If You Can't Beat Scott Kleeb, Beat the Votersby Kyle Michaelis
Yesterday, there were reports of such activity right here at NNN. And, amazingly, we have a published report in the state's largest newspaper to substantiate this threat and to get the word out on the true nature of these underhanded tactics in time to counter at least some of their worst effects.
The Omaha World-Herald reports:
Complaints about repeated - and annoying - recorded "robo calls" to likely supporters of Democratic congressional candidate Scott Kleeb marred the last-minute campaigning in the hotly contested race in the 3rd District.
Both Kleeb's campaign and representatives of Republican candidate Adrian Smith denied involvement in the recorded calls, which one Hastings man said were repeated five times, about two hours apart, Sunday night and Monday morning.
Jack Sandeen, a 65-year-old retiree, said the calls were annoying and might prompt someone to not vote.
"If that's what democracy has come to . . . we're in a pretty sorry state," said Sandeen, a Democrat who said he responded to a telephone poll earlier this year that he was a likely Kleeb voter.
Sandeen described the calls as a poor-quality recording of Kleeb's voice describing his views and countering claims made in advertisements run by Smith....
Kleeb campaign spokesman Ben Lumpkin said the Democrat's campaign has used "robo calls" like that described by Sandeen. But the poor sound quality and repetition made him suspicious.
Lumpkin said Kleeb's phone contractor assured him that its computer system is not set up to make repeated calls like those described by Sandeen and about a half-dozen other people from Hastings and Kearney who had complained to him.
"It's clear to us that it's being done intentionally to annoy Kleeb supporters," Lumpkin said, citing complaints about similar tactics in other states.
Dan Huber, Smith's campaign manager, said that while his campaign is also using "robo calls," the repeated calls were "definitely not something we're affiliated with."
With the dual denials, Huber said the only possibility was that a "third party" may be doing it.
"Third party"? Alas, the OWH doesn't mention if that was said with a straight face or not.
I suspect that the fact this story even made it to the press on Election Day has a lot to do with the preparation, forward-thinking, and careful strategizing of Kleeb and his campaign staff. They've had hundreds of thousands of dollars and a somewhat popular president thrown at them this last week but have effectively countered every challenge that has come their way.
Kleeb will continue to do us proud today. And, I trust the decent, common sense folk of the Third District will do the same by sending Mr. Kleeb - not Mr. Smith - to Washington.