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Who is Jennifer? Another Case of Inter-Campaign Trickery

Anita Kumar

Bob McDonnell's campaign received a call this morning from a woman who called herself "Jennifer" and claimed to be a freelance reporter from the Connection newspapers in Northern Virginia. She asked for information about McDonnell's schedule.

The problem? She isn't a reporter. She actually works for Creigh Deeds's campaign.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin, who took her call, said the caller ID showed Deeds's campaign headquarters phone number and the words "Deeds for Va."

Deeds campaign manager Joe Abbey questioned his staffers after hearing about the call from a reporter. He later said he found out the caller was one of his staffers -- though he did not release the woman's name.

"An overzealous campaign worker was trying to figure out where Bob McDonnell was today,'' Abbey said. "We have made it clear to all staff and volunteers that this behavior is not acceptable and should not happen again."

Political observers will recall this happened before in Virginia.

Last year, Senate candidate Jim Gilmore suspended his communications director for two weeks without pay because she sent an email to rival Mark Warner's campaign under a false name and asked to be put on his email list.

In 2001, a top campaign official for Warner, then a gubernatorial candidate, was reprimanded for posing as a constituent and making confrontational remarks about rival Mark Earley during a radio call-in show.

"Nothing surprises us anymore from Team Deeds,'' Martin said. " 'Me too' on policy. 'Me too' on attacks. Now they are 'me too' on past political capers."

By Anita Kumar  |  August 31, 2009; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Comments

Wow - calling from the campaign headquarters phones? That's beyond dumb.

Also dumb is Tucker Martin's ability to make a campaign spin statement out of a story this insignificant. "me too"? Really? I can't wait until you and your boss are both out of a job on Nov. 4

Posted by: antoniomelias | August 31, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Deeds and his cronies won't win this election.

Posted by: AlbyVA | August 31, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Big deal. A 9 year old can spoof a number. Hell, I can do it and I'm old. That's not what happened here but it might be fun to spoof the hell out of McDonnell's HQ, watch him blame Deeds, and then show how it was really done.

Posted by: gsquared100 | August 31, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Lots of the same people, including Abbey, were with Warner's campaign and pushed for Gilmore's aide to be fired or suspended- trotted it out all over the news.

Will they do the same and send out a statement saying they have suspended this staffer? Or is it ok now?

Posted by: ChrisD4 | August 31, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, don't worry -- all is okay now.

The Washington Post would be raising cain if it was republicans, but since it's teh dems (like the so-called "bloggers" we see appear who re-post whatever they read that morning on the Huffington Post) we won't hear anything more about it.

Creigh Deeds is out of ideas.
I'm voting for Bob.

Posted by: mary1961 | August 31, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Tucker Martin and his boss out of a job on Nov. 4? That is only true if you mean they will be "losing" their current jobs in order to take other ones, namely those associated with being governor.

Creigh Deeds is down by double digits in every single poll. The likelihood of him winning Nov. 4 are about the same as me being struck by lightning twice on the same day I win the lottery.

Posted by: Bob65 | September 1, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Misdeeds by a rival campaign? Well, I can see why it's getting just a brief mention. I mean, it's not like it's a 20 year old thesis.

Posted by: scottcpan | September 1, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Who would want to pretend to be a reporter? It is like pretending to be a child molestor or a guy running a dog fighting ring. Reporters are the lowest form of life, bottom dwelling pig intestines.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | September 1, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

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