Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Because of Citizens United, can state No Call Lists ban Robo-Calls (Political Free Speech)?

I just want to start by saying I’m way out of my league when it comes to legal questions and what is or isn't constitutional, but as always, I do have an opinion and a lot of questions. I’m also open to suggestions. But here's how I see it.

It’ll be interesting to watch our controlling Republican state authority suddenly try to make the case political robo-calls aren't protected speech, after gladly approving of the Supreme Courts Citizen’s United decision declaring political money as free speech.

They’re trying.
Chippewa Herald: Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, and Rep. Andre Jacque, R-DePere, are pushing a bipartisan measure that would allow people to remain on the state’s do-not-call list permanently and ban political robo-calls to people on the list…
Can Republicans ban political free speech? With word games and self-deception, they reason it’s not a total ban on political free speech, just a ban for those on the no-call list. Huh?
(It) would not ban such automatically dialed election-related calls but would prevent those calls from being made to numbers on the do-not-call list.
There are groups claiming such bans exist, groups who stand to make a profit:
Shaun Dakin, the CEO and founder of The National Political Do Not Contact Registry, an online service that charges voters a small fee to sign up and make clear they do not want to receive political robo-calls said, “A handful of states including Indiana, Oregon and Minnesota do have laws on the books that prohibit political robo-calling, but in the absence of federal legislation, residents in most states have little protection against these automated calls.”
Harsdorf and Jacque should have done their research. I looked up the regulation in Minnesota and found they don’t ban political robo-calls.
In Minnesota, there's still plenty of confusion about why calls from political organizations are still getting through, said Dan Hendrickson, communications coordinator for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota. Certain organizations are exempt from the law: Nonprofit organizations, political organizations, businesses with a prior relationship with the customer and some solicitors seeking face-to-face meetings.
Indiana had a few exemptions but did not come right out and mention a ban on political robo-calls. Nor did they say that their law requiring a live person (not a recording) applied to political calls. Nothing!

And Oregon…no such ban.
Exceptions to Do Not Call Under Oregon law: certain solicitation calls are still allowed … calls from Public agencies, Political campaigns asking for your opinion or vote.
From where I sit, Wisconsin would be the only one bucking Citizens United. Will another possibly unconstitutional law makes its way through the courts here? Republican do believe in the constitution, right?

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