Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ellie Light, the new name in Astroturf

A very interesting mystery has developed in the blogosphere. There appears to be an entity by the name of Ellie Light who has written a rather sympathetic letter about Obama.  This entity has gotten variations of letter published in over 50+ newspapers across the nation. I use the term entity because; this Ellie Light provides a local address in each of the newspapers. Patterico’s Pontifications and Left Coast Rebel are hard at work unraveling the mystery of Ellie Light.

A woman has written the same letter defending Obama to dozens of publications across the country, getting them published in at least 42 newspapers in 18 states, as well as, the Washington Times, and USA Today. And the woman, Ellie Light, has claimed residence in many of these states.
Think there might be some phony Astroturfing there?
At the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sabrina Eaton makes a nice catch:
Ellie Light sure gets around.
In recent weeks, Light has published virtually identical “Letters to the Editor” in support of President Barack Obama in more than a dozen newspapers.Every letter claimed a different residence for Light that happened to be in the newspaper’s circulation area.
“It’s time for Americans to realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything,” said a letter from alleged Philadelphian Ellie Light, that was published in the Jan. 19 edition of The Philadelphia Daily News.
A letter from Light in the Jan. 20 edition of the San Francisco Examiner concluded with an identical sentence, but with an address for Light all the way across the country in Daly City, California.
Variations of Light’s letter ran in Ohio’s Mansfield News Journal on Jan. 13, with Light claiming an address in Mansfield; in New Mexico’sRuidoso News on Jan. 12, claiming an address in Three Rivers; in South Carolina’s The Sun News on Jan. 18, claiming an address in Myrtle Beach; and in the Daily News Leader of Staunton, Virginia on Jan. 15, claiming an address in Waynesboro. Her publications list includes otherpapers in Ohio, West Virginia, Maine, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania and California, all claiming separate addresses.
She has more houses than John McCain!
Left Coast Rebel has some very interesting thoughts behind the meaning of the name Ellie Light and who Ellie might actually be.

Like a detective on a trail, I'm all over this Ellie Light thing (still), the next tidbit I will point you to is the actual meaning of the name and the potential allusion to the Obama campaign symbol and a few other theories like the Cass Sunstein/Samantha Power possibility. As everyone knows by now, the 'transparency' of the Obama administration is an illusion, I think that this story is another (potential) determining factor of just that as well. I also read a report that Ellie Light has been featured in over 60 newspapers as of now. Readers have opined that 'Ellie Light' probably votes in each city/district that the papers are located in as well. 
As anyone that can do a quick Google will find, the name 'Ellie' comes from Greek name Helen lending it the meaning of "light". So obviously we can then see that the name is most likely a pseudonym for something of meaning, something particular - light.Bungalow Bill has this insight: 

El, a term used often in Chicago since they call their system of trains running to Chicago's loop and throughout the city on multiple lines also means horizon--like horizon in Obama's campaign symbol. We have two connections here to common themes with Obama.
Throughout the 2008 campaign we all came across Obama astroturfers.  The were everywhere. Their easiest identifiable form was the “I am a Republican who is mad at Bush so I am voting for Obama” troll. We know that this was their M.O. because even Obama’s own  head of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein suggested such a tactic:
Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). 
Many of the Ellie letters have appeared in just the last two weeks. If I had to guess why all the sudden astroturfing, I would have to say it is being done to soften the backlash from the left once they finally realize that healthcare reform is dead, dead, dead.

Trip over to Memeorandum and follow the discussion thread. Then search your local newspapers and see if any letters to the editor was published from Ellie Light. Supposedly, the letters are showing up in many of the states Obama won.

Via: Hot Air


Government Mess said...

Great piece here...keep up the good fight my friend!

Lisa said...

Fascinating! I can't wait to see this continue to unravel and the entity behind Ellie Light get revealed... thanks!

Just a conservative girl said...

It was in my local paper yesterday. She said she was from Long Beach, CA. It isn't unusual for people from all over the country to write letters to the paper. So it didn't seem out of place.

I write letters to the Washington Post all the time, and never get published. Shocker, I know; but my point being large papers only print a few a day, so it would have to be pretty well written for them to take it. So maybe the person is a professional writer.

Left Coast Rebel said...

Great post Cliff, thanks for the link!

ArthurRex12 said...

I found nothing in my local papers or websites, but I'm sure if she's really dilligent it'll only be a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know if the reporter at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, examined the full headers on the emails she exchanged with "Ellie Light", and had someone trace back the IP to get any info about where the emails were sent from.

Like a lot of others, I believe that the culprit is Samantha Powers, Cass Sunstein's wife.

अर्जुन said...

I think 'Ellie' stands for Ellis (Island) and 'Light' for the nearby light house (The Statue of Liberty).

Obvious pen name, we're hip to you Michelle! or is that Mich'ellie'?

namaste said...

GREAT reporting, cliff!

i don't think the obamas have anything to do with this. the liberals have become desperate seeing their agenda unravel.

Janelle said...

Excellent piece, Clifton! This just reeks like old fish. Whoever is doing this obviously doesn't realize people do actually watch, read and remember.

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