Friday, November 04, 2005

GOP strategy, in a nutshell

The Senate committee on Indian Affairs has been holding hearings on the lobbying efforts of Jack Abramoff and his former business partner Michael Scanlon. (they of the "I didn't know who was really paying for this golfing junket to Scotland!")

It is very revealing.

I've been looking through the exhibits entered into the record from the hearings on Nov 2, and the hubris is, humbling.

As is the stupidity.

I can see that there is plenty of opportunity for abuse, but these people *documented* it all by themselves, including the (successful) plans to get local religious leaders involved to fight local gambling plans in Louisiana, so that the Indian casinos can pull more high rollers.

Wire transfers, e-mails (including names of congress-critters involved), etc.

Geez, if you're going to violate the law at least show some foresight in covering your tracks.

Well, part of the exhibits is a memo from Scanlon, a former aide to Tom DeLay, to the Coushatta tribe in SW Louisiana, on their strategy, complete with cost projections for each stage.:

Under "Mobilization,"

"We plan to use three forms of communications to mobilize and win these battles.

Phone, mail and Christian radio. ... Our mission is to get specifically selected groups of individuals to the polls to speak out AGAINST something.

To that end, your money is best spent finding them and communicating with them on using the modes they are most likely to respond to. Simply put we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them. The wackos get their information form [sic] the Christian right, Christian radio, mail and telephone trees."

The memo goes on to detail strategy about closely targeted "Get out the vote" campaigns :

" ... Calls to OUR voters and OUR voters only. We tell them when the polls are open -- where to go to vote and how to get there. detail strategy about closely target. If they need a ride -- we will have a van come and get them."
Another strategy was to build radio ads around "bibical reasons" and run the ads "exclusively on Christian radio."

These efforts, by themselves, are not illegal (but things like the buying of political influence is), but they open the window to see how the GOP political machine (where Scanlan learned his trade) works -- target the Christian right, pander and lie to them (do you really think that the listeners to those radio ads would have the same reaction if they knew that the efforts were being paid by another casino so they could maximize their own profits?), and try to make sure the general public does not find out what is going on, so the votes can take 'em by surprise.

Yes, he did refer to the Christian voters as "the wackos."

The Senate committee website is here

The PDF file containing the exhibits is here (WARNING: this is 25MB file). Look on page 119 of the PDF file .

Thanks to VirginiaDem at Dailykos for the pointer to the article here

A Salon article referencing the same passage is here

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