April 23, 2006

IL GOP used Anonymous Robocall to Attack Dems ..

...which is illegal.

Illinois campaign law requires that election campaign ads such as robocalls that target specific politicians must identify the source, which mean attack ads can not be anonymous. The Illinois Republican party defended breaking campaign laws by claiming they did not break campaign laws only after they got caught - conservative logic at its best.
An Illinois Republican leader insisted Tuesday that the party's anonymous, automated phone campaign assailing Democratic legislators was about policy, not politics, and so isn't covered by a law prohibiting anonymous political attacks.
If it was about policy why use anonymous robocalls?
Democratic House members said their constituents were getting prerecorded phone calls at home, in which a voice would allege that the legislator was cutting state pensions and veterans' funds. The recording would implore the listener to tell the legislator to oppose the budget practices of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat.

The calls didn't identify who they were from. After initial denials, Republican House officials last week acknowledged they were behind the phone campaign. They said the program, which cost "less than $10,000" in party funds, was designed to put pressure on Democrats to stop backing what Republicans see as dangerous budget maneuvers by the Blagojevich administration.
House Minority Leader Tom Cross claims, “"It was advocacy, not electioneering,". This is the text of one of the robocalls.
"This is a public pension alert. Your pension may be in jeopardy. Your state representative, Naomi Jakobsson, supports diverting over $1.1 billion in payments to your pension and instead wants to spend them on frivolous pork projects throughout the state. Illinois currently has the worst-funded pension system in the nation, and by voting for this budget, your representative, Naomi Jakobsson, would make it worse. Call Representative Jakobsson's office at 373-5000 and tell her to fully fund our pension system."
At least 13 House Democrat were targeted by Republicans anonymous robocalls. Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office is investigating the issue.

During an election year claiming Democrats are cutting state pensions and veterans' funds is purely political. The robocalls were paid out of a Republican party funds not by policy advocacy group, but by political party. Maintain it was advocacy, not politics is an assault on the intelligence of people who received the anonymous robocalls.


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