Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Damn Robocalls

I don't get most robocalls anymore since my land line is almost strictly a fax machine. However, when these damn robocalls get out, I usually hear about it. I got a call about 30 minutes ago from one woman, probably retired, who has gotten three robocalls from "Republicans" in two days. One of the calls mentioned "Livingston County" which is why I got the call. She originally thought LCGOP was behind these calls. We wern't, but only political die hards differentiate between the different parties. If people hear "Livingston County" and "Republican" in a call, it's reasonable to assume that it was us.

As long as I'm chair of LCGOP, I'll authorize robocalls over my dead body. It is not a secret about how I feel about those damn robocalls. These robocalls have been ringing about 9AM, which is way too early for anyone retired or working night/afternoon shifts. The fact that there's three in two days makes things even worse. 

One of those calls is the same one that has been harassing other voters in Joe Hune's district.

Hune not behind Medicaid expansion ‘robo-calls’
LANSING, Mich.— Sen. Joe Hune today urged residents not to let special interest groups hijack their voices and opinions.

Hune, R-Hamburg, recently mentioned that his office has received an innumerable number of phone calls from constituents that were transferred to the office from ‘robo-calls’ they had received regarding Medicaid expansion. However, many of them do not understand the phone calls they are receiving and some seniors are even mistaking it for changes to Medicare.
“These robo-calls appear to be intentionally misleading!” Hune said. “These calls prompt you to press one to speak to our office or it automatically transfers you. Either way, many are mistaking it for being originated by my office. I repeat that we are not responsible for these calls.”

Interest groups have launched a campaign that automatically sends phone calls to many of the Michigan Senate offices recently.
“I apologize to my constituents who are receiving robo-calls from shadowy interest groups scripted to sound as if it was coming from our office, which is not the case,” Hune said. “Aside from these calls being very persistent to homes in my district, many of my constituents don’t know who called them or why, and are confused by the automated statements made before they are transferred. These robo-calls are a product of questionable, pro-Medicaid expansion groups that don’t have the residents of the 22nd District’s best interests at heart.
“Those interested in the Medicaid expansion issue should do exactly what I am doing: research the issue and come to a well-thought-out conclusion.”
Hune said “We always welcome the comments and concerns of our constituents. If they have questions on Medicaid expansion, they should reach out to my office at 855-JOE-HUNE.”

The other call was about joining someone for pizza. I'm not sure who it was referring to. The lady hung up before it got to that point and called me.

Whoever is behind these robocalls to put it bluntly needs to shut the hell up. They aren't helping matters and are making us all look bad.


Communications guru said...

“Shadowy interest groups?” You mean like the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, the Michigan College of Emergency Physicians, the Michigan Dental Association, the Health & Hospital Association, Small Business Association of Michigan or the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce?

Jordan Genso said...

Dan, would you support bringing more light to who is doing these "issue campaigns" and who is funding them?

I agree that robo-calls are inappropriate, regardless of who is using them. And I don't want groups pushing (potentially misleading) information out to the public without the public knowing exactly who that information is coming from.

Dan said...

Oftentimes they mention who is calling, but not always. They SHOULD mention who is behind them.

If it's an issues call however, it's not technically campaigning, and that's a Pandora's Box to regulate due to First Amendment Issues.

I think the origins of one of the calls was Grand Rapids, but I'm not positive on that.