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Ohio Dirty Tricks: Robo Calls Give Wrong Day For Vote

Posted on November 8, 2011 | in Labor News | by

Today the people of Ohio will decide, in a referendum vote, whether Gov. John Kasich’s anti-worker bill will become law or get tossed out. So when an Ohio union staffer and registered Democrat got a robo-call this morning telling her to vote “tomorrow” — not today, Nov. 8 — she became immediately suspicious. The call was received by an SEIU staff member.

The group sponsoring the robocall is the American Future Fund, a Republican organization led by a member of the Iowa State Senate. Although the call instructed her to vote the Republican-sponsored position in support of Issue 2 — the ballot measure that could ratify of S.B. 5, the bill that would virtually end collective bargaining for public employees — the recipient is a registered Democrat.

Could it be that the American Future Fund was hoping to confuse Democrats about the date of the election, and in a manner that could make it all seem like an innocent mistake?

Anthony Caldwell, spokesperson for SEIU Local 1199, told the Huffington Post:

For a group [American Future Fund] that has coordinated a $1 million mail campaign, I find it highly unlikely they would make a simple clerical error and send out a robocall to non-supporters telling them to vote the day after Election Day.

Here’s the script of the call, via the Huffington Post, which was received by the SEIU staffer at 9:37 this morning:

Hi, I am calling to remind you that tomorrow is Election Day. It is critically important that you go vote and protect the future of our country. Tomorrow, please go to the polls and vote YES on Issue 2, and vote YES on Issue 3. Paid for by American Future Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee. 866-559-5854.

Although polls show wide opposition to the S.B. 5 bill that a “Yes” vote on Issue 2 would ratify, the vote could be much closer than polls predict, as we reported earlier today, especially given the lengths to which anti-labor forces have gone to suppress voter turnout. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka traveled to the state today to urge union members to vote “No” on Issue 2.

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