Staffer Moving Over to Kerry Campaign

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - The campaign of Democrat John F. Kerry has hired a new director of online communications -- and the new guy comes from, the anti-Bush group that Republicans view as a shadow Kerry campaign.

In fact, the Republican Party recently filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accusing the Kerry campaign of illegally coordinating its political advertising and other campaign activities with groups such as

The Kerry campaign denied coordinating anything with those groups, which use "soft" (unlimited) donations to pay for anti-Bush ads.

But Republicans say Democrats are violating the new campaign finance law -- making a "mockery" of it by using soft money to influence a federal election.

Under the new law, groups such as are supposed to be entirely separate from the Kerry campaign, but Republicans say there's cross-pollination - and having's Jack Exley move-on-over to the Kerry campaign is raising Republican eyebrows.

Anticipating such a reaction, the head of the PAC, Eli Pariser, on Wednesday indicated there's nothing wrong with a operative coming over to work for the Kerry campaign.

"To guard against any risk or appearance of improper coordination between MoveOn and the Kerry campaign, steps are being taken to make sure Exley doesn't communicate with anyone at MoveOn until after the November election," Pariser was quoted as saying.

Wire reports said Zack Exley worked as a special projects director for's political action committee. Pariser said he did research and worked on mobilizing supporters.

RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie called Kerry's hiring of Exley "a clear indication that the Kerry campaign is going negative on the net."

Gillespie noted that two out of every three ads run by the Kerry campaign since they first went on television in September have been negative attacks on the president -- and Gillespie indicated that Exley is a master of the art.

"In 2000, Exley started an anti-Bush website featuring doctored photos," Gillespie said in a statement. Then, Gillespie noted, when Exley went to work at, the group posted two ads on its website comparing President Bush to Adolph Hitler.

Although Exley did not create those ads, he called Republican complaints about them "Republican bulls**t."

Said Gillespie, "In addition to the obvious questions his hiring raises about further illegal coordination between the Kerry campaign and, you have to wonder what hiring someone who considers Hitler comparisons to be legitimate political discourse says about the Kerry campaign."

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