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Wednesday, November 21, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 12:00 PM | permalink
Listen to my appearance on Hugh Hewitt last night here.

In the past 12 hours I have had to deal with and debunk yet one more crazy theory that Romney is really behind all this push polling.

After RedState publishes their non-apology, non-recanted post about yesterday's egregious "push poll" theory, Erick Erickson couldn't help but delve once more into the fever swamp and pull out a self-admitted "off-the-wall theory", that only Romney people are the ones complaining about the poll. On top of this Soren Dayton implies that Romney planted the people who reacted negatively to the Mormon poll from his own paid staffers.

You see, in a few press accounts, Marshan Roth and Rose Kramer told their stories of receiving the anti-Mormon polls. But wait! ALERT! Roth and Kramer have been paid by the Romney campaign. It seems they might be staffers! It's true.

So, I pull out my arsenal of exclusive tools and skills (my forefinger, a phone and a brain) and I look up said Marshan and Rose and find them at home (I woke them both up, sorry ladies).

I conjured up my own theory as I read the Erick's post. I'm thinking these ladies actually received the bad polls, called their local Romney office (which they knew well) and told their stories. The Romney office made a note of it. When the press comes calling looking for people who got the phone calls the Iowa office point them to Marshan and Rose.

Shocker! I was right. Marshan and Rose, who are both seemingly retired, roused enough to confirm my story.

Please remove your tinfoil hats! There will be no more conspiracy theories!

UPDATE: Lots of complaints now. "Why didn't they reveal their status with the campaign?" I asked Marshan that last night. Her reply: "What? Why? What do you mean? Why do they want to know that?" Folks, these are non-political septuagenarians. They just were answering a phone call and telling their story to someone in the press. My guess is they went to Ames and they help out at the local office stuffing letters.

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Also . . .

Wouldn't a lefty 527 want to purposefully "stir the pot" on a controversy like this by making sure such calls went to Romney staffers (making sure it got plenty of exposure to people who would complain)?

It seems to me that these calls would not just be made randomly because the total impact of them would seem to be negligible, and basically a waste of time. So, whomever did this obviously called specific people who they knew would report this....they wanted this all to hit the news, for whatever reason, perhaps because they thought it would look like Romney people.

FYI: This post is going around Free Republic:
Blogger in contact with Western Wats resigns from Romney campaign
November 21, 2007 – 2:52 pm

Justin Hart has notified me that he has resigned from his position as a Vice Chair of the Romney campaign’s Faith and Values Steering Committee after I challenged him for not disclosing that he was an official in the Romney campaign.

Justin had been, until today, the only person who Western Wats would speak with. This afternoon Liz Mair wrote about a discussion she had with Jeffery Welch, a senior Western Wats executive and Romney donor.

He appears to have resigned soon after contacting the Romney Iowa staffers who the Romney campaign has now admitted to misrepresenting to the press.
So, what's the real story so I can cram this BS down their throats? Any indication if this is a strategy from one of the rival campaigns?

While not foolproof, (and that would seem to be what is required given the nonsense that has transpired) wouldn't the simplest explanation have the greatest chance of being correct? At least, it would seem to be the razor you would want to start with.

Since thankfully pundits occur infrequently in the general population, at least far less frequently than Romney supporters, the callers contacted more Romney supporters than fair-minded pundits (which is a smaller subset of the whole set of pundits). Romney supporters would be far more likely to be offended and thus far more likely to let someone know. And if they knew where the local Romney office was, that might be your first contact.

This was a large calling effort. It can't be that tough to hit a Romney supporter with that much buckshot.

But if you need a conspiracy, I suggest you check into the foaming-at-the-mouth Bill Keller-type ministries. After all, they are engaged in the work of saving the world from Mormonism, even as it dies of secularism.

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