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Press One For More Info: Automated Call Battle Heats Up In Ninth District

Phone2_2Quick! Get some bracelets made up: "What Will Steve Carter Do?" Last month, Carter told both major political parties that they couldn't make automated political calls under an 18-year-old statute he apparently never knew existed, despite benefiting indirectly from such calls made by the Republican Party in 2004, when he was on the ballot.

Carter's out-of-nowhere warning ruffled feathers in both parties -- and among Libertarians, who didn't even receive a copy of the original letter -- because such calls are traditionally used for GOTV efforts near Election Day. Now it would appear the AG is going to have to enforce the law against a GOP activist group.

From the Indy Star:

"Talk about your wrong numbers.

"A lobbying group backing Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel dialed one heck of a wrong number when it placed an automated call to John Vanderlippe, Nashville.

"Vanderlippe sues telemarketers that violate the law, and Indiana law bans automated phone calls.

"The 42-year-old general contractor let the Indiana Democratic Party know about the call made to his home by the California-based Economic Freedom Fund. The party has filed a complaint with Attorney General Steve Carter, who recently said he was cracking down on such calls.

"Staci Schneider, spokeswoman for Carter, said the attorney general's office will investigate the complaint, the second they have received during this election season.

"One key piece of evidence is the recording Vanderlippe made of the call he received this week, which slams Sodrel's Democratic challenger, former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill.

"Vanderlippe, a political independent, said he records all calls from potential telemarketers and has filed several lawsuits as a result.

"'I'm 3-0 in court,' Vanderlippe said, adding he's collected $1,000 from one firm and has been awarded $3,500 from two other firms. In addition, he's settled lawsuits with six or seven more."

The funny thing about this freshly discovered law is that it doesn't do anything about non-automated political calls, which are exempted under the state's "Do Not Call" list.

If you'd like to listen to the call that kicked off this controversy, clickety here: Download 20060912_193318_economic_freedom_fund.wav

Comments

Will Steve Carter and his bad combover just gett off my TV already? When is his time up?

TDW, can you get anyone credible to run against this moron?

Now that I've gotten that off my chest: if Steve doesn't investigate this promptly and loudly, bookmark it. It'll make a great campaign ad in 08.

Or, maybe, a great robo attack call.

I'm all for enforcing the law. But I also find it interesting that here's a guy who's smart enough to actually make money from it. Eight grand is a bundle in my book. Very clever. I'm thinking that we need to amend the law to exclude GOTV calls

I got the call-- very annoying. Sodrel's people have been alleging that Dem-affiliated groups have been robocalling with anti-Sodrel messages for a while. So I guess this means both sides are doing it... I'd prefer that neither side did. It's a rather underhanded way of getting your message out.

The point is that after Carter warned about robo calls, who is first out of the box to break the law. Sodrel, of course. He already broke his pledge to the ministers to run a clean campaign. This guy is shady.

The point is that after Carter warned about robo calls, who is first out of the box to break the law. Sodrel, of course. He already broke his pledge to the ministers to run a clean campaign. This guy is shady.

Sodrel is going "down." He can't do much of anything right. Down in the polls, makes illegal phone calls, breaks the pledge, lies to a group of ministers. Where have our values gone? What do I tell my childre?

Yippee! TDW is famous! www.talkingpointsmemo.com has given credit to TDW for providing the link to the taped robo-call on their muckraker site. COOL! ;) Lots of people will see this! TDW and TPM are two of the best sites for political news for us liberals, of course.

take advantage of the traffic you are going to get from TPM link and provide telephone contact information to Steve Carter's office. He will be flooded with calls from around the country and more people will be aware of the underhanded efforts of the Economic Freedom Fund

Well, I, for one am glad to see Mike Carter is on the case.

Just found this link via Annenberg Political Fact Check (factcheck.org) - great work TDW & company!

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