Pittsburgh Hoaxster Posed as Huckabee Supporter

Genius schemer gives GOP a black eye.
Genius schemer gives GOP a black eye.

A couple of days ago, a friend e-mailed me to peddle this story about Ashley Todd, the College Republican McCain campaign volunteer in Pittsburgh who had allegedly been attacked on the street and had a “B” carved into her face by a Barack Obama supporter. My friend was pushing the story for this blog; this was several hours before the story had exploded nationally.

I declined the info, since it had no connection to Arkansas, and I rarely deal with national stories that don’t have a tie to the state. (You may have noticed I called the blog “The Arkansas Project.”) And at that point, my friend didn’t have any sourcing on it—it was just a rumor that was being passed along via text message and e-mail.

A little later, the story was all over The Drudge Report, and lots of bloggers picked up on it and started moving it along. Within hours, though, it was learned that there were some holes in Todd’s story, and the whole thing fell apart shortly thereafter. It was all a lie. (It should be noted that conservative blogger Michelle Malkin was one of the first to question Todd’s story, as it bore the hallmarks of fake “hate crimes” Malkin had reported on previously).

Anyway, in subsequent reportage, as we’ve learned more about Ashley Todd’s background, there is an Arkansas tie. OK, it’s the most tangential connection you can imagine, based only on yet another of this girl’s lies, but here you go.

While volunteering for Ron Paul’s campaign in Texas, she posed as a Mike Huckabee supporter in an effort to obtain information on other campaigns, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

In March, Ms. Todd was asked to leave a grass-roots group of Ron Paul supporters in Brazos County, Texas, group leader Dustan Costine said. He said Ms. Todd posed as a supporter of former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and called the local Republican committee seeking information about its campaign strategies.

“She would call the opposing campaign and pretend she was on their campaign to get information,” Mr. Costine said last night. “We had to remove her because of the tactics she displayed. After that we had nothing to do with her.”

About a month earlier, he said, Ms. Todd sent an e-mail to the Ron Paul group saying her tires were slashed and that campaign paraphernalia had been stolen from her car because she supported Mr. Paul.

“She’s the type of person who wants to be recognized,” Mr. Costine said.

I’ve worked with both Democrats and Republicans, and these types of people exist on both sides of the aisle, though Ashley Todd appears to be a particularly noxious representative of the type—narcissists and drama queens who are always hatching these brilliant schemes, rather than doing the hard work of actually, you know, organizing and winning votes.

Usually, the brilliant scheming amounts to little more than a waste of time and resources. In this case, this genius’s desperate need for attention ended up only doing damage to the GOP cause she was ostensibly supporting. Great. Thanks.

Based on the available information, Todd seems like she’d benefit from some pyschological help. Or she might also benefit from being stuffed into a barrel and thrown off one of those Pittsburgh bridges into the Allegheny River. To be honest, I can kind of go either way on this one.

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The Arkansas Project