Of course, the most egregious example of robo-calling here in Sierra Madre was during our most recent City Council elections. The target of this nasty attempt at political smear was MaryAnn McGillivray, who fortunately weathered that storm and now serves as our fine Mayor. The names of the culprits behind this unlawful activity were never revealed, with all the usual suspects vehemently denying any role in the matter. Which makes perfect sense. After all, they had committed a crime.
As an aside, it is interesting to note that almost all the recipients of these calls were Democrats. Now I wonder, who would have had access to that particular data bank? A consideration that in my opinion provides at least anecdotal evidence of a possible source for this malfeasance.
This certainly does give you a good idea of what political desperation will drive these idiots to do sometimes. And considering the amount of people on the "other side" who have now rejected requests from their so-called leadership to run for City Council next April, desperation will likely play a significant role when they consult their arsenal of unwholesome tricks in a few months.
So how do we stop these individuals from firing up the phone banks like they did during the last go 'round? Shaun Dakin is the CEO & Founder of The National Do Not Contact Registry. A pioneer in phone privacy, he has become a key figure in the fight to curb this type of abuse. Additionally his organization also works to make sure that existing laws protecting our privacy in these matters are enforced, and that people like us are fully clued in on just how we can help the cause.
I'm going to post a chunk of his article here. It is not only great information, but also gives us some real options on how to stop these characters in their tracks. Dakin's article was obviously written for the 2008 election season (it was originally posted in June of last year), but the advice is still quite good. And now we know we have somewhere to turn.
Political Robo Calls Are Illegal in California: You Can Help Enforce the Law and Protect Your Privacy by Shaun Dakin
As someone who has been focused on the harm that robo-calls -- those pre-recorded phone messages -- have on all Americans, I was perplexed when I learned that under the existing California Public Utilities Code political robocalls are illegal.
The group that I run, The National Political Do Not Contact Registry (NPDNC), the nation's only political do not call advocacy group, is demanding today that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) enforce the current law, sections 2871-2876 of the Public Utilities Code. The law requires that most automated calls be introduced by a live person, which almost never happens, but the California PUC has not enforced it. With the support of California voters who are willing to make an official complaint to the CPUC, the NPDNC hopes to be able to shut down robo-calls in California ...
The CPUC Code Sections 2871-2876 clearly prohibit any form of auto-dialer calls or robo-calls being made in California unless the call is preceded by a live voice and states: "only after an unrecorded, natural voice announcement has been made to the person called by the person calling."
Shaun Dakin's group is requesting that anyone interested in curbing this illegal practice to register on their site. After your account becomes active, you'll be able to use the site where complaints can be filed. There you will be asked who called you, day and time, plus your contact information so they can follow up and chase down the evil doers.
The law is on our side. Let's make sure we use this resource and shut down Dirt robo-calling.