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Political Robocallers Indicted In Maryland 85

Posted by timothy
from the press-%$#$%$-to-continue dept.
sanzibar writes with a llnk to Politico with an object lesson for modern political campaigners: don't harass the electorate with unwanted robocalls. "Ehrlich campaign manager Paul Schurick and Baltimore political consultant Julius Henson were both charged with three counts of conspiracy to violate election laws, one count of attempting to influence a voter's decision and one count of failing to print an 'authorized by' line on campaign material. Schurick was also charged with a single count of obstruction of justice for failing to turn over materials sought by the grand jury."
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Political Robocallers Indicted In Maryland

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  • Any politico worth his salt knows that robocalls, no matter how many and who is talking, do nothing but piss the electorate off at you. They aren't even good at raising awareness because people tune out. It's a waste of time up until the summer before an election anyway, and then it's only any good if you're using volunteers and getting people to turn out. I've run call centers for campaigns before and it's incredible to me that somebody who was affiliated with statewide campaigns, that is someone who ha
    • There are also better ways to suppress voter turnout than confusing robocalls and they don't even get you indicted. For starters, running a hard negative campaign and hoping it rains are probably the best way for a Republican to affect turnout in their favor. These days your campaign doesn't even have to be the ones doing the mudslinging, you can just publish your opposition research and let the 501c(4)s take care of the rest with no need to reveal doners or do anything but do dirty things to the other gu
    • Exactly. I would barely tolerate a polite human calling at a reasonable hour. Robocalls piss me off, and definitely push me away from whichever candidate the call is supporting, especially if I didn't have a strong opinion to start with. They are the telephone equivalent of spam or junk mail, both of which I pay no attention to. However after glancing at TFA it looks like there is more to this than just that - they were actively trying to keep their opponents supporters from going and voting, which cros
      • It's pretty common, especially now, but the way they went about it was just stupid. At best a negative robocall campaign is worth maybe a tenth of a percent at the margins, probably less. TV ads, mailers, and actual calls are so much more effective in shaping the electorate. What these guys did was just dumb.
        • And the really sad thing is, many people who are elected and become our leaders probably see absolutely no problem with it.
      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        I think it shows their contempt for the democratic process and as a result they should be banned from government functions for several years. They're trying to undermine the fundamentals of their country!

    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sunderland56 (621843) on Friday June 17, 2011 @08:35PM (#36481812)

      Any politico worth his salt knows that robocalls, no matter how many and who is talking, do nothing but piss the electorate off at you.

      In this case, people from party A were calling supporters of party B, claiming to be from party B. So, if the electorate got pissed at party B, they would consider that a success.

      • That is to say, You the caller, not You the party. People don't vote one way or another based on robocalls, the point is they're ineffective at anything.
    • by sjames (1099)

      That's the really dirty part! The messages implied that they came from his opposition!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There were robocallers that were calling people like 3am in the morning...paid for by the opposing party pretending to be the other party here in Canada to piss people off from voting for them.

    • I helped a couple campaigns get a correcting message out in the last federal election when someone dialed a bunch of homes with the lie: "This is elections Canada, there has been a change in your polling station, please go to X to vote". Typically the fake poll was in the middle of a crowded mall or some other difficult to reach place, I'd assume the goal being to dissuade the voter or delay them until voting ended.

      Politics in close ridings can be dirty business, and it's ultimately the Candidate and their

      • by Geminii (954348)
        Does Canada register people against parties the way the US does? Australians don't (AFAIK) get these kind of calls, and I suspect that part of the reason is that there is no name-affiliation record of any kind. Voting locations and registration are handled centrally by a public service agency, and locations are published in newspapers and on the net. However, apart from personally talking to people, there isn't an easy way to tell who's likely to vote for whom other than through general demographics.
      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        IMO any attempts to interfere with the voting process in a way that prevents people from voting for the candidate they want should result in a ban from all political functions for several years. It's unacceptable to undermine the very foundation of a republic and then expect to be a legitimate government agent.

  • Political Robocallers Indicted In Maryland

    Now for the robowalkers!

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