Campaign 2010

Nov 06, 2006

Dirty Tricks 2006: GOP Spends $600k on Late Night Attack Phone Calls

DCCC Press

Nov 6, 2006

Dirty Tricks 2006: GOP Spends $600k on Late Night Attack Phone Calls

Dirty Tricks 2006: GOP Spends $600k on Late Night Attack Phone Calls

Republicans Caught Making Calls to Democratic Voters in the Dead of Night to Anger and Turn Them Off to Voting and Dampen Turnout

NRCC Has Spent $2.1 Million on Calls, Nearly $600,000 on Attack Calls in the Last Week Alone.

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, with memories of past intimidation in the minds of voters, national Republican operatives are phoning voters at all hours of the night, especially at 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. to try and dampen Democratic turnout. Reports of these calls have come in from New Hampshire, where the GOP has been forced to stop the calls, and FCC complaints have been filed in Pennsylvania because of the calls. Republicans have spent $2.1 million on calls like these, targeting 46 Democrats in the last week alone. In terms of precedent, in 2002, Republican Party officials in New Hampshire and Washington with ties to the White House jammed phones to prevent Democrats from voting. This is just the latest example of why it’s time for a change in Washington.

“With no record of accomplishment on the economy or border security and no strategy to speak of in Iraq, the only thing Republicans have left to sell is fear itself and Americans aren’t buying,” said Bill Burton, communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It’s time for a new direction in Washington because Americans deserve bipartisan solutions to the problems we face, not more dirty tricks and illegal calls meant to intimidate.”

Illegal Phone Calls By GOP Designed to Turn Off Voters. The Republican National Congressional Committee has agreed to end its automated calling campaign that left the state Democratic Party swamped with phone calls from voters who believed the messages were coming from Democrats. New Hampshire residents had been complaining to the Democrats, party Chairwoman Kathleen Sullivan said, because they thought the calls are coming from congressional challenger Paul Hodes. Instead, they were coming from the National Republican Congressional Committee, on behalf of Rep. Charles Bass, but sound, at first, as though they may be from the Hodes' campaign. Under state law, delivering prerecorded political messages to numbers on any federal do-not-call list is punishable by a fine of $5,000 per call. [AP, 11/5/06, LINK]

Pennsylvania Voters Filed FCC Complaints on Misleading NRCC Ads. According to the Associated Press, “Bruce Jacobson, a software engineer from Ardmore, Pa., received three prerecorded messages in four hours. Each began, ‘Hello, I'm calling with information about Lois Murphy,’ the Democrat running against two-term incumbent Rep. Jim Gerlach in the Philadelphia-area district. ‘Basically, they go on to slam Lois,’ said Jacobson, who has filed a complaint with the FCC because the source of the call isn't immediately known. FCC rules say all prerecorded messages must ‘at the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call.’ During or after the message, they must give the telephone number of the caller. ‘The way they're sent is deceptive. The number of calls is harassing. The way her stances are presented in these stories is deliberately misleading and deceptive,’ said Karlyn Messinger, another Murphy supporter from Penn Valley, Pa., who filed a complaint with the FCC.” [Associated Press, 11/2/06]

NRCC Spends Thousands on Calls Attacking Hayhurst Record on Immigration from Callers with Foreign Accents. According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, “The telemarketing business used by Republicans to flood northeast Indiana with phone calls attacking Democratic congressional candidate Tom Hayhurst promises its political customers ‘a geographically neutral dialect’ to drum up voters. But many people who received the calls said the messages were delivered by voices with Indian or Hispanic accents. Many telemarketing companies hire call centers in India and other countries because of cheap Internet-based telephoning. A representative at FLS headquarters did not respond to a request for an interview. The NRCC paid $13,747 to the telemarketing firm to make thousands of calls this week describing Democrat Hayhurst as ‘bad on immigration’ or an advocate of higher taxes.” [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 11/5/06]

NRCC Has Spent $2.1 Million on Calls, Nearly $600,000 on Attack Calls in the Last Week Alone. As of last week, the NRCC had spent $2.1 million on phone banks. From 10/30 to 11/3, the NRCC spent $597,232.75 on phone calls solely designed to attack 46 Democratic candidates. [www.fec.gov]

Last week alone, the NRCC spent the following money on attack phone calls on the following Democratic candidates. One news report estimated each call costs only 5 cents each.

  • AZ-05: Harry Mitchell: $8210.76
  • CA-04: Charlie Brown: $16,617.24
  • CA-11: Jerry McNerney: $4120.28
  • CA-50: Francine Busby: $2641.68
  • CO-04: Angie Paccione: $10,456.32
  • CT-02: Joe Courtney: $12,844.56
  • CT-04: Diane Farrell: $44,964.56
  • CT-05: Chris Murphy: $17,494.08
  • FL-13: Christine Jennings: $24,638.82
  • FL-16: Tim Mahoney: $16,428.72
  • FL-22: Ron Klein: $3813.36
  • GA-08: Jim Marshall: $10,546.68
  • GA-12: John Barrow: $16,087.86
  • IA-01: Bruce Braley: $8386.26
  • IA-03: Leonard Boswell: $13,812.12
  • ID-01: Larry Grant: $23,752.26
  • IL-06: Tammy Duckworth: $11,474.31
  • IL-08: Melissa Bean: $14,134.38
  • IN-03: Tom Hayhurst: $13,746.88
  • IN-09: Baron Hill: $12,852.36
  • KS-02: Nancy Boyda: $4,093.74
  • KY-02: Mike Weaver: $1,510.74
  • KY-04: Ken Lucas: $15,242.10
  • MN-06: Patty Wetterling: $21,053.90
  • NC-11: Heath Shuler: $11,843.70
  • NE-03: Scott Kleeb: $3,492.66
  • NH-02: Paul Hodes: $19,321.98
  • NM-01: Patricia Madrid: $6,702.42
  • NV-02: Jill Derby: $10,934.16
  • NV-03: Tessa Hafen: $12,197.70
  • NY-19: John Hall: $16,123.62
  • NY-20: Kirsten Gillibrand: $11,143.38
  • NY-24: Mike Arcuri: $6,824.82
  • NY-25: Dan Maffei: $17,183. 46
  • NY-29: Eric Massa: $10,855.26
  • OH-01: John Cranley: $9,236.64
  • OH-02: Victoria Wulsin: $7,953.84
  • OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy: $11,826.84
  • PA-04: Jason Altmire: $23,111.61
  • PA-06: Lois Murphy: $14,253.66
  • PA-08: Patrick Murphy: $18,969.36
  • PA-10: Chris Carney: $3,942.00
  • TX-22: Nick Lampson: $2,258.61
  • VA-02: Phil Kellam: $14,345.58
  • WA-08: Darcy Burner: $14,992.80
  • WI-08: Steve Kagen: $20,794.68

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