Last week, YallPolitics ran a piece on HOME2012 and its connections to the Honor Your Promise campaign in the middle of last year’s statewide elections. All roads for Honor Your Promise led to Zata3, a Democratic polling/grassroots outfit run in Jackson and Washington DC. They serve almost exclusively Democratic causes and have heavy links to the labor movement as well.
Evan McCarley, an associate at Zata3, listed on his bio on Zata3’s website that,
“Evan’s manages the firm’s online communications and when helps our grassroots advocacy clients with their online media strategy and tactics. Evan’s largest project to date was during the 2011 Mississippi statewide elections when he managed the Honor Your Promise Project, a multi-level online social media campaign to inform and mobilize Mississippi public employees and retirees.”
Yesterday, Geoff Pender at the Sun Herald started picking up the trail. He ran a story about Honor Your Promise organizing an astroturf campaign to call GOP lawmakers. Rep. Scott Delano put it best when he said, “Who is this? Who do you respond to? Who’s the editor of this site? How do you deal with this type of new media when they put out something like this?”
Well, the link to McCarley’s web page stopped working a couple of days ago. Thank goodness for Google Cache, which had the old website listing his involvement. He has also been removed from the current staff listings on Zata3’s site where he was listed just a few days before . YallPolitics called for McCarley at Zata3’s office in Jackson yesterday and was told he was out to lunch but would be back later in the afternoon. There was no mention that he was no longer affiliated with Zata3. In fact, they took a message for him. Brad Chism, President of Zata3, was also contacted via email for comment and did not reply.
As YallPolitics noted in the piece last week, the connections between HOME2012 and HonorYourPromise (and its connection to Zata3) are undeniable. They share the same outbound address on their emails, the same email templates, the same website templates and the same attempted anonymity.
The real question is and remains who is funding these two seemingly coordinated efforts? Any why is someone so spooked about owning up to backing these efforts? If they are as non-partisan as they claim, you’d expect the funding would come from a bi-partisan source. HOME2012 said that it is funded by a grant from a non-profit. My guess is that non-profit will wind up being a 501c4 that will not have to disclose where its inbound funds came from.
As more scrutiny grows on the links between these two efforts and the forces behind them, eventually the money behind it will be exposed.
Late Friday, Zata3 put out a two sentence press release about the status of Evan McCarley.
Evan McCarley took a leave of absence in late 2011 to try his hand at campaign management. He returns on Monday after two election successes. Evan will be our Communications Officer as we head into the 2012 election season.
This explanation does not jive with the time frame of his profile being removed from Zata3’s site a week ago. However, he has been relisted. Of course, there is no reference to his work on Honor Your Promise now on his profile as there was a couple of weeks ago.
On February 28, the cache files have mysteriously disappeared linking McCarley and Zata3 to HonorYourPromise.
Fortunately, PDF still works.
By the way, I found an interesting article on removing pages from your website in google cache.