The Republicans are up to their dirty [Rove-approved] tricks!
Talking Points Memo has been gathering evidence that Republicans are using robo-phone-calls to annoy voters. The messages start like they are coming from the Democratic candidate: "I have a message from..." but then they turn in to a negative call. Callers, however, are generally only hearing the first part of the message, thinking that it is the Democrat. If callers hang up, they're called back again, and again, and again. End result? The Democratic callers are so ticked off at the Democrat harassing them that they don't vote, or vote for the Republican, without realizing they've just been tricked.
[Examples of robocalls are here and here, and stats on how much the GOP is using them is here. Some examples: New Hampshire, New Jersey, Montana, Maryland, Ohio, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Washington, etc. The GOP is using robocalling in at least 53 races across the country.]
This is the Republican October Surprise, launched in November. It's called lying and cheating in order to suppress the vote, and it's illegal. [Federal law permits political advocacy calls to phone numbers on the No Call List on First Amendment grounds, but New Hampshire, like some other states, prohibits prerecorded calls to phone numbers on the No Call List. The NRCC may have been violating the New Hampshire law.] And it's being funded by the Republican Party in Washington, DC. The National Republican Campaign Committee even admitted they're making the calls in an Associated Press article reported on TPM Muckraker last Wednesday:
NRCC spokesman Ed Patru denied any illegal intent.
"All of our political calls are in compliance with the law," Patru said.
Not so, said the Democrats.
"They are violating the regulations that were set up," said Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who said the DCCC employed one robocall this cycle and paid $500 for it.
Breaking the law to win. It's the only way the GOP knows how to play.
Enough of this crap. The Republicans are trying to steal the election with more of their corruption. Every single Republican candidate should be called on to repudiate these tactics and demand they cease immediately. And when the Democrats take over Congress on Tuesday, we need to pass legislation stopping everyone from doing these kind of sleazy efforts to nullify the legitimate votes of Americans. Regardless of the party, there needs to be a sufficient penalty that this never happens again.