Friday, October 24, 2014

Tom Cotton campaign's dirty telephone tricks

Posted By on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Hal Hunnicutt, a former Arkansas Game and Fish commissioner who lives in Conway, tells me he got within the last 10 days or so one of those robocalls that said he was not registered to vote.  He is. He said the call ended with the message that it was paid for by the Tom Cotton campaign.

This follows similar reports in counties all over Arkansas. Something is (rotten) fishy here. The Cotton campaign doesn't take our questions, but other media have gotten various responses, one being that the campaign wasn't calling the voter who got the call but someone else in the house.

The only people at Hunnicutt's house are he and his wife. Their youngest child is 30 and long gone. The "other voter" excuse won't wash.

Hunnicutt is a Democrat who works in government relations with the company begun by James Lee Witt about other phone work. He is working in the Witt campaign for 4th District Congress. He'd called me originally to mention "live" callers for Republican Bruce Westerman peddling a hotly disputed NBC story about the work by Witt's firm in its work on Hurricane Katrina cleanup.

This Cotton calling looks more and more like voter discouragement efforts. If a voter learns after registration deadline that he isn't registered, he might not check,  presume he was unable to vote Nov. 4 and skip it. If the Cotton campaign has a better explanation, I'd be happy to hear it. More from other dirty phone tricks around the state:

(Just today, the U.S. attorneys in Arkansas announced the people they'd named to oversee handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses. Just a suggestion that systematic delivery of misinformation to voters could be ripe for a closer look.) 
Harrison Daily: Scam caller questions voter registration

Don’t tell Don Dunn he’s not a registered voter the way an alleged retired brigadier general did on the phone over the weekend — he’ll know it’s a scam.

Dunn said he and his wife returned home from a little road trip Sunday and checked messages on their home answering machine.

One of those message was from a man claiming to be “retired Brigadier General Gaylon Bryant” telling the Dunns they weren’t registered to vote. The caller also claimed to be working with Cong. Tom Cotton’s campaign for Senate.

Dunn said he knew better. He said he’s very familiar with election law and has even served as poll sheriff a couple of times at First United Methodist Church.

“I’ve voted in every election I was supposed to vote in since I was 18,” he said.

Boone County Clerk Crystal Graddy said her office got a few calls from people who received the same phone call about their registration. Of those callers, all were still registered.


KSPR: Some Arkansas voters thought they were scammed

Robocall turned out to be legitimate from Congressman's campaign.


HARRISON, ARK. - A woman in Boone County, Arkansas, says she got a phone call that just didn't add up.

"I was surprised. My husband checked it out and we have been registered to vote and have been ever since we moved here," says Arkansas voter, Gloria Dunn.

Dunn says she got the call over the weekend.

"This one was about a retired Brigadier General who informed me he had checked the records and we were not registered to vote."

Dunn says the man told her he was working for Congressman Tom Cotton's campaign for Senate.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Voters Falsely Informed They’re Ineligible

HOT SPRINGS — Phone calls erroneously informing voters that they are not registered for the Nov. 4 election have been received by numerous Garland County residents, election officials said.

The offices of the Garland County clerk and Garland County Election Commission said voters have contacted them by phone and in person to report the misinformation.

"We've received several telephone calls like that, and we've had six or seven people come in and ask," said Ginna Watson, election commission chairman, noting that most of the complainants had said they received the calls Oct. 5. "We looked up their information in the computer, and they're all registered to vote."

County Clerk Sarah Smith said registration was confirmed for the voters who contacted her office, adding that some said they received the false notifications by mail.


KATV: Possible Dirty Trick


SEARCY (WHITE COUNTY) - If you can't beat 'em, discourage 'em.

That may be the philosophy behind some unsettling phone calls made recently to voters in at least two Arkansas counties.

The deadline to vote in the upcoming general election has passed. Which is why many who received a mysterious phone call over the weekend were so troubled.

... 
Over the weekend dozens of White county residents received a troubling phone call from an unknown man regarding their ability to vote next month.

"We received 30 to 40 calls in voter registration from voters stating that they had received a call that they weren't registered," says White county clerk Stephenie Eason.

.... 
Jackson county residents have received the same phone calls.  

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