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(From the diaries. And yes, this is a serious possibility. Let's bankrupt the motherfrakers after this election -- kos)

As you may or may not know, 12-year Contract-w/-America breaker Charlie Bass is in the fight of his life against netroots candidate Paul Hodes.

Now that the polls are trending away from Bass, and his support among independents is weaker than it has ever been, the NRCC has been called in to bail his sorry butt out.

So in true GOP form, the NRCC decided to carpet bomb our state with robocalls that pretend to come from the Hodes campaign, while eventually providing misleading negative info.

So what, you say? Typical lowlife GOP sleaze tactic.  

Well, there is a big difference here.  The NRCC was calling Granite Staters on the Do-Not-Call list, which is a violation of state law, carrying a penalty of $5,000 per violation.  To date, the NRCC admitted to 200,000 robocalls.

That means the NRCC is potentially facing a $100 million dollar penalty.

Here are some relevant grafs (no link at the moment, it was just emailed to me) from the latest New Hampshire Democratic Party press release (who seem always to be dealing with GOP phone crimes; remember the 2002 phonejamming scandal?):

MANCHESTER - After days of Congressman Charlie Bass's refusal to do anything to stop the illegal National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) calls that were pouring into the Second Congressional District sounding like they were from the Hodes campaign, the New Hampshire Democratic Party received confirmation this afternoon from the NRCC that it will stop making the negative, illegal calls.

...

Over the weekend, Democrats and Paul Hodes were able to work with the NH Attorney General's office to contact the NRCC's attorneys and demand the calls stop immediately. The NRCC's General Counsel informed the Deputy Attorney General that it has stopped making the illegal calls.

...

According to state statute, each violation that occurred against residents registered on the "Do Not Call" list results in a $5,000 fine. The NRCC admitted in press reports this morning that over 200,000 calls were made which could potentially lead up to over a $100 million civil law suit.  (NH RSA 664:14-III, and according to NH RSA 664:14-IVa each violation shall result in a $5,000 penalty.)

Now, Keener's been all over this here, here, here, and here, and I've weighed in as well here, here, and here.  And to be fair to the MSM, the story is getting some traction in the state (see below).  However, the damage has already been done, and although the polls look pretty darn good for Hodes right now, this will be a race to the finish.

How many votes did these robocalls suppress do to their miselading harrassment? And if you think it's not a problem, read this LTE the Concord Monitor just received:

A letter-writer to the Monitor said she had been "bombarded by recorded election messages from Paul Hodes." Marilyn Jewell of Concord wrote that she would be sure to vote for Bass, in part because "he doesn't pester me to death."

And what's going on in the other states where this is occuring? Is there recourse to legal action?

The NRCC deserves to lose every penny of that $100 million for this dirty election trick. Update: As noted in a few spots below, $,5000 plus 200,000 calls = $1 billion in possible fines. I'm not sure whether the NHDP release knowingly reduced the number to reflect the probable number of Do-Not-Call registered callers, or whether there is a simple math mistake.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 04:33 PM PST.

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