Monday, July 16, 2007

Sock Puppets for McCain


Jones's likely replacement is Jill Hazelbaker, who has been handling New Hampshire press for McCain. Prior to her work for McCain, Hazelbaker worked press for the 2006 Senate campaign of New Jersey state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. (R). Sources cautioned that the Hazelbaker deal was not official yet but that the conversation appeared to be moving in that direction.

Where have I heard that name before? Oh yes...

The Internet postings came from people calling themselves "cleanupnj," "usedtobeblue" and "AmadeusNJ." They said they were concerned Democrats, "lifelong liberals," and they were troubled by the United States senator from New Jersey, Robert Menendez.

Mr. Menendez, they said, was up to no good. For instance, did you notice that a Congressional lawyer who Mr. Menendez said cleared him of ethics issues regarding a controversial real estate deal died last year? Wasn't there something fishy about that?

But the liberal Democratic hosts of, the Web log where such comments were posted, smelled something fishy about the postings, and said they traced them to a computer inside the campaign headquarters of Mr. Menendez's Republican opponent, Thomas H. Kean Jr.

They suspect the person behind the postings, which have appeared on the site regularly since July, is Mr. Kean's campaign spokeswoman, Jill Hazelbaker. Ms. Hazelbaker called the accusations "nonsense," and said neither she nor anyone else she knows of in the office had anything to do with the postings. "I've never e-mailed them nor posted on the Web site," she said on Wednesday. "It's a blog. You can't believe what's posted on blogs." She declined to make Mr. Kean available to discuss the matter.

...more here.