May 27, 2004
Curious Phone Calls
From Keloland TV in South Dakota:School’s out for the summer. And if 17-year-old Tyler Crissman knows classwork as well as campaigning, he shouldn’t have to worry about his final exams. Yesterday, Crissman caught a political phone call that didn’t make the grade.
Crissman says, “At the end they didn’t identify themselves, so that’s what threw up a red flag in my mind.”
We listened to the call on a KELO employee’s answer machine and heard the same thing Crissman did.
He says, “A person ID’s themselves and they mention Larry Diedrich’s record in the state Senate and how it will effect college students.”
And yes, the call ends without telling you who pays for it. That violates election law.
So who would make a call criticizing Larry Diedrich? You’d think someone who supports Stephanie Herseth, right? Not necessarily.
When we asked the Herseth campaign about the call, they sent us this picture of a caller I-D that captured the sender. It shows R-D-I marketing services, a group that according to independent campaign finance records, has collected more than $350,000 from the Republican party.
Wow, I’ve never heard of a trick like that before. No wait, once before:
Minnesota for Kerry today called on visiting Bush Campaign Chairman Mark Racicot to formally rebuke phone calls being made into Minnesota on behalf of the Republican National Committee. The calls, made yesterday and today throughout Minnesota, have been traced to RDI Marketing Services in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the past two election cycles (from 2001-2004), RDI has been paid over $250,000 by the Republican National Committee and has received no payments from Democrats or the Democratic Party.
According to PoliticalMoneyLine (found online at www.tray.com), the Republican National Committee has made twenty disbursements to RDI Marketing Services, for a total of $258,826.
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