Monday, September 29, 2008


CA-50: Bilbray running anti-Busby push poll? I scared them away.
by MJB
Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 08:22:51 PM PDT
A few minutes ago, I scared away a push-poller.

I was at home, my family and I had just finished dinner, when the phone rang. We live in CA-50, where Francine Busby is the Democratic nominee against GOP lobbyist Brian Bilbray, who is now the incumbent after winning a special election in June to replaced now-convicted Republican felon and federal prison inmate Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

The caller ID said the call was coming from 1-801-623-4628.

I answered the phone, and the caller, obviously calling from a call center, asked to speak to "the male in the household who is a registered voter". Since that would be me, I said so.

After the caller confirmed that I was likely to vote in the November election, I asked who she was calling on behalf of. She said she was calling on behalf of The Tarrance Group.

More after the flip.

MJB's diary :: ::
So I asked my caller from The Tarrance Group which party or political candidate she was calling on behalf of. She lied. She said that she was not calling on behalf of any party or political candidate, and that The Tarrance Group is "completely non-partisan, not Democrat or Republican". I said, "OK, the Tarrance Group, could you spell that for me?" She spelled it for me and then said, "Um, could you hold on a second?"

I said, "Sure", and walked over to my computer to Google "tarrance group". The very first Google result says, "The Tarrance Group: A national Republican polling firm, providing polls, election information, and related services."

I quickly found that The Tarrance Group is "a national Republican polling firm that does a lot of work for the National Republican Congressional Committee." They apparently do a lot of this push polling, gutter politics stuff; the article linked in this paragraph reports on a deceptive push poll conducted in an attempt to smear Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democratic challenger in NY-20 this November.

Between January 19, 2005 and July 6, 2006, the National Republican Congressional Committee reported over $5 million paid to The Tarrance Group in connection with "surveys" and related expenditures.

So apparently they were calling me, a CA-50 registered voter, on behalf of the NRCC, to smear Democratic nominee Francine Busby with a sleazy push poll.

Alas, my question, or perhaps the caller's incorrect answer about the sponsorship of her "survey", caused her to end the call before asking me whatever deceptive questions she was going to ask. As I walked over to my computer, she said she was "having computer problems" and asked me to wait. I could hear her talking to someone in the background. After about two minutes, she stopped talking to whomever was in the background and told me that her computer still wasn't working, and asked if she could just call back later. I said, "Sure." Of course, she didn't call back.

So I wish I could report on all the sleazy questions these folks are asking to try and smear Ms. Busby, but I scared them away before they asked any.

If you live in CA-50, be aware that you may get one of these push-poll calls.

UPDATE 9/14/2006: I called the Busby campaign office this morning, and gave the campaign worker who answered the phone all the information I had about this call. She was very friendly, took it all down, and said she would pass it along to the campaign manager. I also called the DCCC and passed the same information on to them. The DCCC employee thanked me and said they do like to keep track of these push-polls.

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