Thursday, November 02, 2006


Robocalls. Personally, I'd like to drive down with my shotgun and shoot all the equipment of the people behind this things. I can't do that though, so I'll voice my displeasure here instead. I got about 20 of those robocalls from "American Family Voices" alone, a thinly-disguised DNC front group. I don't like them, and if I ever run for anything, refuse to use robocalls. IMO, they cost as many votes as they gain. They offend people more than the phone banks.

The reason they are used is because they are CHEAP. They are about 5 times cheaper than a mailing. Until either that changes or until those numbers are added to do-not-call lists, they will continue to be used. It doesn't mean I have to like it.

From the Argus.

Plenty of hang-ups surround 'robo-calls'

The recent blitz of recorded political messages, or "robo-calls" as they are called, are "ripe for a lot of dirty tricks," according to one local legislator.
State Rep. Chris Ward, R-Brighton Township, opposes the use of the typically 30-second ads that are being telephoned to residents and left on answering machines throughout the county, state and country.

"It's an environment that's ripe for a lot of dirty tricks, people calling and saying things that aren't true or are unsubstantiated," Ward said, adding there is no law requiring a tag line of who paid for the messages.

State Rep. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, recently recorded a robo-call in support of Republican gubernatorial challenger Dick DeVos.
"I think that they work if you can't get out and meet the voters yourself," Hune said. "I should apologize because everyone opens their mailbox (and) it's full of literature. Every time they answer the phone, it's a politician. But soon it will be all over."

Neither Ward nor Hune are using robo-calls for their own re-election campaigns, with the latter saying he has received a "couple of anecdotal things" about robo-calls from people he's met while out in the field.

Both have said they wouldn't be opposed to adding robo-calls to the list of prohibited calls on the National Do Not Call Registry.


Keith Richards said...

Robocalls are definitely offensive. If a person that I disagree with calls I can tell them not to call me back, but there is nobody to complain to about these robocalls and they seem to be multiplying with each election season. I would love to see these added to the "do-not-call" list.

The stuff in the mailbox does not bother me. If I don't like it I can just throw it away as my trash cans have plenty of excess capacity.

The TV and radio ads this year are really bothering me, especially since just about all of them are now negative. I keep hearing that negative ads work but in my experience they are more likely to discourage people from voting at all than win them over to a particular side.

Attack ads do have a roll in politics as long as they only present facts in an accurate way. Voters are entitled to learn the bad things about a candidate/cause as well as the whitewashed good.

Unfortunately, most of the attack ads currently being broadcast go way beyond the limits of fairness and honesty by misrepresenting facts and even telling outright lies. According to one dictionary that I checked, a lie is committed when someone deliberately and intentionally makes a statement such that other people are encouraged to reach false conclusions. In my opinion, that includes most of the attack ads now being broadcast.

It seems to me that there is a big failure in our system when these dishonest ads for candidates and causes can fill our airwaves with hardly a peep of complaint from the news media or from election regulators. One way or another we need to hold political liars accountable just as we hold businesses liable for misleading advertising.

Please note that I did not single out any particular political party here although I do have my opinions about which side is making the most transgressions.

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