The mysterious "robocall" about last month's officer-involved shooting outside a Costco store was sent to 150,000 registered voters in Clark County, according to the company that sent the dramatic recordings.
Tony Dane operates Las Vegas-based AutomatedCalling, which he believes is the largest such company in the country. Dane, himself a conservative activist, said he was paid by a group to send out the ad over the weekend, which blasted Clark County District Attorney David Roger and Sheriff Doug Gillespie.
He wouldn't say who paid for the calls or disclose their cost. He did say that his rates range from 3 to 8 cents per call, meaning that the creators of the message could have spent up to $12,000. There are nearly 1 million registered voters in Clark County.
Dane called the campaign, which plucked those most likely to vote in local elections, a "success" because 80 percent of its recipients pressed "1" at the end of the call, indicating they wanted more information about the controversial shooting.
"The cream of the crop of voters got it," Dane said.
Erik Scott, a U.S. Military Academy at West Point graduate and medical device salesman, was shot by three Las Vegas police officers July 10 outside a Summerlin Costco store.
The dramatic recording accused Roger of "dragging his feet" investigating the shooting and implied that he and Gillespie were waiting until after the November election to release tapes of the incident.
The call claimed to be from the "friends of Erik Scott," although several of Scott's friends have denied responsibility for the ads.
Matt Griffin, deputy of elections for the Nevada secretary of state's office, said that if automated calls are designed to affect the outcome of a primary or general election or a question on the ballot, the people who made the calls are required to form a political action committee.
There is no PAC named the "friends of Erik Scott." Griffin, after listening to the call, said he did not immediately know whether creating a PAC would have been required before making the calls.
Scott's friends have said they have received calls and e-mails from people angry that they received the call even when they were on a "do not call" list. Dane said the calls were sent to registered voters and therefore were not eligible for "do not call" lists.
Dane said he hasn't been "fully aware" of the controversy surrounding the shooting and didn't have any personal stance on the issue. Both Roger's and Gillespie's opponents in the November election have denied responsibility for the calls.
Dane has been involved in issues in the past. In May he sent automated calls to Nye County voters with a recording of a hysterical woman claiming to have been abused. The calls targeted a district attorney candidate whose wife leveled domestic violence charges against him 20 years ago. They were paid for by Dane's PAC, the Conservative Republican Coalition CRC PAC.
Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at lmo firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0440.