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The Capital Times (Wisconsin)

RNC Launches Negative Robo Calls Campaign

Samara Kalk Derby

The John McCain-Sarah Palin presidential
campaign and the Republican National Committee began a negative
robo call campaign Thursday attempting to strengthen a tenuous link
between Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama and
former radical Bill Ayers.

The call, which has been received locally,
goes like this: "Hello. I'm calling for John McCain and the RNC,
You need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic
terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol,
the Pentagon, a judge's home, and killed Americans."

It continues: "Democrats will enact an
extreme leftist agenda if they take control of Washington. Barack
Obama and his Democratic allies lack the judgment to lead our

The attack attempts to switch the focus from
the real issue -- the economy, says the state Obama camp.

"McCain's campaign has admitted that the
economy is a losing issue for them, so he's chosen to launch
dishonorable and dishonest attacks like this," said Obama Campaign
for Change Wisconsin spokesman Matt Lehrich.

"No amount of scare tactics and false attacks
will hide the fact that John McCain can't defend the fact that he's
voted with George Bush's disastrous policies 90 percent of the time
and will continue the same Bush-McCain economic policies American
families can't afford," Lehrich said.

Meanwhile, Kirsten Kukowski, communications
director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, defended the auto

"We're calling into question Barack Obama's
judgment on who he surrounds himself with, people like Bill Ayers
and Rev. (Jeremiah) Wright, because the voters need to know that he
is associating himself with some people who have questionable
backgrounds, have said and done questionable things," she said.

His associations are important because if
Obama does win on Nov. 4 people should wonder who he is going to
surround himself with in the Oval Office, "who he's going to have
advising him, who's going to be in his ear," Kukowski said.

"We're making sure that the voters have the
information that they need to make the right decision in November,"
she said.

Kukowski said it is her understanding that
the calls are going out statewide.

The Huffington Post Web site is
reporting that its received dozens of e-mails from voters who have
either received the call or gotten a voice mail with a recording.
Reports have come in from Wisconsin as well as Ohio, Colorado, New
Mexico, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida,
Texas and Maine.

The phone messages come one day after a
presidential debate in which McCain said he didn't care about an
"old washed-up terrorist."

Still, Obama calmly described his
relationship with Ayers, the one-time Weather Underground leader,
who Obama said has become the centerpiece of McCain's campaign over
the last two or three weeks.

"This has been their primary focus," Obama
said during the debate Wednesday night. "So let's get the record
straight. Bill Ayers is a professor of education in Chicago.

"Forty years ago, when I was 8-years-old, he
engaged in despicable acts with a radical domestic group. I have
roundly condemned those acts. Ten years ago he served and I served
on a school reform board that was funded by one of Ronald Reagan's
former ambassadors and close friends, Mr. Annenberg.

"Other members on that board were the
presidents of the University of Illinois, the president of
Northwestern University, who happens to be a Republican, the
president of The Chicago Tribune, a Republican-leaning

"Mr. Ayers is not involved in my campaign. He
has never been involved in this campaign. And he will not advise me
in the White House. So that's Mr. Ayers."


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