New York Times on Burns’ push polls

The New York Times has a piece on the robo-push-poll telephone calls an Ohio group has unleashed on behalf of Conrad Burns.

The Ohio-based conservatives behind the new campaign, who include current and former Procter & Gamble managers, say the automated system can reach vast numbers of people at a fraction of the cost of traditional volunteer phone banks and is the most ambitious political use of the telemarketing technology ever undertaken.

But critics say the automated calls are a twist on push polls — a campaign tactic that is often criticized as deceptive because it involves calling potential voters under the guise of measuring public opinion, while the real intent is to change opinions with questions that push people in one direction or the other.

Fantastic. They’re using telemarketing techniques to “push” people towards a “product.” In this case, Boss Hogg Burns. It sort of makes sense in a twisted sort of way: Burns does have all the charisma of a cheap nose-hair trimmer.

Worse still, the group Common Sense is one of those Trevis-Butcher-Howie-Rich-like mysterious “nonprofits” that doesn’t have to reveal their backers, members, or funding. So what we’ve got here is another big-money out-of-state rat trying to buy an election.

Why can’t these people leave us alone?

Are we going to let them buy our votes?

Posted by touchstone


  1. Isn’t robocalling illegal in Montana? What am I missing here?

  2. Robo-calling and push-polling are illegal.

    Ed Kemmick has some information how you can get a little back if you’ve been called. I’m going to apply for my damages after the election.

  3. readbetween

    Time for a little Common Sense in Montana Small Claims Court!

  4. They’ve given us their name and admitted guilt. Sounds like there is a free lunch.

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