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Democrats Not Behind Anti-GOP Robocalls; Charlie Johnson Calls for Honesty, Respect

South Dakota Democratic Party chairman Ben Nesselhuf vows that we Democrats have nothing to do with the series of robocalls and other attacks that anonymous entities have been launching against the South Dakota Republican Party's Legislative leadership for the past several weeks. The attacks are pretty clearly intra-party attacks targeting the GOP leadership selection after the general election, not the general election itself, since some of the targets, like Justin Cronin, don't face challengers on the public ballot.

But Nesselhuf may be concerned that the robocalls may redound negatively upon Democratic challengers. Voters not paying attention to the GOP civil and other inside baseball (and that would be at least 95% of the electorate) may hear about the calls, casually and reasonably conclude that Democrats are behind them, and punish Democrats for bugging people on their phones with such attacks.

Democratic Senate candidate Charlie Johnson is on that wavelength. Several folks have told him they are worried that the calls against his opponent, Senate Majority Leader Russell Olson, may reflect poorly on Johnson. I think Olson will suffer more from his own screeching that the robocallers are "terrorists." But duly note Johnson's concern and principles, expressed in this Facebook post yesterday:

Unfortunately, robo calls have been taking place in the District 8 area in recent days. Although I have not seen or heard the script, what I have been told is that the message is full of nasty "attacks"against my opponent. This demonstrates total lack of respect for my opponent and is uncalled for. Robo or any message that comes ouside of the candidates own campaign that shoves lies, untruths, and nasty comments to voters and residents is terrible to the election process and should/will not be tolerated by me nor should they be by anyone. I hope that all voters will be shown respect. I expect also that all parties, here or outside the district, will show respect to my opponent. If you have specific concerns, please feel free to message me. Thank you [Charlie Johnson, Facebook post, District 8 Senate campaign page, September 19, 2012].

Won't take PAC money and expects everybody to play fair, show respect, and tell the truth? That's a man of principle... and a man who is clearly not involved in any anonymous attacks against his opponent.


  1. oldguy 2012.09.20

    CJ sounds like a sharp guy....good luck CJ

  2. Grandma 2012.09.20

    Yes, we got a call Tuesday. It was a very nasty and to say I was shocked would be an understatement. Charlie is right - honesty and respect. Our call was from a robo-call male.

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