Chewie Stays on Attack, Opens Full Blasters on HighGround Lobbyist Chuck Coughlin

Chuck Coughlin, the Republican heavyweight lobbyist of the HighGround PR firm, is a liberal-leaning, tax-supporting, poll-twisting propagandist -- says the anonymous "Chewie" today on the right-wing blog Sonoran Alliance.

The pachyderm rumble we've been covering is still rolling along, to our amusement, with the unnamed writer or group of writers at Sonoran Alliance known as Chewie using old dirt to sand-blast Coughlin. Meanwhile, another faceless hack rises to Chewie's defense in a separate SA post with an essay on the glories of anonymity.

Chewie's latest post reminds us that Coughlin once used Nazi imagery to smear opponents of Wal-Mart, and that the lobbyist is reportedly behind a "suspicious poll" that appears to support a tax increase.

SA's fresh attack on Governor Jan Brewer's campaign manager and the governor's tax-increase proposal raise plenty of good questions about anonymous political blogging, Arizona-style.

Are Chewie's posts credible political writing, and if not, what makes the site's other anonymously written articles any more credible? Is it ethical
for elected officials, their stooges, or would-be politicians to use
anonymous blog posts to attack their opponents?

More specifically, who is/are Chewie? You see, as Coughlin has
outlined, more gory budget cuts might be dangerous for Republicans. We
can assume Brewer will want to run for governor in 2010, and Coughlin
seems to believe a mild tax increase will be less politically painful
for her at the polls than another reduction in state services and

So... Figure out who has the most to gain by attacking Governor Brewer, and you might bag a Wookie.

We'll even make it a contest: We've still got those two Harkins movie
tickets sitting on our desk because nobody has named correctly all five people in our old picture of Conley Wolfswinkel. Give us the best proof
you've got on Chewie's real identity, and the tickets are yours. (C'mon, it's a recession -- if you think you can do better with the Arizona Lottery's new game, go for it). 

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.

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