« This Looks Ugly | Main | The Lincoln-Douglass Debate: Live On Fox! »

May 01, 2008

Comments

First, WVWV seems to be a perfectly legitimate organization dedicated to registering unmarried women to vote. (See also here and here.)
This doesn't quite square with this from your Becky Bond link:
1) WVWV doesn't just target unmarried women. they target hispanics and african americans. so it's not surprising at all that they are targeting black voters in n.c. they've done this in partnership with organizations like the NAACP in 2004 and National Council of La Raza more recently.
I didn't find anything in the WVWV website to support the claim that they target groups other than women, though. Even if they do, your statement wouldn't be technically wrong, just incomplete. I don't know if it means anything, but it's a nitpicky detail that bugs me.

Once upon a time, the reason for reading American political blogs was that they were substantially different from American mainstream media.

This has not been true of many right-wing blogs for some time, which more and more simply seemed to chorus together whatever party line was coming out of the White House.

But it was still true of many blogs, some on the right, many on the left, lots which were neither typed as "right" or "left.

Sadly, it no longer seems to be the case. What the mainstream media is paying attention to is apparently what is deemed to be important, so what is the point of reading blogs rather than reading mainstream media?

This primary would have been a great opportunity to examine the real differences between Clinton and Obama: substantive reasons, rather than trivial ones, why someone might decide they preferred one over the other.

Instead, as one would expect, the mainstream media and the Republican campaigners had a long, happy time circulating nasty nonsense about either or both, and as I certainly didn't expect, the left-wing blogosphere happily took up the lead the mainstream media and the Republican campaigners had given them and ran with it.

or they are the most incompetent VR campaign in the history of multi-million dollar VR campaigns

I dunno. It might hold the record for VR campaigns specifically, but I did a lot of political volunteer work in '04, and the level of organizational incompetence (and poor training and especially lack of state-by-state basic local knowledge, such as the fact that Oregon votes by mail) in certain well-known "nonpartisan" get-out-the-vote drives was absolutely staggering.

Sometimes people really are just that friggin' incompetent, on a large scale and with no apparent excuse for it. (And they should get out of the biz when they are, since any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.)

Once upon a time, the reason for reading American political blogs was that they were substantially different from American mainstream media.

Your use of the passive voice here is problematic. Whose reason? Your reason? Mine? Hilzoy's? Since I don't think you are entitled to speak on behalf of anyone else, I'm going to assume you're referring to your own reasons. So, um, why are you telling me this? What am I supposed to do? I'm sincerely confused on this point.

Of course I appreciate your concern. You haven't stated explicitly what specific things specific people have done which you disagree with. Instead, you've explained how concerned you are about very vague unspecific problems brought about by unspecified actors. I'm sorry that you're so concerned, but this comment smells a bit like concern trolling. If you have specific complaints about specific people, I would like to see them.

This has not been true of many right-wing blogs for some time, which more and more simply seemed to chorus together whatever party line was coming out of the White House.

But it was still true of many blogs, some on the right, many on the left, lots which were neither typed as "right" or "left.

Sadly, it no longer seems to be the case.

It is no longer the case for all blogs? Most of them? Can you specify which ones? Do you mean this blog? Why so vauge and general?

I'm very curious about what mechanism you believe drives this phenomena. Is it simply the case that lots of very smart people scattered all over the country with very different lives and interests suddenly became stupid? That these people used to be very skilled at resisting and deconstructing media narratives, but all of the sudden, became dumb? Perhaps because of some government conspiracy? Surely you must have a theory here and I am very interested in hearing it.

What the mainstream media is paying attention to is apparently what is deemed to be important, so what is the point of reading blogs rather than reading mainstream media?

Again with the passive voice. Deemed important to who? You? Me? Hilzoy? The evil monkey that lives in my closet and is trying to kill me? And what evidence do you have that the media sets the agenda for this mythical unspecified entity?

In any event, blogs have always interacted with the MSM. But lots of stories of prime importance in the blogosphere right now have not been touched by the MSM. Like, you know, the story that this post describes. It was sourced entirely by blogs. Or the DOD news propaganda operation: most papers and all of the networks haven't even mentioned that.

This primary would have been a great opportunity to examine the real differences between Clinton and Obama: substantive reasons, rather than trivial ones, why someone might decide they preferred one over the other.

You must be so tired of hearing me say this again, but: passive voice. A great opportunity for who? Seriously, who on earth are you talking about? Do you really think it is productive to speak in such incredibly vague terms?

In any event, what makes you think that these substantial distinctions haven't been explored in great detail in some places? There have certainly been interesting posts on this site that do just that. Berube's primer on disability policies was quite informative I thought. I've read similar primers on foreign policy and internet/telecom issues in other places. Seems like there's lots of good analysis out there.

Instead, as one would expect, the mainstream media and the Republican campaigners had a long, happy time circulating nasty nonsense about either or both,

I think you're leaving some parties out of the picture. You see, there are these democratic primary campaigns and there are groups of supporters attached to them at varying distances. These entities have played a non-trivial role in spreading nastiness around, faxing MSM goons their talking points of the day, etc. In other words, I'm afraid I have to interrupt your morality play by pointing out that politics is messy and that we can't blame all the problems of our society on the MSM and RNC.

...and as I certainly didn't expect, the left-wing blogosphere happily took up the lead the mainstream media and the Republican campaigners had given them and ran with it.

I think you're making a category error by comparing the MSM, Republican campaigners, and the left-wing blogosphere. The political blogosphere in general has very little power and influence in society; it consists of a tiny fraction of the population. To speak about it as if it had anywhere near the reach or the influence of the MSM or the RNC seems bizarre. But perhaps I'm mistaken: can you explain in what ways the left wing blogosphere has accumulated sufficient power to be comparable to the MSM and RNC?

Finally, what does it mean to say that the left-wing blogosphere "took up the lead"? The blogosphere is ostensibly decentralized...are you alleging some sort of conspiracy? Should we waterboard hilzoy? She's always looked shifty to me and I've always suspected she was in on some vile plot. We better do it just to be safe. More seriously, what are the effects of this "taking up the lead"? I mean, given that the left wing blogosphere has very little power, um, why should anyone care even if they have taken up the lead (whatever that means)? Do you really think that the campaign would end tomorrow if only the left wing blogosphere began to completely ignore primary coverage? Do you have any evidence at all to support your assertion that the left-wing blogosphere has taken up the lead?

Sorry for asking so many questions. But it is rare that I can make so little sense of a comment. I look forward to whatever responses you can give.

I interpreted J's comment as "these are not the droids you're looking for", but I wouldn't dream of assuming that to be a valid interpretation, and then berating her based on that assumption.

Others might, though.

I don’t really find anything convincing yet. Concerning all the political contributions and past political ties, anytime I mention that as casting suspicion on something (especially where Democrats are concerned) it’s pooh-poohed here as being irrelevant.

One thing that might be an indication that this was targeted at the AA community is the name “Lamont Williams”. It would be hard to come up with a more stereotypical “black” name. It could have been chosen to illicit some level of trust if it was targeted at the AA community – instantly recognizable as a member of that community. Plus it is so common as to be untraceable to any individual. OTOH, being so common it could be the person’s real name.

But I’m happy to accept pure incompetence as the reason at this point.


Jes: I can’t resist yanking your chain at least a little bit here. ;) After dragging election fraud into almost every thread for years, you now seem to be giving this a pass. And I’m not saying that there is anything here, just that you seem to be unconcerned that there might be…

What other programs are out there that are registering Democratic voting blocs on this sort of scale?

There's like this unstated assumption that gosh, all the other comparable groups manage to follow the law and leave no voter confused, and this group is bolloxing it all up so there must somehow be something shady about them. But is it really fair to assume that running a registration operation on a massive scale is truly that simple?

If there's a progressive organization that needs to get its act in gear, there's nothing wrong with sending that message. But the last 24 hours in the blogosphere haven't been about "gee, I wish this progressive organization would get its act in gear." No, it's been yet another Two Minutes Hate because there's theoretically a Clinton-Obama angle to this thing.

Some of the blog people whose reaction is to write things like "Clinton backers behind deceptive robo-calls aimed at blacks" should maybe think about using some of their copious free time to get out there and register Democratic voters instead. Why, I hear there's a voter registration organization out there that could use some competent help.

One thing that might be an indication that this was targeted at the AA community is the name “Lamont Williams”.

They freely admit that black voters are one of the groups they're trying to get registered. The only question is whether this organization - which Obama supporters like Mike Lux are gladly vouching for - is secretly trying to suppress the black vote instead.

OCSteve: I can’t resist yanking your chain at least a little bit here. ;) After dragging election fraud into almost every thread for years, you now seem to be giving this a pass.

While Republicans and others who have utterly ignored or denied the wholesale electoral fraud of 2000, 2004, and 2006, will suddenly leap on this as an opportunity to diss Clinton - not because they have the slightest concern about making 2008 a free and fair election where the candidate who wins the election is the one who gets into the White House - given that we know that didn't happen in 2000, and there's fair evidence to say that's not what happened in 2004.

Is this an electoral fraud case? Could be. If so, it's serious.

Which states are using the no-paper-trail voting machines which can be rigged to turn a 5-6% loss for McCain into a Republican win? What mechanisms are in place to ensure that the Republican electoral fraud machine does not succeed in placing McCain in the White House regardless of how many people actually voted for the Democratic candidate?

Why is one group operating in one state with no apparent link to a wider plan to steal the election, receiving more attention than any other issues of electoral fraud?

I can’t resist yanking your chain

Pity you can't resist fighting electoral fraud on a widescale, OCSteve. Even people who can't bring themselves to admit the last two Presidential elections were stolen could at least look at the facts and figure that if it's possible to steal a Presidential election, mechanisms ought to be in place so that people can be confident for some other reason than blind patriotism that "it can't happen here".

Yeah, I care about the honesty of Presidential elections in the US more than, it appears, many Americans do. OTOH: if McCain gets in for another 8 years, your country will not be the only one to suffer, just as the US has not been the only country to suffer because of Bush. Granted, you've lost thousands of Americans dead because of the Bush administration; Iraq has a million dead because no one in the US with the authority to make that change could bring themselves to stand up in 2000 and say "Let's count every vote cast in Florida before we just give the electoral college votes to the governor's brother."

How many millions will die if McCain gets in, because not enough Americans could bring themselves to admit that the fraudsters of 2000 and 2004, having got away with it twice, would do it again?

You may think that your country's rotten electoral system is a matter for mild amusement, ha ha look at the funny people who care!

You can afford to. You won't be arrested, tortured, murdered, or see your neighborhood bombed and your neighbors killed, because you can't be arsed to see that the electoral authorities in your country run an honest election, and you can't see why anyone else would want you to.

Your use of the passive voice here is problematic.

Actually, your use of the concept of "passive voice" is problematic.

Active voice: "Jes wrote a comment."
Passive voice: "A comment was written by Jes."

Active voice: "Turbulence replied to Jes's comment.
Passive voice: "Jes's comment was replied to by Turblulence.

Passive voice can be used to convey vagueness, but not all vagueness is passive voice. Saying "they" instead of someone's name does not make a sentence passive.

Etc.

Saying this was resisted by me a couple of days ago when my attention was caught by a previous instance of someone being taken to task by Turbulence, passive voice being alleged by Turbulence to have been used by that person on that occasion too. Gary has been being waited for by me so that this mistaken concept of passive voice could be clarified by someone whose corrections would have been well-researched and thoroughly cited. But this second and more long-winded and repetitive instance was felt by me to be one too many, so my waiting for Gary has been pre-empted by my irritation with faux grammar policing done using a concept that has been applied mistakenly.

The off-topic ramble is regretted by me, but not enough to escape being posted. ;)

Steve, registering voters is NOT simple. I think that is the point. What I find to be not credible in the group's explanation is that "due to the high volume" of their operations they have -- repeatedly -- engaged in robocalling efforts that just happened to coincide with an upcoming primary.

Adding a single clause ("If you have not already registered to vote") would have avoided all confusion, and does not detract in any way from an otherwise "one message fits all states" strategy.

Not identifying the group, using a fictitious messenger, blocking the incoming number -- are all really crazy. Even a referral to a website would have allowed individuals to get more detailed info. It's just inexplicable.

Whatever the intention of this group, most people with a sincere interest in registering voters are usually also very concerned about voter suppression. What does it say that they continued in the same misleading tactics even after they were repeatedly warned that they were misleading people in a way that made many think that they were a voter suppression group? The fact that they have been called out on the strategy by multiple states well in advance of the NC operations makes it difficult to attribute their missteps to stupidity alone.

Nitpickery once more: It's WVWV not VWVW.

Perhaps ironically, I share Jes' concern about how much the liberal blogosphere is aping the mainstream media's focus on horserace stuff over assessment of any issues, but this post seems to me just the opposite. This is actual distributed reporting going on, and I'm interested in part because I have great confidence that Hilzoy isn't bent on proving her initial point - if evidence leads her to any particular conclusion beyond "this is lumpy and weird", she'll tell us, just as she'll correct errors of percieved fact and so on.

Jes: … will suddenly leap on this as an opportunity to diss Clinton…

Did ‘ya miss the part where I said I don’t think there is anything to this beyond incompetence?

Pity you can't resist fighting electoral fraud on a widescale, OCSteve.

Assuming you meant I can resist it - where did I mention that? I’m all for paper trails etc. Shoot I’m fine with requiring ID. We can eliminate the secret ballot (it’s a problem for unions after all) and require publicly notarized ballets and that would be just fine with me. Bring it. (Slight exaggeration – yank yank.)

You may think that your country's rotten electoral system is a matter for mild amusement, ha ha look at the funny people who care!

No, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to yank your chain a little. I’m weak, what can I say. D on D claims of disenfranchisement is what I find to be a matter for mild amusement. As in, how could this possibly happen with no Republicans even involved? I mean everyone knows it’s only Republicans who want to disenfranchise voters.

Everyone wants to fix our “rotten electoral system” – it’s clearly a bipartisan issue. Democrats want to “fix” it in ways that benefit themselves, and Republicans want to “fix” it in ways that benefit themselves.

Jes: serious accusations were flying around. Sometimes when that happens, I can't find anything out (e.g., criminal trials), but when I can, it's one of the things I can try to do: find facts and put them together, so that at least whoever reads me will have them conveniently available. That was what motivated me here.

I also don't think I've been silent, recently, on things like the difference between either Democrat and McCain, in terms of policy. As far as differences between Obama and Clinton go, I think they are few and far between, but when they arise (e.g., the gas tax holiday), I don't think I've avoided them.

Ymmv, and presumably does, of course.

What's getting largely lost here is a couple of slightly subtle points.

(1) The NC deadline for mail-in registration for the primary had already passed. That made calling people to tell them to mail in WVWV's handy mail-in registration package particularly boneheaded (or evil, can't really decide yet). If one is genuinely interested in exhorting people to register to vote -- and to do so in an efficacious way -- smack dab in the middle of a hotly contested and significant primary, telling them to mail in registration packets after the mail-in registration deadline passed is not high on my list of intelligant moves.

(2) Relatedly, if one's goals are as described above, the most efficacious thing for unregistered people to do is go in and register in person, which they were still permitted to do. Screw the idea of adding a line to the script mentioning in-person registration. Change the whole damn script to urrge people to register in person, and tell them how. That WVWV did not do so -- and indeed implicitly suggested that mail-in registration was the only way to go -- is passing strange.

(3) The failure to identify and weed out already registered voters is really odd. And this is perhaps the most pernicious feature of the whole thing. By confusing already-registered people about their registration status, WVWV not only failed to sign up new registrants, but discouraged already registered voters. That reeks.

(4) Barbara maes the point that registering voters is not simple. It's true that full compliance with state election law is not necessarily easy. But that's why highly paid, heavily credentialed professionals like the folks running WVWV make a lot of money doing it. They should know how to do it properly or get the fuck out of the business (that is, assuming that they are not advertently running a vote-suppression effort to aid a primary candidate).

(5) Although compliance with every jot and tittle of every state's election law may be difficult, there are some universals. That I know of, no state sanctions anonymous voter registration communications. It is a basic feature of every election-regulation regime to require disclosure of who is funding the operation (even if that entity bears some misleading, anodyne name). If one doesn't know this, one should not be in this business. Accordingly, the failure to include a basic source disclose is very troubling. I have a hard time crediting the idea that anyone who has ever done this before - lawyer or not -- would negligently fail to include a source disclosure. And, if you're not up to shenanigans, why would you deliberately do so?

Sebastian, please read the posting rules if you haven't already. We try to keep the language cleaned up here, because of various contributors and readers having to contend with filters and such.

Thanks!

I thinhkj that the solution here is to prosecute them. Clearly their mode of operation is to fu, apologize, fu, apologize...a big messy well publicized investigation followed by a fine will stop the behavior whether it is intentionally harmful or just stupid.

I thinhkj that the solution here is to prosecute them. Clearly their mode of operation is to fu, apologize, fu, apologize...a big messy well publicized investigation followed by a fine will stop the behavior whether it is intentionally harmful or just stupid.

Fine by me.

Tired of experienced political hacks making "mistakes" and getting away with it.

JanieM,

You're right, I was incorrect in ascribing the problem to passive voice. Let me amend that by saying the problem is vagueness to the point of incoherence: Jes's comment is full of sentences that don't make sense. This isn't grammar pickiness: I'm not arguing about deviations from a formal rule in cases where the meaning is clear. I'm not arguing about the grammar at all. I'm arguing that the comment is incoherent and the reasoning is muddled, in large part because it consists of vague generalities of unspecified groups doing unspecified things.

But perhaps I'm missing something. Did you find that the questions I raised had trivial answers? Do you know who and what Jes is talking about?

To Jes's point: the operating assumption a week ago is that a right leaning group was behind the calls, and many of us were more than a little surprised that it's WVWV.

In any event, I don't want even accidental voter suppression techniques to become the norm, and publicizing and ending such tactics is important. Robocalling by other groups has been advertised and investigated, and it's safe to say that it will become a more visible issue as it becomes clearer that it is undertaken intentionally to disrupt elections. I am still having a hard time evaluating the WVWV mess, but even Democratic leaning groups shouldn't get a free pass if their effect is to suppress the vote, even if it is done inadvertently.

I will be working with an election rights group on election day, as I did for some primary elections. One of the things that they do is to document what happens where so that they have the facts and data to support legislative efforts to protect the vote. It's a really difficult task because even though policies and plans are hatched well in advance, their effect becomes apparent only on election day, and the hope is that everyone will lose interest shortly thereafter.

And then, a lot of the time, you'll get the excuse that it was due to "human error," without acknowledgment that the primary goal of protection is to avoid and compensate for human error (as well as human malfeasance). (This happens in the health care world as well, as if human error is a completely defensible reason for catastrophe. Imagine if the airline industry took this view.)

Sorry, the f-bomb slipped out as a result of the rather gob-smacking degree of either incompetence or dirty-dealing on display.

(Oh, and complying with the posting rules of many different blogs is hard, y'know. Snicker.)

If this is a dirty tricks disenfranchisement campaign, I wonder to what extent this organization was used for it, in order to capitalize on the "Why mister man, you can't believe a bunch of little ol' ladies would do a nasty thing like *that*, can you?" tendency.

This isn't grammar pickiness: I'm not arguing about deviations from a formal rule in cases where the meaning is clear. I'm not arguing about the grammar at all... But perhaps I'm missing something. Did you find that the questions I raised had trivial answers? Do you know who and what Jes is talking about?

I had/have no comment on what Jes might have been talking about. Unless I'm hallucinating, it was the second time in a day or so that I had seen you take someone to task for using "passive voice," without apparently understanding what passive voice is. If you're not "arguing about the grammar" than why appeal to a narrowly defined grammatical concept to make your point?

Also, I never said a word about a "formal rule." Saying that the verb in a sentence or clause is in the passive voice is not a statement about rule violations. It's an analytical observation about properties, like saying that a verb is in the past tense, or a noun is plural.

Daily Kos has an extended post that makes it pretty clear, I believe, that the problem is incompetence, not malfeasance.

Howefvr it is incompetence that has been prepeated in six or seven states in speite of repeated rebukes form state agencies. They have been told over and over to stop the misleading robocalls and they have apologized over and over and they just keep at it.

So I think they need to be presecuted in order to get their attention.

I haven't done massive VR work, but I've done plenty of work on ballot initiatives (which have similar levels of lawyer-ness involved) and I can only really add to the chorus above (several commenters and hilzoy herself) that it is past weird to not have a lawyer check on stuff IF you've already screwed up in the past.
If this were WVWV's first attempt, I would be more than happy to chalk it up to incompetence -- but it's not.

Wonkie: Obviously usage can vary on this, and I'm not claiming a monopoly on good diagnosis, but when I see Howefvr it is incompetence that has been prepeated in six or seven states in speite of repeated rebukes form state agencies. They have been told over and over to stop the misleading robocalls and they have apologized over and over and they just keep at it., I think, "That's no longer incompetence, that's a chosen strategy." People who refuse to fix problems should bear responsibility for adopting them deliberately, I think.

I thought this was just incompetence, but that was based on a misunderstanding of the facts -- I thought the calls came after the registration deadline. If they came after the mail-in deadline but before the walk-in deadline, then these calls would indeed mislead people into losing their vote. Add that to the various shady aspects (no identification, targeting black voters, prior history of this "mistake") and I'm sold, this is voter suppression.

Hillary Clinton does seem determined to destroy the Party, doesn't she?

Well incompetence possibly isn't the right word. I'm not sure what word is the right one to discribe a situation wherein (people who percieve themseles as acting on data which justifies their decision keep tripping over the law or violating people's sense of fairplay. Apparently one of the prime times to get people to regfister to vote is between a primary and before a general ands the closer to teh primary the better. There is data to support this. So if one has tunnel vission and is concerned exclusively with using what the data indicates is the best practice for getting people registered, then WVWV tactics make sense.

I don't know how they are orgainzed but if there isn't much communication between state opporations or the top fails to update states on things like legal issues, then state operations could act on the data and not foresee the consequences because of not knowing how things played out in other states.

So it could be bad administration, a sort of incompetence.

But, as I said, there's nothing like a great big fine to get people to pull their heads out of their butts.

Sebastian:

"Sorry, the f-bomb slipped out . . . ."

Oh, yeah, I see now. I had been thinking the objection was to "jot and tittle".

:-)

Wonkie: what you say makes a lot of sense. One thing does seem certain is that the failure to include a source disclosure -- which anyone in this biz has to know is a universal no-no -- was deliberate. They've been caught doing it, promised not to do it again elsewhere, and then repeated the same behavior almost three months later in another state, no doubt hoping that they were flying under the radar.

Two explanations for such deliberate lawbreaking come to mind, and alas I think they're both equally plausible:

(1) This is a black-bag operation, whether run by high-level or low-level insiders, designed to hurt Obama. Another tantalizing scrap of extremely circumstantial evidence is that Farmer, the guy who recorded and posted the WVWV robocall, reported that prior to receiving that call, he had received an accurate, informative call from the Obama campaign (disclosed as such, natch) about same-day registration. Then came "Lamont Williams" muddying up the waters.

(2) They're a bunch of self-rightweous nitwits who believe that their ends justify their means, and their crack research has discovered that including the "paid for by" disclaimer hurts the return rate on their mailers, so they just deliberately flout the law and hope for the best.

Either way, they've richly deserved having a big, fat book thrown at them. Even if their intentions are good, I don't want a pack of brainless nabobs screwing the pooch repeatedly -- and thereby messing with critical primary elections -- with so much at stake.

"Well incompetence possibly isn't the right word. I'm not sure what word is the right one to discribe a situation wherein (people who percieve themseles as acting on data which justifies their decision keep tripping over the law or violating people's sense of fairplay"

It could be that there is a faction in the organization which is encouraging this behavior in order to help Clinton, while the rest of the staff are unaware and think they are getting good information and directions that aid the public professed aims of the group.

That would certainly lead to earnest claims of it being an innocent mistake from those members of the organization who don't know it was not innocent.

People who refuse to fix problems should bear responsibility for adopting them deliberately, I think.

This is true for some purposes. But the relevant question is, is WVWV doing this with the intention of reducing African-American turnout to help Clinton? And the only honest answer is, we don't know.

Pace Jesurgislac, tho, it's a serious question, and there's enough evidence here to justify some real effort to find out what the answer is.

Having recently read some assemblage theory, the following thought, which I didn't see the following thought already mentioned, occurred to me (if it was, sorry I missed it):

Why not suspect there are certain people involved with running WVWV whose motives are clean and decent, that is, the registration of more women voters, and that there are others who have subverted its stated purpose in order to try to swing things Sen. Clinton's way, in an extremely sleazy fashion?

This was posted at the WVWV site today, by an Obama supporter:

William McNary Speaks Out in Support of WVWV May 01, 2008

During five election cycles, I have worked with the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition where I co-directed targeted voter registration campaigns and ‘get out the vote’ efforts to the African American community. I have also had the great privelege of serving on the Board of Directors of Women’s Voices, Women Vote – a non profit, non partisan organization whose mission is registering underrepresented Americans, primarily, unmarried women.

I am also a voter. And in this election, I am supporting Barack Obama, whom I’ve known and worked with for years. I am also an elected delegate to the Democratic Convention for Barack Obama.

Given my candidate preference and my background and associations in voter registration efforts, I can say with great conviction, there was no effort to suppress or confuse African American voters, or any other voters in the state of North Carolina by Women’s Voices, Women Vote.

I have seen up close the work of Women’s Voices. Women Vote and know well the commitment, passion and leadership our organization has shown in helping make the voices of unmarried women and other underrepresented voters heard. There may have been mistakes made in this particular registration drive in North Carolina, but Women’s Voices, Women Vote’s motives were not malicious or intended in any way to confuse voters. Ironically, just the opposite. I know the staff is making every effort to right the situation.

link to the WVWV response here

The bottom line here is that this is not an evil plot by the Clinton "machine" but incompetence by staffers who do not understand how to run large scale direct mail and robo call campaigns.

The interesting story, at least for me, as head of the National Political Do Not Contact Registry (StopPoliticalCalls.org) a non-partisan, non-profit org working to reduce robo calls is this:

- Non-profits are exempt from the robocalling law.
- Politicians are exempt from the robocalling law.

It is interesting that the AG is going after WVWV for violating the law, but they are not going after other non-profit organizations that may also be violating the law.

The calls violated the law according to the AG's press release:

"The calls violated state law by failing to disclose who sponsored the call and failing to offer the organization’s contact information to get the calls to stop."

The reality is that there are more than likely several campaigns and other non-profit organizations that are "failing to disclose who sponsored the call" and "failing to offer the org's contact information to get the calls to stop".

In fact, I know of no political campaign at the national level that offers voters a way to opt out of further calls.

That is why Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Lofgren have introduced the Robocall Privacy Act.

As I stated in my op-ed in Politico( http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0408/9978.html) today.

Recently, a bicameral and bipartisan effort has been led by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Reps. Zoe Lofgren (-Calif.) and John Campbell (R-Calif.) with the introduction of the Robocall Privacy Act. The bill would sanction groups or individuals who make political robocalls between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m., make more than two political robocalls to the same number in the same day, fail to disclose the party responsible for the political robocall or block caller identification information.

Why is the AG not going after other organizations?

Is it because this is a political hot potato?
--
Cheers,

Shaun Dakin – CEO & Founder
The National Political Do Not Contact Registry
-- A non-partisan, non-profit program by Citizens for Civil Discourse
Register Your Phone Number Now for Free: http://www.StopPoliticalCalls.org/
Blog: http://blog.StopPoliticalCalls.org/

Don't be too hard on Jes, we're facing the possibility of waking up to that racist, homophobic, incompetent buffoon Boris Johnson as mayor of London tomorrow.

NPR did a long piece on WVWV (summarrized right now on a Kos recommended diary) and it does appear that the VWVW management has many many strong links to the Clinton campaign adn that the organization is in fact surpressing votes. They have devised some very good layers of plausible dienaibility but the bottom line is repeated actsw of voter surpression from peole who are linked to Clinton
s campaign in multiple ways.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad