Democratic Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Will Be Paying Thousands Of Dollars After She Was Found Guilty Of Harassing Voters With Illegal Text Solicitation

Credit: The New York Post

The campaign of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was fined thousands of dollars by a man who claimed the campaign repeatedly sent unsolicited fundraising texts. 

According to filings obtained by Business Insider, Pelosi has to pay $7,500 to an Illinois man to settle the claim that she violated federal do-not-call laws by repeatedly texting him for campaign contributions. 

Credit: Federal Election Commission

Jorge Rojas sued Pelosi’s campaign in October 2022, saying it had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 but hitting him with 21 “harassing” messages between November 2021 and July 2022.

The law, which was written to prevent unwanted robocalls but applause to text messages as well, orders telemarketers to not contact US residents listed on the Do Not Call Registry. Rojas had been on that list since 2008 to “obtain solitude from invasive and harassing telemarketing calls,” the lawsuit says.

Jorge Rojas initially sought $31,500 in damages or $1,500 per violation. After receiving the reduced settlement in February, he filed a motion to dismiss the case.

“As the Supreme Court has explained, Americans passionately disagree about many things,” reads the introduction of Rojas’s complaint. “But they are largely united in their disdain for robocalls.”

The Pelosi campaign’s incessant communications amounted to a “malicious, intentional, willful, reckless, wanton and negligent disregard” for Rojas’ rights, according to the lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Illinois.

Rojas detailed some of Pelosi’s more outrageous claims in the lawsuit, filed in October 2022. 

Pelosi had made these statements to increase her fundraising for the upcoming November 2022 elections. 

According to her messages:

Republicans are “fleeing the Senate” while referring to the three Republican senators who retired that year; Democrats have come across a “one-in-a-lifetime chance” to hold the White House, House, and Senate; and Marco Rubio was “in danger” as he could lose his Senate seat.

The former Democratic House Speaker has been criticized by activists for making what they see as excessive and inappropriate fundraising requests throughout her 20 years as a Democrat lawmaker. 

Last year, after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision was overturned, she immediately launched a nationwide fundraising campaign.

Rojas went as far as to print out verbatim some of the fundraising texts he received. He included one capitalizing on the retirement of Republicans, including Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Richard Shelby of Alabama.

Fundraising texts and emails have become more and more commonplace in the past few years. Campaigns now frequently rely on the news of the day to extort money from their angry constituents. 

The New York Times reported that as of October 2022, people in the United States received an estimated 1.29 billion political text messages, according to RoboKiller, an app that blocks Robocalls and spam texts. That is twice as many as in April of 2022.

The New York Times reported:

Consumers filed 9,477 fraud reports related to political text messages with the Federal Trade Commission in fiscal year 2022. Separately, the Federal Communications Commission received about 2,100 complaints related to political texts over the last year.

Yet there is little federal oversight or scrutiny of political texting, partly because regulation has not kept pace with advances in technology. As a result, Americans seeking to halt political texts have little recourse other than blocking individual campaign numbers on their phones or reporting them to their wireless carriers.

Federal Election Commission rules requiring political ads on broadcast TV, cable, and radio to disclose their sponsors, for instance, do not apply to political text messages.

A retiree in Phoenix donated to the first Senate campaign for Raphael Warnock, the Georgia Democrat. He won in a special election in 2021. She said that his campaign began sending her unwanted text messages that she never signed up for.

She typed STOP to opt-out, but she continued to receive more texts from his campaign from a different phenomenon number. 

In a statement, the Warnock campaign said that it honored opt-out requests, using a “highly effective texting tool” to automatically remove numbers from which it had received “STOP” requests. 

However, if an opt-out request comes in from a phone number that is not on the campaign’s texting list then the campaign said it had “no way of knowing they’ve made the opt out request.”

Maybe, just maybe, people’s hatred of Robocalls and spam texts could be the very thing that unites all Americans. 

One thought on “Democratic Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Will Be Paying Thousands Of Dollars After She Was Found Guilty Of Harassing Voters With Illegal Text Solicitation

  1. Amen – Robo Calls and text messages should only be sent if you “OPT IN” since Democrats can’t seem to abide by the rules when people OPT OUT.

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