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Robocalls frequent as campaign season heats upThursday, August 9, 2012
(DemocratandChronicle.com)Link > http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20120805/NEWS01/308050038/Robocalls-frequent-campaign-season-heats-up?nclick_check=1
Denise Reed Lamoreaux hates political robocalls. They interrupt her when she’s working, they tie up the phone line after she hangs up, and, well: “I find them obnoxious,” she said.
Lamoreaux isn’t the only one. Many bemoan this campaign tactic. Yet political operatives love robocalls, and have used them more with each election cycle.
They’re cheap, costing just pennies per call. They’re targetable on the individual level. And, with firms across the country offering robocall services, they don’t require a lot of effort. At the end of the 2010 campaign cycle, 69 percent of registered voters had received a robocall, Pew Research Center reported.
Robocalls in the 25th Congressional District, where Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, R-Webster, is challenging U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, have long since started, and they’ll only get more frequent as Election Day nears.
“Hello, I’m calling from the National Republican Congressional Committee with an important alert about your Congressman Louise Slaughter,” starts a call that went out to voters in late March. Similar calls were made against U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-Amherst, who is running against Chris Collins, R-Clarence. This month, the American Action Network, a group opposing the federal health care act, started making robocalls against Slaughter.
On the Democratic side, voters heard a familiar name on behalf of Hochul when she ran in a special election last year. “Hi, this is Bill Clinton. I’m calling to ask you to support Kathy Hochul for Congress,” the former president told voters.
While the National Do Not Call Registry exempts political calls going to landlines, the Federal Communications Commission bans automated calls to to mobile phones without “express, written consent,” no exceptions. This rule was reaffirmed in February. Campaigns also cannot text you unless you give permission.