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"Gotcha" Dirt on Democrats: The Clandestine Search Abroad

by Jeffersonian Democrat Fri Apr 18th, 2008 at 03:38:20 AM EST

Hello everyone, I am posting this really as a Public Service Announcement for American democrats here in Europe who may read ET but are not on the Democrats Abroad email list: a warning was sent out yesterday and I just wrote a diary about it, which I will post later today on DKos for maximum exposure.

I feel like I am back in the military, on a strategic reconnaissance  mission deep in the hinterland, sending a report of raw intelligence back to higher for further analysis and decemination.

People, we really have to get our shit together and quit bickering amongst ourselves, because there are others laying the groundwork for some serious attacks against our nominee in the fall.  What follows below is a report for a search, or fishing expedition, of information to build a case of not only character assassination but possible legal problems and complications for the Democratic nominee in the General Election, IMO.

This is raw info, a series of emails concerning a Reuters reporter and Democrats Abroad in Germany.  Yesterday we were warned not to talk to this reporter and DA sent out the appropriate response.  But I wanted to pass this on to everyone here so that we are not blind sighted by something like this or something else out of the blue that may actually have legs.  I do not think this has legs, but it gives you an idea of the sorts of attacks that no one has yet thought of; that someone else is trying to construe.  Remember, an attack without legs has a chance of success in public opinion if there is no defense prepared.  Or, the five P's: Prior Planning Prevents Piss-poor Performance!

It seems that a Reuters reporter in Berlin has a couple of "sources" and is now conducting "real investigative" journalism in search for the holy grail of campaign stories:

----- Original Message -----
From: Dave Graham
To: johncmcqueen@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2008 12:03 PM
Subject: Reuters inquiry about Democratic donations

Dear Mr. McQueen,

I'm a Reuters journalist currently trying to find out anything I can about the extent to which non-U.S. citizens have been donating to the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the 2008 election. I just spoke to Bill Purcell in NRW and he recommended I contact you.
Because it's illegal, there's obviously not a lot of reliable information to draw on. But -- and I know of one or two cases of it happening -- I think it's an interesting story to pursue, assuming that any credible sources emerge.
If you felt you could assist in any way, I'd be very grateful. I'd be delighted to call you at any time if you had a moment to discuss the issue.
Essentially my inquiry focuses on the following points.

  1. How much are non-Americans donating to Obama or Clinton.
  2. How much has this changed since the last election.
  3. To whom are they giving the most money (I think I can guess the answer to that, for Germany at least, but never mind!)
  4. Why are they doing it. (Perhaps obvious, but I'd still need to say)

It may not be possible to answer all or any of these questions, but you never know until you ask.
Many thanks for your time, and best regards

Dave Graham

Reuters AG
Schiffbauerdamm  22
Berlin 10117

Do we now see the relevancy of the idiotic flag-pin talking point?  The relevancy of lobbyists for trade deals?  They are out there searching for illegal foreign donors to support the "patriotism" line of attack.  Those issues raised in the consciousness of the electorate no longer seem idiotic, mindless, or irrelevant to me.  With this inquiry, it seems to be the coordination of a strategic plan of attack.

But let's give a round of applause, good thoughts, and mojo to our Democrat Abroad leaders out there:

----- Original Message -----
From: Susan Haug
To: dave.graham@thomsonreuters.com
Cc: John McQueen
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2008 7:46 PM
Subject: RE: Reuters inquiry about Democratic donations

Dear Mr. Graham,

John McQueen has forwarded me your request.

Democrats Abroad is aware of no illegal contributions from non-US nationals to US presidential primary candidates.  We do not and cannot co ordinate with the campaigns on fundraising and hence have no information on which to base a response. I would suggest that you approach the individual campaigns with your questions. Political parties and presidential campaigns are separate and distinct entities separated by a good bit of federal election law.

Democrats Abroad is the official branch of the Democratic Party for Americans living overseas. Democrats Abroad members are American citizens. Republican Abroad, with which you are probably familiar, has a different legal status and is not an official part of the Republican Party.  Their membership and fundraising efforts are not restricted in the same ways as those of our organization.

Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.

With Kind Regards,

Susan Haug
EMEA Regional Media
Democrats Abroad

Furthermore, this is important, DA has sent out instructions on how to handle this reference the email above, for all Kossacks who are DA, here is your Public Service Announcement:

Dear All,

    Both Susan and I think there may be something not innocent behind this reporter's quest for a story. Please do not make any comment at all if he should try to contact you.  The response below was coordinated with Joe Smallhoover, DA Counsel.



My personal feeling is that this is not coming from any of the campaigns, Democrat or Republican.  Occam's Razor leads me to believe this is a 527/Swiftboat operation - a political black op.  However, I am not a devious political mind, if I were I would be making millions, so If anyone has further or different analysis I would love to hear it.  I don't think this is coming out of the Clinton camp myself, she already has a can of worms with CAFTA, Penn and Colombia.

I don't think it is coming out of the Obama camp either dirty is really not his style.  Although a devious mind would think that this would bolster the Penn flap, keep in mind the reporter states in question three: "To whom are they giving the most money (I think I can guess the answer to that, for Germany at least, but never mind!)".  I take this as clearly an investigation of Obama.  If so, again I do not think at this point it is Clinton, but rather worried Republicans who see the writing on our Primary's wall.  That's my take.

I seem to think that they are building a case on patriotism for the fall and they are starting now domestically by planting seeds, albeit now unwarranted and seemingly irrelevant, and looking for dirt abroad for foreigners buying our government.  Those irrelevant seeds of flag pins will become more relevant, and grow, if they can slime more in the fall to paint a big ugly picture ("see! remember last spring in the debates, we just knew the man was unpatriotic, he doesn't wear a flag pin and now foreign socialists are contributing to his campaign! It all adds up, dont 'cha know!")

Lastly, I am not great on tags either, so please feel free to correct and/or improve.  And for courtesy disclosure, I think I am going to post this over at European Tribune although it isn't really an European issue, there are still plenty of Democrats Abroad who read it and if they are on the email list, I would like to spread the word about this -jerk- investigative reporter.

Doesn't surprise me at all. US elections are slime pits from start to finish and the Republicans have shown a talent for being dirtier in a way that is giving them a distinct advantage. Course, you could change the system, but that'd spoil everyone's fun.

I'd pass this on to London DA, but the only contact I have would already have this.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 18th, 2008 at 12:51:34 PM EST
Reuters, huh?

Someone should ask the nice people at Reuters whether they have someone called Dave (or David) Graham in their employ. If they don't, well, then that would open up some... interesting possibilities.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 at 11:56:45 AM EST

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