Tyler Harber Goes Global

You ears did not deceive you, that was indeed Tyler Harber being interviewed on NPR's On the Media program about political consultants getting involved in overseas political campaigns.

Harber, a controversial aide to former County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, left Knoxville after being accused of using his county computer and office to run political campaigns and stealing e-mails on Ragsdale's behalf. Harber is now a vice-president of Wilson Research Strategies in Washington.

He was interviewed about American political consultants using negative advertising in foreign countries to influence elections. Harber said often they have to enter the country in secret so as not to become an issue and that negative campaigning can help elect pro-American candidates.

Asked about consultants taking "the worst of our democracy" (negative advertising) and sharing it with new democracies around the world, Harber said, "I don't struggle with my conscience because what wins elections is laying the groundwork and building a good strategy that identifies a persuadable population...gets them to the polls...it's a tool that we have to use to win a race."

If you go to NPR.org and click on On the Media and then do a search for Tyler Harber, you can read a transcript of the entire interview.