A copy of the Kerry-Edwards Colorado Election Day Manual, prepared by the DNC, found its way into the hands of Matt Drudge.  In the section "How to Organize to Prevent and Combat Voter Intimidation" it states, "If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a pre-emptive strike..."

Republican National Committee Press Release

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Chairman Gillespie Statement on DNC/Kerry Campaign Document Instructing Democrats to Make Up Charges of Voter Intimidation


Contact: Christine Iverson

Washington, D.C. - RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie issued the following statement today regarding a Kerry/DNC campaign document that instructs Democrats to make up charges of voter intimidation even if no signs or evidence of voter intimidation actually exist.

“This document proves the Kerry Campaign and the DNC are more interested in scaring minority voters than in working to reach out to them on Election Day, even if it means completely making things up.

“The Kerry Campaign and the DNC are instructing Democrats around the country to make charges they know to be false, and to manipulate the media into printing and repeating the false charges in newspapers around the country.

“Republicans have worked hard to reach out and bring the President's message of hope and optimism to all Americans, including minority voters around the country. John Kerry sees these efforts, is concerned by them and is now working to scare those voters with lies and wholesale fabrications.”

Republican National Committee Transcript
Transcript of October 14, 2004 Conference Call With Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams

Robert Traynham: Good afternoon everyone. Let me first just thank everyone for joining us today. I’d like to turn over the conference call to Commissioner Michael William from Texas, who has graciously made himself available to discuss the Democratic National Committee’s Election Manual, which basically charged voter intimidation even if none exists. Just to give you some background the Kerry-Edwards Campaign and the Democratic National Committee are advising election operatives, basically all of their staff, to declare voter intimidation even if none exists, which is clearly preposterous and certainly an outrage. And with that I’d like to turn it over to Commissioner Williams.

Commissioner Williams: Robert thank you and for all of you that are visiting with us today, I appreciate you being here and I thank you for your time. You know, for some time now, Democrat operatives and the DNC have been suggesting that the Republican Party was gonna engage in some sort of voter intimidation. Those kind of allegations are not new, however they are very untrue, and have been untrue, and we’ve been saying so for some time. But what’s interesting now is to look at what the DNC has done as part of their Colorado election manual for their staff and for the Democrat operatives’ staff across the country. As I look at this 66 page guide and look on, I think it’s page 54, it actually says in plain English, that if no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a pre-emptive strike. What that means in clear language is, if there is no evidence of intimidation, which we don’t expect there will be, because we’re not going to engage in it, then make it up and talk about it anyway. That is totally outrageous. As an elected official, myself, who is obviously on the ballot every year in Texas and every six years, it’s outrageous number one to even make the claim that someone would engage in voter intimidation, but it is truly outrageous and callous and shameful to have operatives, to suggest to operatives, that if you don’t see intimidation just sort of make it up and talk about it. I understand why Senator Kerry has to do this, obviously he has not as of this moment connected in a very strong way with African American voters and other minority voters and he’s trying to gin up his base. He should gin up his base with the ability to talk about issues that are important to that base, but not with trying to scare those voters, particularly in this kind of calculating, callous fashion. Let me see if anyone has any questions.

Question: I was going to ask a different question, but I don’t know if you guys are watching the same thing that everyone else is watching. You just said that Kerry is not addressing issues that are important to Black issues, well I saw the debate last night and I believe it was your candidate who did not support affirmative action and went on a bit about quotas last night. And I question has this been going on for a while, have you know about this Colorado election manual for a while and if you have why are you bringing it out now? Are you trying to deflect the fact that your candidate did not look very strong in the debate last night?

Commissioner: Quite the contrary, I think the President did quite well. But to answer your question about the manual, the manual is dated November 2004, we just became aware of it, I just became aware of it, as a matter of fact, I think other national media sources have just become aware of the manual just now. So that’s why we’re talking about this now.

Question: I had a question, I was just wondering how can this get out, because I do know that in terms of what the President has done, that would be a benefit to the Black community, we’ve had trouble getting that word out in the mainstream media. We’ve particularly had problems getting it out among the media that deals with the Black Community, this could be a real big problem. I think this has been a problem for years.

Commissioner: Well obviously the President has a strong and defined record, if you go back and look at, as the President spoke about last night and in the other debates, in terms of what he’s done with No Child Left Behind, in terms of increased funding for historically black colleges and universities, increased dollars going into Pell Grants, and when you think about the tax cuts, each and every one of those tax cut activities were ways, not only to provide additional dollars into the pockets of Americans generally, but there are African American tax payers that were able to receive dollars from the child tax credit increase, dollars from the reduction in terms of the marriage penalty, obviously there are going to be African Americans that benefit from that. But you’re right, we’ve got to continue, even in these next 19 days, to make that record clear and sell that record louder to African American audiences.

Question: Yes, Mr. Williams I’m wondering if you or anyone else from the RNC have contacted or attempted to talk with the DNC, with regard to what you feel is an outrageous act on their part, with regard to this manual.

Commissioner: I have not personally attempted to speak with them about this manual today, but I will tell you, you know, some time ago, prior to the Conventions, RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie asked Terry McAuliffe to form a bi-partisan group to identify precincts around the country that both parties might be interested in looking in to make sure that there would not be any kind of violation of election laws. That offer was rebuffed by Terry McAuliffe, and I think what that indicates is, what they would much rather do is to have this issue to talk about, even though it’s not true, but to have this issue to talk about as opposed to try and solve a problem, but I myself have not had any conversation with the folks at the DNC, if other Republican elected officials, or folks at the RNC, within the last 48 hours, I am not aware of that, they may have.

Question: Hi there, you just said that John Kerry has to resort to these tactics because he doesn’t have an African American agenda and I wanted to ask you about that and another question as well. One, do you have any evidence tying John Kerry personally to this, to what you’re alleging as this Colorado manual, which I haven’t found yet, but I will, and I’m going to let you answer that and if I may ask another question.

Commissioner: Well the question is if this is a DNC manual, and obviously what Senator Kerry has done by innuendo, when asked a question some time ago, as to whether there might be some kind of voter intimidation, by innuendo he suggested that there could be or would be, but there’s a fairly strong relationship, obviously, between the DNC and Senator Kerry, this is a DNC manual, however.

Robert: I would also add, excuse me Commissioner Williams, on the front page of the manual Kerry Edwards is promptly displayed.

Question: Right, but still what you’re saying is that you don’t really have any evidence, it’s just on the manual, you’re saying this is DNC and not the Kerry campaign, is that what you’re saying?

Commissioner: Well at the top of the manual, it has the Kerry Edwards banner on it, now it says it’s authored by the DNC, but the Kerry Edwards banner is at the top of the manual.

Question: I wanted to follow up on another question that someone asked earlier, I’d like you to just pinpoint, not even generally, when you became aware of this and what specifically you plan to do about it…..

Robert: Commissioner Williams, the question was, I believe, when specifically were you aware of this and what do you plan to do about it.

Commissioner: I first became aware of it, I happened to have been reading Drudge when I first became aware of it, and there was a later conversation with the RNC, what I plan on doing about it is making people aware of it and that’s thankfully, you guys are with us now so we can have that conversation.

Question: Yeah, question about whether you have any evidence or the Bush Cheney campaign has any evidence that there have been attempts by Democratic workers in different states including Colorado, to launch a so called pre-emptive cries of voter intimidation. Have you seen anything that indicates that this is something they’re intending to do? I guess three weeks out, this would be the time to do it.

Commissioner: Well this instruction manual, obviously it’s an instruction manual that’s dated November 2004, but it’s an instruction manual about what activity they’re supposed to engage in. While I have not seen those yet, we do know that there are people that have made allegations about either voter intimidation or striking people from roles that have not been true yet. Perhaps that was a consequence of sort of taking instructions from this manual. But I think what’s important for us not to lose sight of, is that this is an instruction manual indicating what they want democratic operatives to do, henceforth, going forward, from the date that they receive this manual, which is November 2004.

Question: Hi Commissioner, is this in fact your own pre-emptive strike to stop the democratic pre-emptive strike?

Commissioner: This is my way of setting the record straight and making sure all of us understand what is planning to go on, and to call attention to what I think is a challenge attempt, to basically a callous attempt to provide falsehoods about what the RNC and what the President are doing. If you wish to characterize it as a pre-emptive strike against a pre-emptive strike, that would be fine with me.

Question: I’m going to come back to this issue again for the second time, I’ve done some research this year on a Professor who’s done work on elections going all the way back to 1960, almost to the present, and it’s his belief that the so called presence of some of the black republicans in the GOP is not so much to get a message out to the black community, where you don’t have much credibility quite frankly, but you’re trying to show moderate whites that you’re not the party of white racists. Respond to that.

Commissioner: Let’s do this, I’m elected here in Texas state-wide, in my last election received three and a half million votes, of those three and a half million votes, I probably generate more votes among African Americans than most African American members of the House of Representatives. They probably have to run 10 times in order to generate the same number of votes that I vote in the election cycle. So to try to delegitimize us is not going to be possible, particularly for those of us who run and win in statewide elections. We do indeed serve the African American community, I think if you look at the four of us black republican statewide elected officials, we all have fairly strong records in the African American community, and the African American community respects that.

Question: Yea, I want to come back to a question too, I really want to know when it was exactly that you saw the Matt Drudge report and I want to know how you went about responding to it, did you call this press conference?

Commissioner: I saw it this morning, which would have been about 9 something my time, and then shortly after that I had a telephone call with the folks at the RNC.

Robert: Thank you very much Commissioner, we very much appreciate your time for doing this.

Commissioner: I want to thank each of you for being with us, thank you, appreciate it. Robert, thank you.