Robocall Mayhem

It's the day before mid-term elections and the phone is practically ringing off the hook.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a $2.1 million campaign calling hapless Americans (including those on the Federal Do-Not-Call Registry which includes me), with automated telephone messages scripted to sound as if they are coming from the Democratic candidate up for election.

"Hello. I'm calling with information about [fill in name of applicable Democratic candidate]," and then pauses for the well-earned hang-up. If the recipient dares to hang up, they will receive repeated phone calls back. Sometimes up to twenty times a day. I can show you my caller i.d. if you need documentation.

And it is bad form.

Annoyed voters call the Democrat in question only to find the candidate has nothing to do with the calls.

This manner of scripting violates 47 CFR 64.1200(b)(1), which requires that "the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call" be "state[d] clearly" "at the beginning of the message."

New Hampshire's Attorney General got them to stop calling those on the Do-Not-Call Registry. The first press releases from the NRCC stated:

"We were informed by the attorney general's office that the NRCC has agreed to immediately stop the calls to people on the do-not-call list." [Democratic Party spokeswoman] Strand said.

"We have not agreed to stop the calls," said Alex Burgos, a spokesman for the NRCC. "Our calls will continue independently of the Charlie Bass campaign and in compliance with all applicable laws."

They later said , after being informed that what they are doing is illegal:

"The National Republican Congressional Committee has reportedly agreed to stop making automated campaign calls to people on the national "Do Not Call" Registry. [...] The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has confirmed the calls are under investigation."

Which would be their best interests due to the $5,000 fine per call.

Here is a listing of the known districts being hit with this plague of irksome, last ditch dirt from the RNC.

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