GOP Dirty Tricks

Ken AshfordElection 2006Leave a Comment

As we come down to the wire on Election Day, reports are popping up of widespread Repubican dirty tricks.  It’s called robo-calling:

What we’re talking about is something a bit different. What we’re seeing is an apparent coordinated effort from the NRCC — the House GOP committee — to place calls that appear to be from the local Democratic candidate and then automatically call the same number back as many as seven or eight times each time the caller hang-ups. If the caller listens to the whole message it goes on to bash the Democratic candidate. But if the caller hangs up prematurely, the computer calls right back. Hang-ups are the achilles heal of robo-calls. So this seems to be an attempt to cover for that weakness by making those who hang up think the Democratic candidate is basically harassing them with phone calls. The GOP wins either way.

What is there to do about it. As described, the calls appear to be in violation of federal regulations which mandate that these calls clearly identify their origin. The repetitive call back may also be a violation in different states. The New Hampshire AG apparently just intervened to force the NRCC to stop the calls in that state. But frankly, none of that matters. Because the folks placing the calls factor in the price of whatever fines might be meted out after the election when the damage is already done.