Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

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Addie
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Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#1

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:01 am

Bloomberg
A Former Obama Operative Built a New Anti-Republican Attack Machine

John Burton hopes an army of dirt diggers can deliver an October surprise for Democrats. ...


Tanya, Genevieve, and Vadim have never met and probably never will. But they have two things in common: They’re members of the so-called Resistance, working to oust Republicans. And they’re being directed by a former J.P. Morgan banker named John Burton, who’s become a field general of sorts in the liberal opposition—and soon, he hopes, the cause of consternation and, ultimately, unemployment for dozens of Republican lawmakers in races from Maine to California.

Before he was a banker, Burton, 38, was a practitioner of the dark art of opposition research, or “oppo”—digging up and surreptitiously deploying damaging information about politicians. As it did for so many people, Donald Trump’s election turned Burton’s life upside down. He quit his job, joined a Resistance group, and devoted himself to returning his country to the path he’d believed it was on when he worked for Barack Obama’s campaign a decade ago.

Some Resisters march or knock on doors; others raise money or run for office. Burton felt his gifts lay elsewhere: namely, in tearing down political opponents. Over the past year, backed by mysterious donors, he’s organized what may be the most audacious grass-roots project in the age of Trump. Burton has amassed an army of 16,000 amateur sleuths who, with professional guidance, have spent months ferreting out damaging material on scores of vulnerable Republicans in Congress and state legislatures. Now he’s ready to unleash it just in time for the midterms. As he told me, “We’re going to do with real information and real Americans what the Russians tried to do with fake information and fake Americans.”

Oppo works best when its target is unaware, so Burton’s project, dubbed Citizen Strong, has operated by stealth, waiting until just now to publicly declare its existence as a 501(c)4 “dark money” group with three affiliated political action committees. Even this step doesn’t reveal much. Dark money donors can give unlimited sums anonymously, and Burton won’t identify his benefactors or even the three operatives he’s hired to help run the group. ...

Examining these windfalls for potential fraud or conflict of interest would usually require a professional investigator such as Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 agent who produced the infamous dossier on Trump. Most campaigns can’t afford that. But the main requirements for being a successful oppo researcher—time, patience, and dogged determination—were qualities Burton saw in abundance among his Resistance compatriots. Many were skilled professionals whose expertise he thought he could weaponize for politics if they were willing to spend their free time doing things like digging through social media accounts and newspaper clippings or hunting down property records and arrest filings at the local courthouse. When he put out a call for help on Rohrabacher, he soon had at his disposal a forensic accountant, a team of corporate lawyers, and a fluent Russian speaker—Tanya, the New York consultant. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s all hands on deck,” she says. “If someone has a special ability, they should be using it to help take back the House.” (She and other volunteers I spoke to for this story asked that their full names not be used to protect their identities and prevent problems at work.)

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#2

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:19 am

Addie, you're the bestest finder of articles in the WORLD and universe and to infinity and beyond!!!!!
“A black woman can invent something for the benefit of humankind.” -Bessie Blount-Griffin, physical therapist, inventor of devices for disabled WWII veterans, and forensic scientist.

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#3

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:24 am

You should have known our dear Mimi, who was swallowed up early by the twitter machine. She was the bestest. I can only emulate :daydream: (Except for the twitter machine :fingerwag:)
Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:19 am
Addie, you're the bestest finder of articles in the WORLD and universe and to infinity and beyond!!!!!

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#4

Post by RoadScholar » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:58 pm

Addie! :lovestruck:

You rock.
The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#5

Post by Somerset » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:12 pm

Addie wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:24 am
You should have known our dear Mimi, who was swallowed up early by the twitter machine. She was the bestest. I can only emulate :daydream: (Except for the twitter machine :fingerwag:)
Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:19 am
Addie, you're the bestest finder of articles in the WORLD and universe and to infinity and beyond!!!!!
Mimi-Yoda has taught you well.

:worship:

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#6

Post by fierceredpanda » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:27 pm

Selfishly, I hope they found something good on the incumbent in my district. :twisted:
"There's no play here. There's no angle. There's no champagne room. I'm not a miracle worker, I'm a janitor. The math on this is simple; the smaller the mess, the easier it is for me to clean up." -Michael Clayton

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#7

Post by DejaMoo » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:04 am

It's about flipping time. Playing by the Marquis of Queensberry rules only works when both sides agree to abide by them. The GOP took the gloves off years ago. Way past time for the Dems to return the favor, instead of getting knocked out over and over again.
I've heard this bull before.

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#8

Post by RVInit » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:11 am

RoadScholar wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:58 pm
Addie! :lovestruck:

You rock.
:yeah:
"I know that human being and fish can coexist peacefully"
--- George W Bush

ImageImage

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#9

Post by RVInit » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:12 am

DejaMoo wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:04 am
It's about flipping time. Playing by the Marquis of Queensberry rules only works when both sides agree to abide by them. The GOP took the gloves off years ago. Way past time for the Dems to return the favor, instead of getting knocked out over and over again.
:yeah:
"I know that human being and fish can coexist peacefully"
--- George W Bush

ImageImage

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Mikedunford
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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#10

Post by Mikedunford » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:33 am

There's a distinction - if only in my mind - between hard-hitting but truthful tactics (like traditional oppo research) and adopting a post-truth approach where distortions and outright lies are OK if they are directed against enemies.

I'm all for hard-hitting truthful tactics. And - provided people are careful - crowdsourced oppo should absolutely be one of those tactics. It's the post-truth approach that worries me.
"I don't give a fuck whether we're peers or not."
--Lord Thomas Henry Bingham to Boris Johnson, on being asked whether he would miss being in "the best club in London" if the Law Lords moved from Parliament to a Supreme Court.

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#11

Post by Bill_G » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:38 am

Mikedunford wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:33 am
There's a distinction - if only in my mind - between hard-hitting but truthful tactics (like traditional oppo research) and adopting a post-truth approach where distortions and outright lies are OK if they are directed against enemies.

I'm all for hard-hitting truthful tactics. And - provided people are careful - crowdsourced oppo should absolutely be one of those tactics. It's the post-truth approach that worries me.
+1

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#12

Post by DejaMoo » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:53 am

Mikedunford wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:33 am
There's a distinction - if only in my mind - between hard-hitting but truthful tactics (like traditional oppo research) and adopting a post-truth approach where distortions and outright lies are OK if they are directed against enemies.

I'm all for hard-hitting truthful tactics. And - provided people are careful - crowdsourced oppo should absolutely be one of those tactics. It's the post-truth approach that worries me.
What is also desperately needed - and gods dammit, the Dems are NOT providing it - are repeated statements of "this is what we stand for" and "these are our principles". Instead, we're bombarded with more of the same old ineffectual political pablum advertising: "Hi! I'm Jane! And if elected, I'll do my darndest to make this country a great place to raise your children."

No description of HOW she plans to do that. No claiming of the Democratic Party brand. No reference whatsoever to the Democratic Party platform. No statement of any long-term plans for the country and how the candidate and the Party expect to get there.

Hello, Democrats: why aren't you telling us what you've done, and what you plan to do, and point out how, exactly, that differentiates you from the Republican Party?

I've always been critical of low-information voters, but it's impossible to hold them accountable when the Democratic Party is not bothering to loudly and publicly state who they are and what they're for - and compare that to their competitors.
I've heard this bull before.

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#13

Post by Mikedunford » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:02 am

I agree completely.
"I don't give a fuck whether we're peers or not."
--Lord Thomas Henry Bingham to Boris Johnson, on being asked whether he would miss being in "the best club in London" if the Law Lords moved from Parliament to a Supreme Court.

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#14

Post by RoadScholar » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:09 am

Yes.

I’ve found myself thinking after posting here “Hey... how come I’m a better spokesperson for the Democratic party than the actual elected Democrats?!”

Yeesh.
The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#15

Post by Mikedunford » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:11 am

In fairness, there are some who are good - Brian Schatz, in particular, has been excellent on Twitter.
"I don't give a fuck whether we're peers or not."
--Lord Thomas Henry Bingham to Boris Johnson, on being asked whether he would miss being in "the best club in London" if the Law Lords moved from Parliament to a Supreme Court.

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#16

Post by Mikedunford » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:53 pm

On that note, here's his latest tweet:


Both sides are not making climate change worse. Both sides are not coming for your health care. Both sides are not making it harder for people to vote. Both sides didn’t vote for Betsy Devos. Both sides were not for that tax cut. Our side had to vote.
"I don't give a fuck whether we're peers or not."
--Lord Thomas Henry Bingham to Boris Johnson, on being asked whether he would miss being in "the best club in London" if the Law Lords moved from Parliament to a Supreme Court.

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Addie
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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#17

Post by Addie » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:44 am

Daily Beast
This Time It’s Russia’s Emails Getting Leaked

The Russian oligarchs and Kremlin apparatchiks spared by WikiLeaks in the past will not be so lucky this week, when transparency activists drop a massive archive of leaked docs.

Russian oligarchs and Kremlin apparatchiks may find the tables turned on them later this week when a new leak site unleashes a compilation of hundreds of thousands of hacked emails and gigabytes of leaked documents. Think of it as WikiLeaks, but without Julian Assange’s aversion to posting Russian secrets.

The site, Distributed Denial of Secrets, was founded last month by transparency activists. Co-founder Emma Best said the Russian leaks, slated for release Friday, will bring into one place dozens of different archives of hacked material that, at best, have been difficult to locate, and in some cases appear to have disappeared entirely from the web.

“Stuff from politicians, journalists, bankers, folks in oligarch and religious circles, nationalists, separatists, terrorists operating in Ukraine,” said Best, a national-security journalist and transparency activist. “Hundreds of thousands of emails, Skype and Facebook messages, along with lots of docs.”

Distributed Denial of Secrets, or DDoS, is a volunteer effort that launched last month. Its objective is to provide researchers and journalists with a central repository where they can find the terabytes of hacked and leaked documents that are appearing on the internet with growing regularity. The site is a kind of academic library or a museum for leak scholars, housing such diverse artifacts as the files North Korea stole from Sony in 2014, and a leak from the Special State Protection Service of Azerbaijan.

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Re: Citizen Strong (Dirt Diggers)

#18

Post by RoadScholar » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:09 pm

Almost makes you think maybe some of them might just reflect on the machinations of the Trump Crime Family. :pray:
The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
X3

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