McCain Insider Admits to Writing Fraudulent Letters to the Editor

Election '08

Salon has got itself a scoop: they've published an insider's account of how she wrote fraudulent letters to the editor on behalf of the McCain campaign. Working out of the campaign's headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, the author, Margriet Oostveen, produced pro-McCain letters that would then be signed by supporters in battleground states and placed in local papers.

The ghostwriters were openly encouraged to blatantly lie. Oostveen quotes McCain staffer Phil Tuchman exhorting the volunteers: "You can be whoever you want to be. You can be a beggar or a millionaire. A mom or a husband. Whatever. You decide!" Oostveen describes how she wrote her first letter, a shamelessly treacly concoction in which she falsely claimed to be the mother of a soldier stationed in Iraq. The letter got a big thumbs-up from the McCain people, with staffer Tuchman raving, "It appeals to the hearts of people. Can you write more letters?"

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