Conservative Robocalls In MA Senate Race May Be Designed To Bamboozle Voters

January 18, 2010 1:36 pm

Are conservatives trying to hoodwink low-information voters with a last-minute, under-the-radar robocall campaign in the Massachusetts Senate race?

Boston reader A.F., a registered Democrat, received a recorded call recently from Right March PAC, a right-wing PAC led by Dr. William Greene, a conservative activist.In the call, Greene urges listeners to vote tomorrow for Joe Kennedy, a conservative third-party candidate with no realistic shot at winning, who has been endorsed by Right March.

Kennedy is no relation to Ted Kennedy, whose death last year created the vacancy that tomorrow’s election exists to fill. But the robocall’s script — which affirms that “Joe Kennedy is the name you can trust” — suggests it may be designed to use the coincidence of names to confuse low-information voters into thinking that Joe Kennedy is the candidate backed by the famed Kennedy clan.

Here’s the audio:

And here’s the script:

Hi, this is William Greene.

Joe Kennedy is running for the US Senate and Joe Kennedy is the name you can trust.

There is a special election on January 19th for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat.

January 19th, that’s this Tuesday.

There is not much time to spread the word about Joe Kennedy so he needs your vote for US Senate.

Joe Kennedy might lose this election if folks like us don’t get out and vote.

On Tuesday vote for Joe Kennedy for US Senate.

Joe Kennedy: The name you can trust.

Paid for by RightmarchPAC

In other words, the call may be designed to peel voters away from Democrat Martha Coakley — who in fact is backed by the Kennedys. If so, it would aid Republican Scott Brown, who is locked in a tight battle with Coakley.

Adding a complicating wrinkle is the fact that Joe Kennedy had been seen as more likely to hurt Brown and help Coakley, by siphoning conservative voters away from the Republican. Kennedy had even been under pressure from conservatives to drop out of the race.

The robocall seems to have gone out relatively widely. Two other Massachusetts readers told us they received very similar calls, and the Plumline’s Greg Sargent spoke to a fourth Bay State voter who describes a similar call.

Right March did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TPMmuckraker.

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