One of the worst things about a big election year is not all the negative ads -- you can tune those out -- but unwanted political phone calls.
And if you thought they were bad back in the 2008 presidential election, it appears they will be even worse this year.
Everyone Now Does It
The Republicans are guilty of doing it. The Democrats are guilty of doing it.
In this important 2012 presidential race, both political parties are using automated "robo-calling" by computers to raise money. It's easy and cheap for them.
Susan Scardina told us, "Oh yes, I have gotten some of these calls and they tend to be prolonged."'
Voters like Katie Iser and Bree Moylan hate them.
"You can't tell them you don't want to talk," Moylan said. "They keep talking or the automated thing keeps going and you get annoyed."
Iser gets infuriated, saying "it's wasting my minutes."
Laws Don't Help
That's right: Some of these calls come to cell phones, which violates federal law. And don't bother with the Do Not Call List: Political calls are exempt.
Four years ago, in the midst of the Obama-McCain phone call war, a Washington, D.C. attorney decided enough is enough, and launched a political do-not-call list, the first of its type.
Shaun Dakin runs the website Stop Political Calls.org.
"I want to give the American people the right to stop campaigns from calling them at home, if that is what they want them to do," Dakin said.
It asks politicians to voluntary stop calling its members.
More than 400,000 people have signed up on the site. But unfortunately, only 38 national politicians have agreed to honor it as of August 2012.
What Can You Do?
So Dakin has three suggestions:
-Call your local elections office, and remove your phone number if it's in their files. Candidates and parties have legal access to your name, address, and phone number there.
-Call the local Democrat or Republican party headquarters, and remove your number there too.
-Sign up on the Stop Political Calls web site. (stoppoliticalcalls.org/index.php)
The website may not stop the robo-calls, but it will at least tell politicians you are sick of their computerized calls.
And that way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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