A little over a week ago I blogged a post about Victoria Kolakowski, a candidate for Alameda County Superior Court Judge here where I live. I was annoyed after having received an unwanted robodial from her campaign on a Sunday afternoon on my cell phone in the middle of my son’s baseball game. I hate robocalls in general and thought I’d use my free speech rights on my blog, Twitter account, Facebook account, etc. to express my dissatisfaction at having received this impersonal and unwanted solicitation from her.
Nobody likes getting robocalls. It’s annoying to pick up your phone to be blasted by some recording trying to get you to buy something or vote for someone, or whatever impersonal thing they are trying to get you to do. I’m not sure why politicians use them. They turn people off, make them angry and provide no value.
While researching robodialing in general I learned that in California at least that robodialing is actually illegal. So I posted another blog post about the illegality of Kolakowski’s calls and posted my concern about this illegality on her Facebook campaign page.
So how does Kolakowski respond? Rather than addressing the illegality of her campaign’s actions she blocks me on her facebook campaign page and censors my comments asking her to explain her illegal actions. What’s more, she not only blocked and censored me, she also killed other comments by other people as well who were also questioning her ethics and illegal campaigning.
So rather than address why she as a sitting law judge, sworn to uphold the law, knowingly breaks the law — and interestingly enough, she is presently a law judge at the California PUC, the *exact* same agency that issued this bulletin about robodials being illegal in California — she instead chooses to try to simply censor the allegations to make them go away. This is not right. Kolakowski should provide an explanation as to why she feels her robodials are not illegal if this is in fact how she feels, or she should apologize for using illegal robodials and pledge not to use them in the future. But trying to censor those who are trying to hold her accountable for her shady campaign tactics will only backfire.
I also contacted Oakland City Attorney John Russo’s office. Russo was the person whose voice and name were used on the robodial asking for a response from him. In Russo’s case, I at least received a reply back from his communications director telling me that they were looking into the matter and would get back to me. That’s certainly better than the censorship and no response that I got back from Kolakowski.