There is a credible concern that the campaign of anti-choice conservative Democrat Steve Pestka,
running against the pro-choice, progressive Trevor Thomas in the
Democratic primary in Michigan's 3rd congressional district, has paid to
get Filipino and Israeli children as young as 13 years of age to "like"
his Facebook page in order to create a false appearance of "momentum."
(I say anti-choice, because Pestka voted to defund Planned Parenthood, among other anti-women moves - he has a 0% voting record on supporting choice - while in the Michigan legislature.)
Eclectablog was the first to notice the unusual surge in "likes" for
Pestka's Facebook page. After three weeks of little growth, Pestka's
page suddenly grew from a steady 215 or fewer "likes" per week on May
20th, to 5,905 "likes" per week on May 28, just one week later.
Overall, Pestka's went from 1,000 or so likes at the end of April to 7,500 in about a month.
But it gets stranger.
At one point, as Eclectablog notes, with proof, the preponderance of new
"likes" were coming from underage children in the Philippines (now
they're coming from underage Israelis), where Pestka's campaign would
like us to believe that the AARP member is a huge hit with the under-17
Facebook data also suggests that lots of underage Filipino and Israeli children are "talking about" Steve Pestka.
Well that's slightly disturbing.
When asked about Pestka's sudden surge in popularity among young
Filipinos and Israelis, his campaign blamed the surge of support on
Facebook ads they claim to have recently placed.
Really? We're to believe that an American congressional primary
involving a 60 year old man is going to cause a sensation among 13 year
old Filipino and Israeli children. That's the story that Pestka is
Not to mention, when you check out the Facebook page of his primary opponent, Trevor Thomas,
you'll note that Thomas' most popular "like" demographic is 25-34 year
olds in Grand Rapids, Michigan, i.e., adults in his own congressional
district - which makes sense.
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