Florida election office, Obama re-election team feud over ‘misleading’ robocalls

Jessica Stanton Contributor
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Organizing for America, President Barack Obama’s grassroots re-election organization, is facing allegations of making robocalls to Florida voters in Pasco County that gave misinformation about early voting.

“We ended up receiving, yesterday, reports in the hundreds of voters calling in, and stopping by our election offices, and the commonality of each voter inquiry was ‘I’m here for early voting,'” Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley told The Daily Caller.

Since early voting in Florida does not actually begin until Oct. 27, election officials were forced to turn away the individuals, many of whom became frustrated.

Staff members were stumped as to who was responsible for the robocall, until one would-be voter, using his smartphone, produced the number he received the robocall from. Corley called the number directly to find it was Organizing for America (OFA).

“I explained the situation to the organization and politely asked them to, at minimum, retool the robocall,” Corley told TheDC.

Corley said the OFA official he spoke with was “quite defensive” and “adamant” the robocalls were only in reference to Florida’s carry-out absentee ballot program, which is available now and allows voters to immediately obtain an absentee ballot to fill out at an election office.

After confirming with his staff that this was not corroborated by the hundreds of voters they had dealt with that day, Corley issued a news release and alerted local media in effort to correct the record.

“We know you [OFA] did a robocall. Not one person said what you [OFA] claimed was the message in your robocall,” Corley said. “I stand by the truth: Hundreds of people contacted us or came in and asked about early voting.”

“If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, let’s use some common sense here,” Corley continued.

According to Corley, OFA has now contacted him multiple times demanding he retract his press release and issue a statement that signals his office is “working with” OFA. He also charges that OFA has contacted various media outlets he has appeared on in an effort to “somehow spin the story” and accuse him of “mischaracterizing” the issue.

Last minute, local regional officials from OFA also canceled a previously scheduled Wednesday morning meeting with Corley, once again requesting he retract his statement.

Corley declined.

“When I have misleading voter calls and voters coming in, I would ask the good people of Organizing for America to take a look in mirror and take some accountability, instead of trying to blame my staff and I,” Corley said. “It’s disingenuous.”

Organizing for America offices in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

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