Women's Voices Women Vote has responded in several forums to the issues we raised in yesterday's investigation about their illegal and deceptive voter outreach activities. The main response came from group founder and president Page Gardner, in a statement titled: "Confusion Surrounding Robo-Calls in North Carolina."

First, it's important to note that Gardner's statement in no ways refutes, or even addresses, any of the basic facts put forward by our investigation:

* In North Carolina, Women's Voices has been conducting a robo-call and mailing campaign that the state Attorney General has confirmed is illegal, that has been secretive and deceptive, and will likely have the effect of confusing and discouraging North Carolina voters.

* Our report documents that, in at least 10 other states -- Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin -- Women's Voices has drawn condemnation from election officials and voters. The group has been accused of misrepresenting election law, using secretive and dishonest tactics and generating widespread confusion among voters -- again, threatening to dampen voter participation.

* The role Women's Voices has played in the Virginia and North Carolina primaries has been especially disruptive. In both cases, they launched deceptive robo-calls -- some apparently targeting African-American zip codes -- just before major primaries, leading residents to think they weren't registered to vote.

* Women's Voices has a number of ties to Sen. Hillary Clinton; we provide additional examples here. We don't suggest, and have no evidence to suggest, that Women's Voices is formally connected to the Clinton campaign. However, we do believe such close ties deserve scrutiny.

Ms. Gardner's statement addresses none of these documented issues. Confronted with evidence of repeated deceptive and even illegal actions, Gardner says only, "We apologize for any confusion our calls may have caused."

Unfortunately, this is typical: As we found in our investigation spanning 10 states, every time problems have emerged, Women's Voices responds by "apologizing for confusion." A Google search of "Women's Voices Women Vote" and "confusion" brings up 412 hits. A newspaper in Michigan quipped that Women's Voices media staffer Sarah Johnson seemed "confused by the confusion."

But chalking up serious election law violations and misleading practices to "mistakes" and "confusion" doesn't answer the questions; it just raises more of them. Women's Voices is doing itself no favors by refusing to directly address the facts and issues at hand.

For example, does "confusion" explain Women's Voices' illegal and deceptive robo-calls in multiple states? Does it pardon the group's misleading and legally inaccurate mailings to hundreds of thousands of voters?

Does "confusion" account for their disruption of the primaries in North Carolina and Virginia? I asked Johnson why the group launched its confusing voter registration campaign in Virginia when they did -- two weeks before the big primary, but two weeks too late for anyone to actually register. She stumbled through several explanations before landing on, "We wanted to make sure they were registered for the general [election] in November." Really? The first week in February, probably the worst time to be dropping a misleading robo-call and mailing campaign in Virginia, was the only week available?

Also: Is it really a "mistake" or "confusion" when you get the same complaints in 10 or more states across the country over the course of at least five months? After a while, the "confusion" defense runs out of steam.

But in this case, it's never been a strong defense. Women's Voices is made up of some of the most seasoned and sophisticated political operatives in Washington. Their staff bios show decades of experience at the highest levels, all the way up to presidential campaigns for Bill Clinton.

Does such a well-connected, deeply-funded and All-Star cast of high-level operatives really make "mistakes" like carrying out illegal robo-calls and forgetting the presidential primary calendar?

At some point, that explanation is no longer plausible, and Women's Voices Women Vote owes voters a real explanation.