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Columbia Missourian

Independence business says it's not making pro-Clinton calls

By The Associated Press
September 17, 2008 | 8:43 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Someone seems to be making political calls for Hillary Clinton. But an Independence business says it has nothing to do with them.

A suburban St. Louis man, Steven Smith, 45, who is a computer repair technician, said his mother received a phone call Wednesday from someone who did not identify herself, asking his mother if she voted for Clinton in the presidential primary, if she intended to vote for Clinton in the general election and if she knew how to write in a candidate on her ballot.

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Smith said he monitored the phone call, because his mother indicated she was concerned it wasn't legitimate. A phone number for Homestead Inspection Co. of Independence appeared on caller ID. He said the same number has appeared three other times on his caller ID recently.

He said he thought the caller might be trying to erode support for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

The office manager at Homestead, Sarah Fuller, said she has been hearing from people for about a month and a half, who mistakenly believe they are returning political calls. The callers make references to Clinton and Sen. John McCain.

She wants people to know the political calls are not coming from that office. "I'm here all day, and I'm not making the calls," she said. Fuller said it appears someone is making the business' name and phone number pop up on caller IDs. She said she filed a complaint with federal regulators.

Both the Obama and McCain campaigns said they had not previously heard about the calls and had no ties to them.

"It's definitely not sanctioned by us," McCain spokeswoman Wendy Riemann said. The campaign identifies itself at both the start and end of its phone calls, she said.