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Friday, August 22, 2003


The Snoops are in Town...

posted by Christopher at Friday, August 22, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Check out this week's Seven Days "Inside Track" article... it's a must read. Very funny about the oppo research going on here in Vermont by other campaigns. Peter Freyne is our hometown 'thorn in the side' for Vermont pols. He's one of the best in the business at skewering the best wafflers in the biz - on both sides of the aisle. If you're not already reading it online, check it out. He usually reports on the goings-on of the Dean campaign from a Vermont perspective. This week he writes that 'The snoops are in town!' An excerpt below:

"The other day a young woman stopped by Channel 17 on North Winooski Avenue. That’s our local government/public-access station on Burlington-area cable TV. Monica Lesmerises went through the station’s computerized logs trolling for tapes that included someone named “Howard Dean.” According to Channel Director Jess Wilson, there were 230 matches. Monica carefully selected 33 she wanted copied and shipped to her home in Washington, D.C.

Monday afternoon, every screen on every desk at Ch. 17 had Ho-Ho’s face on it as the copies were being run off. One pair of screens showed the boyish grin of the young governor debating Republican John McClaughry in 1992. McClaughry was as stern and stonefaced as a drugstore Indian. Howard just grinned. He simply couldn’t take McClaughry seriously. And neither did the voters. Dean cruised to a landslide win with 75 percent to GOP Johnny Think-Tanker’s 23 percent.

Ah! The good old days.

Naturally, Ms. Wilson was curious about the blonde scouring the Dean files. The obvious question was, who did Ms. Lesmerises work for?

Monica refused to say.

In our brave new Internet world, folks, secrets are but illusions.

As soon as Blonde Monica left, Director Jess typed her name into Google, the knower of all things knowable. In seconds she learned that Ms. Monica is a senior member of Rep. Dick Gephardt’s presidential campaign staff.

Unfortunately, Blonde Monica was not in the mood for chat Monday evening when we called her in Foggy Bottom.

We identified ourselves and complimented her on her writing.

“Is this a media request?” asked Monica.

No, we explained, we just wanted to let her know that Seven Days would be reporting this week on her recent visit to Vermont. We also added that we loved her blonde jokes.

Monica sounded a little nervous. A little taken aback. Bet she’s never been called by a Vermont political columnist before. Caught her at a bad time?

“I’m not going to be able to speak to you,” she said.

“But you just did,” we replied.

Then she was silent for a few seconds before hanging up."


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.