National

Meet the Tennessee Man Who Tried to Start a Mormon Whisper Campaign

I do not expect the Obama campaign to be able to remove any offensive post their volunteers post on their relatively open volunteer platform. Still, a campaign with as many tech staffers as they have (over 100 according to news reports) should be able to scrub offensive material within 24 hours. Instead, an offensive guidebook-type post on how to use Mormonism against Mitt Romney was up for a long time, Buzzfeed reports:

An Obama campaign aide, speaking on background, said the site is governed by a moderation policy that allows users to flag posts that are offensive or inappropriate, after which campaign moderators delete them. De Palma’s Mormon post had been up for four days, and had not been flagged. When BuzzFeed asked the campaign for a response, the post was immediately removed.

President Obama’s advisers have consistently pledged not to make Romney’s religion part of the campaign, directly or through veiled innuendo.

The volunteer who posted the guide was named Laurence De Palma, from East Nashville, Tennessee. De Palma argues that the anti-Mormon messaging (much of which is over-simplified and inaccurate) could help the Obama campaign win states that don’t have a chance in Hell of going for Obama this year:

“I’m thinking that even though we don’t LIKE campaigns to get nasty, we in the south (TN) come to EXPECT it,” De Palma began. “What we also know is that we have a very ‘rigid’ view of Christianity, and apparently, Mormonism isn’t anywhere in our views. This could easily win TN/SC/AL/GA, etc.”

De Palma is right about one thing; campaigns do get nasty and people expect it. That’s why I don’t think De Palma should get a pass for his offensive attacks on Mitt’s religion. I think it’s important we know his background, including his time working for the banking giant and often-demonized JP Morgan Chase. His LinkedIn profile says it all, including his current job at a banking-related firm that it appears he started. Aren’t the bankers supposed to be for Romney, or so the story goes? Here’s some contact information for his firm if you think De Palma should know what it’s like to be on the other side of a smear campaign:

TDG-Phenix Inc.
6107 Wendover Gln, Brentwood, TN 37027
Phone: (615) 373-5486

I ask anyone who chooses to use this information be civil, be polite but express your opinion honestly. Attacks on Romney’s religion are out of bounds, especially coming from a supporter of a President who has waged a war on religious freedom, especially the freedom of Christians like De Palma (he claims to be one).