Black NC voters attacked with disinformation.

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  • #1
turbo
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Main Question or Discussion Point

According to the News and Observer, black households are being targeted with robo-calls that inform them that they have to fill out a voter registration packet (that will never arrive in the mail) and return it before they can vote in the upcoming primary. Who is trying to disenfranchise black voters? The Clinton campaign? Rogue Clinton supporters? GOP groups that want Clinton to keep pounding Obama all the way to the convention? This stinks. You can't mount a disinformation campaign like this without leaving tracks (money-trail, phone records, etc) so I hope the NC AG will be able to nail these creeps and get the word out about the lies, and about the illegality of the calls, and perhaps find the perpetrators.

http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/elections_board_hunting_robocaller [Broken]
 
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  • #2
turbo
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And it turns out that the political operatives running the disinformation campaign are tied to Clinton.

http://southernstudies.org/facingsouth/2008/04/facing-south-exclusive-dc-nonprofit.asp [Broken]
 
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  • #3
Gokul43201
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Why is this not in any of the MSM?
 
  • #4
Evo
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Turbo, please don't post links to non-manistream sources and make unfounded accusations, ok?

Here is what happened.

It was a women's group targeting unmarried women in an effort to get them to vote.

A group whose automated phone calls to North Carolina residents provided misleading information about voting in Tuesday's primary election apologized and said it will stop making the calls.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday that the group, Women's Voices, Women Vote, broke the state law that governs automated phone calls, or "robocalls." No charges were filed, and Cooper's office was seeking more information from the group.

The group's president, Page Gardner, said its members were working to boost voter registration among unmarried women and had sent a voter registration application to more than 275,000 people this week.
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gValsOLfqBF2SGS-zHlwij9PEYkgD90CEUSG0 [Broken]
 
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  • #5
Hurkyl
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Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
 
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  • #6
turbo
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Turbo, please don't post links to non-manistream sources and make unfounded accusations, ok?

Here is what happened.

It was a women's group targeting unmarried women in an effort to get them to vote.



http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gValsOLfqBF2SGS-zHlwij9PEYkgD90CEUSG0 [Broken]
Evo, that's what the group claimed to have been doing. That does not pass the sniff test. Why claim to be mailing a packet of "voter registration" materials to potential voters long after the deadline for registration has passed except to discourage voter turn-out? I have provided links to reliable local media sources. If you don't like them, fine. You can either dig and provide refutation and prove that these media are Obama attack-machines or you can back off and admit that the national media has failed to pick up on a Clinton campaign tactic that has failed to gain national attention. I am willing to be wrong, but I doubt that to be the case. By the time this story goes national, the Clinton team may have cut into Obama's momentum in that primary, and democracy will once again have been suppressed by political machines. I am an independent, and I want this crap to stop! It's high time that the votes of the citizens are once again allowed to be counted and to be weighted fairly. I vote split-tickets in every election, but I am sick of lies.
 
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  • #7
Art
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
If it was a once off one could attribute it to stupidity but it seems this group has spread similar disinformation in Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Virginia and Arkansas and their 'errors' were pointed out to them each time and yet they persist.

Such a pattern of 'incompetence' is surely worthy of scrutiny to establish their true motives.

for eg
Statewide voter registration mailing bypassed Department of State

Women’s Voices, Women Vote mailing confuses voters

For Immediate Release
Nov. 15, 2007

Contact: Rich Coolidge
Communications Director, (303) 860-6903

Denver, Colorado – A recent mailing by Women’s Voices, Women Vote (WVWV) has drawn fire and caused confusion among some Colorado electors. The group mailed voter registration applications throughout the state along with a pre-addressed envelope made out to the Secretary of State’s office.
http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/pressrel/voter_registration_mailing_bypassed_11-15-07.html [Broken]

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Nov. 13, 2007
For more information, contact Kevin Tyne at (602) 542-0681
Sec. Brewer Cautions Voters About Deceptive Voter Registration Drive
Private Group Misleading Arizona Residents Through Mailing

PHOENIX -- Secretary of State Jan Brewer today cautioned voters to be aware of a misleading and deceptive voter registration mailing being sent to Arizona residents by a group called “Women's Voices. Women Vote” based out of Washington D.C.

In a strongly worded letter to the group, Sec. Brewer noted that her office and the county recorders' offices have been inundated with complaints about the group's recent voter registration drive in Arizona in which voters are sent a registration application along with a note indicating that “[v]oter registration laws require you to submit the attached application”, and that it must be filled out and returned to “comply with legal requirements.”

“I have serious concerns about this misleading and deceptive mailing and have asked the group to immediately stop sending these letters to Arizona residents,” said Secretary of State Brewer, “These mailings are misleading and deceptive because they indicate that the law requires the recipient to return the application regardless of whether the recipient is already registered to voter or even eligible to register.”

In addition, Sec. Brewer pointed out that the postage paid information is also misleading because it implies that the Secretary of State's office is involved in the effort and is paying for the return postage (“postage will be paid by addressee”), neither of which is true.
http://www.azsos.gov/releases/2007/pressrelease22.htm?PrintMe=Y [Broken]
 
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  • #8
Hurkyl
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Such a pattern of 'incompetence' is surely worthy of scrutiny to establish their true motives.
Can we agree it's not worth jumping to conclusions?
 
  • #9
Art
Can we agree it's not worth jumping to conclusions?
One should never jump to conclusions but given the information supplied it is quite reasonable to draw conclusions.
 
  • #10
Gokul43201
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The NC AG's office has a link to their communications with the counsel for WVWV.
(see under Press Releases)
http://www.ncdoj.com/
 
  • #11
Evo
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It seems this group is pretty stupid and clueless
Michigan officials ended up "fielding tons of calls from confused voters" after Women's Voices did a February mailing to "380,000 unmarried women" -- including numerous deceased voters and even more that were already registered. Sarah Johnson of Women's Voices "seemed confused by the confusion," the Lansing State Journal reported.
Obviously they don't pay any attention to the quality of the lists they buy and unless you think that there is some conspiracy to raise the dead, I think we can conclude that there is nothing malicious here.
 
  • #12
turbo
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Evo, if you read the links I provided, the group is headed up by some well-connected DC insiders. Is it a grass-roots organization making some rookie mistakes? Not likely.
 
  • #13
Evo
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Evo, if you read the links I provided, the group is headed up by some well-connected DC insiders. Is it a grass-roots organization making some rookie mistakes? Not likely.
What this?

Some have also questioned the ties between Women's Voices operatives and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton. Gardner, for example, contributed $2,500 to Clinton's HILLPAC on May 4, 2006, and in March 2005 she donated a total of $4,200 to Clinton, according to The Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org. She has not contributed to the Obama campaign, according to the database.
These are tiny amounts and not recent contributions or contributions to a Presidential campaign.

Women's Voices Executive Director Joe Goode worked for Bill Clinton's election campaign in 1992 as a pollster;
a pollster?

Women's Voices board member John Podesta, former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, donated $2,300 to Hillary Clinton on April 19, 2007, according to OpenSecrets.org. Podesta also donated $1,000 to Barack Obama in July 2004, but that was well before Obama announced his candidacy for president.
This doesn't look like a conspiracy. I wonder if anyone took the time to look at everyone else in that organization what would be divulged. This looks like data mining and cherry picking only reporting donations tied to Clinton. Where is disclosure on the other top people in this organization? Oh, they failed to report it. Must be a conspiracy to try to tie this group to Clinton, eh?

When information is omitted and only select information is prestented, it means it's bad information.

I'm sorry, but they would have to fairly report on all staff members honestly to be credible.

And what they did was illegal and hopefully they get nailed.
 
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  • #14
Gokul43201
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a pollster?
A pollster can be a powerful person in a campaign. Until he was recently demoted, following the CAFTA disaster, Mark Penn was both pollster and most powerful person on the Clinton campaign (maybe barring the Clintons).

This doesn't look like a conspiracy. I wonder if anyone took the time to look at everyone else in that organization what would be divulged. This looks like data mining and cherry picking only reporting donations tied to Clinton. Where is disclosure on the other top people in this organization? Oh, they failed to report it. Must be a conspiracy to try to tie this group to Clinton, eh?
I don't think it actually takes a conspiracy to "tie" a Women's voting activist group to Hillary Clinton (it doesn't take a great stretch of the imagination to expect that a Women's Voting group will root for the woman candidate in the race). It's another thing entirely to say that the Clinton campaign was aware of their illegal activity or condoned it.

The WVWV website shows that 4 of the board members had ties to Clinton, and of course we know John Podesta was arguably, Clinton's closest aide by the end of his second term.

Their ads are clever, and they all involve women in an Oval Office mock up.
 
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  • #15
turbo
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The nasty part of the campaign is the mailing that "must be filled out and returned" so that the recipients can be registered to vote. The deadline for mail-in voter registrations was April 11th, so anybody that relied on that disinformation, filled out those forms and showed up to vote on primary day would be turned away because they are not registered. NC has "one-stop" registration during the early voting period, so voters can show up in person, register and vote, but mail-in registrations were closed almost 3 weeks ago, and there is no way that you can register on the day of the primary, so if you show up to vote and are not on the list of registered voters, you're disenfranchised.

The group behind the calls claims to be registering unmarried (why?) women to vote, but their calls were targeted to black households, both male and female, registered and unregistered. Their protestations of making innocent mistakes are not believable, given their pattern of interference in primaries in other states. WVWV is using Rovian tactics to disenfranchise voters from their own party because they are seen as likely Obama supporters.

In Florida in 2000, thousands of blacks were dropped from the voter lists by GOP operatives because their names were the same as the names of felons. In 2004, thousands more were purged from the voter rolls through the use of caging lists. The GOP mailed registered letters to the last known address of the voter, and if the letter was returned because the person was not available to sign it or didn't want to sign for a letter, they challenged the voter and/or even got the registrar to drop the voter from the rolls. This was a particularly nasty one, because they often targeted black military personnel, many of whom have to move from base to base and/or were deployed overseas. Other people targeted included students who had registered at college, but were home for the summer.and people whose address when they last registered was a homeless shelter. People who found themselves on the caging lists were either unable to vote, or were able to cast provisional ballots that are far less likely to be counted. The national media wouldn't touch that story - it took Greg Palast of the BBC and some other actual journalists to dig it up. PBS eventually ran a piece on it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxlLYjtqHps&feature=related

These efforts to disenfranchise primarily black people were run by the RNC, with the power of the White House and the DOJ behind them. Now, we see "Democrats" involved in vote-suppression, as well. It's quite disheartening.
 
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  • #16
Evo
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Are there any figures showing how many blacks there were out of the over 200,000 contacted?

Also, we don't know the political affiliations of other staff members.

Since we don't have peer-reviewed papers, we allow "credible, well known" publications which should state all facts and not make unfounded accusations.
 
  • #17
Gokul43201
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The first people to get wind of the illegal robocalls were a nonpartisan voting rights group called Democracy North Carolina who immediately set up a hotline to clarify the issue to confused voters. Because they were hearing predominantly from Black households, they assumed the calls were coming from NC Republican operatives as a part of the attack on Obama (following the Obama-Wright ad which McCain famously denounced).

It wasn't until 2 days later that the source of the calls was identified. There are no official numbers yet on the distribution of households that were called. The AG's office is still waiting to hear back from WVWV, who have been asked to hand over specific information about the operation.
 
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  • #18
turbo
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Google on Women's Voices, Women's Votes and Virginia. They did exactly the same thing in Virginia, placing the robo-calls on Feb 5 and 6 - about 10 days before the primary, but over two weeks past the deadline for mail-in voter registrations. The VA State Police investigated and found out who was behind the disinformation campaign, and WVWV agreed to stop. Again, in that case, people who got the call and mailed in the packet could not have been registered to vote because the deadline had passed weeks before and they would be turned away at the polls. Again, people who had already registered called their registrars, angry and confused because they though somehow their registration hadn't been processed - adding unnecessarily to the work-load of the people processing registrations.

Clinton supporters point out that there are Obama supporters on the board of WVWV, and celebrity spokespersons like Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as if that somehow exonerates the operatives who are conducting these disinformation campaigns. It does not pass the straight-face test. A REAL get-out the vote campaign would explain the same-day registration process for early voting, and the registration deadlines for primary-day voting, as the Obama robo-calls did. They would also have identified themselves properly. The NC attorney general Roy Cooper has said that these calls were illegal, and is waiting for more information before (perhaps) filing charges. From the pattern of complaints, Democracy North Carolina infers that the disinformation calls were targeted at blacks. If that is true, I would not be surprised to see Cooper go after WVWV. Racially-based voter suppression would not play well in a region trying to overcome the stigma of decades of such tactics.

It is impossible for me to believe that Bill Clinton's former Chief of Staff and his high-powered crew of pollsters, political consultants, etc at WVWV are stupid and inept enough for these problems (and those in 10 other states) to be "unfortunate errors". They know what they are doing. Now, WVWV claims that the calls and mailings are being made to register people for the general elections, not the primaries. Funny, they pull this crap in VA and NC just before critical primaries.
 
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  • #19
russ_watters
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Greg Palast is a journalist?!!? You're kidding! Do you think Michael Moore and Joe Francis are a journalists too?! Ok, Joe Francis might be a stretch, but not much - given Palast's history, I think he may actually be mentally ill. He obviously has a quite heavily predeliction toward paranoid delusions. I realize that plays well with the British tabloids, but the US media at least pays lip service, occasionally, toward journalistic integrity, which is why Palast got sent down to the minor leagues. He's lucky the US government no longer considers treason a crime, or he'd already be dead.

Anyway, though, yes conspiracy theorists think this is a conspiracy theory. If anything, that's evidence that there is no conspiracy. If it were real, the real news media would pick up on it and the Greg Palast types wouldn't be interested in it.
 
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  • #20
turbo
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Greg Palast is a journalist?!!? You're kidding! Do you think Michael Moore and Joe Francis are a journalists too?! Ok, Joe Francis might be a stretch, but not much - given Palast's history, I think he may actually be mentally ill. He obviously has a quite heavily predeliction toward paranoid delusions. I realize that plays well with the British tabloids, but the US media at least pays lip service, occasionally, toward journalistic integrity. He's lucky the US government no longer considers treason a crime, or he'd already be dead.
OK Russ. If you don't like Greg Palast, can you manage to believe - the VA State Police or the NC Attorney General? If not, why not? It's about time that the apologists for the RNC team and the Clinton attack machine come up with some viable, believable excuses for their tactics.
 
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  • #21
According to their own website they have alot of experience working on voter registration drives which makes it rather suspicious that they would make a mistake like this repeatedly.

And funny enough...
http://www.wvwv.org/assets/2008/1/23/afam_web.pdf
They even have a study regarding the potential impact of Unmarried African American Women as voters, specifically calling attention to the primaries.
 
  • #22
turbo
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According to their own website they have alot of experience working on voter registration drives which makes it rather suspicious that they would make a mistake like this repeatedly.

And funny enough...
http://www.wvwv.org/assets/2008/1/23/afam_web.pdf
They even have a study regarding the potential impact of Unmarried African American Women as voters, specifically calling attention to the primaries.
Isn't it interesting that they have done extensive studies on young unmarried black women (Clinton's demographic???) and are making these disinformation calls just before critical primaries... Just honest mistakes, I'm sure. :mad:
 
  • #24
Hurkyl
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It is impossible for me to believe...
Why entertain discussion if your beliefs are immutable? Is it to deliberately waste everyone's time?
 
  • #25
turbo
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Why entertain discussion if your beliefs are immutable? Is it to deliberately waste everyone's time?
Read the linked posts. WVWV has been targeting primary states with disinformation for months, and every time they get caught they offer the same lame excuses about, "bad timing" "unfortunate confusion" etc. They are not a bunch of grass-roots activists trying to get out the vote. They are a bunch of seasoned DC-based political hacks, many with long-held ties to Clinton and her husband, who are trying to suppress voter turn-out to favor her. If they can discourage younger voters, black voters, etc, the most reliable voters (retirees, older women, etc) could swing primaries to Clinton. Note that they target voters shortly before primaries, but long after the mail-in primary registration deadlines have passed. Voters who fall for their scams will fill out the forms, and show up at the polls only to find out that they are not registered and cannot vote. As a side-benefit, people who get such calls and mailings and who already have registered flood the registrars with calls because they are confused and angry about the possibility that their voter registrations have not been processed. Flooding the registrars with calls can reduce their ability to process real new registrations (Obama's strong point), further favoring Clinton. This is a very slick operation, and it will (IMO) eventually draw legal fire, although it will be too late to undo the damage that they have done to the electoral process.
 
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