Thursday, March 27, 2008

Illegal Robocalls in Council District 4?

MCDCC Vice-Chairman Alan Banov reported receiving a negative robocall in connection with MoCo's County Council District 4 race. This is quite curious considering that he is a District 5 resident.

Mr. Banov left the following comment on one of our recent posts:

The other night I found a message on my voice mail from a robo-call to the effect that Nancy Navarro takes money from developers and if she does that, who would she listen to if she is elected. There was no "authorization" line on the message I heard, so I don't know if there was one in the beginning. Does anyone know who is sending out that message? I have no idea where Nancy Navarro is getting her money or whether the message is true or false, but I am concerned about an anonymous negative robo-call.

Disclaimer: I don't have a dog in this race (I don't live in District 4). If I did, I might or might not vote for Nancy Navarro. I haven't decided what I would do.
Mr. Banov then supplied the following partial transcription. He did not have the complete first sentence:

"… the upcoming County Council special election, please remember:

Nancy Navarro will take campaign moneys from developers. When you get her campaign mail and phone calls, ask yourself: If Nancy takes developer money, will she represent the people or just the developers?"
Maryland’s election law mandates authority lines for all campaign materials, which specifically include "oral commercial campaign advertisements." If these robocalls are going out without authority statements, they are illegal under state law.

This reminds me more than a bit of Al Wynn's robocalls. As I remember, they did not help him very much. But at least they were openly authorized and not anonymous.