As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Learning At The Foot Of The Master?

In 2000, John McCain was bedeviled in South Carolina with push-polling featuring all kinds of nasty whispers. McCain claims he's not responsible for a repeat of that this year in New Hampshire against Mitt Romney, but how can you be sure this isn't just learned behavior?

New Hampshire's attorney general is investigating phone calls to voters that pretend to be opinion polls but then undercut presidential contender Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith — and make favorable statements about Republican rival John McCain. McCain says they're not his doing and he wants them stopped. Romney says it's a religious attack and "un-American."

McCain said of the phone calling, "It is disgraceful, it is outrageous, and it is a violation, we believe, of New Hampshire law." His campaign asked the attorney general to investigate, and McCain, campaigning Friday in Colorado, asked other candidates to join in the request.

One McCain adviser, Chuck Douglas, said "we believe it is being done by one of the other campaigns. We don't know which one."

It's certainly a forceful denunciation, but can we be so sure? I mean, McCain is going around attacking CNN for reporting on his calling a woman's comment of "How do we beat the bitch?" a great question, so the guy isn't exactly intellectually honest.

But this nugget at the end of the story, about the company contracted to do the push poll, is interesting:

Last year, Western Wats conducted polling that was intended to spread negative messages about Democratic candidates in a House race in New York and a Senate race in Florida, according to reports in The Tampa Tribune and the Albany Times Union, which also said Western Wats conducted the calls on behalf of the Tarrance Group.

That Virginia-based firm now works for Romney's rival, Rudy Giuliani. The campaign has paid the firm more than $400,000, according to federal campaign reports.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Labels: , , , , ,