Wednesday, September 29, 2004 | News | Article | News | Article: "Experts: Political Prerecords Here to Stay"
Political prerecords typically are exempt from telemarketing laws because they are considered political, not commercial, speech. But legislation is possible in certain states and circumstances, Sabato said. If voters get irritated enough, they could spur lawmakers to ban robocalls.

Political consultants likely would resist such efforts. It's important to maintain the distinction between commercial speech and protected political speech, and to keep the door open to political communication, Johnson said.

A battle over such a law has begun in North Dakota, which bans all unsolicited prerecorded calls -- including political and charitable ones -- unless they are introduced by a live operator who asks permission to play the prerecorded message. Use of prerecorded calls during the presidential primaries in January by Democratic candidate Wesley Clark earned a warning from North Dakota attorney general Wayne Stenehjem

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