Case in point, the brouhaha surrounding comments Rush Limbaugh made about 30 yr. old student/activist Sandra Fluke. Those of you familiar with the American political scene will already know about the controversy which ensued when Limbaugh called Fluke a slut and a whore for her position on federally mandated birth control coverage by Catholic institutions.
I have no interest in debating this issue here and now but raise it to illustrate a point. And that point is the organized response of the left that seeks to make political hay of the controversy Limbaugh finds swirling around him. It seems that robocalls are a prominent aspect of the left's counter attack.
A group calling itself "The Women of the 99 Percent" is making robocalls across the United States in an attempt to link Republican members of the House of Representatives to "the war on women led by Rush Limbaugh".
The automated calls are illegal because they do not state who they are from (there is no known group called The Women of the 99 Percent) or provide a callback number, as required under the US Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.
Using the Left-wing "Occupy" terminology of the 99 percent versus the one percent, they appear to be the most aggressive attempt yet by Democrats to exploit politically the recent furore over comments by the controversial conservative radio talk show host.
Please note the illegality of these robocalls, oweing to the fact that they do not identify who is behind them.
Now lets jump north of the 49th where we Canadians are embroiled in our own robocall scrum, with the aforementioned leading lights of the left leading the charge. This would be all well and good except for the fact the Liberals have had to admit that they engaged in exactly the same unidentified calls that are going on in the USA.
It seems the Conservatives were not the only campaign using robocalls in the race for Guelph, eventually won by Liberal, Frank Valeriotte.
A former provincial Progressive Conservative candidate, Greg Schirk, who lives in the city, has discovered a call made to his home on the Saturday night before the election that does not, in apparent contravention of the Elections Act, state clearly on whose behalf it was made.
The robo-caller identifies herself as Lori or Laurie McDonald of Guelph and says she is appalled by Mr. Burke’s beliefs on women’s rights. “Conservative candidate Marty Burke believes that under no circumstances should a woman have a right to choose…. The race in Guelph is very close — vote strategically on Monday to protect our rights from Marty Burke and his extreme views.”
UPDATE: Frank Valeriotte, Liberal MP for Guelph, has responded:So to recap. Our friends on the left, both north and south of the longest undefended border in the world, seem to have a penchant for raising inflamatory social issues in contravention of campaign laws. Specifically, failing to identify who is behind the smears.
“This was an issue based call, not a voter suppression call. It was paid for by our campaign.”
He said the fact it was not identified as coming from the Liberal Party was an “oversight” and that his office had been “completely open” with Elections Canada.
One could make the case that the illegal robocalls now happening in the U.S. were inspired by "Canadian Style" dirty tricks.