Undercover in U.S. Political Campaigns

Media History

The reporting was intended for these media types: Magazine, Newspaper

"Janeane From Des Moines" - Grace Lee - Documentary


"A Day at the Lincoln Club: My Lunch With the Group Behind Citizens United and Prop. 32" - Matthew Fleischer - Frying Pan News

"We're Up to $60 Million"


 ". . .And here I am, in the teeth of the Conservative movement, surrounded by power suits and blonde bouffants, trying to be the best Republican I can be. In preparation, I shaved my sideburns up above my ears, and slicked my hair to the side–a Chappelle’s Show parody of a white guy. I must look the part, as I spy the blondest, most-intimidating bouffant of them all making its way toward me. It belongs to Teresa Hernandez, a onetime Republican congressional candidate who tried to take Hilda Solis’ seat after Obama appointed her Secretary of Labor. Almost as soon as I sign myself in, Hernandez introduces herself. . ." 

"WATCH: Full Secret Video of Private Romney Fundraiser" - David Corn - Mother Jones

Mitt Romney Wanted the Full Tape. Here It Is.


 "The complete video demonstrates that Romney was not snippetized and that he was captured raw and uncut. Here it is, in two parts."

"How Jimmy Carter's Grandson Helped Leak the Secret Romney Fund-raiser Video" - Joe Coscarelli - New York Magazine


". . .Carter told Intel Daily that 'He put the anonymous video source in touch with the Mother Jones reporter and then butted out, knowing he was on to something. 'Any time you can find a clip that strengthens the narrative already established, that's what becomes a big deal,' Carter explained. 'I've been trying to get paid for this but it hasn't worked out yet. This might help' . . ."

"SECRET VIDEO: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution" - David Corn - Mother Jones

At a Private Fundraiser, the GOP Candidate calls Middle East Peace 'Almost Unthinkable' and Says He Would "Kick the Ball Down the Field."


 "Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate dinner and has confirmed its authenticity. The event was held at the home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder in Boca Raton, Florida, with tickets costing $50,000 a plate. During the freewheeling conversation, a donor asked Romney how the 'Palestinian problem' can be solved. Romney immediately launche into a detailed reply, asserting that the Palestinians have 'no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, adn that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish . . . 'I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way.'. . ."

"SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He Really Thinks of Obama Voters" - David Corn - Mother Jones

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate fundraiser - where he candidly discussed his campaign strategy and foreign policy ideas in stark terms he does not use in public - and has confirmed its authenticity. To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the veent, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican nomination. [UPDATE: We can now report that this fundraiser was held in the Boca Raton home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder on May 17 and we've removed the blurring from the video. See the original blurred videos here. . . . " 

"Romney '47 Percent' Fundraiser Host: Hedge Fund Manager Who Likes Sex Parties" - David Corn - Mother Jones


"Mitt Romney '47 percent' Video" - Ellen McGregor - WPTV and WPTV.com

Romney's Camp Releases Statement on Undercover Video Filmed in Boca


"Exclusive: Inside Karl Rove's Billionaire Fundraiser" - Sheelah Kolhalkar - Bloomberg Business Week

2012 Campaign


 ". . .This rare look at the mechanics of super-PAC fundraising and electoral strategy was likely not intended for reporters. I was invited as the guest of the financier who is a significant Republican donor. The financier knew that I was a journalist. At no point was I presented with, nor did I agree to, restrictions regarding the information I heard. Upon my arrival at breakfast, I was not asked if I was a journalist. I gave my name, identified the person who had invited me, was handed a wristband, and ushered into the dining room. American Crossroads disuptes this version of events, but a spokesman did not immediately return calls to elaborate. . . ."

"Undercover at the GOP's Voter Vigilante Project to Disrupt the Nov. Election" - Steven Rosenfeld - Alternet.org

The Republican True the Vote project is a well-funded scheme with training sessions for activists across the country. Will it work?


 ". . . Since 2004, I have been a national radio producer, investigative reporter, author and consultant - writing about how elections are won, lost bungled and improved, with a big focus on voter registration. But I had never snuck into a meeting of right-wing voting vigilantes who are the frontline of a national voter suppression strategy, and where the main speaker was a man whose new book I'd aggressively debunked days before, in an Alternet article lauded by a leading election law blog and the Washington Post . . . "

"Bush Like Me" - Matt Taibbi - Rolling Stone


". . . As a professional misanthrope, I believe that if you are going to hate a person, you ought to do it properly. You should go and live in his shoes for a while and see at the end of it how much you hate yourself. "This 'was 'what I was doing down in Florida. The real challenge wasn't just trying to understand these Republicans. It was to become the best Republican I could be. . . . "

"Bird-Dogging the Bush Vote" - Wells Tower - Harper's Magazine

Undercover with Florida's Republican Shock Troops


". . .I am, at the moment, one of the thousands of constituent devices that make up the most aggressive and state-of-the-art piece of campaign machinery the G.O.P. has ever brought to bear on a presidential race. I'm here because several weeks ago, as I and a few dozen million other Americans were fretting over how we might possible ward off another four years of George W. Bush, I decided to come to Florida and undertake a vigil for election-theft tactics from inside the Bush campaign's grass-roots ranks. . ."

"I Was an Obama Volunteer" - Mike Newall - Philadelphia City Paper


". . .I also wanted an up-close-in-action glimpse of this idea of 'empowered democracy,' the supposedly self-transformational precept pumping through the bloodlines of Obama's candidacy. (Remember, he's not just asking you to believe in his ability to bring about change, he's asking you to believe in yours.) The candidate has promised that his is a truly bottom-up campaign driven by the creative energies of volunteers rather than Washington wags. I wanted to see how Philadelphians handled their newfound empowerment. . ."

"I Was a Clinton Volunteer" - Tom Namako - Philadelphia City Paper


". . .When my editors put me up to this, I wanted to tackle some big questions: Would we Philadelphians truly be the "deciders" of a presidential primary? How does national politics operate on a local level? And who are these legendary Clintons, who draw both fanatical love and hate? I wanted to know these things in a truthful way, not through the spin of some campaign flack. But by 9:30 a.m., just a week after this office opened, my desire for knowing became much simpler: Where the hell were these people? . . ."

"Bill Clinton: Purdum a 'Sleazy' 'Slimy' 'Scumbag'" - Mayhill Fowler - Off the Bus on the Huffington Post


"Former President Bill Clinton today unleashed a salty stream of epithets to describe former New York Times reporter and current Vanity Fair writer Todd Purdum, calling him "sleazy," "dishonest," "slimy" and a "scumbag."The former president made the comment at a local campaign event after I asked him if Purdum's much-commented upon Vanity Fair story was weighing on his mind. Tightly gripping this reporter's hand and refusing to let go, Clinton heatedly denounced the writer, who is currently married to former Clinton White House Press Secretary, Dee Dee Myers. . ."

"Obama: No Surprise That Hard-Pressed Pennsylvanians Turn Bitter" - Mayhill Fowler - Off the Bus on the Huffington Post


". . .It's curious, then, that he often has such a hard time making a connection with many working class Americans. With plenty of time for people to get to know him, like in southern Illinois before his first state legislature race and in Iowa before the caucuses, Obama has forged that connection. People get comfortable with the way his mind works. Obama is the man with the big picture; he jumps quickly from the particular to the general and back again, for he makes sense of the world in a synchronic rather than a linear way. For all his soaring rhetoric, there is a dispassion about him. And yet he blends rationcinative intelligence with empathetic understanding. This is a rare combination, and for many people, this aspect of Obama takes some getting used to. His Puritanical streak, moreover, while amusing to the press can be off-putting to everybody else. . ."

"When Mayhill Fowler Met Bill Clinton at the Rope Line" - Jay Rosen - Press Think


". . .She does not identify herself as a writer for OffTheBus. She does identify herself as someone sympathetic to the target of the Vanity Fair article. (Fowler thought it was bad journalism.) She has a digital tape recorder in her left hand but Clinton doesn’t see it. He grips and does not let go of her right hand as he’s talking. 'I think we can safely say he thought I was a member of the audience,' she says later. . ."

"Blogger Is Surprised by Uproar Over Obama Story, but Not Bitter" - Katharine Q. Seelye - The New York Times


". . .Ms. Fowler told me in an interview Sunday night that she was initially reluctant to write about what Mr. Obama had said because she actually supports him— which partly explains why she was at the fundraiser in the first place and why there was a four-day delay between the event and the publication of her post. Ultimately, she said, she decided that if she didn’t write about it, she wouldn’t be worth her salt as a journalist. . ."