They Appeared Like Democratic Activists. They Have been Secretly Conservative Spies.


They also targeted the administration of Republican Governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon, whom far-right Conservatives deemed far too moderate and whose candidacy Ms. Gore had turned down in 2018 House, for his openness to the liberalization of marijuana laws – a position that Mrs. Gore resolutely refuses.

With her Democratic cover identity, Ms. LaRocca got a job with a consortium of wealthy liberal donors in Wyoming – the Wyoming Investor Network or WIN – that had decided to support some moderate Republicans. The job gave her access to valuable information.

“Getting the WIN stuff is really harmful,” said Chris Bell, who worked as a policy advisor for the consortium. ‚ÄúThat’s the whole strategy. Where the money is going. What we do in the long term. “

Mr. Seddon, Mr. Maier and Ms. LaRocca did not respond to requests for comments on the operation or the campaign contributions. Cassie Craven, an attorney for Ms. Gore, also did not respond to emails or voicemail asking for comments about the operation, nor did Ms. Gore herself.

When the Times reached out to political activists and politicians who had met Mr. Maier and Ms. LaRocca to brief them on the couple’s true agenda, some said the news confirmed their own suspicions that the couple may not be on the same level was. Others were stunned and said they regret any contribution they have made in gaining access to political circles in the West.

George Durazzo Jr., a Colorado businessman and fundraiser who persuaded Mr. Maier and Ms. LaRocca to donate large amounts and guided them around Las Vegas ahead of the debate, said he was both angry and embarrassed. He had planned to take her to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee before the pandemic turned her into a virtual event.

“If it’s really Benedict Arnold and Mata Hari,” he said, “I was the one who was fooled.”