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Update of an on-going open source journalism investigation over at SoapBlox Colorado dealing with "push-polling" being funded by Grover Norquist.

As Blue the Wild Dog originally blogged, there's been some push polling going on in Colorado around the special election held Nov. 1. Now, it has spread to California and Virginia too!

Sources have confirmed that these push polls are being paid for (at least in part) by the Grover Norquist related "issues" group Americans for Tax Reform.

Calls have been coming in from the number (571) 522-1180.  Which, if you do a public Reverse Phone Number Look Up on you get the following Results:

Fecr
street address not available
Braddock, VA 22302
(571) 522-1180

AND

Ccabiz
street address not available
Braddock, VA 22302
(571) 522-1180

We've got some new inform from a blogger FirstMate from Virgina about this company too:

Their physical address is: 13800 Coppermine Road, Herndon, VA 21071. Their REAL office number is: 703-234-2200.

They also have a website: http://www.electionresearch.com.

There is a link on the site called "Do Not Disturb" which gives you the option to have your phone number erased from the data bank.

FYI: According to their listing using the reverse phone look up, they are located in Braddock, VA. There is no such town in VA. There is however, a Lake Braddock, which is not a town, but, in fact a lake. The town is actually Burke.

Perhaps due to the reporting originally on SoapBlox Colorado, the Denver Post picked up the story today:

Grover Norquist, the influential leader of the national anti-tax movement in Washington, D.C., is "robo-calling" thousands of Colorado voters this month after saying in August he would not be spending money in the campaign over Referendums C and D.

The Investigation So Far

With the phone number listed above, we've found out a lot.

We learned from an ambitious blogger named A Curious Stranger @ Colorado Luis' blog that this "CcaBiz" is in fact ccAdvertising

Who is ccAdvertising?

ccAdverstings's about section claims:

ccAdvertising is fundamentally a survey and database company, which utilizes a patented (patents pending) Interactive Voice Response - Speech Recognition (IVRSR) medium it created called, ccAdvertising.

If you look at ccAdvertising's Press Release Page, you can download a word doc called Election Research 18-Targetd State Survey Bush Versus Kerry - Oct 25, 2004 Compared To Election Day Results which claims:

On October 25, 2004, Election Research completed the "sixteenth and final survey" in a series of surveys conducted as part of an Election 2004 program.  During a 24-hour period from October 24, 2004 through October 25, 2004, Election Research surveyed 249,970-homes in the 18-states targeted by both the George W. Bush and John F. Kerry 2004 Presidential campaigns.  This universe translated into 13,887-homes per state.

Other things associated with ccAdvertising:

  • Pete Sessions (R-Tx) used ccAdvertising, spending $10,000.
  • In 2000, Colorado Conservative Voters and Club for Growth spent $100,000 doing polls through this group.
  • The Attorney General of North Dakota is bringing charges against ccAdvertising saying:

    Whether the enforcement of NDCC   51-28-02 as to interstate political polling calls is preempted by Section 2 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.

  • This company sponsered a 'meet & greet' with GOP congresswoman Cathy McMorris

    ccAdvertsing is owned by a man named Gabe Joseph.

    Who was a keynote speaker at a event that featured the following speakers:

    # Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform
    # Ryan Ellis, Alliance for Worker Freedom
    # Ron Nehring, Americans for Tax Reform
    # Bob Williams, Evergreen Freedom Foundation
    # Darcy Olsen, Goldwater Institute
    # David Salisbury, Cato Institute
    # John Fund, The Wall Street Journal

    What Gabe did at this event:
    7:15 - 8:30 AM--Election Research Breakfast:
    How to use 20 Million Conservative Homes Identified Nationwide in Politics, Fundraising and Lobbying
    # Presented by Gabe Joseph, President, ccAdvertising
    This is to show their real bona fide GOP "movement conservative credentials".

    Is ccAdvertising Violating your privacy?
    This all started with a push poll.  But what ccAdvertising is doing is hardly a poll.

    As reported by kellymonaghan from the Juneau (AK) Empire:

    If residents stuck with the call and spoke "yes" or "no" in a voice clear enough for the computer to understand, they learned that three local candidates had paid for the "survey."

    What they weren't told is that this was no ordinary public opinion poll, where individual responses are pooled for statistical purposes and no single person's private thoughts recorded in a way that could later identify them.

    As the computer gathered the answers, it stored each one individually, making it possible to retrieve them later by phone number, household name or address for other purposes.

    These aren't polls!  These aren't even push-polls!

    They are pretending to be polls to stealthy gather personal information about voters.  Because, when you say you're doing a poll, people assume they are anonymous.  And if you're giving a poll that is not going to be anonymous, then the person taking the poll must be told their answers are being record in any sort of way before any question is asked.

    But Grover isn't doing that.  He's doing a a privacy violating demographic telemarketing scam masking itself as political "free speech" funded by movement conservatives with the dirty money of Norquist, Abramoff, DeLay, and all the actors in the current incarnation of the GOP's culture of corruption.

    All while in violation of Congress' "Do Not Call" Law.  These calls might not violate the letter of the law, but they definitely violate the spirit, especially since respondents aren't told up front that their answers are being record.

    What I think they're doing
    Voter records have phone numbers.  They use ccAdvertising to blanket robo call an entire state.  Then, they store how they answer the "push poll" results, and cross-reference them with the voting records easily obtainable at your County office.  All of this is to better target sympathetic voters, and map out the beliefs of each individual voter.

    ****

    Example of Push Poll in Colorado.
    From DanoKen, a commenter over at Colorado Luis' blog:

    just got push polled by former CO state senate president, John Andrews. (Showed up as "FECR" 571-522-1180 on the caller ID.) Lots of loaded questions. I tried to jot down the gist of each question as they were delivered (see below). The poll was sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (atr.org). Andrews provided the disclosure and URL at the end of the poll.

  • Do you support the SCOTUS decision that grants businesses the right to take away land for greater good?

  • Agree with the CA court's "One nation under god ruling"?
  • Do you support term limits for CO judges? (Andrews mentioned something trying to push buttons vis-a-vis "lifetime" judicial appointments.)
  • Should CO elect all of its judges?
  • Ref C & D question. It was a push poll-type: Do you want to spend millions more of tax payer money...blah blah. Basically restates C & D's opponents talking points. Horribly biased question...

  • Do you consider yourself a Republican? [Uh, yeah, sure.]
  • Theses calls have been going to Ohio, Colorado, California. and Virginia.

    ***

    Other names ccAdvertising may go by

    We've found out these guys have different names too.  Here's that list:

    FreeEats.com, Inc., dba
    The FreeEats Companies
    ccAdvertising
    ccAdvertising.biz
    ccAdvertising.Info
    ElectionResearch.com
    FECads.com
    FECResearch.com

    That's all!

    That's the investigation so far.  You can help!  Let's shine some light on the privacy violating conservatives.

    This diary is a compilation from content and comments from the following places:

    Norquist continues Push Polls
    Norquist doing Push Polls
    Post picks up Push Polls
    Bread crumbs
    C & D aware
    More on push polls
    The original

  • Originally posted to pacified on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 11:20 AM PST.

    Poll

    Did you get a push-poll?

    62%17 votes
    37%10 votes

    | 27 votes | Vote | Results

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    Comment Preferences

    •  People, this is a big deal (4.00)
      This company does this all the time.  I've gotten a bunch of hits at my website because of it, and re-posted the old facts with the new twists too it.

      SoapBlox Colorado - The Daily Kos of the Centennial State. Join today!

      by pacified on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 11:23:07 AM PST

      •  Dude, edit your post (none)
        It says "the upcoming special election this Nov. 1."
      •  NOW POLLING in RI Senate Race- Nov 14 (none)
        Got a call from them couple of days ago (said wasn't Repub and call ended)- apparently about the Chafee- Laffey Senate primary contest, where incredibly the National Repub Sentate Campaign Committee is running attack TV ads a year before the primary against right-wing punkster Steven Laffey, who as mayor of bankrupt Cranston, has had well publicized fights with unions and city employees. He also does a radio show, which was pulled by RI election board as unfair advantage. The ACLU weighed in on his side, and RI election board backed off.

        RSCC is terrified Laffey will win primary against diffident and unpredictable Lincoln Chafee (who stil votes 80% of time with Bush), and be crushed in election in massively Democratic RI (75%) by the Dem, likely the former AG, the wonderfully monikered reformer Sheldon Whitehouse.

    •  phony operations like (none)
      ccAdvertising should be given as much publicity as we can muster. These campaign mercenaries, like the vampire antics of Capitol Campaign Strategies (Abramoff and Scanlon) don't do so well in the light of day.
      •  Need to make it a legal statute (none)
        to collect data by phone without notifying the person called that data and answers will be collected, saved and identified with your identifying info, including phone num, etc.

        A law, a crime, with penalty.  That's what's needed if it's not on the books yet.

        Dems should make it a privacy issue that crosses party lines.

        Is this legal at the moment?

        •  Whoops, I wasn't clear. (none)
          Need to make it a legal statute that it's a crime to collect data by phone without notifying the person getting the call that his data and answers will be collected ...
        •  well (none)
          if they are collecting information from these calls, would they still qualify as 'political speech' and exempt from the national do-not-call list?

          I would think they wouldn't, because there's no "free speech violations" involved if we don't let be randomly call us and collect information about us.

          And, as some of this might be "collection info" calls, most of it is just straight up push polling, I think.

          SoapBlox Colorado - The Daily Kos of the Centennial State. Join today!

          by pacified on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 11:37:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It is time to find a way to heavily fine (none)
      such activity while protecting legitimate polling.

      Novus Ordo Seclorum. Since 1776.

      by Ignacio Magaloni on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 11:27:28 AM PST

    •  Let me be the first... (none)
      Candidate in the 206 cycle to pledge not to initiate or condone any robocalling on my behalf, whether "push.' or recorded messages from Bill Clinton, or anyone else.

      A Senator YOU can afford
      $1 contributions only.
      Masel for Senate
      1214 E. Mifflin St.
      Madison, WI 53703

      by ben masel on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 12:24:25 PM PST

    •  Steve Young has been victimized too (none)
      CA-48 is being push-polled as well.  I diaried it HERE.

      It is no accident that Liberty and Liberal are the same word.

      by Sorceress Sarah on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 01:47:30 PM PST

    •  Fascinating! (none)
      I got a Grover Norquist robo-poll the other day, and it struck me as odd that Americans for Tax Reform was polling on abortion, guns, and same sex marriage.

      After that poll, I got two robo-calls from Norquist, both pushing the reelection of Dick Black to the House of Delegates here in VA, plus both versions of the spliced Tim Kaine call.

      Markos thought I had been profiled from my consumer information, but I thought it stemmed from the Norquist poll. Now I really think I'm right.

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