Sunday, November 05, 2006

More on illegal GOP calls

Posturing High Ethics, Republicans Continue to Violate State Law

Illegal Robo-Calls for State, Congressional Candidates Bombard Region

Fort Wayne, IN Allen County Democratic Party Chairman Kevin Knuth today challenged the Republican Party to take immediate action to stop the apparent continued, blatant abuse of Indiana law in the use of automated political phone calls. The most recent violation occurred at 4:05 p.m. Saturday, November 4, when Knuth received a robo-call from Kevin Howell, Republican candidate for State Representative.

A call to the Allen County Republican Party confirmed that approximately 3,000 illegal calls were made by the Kevin Howell campaign. Unlawful robo-calls from outside the area are also still pummeling residents in the Congressional race.

“The Republican Party is out of control. They even flaunt their illegal behavior,” said Knuth. “Throughout this campaign season, the Republicans have resorted to breaking the law in an attempt to promote their candidates. Their strategy appears to be ‘break the law today, and then deal with the fall out after the election.’ But candidates that break the law in pursuit of elected office cannot be expected to make good laws or keep the law upon election, the laws that every citizen is required to keep every day without exception.”

Robo-calls are pre-recorded messages that play as soon as the recipient answers the phone or it is picked up by an answering machine. Phone numbers are dialed by a computer known as an “autodialer.” Under Indiana law, robo-calls are illegal. To be legal in the state, a live operator must deliver the message or first ask if the recipient wants to hear such a pre-recorded message and then play it only after having been given consent.

“The Allen County Democratic Party has a phone bank using live citizen volunteers,” said Knuth. “It would take us two days to make the number of calls the illegal autodialer did in just a few hours. We believe in grassroots democracy with people who support local candidates calling their friends and neighbors to talk with them personally. We follow the law. It appears the Republicans know that they cannot win playing by the rules, so they are simply going to ignore the law.”

Knuth also received complaints yesterday that the NRA was using robo-calls to promote Mark Souder. These calls come on the heels of complaints about robo-calls employed by the National Republican Congressional Committee attacking Tom Hayhurst on the behalf of Mark Souder. There also have been reports that the Marion County Republican Party has been using robo-calls to aid Prosecutor candidate Carl Brizzi. The practice seems to be rampant.

“I know that at least two other citizens of Allen County have filed complaints with the State Attorney General. I will be doing the same on Monday. Republicans need to know that they are not above the law,” said Knuth.

Editor's note: According to Mr.Knuth, Kevin Howell today admitted to making illegal robo-calls. Of course he says that the firm he hired was suppose to use a live operator. How convenient. . .

Isn't that the same as the "I forgot armed robbery was illegal in this state!" defense?

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