Dave Dotterrer's wasteful and annoying robo-calls

By Carol Doty of Medford, Oregon. Carol describes herself as "a community volunteer and political junkie." She is a retired licensed marriage and family therapist, manager of non-profit agencies for children, and a former county commissioner.

Before the May primary I received recorded calls from Dave Dotterrer, Republican State Senate candidate in the 3rd District, who opposed Senator Alan Bates.

Since the General Election, I have received three recorded calls telling me that my signature may not have been approved by the County Clerk. The first call sounded like Dave Dotterrer and I was told 602 ballots had suspect signatures.

The second recorded call was from Sen. Ted Ferrioli about my questionable signature on my ballot, but I hung up before it finished.

On Friday, the call told me it was very important to get my ballot checked because all votes are important and to press 1 to talk to the clerk's office. I followed instructions and found that my ballot was accepted.

I am a registered Democrat. I don't know how the Republicans found me this year, but I received mailers from Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle, former U.S. Senator Bill Frist, the Republican National Committee and Dave Dotterrer.

The calls are irritating at best - they keep the County Clerk's office staff from getting the votes counted and I am angry. The only political calls I've received for a candidate this year have come from Dave Dotterrer. He wasted his time on me, but I think it's time to stop abusing the county budget with this nonsense!

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    Carol, thanks for this.

    It's very interesting that the Dotterer folks are/were badgering voters about challenge ballots - the ballots that have signatures that didn't match what's on file.

    In Oregon, the list of challenge ballots is secret - not available to campaigns. Which means that the Dotterer campaign was just hassling a wide swath of voters that they (presumably) thought were pro-Dotterer.

    How you ended up on that list is anybody's guess!

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      Kari, I stopped splitting my ballot about the time Bob Packwood, the great supporter of women's rights, was finally caught not supporting women at all. I've received several Republican surveys this year and have answered them like the progressive Democrat I am. But they haven't gotten my messages.

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        Bob Packwood was never "caught not supporting women at all." He was "caught" being a boor of the sort that I've never known a woman not to have encountered many of, most to no consequence. Politically he was a stanch women's ally.

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      I'm wondering about the legality of these calls, as they seem to be implying an official nature. They also may be classified as harassing.

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      I can't but wonder were the shoe on the other foot -- were it a Democrat in a so-tight-it-pinches election, the outcome of which would make a huge difference in legislative makeup -- if you would think the irritation were worth the cost.

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    Except for in some specific districts in Oregon, Republicans need to realize that winning some offices, and especially statewide positions - will always be difficult because Oregon has a majority of Democrats. That's just reality.

    To whine, complain, and accuse the system or fraud when you lose an election is just childish. And it sure doesn't do anything to help the image of GOP in Oregon.

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      IMO the Dotterer campaign never dreamed -- or should have - of getting within a hair's breadth of victory. And when they did ..... they did not (still don't) want to cede without pursuing every avenue of verification and surety. It was an expensive and hard-fought campaign, on both sides, and largely honorably.

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    It would appear that in a race where Bates now leads by fewer than 250 votes that any way Dotterer could get people to check their ballots would be novel and out of the ordinary. Too bad that you received these calls, but if Bates had run a more effective campaign perhaps none of this would have been necessary?

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      You're blaming Bates because the GOP of Jackson Co is robo-calling?

      That's like saying if only the rest of the US House was sloppy and careless, Charles Rangel wouldn't be up on ethics charges.


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      I think Bates ran a great campaign, and Dotterer did also -- within a shocking whisper of success.

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    All I can say is this kind of behavior is totally bizarre. I don't see where the advantage is for the person responsible for the robo-calls.

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    Dotterrer represented himself as someone who knew a lot about management--that he would make sure the legislature ran more effectively than Alan Bates could do it. I've run a campaign and won, and I knew the registration of the voters. If the Dotterrer campaign were well run/managed, it would have checked the voter rolls and known who to call. I have been a registered Democrat since I moved to Oregon in 1970. I think wasting time on six calls to me indicates some sloppy campaigning. How many other Democrats were called and campaign time and money wasted?

    I've seen a lot of close races in my time, but never the strategy of tying up the clerk's office staff for several days, wasting their time. This was irresponsible for someone who represented himself as a fiscal conservative.

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    Thanks for a great column Carol.

    The sheer number of mailers sent to all voter's homes from the Dotterrer campaign flipped non-affilated voters. Direct mailing lists and plenty of $$$'s were a big part of Dave's strategy.

    The Bate's campaign last minute GOTV push in Ashland resulted in long lines of cars in Ashland crawling toward the ballot drop box during the final hours. Without the GOTV push in Ashland Doc Bates may not have been reelected.

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      I didn't save all the mailers from the Bates and Dotterer campaigns. I would have thought they were roughly equal in number.

      Dotterer was the only candidate who happened along our door this year. My hat's off -- and door's open -- to any candidate with the fortitude for door-to-door campaigning. He & his wife hit more than 10,000 houses, so it was reported.

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    Someone must be exaggerating the canvassing numbers. One candidate worked for eight months canvassing every single day and personally met with a little over 7,000 voters.

    Dotterer, Skundrick for County Commissioner and Howe were by far the best at canvassing this election cycle.

    I kept the mailers, Dotterer won the most mailers award. He is far from a fringe candidate. I wish he'd move to Medford and run for State Rep.

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