NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
For Immediate Release: September 17, 2008
TWO MAJOR MCCAIN/GOP DIRTY TRICK SCANDALS EXPOSED
Push-polling Jewish Seniors; McCain's Signed Letter Tells Democratic Seniors They Are Registered GOP
Tallahassee, FL - The Florida Democratic Party released the following statement in reaction to two damning investigations into dirty, dishonest tactics being used by John McCain and his Republican Party to confuse senior citizens in Florida and possibly prevent them from voting.
- Politico.com revealed that the Republican Jewish Coalition is behind the deceptive phone calls, or "push polls," to Florida's Jewish community. These calls are filled with lies and are clearly meant to scare people, especially senior Jewish voters.
- The St. Petersburg Times' broke the story about a mailing from John McCain to longtime, elderly Democrats, which claims that the voters are registered Republicans. Considering the sophistication of the Karl Rove database that McCain is using, these confusing mailings are highly suspicious - particularly with the possibility that they could be used to "cage" voters (block their votes) - like the Bush-Cheney campaign attempted to do in 2004.
"It is disgusting that John McCain and his Republican cronies would prey on Florida's seniors. John McCain's dishonorable and dishonest campaign prove he and his Republican Party are so desperate for four more years of Bush politics that they will do anything to win - except talk honestly with voters about the issues that matter," Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman said. "Frankly, John McCain should be ashamed of himself for preying on seniors like a bogus reverse-mortgage peddler."
St. Petersburg Times:
"A new pitch for John McCain's presidential campaign aimed at older Democratic voters is causing complaints by Democrats and concern by elections officials... A letter signed by McCain tells the Democrats: "We have you registered as a Republican."...
The RNC declined to discuss the mailer... "This is simply a fundraising piece," said spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson, adding in an e-mail it was not "worth writing about."
Two top Florida elections officials, both Republicans, faulted the GOP mailing, calling it "confusing" and "unfortunate" because of a potential to undermine voter confidence by making them question the accuracy of their registrations.
"It is unfortunate, because it does put a lot of doubt in people's minds," said Secretary of State Kurt Browning, the state's top elections official.
After his office received dozens of calls, Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland issued a media alert that his office had nothing to do with it. "They were upset folks and they were very concerned," said Holland, a Republican. "They mainly said their party (listing) was different than it was."...
The first-class GOP mailing has a "Do not forward" instruction on the envelope, meaning they will be returned to the GOP if a recipient has had mail forwarded, perhaps to a summer address, or has moved.
Letters returned as undeliverable can be compiled into "challenge lists" of unverifiable addresses and can be used to challenge voters' eligibility during early voting or on Election Day. The vote suppression technique is known as "vote caging."...
The card shows a nine-digit "voter ID" number, but the supervisor of elections in Jacksonville's Duval County said the numbers are wrong and do not match the state's voter database...
Politico: GOP group behind negative Obama poll
By: Ben Smith
September 16, 2008 06:52 PM EST
A Republican group is taking responsibility for a poll that has roiled the Jewish community by asking sharply negative questions about Senator Barack Obama....
Some Jewish Democrats who received the poll - including a New Republic writer who lives in Michigan - were outraged by the poll, describing it in interviews as "ugly" and disturbing. A group that supports Obama, the Jewish Council for Education and Research http://www.jewsvote.org even staged a protest outside the Manhattan call center from which the calls originated Tuesday.
"If the RJC is responsible for these calls, which are designed to frighten Jews and sow mistrust, they have forfeited their place at the Jewish table," said the co-executive director of the group, Mik Moore. "It is incumbent upon the McCain campaign to speak out forcefully against this and ongoing efforts by his supporters to scare Jews into supporting his candidacy."...
Certainly, they have drawn attention: After first reporting on two voters who were polled, Politico was contacted by a half-dozen more, and many Jewish Obama backers are livid at the survey.
"The fact that the Republican Jewish Coalition is targeting Jewish Americans with these disgraceful and deceitful tactics fits in perfectly with the dishonorable campaign that John McCain has chosen to run. Peddling lies and hateful distortions to scare Jewish voters is reprehensible and deeply disrespectful to Jewish Americans," said Florida Congressman Robert Wexler, an Obama supporter...
The selection of Sarah Palin, whose record on Israel is thin and who recently sat through a sermon suggesting that terrorism in Jerusalem is God's judgment on Jews for not believing in Jesus, has re-energized Jewish Democrats and may push some voters back to Obama's camp...
Brooks declined to release the script of the poll, but he denied the charge - made by two voters who received it - that pollsters had asked for a reaction to the [false] claim that Obama is a Muslim.
"I went into this whole tirade about how I had read his autobiography and how he wasn't a Muslim but if he was a Muslim I would vote for him anyway," said Joelna Marcus, a retired college professor who received the call at a phone number for her home in Key West, Fla... the poll - and the Republican Jewish Coalition's material more generally - leaves out virtually all of Obama's recent record, which includes a stance on Israel that has won him praise from the main pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, and attacks from Palestinian leaders.
He has pushed legislation, for instance, that would force companies to divest from Iran, and has backed Israel's right to aggressively fight Palestinian militants. He's also had a good relationship with Chicago's Jewish community.
"Mr. Obama's commitment to Israel, as he has articulated it so far in his campaign, is quite moving and a tribute to the broad, bipartisan support that the Jewish state has in America," the fiercely pro-Israel New York Sun editorialized earlier this year.
Obama is also campaigning aggressively in the Jewish community, directly and through surrogates, and his running mate, Joe Biden, recently visited South Florida and made jokes in Yiddish, his familiar presence a contrast with the unknown Palin. On Wednesday, Obama himself is slated to dial into a "National Rabbis Conference Call in honor of Rosh Hashanah," according to an email from the campaign's Jewish outreach wing.