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Thread: North Carolina Attorney General investigates suspicious robo calls

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    Default North Carolina Attorney General investigates suspicious robo calls

    From comments @ 1st link:The Institute for Southern Studies is reporting that this is a very sophicated operation and that they have been working in as many as 11 states and violated the law in a number of states. The founder and President is Page Gardener. The Executive Director is Joe Goode and a Board Member is John Podesta. Goode and Podesta both worked for Bill Clinton. All three have contributed to Hillary's Presidential Campaign, but not Obamas.

    Nonprofit Women's Voices Women Vote Stops Suspicious N.C. Robo Calls
    By Paul Kiel - April 30, 2008, 1:39PM


    Yesterday we posted about suspicious calls being made in North Carolina. The calls purported to be from a man who identified himself only as "Lamont Williams" and told people to wait for a vote registration packet in the mail and said, "All you need to do is sign it, date it and return your application. Then you will be able to vote and make your voice heard."

    Democracy North Carolina, a government watchdog, cried foul, saying that the calls went out to "black neighborhoods" and was evidently a vote suppression tactic since the registration deadline for the presidential primary has already passed. The North Carolina state elections board got involved and asked for the public's help in determining the source of the calls, which apparently blocked caller ID from showing the number. You can listen to the call here (wav).

    Now Facing South reports that a Washington nonprofit called Women's Voices Women Vote is behind the calls.

    more:

    TPM

    From comments @ 2nd link: Actually, the group isn't targeting Clinton's core demographic. By targeting "single women", it is getting a group heavily overrepresented with students and African American women (who have a significantly lower marriage rate than white women).

    So, why is a group filled with Clinton supporters trying to register one of the few subsets of women voters who are most likely to be *Obama* supporters?

    That'd be an interesting question, if they were really registering this group, but instead, they seem to be generating confusion among them about whether they're really registered.

    To me, it looks like this group of Clinton supporters is actively trying to suppress voter turnout among African American women, students, and other young women voters.

    How low can these folks go?


    North Carolina AG Opens Investigation of Robo Calls
    By Paul Kiel - April 30, 2008, 6:22PM
    And yet another development on those calls by Women's Voices Women Vote.

    North Carolina's attorney general has just put out a press release (pdf) saying that he's investigating the calls and taking credit for having them stopped. "Regardless of the motivation, the robo-calls violated the law and they needed to stop," Roy Cooper said. He also includes a correspondence with the group's lawyer. In the letter, Cooper requests a variety of information about the calls.

    Sarah Johnson, the group's spokeswoman declined to comment on the correspondence, referring questions to the group's lawyer. But she did say that the calls occurred last Thursday and Friday in North Carolina as they did in all the other 24 states (pdf) targeted by the group this April.

    TPM

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    MONEY TIES BUT SOME HOLES IN POSSIBLE CLINTON ROBO CALLS CONNECTION

    On Wednesday, word broke that the D.C. nonprofit group, Women's Voices Women Vote had initiated automated 'robocalls' in North Carolina that spread misleading information about voter registration and registration deadlines.

    Within hours, the group had apologized for the calls, which, "caused widespread confusion and [drew] hundreds of complaints, including many from African-American voters who received the calls," according to Facing South, the site the broke the story.

    But because Women's Voices had been involved in similar complaints in other states (Virginia, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, and others), and because the target of the robocalls in North Carolina were constituencies likely to vote for Sen. Barack Obama, conspiracy theories spread quickly that Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign was behind the deed.

    Clinton staff denied any connection to the calls, which targeted African American voters using an African American mans voice. And Sarah Johnson, a spokeswoman for Women's Voices, said there was absolutely no coordination or collusion with the senator's office: "We do not endorse any political candidates or parties."

    Evidence suggesting a connection between the organization and the candidate is tangential, and comes with some key caveats. But it is enough to raise eyebrows.

    Maggie Williams, Clinton's campaign manager, served on the Women's Voices leadership team up until last year. Moreover, her firm, Griffin Williams Critical Point Management, earned more than $88,000 from Women's Voices in 2006 for activities deemed "strategic planning," according to the group's IRS filing.

    Pat Griffin, who has ties to the Clintons and is a partner of Williams, similarly served on the leadership team of the organization before leaving last year.

    Also, a Women's Voices board member, Hal Malchow, has done direct mail and/or telephone surveys both for the organization and for Clinton's campaign. According to the group's IRS form, Malchow's company MSHC was paid more than $2.7 million in 2006; MSHC conducts "telephone surveying" for Women's Voices, according to its website.

    In addition, according to campaign finance filings, MSHC is owed more than $800,000 by the Clinton campaign, likely for direct mail.
    Asked whether MSHC was involved in the Women's Voices robocall, an official with the firm said she was unable to comment. Likewise, officials with Women's Voices would not reveal who they had contracted out to conduct the calls.

    But for all these connections -- and other Women's Voices officials have connections to the Clintons, including board member John Podesta, who was Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff -- there are notable holes to the collusion theory.

    As Ben Smith noted, also serving on the board is William McNary, "the president of the progressive coalition USAction and a leader of Illinois Citizen Action who has been, reportedly, a vigorous Obama supporter since his 2004 Senate race." Mike Lux, a frequent critic of Clinton, also serves on the board.

    And while the North Carolina attorney general on late Wednesday evening said the robocalls "violated the law" by failing to disclose who sponsored the activity and failing to offer the organization's contact information, the broader goal of the Women's Voices has been, it seems, legitimate voter registration efforts.

    Indeed, according to Johnson, the group has operated in 24 states and has sent out more than 3 million pieces of voter registration information. In North Carolina, 80 percent of those forms have been recalled.

    "We are completely apologetic about this," she said. "Our goal remains to bring more unmarried women into our democracy, because they register and vote considerably less than married women."

    The Obama campaign, in a conference call on Wednesday, seemed to take the organization's apology at its word. "[They] have apologized and indicated that it was inadvertent," said Bob Bauer, the campaign's counsel.



    UPDATE: Here's a statement sent over from John Podesta, Board Member of Women's Voices, Women Vote:
    Women's Voices. Women Vote has a strong record of registering disenfranchised people so that they can participate in the political process. As a board member, I was aware of the general parameters of the group's voter registration program, but not the details of its execution. With respect to the calls and mailings made in North Carolina, I understand that remedial action is being undertaken. I agree with fellow board member William McNary that the North Carolina state calling program was a mistake of judgment and execution, and not an attempt to disenfranchise voters, and have been assured by Page Gardner, President of WVWV, that the organization will conduct a full and prompt accounting of the circumstances of the voter registration program for its board of directors.
    Money Ties But Some Holes In Possible Clinton-Robocall Connection - Politics on The Huffington Post
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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    I got one of these calls the day after the primary here in PA. It was very strange since the vote was over.

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    The calls left the impression that the voter was unregistered until a packet they were sending out was filled out and returned. This would have the effect of suppressing votes and the target in NC was primarily African American. Now who would want to do that? Certainly not all those people on the WVWV board who contributed to Hillary, or worked for Bill. Who could think such a thing? People are way too cynical.:/

    BTW,McNarycontributed to Obama in '04, but as recently as '07 contributed to Clinton.

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    The calls left the impression that the voter was unregistered until a packet they were sending out was filled out and returned. This would have the effect of suppressing votes and the target in NC was primarily African American. Now who would want to do that? Certainly not all those people on the WVWV board who contributed to Hillary, or worked for Bill. Who could think such a thing? People are way too cynical.:/

    BTW,McNarycontributed to Obama in '04, but as recently as '07 contributed to Clinton.
    Anyone that doesn't know if they are registered to vote or not is a complete moron and their vote shouldn't count anyway.

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    Elite Member cynic's Avatar
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    ....how did they (robocallers) know which people they were calling were black?....I get those calls from time to time and thought they just used consecutive number calling machines?

    ....MORE technology that I don't know about?.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetie View Post
    Anyone that doesn't know if they are registered to vote or not is a complete moron and their vote shouldn't count anyway.
    I'm suprised you don't know of all the shenanigans that have been pulled by Republicans to nullify and disenfranchise Democratic voters. During the '04 election cycle, a voter registration group that was a Republican party front went around registering people and then throwing all the Democratic registrations into the trash can. Estimates are at least 100,000 people showed up to vote only to find they were not registered. People would have to be morons to think something like that couldn't happen again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    BTW,McNarycontributed to Obama in '04, but as recently as '07 contributed to Clinton.
    BTW McNary is an elected Obama delegate from IL.......not exactly a clinton supporter, even if he sent a check to her


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    I'm suprised you don't know of all the shenanigans that have been pulled by Republicans to nullify and disenfranchise Democratic voters. During the '04 election cycle, a voter registration group that was a Republican party front went around registering people and then throwing all the Democratic registrations into the trash can. Estimates are at least 100,000 people showed up to vote only to find they were not registered. People would have to be morons to think something like that couldn't happen again.
    Again, I think you would have to be an idiot to not know. Something so important should not be left in the hands of a complete stranger. I would make sure my registration card was put in the mail myself or dropped off at the county elections office.

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    ^^Sure, that's easy for you, but there are a lot of poor people who register Democratic who might not be as educated as you are, and who may be naive and trusting, and who may not have easy access to transportation. Do they not deserve a voice? Or are they so stupid they it doesn't really matter if they are disenfranchised? Why don't we reinstitute the Poll test so we can weed out these undesirables?

    How about those little old Jewish ladies in Palm Beach County who accidentally voted for Pat Buchannan in 2000? Were they morons or was the ballot poorly designed on purpose? Maybe we should disenfranchise them too because they are so stupid.

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    My Girl Scout Troop did a voters registration drive in 2004 as a pservice project. The girl had the forms and stamps. They stood in front of a store and there was a mailbox right there. We gave people the forms and a pen. When they completed the form we gave them the stamp and had them drop it into the mailbox so there was no possibility of us not sending them in. We did it that way because of the press of how so many people thought they were registered only to find their application had been trashed.

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    Guys come on.. Hillary can't even mak a coffee machine work, lets leave these people alone in their stupidity..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    ^^Sure, that's easy for you, but there are a lot of poor people who register Democratic who might not be as educated as you are, and who may be naive and trusting, and who may not have easy access to transportation. Do they not deserve a voice? Or are they so stupid they it doesn't really matter if they are disenfranchised? Why don't we reinstitute the Poll test so we can weed out these undesirables?

    How about those little old Jewish ladies in Palm Beach County who accidentally voted for Pat Buchannan in 2000? Were they morons or was the ballot poorly designed on purpose? Maybe we should disenfranchise them too because they are so stupid.
    Do none of these poor, little old ladies that you speak of have a mailbox at the end of their driveway? It's not that hard to mailout your own registration card.

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    ^^Yes, but voter registration groups have for years, decades even, gone out into the field to register folks. Far, far more people are reached that way. People who wouldn't ordinarily register are thus brought into the system and given a voice, if they'll take it. Should we stop doing that?

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    ^ Yes we should if we know there's problems with the cards being turned in.

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