Local Dems to See Proof
Mattes and Fletcher Return to LMFDC
Recent news reports published in the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, and appearing on many network news programs including Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, alluded to Russian hacking and manipulation of the 2016 Presidential Election, decidedly in favor of the Trump campaign. During the heat of the primary campaign, several website administrators of Bernie Sanders’ FB sites, including John Mattes, who many may remember from our Springtime Bernie/Hillary forum as an ardent supporter of the former, noticed a disturbing trend. Many posts and posters, hundreds of them in fact, were originating in Eastern Europe.
John Mattes is an attorney, former City Councilman, and veteran award-winning investigative journalist who spent many years with XETV and other local news outlets, as well as stations in Miami and Los Angeles and ABC World News. He’s been based in San Diego since 2002 and runs The Investigative Guy website.
Mattes first suspected outside interference in the campaign when he detected strange posts from Eastern Europeans on Bernie Sanders support Facebook pages. The posters had no profile or ties to Sanders but had dozens of faux-Sanders groups. The users who Mattes suspected were plants posted only vicious Anti-Hillary stories from American looking websites, but were strangely all located in Albania and Macedonia.
In early September, Mattes alerted several investigator friends with a list of the suspect sites he had uncovered. Digging deeper Mattes uncovered dozens of Anti-Hillary websites all hidden behind private registrations or addresses in Macedonia. Posts from the suspect websites were flooding Sanders media and online platforms nationwide in October with Anti-Hillary posts claiming Hillary was to be indicted, or had a stroke, or was involved in human trafficking.
Come late October, Mattes shared his findings with Buzzfeed where he is quoted as saying, “What is most disturbing is that the Macedonia stories worked to directly help Trump,” and, “The stories targeted Sanders supporters, creating doubts about Hillary among a key voting bloc.” Buzzfeed reported that Mattes thought this was part of a concerted effort to suppress the votes of Sanders supporters in order to help Trump win the election. “Some [of the Sanders supporters] are newly energized democratic voters,” he said, “If you have the ability to suppress and poison the well and reduce participation, that’s a win.”
After the election, Mattes expanded his investigation into the potential role of Russian tampering with the election. His findings were included in a story in the New Yorker titled “Trump Putin and the New Cold War”. Mattes’ investigation then was profiled in Huffington post and Raw Story, and now has reached numerous other publications.
In March, Mattes’ assertions were proven correct when the former director of the NSA testified that Russia had employed over 1000 trolls to plant Anti-Hillary disinformation on Sanders social media platforms. Currently, he is continuing this investigation, and working to spread his findings across the U.S. and the globe. John will present his latest findings at the next meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club on Wednesday evening, May 3rd at the beautiful La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., just off University Ave. in La Mesa.
We get a bonus this month with the return of rising political superstar, Nathan Fletcher. Nathan will talk about what we can do locally to counter Trump (particularly on voting rights and ballot access) and give an update on efforts to bring home deported veterans. We also hope to hear about Nathan’s political future, and why he thinks all politics starts locally, in our cities, counties and communities and what it takes as progressives and Democrats, to get involved.
In addition to being a father of 2 boys, a UCSD Political Science Professor, former Marine, former State Assemblyman, Ironman Triathlete, marathoner, and mountain climber, Fletcher remains politically active; supporting Democratic candidates and progressive causes. He is a member of the national advisory board of Organizing for Action, the successor organization of President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. He is a member of the Statewide Leadership Council of the Public Policy Institute of California, and a member of the Aspen Institute Global Alliances Program Advisory Board. He is also a member of the National Advisory Board of the Truman National Security Project. He is a delegate of the California Democratic Party and has been active in supporting Democratic candidates and causes such as efforts to raise the minimum wage. He also remains involved in efforts to ensure implementation of Chelsea’s Law. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Human Rights. He recently married noted State Assemblyperson Lorena Gonzalez.
Be sure to arrive early to grab the best seats for this blockbuster program. It’s also a great time to buy an annual membership to LMFDC for as little at $30. per year. We recently were voted the County 2016 Club of the Year!
Our social activities begin at 6:30 with snacks, fruits, veggies, desserts and beverages supplied by the members, and the meetings begin promptly at 7 PM. All members and guests are welcomed, and we particularly draw crowds from San Carlos, Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, La Mesa, Santee, Mt. Helix, Casa De Oro, the College Area, and all other nearby East County Communities. We meet the first Wednesday of every month.
Please check out our fantastic future events, and pictures of our last ones, on our website at www.lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com or like us on Facebook.
Linda Armacost, President
Jeff Benesch, VP Membership