News & Election Videos

September 19, 2008

Warner aide: You got (list) served

It’s generally not too difficult to get on a campaign’s press list — even if you’re working for a rival campaign. And you certainly don’t need to misrepresent yourself in order to get your opponent’s press releases.

But that’s exactly what Jim Gilmore’s communications director Ana Gamonal did in a ham-handed attempt to get on Mark Warner’s campaign e-mail list. She sent an e-mail to a Warner spokeswoman from a personal account posing as a Spanish-language freelance writer under the pseudonym “Alexis Navarro.”

Making matters worse — and more embarrassing — is that her real name is plainly listed alongside her personal e-mail address.

The Scorecard tried reaching Gamonal by phone and via both of her e-mail accounts, but didn’t get a response back. We also couldn't find a byline from an "Alexis Navarro" in a cursory online search of Spanish-language papers in Virginia.

This is the kind of rookie mistake you would expect from a little-known Senate challenger, not the campaign of a former Virginia governor and chairman of the Republican National Committee. Given his stature, we wouldn't think Gilmore's campaign would have to go to such secretive measures to get Warner's press releases. 

The full e-mail — with the e-mail address redacted — is below the jump.

UPDATE: The Gilmore campaign announced that it suspended Gamonal without pay for two weeks in response to her e-mail.

"Governor Gilmore believes the people of Virginia are entitled to full transparency and he will not tolerate any activity by his campaign or by those who work for him that is contrary to that belief," Gilmore's campaign said in a statement.

From: Ana Gamonal de Navarro [mailto:********]
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 10:15 PM
To: Emily Kryder
Subject: please add me to your press list

Ms. Kryder,

I am a free lance writer for several of the local Spanish language papers here in Virginia. Could you please add me to your distribution list for press releases.

Thank you,

Alexis Navarro