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Have any of you received a “conference call” with a politician on the phone?

Yesterday afternoon (May 15, 2012), I received a rather unusual phone call. I am used to campaign robo calls and the like. This was just a tad different. It was what was purported to be a “conference call” with Congressman Vern Buchanan that was already in progress. I am now thoroughly convinced it was prerecorded with voice actors. At the time I was about 87% convinced of this. But I stayed on and listened – partly out of fascination given this new tactic and partly because, on the off chance I was wrong, I was going to ask him why he voted for CISPA.

Here is what occurred. A voice came on the line that sounded like a cheezy game show voice actors voice that told me I was invited to participate in a conference call with Congressman Vern Buchanan.

The conference call was supposedly already in progress. After he supposedly finished answering that question the cheezy announcer voice said “Thank you Vern, now we have Bob from Venice”. And then Bob from Venice would say something like “Oh, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you” and then would ask the question. After that question would be answered cheezy voice man would again say “Thank you, Vern, now we have Suzie from Northport.” and the pattern was repeated several times.

If the calls were not genuine it tells me a great deal about what Vern Buchanan (or perhaps his campaign) thinks of his constituents. If the calls WERE genuine I fear for our country more than I ever have before.

One of the supposed calls was from a voice that asked “Yea, I want to know when we are going to stop buying stuff from China. Our own people need jobs.” The congressman answered in a “fatherly” voice that the caller has a good point and we need to do more to attract manufacturing in our country and play harder ball with China.

Another “call” was from a stereotypically grizzled male voice who claimed to be a Vietnam veteran who received a letter from the Congressman and read it in front of his veterans' organization and they call clapped.

Another call came from someone who read “news reports” that “We are selling OUR oil to OTHER COUNTRIES!!!!” Oh the horror. “We need it here.” The congressman answered this by saying the he supported more drilling and that he supported the Canadian pipeline project.

There are several reasons I am convinced this was prerecorded: 1. It was “too perfect”. Not one of the callers asked any tough questions, not one even mildly berated him for anything. 2. The cheezy game show announcer voice. 3. I was not given any instructions to punch a button if I wanted to participate. 4. It was “just the right length of time” for a telemarketing call and conveniently ended with cheezy announcer guy saying “I am afraid that is all the time we have now. The Congressman has been informed there will be a vote on the floor.”

Has anyone else had a call like this from a politician or political candidate?

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I'm convalescing...

... at home from knee surgery and got a call the other day from a research group. I think they were doing this research on behalf of that GOP elite insider, Dewhurst, running in the Senate race here in TX.

She asked me on a scale of 1 to 5, with one being not impressed and 5 being most impressed, my opinion of Dewhurst. I gave him a one. She asked me why? I told her that he spoke at our county convention and it was the same old balderdash that we heard from the GOP elite in the past, pandering to the gullible. Besides he has Huckabee's endorsement, which is like a death sentence to me. He has also been endorsed and bankrolled by the the military-industrial complex that owns Washington and is the reason why we are $16 trillion in debt. More of the same doesn't cut it anymore. Ron Paul cured my apathy.

It was a lengthy interview and I thoroughly enjoyed the exchange. I hope they recorded it and played it back to Dewhurst. In response to one question, I told her that my candidate in the race is Glen Addison, despite the fact that my hero (the person for whom my wife and I surrendered our British citizenship so that we could vote for him in the 2008 primary) endorsed Ted Cruz. She was genuinely interested in keeping the conversation going outside of the research questions.

Plano TX

Dean Heller from Nevada does this all the time...

He used to do it every Thursday when he was a Congressman, now he is a Senator and voted for the NDAA. I was going to ask him why, but I am sure those folks pockets are deeper than mine....!!!

No

I would hang up if I did. They are most likely being recorded.

donvino

Got one from Corker in TN

back when I lived in Knoxville. I couldn't speak to the staged aspect, as I really think that idiots are not hard to find. I didn't listen to long to the tool talk. That's what Handy Manny is for (let those with small children understand).

It looks like since I've moved and changed phone numbers, I rolled off the Republican call list. I used to get polled all the time.

Interesting.

If this WAS a pre-recorded message disguised as a "conference call", I find this to be a particularly noxious form of campaigning.
It DOES sound staged.

******************************
The Virtual Conspiracy

I do get them

with my congressman but mine are not staged. Although I never get selected to ask a question. I have heard him asked tough questions by who I believe must be Paul supporters because of the questions. Fed, Patriot Act etc..
If you get called again tell them you want to ask a question and make it one to make him look good then when you get the chance change the question.
I know mine had almost 1000 people in on the call so chances are pretty good I won't get chosen.

Wow... what a weird and

Wow... what a weird and creepy tactic but interesting. Thanks for sharing. I suppose politicians are pretty similar to telemarketers (say anything/do anything to get what they want) so I'm not surprised. Sigh.