Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Playing dirty: the GOP's election

Salon has quite a catalog of GOP dirty electoral tricks from the past few months. Lest we forget ...
The GOP's dirty deeds of 2006 | Salon News

....In this year's biggest dirty trick, that's what happened to voters across the country, who were deluged with robo-calls that purportedly were coming from Democratic candidates. The calls started innocently enough, by offering information about the local Democrat. But if you hung up, the robot would call back. Hang up again and, like some character out of a Stephen King novel, the robot would call again. And again. And again, sometimes as many as seven times before it gave up. So the voters who had the temerity to want to enjoy their dinner unmolested were left with the impression of a Democratic candidate who simply would not leave them alone; those who stayed on the line were instead treated to a string of disinformation about the Democrat. The calls, which were paid for by the NRCC, hit many of the House races vital to Democrats' chances to take back the House. They ran in at least two key Illinois districts, including Duckworth's, and in Connecticut, where vulnerable Republican incumbent Chris Shays survived a stiff challenge from Democrat Diane Farrell, and in other races in states as diverse as Georgia, California, Pennsylvania and New York. In all, a total of 1 million calls were spread over 53 House races; this means that an average of 20,000 calls were made in each district, each of which contained about 200,000 votes. The calls could potentially have reached one out of every 10 voters in the targeted races.

The uproar that followed hasn't escaped the attention of politicians. Sen. Barack Obama has introduced a bill that would criminalize the practice, and on the local level several states are considering similar legislation.
It's not that the dirty tricks didn't work, it's rather than they couldn't overcome a large anti-GOP mood. In many elections they would have done the trick.

The GOP is a morally bankrupt institution.

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