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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Joanna Rees Robocalls Irk Voters. Democracy Can Be Annoying.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Just in time for dinner
  • Just in time for dinner

Negative attention is still attention. In that case, perhaps irritating voters enough to start popping off in e-mail threads is the campaign strategy for Joanna Rees, the "progressive independent" running for mayor in 2012.

Rees' campaign has already started inundating voters in the Richmond District with the forever disturbing robocalls -- asking them to come out to her new campaign headquarters on Geary Boulevard (although she did say Geary Street in the message). The automated calls sparked e-mails among Richmond neighbors; some of them were curious and others were just irritated that the campaign was already calling.

"I called her campaign to tell them I did not want them to call my cell phone anymore," said Sue Vaughan, a local voter and Green party honcho. "It costs me money."

"I don't know how they got my cell phone number," Vaughan added.

Here is how. "All

the stuff you put on the [voter registration] form when the guy accosts you at Safeway to

vote is now in the hands of some telemarketer," said Jim Ross,

a local political consultant.

But how effective are robocalls anyway? Well, that depends. If Rees

had Barack Obama calling on her behalf, then, sure, people would probably

show up to her campaign kickoff. But if it's just Rees' voice at the

other end of the line, most people are going to hang up, Ross said.


pretty ineffective," Ross said. "But

maybe she wanted to create a buzz -- because now you are calling me to

do a story and perhaps that's her strategy."

Good point. After all, bad publicity is free publicity.  

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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