Early online moves of a campaign are important tea leaves worth reading. When the National Republican Senatorial Committee reserved web domains for Jane Norton it began the narrative that ultimately did her campaign in — that she was the establishment Republicans’ choice.

For Brandon Shaffer it looks like some outside operatives are running around setting up his web infrastructure, despite the deafening silence coming from Shaffer himself on his recent botched campaign announcement. While Shaffer refuses to return the media's calls or be honest with the public about what everyone already knows, he's running for Congress, outside interests are ramping up his online campaign quickly, and as of this article, no longer so quietly. This comes after we reported yesterday that outside operatives are already attacking Gardner on Shaffer’s behalf, continuing the theme of Shaffer not having the guts to say or do openly what is being done privately on his behalf.

We first knew something was up when Shaffer unfriended the Peak on Facebook and blocked us from following him on Twitter.

But even more damning is the Peak’s recent discovery that the domain ShafferForColorado.com was purchased anonymously on May 9th. Now we’re no private investigators here at the Peak, but in all likelihood this domain was reserved by one of Shaffer’s union operatives (ahem Tyler Chafee, we’re looking at you). Interestingly, Cory Gardner is the public owner of his campaign website, corygardner.com. While this might seem like a relatively minor difference, it speaks to larger themes of openness and transparency. Clearly, Shaffer has something to hide.

Further evidence that Shaffer is quietly ramping up can be found on Facebook. On May 6 a “Draft Brandon Shaffer” Facebook page popped up, attempting to create the appearance of a grassroots swell of support for Shaffer’s 4th CD bid. So far, a whopping 7 people “like” the idea. Suffice it to say that more people “like” Kelly Maher’s dog on Facebook. The truth behind these draft so-and-so movements is that they virtually ALWAYS originate from the candidate.

Shaffer's Senate website has also undergone some drastic changes in recent weeks. All of the sudden, Youtube videos appeared on his main page from three Republican State Senate leaders giving him perfunctory praise from the floor of the Legislature. Of course they were just being polite. Compare the polite praise being offered on Shaffer's site to this clip of Senator Cadman from WhoSaidYouSaid about Shaffer's real behavior in the Senate:

Bit different than the games Shaffer’s operatives are playing for him on his site, eh?

What we want to know is why Shaffer’s shady operatives are putting in place everything for his run, while Shaffer refuses to speak publicly. Shouldn’t the press push him to be honest publicly about what he is doing privately?