Monday, November 06, 2006

The Robo-call Scandal Goes Unreported

This weekend, the progressive blogosphere has lit up with reports of harrassing and vote-suppressing robo-calls from Republican operatives. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo seems to have taken the lead in pulling together reports from around the country, but you'll find coverage on Atrios, Kos, Left-Coster, Huffington Post,

In many cases the technique is to call with "information about [Democratic Candidate Name]." leading people to expect that it's from the Democratic candidate. The calls are repeatedly dialed to the point where recipients are enraged.

In some cases, however, the calling is the lowest form of dirty trick--threatening people that they will be prosecuted if they vote, or sending them erroneous information about their polling place. Here's a sample:
"This message is for Timothy Daly. This is the Virginia Elections Commission. We've determined you are registered in New York to vote. Therefore, you will not be allowed to cast your vote on Tuesday. If you do show up, you will be charged criminally.
According to Kos, "Daly has been registered to vote in Virginia since 1998, and he has voted for the last several cycles with no problem. He has filed a criminal complaint with the Commonwealth's attorney in Arlington."

Online Journal
calls this, "Rove's last minute tactic to steal the election." He's cleverly postponed his "October Surprise" until November when there's no time to respond.

Rahm Emmanuel has been on the phone with journalists trying to get coverage if this outrage, but so far, Rolling Stone is one of the few national news sources to report on Rahm's complaint (As if Rolling Stone is the first place we turn for political news). There's scant coverage elsewhere.

It's even made its way into the Washington 5th Congressional District race of Peter Goldmark.

For more information and advice on responding to Robo-calls, check out this Diary on Daily Kos.

Josh Marshall
put it this way:
Only one party has a nationwide campaign to deliver millions of intentionally-harassing calls disguised to appear that they're from the opposite party. That party is the Republican party. And the calls are funded by the NRCC -- the House GOP election committee.

It's the party of election subversion. Deal with it.
Mickeleh's Take: The cable outlets much prefer to promote their election coverage by having their anchors and analysts endlessly interview each other about what will happen tomorrow. As for what's actually happening today, it's less interesting to them. I'll bet Keith covers it. Considering that this story has been building for the past three days, it's a scandal that It is so under-reported.

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