For the second straight day yesterday, Democratic field offices received dozens of phone calls and e-mails from frustrated voters upset about repeated automated phone calls they thought were coming from Democratic candidate Paul Hodes – though the calls were paid for by a Republican group instead.
The National Republican Congressional Committee spent nearly $20,000 on the calls last week. Depending on the rate, that could mean more than 300,000 automated phone calls into the Second Congressional District.
Incumbent Republican Congressman Charlie Bass denounced the calls yesterday and said he tried to get the NRCC to put a stop to them. But a spokesman for the NRCC said the automated phone calls would continue indefinitely.
“The calls will continue as planned,” said Alex Burgos, a spokesman for the NRCC, the national group charged with electing Republicans to the House. “They are done independently of Charlie Bass’s campaign. He has nothing to do with them.”
The only surprising thing here is that the NRCC has essentially admitted this is one of its tricks. We have a report that a similar effort is underway in the New York 19th Congressional District, where Democrat John Hall is trying to unseat Republican Sue Kelly.
Reports of GOP voter supression efforts are coming in from all around the country, in local, state, and federal races. Here are a few samples:
In North Carolina:
On Monday morning, when Chapel Hill lawyer Bob Epting approached the early voting center at Morehead Planetarium, he . . . was approached by a female college student who asked whether he was a registered Democrat.
“Yes I am,” he said.
She replied, “Good, here’s a list of our judicial candidates.”
Epting thanked her, folded the piece of paper without looking at it and put it in his pocket. . . .
But after exiting the poll, he remembered the piece of paper and removed it from his pocket. Standing at the top of a dozen or so marble steps, he scanned the list in disbelief. It was a list of Republican candidates.
Senator Dianne Feinstein sounded off today over a mailer that prominently displays her picture. It’s billed as a voter information guide for Democrats, despite the fact that it recommends voting no on some issues that Feinstein and the Democratic Party support, including Proposition 86, the tobacco tax, and Proposition 87, the oil tax.
We’ll keep posting as we hear about them.