Will SC AG Prosecute Huckabee Push-Poll Robo Calls?
Ah, the joys of the primary season. South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster has been asked to prosecute pro-Mike Huckabee push polling now underway in the state. State law bans such automated calls.
McMaster is a major John McCain supporter in the state, but the prime target of the calls -- at the moment -- seems to be Fred Thompson. In a call partially recorded last night by one South Carolina resident and sent to McMaster, Thompson's record on abortion and taxes was attacked.
This mirrors similar recent efforts in Michigan against Mitt Romney, where the same firm placed calls to voters blasting Romney's record on guns and immigration. One report pegged the number of such calls into Michigan at five million while South Carolina is on tap to receive one million calls.
Common Sense Issues seems confident that its calls are protected by the First Amendment, and they may well be. More interesting to my mind is the group's status as a 501(c)(4), which IRS regs say prohibits "direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office."
In fact, it is not clear where Common Sense ends and the Huckabee campaign begins. Voters should not have to Google the number calling them to find that out.