September 23, 2014- The Democratic Congressional Campaign CommitteeÂ’s newest email spam, asking their recipients to sign a petition calling for sponsors to end their relationship with The Rush Limbaugh Show, is based on the two-year-old Stop Rush political protest as itÂ’s inspiration. After an investigation, The Rush Limbaugh Show has discovered a far darker story to Stop Rush, and is today releasing the hidden story of the people and motives behind the Stop Rush conspiracy.
The Stop Rush group claims to be made up of ordinary consumers unhappy with Rush LimbaughÂ’s comments. The group claims to be Â“grassroots,Â” just concerned consumers who wonÂ’t shop at businesses that advertise with Rush Limbaugh. In truth, however, there are no potential customers here, just a small number of hardcore political activists founded by Angelo Carusone, EVP of Media Matters for America.
ItÂ’s remarkably tiny. Only 10 Twitter users account for almost 70% of all StopRush tweets to advertisers, amplified by illicit software. In addition, almost every communication from a StopRush activist originates from outside the State of the advertiser. Thus, these activists are not and never would have been customersÂ… their only role is to harass small businesses in an attempt to interfere with their operations, as long as they are advertising with Rush.
Â“A small number of politically motivated out of-state activists are distributing target lists indiscriminately, and annoying small businesses until they give up the advertising deals that help them grow, or risk being unable to conduct business at all. ItÂ’s not even activismÂ… itÂ’s blackmail,Â” according to Brian Glicklich, Rush Limbaugh Show spokesperson.
How does this small group make themselves look so much bigger than they actually are? Stop Rush has deployed custom automated tweeting software, in violation of TwitterÂ’s rules, that lets their activists send tweets at a rate far faster than any unassisted person could do manually. They send barrages of thousands of messages through this software until advertisers are bullied and harassed into cancellation.
These activists have long operated in secret and anonymously. But now, The Rush Limbaugh Show has the results of an investigation that names the people tweeting, facebooking, and emailing small businesses with harassing and bullying messages over and over until they surrender. These names are surprising, and include a tenured professor at Kent State University using her official email account to badger advertisers.
This list was developed so that advertisers and others can judge the credibility and motives of the activist bullies anonymously behind Stop Rush. Any other use is not endorsed.
Name: Matthew Mitchell
Location: Altamonte Springs, FL
ID: Captain Murdock/@CaptMurdock
Name: Nancy Padak
Location: Kent State University
ID: firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/nancy.padak
Fun Fact: Emails advertisers with harassment from her official Kent State email address. Gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush. Friend of Cherie Richards
Name: Jason Rey
ID: Frantic Quark/@FranticQuark
Name: Lauren Reynolds
Location: Los Angeles, CA
ID: Lauren Reynolds/@chloesty, email@example.com, facebook.com/lauren.reynolds.946179
Fun Fact: Gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush
Name: Cherie Richards
Location: Powell, Ohio
ID: Kitty Fitzgerald/@KittyFitz50 firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/cherier1
Fun Fact: Regularly changes online identity to hide anonymously, gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush
Name: Sarah Smyea Rivers
Location: Whittier, CA
Fun Fact: Changes ID frequently with different numbers to remain anonymous, has sent over 96,000 tweets
Name: Dennis William Rohner
Location: Gainesville, FL
Name: Linda Kotsenburg Swanholm
Location: Covina, CA
ID: CMMorgan/@socallks, email@example.com
Fun Fact: Develops, administers, and distributes target lists indiscriminately, gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush
Name: Carol Kernahan Wallin
Location: Anaheim, CA
ID: Uses @Flushfools and @hrhprincess, facebook.com/carol.kernahan.7, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fun Fact: Writes for DailyKos under both identities, long bullying/harassing pieces about political opponents.
#StopRush is not a grassroots consumer movement. It was created and developed by left wing political organization Media Matters for America Executive Vice President Angelo Carusone.
Most #StopRush members are politically-motivated activists who send out tens of thousands of bullying tweets and Facebook posts.
#StopRush leaders develop and indiscriminately publish targeting lists for bullying and harassment by computer and phone, but hide in anonymity themselves. They even target charities and public service organizations for bullying.
When challenged, #StopRush leaders claim they have been threatened with violence as an excuse for using fake identities, but produce no evidence of that at all. And #StopRushexpresses no concern about the safety of those on the targeting lists they distribute themselves. They simply need anonymity to bully with impunity.
The simple fact that #StopRush activists refuse to provide their names is clear evidence of the deception at the core of the #StopRush intimidation effort. Real consumers tell you who they are.
In fact, 80% of all #StopRush attacks are from activists not even in the same state as their target.
As measured over a 24-day period,almost 70% of all targeted Twitter #StopRushmessages came from only 10 Twitter accounts.The #StopRush movement is simply a small number of extremists sending tens of thousands of tweets and other messages.
#StopRush members use automated Twitter software to send and retweet messages quickly and without any thought or effort. Users simply click on a tweet supplied by #StopRush, and itÂ’s automatically sent to targeted sponsors.
And for fast retweeting of leadership Â“seedÂ” posts, another piece of software is used, which allows users to retweet with just one click:
During a measured 24-day period, 88% of all tweets were identified as coming from Unite Blue member accounts.
#StopRush supporters use the email associated with their employment Â– without permission from their employer Â– to give added authority as they harass and bully targets from the published lists. Below is an email from a staff member at Kent University:
In summary, #StopRush is an organized effort by Media Matters for America to widely and indiscriminately distribute lists of targets, and harass and bully them, under cover of anonymity. It is not grassroots, but deployed by extremist activists using deception and automated software to appear bigger and more prevalent than they are.