MIAMI — Just as American voters have stopped receiving telephone political pleas, comes this:
A Haitian presidential candidate who's using automated "robo-calls'' to target anyone in the United State who's ever placed a call to Haiti.
Michel "Sweet Micky'' Martelly screams in Creole, urging the Haitian diaspora to support the tet kale! -- bald-headed one -- who is No. 8 on the ballot in the Nov. 28 election.
His urgent plea even caused the evacuation of Fort Bragg Army base last week. They thought it was a bomb threat.
"Why, is it the first phone call they get, they want to evacuate as if the calls are going to scare America?'' Martelly said, adding that he has no knowledge of the calls.
"I'm in the streets talking to the people. I'm making people hear my concerns, and I am getting more and more popular everyday,'' he said. ``I don't know anything. I don't know who is doing the financing, who is doing the marketing.''
But Martelly, whose campaign has also been using SMS text messaging in the United States to get people to convince family and friends back in Haiti to vote for him in Sunday's election, said it's a good idea.
"This is technology; we are using technology,'' he said. "Robo-calls is not the problem. It's the solution.''
Robert Maguire, a Haiti expert at Trinity University in Washington, D.C., called it "smart politics, smart campaigning.''