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Dirty Robocalls?

Living in a swing state (even one that's likely to go Kerry) means a lot of candidate visits and attention from political parties generally speaking. As anyone who's read this blog this week will know, this also includes robocalls (recorded messages played at you over the phone).

I received an interesting one today.

It seemed to be a message encouraging people to vote for John Kerry because he supported gay marriage. Having let it go on my answering machine rather than pick it up, I ended up listening to it twice.

Listening to it the first time I thought it was a rather bad way to promote John Kerry in generally conservative West Michigan.

Listening to it the second time when I got my messages, I noticed a few things:

1. It wasn't up to the usual level of inhuman perfection robocalls generally reach. You could hear the person phrase things slightly awkwardly and sometimes take a breath.
2. It never mentioned the name of the organization that paid for the call. Aren't you supposed to do that?
3. It never mentioned Proposal 2. Proposal 2 attempts to amend Michigan's constitution to disallow gay marriage and probably civil unions as well. Isn't it just a bit odd that it wouldn't?
4. The way things were phrased, the message constantly seemed to put the words "John Kerry" and "gay marriage" in the same sentence. As in "Vote John Kerry because he supports gay marriage. John Kerry will bring gay marriage to Michigan's cities."

It's a very odd call because:
1. John Kerry actually doesn't support gay marriage though he does support civil unions. He's been quoted as saying that the states should decide. That's more or less the same position Bush seems to have.
2. From what I've heard, gay advocacy groups have deliberately worked to avoid making proposal 2 a big issue. They want Kerry to win. Proposal 2 might bring people to the polls to vote for it. While they're there, they'd likely vote for Bush too. At least that's the reasoning I've heard.

As such, I'm wondering if it might be an indirect effort to "get out the Bush vote" by pushing the buttons of people strongly opposed to gay marriage, but not totally enthusiastic about Bush.

I'm on the lists of both the Republican and Democrats, so I've no idea where this might come from.

Anyone else recieve this call? If so, do you know if you're signed up with a particular party? I'm really wishing I hadn't deleted the call now.

UPDATE: The media is now aware of this calling campaign.


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Jim's Brain Online: Dirty Robocalls? reports a fake campaign call that's going around Michigan (I've heard about it from one other friend today) calling people up and asking them to vote John Kerry so he will "protect our right to gay marriage." ... [Read More]


I received the call, and I'm not registered with either party. I first called the Republican headquarters to tell them that they should tell whoever is making the call to stop. Then I called Kerry headquarters--it turns out they had already received many complaints about it. They also mentioned pastors were calling to complain. My worst-case scenario was that someone was using church directories for a calling list, but then I got the impression that Kerry headquarters may have even received the call.

It sounds like the GR Press might have a story about it today.

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