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Friday, November 11, 2011

Alleged Homophobic Fraudulent Robocalls in Milton Election.

Many thanks to Travis Allen for bringing the following story to Accessmilton.com readers attention.



By MATTHEW CARDINALE; www.atlantaprogressivenews.com

(APN) ATLANTA -- Alan Tart, the City Councilman in Milton whose election in 2007 was seen as remarkable--given that Tart is an openly homosexual man living in Georgia's most Republican city--says two robocalls may have led to his recent loss to challenger, Lance Large.

Previously, Atlanta Progressive News reported that Tart's sexual orientation had not become a campaign issue in the 2011 race.

However, following Tart's election loss Tuesday, Tart notified APN that two robocalls went out to some Milton voters. Tart believes the call may have been targeted towards presumed Republican voters.

In one robocall, Tart says someone was impersonating him, while in another, a woman was speaking about him in third person.

"I am the only openly gay Democrat in North Fulton and it’s important to re-elect Alan Tart so that a progressive voice is heard on the city council," one robocall said, according to Tart.

"As cited in the Georgia Voice, Atlanta Progressive News, and Project Q magazines [sic], Alan, as a progressive who is openly gay, is in a tight race against a conservative Republican Lance Large. Make sure to re-elect Alan Tart to keep a Democratic voice in a sea of Republicans," another robocall said.

Large beat Tart in Tuesday's election, 56.51 percent to 43.07 percent.

"It's been kind of like the stages of grief, a whirlwind of emotion," Tart told APN.

"Tuesday night was just kind of shock and anger. Yesterday was when the sadness set in. Today I'm realizing it is what it is - it can't be reset," Tart said.

"I can certainly shed light on things I'd like to say stand in the way of true democracy - a dirty, underhanded campaign that was done," Tart said.

Tart said he has a recording one of the robocalls, the one in third person; and is working on making an audio file.

"Not everyone in the city received the call," Tart said.

APN spoke with one Milton voter who said he did not receive the call.

"I started getting calls from supporters around 7:30 the night before the election. They were appalled at what they heard," Tart said.

"But the call says it's coming from the Re-elect Alan Tart campaign. The call is made to make the listener think it's coming from my campaign," Tart said.

As for the claim that Tart is a Democrat, "I consider myself more of an independent," he said. He said local elections have little to do with partisan politics. He typically votes in Democratic primaries, but says he has voted in a recent Republican Primary for Governor.

"In national elections, when they [the Republican Party] find a Republican candidate who values my family - I'll consider voting for them," Tart said.

"I think the call was intended to scare a very conservative electorate into not voting for me," Tart said.

"I wouldn't be that upset necessarily if it was from the Lance Large campaign, saying this is the Lance Large campaign and just thought you should know Alan is bla bla bla bla bla. That is completely different than saying I'm calling from the Alan Tart campaign and you need to reelect me because - . It's deceitful. It was meant to derail my campaign in the final hour," Tart said.

Tart said the robocalls came from the phone number 800 686 2134.

When calling the number, APN heard a voice recording which stated, "You have reached a non-working number at United Health Group. Please hang up and dial the number on the back of your ID card. Thank you."

Tart says he will be contacting a lawyer tomorrow.

OCGA 16-10-23 prohibits any individual from impersonating a public officer.

Large did not return a message left with his campaign phone number seeking comment. APN also left a message for Large through one of his campaign supporters, which he did not return.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I got this robocall, and I can't begin to describe how furious it made me. The funny thing is that I can't stand democrats. I think of them as socialists and thoroughly anti-America. I'll tell you what, though, I dislike a dirty under-handed slimy politician even more, even if he calls himself, "conservative."

LL really showed his true colors with that call. People really have to be careful of politicians that will stoop to any level to get power, because they will stoop to any level to keep it. First amongst all of them will be to sell their constituents down the river to big-money special interests. It is just as true on the local level as it is on the national level.

As for you, Alan, isn't it funny how all gay people think that all Republicans are anti-gay. Truth is that all gays are anti-republican. It is stuff (would like to use a stronger word there) like this that make my blood boil. There too much going on in this country to keep electing idiots that give empty promises to special interest groups just to get into office. Alan proves it... he doesn't give a rat's a** about what happens to this country... he votes Obama because of his prejudices on a single issue.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like Crooked Creek votes for who they think will support gating their neighborhood? Except the Michelle Bachmann's of the world would just assume alan and his family doesn't exist. I have no idea whether Alan voted for Obama or not, and I really don't care. While on council, he represented the collective community - whether republican or democrat or whatever - as a nonpartisan. Mark my words citizens this city screwed up when we lost Alan. This kind of crap reminds us of that fact. Good luck to you, Alan, and thank you.

Anonymous said...

We did not get any phone call like the one described here. I got 2 calls though asking who we'd vote for.

Anonymous said...

Even if this did happen, it doesn't mean that's the reason he lost the election. That's not a forgone conclusion. He lost for the same reason JZB lost. We need new blood in there who isn't so anti-business and negative. We also know our taxes would go up if he remained. Majority of people don't care what his sexual orientation is. But they do care about their wallets.

Anonymous said...

Your taxes would go up? How misinformed are you?! A tax hike requires a referendum of the people. City council can't raise taxes. Do us all a favor and get informed before you vote next time. In the four years Alan has been on the council, he has never made a decision that I'm aware of that is anything other than fiscally conservative so you really don't know what you are talking about at all. Give one example to the contrary!

Anonymous said...

I am a conservative republican, but I am not blind to the conflict of interest BS that goes down at every council meeting with the likes of Lusk, Thurman & Co. I voted for Alan because this is a non-partisan city government. Alan has been an effective and ethical leader who kept his word on his commitments. He got screwed on this and I hope Large get's his ass kicked in the courts.

Anonymous said...

2:38, don't be naive. I got the call myself. I posted comments here in two places calling Largey-Large out on it. I was fit to be tied that night.

Anonymous said...

There's absolutely no proof it was Large that did it. You're proof there's enough nuts in Milton. Could be another nut you know.

Anonymous said...

The slime balls who made the calls think they've won because L.L. got into office. What they don’t realize is his votes and integrity will now always be suspect. This election was NOT decided on issues. The trustfulness on our local government is undermined and the probability of “good candidates,” smart, consciences, principled people without an agenda or vested interests, stepping forward to run, is less likely. Why would they when politics here is so devious and dirty? The most likely candidates will be those who see a possible payday from development. True or not that’s the perception now among many in Milton who have tuned out. Just look at what percentage voted. "People who stand to make a buck run local government." We’ve all lost.

Alan Tart was a good person who didn’t deserve this. Shame on the simple-minded miscreant!

Anonymous said...

Well said, 5:38!

Anonymous said...

Don't rule out the idea that Tart himself arranged the calls. Based on all the polling - he was going to lose - why not try and pin a scandal on the winner on the way out the door.

Anonymous said...

6:39 - Said just like a guilty person. I know you are probably s****** your pants right now because you or someone you know probably did something illegal and you know now that you burned the wrong guy (I wouldn't want Alan on my bad side either), but you will just make matters worse trying to blame this on Alan. Besides, it would be pretty stupid for Alan to arrange these calls then turn around and file a complaint and insist that they be investigated. Fred Hicks and Lance Large claim they know nothing about these calls. Good for them. We will all know who arranged, paid for, and spoke on these calls soon.

Anonymous said...

6:39. Where are you getting your inside knowledge of polling results? "Based on all the polling - he was going to lose" Really? Interesting. Given that you obviously had an inside knowledge of the polling that was done by LL (or MK), you must be part of LL's campaign team? Your deflection of blame on Alan for possibly making the robocalls is therefore very suspect.

Anonymous said...

People-all of you need to get a life! All this outrage over an election? Stop for a minute and read the article above this one about the child who was abused in your own perfectly manicured backyard. Channel your energies into righting this wrong and move on. The election is over and the people have spoken. Grow up!

Anonymous said...

No, Alan did not keep his word on committments. Meetings with him, nodding his head in agreement and then nothing done was typical of Alan's actions.
Give Lance Large a chance.

Anonymous said...

8:22. You are right. The people have spoken. This is no longer about the election. Milton got what it deserved. Good luck with that. No, this is about making sure that people who broke the law are brought to justice. Two different things. Sure, you'd rather for Tart just to go away. If the Large campaign had played fairly, he just may have.

Anonymous said...

Tart played fair, and the bottom line is someone did NOT play fair, and hence the recall in the election. Not hard to believe in Milton, GA that this would happen, most people here are so self serving, and to cheat would NOT be out of character at all!

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely no proof that Large did this and he denies any knoweldge of it. The election results for the Tart-Large race and the ZB-Kunz race were also virtually identical, so it doesn't appear that these calls had any impact on the race, either. People simply voted as a bloc for either the incumbents or the challengers and they voted the incumbents OUT.

Anonymous said...

Has the AJC or WSB reported on this? I hope someone has saved the recordings. This is vile.

Anonymous said...

http://www.11alive.com/news/article/212599/3/MILTON-Defeated-gay-councilman-cries-foul-over-fake-robo-calls

Anonymous said...

I can't believe 8:22! You are saying because more serious crimes are committed, the illegal robo calls shouldn't be investigated. Thousands are starving from famine in Africa. Does this mean we shouldn’t investigate a child abuse case here? Your comment was pure nonsense.

YOU need to get some perspective on justice. Our election was undermined by dirty tricks. This needs to be investigated and cleared up. It has absolutely nothing to do with the previous story about child abuse. Stop trying to morph the two into a guilt trip for those who want clean elections in Milton.

Anonymous said...

11:52 So because you think these robocalls didn't make an impact, then Alan should just forget about them even though they were deceptive to voters and illegal? For LL's sake, hopefully these calls won't be traced back to him or his campaign, esp. since he and his campign manager have said they had no knowledge of them. But I find it hard to believe that a good samaritan somewhere out there just wanted to help LL out without him or his campaign manager knowing. (Things that make you go hmmm.)

Anonymous said...

7:54 -- on what basis do you contend that the calls were illegal?? - 11:52

Anonymous said...

I was the 6:39 poster...I was simply pointing out that there could be another angle. As for polling - did you all not see the poll on this site?? Turns out - the results pretty much mirrored this poll....

All that said - I do believe these calls should be investigated - but not at the city level - we dont have the money - I think the County should pay for the investigation

Anonymous said...

Why do you think the county should pay for an investigation?

Anonymous said...

assumed the county runs the elections

Anonymous said...

5:28 PM said:

7:54 -- on what basis do you contend that the calls were illegal?? - 11:52

--------------

That is the problem with this country. Legal or illegal should not be the question. It was immoral and unethical and that should be a concern to all.

LL claims no knowledge and no involvement. Where is his outrage?

Any normal, decent human should be outraged and find this act despicable.

Anonymous said...

LL has to wait for Karen Thurman to respond for him. She's having trouble finding the definitions of immoral and unethical or she would have responded sooner.

Anonymous said...

LL will probably be as effective as our former council member, "The Trencher".

The other new one will probably be more like "Gumshoe".

Maybe MoM can tutor these two on how to get the job done.

Anonymous said...

"The Trencher"? Please explain what you mean.

Anonymous said...

I think that is "Ummmmah........" or as he is affectionately refereed to as "OB"?