"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Give Linder Stender A Call

In January of 2005 we wrote about phone calls constituents of Congressman Mike Ferguson were receiving about Social Security reform. The prerecorded message was loaded with disinformation and false charges. A reverse lookup of the toll free number, provided as an avenue for voters to express their outrage, showed that it belonged to the American Federation of Teachers.

Since that time, voters in Congressman Ferguson’s district have received calls, averaging one every two weeks, blaming the congressman for the latest “issue” or “problem” Democrats have hoped to pin on Republicans. The calls basically come in two forms - blame the congressman for whatever is in the news and push polling.

Interestingly, the Dump Mike folks wrote a post last month complaining about the push polling calls and the lack of identification of the group behind them.
Some jackass is going around doing fake polls called "push polls" around the country. A push poll is essentially a partisan attack done as a fake poll, and it is considered an extremely dirty political trick.

Now the jackass has come to the 7th district, and is push polling against Mike Ferguson. While it has to be obvious to anyone who knows the name of this site, we are interested in defeating Ferguson in November. We are not interested in doing it by cheating.
Today, an article from Roll Call solves the mystery of “the jackass” group behind the lies and distortion campaign:

The calls are funded by American Family Voices (AFV), a nonprofit group led by Clinton administration veteran Mike Lux and allied with Lux’s firm Progressive Strategies. According to its website, the firm promotes “extensive experience in grassroots organizing and politics.”

Lux founded AFV in 2000 after leaving the lobbying team at People for the American Way, adding a 527 group called MainStreet USA to his arsenal during the 2004 election cycle.

“My whole goal is to work in close connection with the rest of the progressive community and have our organization be a free safety that can move on a dime, plug holes, work on issues that come up all of a sudden and go where other people aren’t going to provide some political muscle,” Lux said..
“The group got going with $800,000 donated by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees." Lux says other labor unions provide backing, but declined to name AFV's other contributors, except to say that they are "your classic progressive donors". Read that to mean billionaire George Soros as one of the “classics”.

Democrat Linda Stender, running for Congress in the 7th Congressional District against Mike Ferguson, is the beneficiary of this “dirty political trick” as the Dump Mike people refer to the robo calls. If you’ve been bothered by these intrusions , why not give New Jersey Assemblywoman Stender a call and let her know how you feel about her backers and their tactics.

Stender Home: (908) 889-6793 - Why not, they call you at home.
Stender Campaign Office: (908) 322-1996
Stender Assembly District Office: (908) 668-1900


At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Blue 7th PAC said...

Unfortunately, you have your facts a little wrong. The calls Dump Mike was talking about were what is called a push poll, where the audio pretends to be a poll but is really an effort to push false or misleading info. A link to audio of that is on the page you linked to.

What you are talking about in your post is a horse of a different color. These are issue advocacy calls that do not pretend to be calls, but are clearly partisan or issue related in nature. I haven't heard these at my home or heard recordings, so can't say for sure whether these are bad or not.

We called push polling a dirty trick, but not advocacy calls.

If you can ID any false claims made by these calls, that would also bolster your case. As it is, we have only your word for it.

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Blue 7th PAC,
We documented, with transcript, one such call when these "dirty tricks" were first brought to our attention; see the link at the top of this post.

The calls regardless of format - polls or otherwise, are deceitful. Both formats serve the same purpose – misinform voters and smear the targeted politician in the process.

People who have received the calls are very much aware of the false claims made.

The purpose of this post was to let people harassed know who is behind them and who they might call to have them stopped.

Sorry, if we misunderstood your post as a call for honesty in the political process. We stand corrected.

At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could this be who's behind this? Someone received this email:

From the DCCC:

We don't have to wait until 2008 to stop the Bush agenda. We can stop his agenda this November by collapsing his Rubber Stamp Congress. It's time to kick the bums out and get folks in power who mean and will do what they say.

Last week, you heard from John Lapp about the blitz the DCCC is putting on Republican Richard Pombo (CA-11), the greatest enemy-of-the-earth sitting in Congress. His outrageous behavior of trying to gut the Endangered Species Act and handing out energy giveaways to the highest bidder landed him at the center of a massive DCCC campaign including a Web site taking Pombo to task.

Many of you have already sent in billboard designs for the DCCC Anti-Pombo billboard contest that Founder of StopGlobalWarming.org Laurie David and I will judge later this month. The winning billboard design will go up in Rep. Richard Pombo's district for all of his constituents to see. It's not too late to join the Anti-Pombo Billboard Design Contest. All entries are needed by March 10th. Click here to check out the Web site and submit a billboard design.

I have been in politics a long time and I know what it takes to win elections. So does the DCCC. We need to keep the heat on Republicans like Pombo, who've acted disgracefully because they thought they were safe, and teach them a lesson, ad by ad, billboard by billboard, and vote by vote. But we cannot do it alone. We need help from Democrats like you.

The DCCC is committed to hammering these guys from now until Election Day where it counts-- in their own backyards. Contribute $35, $50, or $100 now and help the DCCC put up billboards like this all across the country.

Laurie David, of StopGlobalWarming.org, and I are looking forward to seeing all the billboard design submissions on Pombo -- and looking forward even more to seeing the winner up in Pombo's district where all the good folks he is supposed to be representing can see it.

Thanks in advance to you, and thanks to the DCCC for giving Pombo and all the rest of these sellouts their due. Richard Pombo will not be the first nor the last Republican to have his record on display for all to see.

So if you can pull together a billboard design, by all means do that. If not, chip in to get the winner up in Pombo's district and take him down for the sake of our planet.

Contribute $35, $50, or $100 now and help the DCCC put up billboards like this all across the country.

I need all of my Democratic friends, like you, to be ready to stand and fight. Because as we all know, these bloodthirsty Republicans will stop at nothing to win. And we need to stop at nothing in taking them out of power.

Help us fight to take our country back. Enough is enough. We can no longer stand idly by wishing and hoping the days would go by faster so Bush will be out of office.

Sincerely, James Carville

P.S. - The news stories in Pombo's district are already raining down. He's in the center of the storm, hoping he can wait it out. This billboard, and this campaign from the DCCC, will make sure that doesn't happen. Give this Enemy of the Earth and the people of his district and California a constant reminder of what's he doing with their environment and their hard-earned tax dollars. Give to the DCCC today.

Contribute $35, $50, or $100 now and help the DCCC put up billboards like this all across the country.

At 12:05 AM, Blogger Ken Adams said...

Makes you wonder how many other Republican candidates are being portrayed in exactly the same way... "in the center of the storm" and "greatest enemy-of-the-earth sitting in Congress."

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Blue 7th PAC said...

From Enlighten NJ:

"Today a reader received a taped phone call about their Republican Congressman, Mike Ferguson and Social Security reform. The message provides a toll free number for the purpose of letting the congressman know “that we want real reform, not a risky Wall Street gamble”.

A couple of problems with the information in this call: a Social Security reform plan has not been put forth by Ferguson or any Republican for that matter

From the Cato website:

Mike Ferguson (R)

Our seniors deserve to collect benefits on the money they have paid into the Social Security Trust Fund. Every penny that is taken out of Americans' paychecks in Social Security taxes should be locked in a lockbox so it can only be used to pay for Social Security benefits. I support giving younger workers the option to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes. However, I would not support this change for current benefits recipients or those who will soon be benefits recipients. I support the elimination of the Social Security Benefits tax. I support making additional changes to help address the problem of poverty among older women, and I oppose raising the age required to receive full retirement benefits beyond 67. My first priority for the budget surplus would be to strengthen Social Security. [emphasis added]

Obviously, Mr. Ferguson has said he supports putting social security funds in the stock market and proposed at the least an outline of his Social Security plan, so what the AFT said is not spreading false information.

Second, you say, "The purpose of this post was to let people harassed know who is behind them and who they might call to have them stopped." However, you don't give out the number for the AFT or People for the American Way or anyone else attached to the call. You gave out the home number of Linda Stender who you have not demonstrated has anything to do with these calls. In fact, the only one you did document was made 10 months or more before she was even in the race.

And, as per usual, you twisted my words to make them look bad. This line, "Sorry, if we misunderstood your post as a call for honesty in the political process. We stand corrected." is in particular manipulative.

The Dump Mike post was a call for more honesty in the political process, but it was speaking on a specific issue: push polling. You used our comments about push polling to discuss issue oriented calling. You might as well use comments about baseball to discuss curling. My issue was with your use of words from Dump Mike about one issue to suggest we supported your position on a different technique, not that we didn't support honesty in the political process.

Interestingly, your problem with these calls is that they twist the facts and do so while hiding their true identities. Enlighten NJ is an anonymous person/group spinning information for political purposes and calling on people to contact a candidate in the 7th district. Frankly, I can't see the difference.

Dump Mike is funded by the Blue 7th PAC, which meets monthly in public and files reports on its leaders, contributions and expenses with the Federal Election Commission. We could very easily have done the site anonymously without declaring it, but we chose to be open and transparent. I encourage you -- at the least -- to release your name[s] -- so that we can have the transparency and honesty you so desire in politics.

If you don't, we'll know where you stand on transparency and honesty in the political process.

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bridge Activists


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