back to article Man admits to paying magician $150 to create anti-Biden robocall

A political consultant admitted to paying a magician to create a fake anti-Biden robocall urging people not to vote in a Democratic primary election. Steve Kramer was reportedly paid over $250,000 to rally support for Dean Phillips (D-MN), a Congressman up against Biden to become the Democratic nominee for the US presidency. …

  1. aerogems Silver badge
    Coat

    For my next trick...

    ... I will make this person disappear for a few months or years.

    I know that negativity works in politics, which is why politicians keep returning to it, but I'd love to see a campaign where it's about the issues, and the candidates respective stances on said issues. Candidate 1 says they are for A, B, and C, while Candidate 2 says they are for X, Y, and Z. Then it's a matter of which candidate more closely aligns with your personal views. Not all this, "Candidate 1 clubs baby seals with Honduran children who won't make sneakers in their sweat shop!" and then "Candidate 2 will kick your dog, poison your children, and is photographed here with a Hitler mustache!"

    1. Sora2566 Bronze badge

      Re: For my next trick...

      Last time state (or maybe federal?) elections were held where I live (in Australia), the three parties running the seat were invited to a radio debate.

      The Liberal candidate declined to attend, but that didn't stop the Labour candidate spending all of their time attacking the Liberal Party despite the interviewer's best attempts.

      The Greens candidate, who actually talked about their plans for the seat, won the election.

      1. cyberdemon Silver badge
        Terminator

        Re: For my next trick...

        I realise you've been here since 2022, but a handle like Sora2566 is now going to look dodgy. How do you feel about that? Are you a friend of AmanfromMars1? :P

        The nice thing about having more than two parties though is that it makes political manipulation slightly harder. But it won't be long before one is eliminated, and you will have American-style two-party "democracy". Eventually I fear, everyone will be in a one-party system like Russia and China, and the world will go to war once more.

        1. Sora2566 Bronze badge

          Re: For my next trick...

          Er... what?

          If anything, Australia's two major parties are the weakest they've been in a long while. The Green Party and the so-called 'Teal Independents' have been eating into Labour's suburban voters, and the Liberal/National vote has been declining generally.

          1. johnrobyclayton

            Re: For my next trick...

            Proportional representation does the trick.

            Gives opportunities to every 2 bit party and lots of independents in the Senate.

            Preferences do something similar for the House of Reps.

            Voting systems that prevent limited political preferences being represented are not hard to create.

            Makes for entertaining TV. Seeing a hung parliament forming on election night is entertaining. All these politicians, polsters and political commentators running around like chickens with their heads cut off is great to watch.

            1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

              Re: For my next trick...

              I like it in Germany: the governing group is the Traffic Lights - red, green, and yellow - with outliers from the far right (we're not nazis, honest!) and left (Communists? Us?).

              I much prefer a system where no one party has an absolute mandate and discussion and other points of view have to find their way into state decisions.

              1. LogicGate Silver badge

                Re: For my next trick...

                Some Background:

                Red: SPD - German Labor

                Red: Die Linke - A conglomerate of former west Germany far right groups and SED - The ruling party of east Germany. Currently in the proces of concurrently imploding and exploding.

                Green: Die Grüne - The green pary -While traditionally a disarnament party, curently the hardliners of the ruling government with regards to Russian dumbfuckery.

                Yellow: FDP - Liberals

                Black: CDU - Conservatives (Merkel, now Metz)

                Black: CSU - Conservatives - Bayern only sister party. Bayern is the Texas of Germany, CSU is in on the act.

                Brown(?): AFD - The honestly not nazis that were just caught having a Wannenzee Konferenz revival.

                This allows for various possible constellations to be discussed as colours: Traffic light, Jamaica, red-red-green etc.

                1. LogicGate Silver badge

                  Re: For my next trick...

                  Correction:

                  "Red: Die Linke - A conglomerate of former west Germany far right groups and SED - The ruling party of east Germany. Currently in the proces of concurrently imploding and exploding."

                  Should read:

                  "Red: Die Linke - A conglomerate of former west Germany far LEFT groups and SED - The ruling party of east Germany. Currently in the proces of concurrently imploding and exploding."

    2. JoeCool Bronze badge

      Well,

      Your scernario #1 requires the candidate to build a policy platform, advocate for it with facts and knowledge, and lose the support of those that disagree.

      Your scenario #2 requires a lazy electorate too stupid to know when their basic democracy is being sabotaged, and who find it easier to be part of a fan base of a fake personality, rather than a policy review club.

      I think we can see which approach is easier, for the majority of candidates and their puppet masters, these days.

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Magician

    Why companies bother with job titles like developer, engineer. Call them magicians.

  3. Grogan Silver badge

    I hope he is being charged and convicted for election interference. He says he doesn't think it affected the outcome of the primary, but if it convinced even one person to stay home, it was election interference. Throw his ass in jail.

    1. Halfmad

      Clearly knew what he was doing and the consequencies. I've no doubt he's attributing his motives to something more grand than it really was at the time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well I totally called it when this story first surfaced that it wasn't anything to do with MAGA/GOP.

        I seriously doubt this person will get anything more than a slap on the wrist as the US has a very obvious two tier justice system now. Anything less than the 7 months Douglas Mackey got for a meme will just prove the point. Especially given that this person was paid to do this.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Foolish at best

    Plenty of ways to make the point without actually committing election interfering / fraud. For example, a quality short documentary. But I guess that would require talent.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just annother attention hound and troll

      Try the idiots responsible, convict them if warranted, and don't spend to much time talking about them.

  5. DS999 Silver badge

    Good luck insisting on public testimony before the House

    Hunter Biden wanted that too, but republicans refused and insist it must be behind closed doors, so they can selectively leak parts of it to fit their narrative.

    1. Dimmer Bronze badge

      Re: Good luck insisting on public testimony before the House

      “ closed doors”

      Yep, all of it should have been open doors.

      I am still waiting on Schiff’s absolute proof of Russian collusion.

      It needs to be

      Ask question, get answers.

      Not speech, speech, sort of a question and interrupt while answering.

      If you are confused witch side I am on, it is the people. They have wasted massive amounts of OUR money on this crap.

  6. fpx

    Note the Twisted Logic Here

    This guy got exactly what he wanted, media and regulatory attention, and he knows that this attention plays in his favor. He knows that in the end, very likely, he will not get fined, but just be told to be nice in the future. Which turns the entire exercise into a net win for him.

    Too many politicians these days have swallowed that very same logic, that there is no negative attention. The negativity eventually evaporates when the media frenzy turns elsewhere, leaving only attention behind. Welcome to entertainment circus politics in the 21st century.

  7. Doctor Evil

    Action!

    "This is a way for me to make a difference, and I have," Kramer told NBC News. "For $500, I got about $5 million worth of action, whether that be media attention or regulatory action."

    Some lines should never be crossed. This is one of them. I hope he gets more action than he bargained for -- a couple of years worth.

    "If a House oversight committee wants me to testify, I'm going to demand they put it on TV because I know more than them."

    Of course you do, buddy, of course you do. Idiot.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The FCC made AI-generated robocalls illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

    should probably read more like the FCC pointed out that all such robocalls were already totally illegal, and simply clarified that using a fake computer voice wouldn't get you off the hook.

    There was no policy change here. Robocalls are Robocalls.

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