The right-wing blogosphere erupted this afternoon with news that the New Hampshire Democratic Party was searching for “liberal activists” to infiltrate tomorrow’s Tax Day tea party rallies and “carry signs expressing racist or fringe sentiments” to discredit conservative protesters on their big day.
The story was first posted on the small Now Hampshire blog before quickly matriculating up to the highest echelons of the conservative noise machine, including Michelle Malkin’s blog. The story caused a lot of conservative angst, coming as it does on the heels of other reports of tea party infiltration nationwide.
There’s only one problem, according to Democratic officials in New Hampshire: not a lick of it is true.Former state Democratic Party chair Kathy Sullivan, named in the Now Hampshire post as the instigator of the infiltration plan — which was tied to her in the post by a source “who sought anonymity for fear of reprisals” — categorically rejected the claims on the blog.
“This website has made this up,” she told me. “It’s a total fabrication.”
Sullivan not only said that she had not called for progressives to storm tomorrow’s tea party rallies, she also condemned the idea of anyone trying to distupt a tea party rally as undemocratic.
“I think it’s a bad idea to infiltrate these rallies,” she said. “I would defend to the death the right of anyone to express their free speech.”
Sullivan said that no one from any of the blogs that reported the story had tried to reach her to confirm the story.
“I just find it interesting,” she said. “Something gets made up and posted by a right-wing blogger and posted by Michelle Malkin like that. She never called me, never emailed me, never tried to reach me.”
Sullivan said that while she doesn’t agree with the tea party message, “I don’t have a problem with 99.99% of people who go to tea party rallies.”
“The story is just a total, utter fabricated falsehood,” she told me. “It’s just ridiculous.”
Sullivan, who ran the state Democratic party from 1999-2007, and current state party executive director Mike Brunelle told me Now Hampshire was a notorious right-wing site they said was set up and run by former Republican operatives.
Now Hampshire did not respond to a request for comment this afternoon.
Brunnelle said that the state party wasn’t sending anyone — infiltrator or otherwise — to the tea party rallies in New Hampshire tomorrow and suggested the party was steering clear of the whole event. He said that Now Hampshire’s reporting saying otherwise was “absolutely not true.”
“It’s unfortunate that people look to that site as a legitimate news organization,” Brunnelle said.