The Honorable Attorney General Bill Schuette
525 W. Ottawa St.
P.O. Box 30212
Lansing, MI 48909
On Sunday, August 3rd, 2014, a pre-recorded voice message (or “robocall”) was sent to the residents of the 90th House District in Hudsonville, Jamestown, Holland, and Zeeland.
This “robocall” lists as its purveyors a non-existent group, the “Ottawa County Progressive Alliance.” This group is not registered with the State of Michigan, nor in Ottawa County, nor with the FEC.
More information about the call can be found in the Holland Sentinel article from Monday, August 4:
“The "Ottawa County Progressive Alliance" name has not been registered with the Federal Election Commission, Michigan Bureau of Elections or the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office.
State Sen. Arlan Meekhof sponsored a change to the Michigan Campaign Finance Act that requires disclaimers on all robo-calls within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election, his chief of staff said.
Committees organized to support or oppose a state candidate are required to file with Michigan's bureau of elections, but they are not listed with the state or the county, Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck said.”
(Read more: http://www.hollandsentinel.
Audio of this call can be found here:
The phone number associated with this call is: (616) 258-6007
This “group” is seemingly in violation of Senator Meekhof’s legislation, Senate Bill 661, which was passed by the House and Senate and subsequently signed by The Hon. Governor Rick Snyder in December of 2013, becoming law as Public Act 252 of 2013.
Public Act 252 of 2013 states:
(8) A prerecorded telephone message that in express terms advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, or the qualification, passage, or defeat of a ballot question, shall contain the name and telephone number, address, or other contact information of the person paying for the prerecorded telephone message, and shall be in compliance with subsection (4).
(Subsection 4: (4) Except for a communication described in subsection (5) and except for a candidate committee’s printed matter or radio or television paid advertisements, each identification or disclaimer required by this section shall also indicate that the printed matter or radio or television paid advertisement is paid for “with regulated funds”. Printed matter or a radio or television paid advertisement that is not subject to this act shall not bear the statement required by this subsection.)
(5) A communication otherwise entirely exempted from this act under section 6(2)(j) is subject only to the identification required by subsection (1), (2), or (8) if that communication references a clearly identified candidate or ballot question within 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election in which the candidate or ballot question appears on a ballot and is targeted to the relevant electorate where the candidate or ballot question appears on the ballot by means of radio, television, mass mailing, or prerecorded telephone message.
(6) A person who knowingly violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or imprisonment for not more than 93 days, or both.
I am not the only one outraged by this illegal fake call. In my disappointment, I join Congressman Huizenga, who wrote wrote on Facebook Monday morning:
"Last night, a deceitful and illegal robo call went out to Republican voters by the "Ottawa County Progressive Alliance." Do not be tricked and do not stand for this type of dirty politics.
Please join me and vote for Daniela Garcia tomorrow, someone that actually fought against ObamaCare and for local control of our schools."
Ottawa County Clerk Roebuck also took to Facebook to speak out against the call:
"Frustrating when things like this happen. When people disregard the law and attempt last minute tricks to confuse voters - nobody wins. "
I agree with the Congressman and the County Clerk- beyond words, it's time for substantial, meaningful action. This Robo call must be investigated.