Published December 09, 2007
DES MOINES, Iowa – Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign on Sunday requested the resignation of a second Iowa volunteer coordinator who forwarded a hoax e-mail saying Barack Obama is a Muslim possibly intent on destroying the United States.
Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ and says he has never been a Muslim, but false rumors attempting to tie him to Islamic jihadists are circulating on the Internet.
"Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential Candidacy," read the e-mail. "Please forward to everyone you know. The Muslims have said they Plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at The highest level."
The Clinton campaign has decried the rumors as offensive and outrageous, and last week forced volunteer Jones County coordinator Judy Rose to resign after learning that she forwarded a such an e-mail on Nov. 21. But it turns out Rose wasn't the only one.
Linda Olson, a volunteer coordinator in Iowa County, had forwarded a similar version on Oct. 5, without comment, to 11 people. One of the recipients was Ben Young, a regional field director for Democrat Chris Dodd's campaign, who provided a copy to The Associated Press on Sunday.
The Clinton campaign responded by asking for Olson's resignation.
"We've made our position on this crystal clear," said Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee. "Our campaign does not tolerate this kind of activity or campaigning. As soon as it came to our attention, we asked this individual to step down."
Asked to explain why two people connected to the campaign would have forwarded similar e-mails and if the campaign was taking steps to find out if it's more widespread, Elleithee replied, "We communicated to all of our paid staff and volunteer leadership that the senator and the campaign have a zero tolerance policy for this type of activity."
Obama spokesman Bill Burton responded, "Iowans know garbage when they see it and it has no place in this race." Burton said Obama will focus on the debate over issues like health care, education and getting out of Iraq.
Rose has said she did not agree with the e-mail but was sending it to other area Democrats to show them how dirty politics was getting. Olson did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment.