Orlando Sentinel takes note of Katherine Harris' admiring comment spammer

Jim Stratton’s Katherine Harris’ secret pal? which appears in the Orlando Sentinel’s political blog Sept 26, is about curious comments supporting Harris that have appeared on some blogss, the question being whether she was outsourcing to India for comment spamming.

I posted about receiving some of these comments on the 15th after being hit with a second batch of them. That second batch catching my interest, I did a Google of the IP address of the comments thinking that someone else had certainly experienced the same and came up with Hyku Blog.. I dropped a note at his blog and we exchanged a couple of emails. As Hyku Blog notes today, Talking Points Memo and TPM Cafe have picked up on it. (Links at his blog.)

Stratton spoke with me as well and some of the comments left on this blog are noted in the article. There wasn’t anything I could say about it all except yes, comments were left here, and I thought them curious as they were different names but same IP out of India. The same thing those interviewees noted in the article told him.

An excerpt from the article:

Day said he assumed it was “some guy running a Katherine Harris spam operation.” Hallett said he figured it was a Harris staffer. But when the internet protocol address tracked back to India, another thought crossed his mind.

“I wondered if she was outsourcing campaign support to India,” he said. “It was so bizarre.”

The wording of the messages also raised questions. The comments sound stilted, as if English wasn’t the first language of the writer.

“Guys let us come out of this blue eye shadow,” one says. “Let us not discuss such irrelevant details.”

Another says, “At the end of the day what matters is her ability to lead the masses. Which I think she is quite good at.” A third calls Bill Nelson, “Bill Henson.”

The author of the comments remains unknown and the Harris campaign did not respond to questions about the blog postings. Using blogs as a political tool, however, is becoming common.

In 2004, paid bloggers helped the presidential campaign of Howard DeanÖ and the senate campaign of John ThuneÖ, R-South Dakota. Political observers in Florida think campaigns regularly monitor political blogs and submit comments to help their candidate.

My thoughts were the same as Stephen Day. I’d wondered if she was outsourcing to India. But if Katherine Harris did outsource for comment spamming, she hired someone who did a very poor job of it.

Harris, Church and state is another Stratton piece, published late August. It begins:

U.S. Representative Katherine Harris said this week that the separation of church state is “a lie,” that God did not intend for the United States to be a “nation of secular laws” and that a failure to elect Christians to political office will allow lawmaking bodies to “legislate sin.”

The comment spamming thing is curious but Harris’ views on church and state are outrageous and scary. Brent Rasmussen at Unscrewing the Inscrutable posts some thoughts on it under the header Katherine Harris is insane.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

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