Let me start with a story.

Several years ago, in a swing House seat, volunteers for the Democratic candidate, started calling the finance committee of the Republican candidate, three days out. The message? That the Democratic candidate was a Jew and "we can’t let another Jew get in office." The Democrat volunteers identified themselves on the call as Republican volunteers. The Republican campaign was inundated with outraged phone calls from the finance team demanding that they stop. A couple of hours later, the Republican campaign obtained solid evidence that it was Democrat volunteers. And the Republican candidate called the Democrat candidate and threatened legal action of the calls didn’t stop. The Democrat candidate denied having anything to do with it, but the calls stopped within about 15 minutes of the calls.

The point is that sleazy, disgusting things happen in the world of telephones. And in the hurly-burly world of politics, there are plenty of examples of things not seeming what they are. And they involve vile attacks, usually bigoted, hitting highly targeted lists of people.

I use that as an introduction to the whole IA/NH anti-Romney push poll stories. Phil Elliott at the AP and the Politico’s Jonathan Martin have stories about this. Several facts jumped out at me that make it clear that this is a made for outrage, made for media thing.

First, they called a Romney supporting IA State Rep. From the AP story:

In Iowa, Romney supporter and state representative Ralph Watts got a call on Wednesday.

"I was offended by the line of questioning," Watts said. "I would be equally as offended if someone called and said in the nature of if, ‘you know the Catholic Church supported pedophile priests.’ I don’t think it has any place in politics."

My educated guess is that Rep. Watts was put on the list because he would report it to the Romney campaign and the media. I would assume that the next call by Rep. Watts was to the Romney IA state director. Again, made for media and made for outrage.

Second, the questions. It seems clear that there was an attempt to link this to the John McCain campaign. How do we know? According to Jonathan Martin, a bunch of the questions were positives about John McCain. Did McCain do this? Of course not. It doesn’t make any sense for them to be doing these in Iowa, where they basically aren’t competing. They are low on cash. And everyone knows that John McCain is a war hero. What’s the plus? Furthermore, as recent activity as indicated, they understand that they need to go through Rudy Giuliani, not Mitt Romney.

Third, there was also an attempt to muddy the waters by linking it to former vendor for Giuliani’s pollster. Although there is plenty of evidence that the Giuliani campaign is not behind it, at least not directly.

I have another question. If someone is trying to slime Mitt Romney with his religion, do they really go to a Utah-based call center run by people in Romney’s world? Wouldn’t they know that it would get out? What does it tell us if it doesn’t?


11 Comments

Rachel · November 16, 2007 at 6:06 PM

Well the Corner has been reporting that several of the employees, including the business manager made political contributions this year.

To Mitt Romney.

Rachel · November 16, 2007 at 6:07 PM

Oopsie.

Employees of Western Wats.

tiny68300 · November 17, 2007 at 2:11 PM

So you really think Romney is so stupid that he would do this using a company that has links to him? Come on, people, think!

The talk is on the same level as the CFR, Bildebergers, UN world domination conspiracy idiots.

If Romney did it, why in hell would he use a company with such obvious links? The man and his machine are NOT first timers. To attribute such idiocy to them is beyond comprehension.

Whoever is behind it, I hope the bright light of discovery soon burns white-hot in their dark political sewer.

RDWinmill · November 17, 2007 at 7:56 PM

Why has no one asked this question: How do we know Western Wats made the calls? The only evidence thus far is that the caller identified themselves as representing West Wats.

Is it possible that a third party did no deem make the call with a Caller ID Spoof?

It has been done before:

http://tpmelectioncentral.com/2007/11/source_fletcher_telemarketing_company_not_involved_with_bogus_robocall.php

RDWinmill · November 17, 2007 at 8:07 PM

So how do we know Wester Wats did the polling? Anyone looking at that?

Charles Wilson · November 18, 2007 at 12:25 AM

RDWindmill, stop drinking your Kult Koolaid for a minute. The Associated Press reported that it was Western Wats, and Western Wats confirmed that they made the phone calls. Can’t sweep this under the rug. America ain’t Utah. Yet.

eyeon08.com: “If someone is trying to slime Mitt Romney with his religion, do they really go to a Utah-based call center run by people in Romney’s world?” « who is willard milton romney? · November 16, 2007 at 2:58 PM

[…] November 16, 2007 in 2008, GOP, analysis, election 2008, mitt romney, republicans, rhetoric, romney, triumph of unreasonTags: agente provocateur, dirty tricks, eyeon08.com, negative attacks, negativity, provocateur, provocation, slime … “It seems clear that there was an attempt to link this to the John McCain campaign,” writes eye of eyeon08.com in a post titled The strange anti-Romney push poll How do we know? According to Jonathan Martin, a bunch of the questions were positives about John McCain. Did McCain do this? Of course not. It doesn’t make any sense for them to be doing these in Iowa, where they basically aren’t competing. They are low on cash. And everyone knows that John McCain is a war hero. What’s the plus? Furthermore, as recent activity as indicated, they understand that they need to go through Rudy Giuliani, not Mitt Romney. […]

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Hmmm: Senior VP at polling firm blamed for anti-Mitt, anti-Mormon calls donated to … Romney · November 16, 2007 at 5:53 PM

[…] Update: Soren Dayton makes an excellent point. Why would an Iowa state representative known to be a longstanding supporter of Mitt have been placed on the call list? That would guarantee that word of the polling would get back to the campaign and become publicized. […]

eyeon08.com » Romney’s friends with Western Wats family · November 16, 2007 at 7:31 PM

[…] I did ask, however, this question: If someone is trying to slime Mitt Romney with his religion, do they really go to a Utah-based call center run by people in Romney’s world? Wouldn’t they know that it would get out? What does it tell us if it doesn’t? […]

The Right’s Field » ...And Even Curiouser · November 17, 2007 at 2:12 PM

[…] Why, asks Soren Dayton, would operatives trying to smear Romney employ a Utah-based call center to do the job? And it’s not just a question of geography: as Dayton finds, Mitt Romney is in fact “friends with the family of the Founder and Chairman of the company that is placing anti-Mormon and anti-Romney phone calls.” A blog supporting Romney even has pictures of the candidate greeting members of the Lindorf Family, who run Western Wats, the company in question. […]

eyeon08.com » Stock tactic: Sleazy bigoted phone calls · November 18, 2007 at 4:04 PM

[…] That strategy depends on getting a media hit. Like hitting a Romney-supporting State Rep. Or a county chairman. I described a similar thing that happened in a campaign that I am familiar with. The campaign of a Democratic Jewish candidate called voters attacking the religion of their own candidate to drive attention. […]

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