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How not to be a spy

Tim Lussier, a 20 year-old employee of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has been caught trying to infiltrate the campaign of Democrat Jeff Merkley in what can only be described as a monumental failure in espionage.

Lussier is (or was) what is known in the world of politics as a “tracker.” It’s not as glamorous as it sounds – pretty much an intern job. Trackers go to opposing candidate’s rallies and speeches and film them, hoping to catch a campaign-killing gaffe, blunder or faux pas. Both parties admit to using trackers; they’re not illegal. In fact, most trackers are fairly open about their work. Lussier, however, apparently crossed the line with his not-so-subtle attempt at subterfuge.

Lussier was first spotted at a Merkley event holding a video camera. When asked, he identified himself as “Tim.” The Merkley campaign spokesman then took a picture of Lussier for future reference. I’ll let the R-G take it from here:

On Thursday, the Merkley campaign got an e-mail sent from an address with “Merkster2008.” The message said it was sent by Tim Lussier, who wrote that he was “a local activist and a big fan of Jeff. I’d love to find out when I can see him speak. …” 

When the Merkley campaign did some research on Tim Lussier, it found a treasure trove on the Web.

Tim Lussier’s MySpace page features a photo of Lussier — he’s identical to the tracker “Tim” who Merkley’s campaign photographed — posing with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.


The same day, Kelley said, the Merkley campaign got a phone call from someone who identified himself as “Tim Thompson,” asking about a fundraiser that night. He gave a phone number — which turned out to be the number of a landscape business owned by Tim Lussier’s dad: Bob Lussier.

Rule number one of spycraft: Don’t have a Myspace account. Rule number two: Don’t give your dad’s phone number as contact information if you’re using a fake name. Rule number three: Choose a better alias than Tim “that’s my real first name” Thompson.

On a side note, I went to community college with Lussier, where he was the president of the student government. Good to see your political ambitions are taking you far, Tim!

I wrote about another doomed attempt at spycraft here, and for some reason this post, circa 2004, came up when I searched for “spy.”

  1. Timothy says:

    That post came up because I am James Goddamn Bond that’s why.

  2. Niedermeyer says:

    Freakin’ hilarious

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