Sunday, October 19, 2008

Will I Be A Target Of Robo Calls, Too?

Kristin, who lives next door, has received some of those robo calls over the past week. Actually she receives them quite often. If she is not home the calls go to her answering machine and she erases them. I told her to keep them and forward them to David Catonese over at the KY3 political blog.

Kristin doesn't like the robo calls. They are nasty, suggesting Obama pals around with terrorists and.... well, listen for yourself. This is the call she received:

These robo calls seem to be originating from FLS Connect out of St. Paul Minnesota. Here is their website. This is the same firm that did all those calls against McCain in 2000. A page on their website features this testimonial from Karl Rove:

"I know these guys well. They become partners with the campaigns they work with. From designing the program to drafting scripts; from selecting targets to making the calls in a professional, successful way they work as hard to win your races as you do."
Yeah, the same Karl Rove. He's a big bud with one of the principals of FLS, Tony Feather, who had his start with the Missouri Republican Party.
A former executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, Feather is known for his fierce campaign tactics on behalf of candidates like John Ashcroft and former Missouri Attorney General Bill Webster. Feather ran Webster’s 1992 campaign for governor; Webster not only lost but went to prison on charges related to misusing his office for campaign purposes. Feather is also a compatriot of Karl Rove, whom he first met in 1974.
Feather founded Feather Larson Synhorst with another GOP operative, Tom Synhorst, who is sometimes referred to as the "Johnny Appleseed of Astroturf."

FLS is responsible for many of those annoying robo calls to voters that arrive during the days leading up to elections.

I suspect things will only get nastier the closer we get to the election. There is only one door left unopened and McCain cracked it a little bit yesterday with the politically charged word "welfare", as in saying that Obama is a socialist and wants to turn the IRS into a giant welfare agency. Socialist? Welfare? Will we be hearing those words on the robo calls in the coming days? What's next? This? "Don't forget: he's definitely black and he may be a terrorist."

Do robo calls work? well, robo calls from FLS Connect are cheap. At six cents a call, $764.60 reaches almost 13,000 Greene County voters. Did you receive one in August? I did and I remember how the caller ended the call.

I just don't think I would want to associate myself too closely with Karl Rove and his robo calls crew. But these guys seem to like making robo calls. (Tim Trower is a busy fellow!)

Where will the calls come from and who will pay for them?

How will the call be phrased?

Will they be pro candidate or anti candidate calls?

Why do I get this feeling that I am going to be a target of robo calls?

Maybe because we look to the past to predict the future?


Shaun said...

It is too bad that politicians continue to exempt themselves from Do Not Call law. is fighting for the privacy of the American voter.

1 - Creating a Political Do Not Call Registry
2 - Testifying in the US Senate about robo calls (Sen. Feinstein’s Robocall Privacy Act)
3 - Forcing states to enforce existing robo call laws (CA, MN, NJ, etc..)
4 - Getting politicians to take a do not robo call pledge (7 have)

As I testified at the US. Senate these robo calls are an epidemic and this election cycle “phone spam” and are invading the privacy of All American Voters.

Our members are taking a stand and saying enough is enough at the National Political Do Not Contact Registry at

Here is a quote from a member recently:

"I'm a shift worker, working variable shifts. I depend on my sleep to be able to do my job safely and efficiently. I'm a locomotive engineer. Imagine the disaster were I to fall asleep, operating a freight train carrying hazardous materials in your neighborhood, due to fatigue from being awoken in my middle of the night on a continuous basis during election season. Please stop.."

Learn more.

Shaun Dakin
A non-profit fighting for the privacy of the American voter

Sky Girl said...

More desperation. They get more crazy the more desperate they get.

Anonymous said...

Everything in that call is true, everything, the only thing nasty is Obama's background. As for taking a pledge, what good would it do? Remember Obama pledged he would take only public financing for his campaign. So let’s see you want the candidates to take a pledge knowing John McCain keeps his and Obama doesn’t! What a deal that is!

Sky Girl said...

Anon: Interesting perspective. To add a little reality, try or

Jason said...

I'm tired of the robocalls. I've had them from the Democratic side which I posted on the blog (the McCaskill call) but haven't had any Republican ones yet. I kind of wish I could get one so I could rip them like I did McCaskill.

Honestly, I don't see why robocalls are seen as a good idea. Everyone I've spoken to about them says they hang up when they realize it's a political recording.

Well, except for you and I, Jim. We like to mock them. :)