Monday, August 13, 2012

Former Leadership Institute operative linked to a convicted felon now works for Romney campaign

8/17 UPDATE: 

Team Romney still ducking questions about their Social Media Director, but FEC filing suggests Bill Murphy was hired in mid-to-late July and is getting paid $5,541.66 a month.  Digital Director Zac Moffatt avoids questions about his relationship to both Murphy and his frequent colleague, convicted felon Ali Akbar, who just got off probation in May.

8/16 UPDATE:

Did @TeamRomney even know @BillMurphy worked for "charlatans" at American Liberty Alliance since he left it off his resume?

A July 20th tweet by the official @TeamRomney twitter account ( ) indicates that Bill Murphy is the Social Media Director for Mitt Romney, even though he has ducked questions, blocked me on twitter, scrubbed his resume, and deleted his blog since I started reporting on him August 12.

The latest monthly filing by the Romney for President campaign to the Federal Election Committee reveals that a William Murphy was paid $2,770.83 for his work in July (  Since another Team Romney member - who was just recently hired in June - has been earning precisely double that amount, the FEC filing suggests Bill Murphy joined the campaign in mid-to-late July and is getting paid $5,541.66 a month.

 Aside from working for years with a convicted felon who was on probation until May, Mr. Murphy has been closely involved with Tea Party lawyers involved with Super PACs who are working with the RNC to overturn donation limits. (See: and ) Murphy also is linked to sketchy charities and groups that skirt FEC regulations.

Mr. Murphy and his colleague Ali Akbar also worked for the American Liberty Alliance when it was founded in June of 2009.  ALA launched a Liberty Tour in late 2009 which sought to teach conservative activists to use deception and commit dirty tricks on the Internet in order to "control the dialogue," as I will soon be reporting. 

Together, Murphy and Akbar have worked for at least five groups over the last three years, four of them while straddling opposite sides of the Mitt Romney for President debate.  In 2012, New Jerseyite Murphy worked in Akbar's Texas-based Vice and Victory firm, and also with a group called Blog Bash that organizes parties at conservative conventions, while serving as Director for the National Bloggers Club and the National Finance Director for the Breitbart Scholarship Fund, all alongside Akbar who was on probation until May.

On Tuesday, Romney Digital Director Zac Moffatt blocked me on Twitter - even before Murphy did - rather than reply to simple questions about Team Romney's Social Media Director, such as when he was hired and how much he is paid.  

After discovering tweets between Moffatt and Akbar, and Murphy before he joined Team Romney, I tweeted, "No wonder Digital Director ignores my tweets. He apparently is pals with and convicted felon Akbar!"  

"MT : save us all the trouble and come on board tonight. we have a lot of work to do. cc ," Moffatt tweeted on January 29, 2012 ( ).  This was in reference to Akbar's leadership in the NotMittRomney protest campaign, at the time.  

Moffatt blocked me immediately after I tweeted, "Why did convicted felon MT Romney Digital Director plea for resumes days before forming NotMittRomney?" On March 11, at a blog he purchased last October, Akbar wrote, "I lead the most prominent and largest contiengent of “Not Mitt” folks over at" before declaring, "It’s over though." Akbar also paid "special thanks to "some Romney supporters: Bill Murphy, Austin James, Zac Moffatt, Saul Anuzis, and Chandler Epp for keeping your heads screwed on tight while [Akbar] lobbed cannon balls at [their] castle." As others have observed, the website now goes to the official campaign site, and some speculate there may have been a "pay-off" involved.

I tweeted, "More tweets between Romney Digital Director and convicted felon Akbar: How long have they been pals?"and "Convicted felon Akbar was psyched 441 days ago when campaign hired to be Digital Director."

 The latest monthly filing by the Romney for President campaign to the Federal Election Committee reveals that a William Murphy was paid $2,770.83 for his work in July (  Since another Team Romney member - who was just recently hired in June - has been earning precisely double that amount, the FEC filing suggests Bill Murphy joined the campaign in mid-to-late July and is getting paid $5,541.66 a month.

I'll be updating this story with much more that I've uncovered over the last few days, and incorporating things I've tweeted at  

Murphy has been working since at least 2009 with Ali Akbar, who Slate recently reported was "convicted of credit card fraud in 2007", and just got off of probation in May for a reported "crime spree," which he has lied about. (More to come on Akbar's crimes, which are alluded to in the Slate article on the battle between convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin and right wing bloggers: )

Update at bottom: Murphy apparently scrubs blog, while his friends and colleagues attempt to smear me on Twitter. 

Original post follows: 

About an hour before publication of this story on Monday, August 13, William Murphy - the "Social Media Director at Romney For President" - scrubbed his resume, after ducking a series of questions I tweeted to him about his past experience and links to a convicted felon.

But immediately after I teased this story on Twitter, Mr. Murphy replaced his publicly viewable resume at the LinkedIn website, with only a slightly changed version (

This is the scrubbed version that only listed Murphy's work for the Romney campaign:


This is how it looks again, now:

Here are tweets I sent to Mr. Murphy before and after he scrubbed and then unscrubbed his resume:

As shown in a Google cache of the resume as it appeared before it was scrubbed and unscrubbed, Bill Murphy left off his stint as Account Manager for HiBall Beverage, Inc. in the greater New York City area from 2006 to 2007:

Aside from Mr. Murphy's scrubbed resume, I was unable to find anything about HiBall Beverage Inc. on Google:

Here are some questions I'd like Mr. Murphy to address, including some I haven't tweeted yet.

Are you getting paid to be Social Media Director for Mitt Romney?

Do you officially work for the Mitt Romney campaign now or just a group trying to get him elected?

If so, when were you hired?

Did you quit convicted felon Ali Akbar's Vice and Victory?

Are you still a part of the Blog Bash team?  Have you ever gotten paid for your work with them?

Are you in any way involved with the National Bloggers Club?

Are you still working for the Conservative Action Fund as a district field manager or in any other capacity?

Did you get paid through Vice and Victory when  you worked for CAF or did you get two checks while working with Shaun McCutcheon?

Are you involved in any way with Shaun McCutcheon's legal battle to overturn donation limits?

Why doesn't your LinkedIn resume mention your role with the Conservative Action Fund?

Do you know how much Ladd Ehlinger Jr. was paid to create commercial for Bill Turner's NY-9 campaign?

I have many more questions for Mr. Murphy I'm hoping someone will answer.

8/13 UPDATE:

Social Media Director for Mitt Romney Bill Murphy ducks questions, and then takes his blog offline

Murphy seems to have taken down his blog, at least temporarily, after I asked him on Twitter - as shown in screencap above - what he meant when he referred to "evildoers" @GregWHoward over a year ago.  Howard was reportedly victimized on Twitter by Democratic operative and hoaxer Neal Rauhauser and a group of 4chan "supertrolls" called "beandogs" in 2010 (, but Murphy might have been referring to Democrats, in general.

This was  the March 26, 2011 Bill Murphy blogpost I tweeted about: "The evildoers will take advantage of this RT @GregWHoward: I’m alive, but sick as a dog. Not tweeting for a couple of days. #tcot #ocra #sgp".


The following message now appears when attempting to access at 6:PM ET August 13, 2012:

                   Not found.

                    We couldn't find the page you were looking for.
                    Feel free to contact support if there's anything
                    we can help you find. 

(Hat tip to Seth Allen @Prepostericity - who has also been menaced by Rauhauser - for tweeting, "The "evildoers" link is not working can't even google for it.")

Even though he has been active on Twitter today, Murphy has ignored all my tweets.  Meanwhile, his friends have attempted to smear me, but refuse to answer any questions.

Murphy's colleague and friend Ali A. Akbar tweeted that I was "trying to draw lines and bully some folks. Go look at his timeline. It's mostly funny-sad."

Convicted felon @Ali - who just got off probation a few months ago in May - added,  "you're such a wanna-be journalist. It would be cute if it wasn't disturbing and creepy."

In defense, Robert Stacy McCain - a correspondent for The American Spectator - tweeted, "Unlike Ted Kennedy, @ali never drowned any campaign aides," and  "Shocking scandal: GOP social media specialist worked for GOP social media firm!"

McCain mockingly added,  "I mean, Drudge is going to be all over that one, y'know? Stop the presses!" and "If it's not one thing, it's something else. Always a SHOCKING! REPUBLICAN! SCANDAL!"

I asked former Washington Times reporter McCain, "Do u know if campaign or PAC pay to be "Social Media Director" so I can update story?" but he has ignored my question.

The oddest response was from @GregWHoward who tweeted, "Sorry, end of the line. Put up with as much as I could. Blocking now. Unfollowing did not get your attention."


Did @TeamRomney even know @BillMurphy worked for "charlatans" at American Liberty Alliance since he left it off his resume? 

In an August 24, 2010 diary at Red State called "Charlatans and the Horse They Rode In On" (, CNN contributor Erick Erickson wrote, "I  have been biting my tongue so hard for so long that I’m surprised I haven’t developed gangrene, but the time has come to open my mouth, or at least put fingers to the keyboard."

"I have for years been shouting into the wind about those I believe are conservative charlatans abusing the money of donors, burning bridges, and making it all the more difficult for solid conservative activists to gain the trust of large conservative donors," Erickson added.

Erickson was complaining about the for profit American Liberty Alliance and other ventures set up by Eric Odom.

In December of 2009, Alex Brant-Zawadzki and Dawn Teo reported for Huffington Post (, "Despite its frequent pleas for contributions, American Liberty Alliance is not a non-profit organization."

"According to its website," the Huffington Post article noted,
The American Liberty Alliance is not a 501c3, 501c4 or a PAC. We are not registered as a non-profit and we do not raise funds as such. Our primary focus is on content. We publish information and sell advertising on our network of sites. We also occasional [sic] seek contributions from our readers. These contributions are seen as "gifts" to our network and are not tax deductible.
The Huffington Post article continued, "American Liberty Alliance has invited its members to contribute on at least 33 separate occasions since Aug. 10 alone. Neither those emails nor the website mention that American Liberty Alliance is a for-profit venture. On Aug. 23, however, Odom wrote, 'We're currently in the process of filing for our non-profit, 501c4 status which will allow us to become even more aggressive in the political environment.'"

"As of yet, American Liberty Alliance is not registered as a 501(c) non-profit organization," Brant-Zawadzki and Teo reported.

At Red State, Erickson wrote, "I know people, some are friends, who were employed by this organization and left without the money they were due. Neither I nor they have any idea what happened to the money."
"At some point the for profit American Liberty Alliance was rolled into Liberty First PAC, which was also set up by Eric Odom," Erickson continued. "I have no idea how the transaction occurred as it is not inside the FEC filings of Liberty First PAC. Considering American Liberty Alliance was for profit and Liberty First PAC is a PAC, I assume there is some transaction to show how it occurred, except there is not one and there should be, at least as a line item in a report to the FEC."

Erickson added, "This doesn’t even go into the disaster that was the bus tour across America, the low turn out tea party gatherings, the RootsHQ event in Nashville that I spoke at, and the list of disasters and questionable stuff arising out of American Liberty Alliance and whatever happened to it (both factually and as a legal entity) goes on and on and on. I’m not even sure if the bus tour made it all the way across America as its web journal stopped well before its end point and its blog has now somehow become a Christine O’Donnell site, except it hasn’t been updated since June. This is all par for the course."

In the summer of 2009, future Team Romney official William M. Murphy and Ali Akbar - while working for American Liberty Alliance - helped raise cash for Odom's ALA on Twitter, without mentioning that it was for a for-profit venture.

" or - if Mr. Murphy deletes his tweet it can also be seen here:, Mr. Murphy tweeted on June 18, 2009, three days after Ali Akbar used both his twitter accounts to RT "@libertyalliance:

As shown above, Murphy left off his stint as Director of Strategic Initiatives for American Liberty Alliance from his resume, so perhaps Team Romney didn't know he ever worked there. A key member of the team since ALA's website went live in June of 2009, Murphy used the email address,

Murphy may have also been involved with some of Odom's other groups and/or websites, since on March 5, 2009, Eric Odom retweeted a tweet bragging, "Michelle Malkin just plugged on Fox and Friends. (


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