Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Monday, May 14, 2007

And back to robo-calls

Josh Marshall today had a post about robo-call hijinks that happened in Camden, N.J. earlier this month regarding a municipal election.

Now the incident is being described as possible voter suppression.

Sooner or later progressives will have to make a concerted push to get the infernal robo-calls banned. Voters hate them, and there's no constitutional right to come in my house and tape a poster to my wall, so I don't see why there would be a constitutional right to call people using robots. It's my phone service, not theirs.

Sure, some candidates and political consultants love them because they're cheap. So what? There is too much monkey business that happens with them, so there's a major transparency issue as well.

Obviously some consultants, having no scruples, figured out you can damage your opponent by making people think they are calling them during the wee hours of the morning, for example. Or in the Camden case, threatening people for no good reason. Nice.

So far from being a tool to promote voter participation, robo-calls have been used to harass voters. There's no excuse for it.

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