TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Political Telemarketers

Re: Political Telemarketers

Robert Bonomi (
Thu, 18 May 2006 23:33:52 -0000

In article <>, <>

> I posted a query/rant along these lines about a month ago, but my NNTP
> isn't talking to comp.dcom.telecom.

> I know politicians exempted themselves from the federal telemarketing
> law (and also the state law here in Texas).

Politicians are not specifically mentioned in the Federal law, or the
'rules' implementing it.

There are two exemptions that -may- be applicable:
1) "tax exempt nonprofit organizations"
2) "calls not made for a commercial purpose"

> Are they completely and totally exempt or do they have some
> restrictions also? Here's my point ...

> I don't belong to any political party. Texas has open primaries
> (anyone can vote in either primary on election day). I haven't voted
> in a primary in Texas because a) I almost always vote third-party and
> b) the major party I hate the least had a presidential candidate from
> Texas, so what was the point? Still, the Republican Party got a hold
> of my name and number and call me continually begging for my vote.

> About 75% of the the time I get a pre-recorded message from our
> Republican governor or his wife asking I vote for this candidate or
> that amendment.

BOTH of the above exemptions allow pre-recorded calls to residences.
47 CFR 1200, 47 USC 227

> Every call except for one showed up in my caller ID as "Unknown
> Name/Unknown Number". The one that did come through came from the
> 248 area code which is Michigan, not Texas. When I get a human I
> stop them and ask that a) I be removed from their list b) If they
> continue to ignore my request I will vote against their candidate
> automatically. They almost always argue that they have the right to
> call me because they're exempt from the "Do Not Call" list.

> They're totally missing the point!

Yup. in that conversation _agree_ with them that they have the 'legal
right' to continue calling. Ask them if they understand that you have
'preferences' about such matters, _regardless_ of 'what the law
allows'. Ask them if they want you to do *them* the favor of voting
for 'their' candidate/proposition? Admit that you "are inclined to do
so, at _this_ _time_", but then ask them if they understand that
failure to honor your 'preferences' about future calls will
*guarantee* that you will vote _against_ their candidate/proposition.
Then ask them "do you want that to happen?" Then ask them "what steps
they will take to _prevent_ that from happening".

> I specifically requested not to receive telemarketing calls. Why
> would they think I would welcome calls from them?

"bad judgment". <wry grin>

> stood up and said, "While I'm not legally obliged to do so, I will not
> call people on the 'Do Not Call' list during my campaign", I would
> strongly consider voting for that person. Having someone tell me "Oh,
> sorry, no it's our RIGHT to call you and pester you at home twice a
> day the week before an election!" is outrageous!

> Here are my questions:
> 1.) Can politicians block their caller ID information? Regular
> telemarketers can't.

Parties engaged in a "telemarketing campaign" must display callerID.
(except for tax-exempt non-profits.) 47 CFR 1601 Unfortunately,
"calls made without a commercial purpose" are _not_, by definition,
part of a telemarketing campaign. 47CFR 1200

Thus, they are _not_ required to display CallerID.

They _are_, however, required to provide their phone number, and other
contact info, either at the beginning or end of the recorded message.

> 2.) If I specifically request they not call, are the obliged to stop
> calling?

Nope. Only 'telemarketing' callers (except for tax-exempt
non-profits) must maintain an in-house Do-not-call list. 47 CFR 1200
Since political calls are 'not made with a commercial purpose',
they're not 'telemarketing', as defined, and they are not required to
maintain a Do-not-call list.

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: "Re: Telemarketing Law Question"
Go to Previous message: "Re: Political Telemarketers"
May be in reply to: "Political Telemarketers"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page