When A Stranger Robo-Calls


The Democrats, ignoring my analysis of last week's mostly-clean election, are revved up for a new round of campaign reforms.

Speaking on the matter with characteristic bluntness was New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who spearheaded the party's national takeover campaign as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Schumer accused Republicans of "despicable" tactics in the 2006 election cycle, alleging that their operatives called Democrats and lied to them about the location of their polling places.

"I think somebody who does that, and who authorizes that — I don't care who they are — should go to jail for 10 years," Schumer said.

Schumer said he and Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who headed the party's successful House takeover effort as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, were making a list of the "abusive practices" used by Republicans, which both Reid and Schumer contended were unique to their partisan counterparts.

"I think you'd have to look long and hard for any Democrat doing this kind of stuff," Reid said

"Yeah, no, we don't do this," Schumer said. "It's really different."

The interesting question—if Democrats package a bunch of campaign finance reforms that make their lives easier—a ban on robocalling, a ban on asking for photo IDs—will Bush veto it? Will Bush veto the probably compromise that gives Washington, DC a vote in Congress? It's difficult to tell how this stuff plays in a country that just saw the cleanest election in a long while.

NEXT: Could Chavez Lose?

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  1. Is participation in the electoral process something of value?

    If so, is lying to someone to deny them that participation tantamount to fraud?

  2. Dave, I don’t think you meant to use the word “finance.”

  3. Who the hell is gullible enough to believe someone over the phone telling them they changed polling places? Who has the assumption that people are that stupid?

  4. “Who has the assumption that people are that stupid?”

    The people making the calls, apparantly.

    Who, by all the evidence, are Republicans.

  5. Before the election, the editorial pages were full of the likes of Jesse Jackson warning about the ability of evil republicans to fix the outcome. Diebold machines that would be nefariously used to change votes , repub thugs keeping democrats from voting, etc ad nauseam.

    Not one editorial since. I guess when democrats win the system
    ‘works’ and when republicans win it is broken and needs fixing ‘immediately’!

    Reminds me of the race for Governor in Washington state that had the repubican ahead , still ahead after a recount , still ahead after a second and third recount, then, after a forth recount found the democrat ahead ,the ‘correct’ results were ‘found’ and no further recounts were needed.

  6. doubled,

    There are at least two cases proceeding in which candidates claim that failures by electronic voting machines changes the outcome.

    Take the “Democrats dropped the issue” talking point, and put it away.

  7. In the North Carolina 8th District, there is a lawsuit over whether to count provisional ballots.

    In the Florida 13th, Democrats have filed suit to prevent electronic voting machines from being altered or their memories wiped, until they can be inspected to deterime why, and if, there was an 18,000 vote undercount in the Congressional race.

    You can now stop whining about the Democrats NOT challenging problems at polling places, and go back to whining about about Democrats who do challenge problems as polling places.

  8. I don’t know if Democrats would lie about where to vote, but here in Milwaukee, they slash the tires of vans rented by the GOP to take voters to the polls.

  9. Doubled –

    “Reminds me of the race for Governor in Washington state that had the repubican ahead , still ahead after a recount , still ahead after a second and third recount, then, after a forth recount found the democrat ahead ,the ‘correct’ results were ‘found’ and no further recounts were needed.”

    Are you talking about the Gregoire/Rossi race?


    The votes were tabulated three times. There were not four recounts, there was an orignal count and two recounts. Rossi’s lead narrowed after the first recount (which was mandatory) and reversed after the second one.

    No further recounts were “needed” because no further recounts were allowed by law.

  10. joe , I made no comments about democrats in my post . I was referring to the ‘media’ (as unwielding a concept as that is) and their sudden disinterest in exposing and documenting the problems of vote counting that were so prevalent in the run up to the election.

  11. If there is a law resticting the amount of recounts , it is a stupid law. Why two recounts? Were they both mandatory? Why is it considered the ‘correct’ tally after two recounts , but not after one recount?

  12. Akira,

    It is good that the people who slashed those tires were convicted and sentenced.

    And if they can be found, it will be good when the people who made the misleading calls are convicted and sentenced, too. Right?

  13. Who, by all the evidence, are Republicans.

    What evidence?

  14. “Yeah, but no, but yeah, but no,” Schumer said. “And anyway, I don’t know nuffin’ about nuffin’.”

  15. Doubled.

    “If there is a law resticting the amount of recounts , it is a stupid law.”

    You’ll have to take that up with the people of Washington state.

    “Were they both mandatory?”

    The first one was (I should have said “automatic” instead of mandatory). It was automatic because the margin of victory was so small. The second was a hand-recount paid for by Gregoire after Rossi’s lead shrank to just 42 points. It’s in the CNN article I linked to.

    I don’t find anything suspicious about the fact that mistakenly disqualified votes showed up in the second recount, precisely when people were looking for such things. If there was anything fishy about the ballots, the Republican secretary of state had every opportunity to disqualify them.

    I have to say, I sympathize enormously with Rossi. To have campaigned so hard for months and to think you’ve won only to have your victory snatched away from you must be devastating.

  16. Tire-slashing is a regrettable excess. Deceitful phone calls are a threat to democracy.

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