In my last post, I left you with the expectation that I was looking into if the Federal Election Commission was doing anything regarding Attorney General Marshall’s formal request that Project Birmingham be investigated by the FEC.
Since no other news outlet is reporting on this at the moment, I thought my readers would at least like to know whether or not the FEC is in fact looking into this matter. I recently sent a request for information to the FEC and they replied quickly. FEC Deputy Press Officer, Christian Hilland, responded with the pasted text below.
A provision of federal campaign finance law requires that any Commission action on an enforcement matter be kept strictly confidential until the case is resolved. Therefore, to comply with this provision and to protect the interests of those involved in an enforcement case that is before the agency or on a matter that has the potential to come to the agency, we are unable to comment.
Potential violations of federal campaign finance law may be brought to the Commission’s attention through the complaint process. This process enables anyone to file a sworn complaint alleging violations and explaining the basis for the allegations. A description of the complaint process is available here. Each complaint is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and therefore, the length of every case will vary.
Note that a vote of at least four Commissioners is needed at every stage, including whether to (1) find reason to believe and initiate an investigation, (2) find probable cause that a violation has occurred or is about to occur, (3) settle a matter, or (4) authorize filing a lawsuit. If there are not four votes at any stage, the Commission will not proceed to the next step of the process.
Okay, I’m going to take that as a yes. The FEC is currently investigating Project Birmingham. I wonder if the media outlets, that reported to have documents from the September and December 2017 meetings, are cooperating?
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It was such an honor to be a guest on Sandy Rios in the Morning! She was such a great host and I have a great deal of respect for her and what she has accomplished in her career as a broadcaster. As a guest on her show, I was not only honored but also excited that I was able to have a platform to discuss Project Birmingham.
This audio clip above is the podcast of the radio show that aired on Febuary 8th, 2019.
This was my first time appearing on a national stage as a guest. I can say that answering questions on a radio show with timed segments is most certainly a different experience than asking my own questions to others on my podcast with unlimited time. I want to address in more detail some of her questions, as well as my answers, from the interview that time, (or my veering off topic) wouldn’t permit me to answer.
Before I go any further, I want to welcome any visitors that may have come here as a result of Sandy’s show! I would like invite you all of follow this blog via email, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Google Play, or follow on social media.
First, let me explain the Google search terms I was referencing toward the end of the interview. You see, if you look at the leaked after action report, you will see that one of the highlights they touted was that Doug Jones’ prosecution of the KKK was emphasized in order to attract black voters. Searching for Doug Jones wins primarywill return articles from the August 15th primary where the mainstream media all mention Jones as being a former U.S. prosecutor who prosecuted the suspects in the Birmingham Church bombings. Doug Jones KKKwill render articles that use different phrasing when introducing Doug Jones.
After September 27th, Jones is referred to as “Doug Jones, who prosecuted the KKK.” The latter search renders articles published just after the Republican runoff when the race became a match up between Jones and Moore. It is clear to me that the main stream media outlets all started emphasizing that Jones prosecuted the KKK after the September meeting, just as Project Birmingham intended. This is not to imply anything negative about Jones and this great work of putting those Democratic terrorist behind bars, it is simply a method I devised to test the authenticity of the leaked documents.
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Second, I want to give a better answer to that final question Sandy asked in her interview. Basically, I’ve discovered a few myths that the media are propagating about Moore and Project Birmingham. Let me list three that I should have mentioned to Sandy.
Myth 1.Project Birmingham didn’t really affect the outcome of the 2017 Special Election in Alabama.
Go back and look at the turnout numbers in the August primary and the December general. (I did actually talk about this in the interview) You will see that for every one Democrat that votes in the primary, four voted in the general on December 12th, 2017. That is huge! Don’t be misled by the 22,000 margin of victory for Jones. The fact that the Democrats made it past 40 percentage points is enough to make an Alabama liberal stare at the ceiling with upward clasped hands next to their “holiday tree.”
Myth 2. The most controversial thing Project Birmingham did was produce the false flag by using Russian-like Twitter accounts to follow Moore .
This is a distraction from the real cause of Judge Moore’s defeat, the allegations of sexual misconduct. Twitter is inconsequential to most Alabama voters and this didn’t amount to a hill of beans. The only thing that moved the needle in the polling were the allegations that starting coming after November 9th, this was one day after a poll had Moore up by eleven points. While I can’t definitively claim that Project Birmingham was behind the allegations, there is evidence that the project, which reports say involved Fusion GPS, was working in Alabama during the time the Washington Post reporters were trying to convince the accusers to come forward. I discuss this in more detail during the interview but just remember not to be distracted by the Twitter nonsense. The eight hundred pound gorilla is the allegations and if they are a product of Project Birmingham, not some cryptic twitter accounts that had no effect.
Myth 3. Roy Moore was a weak candidate.
This one really chaps me every time I hear it. How can you say Moore was weak when he beat Luther Strange, the most well funded candidate Alabama has ever seen? Strange was also endorsed by President Trump. A weak candidate would have never had made it past the primaries. Also, give me one person that can be successfully branded as a pedophile in the media, have little or no support from the National Republican Party, and still lose by only 22,000 votes? I wonder how this election would have turned out if just one senator in DC stood up and fought back for Moore like they did Brett Kavanaugh a year later. It was Roy against the world back in 2017 and the world only won by 1.7 percent.
Finally, I want to update my readers on the investigation of Project Birmingham itself. I mentioned in the interview with Ms. Rios that Alabama’s attorney general was looking into this. Yesterday, I received an email from that office with a copy of the letter that indicates this has been deferred to the Federal Election Commission.
I wanted to write a follow up to my prior post, where I listed what I thought were questionable circumstances surrounding Project Birmingham and how the leaked documents show possible coordination between the project and the media attacks on Roy Moore during the 2017 Special Election in Alabama.
I’m focusing this post on what I like to call the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room, the allegations of sexual assault made against Moore beginning on November 9th, 2017. In my view, and according to the polls at the time, no other attacks against Moore damaged his double digit lead over Doug Jones like those allegations did. Prior to November 9th, 2017, Judge Moore enjoyed an 11 point lead over Jones and even remained in the single digits for a time after The Washington Post article.
Given what we know about Project Birmingham, and the allegations that are still just… well… allegations, that gorilla may be even bigger than we know.
In light of these things, allow me to give you my ideas about why I think there is a possibility that the allegations of sexual assault made against Judge Moore during the Special Election could be connected with Project Birmingham.
Based on what we can glean from the leaked documents, Project Birmingham acknowledged at least twice that the allegations affected their “experiment” as well being detrimental to the outcome of election. An outcome that ended up exactly as the project intended.
The above image is part of the leaked documents from the December 15th, 2017 “After Action” meeting held by Project Birmingham members and associates. Notice the second bullet point in the image. They mention the “Wapo Report” and how they “provided major news outlets” with data that indicated “anti-Moore articles were popular.” Also notice that they provided this information to the media “Prior to the WaPo report on Moore’s alleged child molestation.”
Now take a look at another leaked document from the December 15th meeting. This one is a timeline that shows what actions were taken and when.
You can see in this above timeline that October, the month that the writers of the November 9th Wapo article were in Alabama working on a story about Moore supporters, is also the month that Project Birmingham experimented “with tactics to push narratives from one social media platform to another and ultimately into the press.”
These documents show me that the project was definitely shaped by the November 9th Wapo hit piece and actions were adjusted accordingly after it was published. Notice in the timeline again how they pushed the write in candidate in December just before the election and after the allegations have been published. Promoting a write in was far more effective after the public had been fed a litany of disgusting accusations against Moore. Republicans would have been far more likely to look elsewhere for a candidate in December than October.
We do know from the recent reporting that Project Birmingham members claim to have also acted as “media advisors,” where they arraigned interviews between the write in candidate they were promoting and the media.
Now that we have this information, isn’t all reporting that occurred during this election suspicious? Especially from The Washington Post? I tend to think so.
By now, you have all heard of Project Birmingham, the disinformation campaign, aimed at preventing Roy Moore from winning the Alabama Special Election for U.S. Senate back in twenty seventeen.
I took particular interest in this story when it broke a few weeks ago. As you know, I covered that election more thorough than most since it was the only one going on at the time and I was able to focus my limited time blogging and podcasting (blogcasting) about it.
I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert on this election. At least an expert when it comes to knowing what transpired and when. I attended multiple rallies, including the one at the train station in downtown Montgomery where Moore appeared after his debate against Big Luther Strange. The atmosphere at that one was electric. A long list of nationally known pols were there. Names like Bannon and Palin spoke to the most fired up crowds that any politician saw in Alabama that year. There was a huge gathering of national press in attendance as well. I was there with my iPhone and monopod trying to capture what I could with what little battery life I had left on my device.
I was unable to attend the September 26th election night watch party where after a long road of running against a Trump-endorsed, McConnell-funded, Bentley-appointed Luther Strange, Roy Moore was finally on the downhill stretch to being elected to the United States Senate.
While I couldn’t attend every event, I could follow this election daily via news stories posted to the web and social media. When Moore won the primary, I correctly predicted he would win the runoff on September 26th. After that, it was supposed to be a no brainer. After all, Steve Flowers, the premier political columnist in Alabama, had said to me repeatedly on my podcast, “In Alabama, winning the Republican nomination is tantamount to winning the election.” Steve is usually right about that.
It was a given that Roy Moore was going to beat that democrat. What’s his name? Oh yes, Doug Jones.
Little did I know at the time, what I thought was a campaign coasting its way to victory, was actually a sitting duck about to get hit with the modern political version of a thermo nuclear bomb.
As I write this, all we know is there was a meeting in Washington DC in September of 2017 where the plan was hatched to take out Moore and create a path to victory for Doug Jones.(Correction) There was no meeting in September of 2017. The meeting referenced in the NPR interview linked above occurred in September 2018 in Washington D.C. The “experiment” was executed and then the group met after the election on December 15th to see what worked and how.
I’m left with more questions than answers after looking at all of this. A few questions are:
Why did they “seed” the #NoMoore hashtag in September and not #NoStrange when the runoff wasn’t held until September 26th? Were they anticipating that Strange was going to lose or just out to get Roy Moore from the get go?
Why is The Washington Post trying to be out front and center with their reporting of Project Birmingham when this thing has WaPo fingerprints all over it? Specifically David Weigal’s prints. Weigal is mentioned in this article and wrote another on September 27th, the day following Moore’s nomination, where he is among the first writers in the bunch to drive the narrative about Doug Jones prosecuting the KKK. Project Birmingham wanted to increase turnout among black voters by driving home that point and all of the media were more than happy to go along with it. Weigal appears to have either been the most eager to publish or first to get the memo from the project.
Was the November 9th WaPo story, the first of the allegations against Moore, connected with Project Birmingham? We know from the leaked documents that someone with the project reached out to major media organizations and presented data to show that Anti-Moore content was popular and lucrative. Did someone at the project reach out to Stephanie McCrummen in the same manner as was done with David Weigal? McCrummen wrote that she met with Moore accusers for three weeks before they finally agreed to go public. This would put her in Alabama circa October 19th. According to the leaked “After Action” documents, Project Birmingham was “experimenting, in October, with tactics to push narratives from one social platform to another and ultimately into press.” Was McCrummen’s story “pushed” to her from the project? The allegations have yet to be proven and Moore has recently taken a lie detector test that indicates he is telling the truth.
I’m calling on the media outlets that have the documents from both the September and December meetings of Project Birmingham to release them to the public! There is no reason to hold on to them unless they want to protect an ally or even one of their own. I’m continuing to watch this story and will update this post as more information becomes available.
In the days leading up to the Alabama Special Election Primary, We have seen predictions for everything from polling data, to voter turnout. I wanted to take a moment to actually put those predictions into context in terms of actual votes and for whom. Before I do, let me list a couple of predictions that I have come across over the past few days.
The latest poll that I have seen has Moore at 30.7%, Strange at 22.6% and Brooks at 18.1% on the republican side. For the democrats, data isn’t as complete. Although that same source does have Democratic Candidate, Robert Kennedy Jr. polling at 49% which puts him with almost enough votes to win the primary without a runoff!
These numbers, for the most part are not surprising if you have been following this race and monitoring the polling data that has been shared all along. What hasn’t really been mentioned is what these numbers mean in terms of the expected number of votes that will be placed for each candidate. That’s what I’ll try here.
It wasn’t until I saw Merrill’s prediction and the total number of registered voters in Alabama that I thought about putting this together. Since I’m terrible at math, rather than using the 20-25% range, I will settle in the middle at 23%.
Based on the polling and estimated turnout:
If 23% of 3.3 million show up to vote tomorrow, that will mean a total of 759,000 people are expected to turnout statewide.
If Alabama is split (and I’m estimating this) 60/40 republicans to democrats, then that means 455,400 republicans and 303,600 democrats. I debated with myself to put it at 65/35 but I’ll know for sure after tomorrow.
For the candidates, it’s a simple plan.
Plan A – Win the primary on August 15th. That would mean one republican candidate would get at least 228,000 votes. For the democrats, that number is 151,800. Not likely.
Plan B – Make it to the runoff. This is the most likely scenario and the one that the big money is expecting as well. Strange has millions to spend but has mostly been attacking Brooks in the ads. Based on the polling data, here is what that looks like. Due to availability, I am only able to estimate republicans from here on.
Roy Moore (30.7%) 139,808 estimated votes
Luther Strange (22.6%) 102,920 estimated votes
Mo Brooks (18.1%) 82,427 estimated votes
What is striking to me about this is that a mere 20,494 votes are the only things keeping Brooks from moving on to the runoff against Moore in this scenario. That’s not a lot of votes when you consider a total 3.3 million statewide registered voters. This also further explains why the Strange campaign and its allies have been running negative ads against Mo Brooks with far more frequency than they have against Roy Moore up until this point. The one point that I can glean from this information is that your vote or non-vote matters tomorrow. Even if you are voting for a candidate that I haven’t named here, and there are some really good ones, you are still affecting the outcome. If you don’t vote at all tomorrow, which according to this should be about 77% of you, then your inaction also affects this election by keeping the turnout down.
In closing friends, I leave you with a line borrowed from the rock band Rush, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice” For the rest of us, I pray we choose the path that is clear.
I spoke with Alabama political expert, Steve Flowers today about the special election coming up on August 15th. Please share this on social media and like this page on Facebook for continued coverage of Alabama politics.
This is the audio recorded at an event hosted tonight by the Coffee County Republican Committee. The speakers were U.S. Senate candidates, Judge Roy Moore and Tripp Pittman. I tried to boost the audio when members of the audience asked questions. Otherwise, no edits have been made.
Don’t hesitate to comment below instead of commenting on social media to make sure that all viewers of this post will see it.
This is a press release verbatim from the campaign of Judge Roy Moore for Senate.
Montgomery, AL – Today, the Roy Moore for U. S. Senate Campaign announced that former State Senator and Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead will serve as Campaign Chairman.
“I have known Bill for over 25 years and know him to be an ethical leader of our party who consistently stands up for our shared conservative values,” said Judge Roy Moore. “As a former Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Bill will help us engage the real people of Alabama who are frustrated by establishment politics in Washington and want a Senator who will be their voice.”
Armistead, a resident of Shelby County, served in the Alabama State Senate for two terms from 1994 – 2002 and was the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor in 2002. He served as Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party from 2011 to 2015 during which time the Party won every statewide office including the election of Judge Moore as Chief Justice in 2012. Under Armistead’s leadership, the Party also increased its majorities in the legislature and made record gains at the local level.
“Judge Roy Moore will be the next United States Senator from Alabama, and I am proud to offer my endorsement and support. I encourage all my friends across the state to join the campaign today by visiting www.judgemooreforsenate.com or on Facebook @JudgeRoyMoore,” said Bill Armistead regarding the announcement.
Newly appointed Campaign Chairman Armistead continued, “Judge Moore has stood up for conservative values his whole career, often in the face of so-called, bi-partisan adversaries, and this campaign will be no different. The Washington establishment has made it clear that they want to hand-pick the next Senator from Alabama, but I have every confidence that voters in Alabama will stand with Judge Roy Moore on August 15th and send a proven fighter and tested outsider to Washington to shake up the status quo and support President Donald Trump in draining the swamp.”
The appointment of Bill Armistead as Campaign Chairman is the first of several Judge Roy Moore for Senate Leadership Team announcements set for the coming days and weeks.
Listen to the story of a young man that found himself unemployed during the economic downturn in 2008, only to work his way back as a successful business consultant today. Bryan Peeples discusses how his experiences with failure and success in the business realm make him a viable candidate for U.S. Senate. Thanks for listening, please share this on your social media and be sure to follow Deer Stand Hill on Facebook.
Get to know Judge Roy Moore in an interview like you rarely hear in this age of argumentative media. Hear what he has to say about his life and campaign for U.S. Senate. Be sure to like and follow Deer Stand Hill on Facebook for total campaign coverage.
Jim Zeigler talks about the ongoing lawsuit filed against Governor Bentley, his new book, “The Making of the People’s Governor 2018”, and what it would take for him to run for governor in 2018. The book is available at lulu.com. Be sure to follow Deer Stand Hill on Facebook and Twitter. Message me with your comments, topic ideas, or sponsorship inquiries. Thanks for listening!