According to tipsters, Pam Bucy, candidate for Attorney General is conducting illegal robo calls to residents in Missoula. Apparently, the unsolicited calls are a recording of PSC Commissioner Gail Gutsche asking those receiving the robo call to support Bucy in this year’s Democratic Primary. The robo call even ends with the disclaimer “Paid for by Pam Bucy for Attorney General.”
While the Bucy campaign has touched on ethically grey areas before, robo calls are simply illegal for a campaign to use in Montana.
Automated calls are illegal in Montana. The statute is MCA 45-8-216 …
45-8-216. Unlawful automated telephone solicitation — exceptions — penalties. (1)
A person may not use an automated telephone system, device, or facsimile machine for the selection and dialing of telephone numbers and playing of recorded messages if a message is completed to the dialed number for the purpose of:
(e) promoting a political campaign or any use related to a political campaign.
Common sense would say that someone running for the state’s top law enforcement position shouldn’t break the law in the process.
As the Office of Political Practices states “Robo Calls [are] illegal in Montana, but enforcement is difficult.” Most of the time robo calls are programmed to not leave messages and to only play if someone picks up the phone. As a result, it’s almost impossible to get a recording of the robo call, making enforcement very difficult. Additionally, this particular call is coming in as a “blocked number.”
If you receive one of these robo calls, please leave a comment or send an email to M.Storin@aol.com