Dialing for detractors


I'm getting reports that the pro-recall forces are using an out-of-state telemarketing firm to solicit signatories for their petitions to oust Tulsa City Councilors Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock. Over on the TulsaNow forums, rwarn17588 writes:

I got a call from a flunkie Monday who's said he's calling on behalf of the Chris Medlock recall effort. My caller ID said it was "unavailable," but after some quizzing he admitted he was calling from outside the Tulsa area. It was pretty obvious he was reading from a script, and reading it badly.

He asked me whether it was OK to send a volunteer out to my house so I could sign a petition on the recall. I replied that I wanted to see the petition and information in writing. He said he couldn't do that. I said, "Well, why not? You can just tell the folks where you're working to mail it to me so I can look it over." He then came clean that he couldn't do that, as he was "far away" and that he was a hired phone jockey for the recall organization. I didn't give my permission to send someone over, but I said I'd consider it. (Gotta keep the lines of communication open for information purposes, even though I'm notoriously hard on telemarketers. I bust their chops, interrogate 'em, and then cuss 'em when they don't tell the truth. I had one who was audibly frustrated and another who hung up on *me.*)

He said he'd call back later in the week. I'll report back if I find out anything new.

Another report, by e-mail:

I answered the phone last night and was greeted by a young woman's voice stating that she was calling on behalf of the Coalition for Responsible Government. Since we live in Councilor Chris Medlock's council district, I asked if she was soliciting my wife and my signatures on a petition to recall Councilor Medlock. When she responded affirmatively, I politely declined on behalf of both myself and my wife [name deleted] who also supports Chris's efforts to cleanup Tulsa's government.

Today, another representative of the same group called our home, again
soliciting our signatures on the recall petition. Judging by the sounds of the voices on the other end of the phone, these are young persons, probably students, making these calls. I would be much more impressed if the "business leaders" behind this recall were dirtying their own hands to solicit the signatures and kept an accurate list of those declining to sign.

It's not surprising that the Coalition for Reprehensible Government 2004 would hire a telemarketing company, as they have plenty of money to spend. I'm surprised that they haven't -- well, I won't say; don't want to give them any ideas.

If you happen to get such a call, it might be interesting to tell them yes, just to see what will happen next.

UPDATE: One of the calls went to a trained stenographer, and Chris Medlock has the transcript.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 12, 2005 7:20 AM.

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