Vote Theft, Robocalls, and Terry Nelson

Terry Nelson, an unindicted co-conspirator in the TRMPAC Tom Delay scandal, and the boss of Jim Tobin, the convicted felon in the NH phone-jamming case, is the head of opposition research for the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.  So it's not a surprise that these kinds of unethical dishonest tactics are being used.

Sources in Bergen County are reporting that an autodial robocall is being made that starts out sounding like a positive Bob Menendez message. If you hang up, it repeatedly calls you back. If you listen all the way to the end, it finishes by saying that Menendez is an embezzler and under criminal investigation.

This is a voter suppression tactic being used nationwide by the GOP. Initially callers will think they are hearing a call from the Menendez campaign asking for support. If they hang up, it will repeatedly call them back. The intention is to annoy the voter so much that they no longer support the candidate. For those who actually listen to the entire call, they are presented with a series of lies and smears against Menendez, also with the intention of suppressing turnout. It's a win-win tactic for them.

The NRCC is doing the same exact thing in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and at least 53 other races across the country.

Terry Nelson is a key GOP operative, a senior advisor to John McCain and someone heavily involved with both Tom Delay and Karl Rove.  This guy breaks the law and gets rewarded for it. Democrats should make election reform a very core part of their agenda for a lot of reasons, but the rampant criminal nature of the Republican operative class is a pretty good rationale.

Now one thing to be aware of is that vote theft is rarely done cleanly.  There are usually signs that unethical people are in charge of a campaign before the vote tampering takes place.  After all, if someone is capable of breaking the law with impunity, that character usually shows up prior to the election.  They don't just become seedy.  There's often a trail of gray area electoral tactics, dishonest mailers and ads, lying robocalls, and a history of flouting FEC or IRS law.

Chris has his checklist for whether we're going to win.  I have my checklist for whether there will be attempted electoral theft.  And check on all of them, for every Republican candidate in the country since the national party is run by a guy promoted because of his penchant for law-breaking, Terry Nelson.

Does this mean I think the election will be stolen?  Well given how much people hate uncertainty, my answer won't satisfy you.  It's hard to tell.  I would lean against it.  And I tend not to believe that Diebold is the most likely way to take votes; good old fashioned voter suppression and ballot box theft is still more reliable and easier for local machines, who are the ones that do it.  But recognize the signs are all there on the right.  These are very bad people.  

Fortunately, there's something you can do about this.  You can get out into the field and help candidates with GOTV.  Go to Do More Than Vote, which has nice lists of opportunities to work, work, work.

Let's blow these people out of the water.  Even Terry Nelson can't stop that.

Tags: NRCC, Republicans, Terry Nelson (all tags)

Comments

16 Comments

Should be a law ....

The entity sponsering and approving the call should have to be announced at the start of the call, not at the end.   That'd fix 'em.

by dpANDREWS 2006-11-06 03:28AM | 0 recs
Ban all Robo calls.

Several fixes should be required:

A) The people calliung should identify themselves at the beginning of the call.

B) It should be by a live person.

C) Their phone number should be traceable.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2006-11-06 03:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Should be a law ....

Exactly.

What's so hard or onerous about that?

It's a perfectly legitimate requirement  - the only reason one would have for NOT supporting such legislation would be to keep dirty tricks like these available... and does it really even need to be legislation?  Since I believe the party responsible for the call already has to identify themselves, couldn't the FEC just write rules to that effect?

Nothing pisses me off more than something like this -- where a very simple and fair rule would snip things like this right in the bud.

by zonk 2006-11-06 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Vote Theft, Robocalls, and Terry Nelson

If Menendez really had mob connections, like the GOP claims, Nelson's legs would be broken by now.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2006-11-06 03:46AM | 0 recs
But he's on the Straight Talk Express

Washington Post:

Terry Nelson, who served as national political director for President Bush's reelection race in 2004, has signed on as a senior adviser to McCain's Straight Talk America political action committee.

by patriotboy 2006-11-06 04:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Vote Theft, Robocalls, and Terry Nelson

Democrats should make election reform a very core part of their agenda for a lot of reasons, but the rampant criminal nature of the Republican operative class is a pretty good rationale.

"Election Reform" is such a nice thought... but NO incumbent EVER voted to overturn ANY electoral practice that might in any way be seen to withdraw from them ANY advantage. No incumbent EVER voted--or would vote--to change the circumstances under which they were last elected.
therefore, there will not occur ANY significant election reform, no matter who controls the Congress.
.

by Konopelli 2006-11-06 04:22AM | 0 recs
HEADS UP! Conquest Comm. behind GOP robocalls

ALERT!  Conquest Communications is behind the GOP robocalls.

Confirmed by a DailyKos diarist, here:   http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/1 1/5/212753/967

by Phoenix Woman 2006-11-06 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Vote Theft, Robocalls, and Terry Nelson

The general NRCC number 202 479-7000 is a phone hell from which naught will escape. The NRCC communications number is 202 479 7070 and the after hours number for those on deadline is 716-208-1870. The General Consul's number is 7069. He might have some comments about how legal this all is.

Otherwise, NRCC phone numbers are of the form 202 479-70xx where the xx runs up to at least 70. There are some blanks (7002, 7004, 7006-8, 7029) and a bunch of numbers that have no voice mail (7013-16, 7021, 7023).

I am sure that they would all like to hear from you

by Eli Rabett 2006-11-06 05:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Vote Theft, Robocalls, and Terry Nelson

There is a great diary just posted on DailyKos that is the "Mother of all Meida Lists."  The link is:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/11/6/ 85144/4854

This would be a great resource to locate an appropirate publication and ask them to report on this story - BEFORE the F&%*ING election tomorrow.

by RedTravelmaster 2006-11-06 05:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Vote Theft, Robocalls, and Terry Nelson

I don't know, it may be time to fight fire with a blaze.

How about robocalls from us, simply stating that, "If you vote for any Republican you will die, instantly. As soon as you push that button you will fall on the ground, dead. This is not a threat, and we will have nothing to do with your death. This is simply the way God works and we wanted to let you know about it. So, avoid death and don't vote for any Republicans."

Something like that. Republicans are so superstitious many will crap in their pants and not show up to vote.

by Aris 2006-11-06 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Vote Theft, Robocalls, and Terry Nelson

You say

Does this mean I think the election will be stolen? ... It's hard to tell.  

I agree with you. But it is getting easier to see that the conditions that would trigger a concerted effort to steal are all there. Because, even with late changes and the "72 hour plan", it still looks good for the Democrats.

So now, let's imagine I am a well-connected Republican operative, and the polls are all telling me I need to start running Plan B. Whassat?

Plan B is a deliberate strategy, developed over six years, practiced in 2002, used in anger in 2004 in a couple of places, and ready for wider deployment this year. It is what underpins the assertions that some are making, against the evidence, that the right wing retains all power.

(1) Create HAVA, enforce premature implementation of questionable technology, establish new voter reg and ID requirements, set up strange arrangements for provisional and absentee ballots, run phone bank wars, etc. All these are designed to give me the power to cause just enough confusion to throw just enough results into doubt for a lengthy period after election day.

(2) Build large post election legal teams prepared to drop in, where needed to challenge and set up to litigate...

(3) Set up several years of judicious judicial appointments up to and including the Supreme Court...

(4) Prepare to suppress protest - little things like, remove habeas corpus, build in country detention centers, federalize the National Guard, and authorize domestic surveillance (all have been achieved in the last couple of years)...

So now, all we need to do is prolong the confusion. If it looks like I am winning through litigation, great. (And remember, I don't need to win much to retain power).

But if even that is looking shaky, then we call a halt. We say, this great country cannot afford prolonged uncertainty at this crucial time in history, etc (essentially the reason that the 2000 count was stopped).

We declare, in the public interest, that the election is void, and we must retain the status quo Congress. We make some consoling noises about holding them again next year.  

We're not too worried about protest - in general our opposition is too "gentlemanly" to fight for very long.

If anyone does complain, well, we just federalised the National Guard, and we ditched habeas corpus for non-citizens, so we can pretty much suppress who you like. What? You say you are a citizen? Prove it. Oh, that's right, you can't, because you can't talk to anyone on the outside.

This is pure tinhattery conspiracy theory. I am not a Republican operative, and no such operative with any such plan exists.

It couldn't happen here.

Just watch.

by maantoninus 2006-11-06 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Vote Theft, Robocalls, and Terry Nelson

Indiana courts have ruled that the calls violate the Indiana Do Not Call list.....at least, two repubs have been caught doing it anyway because recipents turned over messages left on answering machines.   The NRCCC was one of the offending parties.....the other was a local GOP prosecutor candidate {so much for law and order]

by DemoDan 2006-11-06 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Vote Theft, Robocalls, and Terry Nelson

OF course nothing can be done of consequence before tomorrow's election about these calls, but once the smoke clears, can't a massive lawsuit be filed against the GOP? They need to become financially as bankrupted as they are morally, ethically and politically.

by fred sanford 2006-11-06 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Vote Theft, Robocalls, and Terry Nelson

Breaking Fox News poll has Dems with 13 point generic ballot lead. Together with the CNN numbers from earlier it certainly looks like Pew is the outlier.

by conspiracy 2006-11-06 06:12AM | 0 recs
So frustrating

I've been sick with a nasty chest cold since Thursday. Cough, massive sinus congestion, fever. Right now even over the phone I'd scare people away the way I sound right now let alone being able to drive around or whtaever.

God dammit!

by MNPundit 2006-11-06 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: So frustrating
Maybe you should try fight your sinus congestion with nature's life probiotic
by Iulia 2007-11-11 10:31PM | 0 recs

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