Monday, November 5, 2007

The Job's Not Over 'Til the Gay-Bashing's Done


This morning, 36 hours before the polls close, the calls started.

“For the first time in 20 years the homosexual lobby proudly endorses a Kentucky candidate for governor, Steve Beshear. Beshear is receiving major support from out-of-state gay activists and has publicly committed to same-gender relationships, employment of more homosexuals in state government including teachers, and support for homosexual adoption of children.

If you believe these rights are fair please vote for Steve Beshear for governor. Visit"

Everybody who believes those calls came from Louisville's Fairness Campaign or any other actual gay-rights group, stand on your head. And sing God Bless America. Backwards.

So far, no one's been able to trace the calls to any number, and of course soon-to-be-former Governor Ernie Fletcher's campaign is claiming innocence. An innocence that rings a little hollow after a comment like this from Ernie's camp:

"I don't know who would be impersonating the Fairness Campaign," said spokesman Jason Keller. "Obviously we wouldn't support anybody misrepresenting themselves in a call." Having said that, Keller added that the Fairness Campaign's political action committee did endorse Beshear, and "certainly there's a fair question to be asked there."

Getting off a little there, bubeleh?

I'll let the Fairness Campaign speak for itself:

Desperate opponents of Steve Beshear have stooped to a new low by using deceptive automated telephone calls falsely representing themselves as the Fairness Campaign. Fairness has received dozens of calls from concerned Kentuckians who have reported receiving these misleading and inaccurate phone calls.

The Fairness Campaign has issued the following statement: "We believe Kentuckians are looking for a governor who will work to bring Kentuckians together to improve the lives of all people in the Commonwealth. That's why CFAIR, the Committee for Fairness and Individual Rights, has endorsed Steve Beshear for Governor. These last minute dirty-tricks should remove any doubt about who fair-minded Kentuckians should elect as their next Governor on November 6."

Neither CFAIR nor the Fairness Campaign are making any automated calls in this election. Voters who receive an inappropriate call should report it to the Secretary of State's Office, the Attorney General¹s Office and their local Board of

No fear on that score. In addition to whatever response the Beshear campaign is launching as I type, Kentucky's liberal bloggers are furious. They've already drafted complaints to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and legal motions to take to court the minute they track down the source.

The call (hear a recording at BlueGrassRoots) is illegal on its face, as it lacks the required "this call paid for by -" disclaimer.

PageOneKentucky reports that someone is trying to put the blame on Democrats.

We’ve received reports that the robocall originates from a telephone number owned by Lee Murphy of Poli-Tech Consulting - an organization that works only for Democrats in Kentucky - including Dan Mongiardo’s 2004 campaign. I spoke to Mr. Murphy moments ago and he confirms that he’s absolutely not involved, saying he “would never work against a Democrat” and that he’s actually friends with Mongiardo.

So where does this leave us? It appears a Republican or anti-Beshear lackey has an ax to grind and is wrongly claiming Poli-Tech is behind the robocall.

Someone is trying to cover up their tracks.

I'll update as I can.

Polls open in 11 hours, 50 minutes.

UPDATE, 5:38 p.m.:Good News, Bad News Department: Polwatchers reports that Beshear has a responding recorded call up and out.

"Ernie Fletcher is spreading lies to scare you," says Rev. John Dunaway, a retired Baptist minister who has volunteered in the Beshear campaign. "Don't fall for the last-minute dirty tricks."

However, Rich Miles at BlueGrassRoots notes that's not all the message said:

I got a robocall from a "Rev. John Dunaway", whoever he is, telling me not to believe the nasty lies about Steve Beshear. That Steve was raised in a family of preachers, and believes marriage is between a man and a woman, and all that. (SNIP) Ain't it a cryin' shame that we live in a state and a nation where either of those calls was possible or even conceived of?

UPDATE II, 7:38 a.m.:CRAP! Mark Hebert of WHAS 11 in Louisville did some actual reporting, calling the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, and discovered that the calls may not be illegal after all.

The call contains no disclaimer, and doesn't have to, according to Sarah Jackson, executive director of the Registry of Election Finance. Jackson says there's no state law requiring candidates, parties or independent groups to identify themselves in phone calls, like they do on printed materials, radio and TV ads.

Well then, I think a state law requiring candidates, parties or independent groups to identify themselves in phone calls, like they do on printed materials, radio and TV ads, should be at the top of Steve's list for the General Assembly session that starts in two months.

Cross-posted at Blue in the Bluegrass.