Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Is Sarah Palin's robocall for Nikki Haley illegal?

Sarah Palin has recorded a robocall for South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, defending her against charges of an affair by hailing her as a "brave and strong conservative woman" and accusing her foes of "all kinds of made-up nonsense."

But certain types of pre-recorded robocalls are illegal in the state, a spokesperson for the South Carolina attorney general tells me.

"So-called robocalls are illegal under our state law," the spokesperson, Mark Plowden, e-mails. "Specifically, to drop a recorded message on a live answerer, without any sort of live operator involved, is illegal."

Plowden adds that if the call matches that description, "then through the years S.C. Attorneys General have said such calls would be found illegal by a court."

The call does appear to be pre-recorded.

But the Haley campaign insists the call is legal because it was programmed to never be picked up by a live person.

"Our understanding of the law is that calls are perfectly legal if they are programmed to go directly to voicemail/answering machines," Haley spokesman Tim Pearson emails. "That is how we set it up with our vendor." Asked if this guaranteed that no live person would ever pick up a call, he didn't immediately reply.

Such transgressions, even if illegal, are unlikely to result in any actions. But it still seems worth a passing mention that Palin's efforts to help Haley have led her to inflict a call on South Carolinians that may be in violation of state law.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 4, 2010; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Morning Plum
Next: Harry Reid: I look forward to Israel's probe of itself

Comments

The liberal jihad against Palin . . . really grasping at straws.

In other news, Obama WH might have committed multiple crimes by offering government positions in exchange for candidates' agreement to to contest primaries.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 4, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Who will save us from Sarah Palin and her robot minions!

Does anyone else think robocalls do more harm than good? And is it really a good idea to announce that "really, Haley isn't slutty, it's all lies"?

Hell, they probably are lies, but if I were her I'd be hammering those other idiots on substance and rise above what looks like a smear campaign. Which, in South Carolina, is simply know as a "campaign."

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 4, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how this works? How can they guarantee that the call goes straight to voicemail? What if someone answers...do they just hang-up?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 4, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"Palin's efforts to help Haley have led her to inflict a call on South Carolinians that may be in violation of state law."

Really, Greg - you ARE sounding desperate. If anyone "inflicted" a call in violation of law it would be the vendor.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 4, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"Is Sarah Palin's robocall for Nikki Haley illegal?"

Sarah Palin should be illegal.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 4, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I think the bigger story is her Republican opponent calling her and Obama a rag head.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 4, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I will vote for the first candidate that does NOT robocall me.

Posted by: arancia12 | June 4, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The liberal jihad against Palin . . . really grasping at straws.

In other news, Obama WH might have committed multiple crimes by offering government positions in exchange for candidates' agreement to to contest primaries.

Posted by: quarterback1
-----------------------------------
Liberal Jihad against Palin? Right, because we all know South Carolina is a hot bed for Ultra Liberal views.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | June 4, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Good catch Greg! You know, I believe I saw Sarah Palin step off the curb a moment before the "Don't Walk" signal changed to "Walk".

Can you look into that for us?

Posted by: pyellman | June 4, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"Does anyone know how this works? ... What if someone answers...do they just hang-up?"

In California, if someone answers then there must be a live operator on the other end...

Posted by: sbj3 | June 4, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Liberal Jihad against Palin? Right, because we all know South Carolina is a hot bed for Ultra Liberal views."

Smarter trashtalking libs, please.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 4, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"Liberal Jihad"

Is just another way that conservatives attempt to demonize Democrats.

Just like if I were to say that conservatives are waging a "Conservative Jihad" against science.

I typically would never use the word "jihad" in an American political context because it only debases any kind of intellectual argument that one is trying to make. But QB, on the other hand, he is fine with suggesting that Liberals are waging a "jihad" because, well, that is his choice and that is essentially the gist of the substance of his comment (i.e. zero substance).

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 4, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"Liberal jihad"? What a crock!

The attorney general of SC (Henry McMaster) is a republican (and not one that is considered middle of the road). FWIW, if he's part of a "liberal jihad" than why did he clear Mark Sanford of financial wrong-doing in terms of his Argentine lover and state travel?

The reality is that robo-calls are hated by the vast majority of the public--period. I hate them even when I get them from candidates or issues I like. And that's really what this is about--that many states have acted to reduce or restrict robo-calls. And Sarah Palin is just one of several politicians who may have fallen afall of the law on this issue.

Posted by: JoeW1 | June 4, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Quarterback1 speaks without facts, just bomb throwing bullet points that he hears from somewhere else. Tsk.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | June 4, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm just glad that the "foes" Palin speaks of are members of her own party. The hair pulling and carpet dragging is just beginning.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | June 4, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

All, look at this Harry Reid statement on Israel:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/harry_reid_i_look_forward_to_i.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 4, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I wonder something even simpler. If a person has caller ID, how will these calls show up? Do they show as coming from the Haley campaign? Has there been a studying on their effectiveness? I know campaigns do it because they are insanely cheap. I just think a couple more runs of a commercial on TV would be a better use of the money.

Posted by: Calvin_Jones_and_the_13th_Apostle | June 4, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

quaterback1:

Where were you when Bush was lying about WMD's to start a war in order to win elections?

Now you want to conduct a criminial investigation of what?

What a bogas waist of time - better for the knucklehead republicans to do this than have to actuall come up with some ideas to deal with the problems facing the country. And tax cuts for the rich and the corproations; and "Drill Here! Drill Now!" ain't cutt'n it anymore.

Looks like you put our helmit on backwards again you blockhead!

Posted by: alfa73 | June 4, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

palin's made a career out of "all kinds of made up nonsense." let me be perfectly clear: if you listen to sarah palin, you are one of the dumbest humans to ever exist. If you can't see through her outrageous lies you're quite pathetic. if it weren't for a huge, massive horde of mindless sheep this woman's name would never be written. but since she's managed to manipulate huge numbers of "conservatives" (read mindless sheep) she's in this newspaper every single day without fail. that woman is living one charmed life, and she can chalk it all up to moronatards who can't think for themselves, and aren't capable of discerning reality or fact from fiction. then again if this horde didn't exist, neither would the repiglicon party

Posted by: red2million | June 4, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Why is this a surprise? Palin is an ethically-challenged bimbo. So too, apparently, is Nikki Haley.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | June 4, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

So Palin's been tweeting and placing robo-calls? She's really ratcheting up the irritation this week! and here I thought her ideas were bad enough, turns out her methods are equally offputting.

Posted by: sarahabc | June 4, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Try very hard to follow this, liberal.

Read Greg's post carefully. It doesn't say a word about the SC AG's office initiating this accusation or endorsing it.

This is your liberal host, Greg Sargent, pursuing what someone tipped him about and what he (sadly) sees as an important story.

Your liberal host Greg Sargent who has an obsession with attacking and smearing Sarah Palin.


As for Ethan, spare me your sanctimony. I've read and been the target of enough of your obnoxious and lowbrow comments to know better.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 4, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Palin is evil! Instead of her having her robot minions cold calling defenseless people trying to eat dinner or watch the tv, she should send her robots down to the gulf to plug up that oil spill and clean up the are.
Palin should put her robots to help people, not pester and annoy.

Bad Palin! Bad!

Posted by: MarilynManson | June 4, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

alfalfa,

"Where were you when Bush was lying about WMD's to start a war in order to win elections?"

False premise. (Which does, however, raise an interesting metaphyical question -- I suppose I was nowhere, since your premise is counterfactual.)

"Now you want to conduct a criminial investigation of what?"

I want an investigation of WH attempts to bribe candidates out of primaries in potential violation of federal laws like 18 U.S.C. 600. Simple enough?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 4, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"But it still seems worth a passing mention that Palin's efforts to help Haley have led her to inflict a call on South Carolinians that may be in violation of state law."

Inflicting Sarah Palin on anyone in any form is a violation of basic human decency.

Posted by: whatmeregister | June 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

They're making Sarah Palin robots now?

Why, why?

Posted by: wiscoman | June 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"But it still seems worth a passing mention that Palin's efforts to help Haley have led her to inflict a call on South Carolinians that may be in violation of state law."

Inflicting Sarah Palin on anyone in any form is a violation of basic human decency.

Posted by: whatmeregister | June 4, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I see Greg Sargent has realized that the only way people are going to read his column is if he invokes Sarah Palin's name. Way to take the high road there.

If you want to find a real story, Rep. Fudge is leading an effort to neuter ethics oversight in Congress. Contrasting the "wrongdoing" by Palin (or more precisely, by Haley's campaign) with Fudge's actual ethical lapse, it's painfully apparent that Sargent is going for cheap publicity -- and the cheap shot.

Posted by: diehardlib | June 4, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

how was palin "smeared" here? I love it when the FACTS are reported, and people call it an attack or a smear. If it's true than there's one label for it, and that's FACT. Are the facts in dispute? Not that I can discern from this article.
Palin's almost as dumb as dumbya, although I don't think it's possible for anyone to be dumber than the chimp, but she is savvy and slick. I will agree with one comment, that this story, just like every article I've ever seen about palin isn't sufficiently "important" to make the news. I see articles about her every single day that only teapartiers care about. Gee, sarah cut her grass? I couldn't have made it far without that information. Actually there are people dumber than dubya. Those who support plain and her ilk are the most mindless horde I've ever heard of. If I had it to do over I'd certainly be a republican, because when I was a young fella, I had no idea there was this massive horde of people that could be manipulated with cliches and bumper sticker slogans. I was under the naive impression that everyone acutally thought for themselves.

Posted by: red2million | June 4, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I think the bigger story is her Republican opponent calling her and Obama a rag head.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 4, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yeah, but that defeats the purpose of making Sarah Palin a victim and everything Obama is bad and should be vilified.

Posted by: catmomtx | June 4, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Is there video tape of the fact that "it was programmed to never be picked up by a live person"? Mummy Bear still thinks the non-living are listening.

Posted by: hoser3 | June 4, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how this works? How can they guarantee that the call goes straight to voicemail? What if someone answers...do they just hang-up? Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 4, 2010 11:12 AM
=====================
Well, that explains all those stupid calls I get that, when I pick up the telephone receiver, there seems to be no one on the other end of the line. It's one of those %&#*@ robocalls.

Posted by: kayjay503 | June 4, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Grasping at straws? A smear? Demonization of Palin? Get real.

Thanks for helping us fight back against illegal robo calls in South Carolina.

The National Political Do Not Contact Registry is working for you, the voter, and will bring official Registry complaints to the both the South Carolina Attorney General as well as the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs to force them to enforce the existing code -

SC Statute SECTION 16-17-446. Regulation of automatically dialed announcing device (ADAD)

http://www.stoppoliticalcalls.org/ht/d/DoSurvey/i/32317

Palin was against robocalls, until SHE started making them.
http://smithwashington.blogspot.com/2010/06/palin-was-against-robocalls-until-she.html

Posted by: jiji1 | June 4, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company