The latest information delivered to your inbox Enter your email address
CONCORD – The New Hampshire Republican Party today filed a complaint with the New Hampshire Department of Justice against the Hodes for Senate Campaign and the New Hampshire Democrat Party for conducting more illegal push polling. The Union Leader (10/21/10) reports that both organizations are co-sponsoring push poll calls smearing Republican Senate Candidate Kelly Ayotte that do not provide the proper notifications required by state law. A separate Hodes Campaign polling firm was fined $20,000 dollars last week for violating the same laws.
“This is the second time that Congressman Hodes has been caught using unethical and illegal push polls to smear his opponent,” said NHGOP Communications Director Ryan Williams. “The Congressman’s disturbing pattern of disgusting behavior confirms that he will do anything – even violate state laws - to win this election.”
The NHGOP also asked the Department of Justice to immediately interview high ranking officials at the Hodes for Senate Campaign and the New Hampshire Democrat Party to ensure that both organizations terminate their illegal political activities before Election Day.
In July, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee filed an official complaint with the Attorney General’s office after The Union Leader (7/22/10) reported that a research firm tied to the Hodes Campaign began making dishonest push poll calls against his opponent. The company, Mountain West Research, received a record $20,000 fine for conducting the illegal calls.
Full Text of Complaint:
The Honorable Michael Delaney
Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire
Office of the Attorney General
33 Capitol Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301-6397
RE: Complaint of Push Polling Against Paul Hodes for Senate Campaign and The New Hampshire Democrat Party
Dear Attorney General Delaney:
On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I am writing pursuant to RSA 664:18 to register a complaint against the Paul Hodes for Senate Campaign and the New Hampshire Democrat Party for engaging in illegal push-polling under RSA 664:16-a.
The Union Leader reports today that American Directions Group of Washington, DC began conducting push polling phone calls last week. The calls begin with standard questions about the participant’s age, voter registration, voter history and their “favorable/unfavorable” reaction to Governor John Lynch and President Barack Obama. The person receiving the call is then asked who he/she intends to vote for in New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race. If the answer is “Kelly Ayotte” the push begins. The telemarketer then asks misleading and dishonest questions about Ms. Ayotte that attempt to distort her record and influence the person’s opinion of her candidacy. The specific line of questioning is outlined in the Union Leader article attached to this letter.
At least two people who received a call specifically asked midway through the interview about the poll. They were both transferred to a supervisor who refused to identify the campaign sponsoring the calls.
When questioned by the Union Leader, the New Hampshire Democrat Party admitted that they sponsored the calls in conjunction with the Hodes for Senate Campaign.
These calls clearly constitute “push-polling” as defined in RSA 664:2, XVIII. Despite repeated requests, the identifications required by RSA 664:16-a were never made during these push poll calls. I would be pleased to provide you with the names and contact information of people who received these calls, to supply additional information and context. I have personally spoken with these people and verified the information about the push poll calls that has been reported in the Union Leader.
This is the second time that Congressman Hodes has been caught using unethical and illegal push polls to smear his opponent. The Congressman’s disturbing pattern of disgusting behavior confirms that he will do anything – even violate state laws - to win this election.
The repeated use of illegal push polls by both the Hodes Campaign and the New Hampshire Democrat Party also proves that high ranking Democrat officials are deeply involved in this political scandal. Organizations sponsoring push polls are required to sign off on any script before a polling firm such as American Directions Research begins making calls. Given these circumstances, we request that the Department of Justice immediately question Hodes for Senate campaign manager Valerie Martin and New Hampshire Democrat Party Chairman Raymond Buckley to ensure that both organizations terminate their illegal political activities before Election Day.
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter. Given the Department of Justice’s swift response to Congressman Hodes’ previous illegal push polling, we have full confidence that your office will launch a thorough investigation into this matter.
Ryan M. Williams
New Hampshire Republican State Committee