We've been following the activities of the Economic Freedom Fund, a.k.a. Swiftboat 2.0 -- and by now it's apparent that the nastiest of the group's tactics are robo calls to voters that smear Democrats in targeted districts.
"It's awful. It's egregious," said Nancy Mathiowetz, President Elect of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, after hearing a recording of one of the group's calls. In this case, the call, which attacks Dem Baron Hill of Indiana's 9th, is purportedly a poll. But "it appears they are not interested in actually collecting data, but rather disseminating a distorted view of a candidateâs record," Mathiowetz said.
In other words, it's a textbook example of a push poll, a practice which âAAPOR condems and abhors," she said.
Factcheck.org, in its first look at the organization, proclaimed the allegation in the call "misleading." Similar polls are attacking Democrats in five districts across the country.
In other calls from the group, rather than creating a fake poll, EFF simply played call recipients a recorded line of attack. You can hear one of the calls against Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA) here, courtesy of the Peach Pundit. Hitting Marshall for his embrace of the "death tax," the caller intones, "Jim Marhsall's liberal voting record does not represent Georgia values."
In all of the group's calls, the robo caller identifies itself as from the Economic Freedom Fund. But which firm is actually doing the dirty work? I'll see if I can find out. . . .