This post was actually written off a Release from Ashley Barbera, but I thought I’d cross-post for your enjoyment.
You all may remember that in July, we sponsored a contest on STORM, with the prize being free housing at the Republican National Convention. The College Republicans who won had a great week in Minneapolis-St. Paul, getting to participate in some great events during the day, and watch the speakers in the convention hall every night.
However, it turns out that one of the winners wasn’t a CR. He wasn’t even a Republican. Michael Connery, a blogger for the leftist site FutureMajority.com, disguised his identity in order to infiltrate STORM and become one of the winners. His ultimate goal was to obtain embarrassing footage of College Republican leaders in order to harm Senator McCain’s standing with young voters, but he failed.
What’s worse, another blogger reports that Connery conspired with a Rock the Vote employee to complete his subterfuge, reporting that: “Using dozens of different e-mail addresses, Connery and friends voted up his account. Sarah Burris, an activist with Rock the Vote and a pal of Connery’s, has 30 different email accounts registered with storm…He pretended not to know his friend Burgiss (sic), in town working with Rock the Vote, throughout the convention.”
Rock the Vote is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization, subject to strict laws and regulations governing its participation in the election process. The organization and its employees are legally prohibited from participating in activities that would promote a specific political party or candidate over another.
Ethan and Charlie both released statements on the issue:
“This sort of behavior from an employee of a non-partisan organization is completely unacceptable,” said Ethan Eilon, Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee. “Sarah Burris’ participation in Connery’s plot is unethical at best, and is possibly illegal. The College Republicans demand that Burris be dismissed from her position, and that Rock the Vote issue a public apology for their connection to this matter.”
College Republican National Chairman Charlie Smith added: “Connery and Burris’ twisted plot of lies and subterfuge is ridiculous behavior in a free and open democracy. Their sad attempt to embarrass the College Republicans demonstrates the liberal desperation to discredit the conservative youth movement. Barack Obama’s advantage with young voters is rapidly dwindling. Several recent polls have shown Obama’s lead among young voters has dropped from 30 points to nearly single digits in only a month. Connery and Burris’ behavior shows that Democrats will clearly do anything to disguise the rapid shift of young voters towards the candidacies of Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin.”