Calling All Independents and Republicans Who “Don’t Want Hillary”

By Jennifer Parker

Jan 14, 2008 4:40pm

In Reno, a precinct captain for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., trying to drum up support for his man for Saturday’s Nevada Caucus, distributed fliers targeted at non-Democrats.

"YOU CAN BE A DEMOCRAT FOR ONE DAY," said one side of the flier distributed by Reno High School precinct captain Bob Buchanan.

"VOTE FOR OBAMA AND THEN RETURN TO YOUR VOTING STATUS AS YOU CHOSE."

On the other side of the flier it read:

REPUBLICANS
INDEPENDENTS

EVERYONE

YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

IF YOU THINK A DEMOCRAT WILL WIN IN NOVEMBER
AND
YOU DON’T WANT HILLARY

BECAUSE SHE VOTED FOR THE WAR WHEN IT WAS POPULAR
BECAUSE SHE HAS TAKEN MONEY FROM THE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS
BECAUSE HER NOMINATION WILL CONTINUE TO POLARIZE THE COUNTRY

IF YOU WANT TO SEE, NOT JUST A CHANGE IN
WASHINGTON, BUT THE POLITICS OF WASHINGTON
CHANGE

YOU CAN COME TO THE DEMOCRATIC
CAUCUS AND VOTE FOR
FOR (sic)

OBAMA

Buchanan told ABC News that after leaving about 100 of the fliers in mail slots and doors yesterday he realized the message he was sending was "negative."

"This is not Obama," he says he thought to himself.

So today he changed the second side of the flier to make it instead positive things about Obama, he says, instead of negative about Clinton. "It says, ‘Obama spoke against the war when it wasn’t popular,’ rather than focus on Hillary."

He distributed more than 100 of the new flier today, he says, still targeting independents and Republicans. "Here in Nevada, we’ve never had a caucus before. So a lot of independents and Republicans didn’t know that they could vote."

Buchanan says the Obama campaign didn’t know about his flier. "I’ve been trying to reach them today, but Obama’s in Reno today so it’s been tough to reach them," he says.

Neither the Obama nor Clinton campaigns commented to ABC News.

– jpt

UPDATE:  The Clinton campaign set up a conference call to bring attention to Buchanan’s flier, featuring former Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa — Clinton’s Northern Nevada campaign co-chair — and Nevada Hispanic Leadership Council Member and former Chair of the Nevada Democratic Party Adriana Martinez.

Del Papa said "this type of flier to me seems like junior high school stuff."

Martinez said "our caucus is for Democrats …not for Republicans trying to game the system and trying to become Democrats for a day."

Members of the national press corps pressed the proper buttons to ask questions, but the Clinton campaign only accepted calls from Nevada media.

These local reporters — all women, incidentally — seemed rather skeptical of the whole deal. One asked when it was, exactly, that the Clinton campaign started caring about the integrity of the caucus system, since Sen. Clinton has been questioning its validity since she lost Iowa.

Del Papa said she had never heard that.

Another asked if there was any evidence that this flier was the result of anything other than one lone precinct captain.

"We have been told that they have dealt with this issue," Martinez said.

Who? The Obama campaign?

No, the precinct captain, Martinez sheepishly acknowledged. "The person distributing these fliers has backed away from this flier," she said. "We’re hoping that this just isn’t one of many, we’re hoping that this doesn’t continue," she added.

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