Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is being targeted by the latest practice of voter suppression in the form of political text message spam. Progressive organization Revolution Messaging has been working to raise the awareness of this dangerous new tactic by calling on the Federal Communications Commission to put a stop to it. Complaints are rolling in about these unsolicited text messages throughout Michigan, whose primary is this upcoming Tuesday. The text messages said “Romney’s Poor Comments” from an email address of a group that does not exist. The text message included a phone number that sent people to a recorded message attacking Romney. In addition to not being able to identify who these nefarious messages are actually from or be properly opted in to receiving these updates – they actually cost the voter money because text messages are not free to the end-user in the U.S.
Revolution Messaging has been working to expose this under-the-radar tactic used in Congressional Races in 2010 and then again in Virginia’s Legislative Campaigns in 2011. The firm launched PocketSpammers.com, in early February, to raise awareness of this growing issue and to push the FCC to take a stance against this practice by closing any loopholes in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
“We’ve already seen runaway spending on campaigns this year,” said Scott Goodstein, founder of the firm. “We need for the FCC to assure people that unwanted & illegal text message spam will not be tolerated – period.”
Some corporations claim they have found a loophole in the (TCPA) that allows them to send unsolicited political text message spam to users’ cell phones with no opt-in or opt-out component. Under this act, the FCC has adopted regulations, which prohibit sending spam text messages.