Palin sending robo-calls for McDonnell? UPDATED with call/confirmation
Tonight Democratic consultant Adam Sharp tweeted that he received an automated call at home from someone claiming to be Sarah Palin asking him to vote for Bob McDonnell. Sharp asked his fellow Democrats to spread the word about Palin’s 11th hour support for the Republican.
Sharp, wasn’t the only voter to get a similar call tonight. NBC12 producer Michelle Jackson talked a Republican voter in Fauquier County who received call from someone who claimed to be Sarah Palin, but this voter told us, that it “Didn’t really sound like her.” She hung up when she realized that the call was a series of many automated calls that she had received during the campaign, so she didn’t learn who paid for the call, or for that matter who “Palin” was asking her to vote for.
What she did do was notice was that the number that the phone call came from was saved in her caller id. The number came from a phone registered to Paul Rohrer, from Chesterfield. A search of the number, finds people complaining about similar calls coming to their phones. I tried to call the number tonight, there was no answer and the voice mail said the inbox was full.
Both the Republican Party of Virginia and the Bob McDonnell campaign said they had nothing to do with the call. I have also put a press inquiry in to SarahPAC, Governor Palin’s current political arm for a comment.
There are any number of scenarios, that could’ve led to these calls going out, very few of which could be connected to Sarah Palin or Bob McDonnell. Aside from the fact that the McDonnell campaign has worked very hard to distance himself from the controversial former Governor, Palin herself has been a vocal critic of Robo-Call politics. At one point during the presidential election Palin called on her own campaign to stop the practice. Lending her voice to this type of effort, would be a direct about-face from her prior statements.
I am continuing to look into this situation and am hoping to learn more in the morning. If you received the call, and happened to record it, please e-mail me at email@example.com
I have now received a full recording of the phone call that is going out across the Commonwealth tonight from someone claiming to be Sarah Palin. Now that I have heard the full call, some of the questions surrounding it have been answered.
First- The call is not in support of Bob McDonnell or any of the Republican candidates for statewide office. The voice on the phone just asks you to “Vote for Sarah Principles” on Tuesday. No specific candidate is mentioned.
Second- The call is paid for by the “Virginia Faith and Freedom Coalition”, which may be is connected to this group that has a website that espouses Conservative beliefs and features pictures of the organization’s members with Bob McDonnell.
What we still don’t know for sure is if the person on the phone is actually Sarah Palin. The caller displays a distinct accent, which Palin and/or Tina Fey have made famous, but to say the individual is unequivocally Sarah Palin is impossible.
Judge for yourself:
Here is the transcript:
Woman’s voice: “Virginia! Hello, this is Sarah Palin, calling to urge you to go to the polls Tuesday to vote for Sarah principles. The eyes of America will be on Virginia and make no mistake about it, every vote counts. Don’t take anything for granted, Vote your values on Tuesday and urge your friends and family to vote too. (inaudible)
Man’s voice: “Paid for by the Virginia Faith and Freedom Coalition”
The call was provided to me by Gary Reinhardt, an independent candidate for Delegate in the 65th District. He told me that when he first heard the call, he had no doubt that it was Palin, but after listening back a few times, he was now starting to question the call’s validity.
In the morning, I plan to reach out to the Virginia Faith and Freedom Coalition and I hope to learn something definitive from the Palin camp as well.