is disrespectful, and this is particularly insidious, as it is ALMOST the right name, but not quite. I don’t call the GOP the Republic party, or even any of the numerous unbecoming nicknames out there. You sound either dumb, uneducated, or disrespectful doing this.

    And I don’t condone astro-turfing, either, and I find these latest incidents embarrassing. So we do agree on something.

    Kati (9cf7e8)

  124. Kati, insidious?

    LOL, how many times have you told the left to stop saying “rethuglican”? I’ve heard them say “republic party” too. The party that treated the elected president like garbage from the day if his inauguration in 2001, pelting his motorcade with eggs? Booing him as he left in 2009? Your party didn’t respect democracy.

    It’s not a democratic party. It has suffered numerous convictions for election fraud. ACORN, strictly the democrat party’s helping hand, has registered countless fakes. Democrats have won on the backs of counties where more votes were cast than people live.

    It’s a party of democrats, so it’s a democrat party. The democrats might prefer calling it the democratic party, but that’s inaccurate. They aren’t democratic.

    The President of the United States called it the Democrat Party. You aren’t royalty and do not deserve any special favor. It’s not really all that bad. Libertarians are in the libertarian party. Republicans are in the Republican party. Communists are in the Democrat party (joke, joke). Anyway, it’s called the “democrat” party because the word “democratic” implies the power of democracy, and you don’t deserve that. It’s a criticism delivered with a subtle cleverness, much unlike Bushilter, or chimpy, or Repig.

    I am not surprised that you find it aggravating, and perhaps you respect democracy and honored the 2000 elections and abhor ACORN. But understand, the term democratic is just too Orwellian for your party, to my tastes.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  125. [...] Ellie Light Located? The Astroturf Presidency: more [...]

    OBAMA’S OMNIPRESENT FAN: Who is Ellie Light? (images) « FactReal (725c82)

  126. [...] I dunno. It’s pretty hard to sneak sort of thing past, say, Patterico. [...]

    dustbury.com » Surf and astroturf (68987f)

  127. Thanks Dustin, not getting goaded, just shining an E-Light on a cockroach.

    I agree with you on this level: I’m not going to tolerate being “framed” and the discussion re-categorized by thread-jackers; I think it is much the same underlying issue of media manipulation to change the debate. I just choose to re-frame back to an ‘uncomfortable’ aspect of the debate by taking what really is just an attempt to denigrate and flipping it around to show how the thread-jacker is, well, what he is… and sharing with the audience is more important than those folks.

    Recognizing that “birther” is intended as a pejorative, I want the onus to be shifted to the “name-caller” by pointing out explicitly the tactic.

    Besides, aren’t you glad that I found the real “E. Light”? Its a scoop!

    Sashland (0b25f5)

  128. On the astroturf letters, a lie is a lie is a lie. Astroturfing is influencing votes by telling lies, therefore it is wrong, no matter who is doing it.

    On the birther issue, we as Americans are supposed to question our leaders, not blindly follow them. It is the rights of American citizens being violated when the government refuses to provide documents necessary to give the public everything necessary to instill confidence in its leaders. This should never have been an issue and would be easily solved if these documents were provided. This makes me believe our President doesn’t want the population to have confidence in him. Either way, it is disturbing to me.

    PJPony (7c65d9)

  129. “… This makes me believe our President doesn’t want the population to have confidence in him…”

    well, he’s exceeding beyond any reasonable expectations.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a1830d)

  130. [...] 2: A Sunday Patterico post identified two types of astroturfing [...]

    BizzyBlog (9cf957)

  131. So not only is Ellie a pseudonym for a real person, and not some nefarious astrturfing front, but little Jimmy O’Keefe just destroyed the credibility of Breitbart and the entire teabag “journalism” movement.

    Ha, ha. What a bunch of fools you are look like with your conspiracy theories. All the while your great leaders are raping you for $600 a pop to listen to the Tea Partiers rage against, what? EVERYTHING. Idiots.

    Joe in Jersey (a8ce10)

  132. [...] Patterico lays out the distinction between “Donald Trump astroturfing,” where a person spams his wit and wisdom (or otherwise) all over the universe in his own name while claiming an implausibly large number of home addresses, from “David Axelrod astroturfing,” where a person spams with multiple identities. The latter is a potentially serious offense, in my book, but not always. The latter is truly a yawner. Here’s why. [...]

    damnum absque injuria » Light Offense of the Day (490ac4)

  133. [...] but from there it has really taken off in the blogosphere and Facebook – with the numbers of "Ellie Light" sightings now above 60, and new examples of similar campaigns being identified fast and [...]

    Media Came Down Hard on Pro-Iraq War ‘Ellie Light’-like Tactic in 2003 | TheWorldPolitics (197be1)

  134. [...] story of “Ellie Light” and “Robert Stephenson” astroturfing has still not made my Austin (TX) American-Statesman, even though it’s one of the newspapers [...]

    Austin American-Statesman, astroturfed twice by Democrats, doesn’t give a damn? - barrypopik’s Diary - RedState (b8f4ec)

  135. Idiots.

    Comment by Joe in Jersey — 1/26/2010 @ 4:07 pm

    Dude. You live in Jersey!

    Matador (176445)

  136. Every time someone calls you a teabagger, you should ask them how your balls taste.

    JD (3399c0)

  137. Kati, Your party never gave Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43 any respect. You cannot command respect and as it stands, no Democrat politician or supporter deserves any respect until they reform themselves and start behaving as HONEST adults.

    PCD (1d8b6d)


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