On his personal Facebook account, Democratic public relations professional Nate Dybvig has outed himself as Joe Forkeybolo, the conservative persona Dybvig used to promote his clients.
"Well, they've finally gone and done it," wrote Dybvig, who is currently an unpaid campaign spokesman for Brian Barnes Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen DFL opponent in Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District.
"MPR is about to do a story on how I am part of the long and storied political tradition of having an alter-ego on facebook. Joe Forkeybolo was created to entertain and was damn good at it. But if the MPR thinks it makes me unethical, then I guess rather than suffer their slings and arrows, I will just put Joe out to pasture. Farewell old friend."
Dybvig is referring to this story published Friday, Oct. 19 by MPR News.
It tells the strange story of Forkeybolo, who is Dybvig's conservative alter ego.
Forkeybolo is "tired of working half the year to pay for the lazy half of society to sit around and collect free handouts," according to the Facebook account, which was deactivated shortly after MPR contacted Dybvig about the fake identity.
Below is a screen shot of the account. The profile picture is a stock photo easily found on the web.
Dybvig used the Facebook account to criticize Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack and Tarryl Clark while he was working for Jeff Anderson, who was also seeking the DFL endorsement in the 8th Congressional District primary.
"Rep. Cravaack is being out-fundraised by Tarryble Clark. And he's weak on conservative issues. Do we need to start worrying about this race?" Dybvig wrote on the Forkeybolo Facebook page on May 15, 2012.
He also used the site to criticize gambling proposals meant to pay for the Vikings stadium. Dybvig has long worked for the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, which opposed the proposals.
On the fake Forkeybolo Faceboook page, Forkeybolo vented to his conservative audience that Republicans were wrong on the Vikings deal.
"While RINOS like [Senate Majority Leader David] Senjem and [Sen. Claire] Robling like gambling, the TRUE conservative wing of the party will not play along," he wrote on Jan. 9, 2012. "Add them to the bought and paid for democrats, and Racino has no chance this year."
Forkeybolo's name cropped up in the comments section of numerous stories regarding the gambling proposals as well.
Read more here.
What a joke and sad for the Anderson Barnes campaign to employ or have on people like this without ethics. Doesn't surprise me though with all of the dirty tricks from the Anderson campaign
I gotta go with a previous commenter on this one and react to this story this way: so what?
This guy made up a phony persona to manipulate people. This goes on--on the Web, on the Internet-- every day--some people are willing to use phony online personas to promote or discredit products or policies. (This case seems to be a variation of the old "sock puppet" game.)
This guy is a publicist and unpaid spokesman for a campaign, not a senior official. And I don't see where this guy used his online persona to threaten or defraud anyone--or practice "political dirty tricks" against the opposition campaign. If he did any of that, you'd have an important story--but he didn't, did he?
So why does this particular case rate *two* stories on MPR? Here's a far more important Minnesota story, reported in the St. Cloud Times--did MPR do this one?
"(During a radio interview Rep. Michele Bachmann) suggested Obama was complicit in a movement by Islamist groups to impose Shariah law worldwide. The interview with Janet Mefferd, a Dallas-based Christian broadcaster, came two days after Obama addressed the U.N. and two weeks after a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya.
Citing the Libya attack and unrest in the Middle East, Bachmann said "riots and terrorism" were part of a plot to force Shariah law dominance over the U.S. Constitution. Obama, Bachmann said, "either doesn't know what's happening or he's playing along with what their goal is."
The St. Cloud Times ran that on October 13th. Unlike the subject of your two MPR stories here--Bachmann *is* an important Minnesota political player. She's also a national figure with national influence. And Bachmann's charge is very serious, a lot of Americans find it credible--she's telling America that the President of the United States may be party to a conspiracy to ditch the Constitution in favor of Sharia law.
MPR doesn't consider that newsworthy, but runs two stories about a minor figure's sock puppet?
I just searched the MPR site and can't find an MPR story about Bachmann's Sharia law conspiracy allegations against the President. Did MPR do a story about it? If not--why not? Are these "sock puppet" stories more important?
I'd like an answer to Mr. Prendergast's question, too. This "sock puppet" story was also repeated in Monday's Daily Digest, right at the top. Why is this story so important to MPR?
Ethics Joe E? Good for him for having a creative approach to his campaigning and political passion. Super entertaining, lighten up MPR.