Roy Moore linked to prohibition by Democrats to deceive Alabama voters during special election
Democrats created a social media campaign designed to sabotage the unsuccessful candidacy of former U.S. Senate hopeful Roy Moore by associating the Republican with outlawing alcohol, a report revealed Monday.
“Dry Alabama” accounts on Facebook and Twitter shared deceptive content near the end of the 2017 special election that mixed messages touting Mr. Moore, a Christian conservative judge endorsed by President Trump, with calls to reenact prohibition within the state.
“Do what the bible tells you. Make Alabama dry today and pray for Roy Moore,” reads one of several similar messages shared on Twitter.
Matt Osborne, a progressive activist and writer credited with working on the project, said the “Dry Alabama” accounts were created by Democrats determined to beat Mr. Moore during the final weeks of the special election ultimately won by Democratic candidate Doug Jones, The New York Times reported.
“Business conservatives favor wet; culture-war conservatives favor dry,” he told The Times. “That gave us an idea.”
Mr. Osborne previously disclosed his involvement last year, detailing the self-described “false flag” operation in a blog post that initially garnered little attention after being published on LinkedIn in August 2018. He now believes the tactics he used against Mr. Moore should be eventually banned, The Times reported.
“As a conservative Christian, I was unfairly attacked by a high-tech cyber disinformation campaign in the 2017 race for U.S. Senate that violated not only my rights but also the right of every Alabama voter to participate in a fair election,” Mr. Moore said in a statement Monday.
“Apologies, retractions or even feigned calls for an investigation by my former opponent can do little to right the wrong,” Mr. Moore added. “Nevertheless, with the 2020 elections drawing near, our entire country should be alerted to the dangers of fraud and deception in our political process.”
Mr. Jones ultimately won the Dec. 2017 special election by about 22,000 votes or 1.7 percent of the roughly 1.3 million ballots cast.
There is no evidence linking Mr. Jones to “Dry Alabama,” the Times reported. He previously asked federal election officials to investigate the role of social media meddling in the race after similar allegations emerged last month, and the state attorney general sent a request of his own to the Federal Election Commission last week, he said Monday.
Posts shared on social media by the bogus “Dry Alabama” campaign garnered roughly 4.6 million views on Facebook alone, Mr. Osborne said previously. The campaign’s accounts have since been suspended from Facebook and Twitter.