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October 25, 2006

5th District calls a mystery, say Goldmark and McMorris

Posted by David Postman at 5:29 PM

Residents in the 5th Congressional District have been getting some strange telephone calls. In The Spokesman-Review Jim Camden reports:

Some Eastern Washington residents got recorded calls late at night or early in the morning last weekend, urging them to vote for Democrat Peter Goldmark for Congress.

Others got the same call, over and over. Others got an obscene call, or a call with no sound except the click of a hangup, with the campaign's caller ID.

Goldmark's campaign filed a police report and called the FBI. He is running against Rep. Cathy McMorris, whose spokeswoman told Camden the campaign knows nothing about the calls.

"It's good that they filed a police report, to maybe get to the bottom of it."

There have been occasions in the past where automated calls were set to the wrong time and voters got calls late at night or very early in the morning. The firm working for Goldmark says that didn't happen in this case, and that the caller ID can easily be faked by a caller.

There have also been malicious uses of automated calls, like what New Hampshire Republicans did in 2002:

For two crucial hours, an Idaho telecommunications firm tied up Democratic and union phone lines, bringing their get-out-the-vote plans to a halt.

5th District update: To try to clear up what he thought was the misuse of his work in a McMorris ad, the Goldmark campaign released a statement from PI's Joel Connelly:

What Peter Goldmark talked about at the fundraiser was Bob Woodward's new best-selling book on events leading to the 9/11 attack, and strategic failures in the Iraq war.

He alluded to the conversation referred to by Woodward in which FBI Director George Tenet warned National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice of the likelihood of an impending al Qaeda attack on the U.S. homeland.

At that point, Mr. Goldmark made the remark quoted in my article.

"9/11 was directly attributable to George Bush and the Republican administration," Goldmark told a Seattle fundraiser.

In no way did Peter Goldmark blame America for 9/11 in the statement I quoted. To say that he was blaming America would be stretching the truth to the breaking point.

As a student, John F. Kennedy wrote a thesis on England's failure to wake up to the Nazi threat, later expanded into a book entitled "Why England Slept." What Mr. Goldmark was doing at his fundraiser was extrapolating on the theme "Why America Slept."

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