RELEASED BY: Kelly A. Ayotte, Attorney General
SUBJECT: McCain and Romney Push Poll Complaints
DATE: January 3, 2008
RELEASE TIME: Immediate
New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte will be available to answer press questions on the ongoing investigation of an alleged push-poll at 3:30 p.m. in the third floor conference room at the Attorney General’s Office at 33 Capitol Street.
MCCain and Romney PUsh Poll Complaints
Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying who employed Moore-Information of Portland, Oregon to conduct a poll in New Hampshire, in November 2007, which has been alleged to be a push-poll. New Hampshire’s voters deserve to know whether any candidate in our Presidential Primary violated New Hampshire’s push-poll statute.
On Friday, November 16, 2007, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office received complaints from both Mitt Romney for President, Inc., and John McCain 2008, Inc., alleging that an illegal push-poll was being conducted in New Hampshire, contrary to New Hampshire RSA 664:2, XVII and RSA 664:16-a. As a result of these complaints, this Office commenced an investigation.
New Hampshire law requires an entity making a push poll call to provide a phone number from where the poll is conducted and to inform the person polled that the call is being made on behalf of, in support of, or in opposition to a particular candidate, and to name that candidate. RSA 664:16-a. A call is a push-poll only if:
1. The call is on behalf of, in support of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office;
2. The recipient is asked questions relative to opposing candidates which state, imply, or convey information about the candidate’s character, status, record, or political stance; and
3. The call is conducted in a manner likely to be construed by the voter to be a survey or poll to gather statistical data for entities that are independent of any political party, candidate, or interest group.
RSA 664:2, XVII. All three conditions must exist for the call to be a push-poll. A call that is clearly identified to be from a party, candidate or interest group is not a push-poll, regardless of whether there are questions asked and statements made about a candidate.
The push-poll law does not apply to presidential primaries. RSA 664:1.
Based on the information gathered to date, it has been determined that Western Wats, of Orem, Utah, conducted the telephone poll at issue. It was also determined that Moore-Information, Inc. located at 2130 SW Jefferson Street, Suite 200, Portland, Oregon hired Western Wats to conduct the poll, was involved in developing the content of the transcript for the poll, and set the dates for the poll to be conducted in New Hampshire.
In pursuit of information to complete our investigation and to establish the nature of this poll, the Attorney General’s Office has worked with the Multnomah County, Oregon Attorneys’ Office to issue out-of-state subpoenas to require Moore-Information, Inc. to produce documents regarding the purpose of the poll and who hired them to conduct the poll. Moore-Information has represented, through legal counsel, that they were hired to conduct the poll relative to the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. In December 2007, a New Hampshire Superior Court executed the out-of-state subpoenas for Moore-Information, Inc. to produce the documents by January 5, 2008.
On January 2, 2008, before an Oregon Court, Moore-Information, Inc.’s attorney contested the out-of-state subpoenas and specifically objected to the time frame for Moore-Information, Inc. to produce documents. New Hampshire’s Attorney General requested an expedited hearing to allow New Hampshire’s voters to know the outcome of this matter prior to our Primary. Over New Hampshire’s objection, the Oregon Court scheduled a show cause hearing for January 16, 2008, to determine whether Moore-Information, Inc. is required to produce the requested documents in New Hampshire.
Because the voters of New Hampshire deserve to know whether any presidential candidate violated New Hampshire’s law by conducting this poll, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte requests anyone with information regarding who hired Moore-Information, Inc. to cause this poll to be conducted in New Hampshire, in November 2007, to please contact the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s in-state toll free election line phone number is:
Out-of-State (603) 271-3650
Michael from PoliGazette has been working on this story also, but was waiting for more information, but he points out that "Of all the Republican candidates there’s only one, however, this firm (Moore) has worked for in recent years… Ron Paul"
He also says that his information does not point to the Paul campaign being behind this latest push poll which violates New Hampshire’s push-poll statute.
The Campaign Spot lists a link to Moore Information which has the names of clients that have used them in the past and Ron Paul is, indeed, the only presidential candidate that has used them in the past but without any further evidence, that is not reason enough to believe outright that Paul is responsible for this latest push polling.
PoliGazette has quite a bit more information so head over and read.
Remember as an update I just posted, there is also a nasty push poll going on in Iowa against Edwards and Obama.
It is getting nasty folks so hold on to your hats, the ride is just beginning...