01.21.14 When does campaign outreach become harassment?

Heather Mizeur’s campaign for Maryland governor has been calling me about once a week now for a couple of months. I’m not sure whether they’re calling for volunteers or money, but after the first call, I have gently informed them every time them that I am undecided in the race and have asked that I be removed from the call list. Yet, the calls keep coming. I support completely the right of political campaigns — especially those that do not have millions of dollars in the bank — to use all means necessary to reach the public. However, I also believe in the right of prospective voters to say, “No more!”

So, either Mizeur’s campaign is so disorganized that there is no single database of targets where opt-outs are recorded or the campaign just doesn’t care. (Geez, even if I hadn’t opted out, how can the Mizeur campaign think that weekly calls would be seen as anything other than harassment?) Neither interpretation bodes well for a Mizeur administration.

(I remain undecided in the race. Given the poor quality of the field — see my post on this — I may end up voting for Mizeur, if not endorsing her.)

The previous record-holder for me in terms of harassment was Fred Evans’s unsuccessful school board bid last year. His energetic, if misguided, campaign chair managed to find all six of my email addresses and every time I opted out from campaign communication at one address, they got me again at the next one.

Asking for support is one thing. Doing it over and over again when people say “no” is incompetent or insane.

©2014 Keith Berner

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