- The billionaire allegedly behind the false flag operation in Alabama was planning to roll out a progressive voter database ahead of the 2020 election.
- The Democratic National Committee’s top brass is staying quiet about connections to the liberal financier allegedly behind a misinformation campaign in Alabama.
- Tech guru Reid Hoffman’s ties to a misinformation campaign in Alabama are leaving Democrat’s mission to revamp a voter database in limbo.
Billionaire Reid Hoffman’s alleged role behind a misinformation campaign in Alabama could potentially hurt the Democratic National Committee’s mission to revamp the party’s data infrastructure.
Democrats are waging a pitched battle over voter information data, with the national party preferring such data be stored in a large vat while activists want the content decentralized. Hoffman’s plans to create a separate voter database and reports linking him to a false flag operation are complicating the issue.
Democratic operatives meanwhile worry the infighting could hurt the party’s chances of defeating President Donald Trump in 2020.
“We have a crisis,” Robby Mook, a campaign manager for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 White House bid, told reporters in December. “Republicans are going to have a major strategic advantage over us in 2020 if we don’t fix it.” One DNC adviser suggested a solution.
Mary Beth Cahill, a senior advisor to the DNC, expressed a willingness to work with Hoffman on a plan helping the party establish a revamped voter database. Democrats worry the billionaire LinkedIn founder’s plan to go it alone could leave the party on the outside looking in.
“The DNC believes the creation of a data trust is imperative to winning in 2020 and beyond, and we are open to participating alongside a variety of partners in a data trust that protects the interests of our party and ensures state parties have what they need to win,” Cahill said in a Dec. 10 press statement .
Neither Rep. Nancy Pelosi nor Sen. Chuck Schumer responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about the prospects of a DNC-Hoffman collaboration. The committee also did not make DNC Chair Tom Perez available for an interview on the subject.
Their silence on a potential Hoffman collaboration comes on the heels of reports that various groups-aligned with the Silicon Valley tech guru used his money to orchestrate a massive misinformation campaign during the midterms. Hoffman later apologized for the ruse, but the damage was already done.
Operatives connected with tech firm New Knowledge created thousands of Twitter accounts posing as Russian bots to boost the election-year chances of Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, The New York Times reported on Dec. 19. The accounts began following then-Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore’s Twitter account in October 2017. Jones has since called for a probe.
The scheme worked like a charm. It attracted attention from local and national media, falsely suggesting Russia was backing Moore’s candidacy. The Montgomery Advertiser, for instance, was the first to cover the story using the Russian-bot angle. National media outlets quickly followed suit. Some media pundits even mocked Moore for accusing Democrats of trolling his account.
Former President Barack Obama campaign organizer, Mikey Dickerson, was instrumental in a disinformation campaign targeting Moore, reports show, as was Evan Coren, who has worked for the National Archives unit since Obama’s first term. Hoffman and his associates were connected to another misinformation campaign during that same year.
News for Democracy began running ads during the 2018 midterms touting failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke of Texas on a Facebook page targeting evangelicals. Another page called “Sounds Like Tennessee” ran at least one ad attacking since-elected Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. News for Democracy is the brainchild of a Hoffman-backed group called MotiveAI.
Activists criticized Hoffman’s groups and what seems like underhanded ventures.
“While there’s something to be said about fighting fire with fire, there’s also concern that some of the tactics he’s funded will propel us on a race to the bottom,” one Democratic operative told Politico in a Jan. 22 interview. “What does it mean for our democracy as tech titans with ambiguous values expand their dominance of the Democratic Party?”
Others are voicing similar concern. Jane Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, told Politico reporters that “state parties will not turn our data over to a corporate guru with reckless electioneering practices.” Kleeb’s activist network has deep roots in grassroots groups working to elect progressive congressional candidates.
Hoffman, who apologized in December for New Knowledge’s ruse has never responded to TheDCNF’s repeated requests for comment about the nature of his role in the campaign. Dickerson has also not responded to requests for comment.
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