TX-Gov: The Perry Website “Political Sabotage” Explanations Don't Match Timeline

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Key Point: How did 22,000 people watch the complete remarks of a speech before it was given?

The timeline of Rick Perry's campaign explanation for the website “political sabotage” and the explanation from Anthony Kukla of Redglue, Inc. — the campaigns tech campaigns — don't add up. At all.

  • At 11:30am, the Perry's remarks were schedule to begin.
  • However, at 11:20am, their site was attacked (according to their web guy).
  • Yet, the Perry campaign claims that 22,000 people saw the remarks before the attack — which occurred at 11:20am, before any remarks had been made.

Allow me to expand on that….

Here's the explanation from Red Glue — which I think is totally plausible:

Kukla described it as a denial-of-service attack called a SYN flood. He said it occurred around 11:20 a.m., ten minutes before Perry was to start his announcement.

Kukla explained that such an attack fakes a massive number of users trying to connect to the server, with the goal of tying it up. He said the attack was flagged by the company's firewall system, traffic was shut down and then connections were re-set.

He said the problem was wrapped up within 10 minutes. Kukla said there's no chance that there were simply too many people trying to sign on. He said the server could have handled anything that was thrown at it.

Sounds perfectly reasonable, right? Well, the timeline doesn't match.

Remember this — from Rick Perry spokesperson Mark Miner — where he said that 22,000 people saw Perry speak before the attacks:

This planned and coordinated attack was political sabotage, and we are working to identify those responsible for this illegal activity. Before the attack was initiated, more than 22,000 users were able to log in and view Gov. Perry's complete remarks, which will be distributed shortly.

“Before the attack” would be before 11:20am — so how did 22,000 people see remarks that hadn't been made yet?

Rick Perry's campaign team appears to be swinging a big bat — saying whatever they want — and asking questions later. You can't trust a campaign team like that.

The timeline still doesn't add up. Questions remain unanswered — and it looks like Rick Perry's campaign team got caught telling stories.


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. Political Sabotage
    I think they must have sent out tons of e-mails touting this event today. Not to mention, Twitter and Facebook. Maybe they didn't have any idea how many people would actually “tune in.” Crashing servers are embarrassing, but far from political sabotage, but it sure sounds better than “technical glitches,” for a campaign braggin' on its use of the new tools.

    Obama's campaign excelled at getting voters' contact information and then using it over and over to reach them.

    Perry appears to be using a similar model; he and supporters have heavily promoted today's speech through Twitter and Facebook, but before watching it, voters will be asked for their e-mail addresses, home addresses and phone numbers.


    The most popular tweeter in the campaign may be Perry himself. He has more than 17,000 followers on an account he updates personally. [emphasis added.]

    You know, when you are the “most popular tweeter” in the campaign, you have to expect that all your “friends” will come to your party. Your service provider had better be ready for the fun.

    And copying Obama is never as easy as it looks.

  2. wrong
    Look numnuts, 22,000 people who logged on prior to the attack were able to stay on and watch the announcement. I was one of them. Other folks who got on later had the problem. Even Hutchison's IT guy says the Perry IT Team has offered a plausible explanation. Check chron blog.

    But keep blathering on like some kind of IT expert because, as is common with you libs, you are smarter than everyone.  And I am sure you stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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