July 01, 2008
"Staff error"

Once you've been shown to be a sock puppet, it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that you've always been a sock puppet.

Yesterday, Burnt Orange Report unmasked prolific commenter "Buck Smith" as actually being Dave Beckwith, a Cornyn staffer who evidently splits his time between working in Cornyn's federal Senate office and on the Cornyn campaign. The Cornyn campaign has defended Beckwith, saying he is simply doing the same thing everyone else on blogs is doing, although having a legitimate reason for using a pseudonym is a bit different than using one because you are a paid political operative.

Beckwith, however, didn't just comment at one or two blogs (Burnt Orange Report and DailyKOS being two most people are aware of). In fact, he trolled sites belonging to mainstream media outlets, and sockpuppeted across nearly a dozen Texas-based and national blogs.

According to Vince's research, Beckwith/Buck Smith has been visiting blogs since 2005. Old habits die hard, apparently. One of the things he said in that latter thread certainly rings true:

Many political mistakes are blamed on staff error. But sometimes the fault lies with -- staff error.

That's certainly a concept with which he's familiar. I wonder, would shilling for a raise while using one's alter ego count as an error? Gotta admit, that does show initiative, so maybe not. More to come soon, I'm sure.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 01, 2008 to Election 2008

Would it be too much to claim that most officials have a staff member who scans, replies and trolls blogs regularly under a false name?

Posted by: Charles Hixon on July 2, 2008 12:30 AM
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