Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate Russ Feingold's campaign said it was the subject of an attempted infiltration by a conservative activist.
The campaign said the activist claimed to be a Democrat wanting to volunteer, but a regular staffer recognized her as a member of the College Republicans at the University of Minnesota.
The woman identified herself as Allison Moss and volunteered to help the campaign on Tuesday, the campaign said. The next day, the campaign began pressing her on her background. Moss reportedly denied being a College Republican to the Feingold campaign when questioned.
"I'm not going to be answering any questions, so if you want me to leave, I'll leave. If you want me to stay, I'll stay," she told the campaign staff, according to an audio recording the campaign provided to reporters. The woman was then told to leave and she complied.
The Huffington Post identified the would-be volunteer Wednesday as Allison Maass, a former reporter for Campus Reform, a project of the conservative Leadership Institute. That was apparently based on the campaign staffer recognizing her. The Washington Examiner was not able to independently verify her identity.
In a statement to the Examiner, Campus Reform's editor-in-chief, Sterling Beard, said he had no knowledge of the incident and that Maass had left the publication's staff after she graduated college. He has not talked to her since, he said.
"Campus Reform had no involvement in her apparent attempt to infiltrate the campaign of former Sen. Russ Feingold. In fact, Campus Reform has not had any contact with Ms. Maass since her graduation," he said. Beard added that only current students are employed as writers. "As soon as Ms. Maass graduated, her involvement with the program ended."
The Feingold campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Feingold is running to avenge his 2010 loss of his Senate seat to Republican Sen. Ron Johnson. Most polls show Feingold has a double-digit lead.