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Republican Robocall Pretexting Campaign 674

WCityMike writes, "In 53 Congressional campaigns across the country, including the Pennsylvania 6th, the Connecticut 4th, the North Carolina 11th, the New Hampshire 2nd, and the Illinois 6th and 8th (and possibly all races), the National Republican Congressional Committee is conducting a $2.1 million campaign to make it appear as if Democrats are spamming callers with telemarketing calls. The NRCC hired Conquest Communications Group to conduct a massive nationwide robocalling campaign with calls specifically scripted to appear as if they're coming from the Democratic candidate — in violation of FCC regulations on such 'robocalls,' which requires the identity of the caller to be stated at the beginning of the message [47 CFR 64.1200(b)(1)]. The call begins with 'Hello. I'm calling with information about,' and then says the name of the Democratic candidate. There is then a pause; if the recipient hangs up here, they will receive repeated calls back with the same message, potentially up to 18 times or more (according to one callee). If the callee doesn't hang up, they hear a smear message from the machine about the Democratic candidate. The NRCC thinks the legality of the calls is, conveniently, a 'complicated legal question that's not going to get adjudicated this weekend.'" Update 20:47 GMT by SM: Thankfully we all learned how to deal with these folks last week.
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Republican Robocall Pretexting Campaign

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  • "smear message"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Russ Nelson ( 33911 ) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:48PM (#16740751) Homepage
    Actually, since most people don't vote for the candidate they want, but instead vote against the one they like the least, negative advertising (including "smear messages") is the most useful information to have.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I've actually noticed the exact opposite here. People can talk trash all they like about another candidate, but if you don't sell a platform, you aren't giving the people anything to vote for. Smear tactics like that are going to be the downfall of any candidate who chooses to use them.
      • by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:23PM (#16741645) Journal
        There's a balance between the two. An all-smear campaign alienates voters; I personally believe that John Kerry lost 2004 because he was perceived as having a campaign that primarily said "we're not Bush." Most voters I talked to said they wouldn't vote for Kery because they had no idea what he really stood for. He campaigns against his opponents rather than for himself; recent events support that.

        That said, never going after your opponent won't do a lot for you either. In northeast Texas there's a state race that's caught my interest. Chuck Hopson, the Dem incumbent, has from the start been in a heavy smear campaign against his Republican rival. His rival (Durrett, I think) has responded largely by addressing the issues, with only a handful of attacks on Hopson (all of which that I've seen were based on Hopson's own voting record conflicting--or seeming to--with his campaign messages).

        Given the recent stunts pulled by both sides in the races, Durrett's style has earned my respect.

        On the subject of the article, I keep getting messages from Bill Clinton telling me how great the Dem candidate for governor is. I'm pretty sure he's not a Republican scheme, and I've deleted the same message four times so far. The Dems don't need any help on annoying voters :)
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:53PM (#16740879)
      negative advertising (including "smear messages") is the most useful information to have.

      You would not believe how difficult it is to effectively judge a candidate unless you hear them speak live. I spent quite a bit of time perusing newspapers, candidate websites, and Google trying to find information to base my determinations for voting this election.

      I am getting so much negative campaigning but not enough real facts from the candidates themselves. I really wish that someone would stop the fucking smear campaigns and instead clearly list what they intend to do. If they ran before, I want someone (obviously the campaigns website won't) to list exactly what they said they were going to do and exactly what they did do so I can compare.

      If this information is easily accessible in the State of Minnesota, please let me know where it is. My current vote is based on what I have gleamed from the newspapers and the campaign websites. Bleh.

      I suppose my methodology is better than my co-workers who are "voting Union line" or someone who is "voting Party line."
      • Voter Information (Score:4, Informative)

        by emil10001 ( 985596 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:25PM (#16741685)
        You can try this website:

        http://www.vote-smart.org/ [vote-smart.org]

        I'm in Mass, and I think they do a decent job with handling the information. For those who are in a voting office, you can see their records. Another really helpful thing is to check the NPAT (National Political Awareness Test) results, if available. Being the day before the election, the site seems to be running a bit slow, so be patient. Hope the site is helpful. (I am not affilated with vote-smart.org in any way)
      • by Russ Nelson ( 33911 ) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:45PM (#16742237) Homepage
        I really wish that someone would clearly list what they intend to do.

        It's not in their interest to do that, because they'll lose the votes of everyone who hates that. They want to be as ambiguous as possible so that nobody can find a reason to vote against them.

    • by StressGuy ( 472374 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:57PM (#16741007)
      I believe that Republicans vote Republican and Democrats vote Democrat....the campaign managers know this and they have a pretty good idea of how many of each demographic they have to work with. So, their job isn't to try and convince you who to vote for, you've already decided that. Their job is to get you into the polls so you can actually cast that vote.

      Somewhere along the line, they decided that the best motivator was to get you pissed off enough at the other guy that you would make the time to get into the polls.

      Unfortunately, this has caused campaigns to go from "vote for me because" to "don't vote for the other guy because".

      It just seems to get worse with time.
      • Quite the opposite.

        The purpose of negative campaigning is to discourage supporters of the opposing candidate from voting. Paint the person you have to vote for as so completely unlikable that it'd turn your stomach to walk into the voting booth to do your duty.

        Horrible, isn't it?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by toadlife ( 301863 )
        I think attack ads simply cater to that "49%" - that being the people that are of below average intelligence. I don't know about others, but I don't pay much attention to smear ads. I realize that if a candidate votes against a bill that would have funded health care for poor kids, it doesn't necessarily mean that candidate wants poor kids to die; It most likely means that the bill had a bunch of other non-related bullshit attached to it that would have wasted my money, or simply didn't belong in the bill
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Russ Nelson ( 33911 )
        I believe that Republicans vote Republican and Democrats vote Democrat

        Right. Those voters are not up for grabs. It's everyone else.

        the best motivator was to get you pissed off enough at the other guy that you would make the time to get into the polls.

        Exactly. "Vote for the R (or D) because otherwise that slimy bastard will get elected." That's the problem with two-party elections.
    • This story is amusing because Republicans are claiming the same thing about Democrats. In fact, a caller on Rush Limbaugh's show today described a call she received at 3 in the morning from someone claiming to be a Republican, and that others are also receiving calls specifically from 10 to 3 at night, the theory being that pranksters are trying to anger voters.
  • by StressGuy ( 472374 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:51PM (#16740831)
    Oddly enough, I've been getting a bunch of calls supporting our incumbant Republican senator....so many were coming in that I was wondering if it was actually a ploy from the Democrates to get me annoyed and blame the Republicans. However, the only smearing was against the Democrats. Still, what possible marketing model says that the way to get votes is to repeatedly harass potential voters by phone?.

    The phrase "out of touch" comes to mind....BTW - I'm a registered independant, and thinking of going Libertarian.
    • by Otter ( 3800 )
      ...so many were coming in that I was wondering if it was actually a ploy from the Democrates to get me annoyed and blame the Republicans. However, the only smearing was against the Democrats.

      That's why this conspiracy theory makes no sense -- you get (supposedly, according to some guy) 17 calls that you think are from the candidate so you want to vote against him and then the 18th has a "smear" about him -- and then you still vote against him, despite the fact that you were going to vote against him becaus

    • I don't think you get it. Republicans don't use the name of their own candidate. They act like the "message" is from the Democrat's campaign. Sure, by the end, you'll figure out it's a smear, but the vast majority of people don't wait until the end. They just hang up when they hear "I'm calling with information about Dan Maffei" and blame their annoyance on the innocent Dan Maffei - for example, but this seems to be going on in all the competitive districts. I know Dan's webmaster and she's received many me
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Angostura ( 703910 )
        Having listened to a recording (as a British, Leftie, Bush-disliker) I really don't think that there is any clear pretence at the message being from the democrats, really. I'd like to believe, I really would, and I suppose there might be some people who hang up before getting the message, but I don't think the message was deliberately engineered to be that way.
    • by dodongo ( 412749 )

      Still, what possible marketing model says that the way to get votes is to repeatedly harass potential voters by phone?.

      Bzzzt! The tactic isn't being used to *get* votes, it's being used to harass / annoy voters for the other party's candidate so much that those voters stay home. Mathematically, it's generally just as good to have your voters turn out as it is to have the other party stay home. Republicans aren't motivating anyone to go to the polls tomorrow, so they're going to plan B: Try and get as man

  • If you tell a telemarketing firm not to call you, are they required to honor your request?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SaturnTim ( 445813 )

      You would think... but the politicians who wrote the law remembered to put in a clause allowing politicians to continue to call you. Nice of them, wasn't it?

      • by krell ( 896769 )
        No, I wasn't talking about the politician. I meant the actual telemarketing firm.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Yes. The "Do-not-call" list doesn't apply to political calls, but if you tell them not to call, they better not call.
  • Nice! (Score:3, Funny)

    by novus ordo ( 843883 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:53PM (#16740883) Journal
    Then when they get elected they will halt all investigations into the matter since they will be in control. Genious! Pure Genious!
    • Yeah, the only way to effectively deal with the situation is to act before the elections. The penalties for broken laws will end up costing the NRCC a great deal of money, but they won't care once they've won and still have the power to prevent too harsh of penalties. To combat what they are doing, the only way to be successful is to get the word out that it is happening now, like today and tomorrow, through the national and local media.

      Also, I submitted a similar blog entry [slashdot.org] as this was being posted. Of par
  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:53PM (#16740891) Journal
    a 'complicated legal question that's not going to get adjudicated this weekend.'

    They're right. It won't get adjudicated this weekend.

    However, just like their phone-jamming shenanigans in New Hampshire, it will get adjudicated against their corrupt asses [washingtonpost.com].

    So let them have their fun. This kind of crap is exactly why this Republican will be voting against every Republican on tomorrow's ballot.

    Funn how my party continues to call the Democratic party one of traitors when it's my party which is undermining democratic principles.

    • by electroniceric ( 468976 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:35PM (#16741943)
      I have a strange request, coming from a lifelong Democrat. I have no idea if you're ideologically committed to the right, but if you are, consider runing for office sometime in the future - as a Republican. I really believe our system works best when there are two parties with honest differences of opinion, that practice their differences more or less honestly (yes, politics is a dirty business, but things have really gotten out of hand). So if you can play your part in deliver our nation back to good old open debate about what the government should or shouldn't do here or abroad, we'll all be better off for it.
  • by Ossifer ( 703813 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:54PM (#16740907)
    "If you vote Republican, are you guilty of their crimes?"
    • If you vote Democratic, are you guilty of their sins?

      If you vote "Other", are you guiltless and sinless?

      Inquiring minds want to know...
  • What'd you expect? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rjung2k ( 576317 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:54PM (#16740937) Homepage
    It's the Republicans. Is anyone actually surprised?
    • Despite the loud headline, the article actually goes on to detail several candidates- both Republican and Democrat- that have been victims of these calls. I am wondering why the article is trying so hard to make this out to be an exclusively Republican tactic when it is clearly a universal problem.
  • Anyone who has been following spam efforts will have encountered the phrase "Joe Job [wikipedia.org]." It refers to a spam campaign engineered to look like someone else is sending it, for the express purpose of damaging the victim's reputation.

    As an example, someone might send out a spam campaign claiming to be Slashdot and encouraging pirates, hackers (banking on the public perception of "hacker"), and pornographers to drop by. Result: People see the spam, think that Slashdot is a haven for pirates, hackers and pornograp
  • The system is broken (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The election system in the USA is broken. Small electoral districts and first-past-the-post results in a two-party hegemony. This could be fixed by enlarging electoral districts to whole states and then allocating all
    the congressional seats of a state using the proportional Jefferson Method (equivalent to the D'Hondt Method).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D'Hondt_method [wikipedia.org]

    This would result in viable third parties and real choice. Voting for small parties at the federal level before the system is fixed is futile.
  • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:56PM (#16740999)
    I'm good friends with Dan Maffei's [maffeiforcongress.com] webmaster, and she's been receiving complaints about these for about a week. Dan is the sort of candidate that wants to focus on the issues, but maybe if we had screamed louder about this, we could have prevented more of this outrage. The calls begin with "I'm calling with information about Dan Maffei." Then there is a long pause. If you hang up at that point, you will be called back, and the whole time you'll think it's Dan himself who's pestering you with the calls. We've had several people who tell us they meant to vote for Dan, but won't after the harassing robo-calls, which they blame on him.

    Does anyone have an idea what we can do about this, one day before the election?

    • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:04PM (#16741177) Journal
      Go on the media and local news channels. This will piss enough voters off that they may vote for your candidate instead. Its worth a shot and mention you may sue them. Doing so will make the media frenzy around your candidate to get more airtime.
    • Anything that gets the word out widely that this is going on, and pretends to be who it isn't, might be worth a try. Can you get the opposing candidate riled enough to deny it in public?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dodongo ( 412749 )
      As far as widespread impact... Eh. If you have a blog, post on it. If you have some friends you think might be influenced by this, send them relevant snippets of the article(s) you find, *with a personal summary at the top* so they know it's not just BS you're forwarding.

      And don't forget to vote, and encourage your friends to vote, against the motherfuckers who're doing this.

      (Posted w/o karma bonus because even I think this is kinda trollish, but seriously, people... If *any* party pulls shit like this
    • While I agree that the calls are annoying - I disagree with the the summary's and your conclusion that the wording of the call is specificly designed to make the listener think that the Democratic candidate is harrassing them. The calls begin with : "I'm calling with information about [democratic candidate]." Peronally, I would also hang up here - but I certainly wouldn't make any assumption at this point as to whether or not the call supports or attack that Democratic candidate. The Republicans deserve
  • Google it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Beuno ( 740018 ) <argentina@@@gmail...com> on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:59PM (#16741067) Homepage
    Google cache always comes in handy:
    Conquest Communications Group stands ready to help with any project you may have. To find out more, please provide us with the following information or call us at 804-358-0560. ww.conquestgroup.com/ContactUs/Contact.cfm+site:ht tp://www.conquestgroup.com/&hl=en&gl=ar&ct=clnk&cd =20&client=firefox-a []
  • by DnemoniX ( 31461 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @04:59PM (#16741079)
    Ok before I get flamed for my subject, I'm a Republican, not a NeoCon, I am very moderate by anyones standards.

    Here is a little story about a local Republican race here in Minnesota. It is just before the primary, there is a heated race between two individuals for the Rep. Senate nomination. A flier is sent out smearing one candidate, he previously was accused of physically assaulting his daughter, a charge he was later found not guilty of by jury. The flier contained so many false statements it was crazy, to top it off the people who wrote the flier included a graphical logo to make it look like it was sent by our Sheriff's Dept. Unfortunately I was the person who designed that logo for our website. I am the system administrator for that County. Long story short, through my web logs it was discovered that the authors of the flier were members of his own party on the State level. Apparently they felt that the previous accusations against him would be a problem down the line. So they pulled their dirty tricks on one of their own. The best part is that he won the primary. But once again his party stepped in and told him to step aside. He refused and they withheld all party support for his campaign. Just another case of a party that is struggling with scandal doing anything to hold on and keep from falling out of power.
  • Our phone is ringing off the hook with calls from the Democratic Party. We're not in the 8th Congressional district (big race there), but we do have a big gubernatorial race all over the state.
    • I should add, we're only 8 miles south of WI-08, so it's possible they're doing this by phone exchanges, and our exchange is partially in the 8th.

      Haven't listened to any of the messages, but I will the next time they call.
    • Same here.

      I've been attributing it to living in the leftist echo chamber of Madison, though.
  • by trevdak ( 797540 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:00PM (#16741101) Homepage
    I really don't want to be part of a flame war (I like my karma where it is right now), but it really seems to me that republicans pull this crap off a lot more than democrats. Thinks like the "democrats vote on wednesdays" campaigns, or "[legal] immigrants will be arrested if they come to the polls", or men dressed as leather lingerie-clad homosexuals with signs saying "Vote Democrat so I can adopt" seem to be everywhere. Does anyone have any examples of this happening against republicans? I'll gladly retract my statement if I can see a couple Democrat-sanctioned examples somewhere. I'm aware that I'm a democrat and therefore have selective exposure, but I'm trying to keep an open mind.

    It's so morally corrupt that I find it hard to believe that half the country is in the same party as these people. I know that half the country isn't morally corrupt, yet they allow (and often support) this sort of thing.
    • "[legal] immigrants will be arrested if they come to the polls"

      Ummm... unless those immigrants are U.S. citizens they aren't allowed to vote. They probably won't be arrested, but they shouldn't be there anyway, legal or illegal.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rjung2k ( 576317 )
        The letter in question was (falsely) claiming that only US-born citizens were allowed to vote, and that naturalized citizens who voted would be committing a felony.
      • by Onan ( 25162 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:37PM (#16742009)

        He's referring to the fraudulent letters [latimes.com] distributed by Republican congressional candidate Tan Nguyen.

        The letters were sent to 14,000 registered voters, and claimed (completely falsely) that naturalized citizens are not only ineligible to vote, but would be jailed or deported if they showed up at the polls. They were printed in letterhead that looked deceptively like that of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, and were signed by the completely fictional "Sergio Ramirez".

        So I'm afraid that you're mistaken; these were naturalized citizens, registered voters, and the tactic was specifically designed to deceive them into forgoing their right to vote.

    • by ocbwilg ( 259828 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @06:01PM (#16742607)
      I really don't want to be part of a flame war (I like my karma where it is right now), but it really seems to me that republicans pull this crap off a lot more than democrats. Thinks like the "democrats vote on wednesdays" campaigns, or "[legal] immigrants will be arrested if they come to the polls", or men dressed as leather lingerie-clad homosexuals with signs saying "Vote Democrat so I can adopt" seem to be everywhere. Does anyone have any examples of this happening against republicans? I'll gladly retract my statement if I can see a couple Democrat-sanctioned examples somewhere. I'm aware that I'm a democrat and therefore have selective exposure, but I'm trying to keep an open mind.

      You are correct, this typically is something done by the Republicans and not the Democrats. Sure, if you dig deep enough, you can find the story about a couple of Democratic supporters slashing the tires on the Republican parties "get out the vote" mobiles the night before the election, but such incidents are extremely few and far between, and I have yet to see one that was orchestrated on the party rather than individual level.

      On the other hand, the Republican party thinks systematically, and when they find something that works they try to milk it in all of their campaigns. Hence the multiple sightings of lether-clad men in lingerie, the robo-calls, the fliers, the push polls, the recent NAMBLA-related smears showing up in close races all across the country (always raised, of course, by the Republicans). In the 2004 election is was church ministers talking about how Kerry (a Catholic) wanted to ban the bible, or mysterious robo-calls claiming to be from the Kerry campaign reminding people that "A vote for John Kerry is a vote for gay marriage," (even though Kerry had never taken a pro-gay marriage stance in his career).

      I think, what it comes down to (I'm about to open myself for being flamed senseless), is that the party leadership in the Republican and Democratic parties have very different philosophies of what it means to run an election. Now, I'm speaking in generalities here, as there are some Republicans who I am rather fond of, and some Democrats that I intensely dislike. But in general, it seems that the Democrats have a philosophy more true to what has been enshrined in the constitution, and an overall sense of fairness. They seem to believe that all citizens have the right to vote, and have their vote counted, and have their voice heard no matter what their opinion is. They seem to want (generally) to allow the truth to speak for itself, and to get elected on the issues.

      No doubt that there are many Republicans who feel the same way, but the party leadership (the Ken Mehlman and the Karl Rove types) either don't see or don't care about the importance of voting. They don't see it as a sacred right or responsibility. They see it as a means to an end, and that end is the Republicans getting and holding onto power. They (and again I'm referring to the party leadership and those that enable them, not necessarily the rank and file) believe that they are at war with the Democrats, and that any action that they can take that will result in their accruing more power is justified. They don't care how immoral or unethical it is, or even how illegal it is. They simply do whatever they can to win and then (if they get caught) pay the fines/do the time, though the punishment hardly matters if they had already achieved their goal. What's $5 million dollars in fines to the richest political party in the country, if it means that they can keep control of Congress or the White House? They can make that money back in a heartbeat by awarding no-bid contracts to the companies that are their staunchest supporters. The Republican leadership has come to terms with the notion of "acceptable losses" and "collateral damage" during the campaign, and unfortunately those losses include ethics and morals.

      Now, I live in Ohio, and I'm sure that you've heard a lot about what sort of t
      • There's a damn good reason for that.

        There have been studies done, and on 'important' political issues, about 3/4th of all people agree. Seriously. That's a frickin supermajority. I'm talking stuff about abortion and gay marriage and teaching evolution in school and all the stuff the Republicans like to make issues about.

        And, when you look at what these positions are, they are slightly to the right of where the Democratic party stands. If you were to draw a scale on every issue from 0 to 100 between the far right and the far left, and put the Democrats at 75 and the Republicans at 25, almost 70% of people over 18 are somewhere between 60 to 70 on that issue.

        Probably another 15% is spread between 60 and 15, and 5% between 70 and 85, with the remaining 10% making up both edges. (Aka, the 'far' right and left.)

        Another way of looking at this would be to draw a bell curve, and put the Democrats almost right in the middle, and Republicans way over in the 15 percentile.

        However, I have to point out, in this country, only 1/4th the people vote. People who outside the system, the 10% on the ends, almost always vote. But they cancel each other out, mostly, or vote for third parties.

        So, we're left with 15% of the sane people. And, statistically, most of them would vote Democratic. It's a very fine line the Republicans have to walk. Punching the right button with the churchgoers are one way to do it, demonizing their opponants, trying to portray them as 85ers instead of 70ers, in hopes of catching the 60ers.

        Randomly selecting, say, 10% of the unregistered voters in this country, making them spend a week listening to the issues, and then making them vote, would be a total disaster for the Republicans.

  • I'm getting these calls several times a day (California 4th) and I'm getting tired of them. At first I found it amusing to hear the outrageous things they would say about the Democrat. According to the calls, he would raise taxes, give welfare to immigrants, and rape our mothers and sisters (well... the rape part was only implied).

    I guess it is a measure of the desperation of the Republicans that they are making these calls. I can't believe anyone would believe the outlandish claims but I guess they are

  • by ip_freely_2000 ( 577249 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:01PM (#16741135)

    The RNCC must have lost it's freaking mind.

    Between this, electronic voting, the whole WMD/invade Iraq decision and the Mexican border issue, half of you still vote Republican?

    Not that the Dems are much better, but when are people going to start pushing back on the government?

    America used to be admired. Now, I just pity you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JhohannaVH ( 790228 )
      Remember, it's not 50% of American Citizens, it is but 1/2 of the percentage that leaves their television shows and actually VOTES: In 2004, a major Presidential Election, only 64% of Americans voted. [census.gov] Now, let's try comparing apples to apples here, and take it back to 2002, the last midterm election: 46% of Americans voted. [census.gov] I think that's more along the lines of what we will see tomorrow.

      So, yeah... anyone who doesn't give a shit, doesn't vote, but they sure can BITCH! Just remember... if you don't
  • Not new (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kelz ( 611260 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:04PM (#16741195)
    Over the past three months the republican incumbant (under investigation by the FBI/DoJ for taking a $30000 vacation given to him by foreign lobbying groups) has been robocalling everyone in the county and some outside the county with calls that are basically designed to make you hang up the second you hear their tagline, "This call is about supporting Charlie Brown" (yes that is the democrat candidate's real name :P). Charlie's campaign doesn't have robocallers, but the actual campaign workers who call were rather surprised to hear from people that they got a robocall three minutes ago claiming it to be from their campaign.

    Its rather a shame that the local republican controlled newspaper made no mention of this in their so-called "bad campaigning expose".
  • by NatteringNabob ( 829042 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:05PM (#16741205)
    Afterall, you are talking about a political party that is down with torture, coerced confessions, extended imprisonment without charges and without access to counsel, and warrantless searches. After all that, we are supposed to get outraged about a violation of FCC regs?
  • A job for RoboGOP!

    ok that was bad.
  • Calling All Voters (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:21PM (#16741603) Homepage Journal
    Here's a column published in Philly by someone thinking Democrats were harassing her [philly.com] with robocalls. Even though they sensibly asked why Democrats would do such a thing when it would turn voters off, they thought it was the Democratic candidate. Pretty typical reaction.

    Their untypical reaction was to call the Democrat's office demanding an explanation. Which turned out to be "it's a Republican dirty trick". But how many people will find out before voting? And how many people will believe it's not Democrats lying to blame Republicans, when they already believe Democrats have been harassing them with robocalls?

    Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, Republicans have followed up their 2002 phonejamming [wikipedia.org] of Democrats' lines (preventing Democrats from getting voters to polls) with enough illegal robocalls to cost $100 MILLION in fines [dailykos.com]. Of course, those 2002 robocalls got John Sununu Jr (R-NH) into the Senate, where he controls the FCC, and he hasn't given up the job he DDoS'ed his way into. So I don't expect Republicans to cough up the $100M they'd owe for this year's attack on the election process.

    Unless maybe enough Republicans get fired in the election tomorrow that they can't do these crimes unpunished anymore. Go to the polls and do your part.
  • Sad, sad, sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheCabal ( 215908 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:27PM (#16741745) Journal
    I'm saddened that politicos still find a way to shock me, even after all these years. Why is it that its always The People that wind up being abused to further one person's agenda? I suppose someone will make a comment that it's just indicative of just how desperate the Republicans are, but they've stooped to such low tactics before.
  • by coaxial ( 28297 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @05:57PM (#16742519) Homepage
    The modern GOP (by that I mean since Eisenhower, and Ike wasn't even truly a Republican. He was apolitical -- as the entire military was up until Reagan -- and then ended with his Presidential tenure with the infamous warning [msu.edu] of the Military-Industrial Complex. I'd like to see any Republican give such a speech today.) has a long history of dirty tricks, from the Watergate break in, all the way to today. In the 2002 election the GOP jammed the Democratic phone banks in New Hampshire. [wikipedia.org] People went to jail because of that. Race baiting ads as part of their "southern strategy". [wikipedia.org] Challenging legal voters based on bogus "felon lists." Challenging voters to present photo id when it's not a requirement. Informing voters in predominately black neighborhoods that the election was either postponed, or directing them to the wrong precincts. Frankly it's not surprising. The same ones that were running the party back then are the same ones running the party now. Total contempt for democracy. Macavelli would be proud.

    No. Democrats don't do these sort of things.. Arguably, because liberals are "too pussy" to cheat, and "too naive" and believe in fair elections.

    There was a time when the "Vote Facist for Law and Order" bumper stickers were funny. Now the seem just a bit too truthful.

    "When the president does it that means that it is not illegal."
    -- Richard Nixon, May 19, 1977 interview with Robert Frost [landmarkcases.org]
  • Other resources (Score:5, Interesting)

    by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @07:48PM (#16744583) Homepage
    First off:

    The Dems are On this [dailykos.com], filing one of the only C&D letters I've actually supported. Kinda brilliant of the NeoCons, really -- they hire an impersonator to make a fake 5 minute message, robocall it at 11 PM till 4 AM, make it long enough that most people hang up long before they hear the "paid for by the Republicans" message at the end, and, well, it's just brilliant. Too bad the Democrats are too ethical to try something like this themselves.

    Jim Webb's campaign is also being specifically targeted by this, in what is probably a "test run" by Karl Rove. Robo calls are reporting that people will get arrested if they vote, that their locations have changed, pamphlets are being handed out telling black people not to bother voting, and the Voting Machines are set up to "accidently" mess Mr. Webb's name up. [dailykos.com] Even the Board of Elections are saying these efforts are Widespread and Deliberate [americanchronicle.com] (and, oh yeah, ILLEGAL).

    Kinda a pity that the Republicans are so afraid of the United States Citizens voices being heard that they have to resort to such disgusting efforts to repress the vote. Of course, having seen this the last 3 elections in a row, this isn't a real surprise.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker