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      Robo calls accuse candidate of porn ties

      caller id screens with the words "Adair County Ambulance District" / Photo courtesy Keri Cottrell

      Political campaigns can get dirty.

      This year, a technique called Robo-calling is getting downright filthy in northeast Missouri.

      A Robocall is an automated phone call that uses both a computerized autodialer and a computer-delivered, pre-recorded message.

      A robocall making its way around Missouri is causing some trouble for a local candidate.

      "Keri Cottrell has accepted money from the pornographic industry."

      This is the message that voters are getting about Democrat Keri Cottrell, who's running for State Representative in Missouri's First District. We point blank asked her if it was true.

      "I am not tied to the pornographic industry in any way. I am a fourth grade teacher. I have dedicated my life for working for children and families. It is very disheartening of a totally unfounded personal attack that is taking my time away from dealing with getting my true message out," says Keri Cottrell. The message says it's paid for by the House Republican Campaign Committee, Inc. That is not the Missouri Republican Party. I called the campaign committee and left messages, and didn't hear anything back. KHQA did get a statement from the Missouri Republican Party. It says it did not authorize, approve, or pay for this campaign activity; however, we understand that several candidates have accepted campaign contributions from Democratic representative Mike Colona who has worked on behalf of the adult entertainment industry and companies that distributed pornographic materials." Cottrell also tells us her Republican challenger, Craig Redmon, called her to apologize, even though he or his party had nothing to do with the message. We tried contacting Redmon, but we were not successful. Something else that bothers Cottrell...when the phone call is made, it shows up on caller ID as if it's a call from the Adair County Ambulance District. KHQA called the ambulance district, and got a message saying its number has been hijacked.

      Cottrell says it's unfortunate the ambulance district has to spend time fielding calls when it has more important things to do.

      Two other female candidates running for office in the state of Missouri have had similar calls.

      One is in Mexico, the other in the Kirksville area.

      Click here to read a statement from Missouri 2nd Dist. State Representative Rebecca McClanahan.

      Click here to read a statement from Missouri 2nd Dist. State Representative Candidate Zachary Wyatt.

      Click here to listen to one of the robo calls.

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