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Straight Talk, Unmarked Bills

pathynes.jpgPolitical consultant Patrick Hynes wears many hats. By day he's the president of New Media Strategics, a firm that works with McCain's Straight Talk America PAC to "bring New Media tools to the cause of reform." By... well, also by day, he's the "founder and proprietor" of Ankle Biting Pundits, a gleeful conservative blog launched in 2004 as "Crush Kerry" and renamed after Kerry was crushed.


But before today, Hynes didn't tell his blog readers about his other job and his connection to McCain. Not even when he was saying stuff like

It was only a short time ago that Sen. McCain took a lot of grief for mending fences with the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Anti-McCain politicians, pundits, and bloggers cannot have it both ways: McCain cannot be a finger-in-the-wind liberal and a suck up to the Religious Right.
and
For the record, Sen. McCain's remarks seem to have been taken out of context and misconstrued and then blown way out of proportion. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would suspect Hugh [Hewitt] of bashing McCain in the services of Mitt Romney, who Hugh, it has become increasingly obvious, supports along with Arlen Specter.
Hynes was finally called on the carpet by National Review Online writer Jim Geraghty, who has the details up at his excellent blog. But Geraghty skips the best part of this - Hynes' reaction to the 2005 news that Daily Kos blogger Markos Moulitsas had served as a consultant for Howard Dean while keeping up his blog. (Unlike Hynes, Kos had glued a disclaimer to his front page.)
On Tuesday the former Director of Internet Organizing for Dean for President, Zephyr Teachout, revealed that the selfsame Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (who goes by the handle "Kos") had been a paid shill for the Dean campaign, accepting fees for promoting the campaign of the angry little ex-Governor of Vermont on his blog. Oh yeah, Zúniga also gave "advice" to the campaign.... This mini-scandal is, probably, the blog equivalent of Rathergate or the Williams scandal.
Sadly, since ABP's pre-June 2006 archives were scrubbed in a site relaunch, we can't find what else John McCain's blogosphere mole had to say about ethics, disclosure and payola. Too bad. I'd bet $16,500 that it was insightful.

If you're consulting for John McCain's PAC, you ought to tell your readers [TKS at National Review Online]

John McCain and the Religious Right [Ankle Biting Pundits]

Is Hugh Hewitt the Kos of the Right? [Ankle Biting Pundits]

Howard Dean's Shrill Shill [The American Spectator]

Schedule B Line #: 21B [Straight Talk America]

-- David Weigel

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