In various key states and districts, Republicans have initiated this dirty "robocalling" trick. Here, based on preliminary reporting coming in -- and Josh Marshall's website (www.talkingpointsmemo.com) is right on it -- is how it works:
On an automatic-redial system, registered Democrats are called again and again and again and again, at any time during the day or night, to hear what appears to be a message from the Democratic Party in support of the local Democratic Senate or House candidate. The object is to harass and annoy the hell out of these voters, to the point that they'll take out their anger on the Democratic candidate by not voting for him or her, or maybe deciding not to vote in the
election at all.
In other words, yet another version of voter suppression in tight races, reminiscent of what Republican operatives (with ties to the White House) were convincted of in New Hampshire last year. In that case, involving the 2002 Senate election, the Republicans automatic-redialed the Democratic Party headquarters' phone lines in the final days before the election so that the Dems'
get-out-the-vote campaign was totally jammed and rendered useless. The GOP candidate won the election. (Check out the story at
The point here is that these 2006 "robocalling" attacks aimed at Democrats are happening at the last minute, and many Democrats may believe them to be real and get thoroughly pissed off at the Democratic candidates and decide to not vote for them or to stay home and not vote at all.
Our job today, the last day before most voters will go to the polls, is to get the word out across the country, alerting Democrats about this desperation GOP tactic -- and traditional Republicans and swing voters as well, who, if they found out about this despicable ploy, might well be appalled at what's being done to manipulate the vote. Let's shine the light of truth on these rats.
Bob Fertik at Democrats.com recommends the following: "It's too late for legal action or even newspaper stories. If you receive one of these calls, write down the time and candidate and call every radio and TV show you can and urge everyone listening to vote against the disgusting Republican dirty tricksters. And [write an email and] forward this email to everyone you know so they aren't fooled by Karl Rove's dirty trick."
The Republicans aver that they're doing nothing "illegal" by making their last-minute phone calls to voters (
http://americablog.blogspot.com/2006/11/republicans-admit-they-are-breaking-to.html ), but it would be a tragedy for our
democratic republic if their dastardly tactic worked, only to indict and convict these guys a year from now for trying to subvert the electoral process.
Apparently, there are variations of last-minute push-phoning in use as well. In the tight Tennessee Senate race between Repubican Bob Corker and Democrat Harold Ford Jr., calls are being received by African-American voters, among others, saying that if they voted for Ford in the primary, they don't need to vote again in tomorrow's general election.
The lesson: Stay alert, get the word out, get Democratic voters to the polls tomorrow in huge, landslide numbers. We can't let Rove & his minions steal yet another election. #