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Planned Parenthood Letter: Astroturf Or Coincidence?

A letter from a student at UMBC has been published under different names in publications around the country.

Coordinated effort or a random set of coincidences?

That's the question left after a student and the sent a letter to the editor to Arbutus Patch extolling the virtues of the as it relates to the health concerns of women.

Bruce Goldfarb, the local editor for Arbutus, quickly identified that the letter was eerily similar to a letter published June 29 in The Gainesville Sun. A number of the paragraphs are identical.

We later found several additional letters published July 3 by the Des Moines Register and July 10 by the State Journal-Register in Illinois.

A June 28 press release on the Planned Parenthood website also carries some similar language.

Again, in each instance, the published articles carried multiple instances of paragraphs copied word-for-word. All of them authored by different people—three are presidents of Planned Parenthood organizations in their respective states.

It's hard to say exactly what's happening here.

We reached out to Kelly Martin Broderick, the student at UMBC, and to officials at Planned Parenthood in Washington for comment.

This kind of effort, some times called astroturfing by opponents, is not uncommon among groups across the political spectrum. An organization will some times provide boiler plate language and ask supporters to send the copy to local papers or elected officials after making minor tweaks to make each seem personal.

Or it could just be a really weird set of coincidences.

After all, this Friday is the 13th.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

FIFA July 17, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Small k kevin, I did put my comments down a "hole", I thought it was the toilet instead it was your throat, not much difference, both spew the same stuff. Fore!
kevin July 17, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Wow got to go to the toilet comments .Man you hurt me , now you can tell all your handlers I bullied him to shut up .Isn't that your play book ?When you get frustrated Bully them,like my earlier postto Bryan I'm getting recognition ,You hit near the truth and the play book says BULLY them.So original Palin,Ailes,toilet ! Your such a journalist ! But at least you realize your comments belong down the toilet.Your words not mine .
Andrew Schotz July 17, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Maybe I should not have posted. The flood of emails way off topic is a bit much. Why not send the political bickering emails directly to each other? Not every topic needs to devolve into right vs. left. (please?)
FIFA July 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM
You probably wouldn't recognize the difference between your pie hole and five hole. No need to "BULLY" a Birther, their intelligence speaks volumes.
kevin July 17, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Great comment FIFA see that it only took you 10 hours to come up with . Birther ? Oh your just so creative .

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