Warren Redlich is the owner of Independent Political Report.
I’m writing this to see if we can have a conversation in the comments about something that has been bugging me. Yes I know this is not a typical post for IPR and some will be annoyed, but I don’t do this often.
I have long had the feeling that the political establishment, at local, state and federal levels, interferes with third parties. Sometimes they’re open and obvious about it, but I’m more concerned about when it’s done “undercover.”
The concept has been mentioned on IPR before.
Republican and Democratic insiders (and/or the CIA or other government agencies) may be planting operatives or informants inside third parties for various reasons. They could plant someone and have them make outrageous statement to make the third party look crazy to the media and mainstream voters. Think about James Weeks stripping at the Libertarian national convention as a possible example.
A fairly small number of such plants could easily affect the nomination process, tilting the field in favor of a candidate less threatening to the establishment, or more likely to embarrass the third party.
The question I pose for commenters is this: Is it possible to distinguish such plants? What signals should we watch for? Is there anything a third party can do about this?