Hello, My Name is Bill Clinton…

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls. Bill Clinton has called me several times. Antonio Villaraigosa has also called. My phone is ringing off the hook. But you see, they don’t want to talk with me, they want to talk at me. Given that, I just hang up. Only in America can you hang up on the former president.

In other words, I’ve been getting lots of recorded political ads. Many more than I’ve ever gotten in past years. I have no idea why… it’s not the tightness of the election (we’ve had tighter). It’s not that they didn’t have my number (I’ve always been in the book). I’m on the do-not-call list, but that exempts political calls (funny that). In any case, it’s annoying. For some, it might annoy them so much they vote for the other candidate.

Guess what? That may be what they are counting on. miketheactuary (who is in real life starowl) brought to my attention this slashdot post, which noted:

The NRCC hired Conquest Communications Group to conduct a massive nationwide robocalling campaign with calls specifically scripted to appear as if they’re coming from the Democratic candidate — in violation of FCC regulations on such ‘robocalls,’ which requires the identity of the caller to be stated at the beginning of the message [47 CFR 64.1200(b)(1)]. The call begins with ‘Hello. I’m calling with information about,’ and then says the name of the Democratic candidate. There is then a pause; if the recipient hangs up here, they will receive repeated calls back with the same message, potentially up to 18 times or more (according to one callee). If the callee doesn’t hang up, they hear a smear message from the machine about the Democratic candidate. The NRCC thinks the legality of the calls is, conveniently, a ‘complicated legal question that’s not going to get adjudicated this weekend.’”

Why is this being done? Simple. If the voters get annoyed enough, they vote for the other candidate or stay home.

Mike has only reported of this happening in New Hampshire, but the volume of calls has increased here in Southern California. Could it be happening here as well? I don’t know, but I won’t let is sway me from voting.

And with that, I’ll join the chorus in reminding you to go to your local polling place and vote. I haven’t voted yet, but that simply because I leave for work (5:30am) before the polls open (7:00am). I’ll be voting after work. Need help on analyzing the ballot? If you look here, you can see my ballot recommendations for this year.

Our family has a motto: If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain about what government does. Even with all of our problems in this country, from potentially tainted voting machines (although I do like Los Angeles County’s system), to politicians who don’t know how to admit mistakes, to politicians who have fears of being inadequate (as demonstrated by a fear to pull out prematurely), to a growing movement of the religious right… even with all of these problems, we’re still a lot better with our political system than most of the rest of the world, which is why people keep wanting to live here. As American citizens, we have the obligation to make our system work and to not abandon it to those who want to think for us. So make it work. Vote.

My name is Daniel, and I paid for this message to encourage you to vote, and to hopefully stave off the Christmas music and the man in the red suit for one more day.