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Not Just A Democrat Dirty Trick, But A Crime

A few years ago, as part of its strategy of facilitating voter fraud as a means of winning close elections, the Democratic Party undertook a campaign to secure as many Secretary of State offices in swing states as possible. From those perches, the Democrats would be in a position to oversee elections and enforce (or decline to enforce) election laws. That strategy has been quite successful, but the Democrats suffered a setback in Iowa in 2010 when conservative Republican Matt Schultz won an upset victory in the Secretary of State race. Since then, Iowa Democrats have targeted Schultz.

That targeting has taken a sinister turn–a criminal one, in fact–as the Des Moines Register reports:

A Des Moines man has been arrested after police say he used, or tried to use, the identity of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz in a scheme to falsely implicate Schultz in perceived unethical behavior in office.

Zachary Edwards was arrested Friday and charged with identity theft.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety issued a news release saying Schultz’s office discovered the scheme on June 24, 2011 and notified authorities.

Iowa blogger Shane Vander Hart has more, including this mug shot of Zachary Edwards, a Democratic operative:

Edwards is a former Obama staffer who directed “new media operations” for Obama in five states during the 2008 primaries. Thereafter, he was Obama’s Director of New Media for the State of Iowa. In the Democratic Party’s lexicon, “new media” apparently includes identity theft.

Edwards now works for LINK Strategies, a Democratic consulting firm with extraordinarily close ties to Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin. Its principal, Jeff Link, has served as Harkin’s campaign manager and chief of staff. Link, too, is a former Obama staffer. The LINK Strategies web site says that Jeff Link “served as a media consultant to the Obama for President Campaign, coordinating branding, all paid media and polling in 25 states, including seven battleground states (VA, NC, FL, CO, NM, NV, MT)….”

That Edwards allegedly tried to steal the Secretary of State’s identity in order to frame Schultz for “unethical behavior in office” is no coincidence. Iowa Democrats, as Kevin Hall of the Iowa Republican points out, have mounted a campaign of false accusations against Schultz:

Since his surprise victory over incumbent Michael Mauro in November 2010, Secretary of State Schultz has been a target of the Iowa Democratic Party. Interestingly, on June 24, the same day as Zach Edwards alleged crime, Under the Golden Dome, a blog connected to Iowa Democrats, launched a three-part series of articles critical of Matt Schultz. They were based on documents obtained through an open records request from “a tipster.” The blog alleged that a batch of emails from Schultz’s office “raise some serious questions about his ability to remain independent and ensure election integrity”.

Just 15 days earlier, on June 9, the Iowa Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint against Schultz, claiming the Secretary of State of used public resources to campaign against presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman. The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board dismissed the complaint on July 19.

So on its face, Edwards’s identity theft appears to be part of a coordinated effort by the Iowa Democratic Party to bring down the Republican Secretary of State so he can be replaced with a Democrat. We hope that Edwards will get the long jail term that he deserves, but the more important question is, from whom was he taking instructions? Circumstantially, one would guess from his boss, Jeff Link. But if so, who was instructing (and paying?) Link’s firm? The White House? Tom Harkin? Iowa’s Democratic Party?

Much like Watergate, which began with a seemingly simple (if puzzling) burglary and ultimately unraveled the Nixon administration, it is impossible to say how far the trail of criminality will go if the Edwards case is pursued aggressively. Will that happen? I don’t know; stay tuned.

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