Posted by: Cartoon Pig Dog | September 16, 2008

Dirty politics, it works for the GOP

  Yesterday we went through what will now be known as Black Monday and I sat down here today to write a post on the stock crash (biggest drop in seven years) and the fall of Lehman, Merrill Lynch and it seems now, maybe even AIG. But then it struck that this would be a wasted post. The stock crash is big news everywhere and there is really nothing I can say about it that most people don’t already know, it’s all over the tv news, radio, newspapers and blogspots everywhere. I do find it just a tad bit amusing, though, that John McCain may have to do a little backpedalling on a statement that he made recently saying that our economic fundamentals were sound and that we were in good shape economically.

  Gotta kinda look back at that one and say oops, don’t ya, Johnny boy?

  So I will fore-go the Black Monday post and get to something that you don’t hear on the MSM because a lot of people (Republicans) don’t want you to hear it. I’m talking about dirty politics, and not just the lies and smears against Obama, but downright cheating in a desperate attempt to steal an election they are sure to lose in a fair campaign and election.

   By now, most of you know about the absentee ballot mailings in Ohio and a few other states. The McCain team sent out over a million fake applications for absentee ballots to registered Democratic voters, these ballots when sent in would be recognized as fake and simply tossed aside and not counted. Had they not been discovered that could have been over a million votes not counted, most of which would have been votes for Obama.

  But their dirty politics doesn’t stop with ballot tampering. They have now resorted to harassment, threats, poll pushing, and outrageous identification requirements for low income and minority voters.

  These, of course, are serious charges to make against a party’s campaign policies, but all indications are that these allegations are all true, so let’s look at them one at a time.

Harassment: G2geek over at the daily KOs (a great site by the way) reports that Republicansare bombarding Democratic voters with false “robo calls”. This is a harassment technique designed to make you think you are being harassed by the Democratic campaign. When the phone rings you get a brief intro that makes it seem the call is from a Democratic support group or the Democratic campaign, then a pause followed by a recorded message. If you are like me and millions of other Americans, you don’t want to sit on the phone and listen to some recording about a candidate, even if it’s the same one you support, so you hang up. In this case, if you hang up, it calls you right back, often six, seven or more times in a row, leaving you thinking that you are being harassed by the Democrats.

  Ok, so the Daily KOs is a blogspot and not a reliable source for information (see my notes at the end of this post*), so I need a little more verification than just the KOs. Oh….. There’s some there, in Florida’s 13th district Democratic voters are receiving as many as ten calls a night from someone imitating Democrat Christine Jennings’ voice so you think it’s her talking, the recording is about ten minutes long and if you don’t sit through the whole thing it just calls you back, for those few who do listen to the whole thing they find out at the end that the call was paid for by her Republican opponent, Vern Buchanan, or by the NRCC ( National Republican Congressional Committee). On a side note here, I hate that word “committee”, there’s just something weird about a word having three sets of double letters.

  The NRCC is doing the same thing in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania (that’s where I am) and at least 50 other races around the country. In New Hampshire they have been making these calls to people on the National “do not call list”. State law allows  making campaign calls to people on the list, but they do not allow using automated calls to do so, so this past weekend they pulled the automated calls after being informed by the Attorney Generals office that they were breaking the law. For more information read the story put out by the  Union Leader .

Threats: They have been threatening minority voters with jail time for voting. What? They can’t do that! Or can they? Last month 14,000 registered Latino voters received a letter written in Spanish telling them that they could go to jail or be deported for voting in the November election. The Republican leaders there had to urge their own congressional candidate to step down after he admitted to being involved in the mailings. http://blog.aflcio.org/2006/10/18/afl-cio-voter-protection-program-you-can-get-involved

Poll Pushing: Poll pushing is a tactic that uses polls (or rather, fake polls) to try and sway voters from one side to the other. It goes something like this: The phone rings and you are told that they, (here they use an official, non-partisan, sounding name), are conducting an opinion poll and would like for you to participate. You know what this is, it’s an official poll like the Gallup and their results will help keep tabs on the progress of the campaigns so everyone can see who is leading where. Wrong! After the initial questions, who do you support, etc.. etc., the call turns into a grilling to make you change your mind, the questions then turn to things like “Why do you support so and so when you know he did this and that?” , giving mostly untrue “facts” on your candidate to make you rethink how you feel about them. Real polls are designed to measure how people feel about the candidates,  A push poll is designed to influence how you feel about them. Those behind these calls say they have reached hundreds of thousands of people in five states over the past several weeks. This was reported by The New York Times . They mentioned five states, but there have been poll pushing calls reported in many other states as well.

Outrageous ID requirements: This just sounds silly. How can anyone make your vote count or not count based on technicalities of identification? Well, in Ohio about 10% of the absentee ballots being received are being rejected because of an obscure little number on their driver’s licenses.  The Ohio driver’s license has two numbers on it, an 11-digit number above the photo that is easy to see and read and another, much smaller, 8-digit number (two alpha-numeric characters followed by six numbers). On the absentee ballots where they ask for your driver’s license number, it’s the smaller, obscure number that they want, not the one that is easy to see. Yet they don’t tell you this on the ballot. In addition, many states have passed voter ID laws that restrict the rights of low income voters, immigrants and minorities.

  Surely they can’t do any more than that and get away with it. Or can they? In New Mexico Republicans are calling registered Democratic voters and falsely telling them that their polling places have changed. In Kentucky Republicans have made plans to send out “challengers”  in Louisville to aggressively challenge voters at the polls. In Alaska, one blogger received a phone call from a Palin assistant telling her to “stop blogging, stop blogging right now!” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/us/politics/14palin.html?_r=2&bl&ex=1221624000&en=afcd714ae3b553ae&ei=5087%0A&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

  As a free and fair election, Obama and the Democrats would win in a landslide even bigger than the one enjoyed by Nixon is his second bid for the Whitehouse. But this is not going to be a free and fair election, the Republicans are well aware of the fact that they can’t win a fair election and are now willing to use every dirty trick they can come up withto gain the advantage, from lying and smearing, to outright cheating and breaking the law. And it’s up to us to put a stop to it. Let them know that we know what they are doing and we don’t intend to let them get away with it.

NOTES: My remark above about the Daily KOs not being a reliable source of information goes with my definition of “Blogspots” which happens to be “The liars playground”. In reality, blogs go both ways, while there are many blogs out there that tell lies and spread propoganda, or just make up outrageous stories to get online arguements started, the Daily KOs is not one of them,  G2geek and the Daily KOs are one of the most reliable, honest and thorough investigative reporters in the blogosphere. And for information on Sarah Palin’s history as a politician, you can’t find a better source than AKMuckraker over at http://mudflats.wordpress.com/

  For more information on dirty tactics and how to avoid being a victim of them the AFL-CIO has a  Voter Protection Program designed to educate and protect people from perpetraters of these kinds of underhanded political tactics.

  Bush stole the election from us twice with underhanded cheating (much like the fake ballot method McCain used). Let’s not let them do it again, spread the truth and don’t let them get away with it this time.

 

UPDATE: I just found a couple of interesting numbers, according to factcheck.org House Republicans have spent 41.9 million dollars on smearing Democrats and only 5 million dollars on promoting their own candidates. Hmmm, they must not have too many good things to say about themselves and the bad things they are saying about the Democratic candidates are being debunked almost as fast as they can say them.

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Responses

  1. good overview of the dirty tricks we know of… I am sure there are more and will be untold thought up in the future because, well, they (the Republiars) just can’t help themselves…thanks for the connect to the Voter Protection Program…

  2. The genesis of Barack Obama’s slide in recent polls is debatable, but the numbers are not. Is it the Palin effect? A post-convention GOP bounce? The barrage of misleading ads like “Education,” that claimed Obama’s one accomplishment in education was that he voted for sex ed for kids? Or perhaps it’s because of the focus over distractions like “lipstick on a pig.” Whatever the attribution, 50 days from the election, Obama is inserting some urgency in his plea to voters.
    http://embeds.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/09/15/obama-on-gop-campaign-tactics-enough-of-this/

    Barack Obama’s slide in recent polls was unexpected to him, how could he be prepared and adequately respond to John McCain’s swiping his lead by appointing Governor Palin as his running mate?

    Change isn’t about slogans, it’s about substance. If Obama could not handle this how can he handle the presidency next? Clearly he cannot.
    http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/sarah-palin-already-has-energized-conservative-religious-leaders/

  3. Nonconformer, sorry about the delay in your comment showing up, it got shuttled into moderation for some reason (probably due to the links, I’m not sure how that works) However, if you have any doubts about the validity of my statements, please follow the links. You’ll see that these facts are all verified by credible sources including the New York Times, Union Leader and the AFL-CIO, not to mention factchecker.org.
    As for your link to FOXNEWS, FOX is very well established as a conservative news network and is well documented for using propoganda in much of their reporting. That’s not the kind of news reporting that I trust and no one with any common sense would trust propoganda over verified facts.

  4. In the related stories automatically generated links above I noticed that the one on “Candidates have your number” CBS claims that it is the Democrats that are using the robocalls to harass voters. Any doubts on which party controls CBS?

  5. Update: Rigging elections is nothing new, and it is not limited to the Republican Party. Both parties have been rigging elections for decades. It’s not that difficult to do–no matter how many safeguards are made, someone within the system will be able to rig the voting machines so that the less popular candidate wins.

  6. Hi L, I just answered your comment on the other post, but to expand a bit, I also knew that manipulation is and has been done by all parties, and not just for decades, but ever since the voting process was first conceived way back whenever that was, certainly pre-biblical times. However, in this election the GOP has gone on an all out no holds barred crusade to win this election at all costs (McCain said that himself, that it’s not about the issues anymore, it’s about winning no matter what it takes). And each method mentioned has been reported and investigated in the areas they were reported. The newspapers and mainstream media reported on them and factcheck.org verified them as well. So I am not in any way claiming that the GOP holds the copyright to dirty politics, I’m just saying that, in this election, they are going way overboard with them.


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