Today's rhetorical question involving the Obama campaign's involvement in the anti-Palin astroturfing scandal.

What is the relationship between “cnwinner” (or, as Rusty calls him, “Charles N Winner, President of Winner & Associates”), active participant in a fake anti-Palin astroturf scheme, and David Axelrod, noted participant in astroturfing? Before you complain about that last categorization, do read this post from the infamous right-wing rag Mother Jones. Translation: we’re not the only ones who noticed.Anyway, the answer to the question is: “Actually, yeah, the two have worked together in the past.” Again, via My Pet Jawa:


Despite these findings, Winner/Wagner & Mandabach partners Chuck Winner, Ethan Wagner, Paul Mandabach and Les Francis emerged from their in-house evaluation with a belief that Proposal E could be passed.

“Our conclusion that we could win was based on our analysis of sub-surface data found in the complex, 70-question strategic opinion survey,” explained Paul Mandabach, firm president. In particular, “the comparative pro/con message strength and the power of ‘yes’ on E message ‘push questions’ led us to believe that with a well-designed measure, an adroit campaign, and, of course, a little luck, Proposal E could be passed.”

The polling provided the framework for our “yes” on E messages. Winner/Wagner & Mandabach brought in Sipple: Strategic Communications to work with them in developing television and radio ads. They also worked with the Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group, headed by Tom Shields, to target direct mail to swing voters. …

An ad featuring popular Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer was produced by the Mayor’s media consultant, David Axelrod. It aired in the final days of the campaign, and asked Michigan voters to help Detroit reduce its dependence on state aid.

Soooo… it appears that one of the guys involved in an astroturf attempt to smear the Republican Vice Presidential candidate for President just happens to be the head of a PR firm that has the facilities and skill set necessary to pull it off, just happens to be a maxed-out Democrat supporter of Barack Obama, and just happens to have worked on a PR project in the past with somebody who’s both one of Obama’s main guys, and a notorious proponent of astroturfing.

Who needs fantasy novels, when you’ve got the Obama campaign?