Politics & Policy

O’Donnell’s Online Resume

Yesterday, after Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent announced that Republican senate candidate Christine O’Donnell had not attended two of the schools her LinkedIn profile listed as part of her educational background, O’Donnell’s campaign announced that the profile had not been created by O’Donnell and asked LinkedIn to take it down.

The profile has now been removed from the site. In an e-mail to Sargent, a LinkedIn spokeswoman said, “We have taken the profile down. That’s all we are confirming. It was taken down in response to Christine O’Donnell’s request. This is not an acknowledgment that the profile was fake.”

A Democratic National Committee staffer is now highlighting a different online resume that also says O’Donnell had attended the same schools. The Huffington Post contacted the site hosting that resume, ZoomInfo, which said that O’Donnell had claimed the profile in 2008. But the site also acknowledged that it sometimes adds information to ZoomInfo profiles based on other information available online. So while the ZoomInfo spokesman says that “the education material would have probably been pulled from her own update back in 2008,” it doesn’t appear that there’s any way to definitively establish who put those particular schools under her educational background — and it could have been ZoomInfo, not O’Donnell, who did.

In other O’Donnell news, the Associated Press reported today that O’Donnell’s nonprofit pro-abstinence group, Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT), may lose its nonprofit status since it hasn’t filed tax returns in the past three years. About 325,000 other nonprofits are also in danger of losing their tax-exempt status.

Speaking to the AP, O’Donnell lawyer Cleta Mitchell said it was not “a big deal” and mentioned that “there are thousands of nonprofits doing this.”

CORRECTION/UPDATE: It looks like I was wrong to claim that ZoomInfo could have changed the profile after someone (the speculation is O’Donnell herself, but it’s important to note that that has not been verified definitively yet) claimed the profile in 2008. According to a statement ZoomInfo gave Sargent, they can add web articles once a profile has been claimed, but they cannot change information such as educational background. If the educational background was wrong in 2008 when it was claimed, the claimer could have then edited it. So this all hinges now on whether O’Donnell herself claimed the profile or not, which we do not know yet.

Now, the update: it appears O’Donnell’s 2002 resume was misleading about her educational background. The Claremont Institute (full disclosure: I attended a fellowship sponsored by the Claremont Institute this summer) told Talking Points Memo that O’Donnell listed Oxford on her resume, without specifying that the program she attended, while held at Oxford, was run by the Phoenix Institute. (For anyone confused at this point, the original LinkedIn profile — now called a fake by the O’Donnell campaign — listed Oxford and Claremont Graduate as schools O’Donnell had attended. In fact, she had attended a program at Oxford, but not run by Oxford, and she had never attended Claremont Graduate University, but had participated in a fellowship sponsored by the Claremont Institute, which is unaffiliated with the Claremont Graduate University.)

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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