The Governor Is on the Line

Republicans in Minnesota get out the absentee vote message

Townsend, for his part, says he doesn't remember whether Pawlenty mentioned specific candidates, or whether the call specified which organization had paid for it. City Pages contacted both the governor's office and the Bush Minnesota campaign to obtain a copy of the script used in the call and to ask how it had been funded. A staffer in Pawlenty's office referred the query to Bush's Minnesota staff, whose campaign chair, Peter Hong, said he was not certain how the calls were funded, and did not provide a transcript of either Bush or Pawlenty's prerecorded messages.

But the calls continue anyway. Bugs Peterschmidt, a 47-year-old registered independent, has lived in the GOP-friendly confines of Plymouth for 14 years. In recent weeks, she's received two voice mails from the president. "He was blathering on about how this is an important campaign in an important state, and that I should get my absentee ballot," Peterschmidt recalls. "It's annoying as hell. I'm canvassing for the MoveOn PAC and supporting Kerry."

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