|01-12-2007, 07:56 PM||#1|
Billy=Semi Tough Big Guy
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: between 5,000 and 10,000 feet elevation
I'll lobby for this one
DENVER - Coloradans who are signed up for the No-Call List may soon be able to block certain political calls as well. Rep. David Balmer (R-Centennial) will introduce legislation next week to remove the "loophole" that allows for political campaigns to make automated, or robo, calls to numbers signed up with the No-Call List.
"If anybody should have to live underneath the law, it should be politicians," said Balmer, the Assistant House Minority Leader. "The most important thing is we apply to politicians the same standards everybody else has to live with."
Since the No-Call List was established by state lawmakers in 2001, nearly 2.75 million phone numbers in Colorado have been signed up. Under current state law, any telemarketer seeking to do business in Colorado must buy the list from the state. Calling a phone number on the list could lead to significant fines.
Politicians and non-profits were specifically exempted from the provisions of the law as legislators were told First Amendment, free-speech rights prevented them from being included. Balmer says recent court decisions have leaned toward the Fourth Amendment privacy rights of homeowners in legal battles between the two constitutional principles, but that his proposal could face legal problems.
"There is debate as to whether the First Amendment should apply to a machine," Balmer said. "We're not sure where the courts would come down on these distinctions.”
"The people of Colorado deserve a right to privacy in their homes and I think if they sign up for the No-Call List, they ought to be on the No-Call List. There should not be an exception for politicians," he said.
The viewpoint is shared by at least one Democrat who used a robo-call during the last election cycle to defend herself against "slander." Rep. Gwyn Green (D-Lakewood) said the robo-call she sent to voters last year encouraged them to visit her Web site or call her directly if they had questions about the negativity, yet she's heard from her constituents that the automated calls are not appreciated.
"It's just so many phone calls all at once and people just get tired of it," said Green. "I have thought for a long time that we need to have people have the ability to be on the No-Call List for political robo calls."
Green said she will ask Balmer to expand the legislation to include what are called "push polls." It's a practice involving a live voice on the other end of the phone, asking voters slanted questions in an attempt to smear a candidate. It's generally considered a practice of negative campaigning.
"People who don't want to be bothered, they have signed up for the (No-Call List) and I respect that," said Green. "People who want political information, they'd still have the option of getting the political information."
|01-12-2007, 10:55 PM||#2|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
Why do we have to sign up to block propaganda and salesman. I would think we should have to sign up to be abused by them.