Robo Calls And Yard Signs

Like many Westporters, over the past few months I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in unwanted phone calls.

I’ve put every number I own on the national Do Not Call registry. Of course, charities and telephone surveys are exempt, as are calls from companies with which I have “an existing business relationship,” plus those to whom I’ve provided “express agreement in writing to receive their calls.” (That last phrase probably means I did not uncheck a box deep on some website.)

Also exempt: “political organizations.”

As we head into election season — then again, when are we not in an election season? — the robo-calls come. And come. And come some more.

The other day, an “06880” reader wrote:

I have been trying since January to get the Shays campaign to stop contacting me. I have reached out to to his campaign manager and publicity person. They say they will look into it, or remove me. Yet I still get the calls and email.

They are so blinded with their objectives, they either don’t care or are incapable of fulfilling my request. I have yet to speak with a single person who is okay with it (unless they are a politician).

A colleague is running for State Senate elsewhere in Connecticut. I tried to explain the logic against robo calls. While he understands it, he won’t stop.

As for yard signs: I suggested he take that money and give it to a charity such as Habitat for Humanity or Connecticut Hospice, and promote that fact to voters. He does agree it’s hard to see how people can call themselves “fiscally responsible,” but spend $50 million AND lose. Imagine if Ms. McMahon spent “only” $25 million, and gave the other $25 million to  charity.

As always, I vote based on the number of yard signs rather than issues. (I’m joking.)

Unfortunately, robo calls and yard signs have become arms races.

And no candidate wants to be seen as soft on that issue.

19 responses to “Robo Calls And Yard Signs

  1. use caller ID, you can spot these annoying calls pretty easily and
    Not answer

  2. I do have caller ID. About half of them come from a number that looks legit. As a freelance writer, I hate putting what may be a potential client into voicemail.

  3. We ignore the callers that are identified as 800 Service, until one day when they were particularly pesky. I answered ready to give the caller a piece of my mind, and it turned out to be the delivery service for our new washing machine asking for directions.

  4. Babette d'Yveine

    I have caller ID and let all numbers I don’t recognize go into my answering machine. Most of them hang up after the message begins. If they start to speak and I recognize them, I immediately pick up. There are many “Unknown Callers.” I can only assume that they’re telemarketers.

  5. Westport Convert

    This is all part of the political game. As voters, we suffer through the annoyances. But in return? Freedom, democracy, the right to vote, and so on.

    I will learn to tolerate the obnoxious calls and ugly lawn signs in exchange for the personal freedom and right to vote. Both parties are guilty of these tactics.

    It’s not going to change, and I do not see it getting any better. Similar to the Super PACS.


  6. maybe if people actually listened to the phone callers then people would actually vote. everybody seems to have an opinion but yet they don’t take it to the polls. bunch of hypocrites.

  7. I used to not answer till my son reminded me that they would just call back. Now I answer and tell them A. I’m gonna report them and they will be charged $10,000 and B. Take me off your list and C. Call me one more time and I won’t vote for your candidate.
    Seems to work.

  8. LampLight JD

    Get one of those real loud air powered horns (Sports Authority sells them), as used at stadium ball games.

    By all means answer the phone. If it is a real live human (non-robot), listen to the beginning of the script.

    Then, if necessary, unleash the air horn into the telephone.

    Has worked for me better then anything else AND I do not need to waste my breath on them!

  9. Registered Voter since 1980

    @Wspt Convert: Equating the calls and the yard signs to freedom is a bit of a stretch. Will the total amount of signs change my opinion and who I vote for? No. It is a waste of money and resources. What if I or a member of my family is trying to speak to a doctor but the political phone won’t release the line? Is that “feature” of freedom? Can I exercise my “freedom” of speech and remove a campaign sign? They are going to end up in the transfer station on Wednesday after the election. I’d just be speeding up the process. 🙂 (civic duty and all that)
    It is just the politicians and their campaigns being selfish.
    @Brody: I vote regardless of message delivery method. Does calling me on Election Day to remind me to vote insult my intelligence? You bet. Let me see the TV, radio, and papers have talked about the election. Yes Mr./Ms. Campaign volunteer I have been under a rock and have no idea that the second Tuesday in November is Election Day. Perhaps those callers are the ones with the limited intelligence.

  10. What if there was a nationwide movement? Your political campaign calls me or knocks on my door I WILL not vote for your candidate.
    What surprises me the most is that they think we’re all so dumb and ill informed that we will make up our minds on how to vote, based on a phone call or a stranger at the door. Sigh…

    • Yes Patricia, and how about those who hand you their info as you walk into the voting location. They lurk just outside the ZONE and hope to sway your vote. IDIOTS!

  11. Westport is dumb because you’re all democrats.

  12. Registered Voter since 1980

    Sorry Brody, the stupidity crosses all political lines. Dems, Republicans, they are like lemmings to the sea.

  13. This country has one of the lowest voter turn out rates and its embarassing. Everyone seems to have an opinion but people do nothing about it.

  14. Nick Thiemann

    Gat Real!! Politicians don’t spend their money on stuff that doesn’t work. Those that do lose. It’s Darwinism. It’s capitalism. As soon as current campaign techniques lose their effectiveness they will disappear.

    No one likes negative campaigning. It’s the most effective way to run a campaign over a short time. It works. Last year the Republican Board of Finance in Town ran against the Democratic Board leadership. Very effective. Much more than saying we will be good stewards of your tax money.

    Personally I hate the phone calls, because they interrupt my evenings. Lawn signs though are benign. I kind of like them because it reminds me that our government is being run by people who want me to like them and to do things which I want to have happen or not, and that is my choice.

    This is the price we pay though for a democratic government. We aren’t being shelled because we want that right as they are in syria today.. Sip your martini, ignore the phone, don’t vote, and then keep bitching about how They have taken America from you..

  15. For many people, voting is not worth the effort. Those who think otherwise should read “An Economic Theory of Democracy” by Downs. Voting is not rational behavior for many citizens.

  16. When is the last time CT went Republican for President? 1988. Notice that there are no massive TV spots or even visits here? Why bother…the electoral votes are going to Obama, so we get written off while they spend massive amounts in “swing states” which helps their economy. We lose.