Archive for Monday, June 11, 2007

Political ‘robocalls’ face new restrictions

June 11, 2007


— No rest for those weary of politics.

Liz Newcomer of Lawrence recently received a robocall slamming U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, a Democrat whose district includes west Lawrence.

Listen to the "robocall" from the Republican Party criticizing Nancy Boyda.

Listen to the "robocall" from the Republican Party criticizing Nancy Boyda.

Newcomer said she got so mad, she hung up. Robocalls - telephone calls made using a computer that plays a recorded political message or sales pitch - have become a dominant force in American politics.

Carol Williams, executive director of Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, talking about a new state law taking effect July 1 that deals with political robocalls.

Carol Williams, executive director of Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, talking about a new state law taking effect July 1 that deals with political robocalls.

"I hate that kind of politics, and it absolutely turns me off," said Newcomer, a registered independent who thinks Boyda is doing a good job.

Newcomer also noted the election for the 2nd congressional district isn't until November 2008.

"Eighteen months, we will have to put up with this junk?" she said.

The automated phone call was from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which recently paid for a week's worth of calls and radio ads denouncing Boyda.

Ken Spain, a spokesman for the NRCC, said he's just doing his job.

"We believe it is our job to hold Nancy Boyda accountable," Spain said.

The NRCC has an ongoing, vigorous campaign to retake the House, and it has made Boyda a prime target.

Boyda scored an upset victory in November over five-term incumbent Jim Ryun. She is featured prominently on the NRCC Web site, which is dedicated to tossing out the freshman class of Democrats.

Ryun, state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins and possibly several other Republicans will face off in the August 2008 GOP primary to try to get a shot at facing Boyda three months later.

In addition to the western parts of Lawrence and Douglas County, the district includes Manhattan, Topeka and southeast Kansas.

Spain said the ads and phone calls criticized Boyda for voting for appropriations bills that he said were filled with "pork" and would lead to one of the largest tax increases in history.

Spain also said Boyda supports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., 97 percent of the time.

"She had promised to be an independent voice for Kansas," Spain said.

Thomas Seay, a spokesman for Boyda, said "those claims don't make a whole lot of sense."

One of the bills referred to by Spain included funds for improvements to military bases, disaster relief for farmers, and health care funding for children, military veterans and active duty military.

"Rep. Boyda doesn't consider military health care to be pork," Seay said.

Seay said Boyda's office had received several complaints from people receiving the robocalls. Boyda is sponsoring legislation that would apply the no-call registry to recorded political messages, he said.

A recently approved state law that takes effect July 1 requires that robocalls identify the sponsor at the start of the call. Federal law, which governs congressional campaigning, already has this requirement.


Richard Heckler 11 years ago

The greatest threat to universal health care is the healthcare insurors and their margin of profit and speak the loudest against it. Then comes those politicians(greater majority) on their special interest campaign money payroll who weasel around the issue. Yet most industrialized nations have it you know the ones taking american jobs away courtesy of corporate america and special interest campaign money.

Want green collar jobs,alternative energy, jobs back to america and healthcare for all? Fire 99% of all elected officials!

Why is it Americans cannot elect a representative instead of a name from corporate america? What is the romance? Why do americans fall over themselves for political media stars and fat cats? Have we not learned that these people NEVER make things better they just continue the corporate welfare and watch american jobs go abroad. It really stinks!

The news media and corporate america do NOT need to decide who OUR candidates should be for local,state or federal level representation.

The media takes in a ton of cash during our election periods and play a huge role in selecting candidates for all sides of the aisle. Then THEY decide who should participate in televised debates as if no one else matters to the voters. Yes they also seem to decide which issues are important to voters and many times miss the mark. The media has become a large part of the special interest takeover of our process as if they know what is best for all of us. Voters support this takeover by voting for those candidates who also spend the most money and the question is why?

Campaigns go too long,spend way too much money and do not necessarily provide the best available. It is up to us to stop the nonsense at the voting booths on the 2008 ballot. Not voting sends the wrong message and changes nothing.

Lets's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : Demand a change on the 2008 ballot.

I would KEEP Nancy Boyda if she would would get behind: She deserves more time. The big money candidates are more beholden than ever to corporate special interests due to the very long nature of campaigns. How do they have time to do the job they were elected to do? We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out.

Who would be against Public Funding? The special interest money providers and their bought and paid for politicians!

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Generally speaking I find all of these calls a bit irritating because in a few seconds how much truth is being offered. It's up to the voters to take this voting issue serious and learn about candidates. Not voting sends the wrong message and changes nothing!

oldgoof 11 years ago

For some reason I dont think merrill has much to fear from receiving these calls.

situveux1 11 years ago

If you don't want these calls then don't fill in your phone number when you register to vote. That's where they get the number from.

Also, nice job LJWorld getting someone who fully supports Boyda that is 'independent'

No bias there.

Where was this story when Phill Kline was being called 'snoop-dog'?

Centrist 11 years ago

The GOP's incessant slagging of Nancy Boyda smacks of obsession. Why exactly do they have it in for her so badly? It seems like ever since election night (a mere 6 months ago) they have been after her. What are they worried about? Or is it just that the GOP in Kansas is so 'hurt' by that loss that they'll do anything to reverse it.

Politics at its worst.

True Republicans - please take back your party!!

mick 11 years ago

Those solicitations from people claiming to represent law enforcement like, "policeman's benefit fund" etc, etc are legal too. I asked one what percentage of the money actually went to the fund and they told me- 20%. These companies that solicit like that are a scam.

Tom McCune 11 years ago

All right thinking people:

Never respond in any way to any unsolicited phone call of any kind. Just say, "I'll go get John Doe. He's in the other room." Then set the phone down and don't say anything. Waste their time. Doesn't matter if it is politics, charity, surveys, polls, or other marketing. They are all liars. Only respond on the phone to people you personally know. Period.

Godot 11 years ago

Merrill wrote: "The greatest threat to universal health care is the healthcare insurors and their margin of profit and speak the loudest against it."

The greatest threat to the quality of health care, and the stability of the US economy, is universal health care.

Horace 11 years ago

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

gccs14r 11 years ago

"The greatest threat to the quality of health care, and the stability of the US economy, is universal health care."

You know not of what you speak. Nationalizing a base level of healthcare would make us more competitive on a global scale and would guarantee a healthier populace. There is nothing in a national healthcare system that precludes one from paying extra for better care, but it does keep the disadvantaged from having to choose between food and healthcare, or housing and healthcare, or any other necessities of life and healthcare. There is also nothing in a national healthcare system that keeps companies from doing medical research for profit, that keeps physicians from private practice, or that otherwise detracts from continuing advances in healthcare. The losers in a nationalized system are the Bill Frists of the world, who would rather extort hard-earned dollars from the populace for a never-delivered promise of care. I think I can be forgiven for not feeling sorry for them.

Godot 11 years ago

The Hillary plan from the early 90's included a provision that prohibited people from paying for additional care or having their own private insurance in addition to the nationalized plan. That is the ony Universal Health plan that we can discuss, because it is the only one that has been presented....and soundly rejected.

gccs14r 11 years ago

So you pick a particularly restrictive proposal from fifteen years ago that was never implemented and use that as your argument against all such systems, regardless of their success? I believe that's called reductio ad absurdum.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Hillary like most other politicians is too closely tied to special interest campaign money which supports the high dollar health coverage at $11,000-12,000 annually per family. Universal Healthcare USA style would cost far less and keep lower income and patients with serious illness from filing bankruptcy ultimately losing their homes thus becoming clients for taxpayer funded healthcare. Other patients use the expensive emergency room for treatment.

Universal Healthcare USA style would be great for the economy considering most industrialized nations accepting USA jobs courtesy of USA government provide universal healthcare.

The USA has the most expensive healthcare in the world yet ranked 37th in quality.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

I have received calls asking to support Bush and absurd!!!

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