Usually when a party descends into hackish dirty tricks they make a minimal effort to hide their responsibility. Trials and investigative reporting eventually bring out the truth, but by then who cares? The vote is done.
Surprising maybe one person who never leaves RedState, the GOP has kicked off a massive campaign of automated calls meant to deceive voters into thinking that they come from the Democratic candidate. Everybody hates robocalls and the calls come in repeatedly during dinner or early hours in the morning and they often take several minutes to get the the part where you find out that the thing was paid for by the RNC. Voters who get these decide, understandably to stay home. Josh Marshall has the full story.
The GOP doesn’t care if you know. They don’t care that local GOP candidates think the tactic is disgusting. The calls are going out everywhere (NH, PA, KS, CT, NY, IL, more from the AP)and it violates significant campaign laws, which means that the FEC will eventually level some truly impressive fines. As if the GOP cared about that.
If you live in a contested district the odds are fairly good that you have more information than I do. When you get a call, do this:
* Record the call, making sure that you get the end where the RNC announces its sponsorship.
* Record the phone number.
* Make sure that Metro desks at your local newspaper, TV stations and radio stations hear about it. If you know anybody who has also received the calls, have them call in as well.
* Contact Josh Marshall with the details and the phone number, especially if you live in a state not listed above.
* Tell EVERYBODY you know. The only thing that will kill this is word of mouth. In fact, outrage about this behavior (interrupting people repeatedly during dinner, waking them up repeatedly at ridiculous hours) should spark a major backlash. But that will only happen if people know about it, so start calling around now.
Again, if you know anybody who woke up at 3 AM to take an irritating automated phone call make sure he or she knows that the call came straight from Ken Mehlman at the RNC. Let’s help revolting behavior get the reward it deserves.
We now know that the bogus robocalls are a single coordinated campaign targeting fifteen races: CA-04, CA-50, CT-04, CT-05, FL-13, ID-01, IL-06, IL-08, KS-02, NC-11, NH-02, NY-19, PA-06, WA-05. If you know of any more please leave the information in the comments.
Kelleher did what any right-thinking person who was being driven half out of their minds by unsolicited phone calls would do. She called Farrell’s headquarters in Westport to ask them to stop.
The person who answered the phone said the calls weren’t coming from Farrell headquarters. A Farrell aide later told us they launched their first robo call Wednesday featuring Paul Newman saying all nice stuff about his old friend.
Farrell’s headquarters referred Kelleher to the opposition, the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) in Washington, D.C., (202 479-7000, in case you want to call), where a spokesman said they were responsible for many of the calls.
“I called the number they gave me, but when I asked if they could take me off the call list they just laughed at me,” Kelleher said.
The Economist‘s new blog equates Google bombing with saturation robocalling. The false equivalence fallacy strikes again.