"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, November 06, 2006

More on Rove's LAST Dirty Trick--Robocalls

From Kuff's World:

There's a lot of this going on around the country right now.

The call begins with a recorded voice in a positive upbeat tone: "Hello I'm calling with information about Paul Hodes..."

Robocall, you think, and hang up promptly. You're already going to vote for Hodes, right? But an hour later, you get called again:

"Hello I'm calling with information about Paul Hodes..."

OK, the computer had a malfunction or something. You hang up again. But the calls continue. You get increasingly agitated about this Hodes campaign, calling you repeatedly with these calls day and night. What kind of campaign harrasses people like this? Your neighbor is on the Do Not Call list, and she is receiving these calls as well.

Why, for God's sake, is the Hodes campaign doing this?

The answer is that they are not. The calls are from the Republicans.

That's from New Hampshire. The point of the campaign is to make you not want to vote for the person that you think is making the calls. And there's a lot of it going around, with the common link being the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

For example, in Philadelphia:

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?


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 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.

1 comment:

  1. John Marshall and Crooks and Liars have been covering this pretty thoroughly as well, and as a result it's getting some media attention, at least on ABC and CNN.