Dems file call complaint against Forest

Democrats say the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor didn't include a disclaimer on his most recent robo-call.

Posted Updated

Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — The N.C. Democratic Party said the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor didn't include the proper disclaimer on a recent robocall.
In a complaint filed Monday with Attorney General Roy Cooper, Democratic party executive director Tammy Brunner says the call on behalf of Dan Forest doesn't include contact information for the campaign should someone want to block further calls. 

"Many democrats who received this call wish to request that they not be called again by the Forest Committee," Brunner writes.

Forest and his campaign manager, Hal Weatherman, said Wednesday morning they had not seen the complaint.

"I think we use a pretty standard disclaimer," Forest said, promising to look into the call. 

In the call, Forest talks about his plans to travel around the state and talk about how to "get North Carolina back to work." It does not give a phone number, e-mail or web address where those who receive the call can get more information. 

Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Roy Cooper, said lawyers for the Department of Justice are reviewing the call as they would any other complaint. 

In a memo to political campaigns regarding robocalls, the Attorney General advises that contact information on the call must be clear.

"The identifying information that must be provided serves at least two purposes. First, it gives the recipient of the unsolicited call an opportunity to decide whether to continue listening or hang up. Second, it gives the recipient of the unsolicited call the ability to complain or seek redress," the memo says.

When asked about penalties, Talley cited a section of state law that provides for, "Five hundred dollars ($500.00) for the first violation, one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the second violation, and five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the third and any other violation that occurs within two years of the first violation."

Update: The N.C. Department of Justice has asked that Forest change his call's format in a letter sent today. The letter does not mention any penalty. 

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