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    Alabama Special Election 2017 Tag

    In December, I blogged about a New York Times report that described how Democratic tech experts adopted Russian tactics supposedly used in the 2016 election in order to help Democrat Doug Jones defeat Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race in 2017. Three more reports have come out detailing how Democrat operatives, funded by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman (who launched fake political pages and ads on Facebook during the midterms in November) while another group did the same in the Alabama Senate race.

    The Democrats have been wailing about the Russian influence on the 2016 election, but it turns out, as Mary blogged earlier this week, that they are implicated in creating their own army of fake Russian bots to influence the 2017 Alabama Special Election. According to reports, Democrats spent the same amount of money on fake Russian bots intended to spread disinformation and fake news as the Russians spent on real Russian bots.

    The New York Times dropped a bombshell on Wednesday about how Democratic tech experts adopted Russian tactics supposedly used in the 2016 election in order to help Democrat Doug Jones defeat Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race in 2017:
    One participant in the Alabama project, Jonathon Morgan, is the chief executive of New Knowledge, a small cyber security firm that wrote a scathing account of Russia’s social media operations in the 2016 election that was released this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee. An internal report on the Alabama effort, obtained by The New York Times, says explicitly that it “experimented with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections.”

    On Tuesday, Alabama voters head to the polls to elect their new United States senator, and depending on which outlet you read, the race is "too close to call," Judge Roy Moore (R) is leading by between 3 and 7 points, and Doug Jones (D) is "a normal polling error away from a win." FiveThirtyEight reports:
    Things seem to be going Roy Moore’s way. President Trump endorsed him. The Republican National Committee is back to supporting him. And Moore, who has been accused of sexual contact with women when they were underaged, has led by an average of 3 percentage points in polls1 taken within 21 days of the Dec. 12 special Senate election in Alabama. The betting markets give Moore about an 80 percent chance of victory. . . .

    When Beverly Young Nelson, accompanied by Gloria Allred, accused Roy Moore of sexual assault behind a diner when she was 16, she showed a high school yearbook with Moore's purported dated signature to prove she knew him. The yearbook entry was a piece of evidence that immediately raised questions. I wrote at the time Roy Moore “handwriting analyses” prove Trial by Twitter is no way to determine guilt or innocence:

    A White House official has said that President Donald Trump will not campaign for Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused by numerous women of sexual assault when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

    Based on the present state of affairs, and assuming there are no further revelations, it looks like Roy Moore will outlast the outrage over the accusations, which he denies, that he molested a 14-year-old girl and assaulted a 16-year-old girl almost 40 years ago. Those serious accusations of criminality have been conflated in the media with non-criminal accusations that Moore dated teenage girls of legal age. I say "assuming there are no further revelations" because I would not be shocked if more comes out. Moore's wife complained that the Washington Post is calling everyone the two of them have known for the past several decades, and certainly other major media are conducting similar searches. So what follows assumes there are no new accusers, and no additional evidence to support the current accusations.

    President Donald Trump finds the allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore "troubling," but thinks that the people of Alabama should decide their next senator. From USA Today:
    "Look, the president believes these allegations are very troubling and should be taken seriously, and he believes the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their senator should be," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.

    Attorney Gloria Allred has scheduled a press conference at 2:30 PM EDT with an alleged Roy Moore accuser, adding to the dumpster fire of Alabama's special senate election. An article published by the Washington Post last week featured four women, one of whom allege Moore engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct when she was but a teenager and he was in his thirties. One of his accusers alleged Moore took her out on dates and bought her alcohol. At the time, she was 18 and the legal drinking age was 19. Moore said in an interview on Sean Hannity's radio show last week that he remembers the woman, but doesn't recall if they dated.
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