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New Developments Call Future of 'Do Not Call List' Into Question

New Developments Call Future of 'Do Not Call List' Into Question

Posted - Sep. 26, 2003 at 3:40 p.m.



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Keith McCord ReportingWith each passing day it seems like there's a new development with the controversial "Do Not Call" list issue. The latest tidbit: The nation's largest telemarketing company has told its members to immediately stop calling people who have already signed up.

The calls were supposed to stop next week, but court rulings and congressional action has the whole thing on hold.

Earlier this week a judge overturned the "Do Not Call" legislation. Yesterday congress approved a new bill to put it back into effect by an overwhelming majority: 95 to 0 in the senate; and 412 to 8 in the house.

Among the eight voting no were congressmen Rob Bishop and Chris Cannon from Utah. The fact that two Utah Republicans voted against passing the revamped "Do Not Call" legislation was an opportunity not to be ignored by the Chairman of Utah's Democrats.

Donald Dunn, Chairman Utah Democrats: “So the fact that so many members of congress were supporting the 50-million people that were… (ring, ring)...hello? I'm sorry this is not a good time right now."

Donald Dunn criticized the "NO" votes by Bishop and Cannon and urged Utah residents to call the lawmakers to express their thoughts. Dunn provided the phone numbers as his cell phone "interrupted" him a few more times.

The offices of both Bishop and Cannon did say they received a few dozen phone calls today.

In a statement Cannon said, while he's aware of the annoyance of dinner time phone calls "legitimate concerns have been raised about increasing the federal government's interference in the conduct of open commerce, including significant job-producing commerce in Utah."

Congressman Bishop says he “can't justify spending millions of dollars, when states are already addressing the issue. Besides, he says, people always have the right to say "NO" and hang up the phone."

The latest court ruling comes from Denver where a judge says the list violates free speech by allowing some calls, charities and politicians, and prohibiting others, like telemarketers.

Tim Searcy, American Teleservices Assn.: “The first amendment was well considered by our founding fathers, and they said no, you can't do that. You can't discriminate on speech."

The court challenges likely are not over, so even the U.S. Supreme Court might get "called" to take up the "Do Not Call" legislation. Lawmakers say they'll still work to save the "Do Not Call" list, saying it's no different than hanging a "No Solicitation" sign on our front door.

The question no one seems to be able to answer: will the calls keep coming or will they stop on October first?

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