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A View from the Cheap Seats Blog post by Garren Shipley
Posted May 28, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Enter RoboToddler?

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I've heard a lot of robo-calls in my career covering politics. Some of them were bad. Some of them were very bad.

Hideously bad.

The kind of bad that makes you want to hang up the phone, but you just can't, because you simply can't tear yourself away from the human train wreck happening on the other end of the phone. (You know who you are, I don't have to name names. *cough* Gov. Huckabee *cough*.)

But the call I heard today was quite possibly the most... well,  it really defies description. Listen to the latter half of the call via Bearing Drift.

Given, we here the Cheap Seats have very little room to talk about sending young children to do questionable tasks. (Still, it's not like I made 'em hold the bottle rockets while we were lighting them with the propane torch.  But I digress...)

Team Brownlee was, as one could expect, beside themselves.

The child these individuals used to make the phone calls sounded to be under 5 years old.  What kind of person uses a toddler to conduct a political smear?
To involve a small child in such a dirty political trick is appalling.  To make such scurrilous charges is unethical.  To conduct these calls without including a disclaimer is unlawful.
Brownlee's campaign says the calls went to delegates to this weekend's GOP convention, which means one of the two other candidates or someone with the state party is either behind the attack or gave info to a third party.

The man behind the anti-Brownlee Web site referenced by the pre-schooler in the robo-call, Brian Gentry, says he had nothing to do with the calls. Find a well researched defense of Brownlee here, via Hoodathunk.

Gentry spoke with Roanoke Valley Republican:

I didn't do the phone calls or know anything about them. I did get it in my voicemail, as I am also a convention delegate and will be there on Friday and Saturday.

My website clearly states my name, and has my contact information available. If I were going to do calls, I would have not made my website private, as ANON suggested, I would have put my name on the phone call.

With all the calls, voicemails and threatening emails I've been getting, it would probably have been better if I did register my domain privately.

The convention is this weekend.

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