Flutterby™! : the party of values

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

the party of values

2006-11-06 15:49:06.930401+00 by Dan Lyke 11 comments

As the November Surprise is sprung, the party of values has started using an automated calling system to illegally call voters. The twist is that the calls are posed as though from the opponents, and are deliberately being made at inopportune times, designed to be as annoying as possible.

[ related topics: Politics moron ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-06 16:13:26.653127+00 by: petronius [edit history]

I think Robert Heinlien wrote a non-SF story in the 40s about a local political campaign. One prank was stickers put on windshields extolling the opponent's race, backed with a nasty adhesive that had to be taken off with a razor blade.

I'm not sure I agree with your take on it, tho. The calls begin with "I have information on Harvey Schmedlap..." but, while sneaky, it isn't exactly misrepresentation. They aren't claiming to be from the Schmedlap for DogCatcher Committee. Considering the bi-partisan mud-slinging currenly on display, this is an annoying but minor issue

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-06 17:39:51.2117+00 by: petronius

UPDATE: I haven't had any robocalls this year, until I read this item!! I've gotten 2 so far. They both open with the politcian saying " Hi, this is <name>. " and then proceed to the message. One was from the Republican running for county board president against a known nepotist & scallawag. The second was the democratic state senator demanding I send Bush an angry message from the North side of Chicago. Another voice said the call was paid for by the Illinois AFL-CIO. No phone number. Let him who is without sin, etc.,etc.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-06 19:03:56.737287+00 by: Dan Lyke

While I loathe robocalls in general, the real question raised by the above tactics is: Do you know who really initiated those calls? The article is about the GOP misrepresenting the source of the calls.

Could very well be that the call from your Republican county board president actually came from his opponent, and vice-versa.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-06 20:02:12.816571+00 by: petronius [edit history]

There is such a thing as being too clever. There was nothing in the call to annoy or put off anybody who is even slightly inclined to the Republican. the call was also at 10:30 AM on a Monday, hardly major annoyance time. The idea of the Dems doing fairly innocuous robocalls posing as republicans pre-supposes Machievellienism on steroids. Since they are currently characterizing him as a jackbooted fascist, a mild presentation just dilutes their strategy. The possible utility of such a plot is far outweighted by its dangers.

I still disagree about misrtepresentation. All campaign material casts the opponents stances in the worst possible light. This stuff is no different. What I would think true fraud would be a Repub claiming to be from the Dems and saying how they were going to force Good christians to engage in same-sex marriages with illegal immigrants. The upfront ID may be missing, but nobody is claiming to be from the opposite party, as far as I can tell.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-06 20:52:15.252784+00 by: Dan Lyke

Here's the /. entry on this topic that goes into a little more detail:

...with calls specifically scripted to appear as if they're coming from the Democratic candidate — in violation of FCC regulations on such 'robocalls,' which requires the identity of the caller to be stated at the beginning of the message [47 CFR 64.1200(b)(1)]. The call begins with 'Hello. I'm calling with information about,' and then says the name of the Democratic candidate. There is then a pause; if the recipient hangs up here, they will receive repeated calls back with the same message, potentially up to 18 times or more...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-06 23:04:29.259223+00 by: meuon

I've gotten 6 political tele-robotic calls -TODAY-. 2 with Bob Corker's voice.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-07 03:02:18.138215+00 by: meuon

Nancy got one more this evening pumping Bob Corker.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-07 05:45:16.828091+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

Another thought: what happens if a candidate or his party does something illegal the day before elections but still wins? Does the activity null the election? What if the person gets elected Govenor when someone in his part has the opponent shot. Then, the new Govenor can pardon the shooter!

But I guess we trust the US citizens not to elect someone with such low morals...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-07 10:28:17.088436+00 by: DaveP

The FCC regs are no help at all for me. I have a "no solicitation" thing on my phone which requires a caller to press 1 if they're not a telemarketer. But because someone might still try to call from a rotary phone, after a minute of waiting, the call comes through regardless.

So I see a number on caller ID, and get a voice-mail which catches the very end of the robocall (if anything).

On top of this, MN has specifically banned automatic dialers, but I can't find anyone willing to enforce that ban, including the attorney general. He's too busy having his robodialers tell people to vote for him for governor.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-07 12:54:49.963771+00 by: meuon

"but because someone might still try to call from a rotary phone".. laughing my ass off.. and crying, because it's true.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-09 14:04:08.235855+00 by: Nancy

I bookmarked junkbusters and this one which is more of a spoof for when you really want to torture the telemarketer, provided they're a living being. Was dismayed to learn that apparently the law doesn't apply to non-profits doing the calling or to business numbers as the recepient. Not that the law's enforced or particularly enforceable?

There's been some opinion articles in the chattanoogan.com that have specifically mentioned experiences with campaign telemarketing. A minute ago the link was here but I've found in the past that their links don't remain valid over time - which is a shame and, it seems to me, a geeky-deficiency. But that's another topic.