Wasinger Campaign Opens With Amateurish Smearing of Comstock

Rob Wasinger

Rob Wasinger


Newly-announced 10th Congressional District candidate Rob Wasinger has launched his bid with a poorly-executed campaign of deception.

If you’ve been following online the 10th District Congressional race, you will have noticed a so-called “oppo research” packet that was released on Del. Barbara Comstock, the leading candidate to succeed retiring Rep. Frank Wolf. This 19-page packet was first published by the Daily Caller two days ago.

Before examining the contents of the packet and its bundle of allegations and insinuations about Comstock (more about that in a later post), if you’ve been around the block once or twice in these situations, you know that these kinds of things tend to be unfair smears. Experienced observers know that these things tend to be full of exaggerations, sprinkled with outright falsehoods, dressed up with lots of citations that don’t directly support the contentions that are made—all in an effort to give willing allies some sort of published “evidence” to cite in attacking the intended target.

So, starting out with that initial bit of skepticism, it can only be heightened when it is revealed that the “research” is being spread through a campaign of “sock puppetry.” For those unfamiliar with that term, here’s how Wikipedia defines it:

A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term—a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock—originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an internet community who spoke to, or about, himself while pretending to be another person. The term now includes other misleading uses of online identities, such as those created to praise, defend or support a person or organization, or to circumvent a suspension or ban from a website. A significant difference between the use of a pseudonym and the creation of a sockpuppet is that the sockpuppet poses as an independent third-party unaffiliated with the puppeteer. Many online communities attempt to block sockpuppets.

In this case, the sock puppetry is being led by someone known alternatively as Scott Weinberg or Jonathan Weinberg, who in the comments section of another post on The Bull Elephant has identified himself as press secretary for the Wasinger campaign. Mr. Weinberg (if that is indeed who he is) has spread the “research” on Comstock using a number of different identities. The Bull Elephant has recorded at least six different identities being used by Mr. Weinberg, all with different email addresses.

The Wasinger campaign is apparently unfamiliar with the technology prevalent in the 21st Century. You see, as Shaun Kenny makes abundantly clear on Bearing Drift, we have tools at our disposal to uncover sock puppeteers. And, as Shaun found, so did the people in Kansas, where Wasinger last ran for Congress in 2010.

But, lest one is tempted to think this kind of deception is just the work of one campaign staffer, we should point out that technology leaves all kinds of trails, not just IP addresses and internet histories. In this case, the trail leads right to the top, to Wasinger himself.

As reported widely when Wasinger announced his latest bid for Congress, he resigned his position as Chief of Staff for Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) in order to focus on his run. So, it is intensely curious that when one closely examines the .pdf version of the Comstock “research” dossier, it points to having been created by a member of Bentivolio’s staff, Carl Paulus. Paulus, who until a few days ago worked under Wasinger as a Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. Bentivolio, has his fingerprints all over the “research” published by the Daily Caller.

Oppo Research Metadata

Oppo Research Metadata

This kind of juvenile politics has no place in Virginia, and is not what the voters of the 10th District deserve. To Rob Wasinger, if you truly wish to appeal to 10th District Republicans, and to represent all citizens of the district in Congress, you need to apologize for this nonsense now. If you’re not prepared to man up on this, you’re not prepared to be a Member of Congress.

About Steve Albertson


Steve is a lucky husband and proud father residing in Stafford, Virginia. A longtime Republican activist, he has served on the Republican Party of Virginia's State Central Committee since 2012. The opinions expressed here are his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Virginia GOP.

  • Catherine Stone McNickle

    I wonder what Rep. Kerry Bentivolio thinks of all this? Wouldn’t it be fun to reach out to the Congressman and Carol Paulus and ask them what they think of not only Wasinger, but the sock friend Weinberg AND the amateurish attacks on a fellow republican.

    • Jonathan Weinberg

      HEADLINE: Tea-party Champ US Rep Bentivolio endorses Wasinger / Raging Bitch wonders what he ‘thinks of all this’

      wow.

      • http://thebullelephant.com/ Steve Albertson

        Deleted as inappropriate.

  • http://bearingdrift.com/ J.R. Hoeft

    I sure hope this wasn’t done on company time. Bentivolio is a first term congressman in the Detroit suburbs. Being a product of SE MI myself, I know the voters up there don’t take to kindly to a lack of focus and integrity.

    • Jeanine Martin

      I’ve read that Wasinger has resigned as Bentivolio’s Chief of Staff.

      • http://bearingdrift.com/ J.R. Hoeft

        Jeanine, we all know that. There are additional connections. You should probably read Steve’s post before commenting.

        • Jeanine Martin

          Thanks Jim! I’ll have to try that!

  • Marta D. Saltus

    He is a joke. That’s all there is to say!

  • Ryan Thomas

    Looking at his picture, I doubt he has lived in NOVA for 20 years. He doesn’t even look 30. He was either a carpet bagger in KA or one here, but bottom line, he is a carpet bagger. The guy was educated in MA (which one of his alias names – Red Lizard – claims to hail from) so how can he have roots in KA or VA being so young? Further he had typos on his bio (“Harverd”?). I am not sure what to believe. The kindest thing to say is he has multiple personalities. There is really little evidence that he is telling the truth about anything. This guy is an amaetur and nobody has seen or met him in any VA political event. I am very active in the Fairfax GOP and I have never heard of this guy. I can’t wait to see his sock puppet show when he starts attacking other candidates in the race. He is winning very few friends and making many enemies.

    • Marta D. Saltus

      Ditto. I have been a grassroots activist in all of NoVA for the last 6 years, and haven’t heard a lick from this guy either. Of course it is entirely likely he is being funded by the left, the way Sarvis was in the last cycle, to smear a very well-liked, respected, and above all, KNOWN candidate such as Barbara. Smearing someone as known and respected as Delegate Comstock will only win approval from the Democrats, but again, that is probably the intention with this fictional character’s run, regardless of which personality or alias he chooses. You should have done your homework, Wasinger! Or should I say Red Lizard, or Jonathan Weinberg?

      • http://TheBullElephant.com Jeanine Martin

        He is not funded by the left. They’d never support someone like him, he’s too far right.

      • http://TheBullElephant.com Jeanine Martin

        Scott Weinberg is not Rob Wasinger. I promise. Two very different people.

    • Jeanine Martin

      I thought the same thing when I saw his picture but he’s actually in his 40′s. He’s owned his home in Fairfax Station since 2003. Wasinger has never been on this blog, only his press secretary, Scott Weinberg.

  • LVConservative

    Nicely researched article Steve.

    As J.R. said, I hope this was not done on company (the taxpayers) time, or with company (the taxpayers) resources.

    If it was, it is a serious ethics violation, which will not only damage Wasinger, but will also give the Democrats a great cudgel to beat Bentivolio over the head with too.

  • Jonathan Weinberg

    You guys can behave like this if you want, but facts are stubborn things. The report from the Daily Caller includes facts: Barbara Comstock is from Massachusetts and worked for Ted Kennedy; just last year she voted for a gay judge and for the elective abortion mandate in Obamacare. Please explain how Barbara Comstock is a conservative? Please point out anything you think is not factual in the report, because I’ve read it and it and it includes Comstock’s lobbying reports.

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/04/heres-the-opposition-research-packet-on-barbara-comstock/

    Wasinger was born and raised in the heartland, and he’s an adopted son of Virginia. He and his wife Meg have raised a family here. He is a solid conservative.

    • LVConservative

      I did point out a couple of things that were not factual in the other thread Jonathan.

      You chose not to reply to them.

      Now you are over here posting the same nonsense.

    • http://thebullelephant.com/ Steve Albertson

      The issue isn’t Barbara Comstock. The issue is the deceptive and
      amateurish launch of the Rob Wasinger campaign. If Wasinger can’t
      apologize for this and disown your tactics, then he doesn’t belong in
      Congress.

      • Jonathan Weinberg

        HEADLINE: Comstock supports chemical abortion and gay marriage / Steve Albertson accuses Wasinger of sock puppetry.

        • http://thebullelephant.com/ Steve Albertson

          Deleted because it is a provable lie.

  • Jonathan Weinberg

    The Bull Elephant has questioned the veracity of the Daily Caller’s report on Comstock at: http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/04/heres-the-opposition-research-packet-on-barbara-comstock/ .

    Read it and judge for yourself. The report states that Comstock voted for gay marriage and the elective abortion mandate in Obamacare just last year. It states that while she was a senior partner at a lobbying firm, Blank Rome, over $110,000 was funneled to Hillary. It includes lobbying reports that show that she lobbied for dubious bailouts and contracts. And there’s much, much, much more.

    The report is like a tungsten-armored bullet fired through the fuselage of the Comstock campaign, which is now reeling and sputtering since the Wasinger launch. If you are conservative, that’s a good thing. Comstock’s fake mask of conservatism was just ripped off her face. Look at her now, under the light. Can someone please explain how Comstock is a conservative?

    Her campaign staff is reeling. Wasinger’s campaign is soaring.

    Message to Barbara: don’t mess with Dick Black and other true conservatives.

    Rob is from the heartland. He is an adopted Virginian. He and his lovely wife have raised their family here. He is a fighter. He has strong conservative values and decency. Check out his campaign and his opening statement at: http://www.robwasinger.com/b/

    • http://thebullelephant.com/ Steve Albertson

      Really, sock puppet? Now Comstock “voted for gay marriage”? Even your campaign’s “research” paper doesn’t go that far.

      “Wasinger’s campaign is soaring.” Reality check: Umm…no. No one in the district even knows who he is, and your tactics are making sure that when they do get to know him, they don’t like him.

      • Jonathan Weinberg

        See Steve Albertson lose all credibility. See page 11 of the Daily Caller’s report. See Comstock’s yes vote for gay judge Tracy Thorne-Begland. See campaign gift Comstock took from Paul Singer, famous gay political guru whose goal is to purchase Republicans. See how Comstock refused to sign a letter to the AG urging him to defend Virginia’s traditional marriage amendment.

        See Steve and the “Bull” Elephant running interference for the liberal Comstock.

        But we will get the facts out to the good people of Virginia. The last thing we want is Comstock going to Congress to champion same sex marriage.

        Rise up Virginia! Truth! Freedom!

        • LVConservative

          Jonathan

          You man worked for Jon Huntsman, who champions gay marriage.

          He didn’t take a donation from him, he took a paycheck!!!

          So, Comstock takes one donation among many from a gay activist.

          Wasinger took many paychecks from a guy, whom if he were president, would sign a gay marriage bill into law.

          He worked side by side with John Weaver, strategist extraordinaire for John McCain. Just like his old boss McCain, is happy to play both sides of the fence — prior to working for McCain, he worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — the group dedicated to defeating Republicans running for the US House.

          Weaver also famously condemned Republicans for ‘intolerance’ after Romney lost in 2012. What pray tell was he referring to then? Perhaps GOP opposition to gay marriage?

          Yet your guy was willing to stand side by side with Weaver, working for Huntsman, as long as the paychecks kept rolling in, and as long as it suited his furthering his personal ambitions and lined his pockets.

          Indeed, it sort of makes me wonder what motivations a former Sam Brownback Chief of Staff might have for endorsing a RINO like Huntsman. I am sure the endorsement of someone connected to a prominent conservative like Brownback was probably worth a lot to Huntsman . . .

          So, exactly whose principles are compromised here again?

          • Jonathan Weinberg

            Comstock worked for Ted Kennedy.

      • Jonathan Weinberg

        HEADLINE: Comstock supports chemical abortion / Steve Albertson accuses Wasinger of sock puppetry.

        Oooo.

        • http://thebullelephant.com/ Steve Albertson

          Deleted because it’s a provable lie.

    • LVConservative

      So, let me get this straight. Comstock worked for Blank Rome, a law firm with over 500 attorneys and offices all over the United States. Between those 500 attorneys, plus who knows how many other firm employees, Hillary Clinton raised $110,000 over more than a decade in politics, including two senatorial and one presidential run. I suspect that with all those people working at Blank Rome, an equal or greater amount of money went to support conservative and Republican candidates. So if Comstock is to be blamed for others in her nationwide workplace choosing to support Hillary Clinton, is she also to get credit for each dollar raised by Republicans from people who worked there as well?

      The better indicator is, how much money did Barbara Comstock give to Hillary Clinton personally? I suspect that the number is zero. Furthermore, I suspect she did all she could to influence others to not support any Clinton — after all, she spent a significant amount of time in the mid-90s doing the very serious work trying to hold the Clinton Administration to account for their waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer money and the public trust. Her reward for that was to be attacked, pilloried, and demonized by the Clintons and their amen corner in the liberal media.

      Maybe you could enlighten us as to what your man was up to running around Harvard Yard in those days, and if his activities there helped build the GOP and elect more conservatives to office . . .

      • Jonathan Weinberg

        Comstock secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal contracts which Congress found were fraudulent and dubious.

  • G. Stone

    Waserman might be as conservative as me, however, he can’t find his ass with both hands. He jumps around District Shopping like a $38 political hooker and spends a good deal of time, wasted time I might add, bashing fellow conservatives. This guy is a dope. When will some of you get it ? So what he is a conservative, he also has to be rational and competent ! There are three legs to the stool, this dipshit is missing two of them.

    • Catherine Stone McNickle

      Wasinger’s wingman is Scott Weinberg – you remember that guy don’t you?

      • Jonathan Weinberg

        I met you in a bar once. You were drinking your favorite beer: Raging Bitch.

        • http://thebullelephant.com/ Steve Albertson

          Weinberg, I chose not to delete this one, as you only ran up to the line without crossing it. I’ve tolerated your comment spam, in furtherance of open debate, but the outright lies (e.g., Comstock supports abortion, Comstock supports gay marriage, Comstock takes money from the “homosexual lobby” when all she did is accept a donation from the same person Ken Cuccinelli and Bob McDonnell did, and so forth) have to stop, as does the profane name calling.

          • Catherine Stone McNickle

            I want his comment kept up, and I will share it far and wide. It is screen shot.

        • http://www.shaunkenney.com Shaun Kenney

          I think you just worked your last gig in politics, buddy.

        • http://bearingdrift.com/ J.R. Hoeft

          Wow. Just…wow.

  • Jonathan Weinberg

    Thank you G. Stone for your vulgar comments, and I trust that if anyone thinks the Daily Caller report is false, or not utterly devastating to the Comstock campaign which began sputtering at 11AM EST last Wednesday, needs to get a new pair of political eyeglasses.

    Here is Rob Wasinger’s opening statement: http://www.robwasinger.com/b/

    Go Virginia Conservative Strong and Free!

  • LVConservative

    Jonathan — maybe you could give us some insight on why Wasinger and his wife apparently only just registered to vote in Virginia in October 2012.

    Why would someone who has been here 20 years only be registering 18 months ago?

    I wonder where he was registered to vote prior to then? Kansas???

    I wonder why he would have registered there? Perhaps an eye to his political future back home at the time????

    So many questions, so little responses outside of attacking Comstock.

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  • Alexis Rose Bank

    Why would anyone need to “smear” an opponent who has openly agreed with Eric Holder that Barack Obama ought to be able to designate any citizen of Virginia (or any other state) for assassination, with no obligation to press criminal charges or otherwise publicly justify the action under law, and with no judicial review?

    Just lay it out there straight: Barbara Comstock believes your government ought to have the right to kill you at its own discretion and for any reason it sees fit, and she believes this to such a degree that she was willing to be the sole protest vote to break the unanimity of the Virginia House of Delegates that such behavior by a government was not acceptable.

    http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2012/03/08/virginia-ndaa-nullification-bill-headed-to-governor-bob-mcdonnell-veto-imminent/

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  • jonathonmoseley

    The question is whether you and others can demonstrate CONSISTENCY and PRINCIPLE in your complaint that

    “if you’ve been around the block once or twice in these situations, you
    know that these kinds of things tend to be unfair smears. Experienced
    observers know that these things tend to be full of exaggerations,
    sprinkled with outright falsehoods, dressed up with lots of citations
    that don’t directly support the contentions that are made”

    I totally agree, and I do think that Barbara Comstock is the best candidate. Not necessarily the best conservative. But overall as a candidate, including to avoid the “war on women” nonsense and to appeal well to the voters.

    But since the same blogs have eagerly participated in and spread or at least tolerated unfair smears against various conservatives, your response becomes little more than the same tactics you decry.

    In order to uphold higher standards, respect, and public support for the Republican Party, the principle you state has to be applied and upheld across the board, equally. That’s what principle and integrity requires.

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  • Jonathan Weinberg

    HEADLINE: Comstock supports chemical abortion with Kathleen Sebelius / Steve Albertson and Bull RINO accuse Wasinger of deception and having multiple personalities…

    Whooaa. Powerful stuff. Go man go.

    • http://thebullelephant.com/ Steve Albertson

      Deleted. More lies.

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