Wikipedia Edits Appear To Tie Chris McDaniel Campaign To Break-In Conspirator

Twenty minutes after a campaign staffer got busted for fluffy edits on McDaniel’s page, one of the men arrested in the nursing home case appears to have created an account and started editing.

One of the alleged conspirators in the case surrounding the break-in and photographing of incumbent Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s bedridden wife in her nursing home appears to have coordinated with a member of Cochran-challenger Chris McDaniel’s staff to airbrush his Wikipedia page in early April.

Keith Plunkett, who serves as the policy director for McDaniel’s campaign, was caught making extensive edits to McDaniel’s Wikipedia page, drawing a rebuke from administrators of the online encyclopedia.

Less than 20 minutes after Wikipedia administrators told Plunkett not to edit McDaniel’s page or share his Wikipedia account, another account was created that also edited McDaniel’s page. The second account appeared to belong to Richard Sager, who was later arrested in connection with the nursing home case. Sager was arrested and charged with felony tampering with evidence last month.

Sager is a Laurel elementary school P.E. teacher and high school soccer coach whose apparent username “Soccercoachlhs” matched his Twitter account handle.

Plunkett, the campaign official, went by the username “Sippydog,” which also serves as Plunkett’s username on Instagram as well as Flickr. He also goes by the username “SippyDawg” on YouTube.

Plunkett’s extensive edits to Wikipedia were caught by two Wikipedia administrators, with Plunkett admitting after a Wikipedia administrator Googled his username to find his ties McDaniel campaign, “I am certainly not unbiased.”

An administrator of Wikipedia then told Plunkett not to share his Wikipedia account, saying it was against the site’s rules after Plunkett said, “We are merely updating Senator McDaniel’s bio material here.”

Less than 20 minutes after Plunkett was told not to share his account, Sager’s apparent account “Soccercoachlhs” was created and began editing McDaniel’s page.

BuzzFeed reached out to Sager, Plunkett, and to the McDaniel campaign. Sager and Plunkett were not immediately available for comment, while a McDaniel spokesman was dismissive of BuzzFeed’s inquiries, asking if BuzzFeed was looking for “guys in their underwear” in reference to Wikipedia editors.

Buzzfeed
6/5/14