Update on Martha Robertson's (D CAND, New York-23 PRI) cyber-attack accusations.

Meet Martha Robertson. Democrat, hoping to run in NY-23. Made an interesting accusation and promise, back in October of 2013:

Republicans have been pressuring Robertson to provide proof that GOP operatives attempted to hack her campaign website. Robertson made that claim in a Sept. 30 fundraising email.

“We’re working to hire a cyber-security firm to take a serious look at that and investigate everything that happened. Beyond that it’s really better to leave it up to them,” Robertson said in an Oct. 9 interview.


Annnd how did that investigation go? Well, according to this FEC report for 4Q 2013, it didn’t go at all: if Robertson had an investigation done, it wasn’t paid for by the campaign. Now, I am not an expert on this sort of thing, but as I understand the rules involving a FEC Form 3: Schedule B is for the reporting of all disbursements to vendors for campaign-related work. That there is no listing there for a cyber-security investigation seems very interesting. Almost as interesting? The fact that the campaign has been ducking this question since at least December.

It’s at times like this that I have to remind myself that the entire panoply of political monitoring techniques – public video archives, convenient news searches, online government databases, and the rest of it – did not actually exist until several years ago. I mention this because Ms. Robertson’s strategy of wild accusations and later stonewalling would have worked perfectly well in, say, 1997. By the time people got around to remembering the original allegations and tracking down a transcript of the footage and then cross-checking with the actual election records said election would have been over for several months and the matter thus moot. It being 2014, however… yes, we can check these things in real-time.


And real-time is telling us that Martha Robertson made some rather serious allegations, only she apparently didn’t take them seriously enough to actually follow up. Sloppy work there, madam. Very sloppy work.

Moe Lane (crosspost)


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