Conservatives, Media, News, Op-Eds, Republicans

Audio Emerges Proving Secret Conservative Organization Behind Benghazi “Scandal”

Groundswell, the conservative behind-the-scenes organization that forms a coalition between prominent Republicans, right wing media, and conservative activists to wage a “30-front war against Obama and progressives” has been revealed to have played a role in the hype and false scandalization of the Benghazi “controversy.” A secret tape released by Crooks And Liars (audio below) has detailed the cooperation between House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ginni Thomas (the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas), former Rep. Allen West, as well as high-ranking members of Judicial Watch and Breitbart. The meeting was presided over by Catherine Engelbrecht, one of the founders of the voter suppression group, True The Vote.

In the tape, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy and Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council are revealed to have met with Boehner and Issa to discuss Benghazi:

A secret audio tape of one of Groundswell’s weekly meetings shows that prominent members of the group pressed House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chair of the House oversight committee, to expand the Benghazi investigation and make this supposed scandal a top-priority for congressional Republicans. This recording indicates Groundswell’s mission extends beyond message coordination to scandal-stoking. (Mother Jones)

Also in the tape, which covers the first 20 minutes of a Groundswell meeting, they also reveal that GOP congresspeople are willing, albeit reluctantly, to raise the debt ceiling, which may be excellent news for future Washington negotiations. Unfortunately, however, they also discussed their war on voting rights — insanely accusing the left of being the political force attempting to disenfranchise voters.

Crooks And Liars reports:

During the meeting, True the Vote made a presentation (document below) about their plan to attack groups who are actively working to protect voting rights around the country, particularly after the Supreme Court gutted most of the protections. Code-named “Hydra”, True the Vote argues that the left is undermining voting rights, and must be stopped, by hook or by crook.

Here’s an excerpt from their laughable (but dangerous) Hydra propaganda:

hydra plan

Yes, they’re seriously saying that the left’s mission to extend early voting time and promote youth registration is undermining democracy — and is a war on voting rights. Meanwhile, they’re enacting laws that make it extremely difficult for minorities and other marginalized groups to vote, purposefully and admittedly preventing Democratic constituents from reaching the polls. Not only that, but the war they’re fighting against voter fraud is imaginary — there are hardly any documented cases of voter fraud, and none that are widespread. There is no cause and no enemy — sort of like another war perpetrated by the right.

True The Vote and Groundswell also played an interesting role in the false IRS scandal, when conservatives exploded in rage after the IRS investigated the tax-free status of obviously conservatively partisan nonprofits, despite later finding out that progressive groups were targeted as well.

Crooks And Liars establishes a timeline of events, showing the role of political operatives in engineering the false scandal:

On May 8, 2013, True the Vote is a facilitator and presenter at a meeting where Ginni Thomas and others are key players. TTV presents their plan to attack “the left” for daring to register voters. They’re committed to stopping them from challenging any and all efforts to disenfranchise voters. Or as they describe it, securing the vote. Others might call it democracy corrupted.

On May 9, 2013 the IRS “scandal” breaks after Lois Lerner plants a question in a conference Q&A about IRS “targeting.”

On May 21, 2013, True the Vote, represented by ActRight Legal Foundation, sues the IRS for not granting their tax-exempt status and targeting them for their beliefs. ActRight Legal Foundation uses Cleta Mitchell as one of their consulting attorneys. Mitchell is a well-known and very high profile litigator on behalf of conservative causes. There are very few conservative nonprofits that don’t have Mitchell’s fingerprints all over them.

Another interesting note — besides the obvious partisanship of True The Vote, as seen in their Hydra document below  — is that True The Vote was also under investigation by Congress for voter suppression when the IRS investigation and subsequent “scandal” came about.

Here’s the audio from the Groundswell meeting:

Also of interest, the Hydra document by True The Vote:

Hydra Plan – Plan to Attack Voting Rights

Reposted from Occupy Democrats with permission.

About Justin Acuff

Justin Acuff is a political activist, writer and admitted news junkie. He has written hundreds of articles that have been read millions of times. Justin is a Senior Editor for Addicting Info, the owner and managing editor of Young Progressive Voices, and contributes to other publications as well. The best part? He isn't even 21 yet. Follow his Facebook fan page to get access to his latest articles, find his website here, or follow him on Twitter.


94 thoughts on “Audio Emerges Proving Secret Conservative Organization Behind Benghazi “Scandal”

  1. Audio file missing. I wanted to hear it. This happens often.

    Posted by a jenereaux | August 4, 2013, 6:44 am
    • For some reason, the embed code for it — which was used when I originally wrote the story, for Occupy Democrats — will simply not work on this site. I’ve uploaded the audio file instead, and it is there now. Sorry about that!

      Posted by Justin Acuff | August 4, 2013, 11:22 am
  2. The ignorance (to me) is highlighted with the guy claiming Mikey Weinstein to be rabid anti-Christian and an evil man — purposely linking Weintstein to the Huffington Post and Southern Poverty Law Center. Indirectly the speaker is putting Weinstein at the top of his hit list.

    Posted by Tom Strothers | August 6, 2013, 10:02 am
  3. Good luck you *progressives* eating everything this Govt feeds you. Good soldiers for a lying POS Govt you are.

    Posted by beantoo | August 6, 2013, 12:17 pm
    • If you really feel that way then get the fuck out and go sleep on your bible somewhere.

      Posted by Michael | August 24, 2013, 7:26 am
    • Says the guy who laps up everything the fascists feed him. My grandpa didn’t fight in Africa and Italy to let your scum take over, and it’s not happening on my watch, son.

      Posted by J.t. Alwin | August 24, 2013, 7:39 am
      • Well put JT…

        Posted by Heather Woodland | August 24, 2013, 9:53 am
      • Why don’t you feel the need to at least question it? If it’s not true, then it’s not true. But if you click on this article and read it, you are in no position to possibly know whether or not it’s true. If this was a Democratic meeting instead of a Republican meeting I would question the Democrats. Even if I didn’t believe it was true, until I knew for sure, I would question it because it is a serious matter. That is why you are ignorant. You brush it off as a fascist lie when in all reality you just don’t want to question it because it would make your favored party look bad if it were true. Try being involved in what’s going on in this country instead of bringing up lame talking points that only spark argument rather than question the seriousness of this matter.

        Posted by matt | August 24, 2013, 1:04 pm
      • My Brother, father, grandfather, great grandfather, great great grandfather, etc till 1653 fought for this land, then this county. For it to be run by and for commercial greed. Stop telling yourself that someone else is to blame and buck like a man. You have been voting for the wrong people, so thing are going to hell. If you wish to change thing change what you are doing.

        Posted by Dan Scoggin | August 24, 2013, 6:10 pm
      • My FATHER fought in North Africa and Italy at the battle of Anzio. If he were alive today he would point out what a self righteous lying piece of scum you are JT.

        Posted by Kyle Farris | December 30, 2013, 9:23 am
      • Hey J.T., just a little helpful hint for ya. If your grandfather fought in Italy, then maybe you really should look up the definition of fascism. Then look at what the right and the corporatists are doing to this country. Take off the blinders, you’re ignorance is showing…

        Posted by ned | December 30, 2013, 10:54 am
    • You sir…are a hypocrite, a scared, simple minded hypocrite…good luck with that in this thing called life I’m sure you will go far with that mindset LOLOLOLOL!

      Posted by Cinque Cashell | August 24, 2013, 7:55 am
    • BEANTOO…perhaps you should take a look in your mirror…it appears that you are the one eating what’s dosed out to you from the GOP!

      Posted by Pepper | August 24, 2013, 9:23 am
    • Thank you, from you this is a positive point.

      Posted by Dan Scoggin | August 24, 2013, 6:01 pm
    • Liberals are free thinkers, you must be confused with the un-educated neocons…

      Posted by Rv Mike | September 10, 2013, 12:35 pm
    • You sir, a fing MORON.

      Posted by Bob Pineo | December 30, 2013, 9:38 am
    • So leantoo… I correct in assuming you believed the Bush administration? At least Obama hasn’t sent more than 4500 Americans to their deaths claiming that there was some sort of threat to our freedom (Iraq). We all know it was to gain US Companies Billions in Oil Services Contracts. And Now these same Repugnikans won’t give Veterans their due, they call Veterans Benefits an “Entitlement Program”. Whereas before, good ole boy Ronny Ray-Gun was SENDING Shipments of Poison Gas TO Saddam Hussein so he would gas those nasty Iranians for us. No wonder they want to Nuke the USA, we’ve been screwing them since 1947. Good thing they were so honest eh? And yes, I WAS there! If THIS congress hadn’t taken an oath to Grover Norquist instead of the American People (All Republicans in the house except 2), maybe there would have been the normal give and take – compromise to get things accomplished for America. It didn’t happen and virtually NONE of it is on the Democrats, even though I am not one.

      Posted by Rich Edwards | December 30, 2013, 6:11 pm
  4. First we found out about the NSA spying on us. Then it was the IRS targeting conservatives (could be you next if Christie is elected). Now we learn that the Drug Enforcement Agency is spying on all of us. But yet you still *believe*

    Obama is trying to rule us through fear and intimidation. It is working. WOW, indeed.

    Posted by beantoo | August 6, 2013, 12:36 pm
    • We’ve published multiple articles attacking the Obama administration’s attacks on privacy. That’s what I was commenting on.

      The NSA spying has been known about by informed people for years, and didn’t come as a surprise. Did you call your congressman when they voted for the Patriot Act? Plus, it’s legal. Complain about the law, not the action.

      The IRS did not target conservatives. They also investigated progressive organizations, and neither was investigated for partisan reasons. Read the congressional reports.

      I’d love to see a qualifier on that last statement.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | August 6, 2013, 12:42 pm
      • You said it! Conservatives’ ignorance is made so aware with the NSA issue. Wake up morons!!! You had no questions about it when it was put in place by the BUSH admin and the BUSH congress, not that of Obama. Silly Tea Baggers.

        If you think we are becoming a socialist country, perhaps you should pick up a history book or dictionary and look up what socialism really is.

        Posted by Jeff | August 6, 2013, 3:56 pm
      • Jeff, that would be asking them to do some heavy light first and foremost. Reading is out of the question!

        Posted by Montely Wilson-Bey | August 24, 2013, 9:03 am
      • Precisely correct Justin, those folks don’t want to admit that it was in full force in the Bush Years and that if the Patriot Act didn’t exist, the methods would likely be much less oppressive.

        Posted by Rich Edwards | December 30, 2013, 6:13 pm
    • My, my. Just HOW did you twist this story around to be Obama’s fault?

      You MUST be an ignorant tea bagger.

      Posted by PetSitterPro | August 6, 2013, 2:05 pm
    • And where was your outrage while this was going on under Bush? Huh? Huh? Oh, that’s right, you thought it was all fine and dandy, because it was protecting us from terrorism… *rolls eyes*

      Posted by J.t. Alwin | August 24, 2013, 7:44 am
    • Give me a brake “FEAR and INTIMIDATION” started long ago. Lets see, who was president when 911 happened?

      Posted by Joy | August 24, 2013, 2:09 pm
    • You’re such a dumb a$$! Fascism is a conservative political movement much like today’s Tea Party right wing where corporations run the government and everything is done for the ‘good of the state’. ‘Certain people’, like minorities, Jews, gays and ‘foreigners’ who aren’t pure blood are relegated as second class citizens who don’t have a voice. ‘On your watch’, lol, all you ‘watch’ is Fox News, which is really Faux News and a propoganda arm of Roger Ailes, to whom his balls are the only thing you lap up in your mouth. You’re hopelessly delusional.

      Posted by Paul R. Rogers | August 25, 2013, 2:09 pm
      • Paul people also forget the second largest owner of Fox is an Arab who doesn’t believe a strong American Government is in his or his country’s best interests… kinda makes you wonder how involved HE is with the likes of Ted Cruz and John Bhoener and Scott Walker, Mitch McConnell. I wonder how much he pays them directly….

        Posted by Ed Black | December 30, 2013, 9:58 am
    • If the President was trying to rule you through intimidation, you would already be in jail

      Posted by Michele Whittam Giacobbi | December 30, 2013, 9:08 am
    • you obviously have no hold on the difference between fact and fiction… and you definitely didn’t read this article or the one in the NY Times this weekend. You’re better off not posting if you’re going to be as illiterate as Sarah Palin.

      Posted by Ed Black | December 30, 2013, 9:54 am
    • These are things that were in effect when Bush was in office…where was your complaint then???/

      Posted by Dana Hardin | December 30, 2013, 11:35 am
  5. If Obama was to have falafel for lunch, conspiracy theorists among the right wing blogosphere would go nuts, suggesting that this was PROOF that the POTUS was a closet Muslim.

    When he pooped the next morning, they would accuse him of attempting to HIDE THE EVIDENCE, declare the entire affair to be another scandal, and then call upon the maniacal Darrell Issa to convene a committee to investigate the matter.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Republican strategists are becoming increasingly desperate in their efforts to bolster the conservative cause heading into next year’s midterm elections.

    Hence their obsession with ginning up faux outrage and indignation over these fabricated scandals.

    Posted by labman57 | August 6, 2013, 1:09 pm
  6. I DONT CARE WHO DID IT AT THIS POINT THEY ARE ALL CORRUPT AND LIARS !!!no one has balls to tell truth …Get rid of em all……………………….

    Posted by kathy | August 6, 2013, 7:51 pm
  7. It seems that Ginni Thomas is acting as an illegal liaison between two branches of government that are supposed to be separate and there fore corrupting the constitution. A Supreme Court Justice that refuses to recuse himself on any matters he might have a conflict of interest in, a Speaker of the House, the Chairmen of the Oversight Committee, Shadow groups run by the Supreme Court Justice’s Wife telling the Speaker and the Chairman when, and how to, and on what issue, to act and then discovering that what they have been up to turns out to be distortion and lies sounds to me like an attempted coup to usurp the powers giving in the US constitution!

    Posted by jeffery ward | August 23, 2013, 8:38 am
    • Well put J. T……

      Posted by Heather Woodland | August 24, 2013, 9:51 am
      • The above comment (wll put JT.) was intended for higher up….don’t know why it posted here. But I would like to add here, the Jeffery’s comments about Ginni Thomas are right on the mark.

        Posted by Heather Woodland | August 24, 2013, 9:55 am
    • That a Supreme Court justice’s wife is so involved in these actions which I deem treasonous is the most aborrhent thing about all of this, followed closely behind by the actions of all the other perpetrators of these crimes.

      Posted by Tina Israel | August 25, 2013, 1:25 pm
      • If the wife of a Supreme Court Justice and the Speaker of the House conspiring against the POTUS isn’t treason can someone please tell me what is? Then again this is the same party that had a Presidential candidate conduct illegal and unauthorized negotiations with state officials of a terrorist nation that was holding US citizens hostage. That same candidate once he became President he illegally sold military weapons to an insurgent group of terrorist rebels to pay a ransom for hostages. That is the true legacy of Ronald Reagan and the current GOP leaders would make William Casey proud.

        Posted by Thomas Hall | December 30, 2013, 3:23 pm
    • You put it all in a nutshell, Jeffrey! I want to know where Issa’s outrage is at THIS, a true scandal, and why no hearings are called on it!

      Posted by ned | December 30, 2013, 10:58 am
  8. How about Soros kicking in a few Million to aid in getting everyone Photo ID’s acceptable for use in voting? Get the corruption out of electing our representatives! There shouldn’t be any question about somebody’s right to vote or room for fraud! Photo ID’s would be a big step forward in eliminating voter fraud. So, quit your whining about how requiring an acceptable photo ID to vote will disenfranchise minority & elderly voters! Set the rule now & give everyone a chance to get the appropriate ID! Dems 7 Libs are up in arms about it because illegals won’t be able to keep them in office!! If voting means so much to you, suck it up Francis & get a picture ID!!!

    Posted by Bill C | August 23, 2013, 2:19 pm
    • There is no such thing as voter fraud. You’re more likely to be killed by your furniture.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | August 23, 2013, 2:19 pm
      • Ignorance doesn’t alter reality…. How many cases do I need to cite to convince you otherwise? Ahh… who am I kidding! Lemmings will be lemmings…..enjoy the jump off the cliff! LOL!

        Posted by Bill C | August 23, 2013, 3:08 pm
      • Cite cases, then. There were 633 cases of voter fraud from 2000 through 2012. Conversely, there were over 300 Americans killed by their furniture in 2011 alone.

        Voter ID is specifically intended to disenfranchise voting demographics that typically lean Democratic, and multiple Republican legislatures have admitted as such or even bragged about it.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | August 23, 2013, 3:27 pm
      • Justin, you can now fill out the Comedy Central application online!

        Posted by Montely Wilson-Bey | August 24, 2013, 9:07 am
      • Really? I’d go check the stats before you start to talk about that. Go find the real, hard data.

        I’ll get you started:

        Educate yourself.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | August 24, 2013, 10:16 am
      • How many cases do you have to cite? Is there even one?

        Posted by Timothy Minnig | August 26, 2013, 3:38 pm
      • To me, or him? There were 633 cases of voter fraud from 2000-2012. Meanwhile, hundreds were killed in 2011 alone from falling furniture or televisions..granted, most were children, but even so, something like 45 were adults — and deaths from falling furniture are still more common.

        That was in a 2011 report from the National Counterterrorism Center, but links to the report are now going to the NCTC homepage, so I couldn’t find you. Consumer safety organizations report similar levels of furniture-related deaths.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | August 26, 2013, 3:48 pm
      • @Justin isn’t it also telling that in the last Presidential election over 75% of voter fraud cases that were investigated were committed by Republicans. Like the group hired to register Republican voters in Florida that were told to throw away or destroy Democratic applications. Or the Republican in Arizona who wanted to prove a point about how easy it was to commit voter fraud by registering his dog. He got caught and thus failed to prove his point, and he had to pay a fine on top of that. As for voter IDs, until the IDs are free and easy to get, as in lots of places conveniently located, then requiring them is intended to be difficult. Like in Texas, where numerous elected officials, judges, and even the head of the group that pushed for the legislation were denied the right to vote because the restrictions were so extreme. And please don’t tell me they voted with a “provisional ballot” because you never knew whether your provisional ballot is counted or not. The committee the reviews all provisional ballots can reject them for any reason and does not notify people who’s votes are rejected.

        Posted by Thomas Hall | December 30, 2013, 3:35 pm
    • Soros giving money to help people legally acquire the ability to vote sounds like humanitarianism, by the way.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | August 23, 2013, 2:36 pm
    • What fraud? Delusional much?

      Posted by jeffery ward | August 23, 2013, 3:42 pm
    • More republicans were killed in accidents by their own gun than cases of voter fraud last year! Keep up the good work!

      Posted by jeffery ward | August 23, 2013, 3:47 pm
    • Then how come every time there IS voter fraud, it’s always someone on the Right who whines and complains about voter fraud?

      Posted by J.t. Alwin | August 24, 2013, 7:46 am
      • I agree J.T.! Then the right gets investigated, charged and pleads for voter fraud. How about all those fake signatures to run for office for example!

        Posted by Montely Wilson-Bey | August 24, 2013, 9:09 am
      • In 2012 the only people committing voter fraud were the republicans, some thing like 20-25 cases of it all Teapublicans there’s no voter fraud, what there is though is a large very large group of people of color now voting, and they don’t vote republican.

        Posted by George Nestico | August 24, 2013, 9:14 am
    • In Texas the govt. passed the strictest voter ID law in the land. They claim it is because of widespread voter fraud. In the last two elections there were FOUR ALLEGED cases of voter fraud, FOUR! No one was ever prosecuted.

      Posted by Roy Everett | August 24, 2013, 8:50 am
      • When the Justice Department sued they claimed this gem of a defense:

        “It doesn’t discriminate on basis of race, it discriminates on basis of party affiliation!”

        This state is utter crap.

        Posted by Tim | August 24, 2013, 5:43 pm
    • VID is a door opened wide to election corruption via undue influence over elections by sitting officials.

      There is no other way to look at it.

      Voter identification is already secured at the registration process. This was a deliberate strategy, carefully designed to distance sitting officials from attempting to influence individual voters. Voters register with their name and address, which are proven and linked at the time of registration. At the polls, workers have lists of names and addresses. When a voter arrives, she gives her name and address and is issued a ballot and her name is checked off the list. Anyone arriving subsequently will not be issued a ballot (except for a provisional ballot) if they offer the same name and address or offer any name and/or address not listed.

      There is NO WAY this system can be undermined by individuals. How many complaints have you ever heard about someone being turned away at the polls because they have already voted? If that was an issue, the media would be all over it, launching a good deal of publicized investigation.

      No, there is no workaround by individual voters (and thus no individual voter fraud of any importance to election outcomes), but the process is extremely vulnerable to attack at a systemic level. And Voter ID is exactly that kind of attack— a deliberate dismantling of working election security to replace it with an easily-manipulated scrum where all the rules are on their side. It is the same kind of attack by officials on free elections that resulted in virtually ALL corrupt election practices ever recorded in the United States’ history.

      First, sitting officials themselves will (and currently do) determine what qualifies as legitimate identification at the polls. That is undue influence #1.

      Undue influence #2: voter ID is moot without enforcement. Poll workers are unqualified for this. The only ones who can enforce Voter ID rules are sitting officials and those they assign to the task. That enforcement can ONLY be carried out by direct contact between those assignees or representatives of sitting officials and individual voters. There has been no other enforcement method proposed, because there is none other possible.

      Finally, “enforcement” is toothless without penalty. And that is Undue influence #3. The very demand for identification at the polls puts voters in the position of assumptive cheaters, even though no such circumstance or evidence exists or ever existed outside of corrupt elections SYSTEMS. IOW, you the voter are assumed to be bad just for showing up at the polls. This is intimidation at its most sinister and subtle. And intimidation looks silly and foolish without real means of inflicting pain. So every voter must be prepared to defend against accusations of fraud and the consequences of those accusations, whether real or false. Pretty soon it starts to look smart to stay away from the polls altogether— ESPECIALLY if you oppose sitting officials.

      The Voter ID ramifications? Reduced turnout, farcical election results, complete loss of election legitimacy and by extension, more burden of proof placed upon supposedly “free” citizens of the United States and consequently, hatefully illegitimate elected leaders and officials— true bastards of the Voter ID legacy.

      Posted by allseasonradial | August 24, 2013, 9:19 pm
    • There has been virtually no proven voter fraud. The biggest problem we have in voting at this point is the very well-funded Republican project of deliberately disenfranchising legally qualified voters who tend to vote democratic, like minorities, students, and the elderly.

      Of course, you could prove me wrong by posting cites showing widespread voter fraud.

      Posted by Rik Elswit | August 25, 2013, 1:36 pm
  9. fortunately we all have cameras and recorders on our phones today… but this is hard to hear and understand. Any chance someone transcribed this?

    Posted by Matt McDonald | August 24, 2013, 7:48 am
  10. If you want to be a liberal, progressive voice and activist, then please follow the rule that we tell only the truth. When we exaggerate or lie, as this article does, it makes us look as bad as those lying republicans. Please point out to me where in the graphic about the Hydra campaign is there anything even remotely suggesting that liberals are waging a war on voting rights or trying to undermine democracy. In fact, everything I read in that graphic is actually being done by our side, and we should be proud of that fact. Simply because conservatives are alarmed by that which we applaud, does not mean that they are accusing us of anything or that they are bad people. There are, however, many proofs of their evil, so use those instead.

    Posted by Mark Wilson | August 24, 2013, 8:32 am
    • Did you read the rest of Hydra at the link, or do you know anything about True the Vote? Are you being serious right now?

      “True the Vote argues that the left is undermining voting rights.”

      Posted by Justin Acuff | August 24, 2013, 10:18 am
      • I am familiar with True The Vote’s nefarious tactics, and I deplore them. And yes, I did read the rest of the Hydra pamphlet, but only after I already felt misled by you. You are correct that there are a couple of sentences therein which support your thesis. So why did you fail to use them in the body of your article? I am trying to teach you something important about rhetoric here, because we are on the same side, you and I. You repeated a thesis:

        “During the meeting, True the Vote made a presentation (document below) about their plan to attack groups who are actively working to protect voting rights around the country, particularly after the Supreme Court gutted most of the protections. Code-named “Hydra”, True the Vote argues that the left is undermining voting rights, and must be stopped, by hook or by crook.”

        Then you intimated that you were going to support that thesis with evidence:

        “Here’s an excerpt from their laughable (but dangerous) Hydra propaganda:”

        At this point the eager reader begins looking for the supporting evidence in your article, and specifically at the document excerpt presented therein as containing that evidence. When such evidence is not apparent, the careful reader begins parsing the excerpt trying to figure out just what the hell you are talking about. When the document presented fails to meet the promise made, the reader feels cheated and decides never to bother with your rhetoric again. Which was my first inclination. Then I remembered that we need all the liberal, progressive voices that we can get and decided to attempt to educate you instead. The fact that I can click on a link and find evidence to support your thesis does not save your article. It is your job as the author to present your argument and evidence in a clear, cogent and non-misleading manner, and to do so within the body of your article. I cannot stress enough the importance of avoiding not only misleading and unfair journalism, but also avoiding the appearance of such. Remember, we are the good guys. If people think you are lying or being unfair, they generally quit listening (or reading).
        Just in case you are wondering why I feel qualified to presume to teach you: Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1988 University of Texas School of Law, over a dozen years as a trial lawyer, and a lifetime of debating and arguing.
        Please do not take my criticism too harshly. With a little work and a lot of care to avoid hyperbole, your work will be great. Allow me to recommend Leonard Pitts, the greatest living American pundit, as a role model.

        Posted by Mark Wilson | August 24, 2013, 11:21 am
      • Don’t discount my own experience, which is a bit more directly related than yours.

        I’ve written a thousand articles that have been read millions of times, and I’ve edited at least twice that. I also market and present content, and I’m damn good at it.

        Now, you’re telling me that I failed to properly explain a point made about True the Vote. Here’s the problem I have with that:

        The article isn’t about True the Vote, or Hydra. That was simply slightly related so it’s included. I’m not going to needlessly lengthen an article simply to explain a linked tangent — especially considering I was unable to post the Hydra document due to HTML issues.

        You ALREADY indicated that “And yes, I did read the rest of the Hydra pamphlet…You are correct that there are a couple of sentences therein which support your thesis.”

        Of course, you included, “but only after I already felt misled by you.” So, you’re upset that you felt misled by me and then it turned out I was absolutely right? You’re upset that I made you do a bit of your own research instead of taking my words at face value? Hmm. Interesting.

        I think I’ll keep things exactly the way they are, because media skepticism and self-research are both things that this website is very much intended to encourage.

        Also, I assumed it’s common knowledge that True the Vote does that…which your answer seems to indicate agreement with, as well.

        If you’re here to be a contrarian, please go. I don’t have time for it.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | August 24, 2013, 5:02 pm
      • There is no reply button for your most recent reply to my comments, so I will reply here.
        I find it telling that you discount my vastly superior (to yours) education, experience and training. You are aware that what lawyers do for a living is rhetoric, aren’t you? Whether convincing a jury or a panel of learned judges or some conservative fool at the bar, and both written and oral, I’ve been doing this since before you were born. I was actually trying to help you hone your craft, and given your political activism, I had hoped that you were past the typical teenage bullshit of thinking you already know everything. It would appear that I was mistaken.
        If you think it is helpful to your cause to make your readers do research to prove a thesis you make in your writing, you are simply wrong. And if you open your mind to the possibility that your elders might have learned something useful to you, you will learn that and many other lessons. The suggestion I made to you comes straight out of Journalism 101. If you go to school and study hard, your professors will teach you that effective persuasive writing strives to avoid even the appearance of bias because most readers presumably are not your mother (if you are lucky), and will not give you the benefit of any doubt.
        What you did in this article is to make a thesis (look it up), then promised to back it up with evidence proving it. Instead, you presented evidence that in no way supported your thesis. No big deal. We all make mistakes. The true measure of a person is how we respond when those mistakes are discovered or pointed out to us.
        What you could have done is to look at the excerpt you offered, realize that I am right that it does not support your thesis, and acknowledge that you could have picked a better excerpt. No need to lengthen your article. In fact, if you had simply used the couple of quotes from the brochure that do support your thesis, rather than cutting and pasting a page, your piece would have been shorter and more convincing (see “cogent” in my earlier comment–look that up, too). Also no HTML problems.

        Instead, you chose to make personal attacks. You began by discounting my experience, education and training, despite the fact that each of them are far more substantial than yours. Then you accused me of being upset about being misled and also being upset about having to do my own research, when I neither said nor intimated any such thing. I felt misled, not upset, when your article was misleading. As far as having to do my own research, that never upsets me as I love research and fact finding.
        And finally, you excuse your errors by claiming that you expect your readers to do the work for you, and claiming that your opinion of True The Vote is not only factual (I agree with you, but many do not), but is such common knowledge that it needs no evidentiary support.
        These are fine positions if your writing is intended only for the choir, and not merely the choir, but only the most educated among them.
        You claim to be an activist, and as such it is your duty to try and convince those who currently disagree with you, or quit calling yourself an activist. I would wager that most Americans have never even heard of True The Vote. So when you want to convince everyone of their partisanship you have to present, clearly and cogently, in the body of your article, your convincing evidence. If the part about True The Vote is so slightly related that you felt no need to fairly and accurately present your argument, then you should have left it out. And you certainly should not have given it about 25% of your column space.
        Consider, if you will, all the readers who did not take the time to communicate with you, but rather saw your error and simply decided that you are not worth their time. Each one of those readers is a lost opportunity. And true activists HATE lost opportunities to convince.
        And no, I am not trying to be a contrarian. Notice that I complimented your work in my last comment. I am trying to help a fellow progressive, presumably liberal, activist hone his craft. And nothing I have said here should strike you harshly. Again, it is all directly out of Journalism 101. You are going to find it very difficult to improve if your response to constructive criticism remains as defensive as is your reply to me. And yes, I am aware that this reply is a bit snarky. I tend to get that way when I feel like I am being personally attacked.
        But your choices are your own. If you would prefer that I not offer any further constructive criticism to you, then say so and I will leave you to your own devices, and quickly forget about your existence. Best of luck to you.

        Posted by Mark Wilson | August 24, 2013, 7:40 pm
      • When you have accomplished what I have accomplished as quickly as I have, I’ll go ahead and take your advice. MY advice? Don’t offer unwanted, pointless advice.

        On an article that has been read over a hundred thousand times for the two sites I wrote it for, you are the ONLY person to EVER bring that up. I’ll go ahead and trust myself to pick what should go in and what shouldn’t, thanks. Take your unwanted advice elsewhere.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | August 24, 2013, 7:43 pm
      • Done!

        Posted by Mark Wilson | August 24, 2013, 8:04 pm
  11. Keep looking, You may find the secret tape where they masterminded it. Hint: Romney/Netanyahu meeting.

    Posted by auntiewarhol | August 24, 2013, 8:43 am
  12. If Issa is involved, it’s probably a criminal scheme.

    Posted by William Leavenworth | August 24, 2013, 9:46 am
  13. I would like to know who leaked the information and how it can be proven anyone on this audio is who this article claims they are.

    Posted by Jared Cagle | August 25, 2013, 11:29 am
  14. We all know about Darrell Issa – Let me tell you about Darrell Issa: The San Francisco Examiner found that Darrell Issa’s claims sweeping stadiums for bombs prior to games was not true;
    Jay Bergey, claimed that Darrell Issa stole his Dodge Charger in 1971;
    Issa and his brother William were charged with stealing a Maserati from a dealer’s showroom in Cleveland.
    When Darrell Issa returned to civilian life and a week before he was discharged, he and his brother were arrested again on theft charges.
    Surely people will research and find this information is true – And California voted this liar into office! If you are tired of the stalemate and radical extremes blocking key legislation at the local, state level and nationally, get involved and inform yourselves, get registered and V.O.T.E.(Vote Out The Encumbrance) The Treasonous Enraged Agitators(TEA) party and Grandiose Oppressive Partisans(GOP) are too busy passing gas upwind and trying to repeal health care.(40 times voted now)

    Posted by radsenior | August 25, 2013, 11:29 am
  15. bite me, sorority kids!

    Posted by anne kennedy rackham | August 25, 2013, 9:00 pm
  16. I think “Sinkhole” would be a far more appropriate name for this organization.

    Posted by Cindy Ellegood | August 26, 2013, 2:08 am
  17. A lie, told often enough and long enough, is able to mimic the truth almost perfectly. This is the backbone of the Party of Lincoln made over into the Party of Jefferson Davis.

    Posted by Alfred Lehmberg | December 30, 2013, 1:19 pm
  18. hi! , I enjoy the crafting hence a whole lot! quantity most of us connect further concerning your article about Google? I needed an experienced professional within this house to be able to solve my own problem. Could be that is a person! Writing about in front to determine anyone.

    Posted by distribute video to multiple sites | January 8, 2014, 5:16 am


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