Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Six weeks before the 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate election, Matt Osborne indicated he was working for Doug Jones on a mission that likely was underhanded

Dry Alabama

A left-wing operative at the center of the "Dry Alabama" social-media scam, which might have decided the Doug Jones-Roy Moore U.S. Senate race, contacted me in October 2017 and indicated he was tied to the Jones campaign and had knowledge of what we now know were underhanded tactics on Jones' behalf.

Matt Osborne, a writer, researcher and would-be consultant from Florence, AL, contacted me via Facebook private message on Oct. 27 -- roughly six weeks before the special election, which Jones won by about 22,000 votes. What can we learn from this? I take away two key points:

(1) Osborne's words in the Facebook message -- plus his location in Alabama -- make it highly likely Doug Jones knew about the sleazy tactics being used on his behalf. That means Jones' claims to have been unaware almost certainly are false.

(2) Osborne suggested a Legal Schnauzer post about the use of Russian bots to produce a cyber attack on Roy Moore's campaign Twitter account was inaccurate and should be retracted. When asked for specifics about possible inaccuracies, Osborne went into hyper-secret mode and never provided information to support his claims. We now know the Russian-bot attack, in fact, happened -- and left-wing activists, apparently aligned with Osborne, launched it. I take that to mean Osborne lied to me about the alleged need to retract the bot story -- and his quick entry into top-secret mode suggests he was involved in nefarious campaign tactics at the time.

Matt Osborne
What was Osborne up to? Well, we now know he's not above engaging in a scam, so we will show you the central part of our communication and let you decide:

Matt: You should retract that entire blog post about the Russian bots. Direct knowledge.

Roger: In what capacity have you been around the Jones campaign? And where does your direct knowledge come from?

Matt: Not going to say in this format. Are you on Signal?

Roger: Nope, not on Signal.

Matt: Got a smart phone?

Roger: No, I don't have a smart phone. Almost everything we owned has been stolen, so a smart phone isn't a high priority.

Osborn then asked -- late in the game -- if the conversation was off the record. I did not agree to that, so I am publishing it now, in light of The New York Times report about Osborn's involvement in the Dry Alabama project.

The conversation ended when Osborn, without explanation, sent me the following link:

password: BRnrMLUAnknfD0L+7V4byKsy1PenoZOvJ3oWkvgDAf/gqfDOEJCfXFibOvFoSUH1 Link:

I had no idea what it was,and I really wasn't interested, so I did not click on it. I had not heard from Matt Osborne since then until the following comment arrived at Legal Schnauzer late Monday, on a post dated Dec. 27, 2018:

Matt Osborne Unsubscribe

Mon, Jan 7, 11:17 PM (13 hours ago)

to me

Matt Osborne has left a new comment on your post "Stories of election meddling involving Jill Stein,...":

This is hilarious, Roger. [Jill] Simpson is leading you right over a cliff again. Jill Stein and Doug Jones are conspiring to do what now?

I was told tonight that you've been yapping about me on Facebook. I can't wait to see what sort of nonsense you contrive to blog about me.

Given the comment's utter lack of meaningful content, I did not publish it. But I'm publishing it now, with the idea that it might provide some insight into Osborne's mindset after making The New York Times for his involvement in electoral skulduggery.

To me, Osborne sounds like a guy who knows he has stepped in thick, gooey, smelly doo-doo -- and is not sure how he's going to get it off his shoes.


Anonymous said...

I take this to mean Osborne was a paid campaign worker for Doug Jones.

Of course, Doug ones didn't know a thing about what Osborne was doing.

Anonymous said...

Wow, LS, you should be honored. Doug Jones' campaign flunky called you to attempt a con job about the Roy Moore bot story. They must have major concerns about the material on your blog.

Think they contacted any other journos to claim the bot story was false? Think Jones instructed Osborne to contact you?

legalschnauzer said...

@9:24 --

I don't know, but you raise interesting questions. I think the Montgomery Advertiser broke the bots story, so I wonder if Osborne called them.

Doug Jones is on record as stating I'm "nothing to him," so I'm sure he wouldn't have had Osborne call me. Unless, of course, Doug Jones is a liar -- like the people who work for him.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is the version of the Moore-bots story:

Here is Montgomery Advertiser version:

Looks like Moore campaign issued a press release, so I'm not sure anyeone truly broke the story.

Anonymous said...

No way Doug Jones didn't know about all of this. He's lying to the public, just like Osborne lied to you.

Anonymous said...

At first, I thought Osborne was claiming you should correct some element of the Russia-bot story. But he says you should retract "the entire blog post," suggesting the whole thing is inaccurate. Well, we know now the bots campaign actually happened, driven by Osborne's Democratic comrades.

He was lying his ass off to get you to remove a post that was accurate.

What a piece of scum.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like Osborne is taking a beating on Twitter, mostly from progressives.

legalschnauzer said...

Florence Times Daily has a story about their local boy, Matt Osborne:

legalschnauzer said...

In Florence TD article, Osborne continues to claim his actions on Dry Alabama were not unlawful. I'm not sure he's qualified to make that assessment:

In a Tuesday interview with the TimesDaily, Osborne said part of the reason behind the movement was to get challenger Doug Jones elected. He said the Jones campaign was not connected to the "Dry Alabama" movement.

Jones beat Moore by a narrow margin.

However, Osborne said the effort went beyond that race. He said conservative entities have used "dark money" for similar tactics to benefit Republicans, so he did the same as a way to show the type of impact such tactics can have.

"There's nothing I participated in that crossed any lines of legality," Osborne said. "The real crime here — if there is a crime — is that you can get away with this stuff.

"I spent years talking about dark-money nonprofits and the shenanigans you can get away with doing dark-money nonprofits."