Tuesday, November 07, 2006

NRCC Refuses to Stop Illegal Robocalls in NY

The Robocall Scandal

One type of political advertising that is going to remain in the spotlight even after the elections have passed is the "robocall." Chairman of the DCCC Rahm Emanuel is saying that the DCCC is preparing to file civil suits and pursue the use and abuse of this method of political advertising to the fullest extent of the law.

This is not only hitting home here in Central New York. It 's a national problem. In Indiana, the practice has been rightfully squelched by the Indiana Republican party, who has cut ties to the firm responsible for the legally questionable robocalls. The Crooks and Liars blog has MSNBC's Keith Olbermann talking about the robocall situation.

Hear this 570 WSYR mp3 about people getting phonecalls (robocalls) over and over again with no political identity being given until the tail end of the call - an illegal political practice per Federal rules. The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) is the culprit here. A N.Y. Democractic Campaign Committee spokesman says the effect of the robocalls are a voter turn-off toward the candidate they connect with the annoying phonecall. An example of a call is given on this WSYR mp3, and in this case, it is congressional candidate Dan Maffei who is the target of the NRCC robocalls. In a recent Zogby poll, Maffei was 4 percentage points ahead of incumbent James Walsh.

The NRCC has received official complaints and have said they were just going to continue their misleading and potentially illegal political practice. Leave it to the Republicans - even if caught doing something in the light of day that's clearly not above board, they refuse to back off. Reminds me of Dennis Hastert refusing to step down after we learned how long he'd known that Mark Foley was chasing after little boys who were Congressional pages. It's no wonder they've lost the trust of folks who value personal responsibility and fairness.

Update: Buffalo Geek has more.

What would possess Andrea Mitchell of NBC to make baseless accusations that Democrats have engaged in the same "dirty tricks"? Shame on Ms. Mitchell! The next time MSM accuses the entire blogosphere of making baseless claims, let's remind them that they are no more professional at times like this - and they get paid the big bucks for their so-called "professionalism" while the biggest reward I can hope for is a link from another website.

In a similar disappointing and misleading sub-headline, ABC News shows that they are apparently afflicted with the disease that NYT columnist Paul Krugman calls the "curse of even-handedness." In journalism, it's the curse that results in the key point of the piece being reduced to talking points-pablum in a race to seem "balanced." In the ABC article in question, the key point is that the Democrats claim the GOP has launched a dirty robocall campaign - yet the ABC editors feel the Fox News-like need to throw in a lame sub-headline saying that people are also annoyed by general political phonecalls by Democrats (that are not anything like the aforementioned robocalls!)


Barbara said...

unbelievable. But if someone can get away with it... until caught... they will.

GreenSmile said...

Well, there is "getting away with it" in the legal sense, which I pray they do not. There are tons of election interference charges flying in the front pages this morning and we will see who has the stomach and the bucks to prosecute what are after all grave crimes against the most vital workings of our nation.

But then again, there is "getting away with it" in the eyes of the voters. Prayer granted in NY, they did not get away with it.

[and congrats Jude...your champions took the crooks to task very nicely]

Chancelucky said...

Actually, they might not get away with it. IT's easier to trace phone records than it is to trace votes through a Diebold voting machine.