Josh Marshall explains the scam.
Keith Olbermann comments.
The Washington Post:
This year’s heavy volume of automated political phone calls has infuriated countless voters and triggered sharp complaints from Democrats, who say the Republican Party has crossed the line in bombarding households with recorded attacks on candidates in tight House races nationwide.
Some voters, sick of interrupted dinners and evenings, say they will punish the offending parties by opposing them in today’s elections. But critics say Republicans crafted the messages to delude voters — especially those who hang up quickly — into thinking that Democrats placed the calls.
[…] An Ohio woman, who did not leave her name, called The Washington Post in tears yesterday, saying she could not keep her phone line open to hospice workers caring for her terminally ill mother because of nonstop political robo-calls.
Pamela Lorenz, a retired nurse in Roseville, Calif., called her own experience “harassment as far as I’m concerned” and said, “If I were voting right now, the opponent who’s doing this, he’d be off my list for throwing that much trash.”
Hour after hour and day after day for two weeks, Lorenz’s home has received the same NRCC recorded message attacking Charlie Brown, the Democrat who is challenging Rep. John T. Doolittle (R) in a hard-fought battle in northeastern California. “It is a recorder calling,” Lorenz said. “I can’t call it back to get them to stop.”
WSYR in New York.
The New York Times:
[T]he repeat calls to the same homes have set off a new furor over campaign tactics, with the Democrats claiming the calls violate federal communications rules and are tantamount to harassment. [Lois] Murphy and other Democrats say they have been flooded with complaints from irritated voters who think that the calls are coming from the candidates themselves. Many of the voters had hung up before the message was over, and never heard that it was produced by the Republican Party. […] The Democrats say that a few calls have been made in the early morning or middle of night, and that some voters received several calls minutes apart. Republican officials said that would have happened only if there was a computer glitch.
Others, like Ms. Hollis, the Villanova professor, say they have filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission. Its rules on automated calls require that callers state their identity at the beginning of the message. These calls end with a disclaimer that they were paid for by the Republican committee; no identification is made at the start of the message.
Pundits – especially FOX’s Colmes-lite Juan Williams (ask me how he lost his NPR show) – won’t go near the issue. Sadly the only person who Diane Rehm could get to answer a question directly was Yochi Dreazen of the Wall Street Journal.
Judge for yourself.