MOVEON ON UP
John Kerry apparently has given up the pretense that there is no linkage between the George Soros-financed anti-Bush group MoveOn.org and his campaign. He has just hired MoveOn's special projects and research director Zach Exley to oversee his campaign's website.
Exley also played a critical role in putting together the mobilization plan that ensured large crowds at MoveOn events in New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.
The Kerry campaign made a point of saying that Exley was joining the campaign with not a single scrap of paper or computer disk from MoveOn's offices.
"It's inevitable that Exley is going to be using MoveOn folks and information for the Kerry campaign. The guy was their opposition research guy," says a Bush campaign staffer. "The RNC has been saying all along that these guys have been working together, so now the guy responsible for all those anti-Bush ads on TV and the Web is essentially doing the same thing for the Kerry camp? Soros probably has an office in Kerry campaign headquarters by now."
STEELING CLARKE'S THUNDER
So did former Bush national security staffer Richard Clarke get a little help for his testimony before the 9/11 Commission? He denies it, but some staffers who are part of a Democratic interest group are saying that he did.
According to several staffers doing work for the America Coming Together, a 527 set up by organized labor to campaign against President Bush, rumors continue to swirl that Clarke received assistance for his testimony from staffers working of the Thunder Road Group, another pro-Democrat 527 which is operated by former John Kerry campaign manager, Jim Jordan.
"We'd heard that Clarke had some help with writing his testimony and in prepping for the questioning," says a staffer for America Coming Together. "Some of us had seen Clarke testify on the Hill in the past, and he wasn't very good. Then he makes this amazing performance. It made us wonder. The rumor is that he ended up getting some help from Kerry's people, but indirectly through Thunder Road."
The rumor was given further credence yesterday during Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the commission, when even before Rice made her opening statement, the Thunder Road Group was sending out email missives to reporters questioning her statement, providing them with a guide to her remarks and giving them a sample Q & A. At other times over the next three hours, Thunder Road would email out Rice's remarks just made before the commission, followed by statements made by Clarke during his testimony to point out the differences.
"There was definitely a whiff of collaboration," says a Republican staffer on the 9/11 Commission, who saw some of the email traffic. "But if Clarke got help, we're not interested. We'll leave that to others to determine."
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