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Last Minute Hijinks Continue

Well, well, let’s see who’s behind this last-minute sneak attack. I’ve been entertained greatly by the political robo-calls that have been coming in from all sides, but when they clearly violate election rules I cannot abide by it.  So I’m going to share this and hope that someone will dig up more information tomorrow, because whoever was behind this needs to be exposed.

At 8:05 p.m. my home phone rings.  The caller ID reads 714-697-3204.  I’ve tried looking the number up online and apparently it’s not a dedicated calling firm as some posters online have described calls from the same number offering credit cards.  The number is a cellular phone from Santa Ana, California brokered by Blue License Holdings LLC.   A woman’s voice comes through, mentioning First District candidate Sue Boldra’s name.   The woman then says that Boldra is a pro-choice woman running against “a bunch of men who want to eliminate a woman’s right to choose.”

Considering the tasteless attack blog that was launched against her last year that accused her – among other things – of being pro-choice, I was amazed that this happened.  Sue Boldra is a colleague of mine at Fort Hays State University, so I immediately called her.  Knowing Sue is pro-life, I asked if she knew anything about it.  Sue was shocked, as was I.  There is no group registered with the FEC or IRS 527 called Pro-Choice Women for Sue Boldra or anything like it.   The group is fake, the attack is fake.  Whenever a political campaign or group pays for ads or calls, they must register and log their donations and spending with the relevant agency.  By giving a fake name, someone is clearly violating campaign finance law.

I have no problem with comparative politics.  Attacks on candidates often give voters very useful information.  But if you’re going to attack, you need to be held accountable.  That means saying who really sponsors the group.  Creating a fake group in robocalls to falsely attack another candidate is the sleaziest form of dirty pool, and they’re all-too-common.   In a close race, even a few percent matters.  It’s just sad that some campaigns can stoop to bald-faced lies to get those percent, hiding behind a smokescreen.

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About Chapman Rackaway

Associate Professor of Political Science at Fort Hays State University. Hays Daily News and Insight Kansas columnist. Co-author of American Government: Politics and Political Culture (5th Edition).

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Last Minute Hijinks Continue

  1. I wonder why anyone would do this. No distinct political advantage to trying to run her down since she is expected to finish very low. Hmmmm.
    On another note, this is the first time I’ve ever heard Boldra referred to as pro-life. Nothing on her website alludes to that.

    Posted by backroadsnewsroom | August 2, 2010, 9:04 pm
  2. This is common in Wyandotte County and once the election is over there is rarely ever any follow-up to hold the groups accountable. The robocalls can assign any number they want to the caller ID number you see. They’re usually completely phony because people start dialing the number to raise hell about the call.

    These are indeed the lowest of the low, and I truly wish the authorities would follow-up. In the case of a congressional race that would be under federal auspices and jurisdiction, but I suspect there’s little they could do to track the calls down, much less connect them to anyone else.

    Historical note: During Richard Nixon’s race for congress against Helen Gahagan Douglas thousands of postcards were sent out urging people in the lily white suburbs and small towns to vote for Helen because “We are with her 100%” and signed by the Communist League of Negro Women.

    Posted by altevogt | August 2, 2010, 10:40 pm
  3. The term you are looking for in all this, Chap, is what the old Nixon dirty trickster Donald Segretti called “ratf***ing.” This includes leaking false memos, sending out bum press releases and anything else nasty that can’t be connected directly from an opposition candidate.

    Frankly, as Boldra has spent so little money and has virtually no name recognition outside Ellis County, I’m surprised anyone would want to beat up on her, unless the ratf***er thinks they can mine a paltry few votes away from her. Not only is this scummy behavior, but a waste of money.

    Posted by larfromhays | August 3, 2010, 6:49 am

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