Over the weekend, there were reports
of robo calls during Louisiana's 6th District special election, during which State Rep. Don Cazayoux had narrowly beaten Republican Woody Jenkins. In the calls, which went out to Baton Rouge's African-American neighborhoods on election day, a voice told voters to teach white Democrats a lesson by staying home and not voting. It signed off "Friends of Michael Jackson," according
to The Advocate
But Jackson, an African-American state lawmaker who'd lost in the primary to Cazayoux, said he had nothing to do with the calls. So whodunnit?
The answer: Darrell Glasper, who told me that he was a political independent who'd made the calls because he said African-Americans "have been loyal for so long and received so little." Glasper, an African-American, said that he was an acquaintance and supporter of Jackson's, but that he'd made the calls without Jackson's knowledge and had stopped the calls at Jackson's request. He'd made 10,000 or so by that time, he said.
Glasper's company Magnolia Computers came up on the caller ID for the robo calls, reported a reader of the local blog The Daily Kingfish
. The Daily Kingfish also had a transcript
of the calls:
"I'm very upset that the National Democratic Party favored Don Cazayoux from New Roads over Michael Jackson. The Democratic Party raised $850,000 for Don Cazayoux which is the only reason Michael Jackson lost in the Democratic runoff. The National and State Democratic Parties always seem to back the white democrat over the black democrat and that's wrong. A lot of us who are supporting Michael Jackson feel the National Democratic Party need to be taught a lesson. We're not voting for Don Cazayoux because we believe Woody Jenkins will be a lot easier to beat in November when Senator Barack Obama is on the ballot. You haven't heard many black elected officials supporting Don Cazayoux. On Saturday we're going to stay home and see how the National Democratic Party do without us."
"Paid for by Friends of Michael Jackson."
Glasper told me that he'd been frustrated by the Democratic Party's lack of support for Jackson when he'd run in the primary against the white Cazayoux -- there was no get out the vote operation, he said, and "without money in the community Jackson couldn't make it." But that support, he said, materialized on Cazayoux's behalf in the general election. "That's my interpretation of how they play the political games." (Of course, there's nothing remarkable in the fact that the party did not run a GOTV effort within the Dem primary but did against the Republican candidate.)
When I asked him why he'd signed off the calls "Friends of Michael Jackson," when the calls were not in fact from Jackson's campaign, he said "I'm a friend of Michael Jackson's." When I pressed, he said that the calls "may have said friends or by a friend," he can't remember.
But Glasper, who up until recently served as chairman of BREC, an agency that operates public park and recreation facilities and programs throughout East Baton Rouge Parish, was unapologetic about the calls. When I told him that the Louisiana State Democratic Party said the calls violated election law and were likely to take the matter to court, he told me "This is America, you can say what you want."