When it comes to uncovering local politicians exploitations of their office Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Daniel Bice is on them like Peter Falk’s character in Colombo. But when someone is running a false and sleazy campaign against an elected official, Mr Bice comes up tardy in reporting it.
Today, Mr Bice is reporting on a push poll against School Board President Peter Blewett. The push poll that is being conducted by the Parker Group of Birmingham, Alabama falsely states that Peter Blewett authorized Board Member Charlene Hardin to attend a personal trip with Board funds. For the record, the MPS administrator approved the Charlene Hardin Philadelphia trip.
“These push polls are classic sleazy campaign tricks,” Blewett stated. “I have never used them. I want a campaign that focuses on how MPS can prepare our students for the challenging world of work or higher education. Voters have a right to hear about how candidates plan to improve MPS. Secretly-funded sleaze campaigns debase the democratic process and insult voters’ intelligence,” Blewett added.
The Parker Group is a political and corporate telemarketing operation that is most notorious for engaging in “race-matched calling” where its African American employees are given one script to call black voters while its white employees call white voters with a different script, Blewett explained. In 1999, a federal court of appeals found the Parker Group guilty of racial discrimination in employment against an African-American employee because she was only permitted to telephone black voters.
Of course this report is two weeks too late. Peter Blewett wrote a press release regarding the push pull on January 16th and It was picked up by Michael Rosen the same day.
Blewett said, “I have no idea whether my opponent or some group supporting her paid for this push poll because the callers from the Parker Group will not clearly identify who paid except, in one case to answer, ‘The school board,’ which of course is a lie.” Blewett added, “I hope my opponent had nothing to do with these dirty tricks, and that she will immediately call for any group associated with her to desist from these and any other sleazy tactics.”
Maybe Mr. Bice can use his fine investigative reporting skills and find out who paid for the Parker Group to conduct this false push poll.