A mammoth dirty trick at the 11th hour

In order to “tighten” this year’s races, the Busheviki are deploying black propaganda to get people not to vote for Democrats: frequent robocalls apparently promoting Democratic candidates. The calls are highly irritating by design, and meant to so infuriate their targets that the latter will decide not to go out and vote.

So where’s the press coverage of this massive dirty trick?

Contact the media, and demand that they deal with this story NOW!


Stef Cannon writes:

It’s happening all over the country – Kansas, New Hampshire, PA, TN

“(November 05, 2006 — 08:23 PM EST)

A bit more info on the robocall scam coming out of New York state. People on the ground seem to be putting the pieces together. A wave of harassing calls paid for by the NRCC targetting probable Democratic voters and uncommitteds with the intent of getting them pissed off at multiple repeat call-backs from what they think is the Dem campaign.

If you’ve gotten the calls, let us know. We want specifics.

— Josh Marshall “


They’re doing this to John Hall big time. I was up volunteering and went to do GOTV calls after a day of canvassing. I had a huge number of hang ups until finally someone told me why… It seems the RNC has actually hired someone to record the message PRETENDING to be John Hall and then they send out this ROBO call targeting Democrats and waivering Republicans, specifically to turn them away from Hall. Once I realized this I alerted the other callers, who were also getting a lot of hang ups and we switched the script and started aplogizing and asking people if they’d had these calls. I had at least 6 people give me details and we put them in touch with the campaign. We expect that Hall will launch a lawsuite tomorrow and a press release. This also needs to get reported upline to the Feds…
It is unconscionable.

Subj: [CVIvoter] Voter suppression: Fake Robo-Calls Across the Country to Voters into Not Voting Democratic
Date: 11/6/2006 12:11:14 AM Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet

“The culprit in this race is the National Republican Congressional Committee, an organization that’s used such scurrilous campaign tactics this season that it has been disavowed in some instances by the candidates it is supporting.”
More GOP Dirty Tricks: Fake Robo-Calls Across the Country
Meant to Annoy Voters into NOT Voting Democratic…

Posted By Brad On 5th November 2006 @ 21:45 In Election Irregularities, Pennsylvania, Election 2006, New York, Connecticut, Dirty Tricks, New Hampshire, Kansas | No Comments

John Aravosis over at AMERICAblog reports [1] the dirty tricks are spreading. Note: The fake robo-calls reported here are distinct from the GOP phone-calls reported here by John Gideon earlier in New Mexico attempting to disinform Hispanic voters that their polling place had changed…
Republican “fake phone call” scandal spreads – now in Philly too
by John in DC – 11/05/2006 09:39:00 PM

This is turning into a big story. [2] They’re doing it across the country – Kansas, NH, and now PA. This is the Republican October Surprise, launched in November. It’s to cheat, pretend that they are Democrats calling voters and then piss the voters off so much that they don’t vote for the Democrats.

That’s called lying and cheating in order to suppress the vote, and it’s illegal. And the Republican party admits they’re doing it.

States in which GOP fake calls are happening so far:

* Philly [3]
* Kansas [4]
* NH [5]
* CT [6]
* NY [7]

Article printed from The BRAD BLOG:

(November 05, 2006 — 05:37 PM EDT)

More from NY-19 on the robo-calls from TPM Reader VO …

I was handing out leaflets for John Hall yesterday at a grocery store. There were two tables, a Democratic one and a Republican one.

When I was handing out palm cards, several people said to me something like, “I WAS going to vote for John Hall, until I got all those phone calls. I got seven or eight, right at dinner time.”

The guy from the Republican table, who was a local district leader– friendly and chatty, actually came over to me and said, “You know, most of those are coming from Sue’s office, but don’t tell anybody.”

I don’t know how high his connections are to the Kelly campaign, but that’s the information he volunteered.

CT (November 05, 2006 — 05:48 PM EDT)

More of the scam calls from the NRCC, from TPM Reader PS …

I was canvassing in Stamford, CT for Lamont and Farrel yesterday… some of the canvassers were talking about a nasty robocall hit on Farrell, which they said people at the doors had talked about. I didn’t hear that at the door personally, but I wasn’t focusing on the congressional race – i was talking about Lamont primarily.

Apparently the call starts with something along the lines of “Diane Farrell has some information for you,” then pauses, waiting for annoyed people to hang up, and then delivers a negative message about Farrell. The canvassers say the call has hit some people as much as 6 times, and at 5 – 6am as well. Presumably, the intent is to annoy people and stick Farrell with the negative name ID as somebody who keeps robo-calling them.

We won’t be able to get to the bottom of this operation until after Tuesday, which is the point. They’ll happily pay the fines for breaking the federal regs on misidentifying calls.

PA Posted on Wed, Nov. 01, 2006
Jill Porter | GOP ‘robocall’ tactics make me sick

BEING SICK in bed, which I was for the past couple of weeks, is bad enough.

But being sick in bed while living in a political combat zone – in this case, the 6th Congressional District – is enough to MAKE YOU WANT TO KILL SOMEBODY.

My God, the phone calls! Just as I’d begin to drift off to sleep, the phone would ring and it would be YET ANOTHER DAMN COMPUTERIZED MESSAGE ABOUT LOIS MURPHY.

One, two, three, four times a day it seemed, the phone rang with “robocalls” about the Democratic challenger to incumbent GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach in one of the nastiest races in the country.

I never listened to one word of it, just slammed the phone down and seethed with resentment.

Now, there’s an effective campaign strategy, I thought: Infuriate the voters so much that they won’t vote.

What part of “Do Not Call” don’t campaign advisers get?

Sure, “political speech” is exempt from FCC regulations prohibiting unwanted phone solicitations. But since most Americans consider unsolicited calls an invasion of privacy, why would any campaign flood voters with prefab rhetoric?

Yes, the tactic is cheap – in many cases, pennies a phone call, compared with the $15 to $30 an hour pols used to have to pay for telemarketers to call the old-fashioned way.

There are dozens of online computerized-call firms available to do the dirty work. And it’s much cheaper in a costly media market such as Philadelphia to use robocalls than to pay for TV ads.

But if they annoy voters rather than enlighten them, what’s the point?

That’s what I asked Lois Murphy’s campaign yesterday.

The answer was simple:

“It’s not us!”

Only three recorded calls have been made on behalf of Murphy’s campaign, including one from Gov. Rendell, which were sponsored by the Democratic State Committee.

The rest? A “dirty trick” by the Republicans, said communications director Amy Bonitatibus.

The calls, which begin by offering “important information about Lois Murphy,” are designed to mislead voters into thinking the m
essage i
s from her.

Most recipients slam down the phone before finding out otherwise – and then call to complain.

“We’ve got a ton of complaints, starting about two weeks ago,” Bonitatibus said.

“Some of our biggest supporters have said, ‘If you call me again, I’m not voting for Lois.’ “

Ah, a great tactic on behalf of Gerlach’s campaign, then?

Not so, said John Gentzel, communications director. “We’ve only done a handful – maybe five – in the last couple of months.”

Gentzel said they use admittedly unpopular robocalls only to respond quickly to misinformation in a political mailer about Gerlach’s voting record.

“This is not us. We’re sorry. We’re not making these calls.”

The culprit in this race is the National Republican Congressional Committee, an organization that’s used such scurrilous campaign tactics this season that it has been disavowed in some instances by the candidates it is supporting.

In the past week alone, FCC records reflect $22,119 for anti-Murphy phone-bank expenses, said NRCC spokesman Ed Petru.

If the robocalls cost a dime, which is a high estimate, that would be 220,000 calls right there.

Allegra Dengler

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