The process of parsing Bobby Petrino's phone records continues, and another interesting number has popped up on our radar. In fits and starts, Petrino exchanged nearly two hundred text and picture messages with a Little Rock cell phone registered to one Alison Melder, whose LinkedIn profile lists her as a senate assistant with the Republican Party of Arkansas.
Melder, 26, graduated from Arkansas-Little Rock with a degree in political science and has worked with the Young Republicans as well as the state GOP; she also worked on Jim Keet's gubernatorial campaign in 2010. (On Twitter, her bio reads "Go Lakers, Go Hogs, and Go GOP.) [Update, 4:10 p.m.: Melder has been scrubbed from the Arkansas Young Republicans' website. Here's before, and here's after.] But her political work is hardly the first thing that comes up when you search for her name: she did a spot of modeling, at least a few years back. One modeling profile she created four years ago contains a portfolio of bikini and lingerie images, and she seems to be a favorite of The Dirty. She also lists herself as winner of the 2008 Miss Bikini USA and Miss Motorcycle Mania competitions.
Melder's phone number is now disconnected, but in September, October, and November, she and Petrino exchanged at least 200 messages (we're still counting), at all hours of the day. There were no phone calls. The messages begin appearing on Sept. 12, the first day for which phone records are available. They continue until Nov. 6.
There were seven picture messages sent, all from Melder to Petrino.
It's not clear what Melder's connection to Petrino is. His voter registration shows he's not officially affiliated with any party, and there's no record of any campaign contributions. We've reached out to Melder and we'll update if we hear back.