Atlanta mayor's pro-Hillary op-ed was written by lobbyist and edited by her Super PAC, report says

The op-ed, which ran one day prior to Clinton's win in Georgia, was ghostwritten, according to The Intercept

Published May 6, 2016 6:20AM (EDT)

Hillary Clinton   (AP/Wilfredo Lee)
Hillary Clinton (AP/Wilfredo Lee)

Pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC, Correct the Record, has a documented history of operating in campaign regulatory grey areas. A key aspect of its strategy during the 2016 Democratic primary battle has been (social) media manipulation, so recent revelations that the PAC ghostwrote a pro-Hillary Op-Ed for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed for are less surprising than frustrating.

According to a report from The Intercept, emails released by the mayor's office and additional confirmation from Reed's communications director, Anne Torres, all point to Tharon Johnson, "a former Reed adviser who now works as a lobbyist for UnitedHealth, Honda, and MGM Resorts, among other clients."

Further alterations to the drafts were made by "multiple" Correct the Record staffers, as detailed in the emails.

According to Torres, Reed "provided verbal edits and feedback to Tharon, but other than that, no one from my office or the mayor’s office wrote this op-ed."

"The extent of my assistance (as you can read in the emails) was sending over the mayor’s bio and headshot," she added.

The op-ed questioned Bernie Sanders' commitment to sensible gun policy and education reform and portrayed the Vermont senator as the anti-Obama "on issue after issue."

With the headline "Why Hillary Clinton is the right choice," the column ran one day prior to the primary in Georgia, in which Clinton trounced Sanders by a more than 2 to 1 margin.

Read the full report over at The Intercept.

By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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