September 2, 2014

Lawmaker wants ban on robocalls

Phones across the state were ringing off the hook in the weeks leading up to the November election, thanks largely to political robocalls from campaigns and groups trying to influence voters. Democratic state Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay hopes to push for a bill next session that would ban those pre-recorded calls in the future.

The messages became a constant feature this past fall, with some residents in key voting areas receiving multiples each day. Hansen says he talked with constituents who received anywhere from five to ten in a single day.

AUDIO: Sen. Dave Hansen (:21)

Hansen says there are two states that already ban them and 25 others have some type of restrictions in place, while Wisconsin has nothing to help the public avoid them other than banning the calls from being sent to cell phones. He says businesses already can’t use them to reach consumers and he thinks politicians should have to play by the same rules.

Hansen does not think political free speech rules that apply to calls from an actual person would apply to robocalls. He says there’s a big difference between the messages and conversations with a real person.

Rick Schuh, WHBY