Obama Robocalls telling WA voters wrong caucus date

According to The Stranger, as well as a caller into the Thom Hartmann radio program (great show), robocalls are going out to some in Washington telling them that the caucus in on Sunday, not Saturday (the actual date).

The calls apparently came from Meyer Associates Teleservices, a St. Cloud, MN-based direct marketing company. This company has done extensive work for the Obama campaign in Illinois, New Hampshire, and other states.

Robocalling is completely unacceptable. If this was done purposely, it’s inexcusable. If it was done accidentally there are no accidents in politics at this level. Democrats don’t like when Republicans do it to them. Democrats therefore should not do it to each other. Note also that this process is illegal in some states, and Obama’s calls [courtesy of Meyer] were found to violate New Hampshire law.

This is sad, and I really, really want this to be untrue, but the evidence is not looking that way at this point. I want honest, ethical politics, not this stuff.

One Love. One II.


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

9 responses to “Obama Robocalls telling WA voters wrong caucus date”

  1. Bruce Dixon says :

    Obviously it’s a regrettable error, perpetrated by some overzealous soul deep in the bowels of the Obama campaign. Rest assured that the culprit will be swiftly. and firmly dealt with. Think hope. Think change you can believe in. Take a deep breath.

    Here, have some kool-aid. You know brutha O and his team wd never stoop so low. Don’t you?

  2. Anonymous says :

    Where is it established that the calls are targeted to Clinton supporters? If they aren’t how does suppression of the overall turnout work to Obama’s advantage?

  3. Garlin II says :


    I sure hope that it’s an error and just that. If so, he has the opportunity to address it, as he’s here in WA as I type. His speech, which just ended, said nothing about this. I would expect a public statement on this matter in order to “clear the air.” Responsibility and accountability must be shown here. The issue is that there is precedence in NH, which troubles me. Someone may not have learned their lesson. I liken this to Clinton not being vigilant in handling the people making racist and bigotted (sp?) remarks about Obama.


    Whether they are targeting Clinton supporters or Obama supporters or uncommitted voters is irrelevant. The practice is unacceptable and unethical when done by Clinton, Obama, Republicans, or anyone.

  4. Clarence says :

    A couple things on this.

    1. Let’s not rush to judgment, as a later post on The Stranger brings some new information to this, with some discrepancy.


    2. Also, if this was from the Obama campaign, I do believe it was a mistake. As an earlier poster noted, how would it benefit them to suppress the vote in a state in which they are expected to win. The demographics of WA as a whole seem to favor Obama. I think it would be important to do a thorough analysis of what voters these were going to. Having worked with the campaign in two states I know that the campaign targets phone calls to those voters who are most likely to vote for, or have already identified their support for, barack.

    3. I don’t have a problem with the concept of a “robo-call.” If the call is not mis-leading, identifies who it is from, and is above board, (i.e. “this is a call from the Obama Campaign, and the Senator’s stance on the issue of X is Y…”). The problem with robo-calls is when they are slanderous, purposefully mis-leading, and/or consist of some form of push polling.

  5. Ms. Mack says :

    I gotta go with the majority on this one, it really would not make sense for the Obama campaign to perpetrate such hipocracy. The weaker the voter turnout the worse for Obama, besides he’s running a great race so far thus there’s no need for these desperate measures. WA go out and Barack the Vote today.

  6. Anonymous says :

    Mistakes happen. My local town hall in CT made a mistake on the post card that went out to all registered voters, with the date of 2006’s primary and only the year changed. I called, and they recognized their error, then sent out a complete batch of post cards correcting the error and apologizing.

  7. Garlin II says :

    Hey everyone, thanks for the great responses.

    One of my readers over at the Brave New Films Blog wrote (and I confirmed) that the Obama camp acknowledged the error.

    In my mind, the mistake is not that the calls were made with incorrect info; the mistake is still dealing with this company given their track record. I believe the choice to do that is irresponsible.

    Either way, Obama won the caucus Saturday. The allocation of the remainder of the WA delegates will be decided on the 19 Feb primary.

  8. Arnold Djondo says :

    people make mistakes what more can i say? you might wanna check if yor stove is still on!

  9. Bob Snakely says :

    I think it is just awful that they made the mistake OF GETTING CAUGHT! That’s the only mistake they made. They call it DIRTY TRICKS! Obama is sort of a combination of Richard Nixon with his list of Americans sending around e-mails about his Death care; plus he is a reincarnation of Jimmy Carter with his lies. Democrats are now getting desperate and have been caught trying to throw grandma under the train.

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