45 comments

  1. Our future, mid-ga, King heir apparent Rep Allen Peake is pushing the legislation to outlaw robocalls and fight for the rich country club folks, who are surrounded by the city, not to be included in our city limits.

    Can’ t you just be satisfied with your chemistry set? Or was that what started the fire under the transformer across from you know where today? 🙂

  2. Decaturguy says:

    More Big Government Socialism brought to you buy …… the Republicans! Shock!

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it Senator Douglas.

  3. StevePerkins says:

    Are political robocalls exempt from the national “Do Not Call” opt-out registry? I know that charitable organizations are exempt, but I don’t believe that should apply to political campaigns. You’re either tax-exempt or you aren’t.

  4. drjay says:

    the next thing you know there will be calls saying one of the candidates is a confirmed homo sapien…

    i do think its funny that at the same press con this was announced the senate said they would vote on some veto overides–and chose one lame minor veto that specifically had to do w/ the senate itself….

  5. Rogue109 says:

    “”The public is increasingly upset about them,” Johnson said in a news conference.”

    Well, Senator Johnson, it’s called free speech. Deal with it.

    If someone puts up enough of these Robo-Calls, they eventually backfire and (surprise) there are then fewer of them. Leave this issue alone!

  6. Tekneek says:

    They should, at least, have to abid by the same “Do Not Call” list requirements that other marketers do (and let’s be honest, these ARE marketing calls).

  7. Icarus says:

    Gee Dr. Jay,

    I wish there was a website dedicated to Georgia Politics where someone with front page access might actually post something about veto overrides.

    I really think there’s a market niche for such a blog, if only we could get the right people together.

    Any ideas?

  8. Icarus says:

    As for free speach rights and robo calls,

    You’re right to free speach begins when you start paying my phone bill. Until then, the person paying the phone bill should be able to exercise his/her own private property rights via do not call lists. This should include robo calls, charity calls, political calls, and mother-in-law calls.

  9. Romegaguy says:

    I wonder if Sen. Johnson will contract with a firm to generate phone calls to Ga voters asking them to ask their elected officials to vote to end robo-calls?

  10. Rogue109 says:

    “You’re right to free speach begins when you start paying my phone bill.”

    And before a movie in the theater, there shouldn’t be any ads from Coke because their right to free speech starts only when they pay for my ticket. And we should ban ads on the radio from Home Depot because their right to free speech starts only when they pay for my radio. Ditto TV.

    (I do get your point, though, Icarus. Unfortunately, unless I’m mistaken (not the first time) I don’t think you have private property rights to your phone number.)

    People, if you get these Robo-Calls, contact the campaign or organization which is sending them and tell them that the calls are having an adverse impact on their position. We DON’T need the government to ban this activity. Let’s solve a problem on our own rather than look to Atlanta or Washington, D.C. for the solution!

  11. Icarus says:

    Actually Rogue, before the age of do not call lists, I saw and read several news stories of people who found a creative way to stop telemarketers from calling them.

    They sent telemarketing companies certified letters telling them that calling them in the future was evidence that they were accepting the phone owner’s offer to use their phone for commercial purposes, at a fee of $1,000 per call.

    When they received a telemarketing call from that company, they invoiced them for $1,000, and then sued to collect.

    The courts almost always sided with the owner of the phone.

    I have no idea if the bills authorizing “do not call” lists changed it, but the principal is the same.

    The difference between this and the ad at the movie or the ad on the radio is that the movie theater and the radio station both chose to allow those ads, and you are consuming their product based on the knowledge that these ads may/will appear. There is no such option with a phone.

  12. shep1975 says:

    Robo (and live person) political calls are considered political speech which has a much higher level of freedom than commerical speech.

    Also automated calls are cheap ($0.05 – 0.08 a call) versus live person calls ($0.12 – 0.26 a call).

    For a small election, with say 5,000 voter contacts, that’s $250 versus $600. For a small campaign, that difference can mean a lot.

    Also, the large county organizations like Cobb’s GOP use Robo Calls to contact people about upcoming events, remind them of breakfasts, etc, etc. If robo calls were outlawed, it would make contacting the 4,000 people on the list nearly impossible and too costly.

  13. Icarus says:

    “If robo calls were outlawed, it would make contacting the 4,000 people on the list nearly impossible and too costly.”

    There’s a specific exemption in the do not call list for customers/clients of a business who have done business with that organization within the last two years. The same can be extended to members of an orgainization.

    The point of the law needs to be that once any party/business/individual/organization/fundraiser/mother-in-law have been asked to cease calling, they should be fined/punished/killed if they continue to call.

  14. IndyInjun says:

    Shep – That is what the internet is for.

    Robo-calls are completely out of control and should be treated the same as telemarketing calls.

    What other excesses are Pols going to invent to drive people away from voting?

  15. Bill Simon says:

    Steve,

    YES, political organizations are exempt from the Do Not Call List. The politicians exempted themselves from the law. Funny how that works, eh?

  16. Bill Simon says:

    Sworn to uphold the US Constitution, but Senator Johnson actually doesn’t know what it says. Freaking, stupid, unbelievably incompetent elected official.

  17. Bill Simon says:

    Indy,

    Next you’ll be claiming direct-mail is out of control and propose a ban on political direct-mail.

    By the way, you don’t OWN your phone number. You’re paying fees every month to the FCC. Your phone use is not a “right,” but a privilege. Neither you nor Senator Moron Johnson can prohibit the public use of said phone for the purpose of delivering a free speech message.

    You don’t want the phone calls? Get an unlisted phone number.

  18. Decaturguy says:

    Your fearless GOP leaders in the Senate:

    Eric Johnson can’t comprehend the Constitution and feels that Big Government must step in because the public is “upset.” Boo hoo!

    John Douglas claims to be a business conservative, but can’t seem to earn a paycheck from anywhere else but the government.

  19. IndyInjun says:

    Bill –

    I just never answer the phone.

    The problem I really have is that my 82 and 80 year old parents feel that they MUST get to a ringing phone and answer it. Being prone to falls, an idiotic robo call is life threatening to them.

    The purveyors of endless robocalls hurt their candidates and that is fine, but you don’t want to be the candidate whose call hurts my Mama.

  20. shep1975 says:

    Okay Indy, keep in mind the largest voting group are seniors, the majority of whom do not use the internet.

    There are also anti-SPAM laws that effect internet usage.

    Of course your parents show how it can be abused. If a phone is too dangerous for your arents to use, get them a unlisted number so they don’t have to worry about charity calls.

  21. shep1975 says:

    Bill, Eric is not prohibiting political calls, he’s just adding a live person, opt-out feature. I don’t agree with it, but I think he’s on the safe side of the 1st Amendment.

  22. juliobarrios says:

    “Being prone to falls, an idiotic robo call is life threatening to them.”

    Quit being a cheap ass and buy your parents a fricken cordless phone.

  23. Bill Simon says:

    “abridging freedom of speech,” Shep, is what is prohibited.

    Requiring a pre-explanation of a call before a call is actually delivered drives UP the cost of the call, and, therefore, abridges someone’s right.

  24. Bill Simon says:

    Good idea, Julio. Indy, NOW you know exactly what to buy your senior relatives for their next birthday, anniversary, OR the next national prevent-accidents-in-the-home-Day.

  25. StevePerkins says:

    Also, the large county organizations like Cobb’s GOP use Robo Calls to contact people about upcoming events, remind them of breakfasts, etc, etc. If robo calls were outlawed, it would make contacting the 4,000 people on the list nearly impossible and too costly.

    If people add themselves to the Cobb GOP membership list, they’re opting-in to receive announcements. If they’re not on the membership list, they SHOULDN’T receive such calls. Non-issue.

    Adding yourself to the national Opt-Out registry is a proactive thing… without taking action, you are construed as welcoming telemarketer speech, be it commercial or political. Your right to free speech does not mandate people’s obligation to hear you out… if people expressly take action to block such speech from their homes, that right should be respected.

  26. StevePerkins says:

    As a practical matter, political campaigns should already be VOLUNTARILY respecting the Opt-Out registry. People who get off their ass and take the step of getting on that list are people who are really turned off by telemarketing calls. Therefore, it’s probably not the smartest thing in the world to give that person a robocall… concluding with your candidate stating his name and saying that he approved the message. We’ve already seen numerous examples of a candidate’s opponent putting out deliberately-bad robocalls and misrepresenting them as coming from that candidate to turn people off on him. If I were a campaign manager, I certainly wouldn’t want my guy’s name showing up on the answering machines of people who hate such calls and go out of their way to block them.

  27. Jane says:

    The only people who benifit from regulating/outlawing poltical mail, political speach, political radio, and political robo-calls are establishment politicans ala incumbents. I normally like Eric Johnson, but he is venturing to far into the McCain-Fiengold-Kennedy realm for my tastes.

  28. Icarus says:

    Jane,

    If you ever lived where John Garst was a candidate for office, Eric Johnson would be your hero for introducing this bill.

  29. Mike Hauncho says:

    When did it become to difficult to just hang up the phone when you get one? Just hit the delete button on your answering machine if someone leaves you a message. We are a society that hates to answer the phone unless it is our cell phone. Stop whining about it and just hang up. The state does not need to involve itself in this matter.

  30. StevePerkins says:

    You can “just click delete” when you get spam in your email, too. Nevertheless, email users and service providers bend over backward to find ways of filtering it from our inboxes. Frankly, I’m happier with email spam than I am telemarketers and robocalls. I’ve never had a spam email interrupt my dinner or wake me up on my ONE DAY OF THE WEEK TO SLEEP IN. (grrrrrrrr…)

    Seriously, putting free speech aside for a moment and looking at the practical perspective, I’d love to hear ONE political operative make the argument that robocalls influence more voters than they royally piss off. Paging Dr. Mark Roundtree, stat.

  31. leantothemiddle says:

    Robo calls are being used maliciously. During the last congressional election in Macon, Mac Collins used hundreds of then against Jim Marshall without every identifying who was paying for the call, The calls were designed to sound as if the Marshall campaign was calling because all the calls started with ‘let me tell you about Jim Marshall”. The format was illegal, all calls are supposed to begin by identifying who paid for the add and the Collins camp should have been fined for each call. But of course no one is enforcing this law, and the abusers figure they can get away with it.
    The moral is you cannot be sure who is generating the call. It could be someone who wants you to be mad with John Lewis, and therefore puts out a call that appears to have been initiated by John Lewis. There is a lot of dirty tricks going on and no one trying to stop it.

  32. Bill Simon says:

    You want to know what a “dirty trick” is?

    People like Bush and Eric Johnson claiming they are “pro-less-government Republicans” and then running around proposing and heaping MORE Daddy government on everyone’s lives.

  33. Bill Simon says:

    Dirty Tricks, Part 2:

    The right to free speech is, by some people’s definitions, a “dirty trick.” Anyone can say anything about a public figure. The method they use to deliver it is only a matter of medium choice.

    If you don’t like “dirty tricks”, move to Cuba…I can assure you, there are no “tricks” going on there.

  34. shimane says:

    Robo Calls are an epidemic and are invading the privacy of All American Voters.

    Our members are taking a stand and saying enough is enough at the National Political Do Not Contact Registry at StopPoliticalCalls.org.

    Here is a quote from a member this morning:

    I value my privacy. I pay for my phones,lines, etc. I regard
    unwanted phone calls (particularly robo calls) as an invasion of that privacy.

    Regards,

    Shaun Dakin
    CEO and Founder
    The National Political Do Not Contact Registry
    http://www.stoppoliticalcalls.org

  35. Rpolitic says:

    Wow think about it while EJ is going to try and make an end run on the US constitution and the US Supreme Court decisions.

    But is you take the idea that in the last 2 years a “client” has had work or contact with the caller then they are free to be contacted. Well would that include registering to vote? Voting? Inquiring about some issue pertaining to them or that may pertain to an elected official?

    OK if that is correct then most everyone can still be called. And the poor clerks in the cities and counties will have to keep a detailed record of who as contacted the government, why and their contact information. That information will then be subject to open records, and other research and then that will in turn require more work.

    So EJ go ahead and worry about calls that can make a challenger scare the pants off an incumbent, but don’t worry in the least about leading the senate with some back bone.

  36. IndyInjun says:

    LOL, all.

    80 year old folks FORGET to take ANY of their 4 cordless phones with them, but they still hear well enough to hear the clanging rings.

    Personally, the reason that I hate robocalls is that I don’t have a chance to tell the “caller” what I think of their candidate or their party. I just LOVED it when the GOP campaign committees used to call. Evidently they got my response millions of times, for they disbanded their call operations for a while.

    Dems = GOP = Bad for you and ME!

  37. IndyInjun says:

    Cuba has the same system – no CHOICES. They just don’t waste money on MSM operations to make it so.

    And their politicians don’t make old ladies fracture their pelvises racing to a phone with a computer on the other end and make them pay for the privilege.

  38. Icarus says:

    “And their politicians don’t make old ladies fracture their pelvises racing to a phone ”

    That’s because the phone is 3 blocks away, and she’ll never make it there before it quits ringing.

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