GOP Senate campaign admits to editing its candidate's Wikipedia
© Courtesy of David Jolly for Congress

A spokesperson for Rep. David Jolly's Senate campaign has admitted to editing the Florida Republican's Wikipedia page, according to Buzzfeed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jolly Communications Consultant Sarah Bascom confirmed to the news site that she had removed portions of Jolly's Wikipedia page which she described as "campaign propaganda" intended to smear him.

“We were notified a few months ago that a consultant who works for one of our ... [S]enate opponents has been intentionally editing the David Jolly Wikipedia page to follow their opposition research messaging so they can use it in a mail or digital campaign,” Bascom told BuzzFeed. “Once we found about it, we went in and attempted to correct his page to be consistent with all of his public bios.”

Bascom altered references Jolly's stint as a lobbyist, his support for same sex marriage, his affiliation with the Church of Scientology and contributions he's made to Democratic lawmakers.

Buzzfeed found the two Wikipedia users who Bascom had accused of planting the "propaganda" were longtime award-winning Wikipedia editors.

Bascom would not say which campaign she believed they were affiliated with.

One of the entries she removed said, "Jolly’s relationship with the Church of Scientology, which is based inside his congressional district in Clearwater, Florida, has been reported on in the press, including Jolly’s attendance at various fundraising events hosted by the organization."

She replaced it with a paragraph that touted Jolly's legislative record.

The new text read, "Jolly has filed legislation to provide additional and more permanent flood insurance relief, improve health care and education choices for our veterans, extend the life of ongoing beach renourishment projects for Pinellas County, and provide for investments in transportation and infrastructure, health care research and education. Jolly has also worked to eliminate wasteful government spending and cap the total tax burden on individuals and families."

The Wikipedia page also referenced Jolly's previous career as a lobbyist, detailing with how he opened his own firm and made political contributions to both Republicans and Democrats.

Bascom replaced that reference with a new paragraph that read, "Before his successful bid to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional District, Jolly served as a vice president of a Clearwater-based specialty finance firm, as well as chief executive officer of a Pinellas County professional services company supporting life-cycle philanthropy of non-profits and individuals. Prior to that, Jolly created and owned multiple businesses, including a communications firm, a law firm and a consulting firm."