The GOP’s dirty deeds of 2006
Salon’s guide to robo-calls, push polls, vigilantes and other murky dealings from this year’s elections.

By Alex Koppelman and Lauren Shell

Nov. 21, 2006 | Before the 2006 midterm election, you couldn’t escape the predictions of Election Day disaster: voting machine meltdowns, interminable lines, endless recounts. But the control of both houses of Congress was decided without interference from Diebold or hanging chads, so few (outside of Florida’s 13th Congressional District) are suffering flashbacks of 2000 and 2004.

But while this year might not have included any repeats of Palm Beach County or Ohio, that doesn’t mean the midterm elections were squeaky clean. This November there were some old-school dirty tricks that had nothing to do with voting machines or secretaries of state. An unscientific sample seems to show that most were the product of a party that was desperate for something, anything, that would help it protect its doomed congressional majorities. The bulk of this year’s murky dealings took place in those tightly contested races — from the battle for Virginia’s Senate seat to House races in Illinois, New York and Connecticut — that were crucial to control of Congress.

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