Friday, October 01, 2010

A further update on Christine O'Donnell's self-aggrandizing dishonesty

(Updating posts from the past two days -- here and here.)

So did O'Donnell lie about her education? Is she responsible for the information in her LinkedIin profile? Her campaign has said no, but she has a long record of dishonesty, including with respect to her education -- as I document in the two posts linked above.

And now there's more, evidence that she has in fact lied repeatedly:

By now you may have heard that the claim that Christine O'Donnell studied at Oxford has now turned up on a second O'Donnell online resume, this one from ZoomInfo.

I've got some more information on what happened from ZoomInfo, and it seems to strongly undercut O'Donnell's claim that her LinkedIn bio making the same Oxford fib was unauthorized or unknown to her.

To back up: This morning, the Democratic National Committee pointed out that O'Donnell is also described in a ZoomInfo entry as having achieved a "certificate" in "Post Modernism in the New Millennium" from the "University of Oxford." The Zoom Info entry was labled, "user verified."

ZoomInfo, which has spent the day looking into this, has sent over a statement detailing what happened with this profile. According to the company, O'Donnell's profile was claimed in 2008 through something called a "double opt-in process."

The company says this process cannot function without "response to a verification e-mail message." ZoomInfo is not releasing that email address, citing privacy. But here's the rub: The company is confirming that they have identified the emailer...

ZoomInfo knows who claimed this profile and verified the information. And in response to my questions, it's not disputing the idea that it was claimed by O'Donnell or someone apparently authorized by her to do so.

(For more, see Sam Stein, HuffPo.) 

One thing we know is true: Christine O'Donnell was a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute in 2002. The rest, as we've closely chronicled, is all a bit fuzzy.

But TPM just spoke with a Claremont official who reviewed O'Donnell's 2002 application file. Ryan Williams, who oversees the Lincoln Fellowship program, told us that O'Donnell lists a certificate from Oxford University on her resume. "She did have a line about Oxford," he said as he looked at her file, which also included an essay and letters of recommendation.

Williams told us the item on O'Donnell's resume reads:

Oxford University, Oxford, UK Certificate awarded Summer 2001

But O'Donnell did not attend Oxford. She received a certificate from a summer seminar program called the Phoenix Institute, which rented space at Oxford.

In other words, she lied about studying at Oxford, just as she's lied about so much else, including studying at Claremont Graduate University. (She studied at neither.)

She's also lied about doing graduate work at Princeton and when she graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson. (She never took a grad course at the former and claimed she graduated from the latter years before she actually did.)

Steve Benen adds: "TPM found instances in which O'Donnell told similar lies on her MySpace page, 2008 campaign website, and 2006 campaign website. She included deceptive information about her education in court filings, and repeated related false claims during recent media interviews."

"In other words," Steve concludes, putting the pieces together, "Christine O'Donnell lied, and then lied about lying. This, coupled with her suspected campaign embezzlement, suspected tax fraud, background in witchcraft, rejection of modern science, hatred of gays, anti-masturbation efforts, and hysterically extreme political worldview, makes her a U.S. Senate candidate who's literally hard to believe."

Except in the current political climate, with the Republican Party and much of American conservatism descending rapidly into madness.

In that respect, she makes a lot of "sense" and is not at all hard to believe.

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  • Of course, she says lying is always wrong, even if she were hiding Jews in WWII and Hitler came to her door and asked her if she were hiding doors. So: She can't lie to Hitler to save people's lives, but she can make exceptions about her education and finances.

    By Blogger Edward Copeland, at 3:10 PM  

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