So what would you call it if someone picked some elderly man’s name out of a phone book, then sent a mailing in his name out to people to convince them that a political cause is worth supporting? Would you call it identity theft? To a degree. A newer term might be astroturf. But what ever you call it, at the very least it is a lie.
Well, leave it to Democrats to perpetrate this theft/lie to gin up support for a political cause. This is what happened in Massachusetts as uncovered by newspaperman Matthew Nadler of the Halifax-Plympton Reporter and Enterprise. (Talk about a name, that one is a mouthful)
Nadler is apparently in charge of the letters to the editor section of his daily and began his column talking of the joy he gets when he finds a letter addressed from a private citizen to his paper that is filled with a reader’s comments.
Sometime the end of last month, Nadler got what appeared to be one of those letters. It had a return address in the name of an elderly Massachusetts citizen, so Nadler at first thought that it was just that.
But as he opened and read the contents of the envelope, he was confronted with a generic form letter urging people to support the Medicare Advantage program. The letter urged the reader to contact their congressman and urge them to support the program. But, to Nadler’s suspicion, the “letter” didn’t contain any specific congressman’s name. This made Nadler feel something was “fishy.”
So Nadler picked up the phone.
But, it was attributed to a local resident. It had his name and phone number. So I called. I spoke with him. The gentlemen informed me that he had no idea what I was talking about. I apologized for wasting his time and was happy for the lesson in why we always verify a letter, no matter how innocuous the subject matter.
But the tale doesn’t end there.
I got a phone call Monday from a young man who said he was calling on behalf of the letter’s non-writer. I told him what happened, and I think I had some pointed words about what was a pretty sleazy use of an elderly person. I asked the caller who he was and who he worked for. Which, not surprisingly, I suppose, he declined to tell me.
Little did he know that, using modern communications technology available in most homes, I had his phone number, and using the magic of the Internet, I found out where he was calling from.
The number belonged to a company called the Dewey Square Group, which turns out to be a lobbying firm based in Boston. The staff list is full of some of the heavy hitters of Democratic politics in Massachusetts, people like Michael Whouley, who’s so important that Dennis Leary played him in a TV movie.
So this lobbying firm with Democrat “heavy hitters” as their clients stole some old guy’s name and sent out letters pretending to be him so that they could convince people to support their political cause without telling people who was really behind the campaign!
I don’t know about you, but in my world this is shady behavior. It’s unethical to say the least.
But, then again, it is par for the course in Democratic Party politics.
(H/T Allen Fuller)