Enter your email address to subscribe to Irregular Times and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 366 other subscribers

Irregular Times Newsletters

Click here to subscribe to any or all of our six topical e-mail newsletters:
  1. Social Movement Actions,
  2. Credulity and Faith,
  3. Election News,
  4. This Week in Congress,
  5. Tech Dispatch and
  6. our latest Political Stickers and Such

Contact Us

We can be contacted via retorts@irregulartimes.com

The National Political Do Not Call Registry Smells Fishy to Me

There’s an organization out there calling itself the National Political Do Not Call Registry which says you should register your phone number with it if you don’t want to get political phone calls. When I heard this I was interested because as an Ohioan in an election year I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls. Most of these have been “robocalls” which are just recorded voices trying to extol the virtues of a candidate but only succeeding in annoying me and keeping me from stirring the spaghetti or brushing my children’s teeth. Boy, would I like to be rid of those!

I’d like to be able to recommend the National Political Do Not Call Registry, but something seems fishy about the outfit. It’s not a public effort like the National Do Not Call Registry you probably know and love — it’s the brainchild of a registered political organization. It’s free to simply add your phone number to the registry, but the organization is selling “charter founder memberships” that require you to pay them money for the “privilege” of adding more information (like your name, your e-mail address, your street address, your partisan identification, the list of political issues that you care most about and so on). I put “privilege” in quotes because the FAQ section of this organization discloses that its plan is to sell its database to campaigns, charging a fee to a campaign to disclose information about you — which, if you’re a charter member, includes all the ways in which you prefer to be contacted as well as not to be contacted, along with micro-targeting information about your political sensibilities. Notice how the registry turns from a “do not call” list to a “how to contact me” list? And what will this organization do with all the money they get from “charter founder membership” fees and from selling your information? Sure, part of the money will go to cover expenses, but there will also be “excess revenue” that “will be invested in research and in foundations that promote the mission of civil political discourse.” Those investments would include a lot of salaries and expenses and such.

This organization smells fishy to me. Is there anything else I ought to know about it?

4 comments to The National Political Do Not Call Registry Smells Fishy to Me

  • itsaScam

    Yep you nailed it. its someone establishing a database and MAKING MONEY off it.

    SCAMMER!!!!!!!!

  • Thanks for the mention.

    We are not a scam in any way.

    We are not a political org. We are a non-profit non-partisan org.

    US Senator Feinstein (D-CA) would not have asked us to testify at the US Senate 2.27 if we were a scam.

    You can see the testimony and my statement at:

    http://rules.senate.gov/hearings/2008/022708hrg.htm

    With regards to money.

    Something like this is not free. I’ve personally dedicated my life (I quit my job) full time to running this for over a year. All funding to date has been from my family.

    We do license the data to politicians so that they do NOT call you. This is so we can cover expenses and run the org.

    So. We are not a scam. We are not in it to make money. Ask my Wife :).

    Feel free to contact me to find out more.

    Regards,

    Shaun Dakin
    CEO and Founder

  • Jim

    Mr. Dakin,

    Could you comment on your organization’s sale of data to politicians that includes who individuals DO want to have contact them, and HOW they want to be contacted, and the particular issues they care about?

    That looks like microtargeting data to me which is useful to a campaign, not just an ethical service to the public. I’d like to understand this further. Could you explain this to me?

  • Thanks for the follow up.

    A very small segment of our list (1%) signs up for the opt in feature.

    Yes, this is useful data to a campaign and is a reason for campaigns to participate.

    The purpose is to give voters control over the political conversation. If a voter opts in to receiving political communication the campaign will benefit. As will the voter.

    Regards,

    Shaun Dakin

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>