Oregon AG warns presidential hopefuls over 'robo' calls

Chris Rizo May 16, 2008, 2:19pm


SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline)-Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers' office has warned Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for violating the state's law that bans candidates from making automated phone calls to phones on the federal do-not-call list.

Some households on the no-call registry that had received calls from the presidential campaigns complained to the Democratic attorney general's office, said Myers spokeswoman Jan Margosian.

"There have been a bunch of complaints coming in about a bunch of campaigns," Margosian told Legal Newsline, adding that the attorney general's office first received complaints about the Clinton campaign-generated calls.

The Oregon law, which took effect Jan. 1, allows candidates or campaign workers to make live, unsolicited calls even to numbers on the no-call list, but not the so-called automated "robo-calls" that the campaigns were making in the Beaver State.

Margosian said the attorney general's Civil Division has received five complaints against the Clinton campaign calls and three against unsolicited calls from the Obama campaign.

Violations of the law can bring a maximum penalty of $5,000 per call.

Clinton spokesman Isaac Baker has said the New York senator's campaign relies on automated calls to publicize events and to urge them to vote.

He said the campaign has stopped making automated calls to blocked numbers.

The Obama campaign too has said it will cease using robo calls that would reach numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Oregon's presidential primary is May 20.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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