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Dear PoP – “Nasty un-attributed robo calls against Jim Graham”

by Prince Of Petworth September 5, 2010 at 11:46 am 33 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user julianne’s

“Dear PoP,

I just received an odd, anonymous robocall. I picked up the phone and a woman’s recorded voice said, in harsh tones: “Jim Graham paid for the abortion of his companion/Chief of Staff’s girlfriend.” The nothing – just silence.

Is that the key issue in the Ward One councilmember race? Really?”

and

“Dear PoP,

Twice so far today I’ve received nasty robo calls against Jim Graham. The voice just starts talking about him paying for abortions and having an affair etc. but there is no attribution at all – no “this message brought to you by – ” Regardless of what one feels about Graham, and no matter how used one is to shady campaign tactics, this seems way out of bounds. (Calling the number that shows up on caller ID just gives a “the party is not available” message.) Any idea who is doing this? ”

I’ve been hearing this from lots of readers and on twitter. It, sadly, never surprises me how dirty things have gotten during campaigns. At the moment, it is still not clear who is behind these calls.

  • Anonymous

    Share it with us.

    What’s the telephone number ?

    • neener

      I received this and the telephone number I saw was blank.

  • Anonymous too

    These calls are illegal as they do not identify who is making the calls or who is paying for them. Yes, somebody please post the phone number, or report it to the local elections board so it can be investigated.

    More discussion on the Mt. Pleasant forum:

    http://www.mtpleasantdc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7089

    including a couple of links covering this story:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/debonis/2010/09/graham_protests_anonymous_ward.html

    http://www.tbd.com/articles/2010/09/in-robocall-d-c-councilmember-jim-graham-called-wretched-immoral–8155.html

  • Gretchen

    I got the same calls yesterday as well; two of them, a few hours apart and also unattributed. This is the number that was on my caller ID, listed as NOT AVAILABLE: 202.461.3245. Really nasty stuff.

  • schweeney

    I got one too. I was flabbergasted. It was mean and nasty. And I’m not a huge supporter of Mr. Graham. Totally uncalled for and whoever paid for it or sponsored it in any way should be ashamed.

  • ET

    Makes one want to vote for him just to spite the shitty robo calls which is obviously not their intention.

  • ontarioroader

    Wasn’t Fenty’s buddy Sinclair Skinner posting up all those “Grahamzilla” and lynching posters last election? Wonder if he’s behind this also – Skinner’s got some serious Graham-hatred.

  • Maire

    Wow. That’s completely unacceptable and disgusting.

    • Chocolate Hotdog

      But it’s all true though, right?

  • Florista

    The whole notion is beyond despicable, no matter what your politics are. Whoever is behind it has to be exposed – and publicly so, for their cowardice.

  • Joseph

    This almost seems designed to hurt Graham’s challengers.

    • Anonymous

      +1

    • neener

      utterly insane comment, if you heard the messages and their viciousness you’d know that could not possibly be true.

      • local area man

        Umm…you’re fooling yourself if you think Graham and his camp are above manufacturing a scandal like this. This story got a decent amount of local press, got his name out there, and made him look like the victim of dirty politics.

        Think about it. If you were one of two candidates running to unseat him, would you risk running these amateurish attack messages with the hope that the bad press and cost would be offset by you (and ONLY you…not the third candidate for this position) pulling ahead in the polls? Or is it more likely that someone associated with the guy who’s actually getting a boost from the story is behind the robocalls?

        If you believe Graham and/or his supporters had nothing to do with these calls, you’d probably also believe it’s a coincidence that the prominently placed Weaver yard sign I’ve had in front of my house (near a major commuter route) for 3 weeks was pulled out and thrown on the ground near the post office on 14th Street on the first day of early voting?

        I don’t care who he lent money to or what that money was used for…Graham’s seeking re-election because he likes being a power broker, and he and his supporters are definitely not above playing dirty.

        • gardyloo

          Why is it that I always regret continuing to read any comment that starts off, “Ummmm. . .”

  • victoria

    Ouch – I just came home from a pig roast – so unfortunate picture. But while the calls are obnoxious, I’m actually more disturbed that anyone is stupid enough to think they could get away with something like this these days and really insulted at the lack of finesse.

  • Svoboda

    Unfortunately, people can and will get away with such calls. Any caller ID number displayed is probably fake (easy to do), and the call probably originates from an off-shore operation — completely illegal, but completely untraceable.

    Another reminder that we can pass all the laws we want here in the USA about what is and isn’t a “legal” phone call (or e-mail, or web site), but that still doesn’t prevent the rest of the world from reaching out and touching us.

  • deeceevoice

    Yep. I receive the same call about the abortion thing — and it went on and on and on. Disgusting. How can any decent human being even consider running for public office in the future if they know they could be subject to such tawdry smear campaigns? It’s difficult for me to believe that even those who do not intend to vote for Jim Graham would support such sleazy tactics.

  • Anonymous

    these robocalls are uncalled for (pun intended) but the thing is, the content is true.

  • David

    DC is such a third-world pit. I’m from Chicago, and this stuff wouldn’t even happen there. That’s saying a lot – DC is more corrupt and dirtier THAN CHICAGO.

    • Anonymous

      wohooo! we’re worse than chicago! yeah!

    • **DOLPH STRIKE**

      Worse than chicago based on what metric? I’m sure robo-calls go on there. You’ve had one family running that city for decades.

      Besides, who cares? The fact that he supports his friend’s abortions makes me want to vote for him. Sounds like he had his back.

  • Ryan

    I’m not defending the calls by any means, but in all fairness, Graham did pay $3,200 for Teddy Loza’s girlfriend to get an abortion. It’s not like they just made it up.

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/09/30/jim-grahams-ties-to-ted-loza-included-abortion/

    • Darryl

      It is true that the phone call merely states the facts. It’s a shame that those funding the calls lack the courage to stand behind their words.

    • Anonymous

      that’s an expensive abortion

    • neener

      Ugh, not true. Graham lent Ted Loza a lot of money, some of which was used for an abortion and then paid back to Graham. It’s a f’d up situation for sure, but what the phone call states is simply not true because it goes well past what the article you link to states. Get it? What you just wrote is not, technically, true.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t heard the calls. Is the outrage here over the taste or truthfulness of the message?

    • neener

      1. The message is not entirely true
      2. The second message is anti-gay and nearly viciously anti-gay
      3. They are extraordinarily low class

  • Anonymous

    Ted Loza is extraordinarily low class. Guilt by association is gonna happen to some degree. They are loyal to eachother.

    • Darryl

      Loza and Graham should never have been on that boondoggle trip in the first place.

  • Mr. Poon

    Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.

  • Ann Nonomous

    Just as Octavian was invited into Caesar’s tent and Bosie was tutored by Wilde, Jim Graham can’t be offended when people speak the truth about his relationships. Take it like a man.

    • Marcus Aurelius

      If everything in this call is true, why isn’t the sponsor standing up to take credit for it. The fact that it was done anonymously says all you need to know about whether it should be trusted.

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