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Five times.

The DCCC has called my home five times in the past week. Four times I've gotten their phone messages asking for money. Fine, that's a quick delete. A little annoying perhaps, but nothing major.

Today, however, I was home, and the DCCC crossed the line. Not many things make me truly angry, but lying to my face (so to speak) is one of them. (Transcript below the break)

Me: Hello?

DCCC: Hi, this is (name withheld) calling on behalf of the [DCCC], and I'd like start by telling you that these calls are sometimes monitored for quality assurance. We have in our records that back in January you pledged to make a donation of $44, and to date we haven't received your donation...

(Huh? I never pledge money. When I donate money, I donate money. I don't promise to give money at some undetermined point in the future because, let's be honest, that's silly. Yes, it's only $44, but when you're a full-time student $44 is a lot of money. Besides, it's the principle of the thing.)

Me: Wait, what? I'm absolutely certain I didn't pledge any money to the DCCC because I never pledge money. If I'm going to make a donation then I make the donation on the spot. I don't give an IOU. So please don't tell me that I pledged money when I know I didn't.

(Now he's completely lost me. There's no chance I'm going to donate money to anyone who comes on the phone and tells me a bold-faced lie in order to try to extort money from me.)

DCCC: Well, sir, sometimes there are errors in the system, but we do have record of you pledging to us. Your pledge would be really helpful right now because we have three special elections coming up...

(Ah ha! The REAL reason for the phone call, to try to guilt me into donating money right now. If this is the purpose of the call, why not just start by saying so? "Hi, this is Bob with the DCCC and we appreciate your support of the Democratic Party. I'm calling today because, as you know, there are three special elections coming up and people don't get elected without gobs of cash..." Even that would work a lot better than trying to deceive me. No, it's time to end this charade.)

Me: No, you know what? No. You lied to me, and so you get nothing. Bye bye. (Click)

Rude? Certainly. No more rude, however, than lying to me and attempting to guilt-trip me into throwing money at you. Is this the standard operating procedure of the DCCC's fund-raising arm now? Has it been for a long period of time? Now, don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not going to switch party affiliations over this. I will, however, give a second and third thought before considering giving any money to the DCCC.

Why lie to me? That just makes me mad. That makes me not want to give any money ever. I can't be the only person that they use these tactics with, nor can I be the only person who responds to these thug tactics in this way, which means that the DCCC has to be alienating a lot of people who are otherwise strong supporters.

Come on, guys. I know you can do better. Save the thuggery for the other side.

EDIT: I should add that this call has happened repeatedly over the past few months. The DCCC calls me, tells me I've pledged money to them, claims a database error when I inform them that they are mistaken, and then attempts to get me to donate to them. At this point, I have to believe it's a deliberate tactic.

Originally posted to Psionyx on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 04:28 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  could be a database error. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fl1972

    that part could be innocent

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 04:30:52 PM PDT

  •  Or it could just be a legitimate error n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  Right, but.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HiBob, Cali Techie

      If's it's a legitimate error, it means that they've never gotten around to correcting my database entry over the last three months. So either they're incompetent or malevolent.

      •  I dunno if they're better than the campaign... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Psionyx, HiBob, ibonewits, fl1972, antooo

        ...that I worked on a few years ago, but let me tell you a quick story about that:

        We had a list of registered voters we were supposed to call, to see if they'd help out.

        One person complained that she had been called repeatedly, even though she already expressed once that she didn't have time to help.

        Whenever she said this, the person doing the phone call would mark this fact down on a piece of paper. The paper would work it's way... somewhere... where no one would see it. Everybody was so busy that most of the stuff that was being turned in wasn't being looked at anyway.

        In a few weeks, she'd end up on the "to call" list again. If you were one of the people who called her previouisly, you'd recognize her, and cross off her name. If you weren't, though, the poor thing would get called again.

        This went on and on.

      •  When in doubt ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Psionyx, ibonewits, fl1972

        ... So either they're incompetent or malevolent.

        ... always assume incompetence over malevolence when dealing with a political campaign, (unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary).

        •  It's perception that matters. (0+ / 0-)

          Ultimately, I think, what it comes down to is perception. I can understand a database error. Happens all the time. That's life. But when an organization repeatedly makes the same error despite being informed of said error, it begins to appear deliberate, regardless of the truth. Remember, it's the perception that matters, not the actuality. Most of the world's problems stem from miscommunications and misperceptions. In this case, it's happened enough times that, even if it's a simple error that's not being corrected, it begins to seem like more in my mind. Look out! Conspiracy! No, no. But it does start to seem deliberate.

  •  That was either a legitimate error ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFajita

    ... or an agressively stupid and highly counter-productive fundraising technique.

    I think it was a simple mistake.

    •  If it was an error, once it was pointed out, the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl

      person should apologize profusely, not essentially call the recipient a liar by saying "well, our records show... and we want you to pay up".  My vote is with either intentional or total carelesness.

  •  Anyone know whether DCCC hires... (4+ / 0-)

    ... outside telemarketers?

    This sounds like one.

    "Power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please."
    -- President Barack Hussein Obama

    by tbetz on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 04:47:43 PM PDT

    •  Probably. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl

      That would explain the sleazy tactics.  I think those people are paid based on how many successful calls they have.  The people the PBA hires are the worst.  I've actually been borderline threatened by one of those guys.  I hung up on him, and he called me back to yell at me.  Twice.

      The worst part is, those firms get most of the money they raise.  The underlying charity gets very little.

      (-9.62/-6.77) Democratic Socialism: Because evolution really is going somewhere.

      by revelwoodie on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 05:57:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Charity solicitors (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catfood, vacantlook, Psionyx, FarWestGirl

    Had one call me once and ask if I would pledge X dollars.  I said no, I can't afford that, she said okay, and some pleasantries, and hung up.  A week later I get in the mail a pledge form for X/2 dollars.  She put me down for a lesser pledge without my permission.

    Yeah, when people do that with me, they get nothing.  Ever.

  •  Any chance this is a phishing scheme? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ibonewits

    Could this be a nefarious group who bought a list and are now calling people to get their credit card numbers?  

  •  It's my experience that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ibonewits, FarWestGirl

    ...pretty much everyone calling to solicit money are shady.

    My mom once donated some money to an organization that supposedly helps the family members of police killed in the line of duty.  Soon, she started getting calls from multiple other police affiliated charities, so we know that the one gave or sold her contact information to them.  After repeatedly turning them down, it eventually just kept being the original organization that kept calling.  Fed up with them having given or sold our contact information, I told them to stop calling us.  They were always haughty and snotty.  They'd often make a comment like, "How do you even know who this is?"  To which I reply, "We have caller ID."  I told them to stop calling.  They kept calling.  I told them that I told them to stop calling, and they'd reply, "Well you never told me to stop calling." as if just because they weren't the previous person who called that that made a difference.  I had to start yelling at them for harassing us before they finally stopped.

    Actions like those give people bad impressions of charities.

  •  Well, first of all, elected officials should not (4+ / 0-)

    be fundraising for their colleagues or potential colleagues.  In doing so, they're making what I call anticipatory bribes--buying votes ahead of time.  I don't want representatives of the people voting to go along with the club.

    So, I stopped contributing to the DSCC and the DCCC years ago.  Act Blue makes it easy to contribute to candidates directly and the administrative costs are less.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 05:06:02 PM PDT

  •  How do you know...they... (0+ / 0-)

    just did not have an error in their database and it was innocent...it would be logical for them to ask for a donation when they get you on the phone...

    Obama - Real Leadership for a Real Change

    by dvogel001 on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 05:15:35 PM PDT

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