Impotent, weak concern troll John McCain said he’d "do everything” in his power and bring “every pressure to bear” to stop North Carolina GOP extremists from airing the racist attack ad against Barack Obama. Everything, that is, short of calling NC GOP Chairwoman Linda Daves.

The radical Daves doesn’t seem to share John McCain’s view (of the moment), that the ad is over the top:

I flatly reject the accusations of racism directed at our party by the left-leaning editorial boards that have condemned our "Extreme" ad in the last week.

From the beginning of this controversy, both in my public statements and my private conversations, I have repeatedly made clear my belief that race is not an appropriate factor by which to judge any candidate for public office. Our ad has absolutely nothing to do with race. If Hillary Clinton was the candidate whose pastor had made these remarks and the two Democrats running for governor had endorsed her, we would be running the exact same ad this week.

Not one of the left-leaning editorial boards or liberal media outlets who have accused our party of racism has given one shred of evidence for their claims; instead, they have merely leveled their condemnations based on innuendo and conjecture. This is not only unprofessional and unfair. It is also dishonest.

She obviously doesn’t have a problem with the ad…but maybe she’s got a problem with African American voter suppression? (Via Pam Spaulding):

As reported yesterday in the Raleigh News & Observer, African-American households are receiving anonymous robo-calls with misleading information about voting. Facing South has now learned that those calls are very similar to tactics recently used in Virginia and Ohio, suggesting they may be linked to a national voter deception strategy.

In one North Carolina call, the caller falsely states that voters must send in a "voter registration packet" before voting. The State Board of Elections released a transcript of the call (you can also listen to it at the Democracy North Carolina website):

"Hello, this is Lamont Williams. In the next few days, you will receive a voter registration packet in the mail. All you need to do is sign it, date it and return your application. Then you will be able to vote and make your voice heard. Please return the voter registration form when it arrives. Thank you."

Facing South has learned that voters in Virginia received calls with the same message before that state’s Feb. 12 primaries — although, the Virginia State Board of Elections curiously viewed it as an attempt at identity theft, not voter disenfranchisement. As WAMU 88.5 reported:

State police and elections officers in Virginia are warning residents about a possible identity theft scam. The state board of elections says at least a dozen people in central and southern Virginia have received automated phone calls this week telling them to expect a voter registration packet in the mail. The residents say they were instructed by the caller to fill out the packets and mail them in. State Board of Elections Secretary Nancy Rodrigues says the state did not make these calls and does not register voters in that manner.

I called the Virginia State Board of Elections, and a spokeswoman told me they did not have transcripts of the calls and did not know whether or not they came from "Lamont Williams." She said they had referred the matter to state police.

Facing South has also learned that, last year, voters in Ohio received almost the exact same calls, using the same name of the supposed caller in North Carolina.

North Carolina is starting to look like a GOP petrie dish for how they’re going to run the national campaign. As Digby noted yesterday:

McCain is going to continue to benefit from his bogus "honorable man" reputation while allowing surrogates to destroy the Democratic candidate unless we make the media judge him for being unable to "control" his people. He’s supposed to be the tough guy, right, with the bad temper? And he can’t make the North Carolina party take those ads down? Please.

GOP honchos have been allowed to go completely AWOL, including North Carolina’s senior Republican, Liddy Dole. You can tell Dole that she can’t just take a powder on this one by signing a petition here that will be delivered to her office on Friday by Pam Spaulding and other bloggers from Blue NC.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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