Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Political Robocallers Indicted In Maryland

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the press-%$#$%$-to-continue dept.

Crime 85

sanzibar writes with a llnk to Politico with an object lesson for modern political campaigners: don't harass the electorate with unwanted robocalls. "Ehrlich campaign manager Paul Schurick and Baltimore political consultant Julius Henson were both charged with three counts of conspiracy to violate election laws, one count of attempting to influence a voter's decision and one count of failing to print an 'authorized by' line on campaign material. Schurick was also charged with a single count of obstruction of justice for failing to turn over materials sought by the grand jury."

cancel ×

85 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Conspiracy to First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481368)

I was arrested for this today.

Free speech (-1)

SpaceCadetTrav (641261) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481422)

Sorry, that's what robocalls are.

Re:Free speech (2)

RadiantPhoenix (2029232) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481484)

I read a bit of the article, and the calls targeted likely supporters of candidate A, and basically said "You can relax, candidate A has enough votes" the defendant is being charged because he was attempting to deceive voters to influence the outcome of the election.

If only politicians could be charged with something like that for not fulfilling campaign promises.

Re:Free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481670)

Yeah, this was the real story. Considering that the other guy (incumbent Governor O'Malley) was basically the source material for Tommy Carcetti [hbo.com] , the fact that Ehrlich is even scummier should be startling.

Re:Free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481862)

Isn't campaining a form of influencing the voters?

Re:Free speech (1)

hymie! (95907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484224)

There's a difference between influencing the voters how to vote (legal) and influencing the voters not to vote (illegal).

Re:Free speech (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484800)

the defendant is being charged because he was attempting to deceive voters to influence the outcome of the election.

All candidates in all races always attempt to deceive voters to influence the outcome of the election.

Re:Free speech (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486834)

You can say what you want to convince people to vote for you, but attempting to obstruct the election process itself is off limits.

Re:Free speech (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481562)

When robots pass a Turing test, they will get free speech. Not before.

Re:Free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481878)

So, in the context of, say radio broadcasting... would you say:

Then radio receivers and/or receivers pass a Turing test, they will get free speech. Not before.

Using a tool to further disseminate your speech doesn't stop it from being your speech -- the words originated not with the automatic phone bank, but with a lying scumbag campaign operative, who is still a human.

There may be reasonable arguments* why the first amendment does not protect this, but that's not one of them.

*If you do try to propose a reasonable argument, please try to find one that can stand on its own, without the ever-popular crutch of quoting Ollie Holmes's bit about "falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic". Unless, of course, you really do support imprisoning anyone who speaks out against the government (anti-conscription pamphlets in that case). If so, quote away, and we shall all laugh at you and disregard your argument.

Re:Free speech (2, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481718)

Sorry? Yes, indeed. Robocalls are a form of trespass. Around these parts, trespassers are usually shot. Survivors are shot again. If you're caught doing Robocalls, make sure you're not in Texas, or much of the rest of the South or Midwest. Keep your gay ass in one of the gay states, like California.

Re:Free speech (-1, Troll)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481864)

There are only two states with more gay couples than Texas so...

Re:Free speech (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481972)

Only steers and queers come from Texas, Private Runaway1956. And you don't look much like a steer to me so that kinda narrows it down.

Re:Free speech (0)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483202)

Please mod parent as "Funny", it was awesome! :D

Re:Free speech (0)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483248)

I'm pretty sure you cannot legally shoot someone simply for trespassing in Texas, in fact I've read about people being prosecuted for doing just that. Read Texas PC 9.41 - 9.42. The key word in there is "reasonably".

http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/9.41.00.html [onecle.com]

http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/9.42.00.html [onecle.com]

Re:Free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36484260)

It is legal to shoot and kill someone if they break into your house, but not trespassing unless it's trespassing onto restricted military grounds. Robocop will come and get you if you shoot someone without a permit.

Re:Free speech (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36485342)

Not very many months ago, there was a story of a woman in Houston, who looked out her window to see someone breaking into her car. She blew the joker away. No charges were filed. Anywhere you go in Texas, it is "open season" year round on thieves and other lowlifes. A trespasser is not on safe ground, period. You do realize, after he's been shot, it's the shooter's word against - uhhhh - NOBODY'S word! Or, as ye olde pirates would have said, "Dead men tell no tales!"

Re:Free speech (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487180)

Did you even read the laws I linked to? Protection of property "during the night" is one of the circumstances that allows for the use of deadly force.

For phone calls (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481830)

I'm pretty sure freedom of speech includes the right to say whatever you want on the phone.

But does it really include the right to call and/or harass people by ringing their phone? That doesn't seem like "speech" to me at all.

Re:For phone calls (1)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482088)

During the last Canadian election, seniors (in mostly Liberal-leaning areas) were robocalled and told that there voting place had changed. Does "free speech" include the right to lie to people in an attempt to reduce the voter turnout of a specific group of voters?

Re:For phone calls (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482108)

Yes, but you have to run the disclaimer at the end saying who paid for the ad.

Re:For phone calls (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483208)

No it doesn't - there are laws limiting what you can say and not. You can state your opinion using free speech, but you can't deceive or insult someone.

Re:Free speech (4, Informative)

canadian_right (410687) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482002)

It was fraud. They robo-called predominantly black riding to say the election was over and there was no need to vote which was an out and out lie. Then they attempted to hide the evidence.

This has nothing to do with free speech, it is out and out fraud and is a criminal matter.

Re:Free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482022)

Sorry, that's what robocalls are.

But, in this case, it's a form of slander, which isn't protected under the first amendment.

Re:Free speech (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483194)

Robocalls aren't free speech - it's speech forced down someone's throat without asking for it during dinner time causing indigestion.

I would say that if robocalls for a political campaign is done against someone's will that party should be banned from participating in the election for the next 4 years. That would be a clear enough statement to say that it has to be entirely clear that robocalls aren't wanted.

Re:Free speech (0)

fredrated (639554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484460)

I have a suggestion: stick with the only 2 things you are good at: fucking whores in the ass and eating shit out of a toilet. Now THAT is free speech.

Re:Free speech (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36485284)

There is a difference between "free speech" and "protected speech". Google the words "firehouse" and "fire", together, for the grounding in First Amendment law that you appear to lack. Then we can move on to the finer points...
Robocalling and various forms of "voter suppression" are most certainly not protected speech. Granted, anyone dumb enough to change his mind about voting after receiving an unsolicited robotic phone call, suggesting that he should stay home because his candidate has the election in the bag, probably deserves what his apathy/stupidity gets him, but that doesn't change the fact their are indeed some rules about what one can say and how they say it.

Re:Free speech (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36485866)

The right to freedom of speech applies to people, not robots!

Re:Free speech (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486826)

Are you sure? What's your phone number?

Free speech doesn't include the right to use MY resources for YOUR speech. That is, MY phone and the phone service I pay for. That also includes MY time to see who's calling and hang up. The least you could do is the courtesy of having an actual human being call. If you'd care to make a speech on the steps of the courthouse or buy some ads, I'm fine with that. You can also put up a website and tweet to your heart's content. You can put flyers in my mailbox if you'd like.

Beyond that, it's (unfortunately) not about the calls themselves, but that they attempted to influence the election by telling supporters of his opponent that their candidate won. In the process, implying that the call came from a supporter of his opponent. We do not have an inalienable right to lie.

Re:Free speech (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517126)

If someone cares to pay for a telephone line into my house, they can robocall me on it all day long. The line that I do have is paid for by me, and I control who gets to talk on it.

Why? (2)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481438)

Any politico worth his salt knows that robocalls, no matter how many and who is talking, do nothing but piss the electorate off at you. They aren't even good at raising awareness because people tune out. It's a waste of time up until the summer before an election anyway, and then it's only any good if you're using volunteers and getting people to turn out. I've run call centers for campaigns before and it's incredible to me that somebody who was affiliated with statewide campaigns, that is someone who has experience winning elections, would be this stupid.

Re:Why? (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481524)

There are also better ways to suppress voter turnout than confusing robocalls and they don't even get you indicted. For starters, running a hard negative campaign and hoping it rains are probably the best way for a Republican to affect turnout in their favor. These days your campaign doesn't even have to be the ones doing the mudslinging, you can just publish your opposition research and let the 501c(4)s take care of the rest with no need to reveal doners or do anything but do dirty things to the other guy.

Re:Why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481678)

The best way for a Republican to win is put up ANY video of Obama.

"I will close Gitmo within a year"
"I will end the Iraq war beginning day one of my administration"
"The stimilus will keep unemployment under 8%"
"We need healthcare reform to bring down healthcare costs"
"Its the summer of recovery"
    *May not be exact quotes, but you get the idea.

Their other strategy would be, what part of Obama's administration would you like to see 4 more years of?
- Additional wars
- Additional 2 Trillion per year of deficit spending
- Additional unemployment
- Additional hatred of the US by every other country in the world
- Additional making fun of people for wanting to secure the border
- Additional making fun of people for being unemployed

Perhaps you should pull you liberal head out of your ass and look around for a minute. Your "hero" has destroyed the DNC for an entire generation, just like Carter did, and you are apparently too stupid to even notice.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481778)

How disingenuous. A Republican started BOTH of our current wars.
The present unemployment is a direct result of policies of several administrations and congresses.
No administration since Clinton has published "real" unemployment rates, instead manipulating the numbers for political purposes.
NO ONE can say what Obama's health care reform might have accomplished, because obstructionists have prevented it from happening.
The trillions of deficit spending is largely due to those Republican wars that are ongoing.

But, there is no requirement for honesty in any political post, so you go ahead and put your spin on reality.

Re:Why? (0)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481880)

I agree with you for the most parts but the deficit is primarily a product of the Bush tax cuts, and not the wars. They're part of it, but the lowered tax revenues from the recession are bigger than the wars.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481990)

Yea, I remember the day Bush started a war with Lybia and refused to get Congressional approval within 60 days thereby making it illegal because of the War Powers Act of 1973.

Oops, you fail. That was Obama that actually started a truly illegal war. Don't feel bad, liberals fail on EVERY possible debate, they just can't help it. No requirement in honesty in your political post, but go ahead and continue to fail at life.

Re:Why? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482008)

Except - I'm not a liberal. Keep failing, Bubba. Libya is a NATO operation, isn't it?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482702)

Sure you are. You blindly give Obama a pass on every failure and blame Bush for Obama's overspending.

Obama has printed/borrowed $2 Trillion for the SOLE PURPOSE of reducing unemployment, his claim, and all its done is increase the deficit and increase unemployment. It became a slush fund and over 60% went to public union employees because their dues are mandatory and go into the DNC campaign coffers. Obama turned his "stimilus" into a money laundering scheme for the DNC, because it sure as hell hasn't reduced unemployment.

Now he did that in 1.5 years, the "Bush wars" you complain about cost the same over an 8 year period and actually accomplished what was attempted. So you can go ahead and pretend your not a liberal hack, but you are.

US can't commit forces to a NATO operation WITHOUT Congressional approval. Once again you give a pass to Obama for starting an illegal war while I'm sure over the last 10 years you've been complaining about Bush's illegal wars that he got UN and Congressional approval before committing the first troop.

Re:Why? (1)

thunderclap (972782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483242)

But 75% of NATO funding is from the US. And no question, Obama authorized the use of force on a soverign nation not at war with the US for the sole purpose of assisting in their civil war.

Re:Why? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483250)

NATO is in reality controlled by the US through proxies, if someone says "Jump" at Pentagon to NATO everyone will jump. Some may jump sideways just to declare their independence (like France).

Re:Why? (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482078)

You actually have 90 days, and it isn't quite up yet and the Administration maintains that because no American troops or aircraft are actively and currently attacking Libyan forces (as I understand it we're in more of a support/logistics role) they don't need Congressional approval. It's not illegal, not yet anyway, and I doubt the Supreme Court would disagree with the administration.

Re:Why? (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483268)

No, it is 60 days. Nice try at confusing the facts though. Obama has even ignored the legal advice of some of the nations top lawyers on the subject.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/18/world/africa/18powers.html [nytimes.com]

"WASHINGTON — President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations."

"A White House spokesman, Eric Schultz, said there had been “a full airing of views within the administration and a robust process” that led Mr. Obama to his view that the Libya campaign was not covered by a provision of the War Powers Resolution that requires presidents to halt unauthorized hostilities after 60 days."

Re:Why? (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483274)

I forgot to add this about the second quote, the executive branch is not the legislative branch, i.e. they are not the ones who get to interpret nor make laws.

Re:Why? (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483448)

You're half right. The executive branch has to interpret the law, because they're the ones executing it. The Supreme Court has held that Congress can delegate rule making authority to parts of the executive branch (like how the EPA can set emission levels). The whole reason White House council and the Justice Department exist is to interpret the law.

Re:Why? (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483720)

Which is why they have lawyers, too bad Obama does nothing but ignore his.

Re:Why? (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483424)

You get a 30 day withdrawal period, that in effect gives you 90 days. His legal analysis and the analysis of not all but some in the Justice Department is that NATO operations in Libya, to the extent we're involved, don't constitute hostilities. The law is not clear on what "hostilities" are. For all your argument otherwise, this is gospel unless the Supreme Court rules it otherwise, or Congress modifies the War Powers Act. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying this isn't exactly settled law. The kicker will be if drone attacks constitute hostilities, and that's not as clear cut as you would think. Consider that we've been using drones in Yemen for years now without any sort of the fuss this is causing, and the administration can easily make the case that this kind of mission is similar. Ghadaffi is wanted for war crimes and basically the whole world considers him a pariah, he was responsible for actual terrorist attacks against US citizens and is generally perceived as illegitimate. Those views and facts to me constitute a plausible, if not rock solid, case that the use of drone strikes on select targets and logistical support for the other countries involved in the NATO mission as not necessarily "hostile" as defined by the War Powers Act. Yes it's unilateral on the part of the President but until the Supreme Court puts a check on this, years down the line, the President is within his rights as the Commander-in-Chief to interpret the law as such.

That's not me trying to confuse the facts, that's me trying to put them into context of reality.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482058)

NO ONE can say what Obama's health care reform might have accomplished, because obstructionists have prevented it from happening.

But, there is no requirement for honesty in any political post, so you go ahead and put your spin on reality.

Uh huh. Because you're using the word "obstructionist" in a completely objective way, I'm sure.

Re:Why? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484818)

Both current wars? We are in 3 wars.

Re:Why? (2)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481856)

The DNC is doing fine, they're raising more money than ever. Sure, those statements are going to be tough but they can be worked around, especially considering that elections are between two candidates, and it's easy to hit a guy when there isn't anyone running against him.

First: Gitmo nobody cares about except progressives and they'll pull the lever once they see who is running against him. The Iraq war is as good as over since we're not taking casualties. The stimulus will be a problem in that it wasn't big enough for the job, but in the face of a Republican whose solution will be to lower taxes for the only people that aren't suffering, he'll do fine. Health care reform is popular on the merits and repeal isn't as popular as it was in 2010, so much so that allowing the law to work or strengthen it is the plurality position.

Second: Libya doesn't involve troops, so Americans hardly care and Republicans will never be the anti war party. The deficit reduction deal that is coming down the pike will be owned by both parties and the Republican candidate won't be able to hit Obama hard on it since his party went along with it anyway, and when you get into specifics almost every cut is unpopular. A worsening of employment would be bad, but all the President has to do is put out some proposals for the Republicans to block and keep things from getting worse than they have been recently (most of the public still assigns Bush blame for the economic collapse). Americans don't care what foreigners think. Immigration enforcement has been stepped up during Obama's term, with deportations up, the fence almost done, and more guards on the border. All he needs to do is emphasize some small immigration reform and he can increase turnout among latinos. Your last point makes no sense.

In short, Obama is not Carter, or Clinton, or Reagan, or anyone but Obama. He got Osama, he's got cred on foreign policy now and Americans broadly like the man, even if they don't care for the direction of the country.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482824)

The DNC is doing fine

You missed the record amount of house seats picked up last November, along with record state level gains by the GOP. You are just delusional here.

Gitmo nobody cares about except progressives

And when Bush was president it was the top news story for 3 years that he needed to shut it down. Now you are the liberal hypocrisy, what you bitched about for years before is SUDDENLY not important when your guy fails.

Health care reform is popular on the merits and repeal isn't as popular as it was in 2010, so much so that allowing the law to work or strengthen it is the plurality position.

You couldn't be more wrong here. Perhaps you missed a guy named Scott Walker getting a Senate seat own by the DNC for decades and his main platform was "stop Obamacare". But since you are a foolish liberal go ahead and keep thinking your on the right side of another losing issue for you.

The deficit reduction deal that is coming down the pike will be owned by both parties and the Republican candidate won't be able to hit Obama hard on it since his party went along with it anyway

Another lie. They are currently having a fight over raising the debt ceiling because the DNC REFUSED ANY cuts in spending. The GOP is FORCING them by not raising the debt ceiling without cuts and the DNC is crying like stuck pigs.

Americans don't care what foreigners think.

8 years of bitching about Bush for this and now that Obama is even worse and suddenly it doesn't matter?

He got Osama, he's got cred on foreign policy now

So the ONLY cred he has is from the ONE Bush policy he continued? Why don't we just get another Bush in office to continue his policies so we get even more "cred". So far Obama has managed to get Iran building nukes again and starting their own international military organization with Russia and China, he gotten Israel ready to turn against us, and China is now dumping their US Bonds as quick as they can.

You are a fool and and idiot. I never made a /. account because when I read the comments they are by such obviously stupid people I don't really want to be affiliated with them. You however take the cake in your ignorance. You should be embarrassed at how little you actually know, but since you watch MSNBC and got their taking points down good you must think you are better informed than most.

Re:Why? (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482952)

Wow, I've never been made a straw man before.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482994)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

Read up on straw man arguments. I included your direct quotes to refute. You even fail on attempting to divert attention from your failure.

Re:Why? (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483460)

You included my direct quotes to tear down arguments that I didn't make and have nothing to do with what I said. Pretty sure that's a straw man.

Re:Why? (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 3 years ago | (#36482096)

Don't forget the warrantless wiretapping.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482380)

Perhaps you should pull you liberal head out of your ass

So cliché... I've heard that in the comments section of just about any politics-related news story for the past two years. Is that a standard phrase they teach you in sock-puppet school?

Re:Why? (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481594)

Exactly. I would barely tolerate a polite human calling at a reasonable hour. Robocalls piss me off, and definitely push me away from whichever candidate the call is supporting, especially if I didn't have a strong opinion to start with. They are the telephone equivalent of spam or junk mail, both of which I pay no attention to. However after glancing at TFA it looks like there is more to this than just that - they were actively trying to keep their opponents supporters from going and voting, which crosses the line from tasteless to deceptive IMO.

Re:Why? (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481640)

It's pretty common, especially now, but the way they went about it was just stupid. At best a negative robocall campaign is worth maybe a tenth of a percent at the margins, probably less. TV ads, mailers, and actual calls are so much more effective in shaping the electorate. What these guys did was just dumb.

Re:Why? (2)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481674)

And the really sad thing is, many people who are elected and become our leaders probably see absolutely no problem with it.

Re:Why? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486892)

I think it shows their contempt for the democratic process and as a result they should be banned from government functions for several years. They're trying to undermine the fundamentals of their country!

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481812)

Any politico worth his salt knows that robocalls, no matter how many and who is talking, do nothing but piss the electorate off at you.

In this case, people from party A were calling supporters of party B, claiming to be from party B. So, if the electorate got pissed at party B, they would consider that a success.

Re:Why? (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481860)

That is to say, You the caller, not You the party. People don't vote one way or another based on robocalls, the point is they're ineffective at anything.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482320)

In this particular instance, the robocalls were sent out on election night by employees of the Ehrlich (Republican gubernatorial candidate) campaign, but made to sound as if they came from the O'Malley (Democratic gubernatorial candidate) campaign. The insidiousness is in the message, which was sent to voters in heavily Democratic Baltimore City and Prince George's County something to the effect of "Relax. We did it. O'Malley won. Stay home, and watch the results on TV."

So, it's not the robocalls that were illegal, it's the message purporting to be from the O'Malley campaign telling his supporters not to bother going out for the election, but actually being from his opponent where the fraud occurred.

Republicans violating election laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482992)

Who's surprised?

Bob Ehrlich won in 2002 by 51% by being the Republican. That was 2002, as in the year after 9/11, running in Maryland as the guy from the same party as the President, who was still being regularly fellated in the media for his decisive leadership following the attacks.

He then lost in 2006, and in 2010. It's not clear he ever knew how to win an election, but it's quite clear he knew how to lie and flirt with violations of election law. Bob Ehrlich#Misleading voter guides and campaign mailers [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483030)

That is why you use really bad robocalls to support the opposition's platform, and the opponent mentioned by name, over and over again.

Re:Why? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486854)

That's the really dirty part! The messages implied that they came from his opposition!

what a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481586)

"attempting to influence a voter's decision" ??? wtf? This is a crime?

failing to print an 'authorized by' line on campaign material ??? 1st amendment authorizes free speech.

Democratic Party of Maryland wants a one party state.

Re:what a joke (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481800)

The key words in the memo were "suppress the vote".

I do get tired when our fellow Americans who are black play that race card. But, had you RTFA, you see that this is indeed a bigoted attempt to prevent a specific group of people from voting - BLACK people.

Re:what a joke (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36481898)

It's not necessarily bigoted; blacks vote over 90% with Democrats. No other constituency is that aligned with a party.

Re:what a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483302)

Well they have to do everything they can to keep the government cheese flowing into their mailboxes every month. Don't you just love how the DNC has decided that we should teach this nation that it is better to do nothing and have the working class take care of you than it is to work? And people wonder why the world calls us lazy Americans. If anything making it easy for minorities to sit back and collect a check from the government every month is bigoted, it sure is an easy way to keep minorities from getting anywhere in life.

Re:what a joke (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486904)

Dude, the countries that call you lazy have way more comprehensive social systems.

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36481692)

fucking slashniggers didnt read the article again.

I got one of these calls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482452)

I actually got one of these calls. It was pretty disgusting and obvious to me what was going on, but I'm a born cynic. It would have gotten me out to cast a vote against Ehrlich, if I hadn't already done so for many other reasons earlier in the day.

I'm pleasantly surprised somebody might actually get held accountable for this. (Although we'll probably never have proof one way or another about Ehrlich himself.)

Now if we could just get all the other robocalls made illegal as well...

(anon, well, because)

Re:I got one of these calls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482864)

It would have gotten me out to cast a vote against Ehrlich, if I hadn't already done so for many other reasons earlier in the day

But you're a Democrat. Why would that prevent you from going out to vote?

I kid. (Tired of listening to all the republican's unsubstantiated complaints of repeat/dead voters in order to justify policies that demonstrably reduce legitimate turn out....that just happen to affect their opponents more than them. We must disenfranchise thousands to eliminate the potential fraud of a potential handful!)

Robocallers pissing off voters (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482826)

There were robocallers that were calling people like 3am in the morning...paid for by the opposing party pretending to be the other party here in Canada to piss people off from voting for them.

That's the least of the problems (2)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483470)

I helped a couple campaigns get a correcting message out in the last federal election when someone dialed a bunch of homes with the lie: "This is elections Canada, there has been a change in your polling station, please go to X to vote". Typically the fake poll was in the middle of a crowded mall or some other difficult to reach place, I'd assume the goal being to dissuade the voter or delay them until voting ended.

Politics in close ridings can be dirty business, and it's ultimately the Candidate and their Campaign Manager's responsibility to choose the tone of their campaign. It's not a partisan thing, I've been told by friends on other sides of the fence that this happened to their candidates in other ridings too.

My hope is that this crap gets enough press to inform the electorate so they don't fall for these again.

-Matt

Re:That's the least of the problems (2)

Geminii (954348) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483860)

Does Canada register people against parties the way the US does? Australians don't (AFAIK) get these kind of calls, and I suspect that part of the reason is that there is no name-affiliation record of any kind. Voting locations and registration are handled centrally by a public service agency, and locations are published in newspapers and on the net. However, apart from personally talking to people, there isn't an easy way to tell who's likely to vote for whom other than through general demographics.

Re:Registering parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36484252)

No, Canada does not register voters to parties, however, if people who vote at a station that votes 'the wrong way' can be discouraged from voting, it can effect an election. See the 'hanging chads' problem in the US for another way this tactic shows up.

Re:That's the least of the problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36484822)

In Canada, a voter's political affiliation is not recorded as part of the voter registration process. However, one could certainly get historical information as to voting patterns and/or perform opinion polling to identify areas where support for Candidate X is low and it would be beneficial to X if the voter turnout in such areas could be reduced.

Part of the problem here is that it does not immediately click with most people that such tactics do have a definite point; their aim is not to generally reduce voter turnout, but only reduce it in areas where an opposing candidate has strong support.

Re:That's the least of the problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36485742)

There is no party affiliation involved with the registration of voters in Canada. However, one can go by historical voting patterns or opinion polling to identify areas where a political opponent has strong support. If 2/3 of the voters in a given area are voting for the opponent of your candidate, then anything that spreads confusion among the voters in that area is helpful.

There would be more outrage if people didn't miss the point of these sorts of activities.

Re:That's the least of the problems (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36486916)

IMO any attempts to interfere with the voting process in a way that prevents people from voting for the candidate they want should result in a ban from all political functions for several years. It's unacceptable to undermine the very foundation of a republic and then expect to be a legitimate government agent.

Republican (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36482910)

I'm not that knowledgeable with American politics except to predict that this type of behavior was most likely done by a Republican.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:Republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36484422)

Of course. But I notice the summary failed to note the real behavior that led to the charges -- calling Democratic-leaning areas before the polls closed on election day with a message saying roughly, "We won! No need to go to the polls, thanks for your support." This was a naked voter suppression effort, and I hope these people go to prison for a long time.

Re:Republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36486060)

I'm sure that someone will consider this flamebait, but YES, Bob Ehrlich is a Republican.

Odd how the media is so kind with not making certain actions reflect on the member's political party, and how stating a simple fact is likely to be seen an inflammatory conjecture.

robowalkers (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36483818)

Political Robocallers Indicted In Maryland

Now for the robowalkers!

Your honor ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36483888)

it doesn't compute.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?