Republicans Use Deceptive Practices

November 6, 2006 at 7:06 pm | Posted in America, American politics, Congress, Democracy, Democrats, King George, Republicans | Leave a comment

Josh Marshall, at Talking Points Memo, details numerous examples of the Republican National Congressional Committee using deceptive practices and techniques in the days leading up to tomorrow’s election. Back in 2004, the RNCC was charged with phone jamming in New Hampshire. Now in New Mexico, they are calling Democratic voters and telling them falsely where to vote. The RNCC is also using robo-calls in at least 20 districts, used to smear and distort Democratic candidates. Worse, the robocalls start by saying:

In each case, the calls begin with “Hi, I’m calling with information about [insert local Democratic candidate here],” and then continues to provide negative information about the candidate. Counter to FCC rules, which require that the caller identify themselves early on in the call, the calls only reveal that they are paid for by the NRCC at the end of the call.

As Josh Marshall says, the RNCC hopes these tactics fly low enough under the radar that no one picks them up until after the election, when they will basically weather the FCC fines for violating FCC rules. They can, after all, afford to pay some measly fines, especially if the result of these calls is lower Democratic voter turnout. As this piece explains:

Rozanne Ronen, a Barrington resident, got the call — “Hi. I’m calling with information about Melissa Bean …”

Then she got the call again and again and 18 more times, making for a total of about 21 calls since October 24.

“They are very annoying,” Ronen said.

Pat Vockeroth, of Mount Prospect, received the calls too — “Hi. I’m calling with information about Tammy Duckworth …”

“If you only listen to the first sentence, you think they are from the Duckworth campaign,” she said.

But the calls aren’t paid for by Bean, Duckworth or even the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, they are paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Brian Herman, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean, D-8th, said the calls are a campaign trick meant to kill the Democrat vote on Nov. 7.

“Voters ought to make their decision based on merit and facts, but this about suppressing the vote,” he said.

After the introduction, the calls touch on one of several topics, such as immigration or the fact that Bean or Duckworth lives outside the 8th and 6th districts.

Herman said the Bean campaign doesn’t use these kinds of tactics.

“We don’t use technology to harass voters,” he said.

Funny how the local candidates wash their hands of this tactic. The RNCC could learn a thing or two about morality from them.

Here’s the question to my Republican readers. If your principles are right, if your ideology can withstand good old-fashioned criticism, if your strategies and goals for the future of our country are righteous and good, why would you need these tactics to supress the vote of your political opponent? Why the deception? Could all this show that your party is more interested in maintaing power than in doing what is right? Is not this another example of how the Republican party has lost its way?

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