Phone Scam Targets Lakewood Voters

A Texas-based company has begun calling Lakewood residents, to present false information in the format of a survey. Paid callers from Dynata Global present a series of false statements about mayoral candidate Meghan George, then ask voters how they would react "assuming the statements are true."

The American Association for Public Opinion Research has stated that calls like this are not surveys at all, but rather unethical telemarketing designed to push respondents for or against a candidate. That say that such “push polls” are “an insidious form of negative campaigning disguised as a political poll.”

Multiple residents have reported identical calls attacking George, beginning Tuesday, October 8. Two have provided recordings of a call, confirming other reports.

In a statement, Meghan George said that "These intrusive, inaccurate calls are the complete opposite of what I stand for, and Lakewood deserves better. Our campaign has focused consistently on positive messages of public safety and sound policies to protect affordability for seniors and working families.

"I assure you that you will not hear those kinds of attacks or dirty tricks coming from my campaign. I am running to bring inclusive, collaborative and transparent government to City Hall."

One of the paid callers identified her employer as Dynata Global, based in Texas, but the company has refused requests to reveal who is paying them.

The calls directly target the opponent of mayoral candidate Sam O’Leary, however. O’Leary’s campaign has already drawn media scrutiny for its tactics, including violating rules in securing an endorsement in June, and later claiming endorsement from another organization which doesn’t exist.

Disguising negative campaign advertising is also a known tactic of Ed FitzGerald, a former Lakewood mayor and failed candidate for governor, who funded a false “newspaper” to attack political opponents in 2015. O’Leary has served as treasurer for FitzGerald’s campaign committee.

Sasha Vuillaume is a Chicago transplant here in Northeast Ohio who has fallen for the area. She enjoys living with her daughter, fiance and friends, living in Lakewood and traveling/camping and hiking as much as possible. They are proud to be members of this community.

Sasha Vuillaume

I am a Chicago transplant here in Northeast Ohio who has fallen for the area. I enjoy living with my daughter, fiance and friends, living in Lakewood and traveling/camping and hiking as much as possible. We are proud to be members of this community.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019