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Monday, November 19, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 7:57 AM | permalink
UPDATE: I caught wind of this story last night and immediately called my source. He told me that he would be very surprised if it were connected to Romney & Co. Then he said: "our client is not political. At best we're a 3rd party vendor in this." So the question is this: Target Consulting does fit the 3rd party story but they are decidedly political. More to come... stay tuned.

National Review Online has a new article up by Mark Hemingway digging deeper into the notion of whether or not the Romney campaign itself conducted the recent surveys with apparently anti-Mormon messages. (I'm proud to say that he links to MMM quite a bit for his information).

Mark's article is pretty balanced but is obviously digging hard for a connection. There is only one or two more bits of information:
  • Hemingway makes a connection between Target Point Consulting, Alex Gage (Romney's number cruncher), and Western Wats (the company most closely connected to the recent calls). In short, the Romney campaign has paid Target Point Consulting $720,000 during this cycle. There is also evidence that Target Point has used Western Wats in the past.

  • Amanda Earnshaw, the caller who donated $2300, is part of a family that has been deeply involved in the Romney campaign. Mark tries to bring the connection between Amanda and a supposed caller in an August poll that someone complained about. This is periphery evidence at best.

First, the notion that a single link between Target Point and Western Wats exists is not surprising. My source tells me that they are frequently a 3rd party vendor in many of these efforts.

The rest of it is pretty much stuff you already know from yours truly and others.

I will say this. This connection is logically plausible but totally unproven and we need to get to the bottom of this very quickly.

Having re-read the article I'm not convinced. The evidence is pretty scant and stretching to accuse Romney as he does. Let's review:

  • Lindorfs - disproven

  • Amanda - irrelevant (highly coincidental if true)

  • Other donors - irrelevant

  • Target Consulting -> WW --> Gage --> Romney - plausible but the proof is a single entry from a bulletin board

  • Related Romney camps -they exist, but its the largest data collection firm in the world. Chances are a lot of campaigns use them

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Let's see, A "non-political" third party? That could be Ed Decker at work? Soros? Kos Kids? I suppose it depends on the definition of non-political doesn't it. Then there is the issue of who benefits and is not afraid of ultimate disclosure.

By Anonymous Rich from Ventura County, at November 19, 2007 at 1:09 PM  

Amanda Earnshaw has not worked for Western Wats for at least 6 months. She was a part-time dialer for the company. I spoke with her today, and there is absolutely no truth to this "connection" or the conclusion he draws from it.

Two words: deductive LEAP.

This is VERY bad journalism from NRO. I'm really shocked.

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