ConCalls: American Robocall $1Million Fine

Let’s take a peek south of the border, and see how a judge there treated a voter suppression robocall. (Conbots will gleefully note that the lack of identifying who the robocall came from is one criminal aspect of the call, and the Guelph Liberals are already implicated in a call that omitted who it came from, although they confessed to the omission by “mistake”.)

Henson faces sentencing June 13 on the conspiracy count for failing to include an authority line on the call, which would have altered recipients that it was paid for by Erhlich’s campaign. He faces up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine in that case.

In the civil case, Gansler had sought a $10 million judgment against Henson, noting that the law allows for a fine of up to $104 million, or $1,500 for each of the nearly 69,500 calls that were actually received.

Blake, the judge, said a judgment for $10 million would have been disproportionate to the size of the Henson’s company and his presumptive ability to pay.

“While Henson’s efforts on behalf of the Ehrlich campaign were ultimately unsuccessful, his actions nonetheless damaged the public faith in the democratic process that is at the core of our system of government,” Blake wrote.

The call, recorded in Russell’s voice, went out to voters about two hours before the polls closed. It said, “I’m calling to let everyone know that Governor O’Malley and President Obama have been successful. Our goals have been met. The polls were correct and we took it back. We’re OK. Relax. Everything is fine. The only thing left is to watch it on TV tonight. Congratulations and thank you.”

Obama wasn’t on the ballot that year.

Henson argued during the criminal case that the call attempted to use reverse psychology to bring voters out to the polls.

There were thousands of calls received from RackNine by Guelph residents. Each call was treated as a crime in the State of Maryland. The max fine for an illegal voter suppression call is $5000, a lot more than the $1500 in Maryland. Something for the guilty in Guelph to worry about while they wait for the agonizingly slow Elections Canada investigation to press charges more than a year late.

7 responses to “ConCalls: American Robocall $1Million Fine

  1. Guelph can rescue itself and show the rest of Canada some timely and simple leadership. IE .. its time for the majority to speak up, voter by voter, riding by riding.. identifying and ‘outing’ the robos.. suppressors and electoral groomers.

    If I were a legitimate candidate in a potential upcoming by-election, I would have already determined my campaign would refuse to use phones or robots to communicate with the local electorate. If another candidate or party or war room does so, harassing/grooming voters via Canadian & American electoral services, well that’s their problem. Just make damn sure you aren’t using our money to do so.. be damn sure you’re not illegal. We won’t expect you to be ethical.

    I’d be out communicating in the community along with anyone who volunteered to assist, and also asking folks to please inquire who was calling them on the phone re the upcoming by-election, what they were saying or selling.. and from what number, area code or country. And I’d suggest if they didn’t receive a clear forthright, decent, honest answer.. try to identify the callers and/or write down the caller’s number.

    If Guelph is already providing a sneak peek preview to the next zombie vote horror movie/election .. then AMEN .. Its best we see the kind of beasts we’re up against.. so we can build the traps to hold them.

    Thanks Mr Jason Kenney for your predictably ignorant reptilian croaking & hissing in Parliament in defense of this suppressive resumption and escalation. Mr Harper’s hired phone calls ethical ideology, with the evangelistic medicine show scripts is already braying over the phone lines.

    Did you read or find that shrill Adscam tinged ‘answer’ you spewed out in Parliament in the ‘good book’ Mr Kenney ? Two wrongs equals a right ? We’re no worse than you ? Are you seriously trying to say The Harper Government believes Guelph voters are simply getting what they deserve via this process ?

    You should have arisen to stand up on two legs as a man, a Canadian and a politician and said the electoral phone techniques and ‘message’ were tasteless, intolerable and unacceptable in Canada, to Canadians.

    Please excuse yourself.. When you stand in Parliament you are speaking to Guelph and to all of us.. answering to us.. not to your political adversary of the moment.. or Stephen Harper.

    We can see the color of your scales.. down there in the muddy and oil soaked shallows of your dubious morality.. and we can measure the size of the tank you fit in.. tail and all..

    Tic Toc … Tic Toc … Another Robo-Krok .. this one’s named Kenney

      • You’ve shortened the premise Sask, constraining my idealistic modeling.. Your comment is very sharp, useful.. and remarkably succinct. (Enforce the damn laws) But what if you can’t find the perps.. or if you do.. and can prove it in a court of law.. find that after conviction, they appealed successfully in higher courts via stupendously expensive blue chip law firms retained and paid for by taxpayers, or a federal Minster claimed Client-Solicitor privilege to quash testimony.. or the indicted went on to become unelected Senators ? I know, I know.. stuff like that could never happen … that would be NeverLand … not Canada Eh … !

        I’m extremely concerned about electoral grooming.. both legal and illegal in our current electoral landscape and where it all gets real blurry, even oily.. Where it feels like you’ve been molested.. or invaded/stolen from, ripped off in really disingenuous ways that are uncurbed and dangerous to our health. How did telephones, phone numbers, callers, and collected private or freely offered personal information/conviction saved by political parties in data bases.. suddenly tilt like a seismic shift, towards the great electoral pinball game.. and indeed ‘become the political game’.

        Call center scripted efforts, may be live or robotic… and tightly scripted and evangelistic.. just like a majority of our elected MP’s efforts. We now have the distinct possibility of an unknown number of fraudulently or accidentally elected MP’s shaping budgets and law.. or wasting budgets and eliminating laws.. Its not just those MP’s being counted and their parliamentary vote whipped.. its now the population in general.. at home, on their lawn, on their phones, at their door, in their newspapers or favorite colored political blog or Facebook… or on their widescreen TV.. or outside the hockey arena or the liquor store, or from the pulpit.

        Technology Misuse… Due Process.. and the lawful penalty .. hmmm
        Are we now firmly in the realm of Monty Python ….. ?

        Right now there’s a ‘Horse has Left The Barn’ situation, dude.. there’s rats in the granary too.. and the roof caught fire when we turned on the water taps after we got fracked. We need to catch the horse, hose out the granary, and the farmhouse roof and wash dishes with bottled water.. from elsewhere .. and decide if we should get our children into another school.. for one reason or many.. including getting east and upwind or very very south-east of Fukishima
        (I know… highly alarmist, dude, but my world view is not shaped by newspapers that have ‘Sun’ in them.. I actually pay attention to scientists and biologists)

        We have a Japanese mercury researcher schooling us on our very own 60 year old ‘Minimata’ scandal in Ontario, from ONE SINGLE MINE and our elected government is telling us its all OK in Northern Alberta fer crying out loud. And so are the salmon OK in BC and the whales and the Cod are A-OK down east… once you get past the people in the streets bangin on pots n pans in Kebec … or Kanata .. And trust us on F35’s, and why we need to kill Alberta wolves, your possible pension or where the Unemployment Insurance billions was well used for Department of Propaganda needs along with paying government lawyers.. and getting hardened gazebos built in case the Chinese or Afghans hit us there first.

        Huh ?? Wasn’t this exchange about phones and elections ?

        Well Sask .. I think we are simply getting the teeniest and tiniest clue.. to what it could feel like to be, the people, indians, First Nations as they are known today.. on getting a first or second.. or never ending taste of ‘colonizing’ and the whip of a forked tongue with the cavalry and the RCMP and the newspapers piling on against them

        Thanks as always, Sask for the typically bright & friendly, open and transparent prairie Canadian Eh ! opportunity to express my opinion.. via your space.. Oops, Katy just tweeted that John Baird moves and is seconded by Toews that Canada is moving ‘in camera’ and discourse is no longer allowed .. bye by… ……….^%$&….. *#^&%%^&*(@ .. $%(&#^ echo echo … ‘and the Great White Father in Ottowais promised we would be treated with respect.. and our lands and all of nature as well.. to the end of our years’.. &*%%$* ..’baselesssmears .. glu glub blub … ^%^*$

  2. CBC is reporting that Elections Canada will spend almost $600k on the investigation and that they have spent about a third of that already.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/06/05/pol-elections-robocall-budget.html
    I think that strengthens the argument that Maynard is going slow to go by the books. Sounds like he’s got a plan and will execute it (at least that’s what I hope). The cons are so nasty that I wonder what the fallout of the RCMP raid on their offices for the in and out scandal was, and how that is impacting them this time. I expect that anyone that goes after the Harpies must make sure they don’t make any slight mistakes or they’ll pounce on them. All warrants must be made correctly, all search’s clearly supported, all charges winnable.
    If that is a good interpretation, then there is still hope that they can get close to the bottom of the robocall investigation.

    • On the one hand I sympathize with the speed of the investigation. They are the pros, and will have to testify in court, etc., and want it to all be done correctly. On the bigger hand, it’s bloody insane that the country can continue on as if nothing happened, when there is clear and public information that the election was significantly tampered with, and the result is in question. If a criminal investigation’s details need to be meticulous to be trustworthy, what about a nation’s democratic election that has been monkeyed with on a national scale by supporters of the now governing party? It’s shocking, dangerous, and needed to be resolved last year.

      The nebulous promise of punishing the Conservatives behind this in the future, after they run this country illegitimately for YEARS, in place of its rightful MPs, is not enough to assuage me.

  3. Pingback: ConCalls: Spending Money and Time | Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

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