Saturday, October 21, 2006

Farm Bureau Response to Misleading Phone Calls

I pointed out the other day, thanks to the catch from the folks at Loaded Orygun that Nelson supporters had been making phone calls in the name of the Oregon Farm Bureau accusing Peralta of getting nearly all his campaign money from labor organizations in Portland. A charge that is completely false and the exact opposite of the truth. There's been an odd development recently. It seems that the Farm Bureau is in fact taking credit for the calls, but not the script that was used.
It's not clear how the attack on Peralta wound up being included in the script read by phone bank volunteers, but the Farm Bureau's vice president, Dave Dillon, disavowed it. He said it would not be included again.

"The script we approved was apparently not the one that was read to people on the phone last night," Dillon told the News-Register. "Somewhere, there was a miscommunication on the script that we would be comfortable with."

To his knowledge, Dillon said, no one from Nelson's campaign had anything to do with the phone calls. He said the initial request to mount a calling effort on Nelson's behalf, citing the Farm Bureau's endorsement of her candidacy, came from a political action committee formed to back Republican House candidates.

This is getting far too strange. Sounds like a pretty weak defense to me, the Farm Bureau had to know what was in the script unless they contracted out to someone else to do the phone banking, which is plausible given that caller ID records from people who recieved the call said "Gateway Communications". This is a very strange story, not surprisingly nobody wants to take credit for the phone calls. Right now it appears that the Farm Bureau contracted Gateway Communications to make phone calls for them, and someone at Gateway or in the Republican Party changed the script. At least that's the best explanation I can come up with. Its certainly equally plausible that the Farm Bureau is just lying and did approve that script.

In other News, there's a good race summary article in the News-Register today with some good info on all three candidates Peralta, Nelson, and Terry.

No comments: