This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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Phone lines are busier than usual in Boca Raton. This happens every election cycle. With the now “old” technology of caller ID and message recording, many people simply don’t pick-up the phone when they don’t recognize a number and then later screen their messages. This does allow for the “Robo” calls made by candidates, or others on their behalf, to get through, while poll question calls are generally dropped by the caller when they hear a recording.
The Value of a Poll Call from the Campaign’s Perspective
Most voters that participate in the polling calls are aware that the majority of these calls are crafted to influence their vote and provide slanted and often misleading information. Typically, it gives the campaign an opportunity to spread a negative against an opponent when the response they receive does not favor their candidate. Again, most voters are wise to this. However, there are those that may not be that engaged in the local political process and may be persuaded by a single call. The resulting votes may ultimately decide an election.
What BocaWatch has Learned
As an endorser of candidates for Boca Raton City Council, BocaWatch has received several contacts from readers who happen to favor the candidates endorsed by BocaWatch. They have expressed their concerns about the misleading and distasteful tactics employed by the opponents of Andrea Levine O’Rourke (City Council Seat B) and Al Zucaro (Mayor) both of whom are strongly endorsed by BocaWatch.
Here is a Sample
Phone survey 1:
Q: Who are you supporting for City Council Seat B? Thomson, Gentile or O’Rourke? Ans: O’Rourke. Response: Thank you, don’t forget to mark your calendar and vote on March 25. (When questioned on the date, they insist it is March 25).
Phone Survey 2:
Q: Who are you supporting for Mayor? Haynie or Zucaro? Ans: Zucaro. Response: Thank you, don’t forget to mark your calendar and vote on March 25. (When questioned on the date, they insist it is March 25). Tuesday, March 14, is election day.
Phone Survey 3:
Q: Who do you support? Haynie or Zucaro? Singer or Dervishi? Thomson or Gentile? (O’Rourke omitted from survey).
Money Becomes an Issue When It Comes to Polling
BocaWatch has learned that polling can be expensive, ranging from approximately $5,000 to $8,000 and more for each poll taken. This is no problem for the heavily financed campaigns of Thomson and Haynie, each of whom have considerable PAC money working for them behind the scenes.
BocaWatch has contacted the O’Rourke and Zucaro campaigns to inquire about their use of polls. O’Rourke responded that no polls were conducted by her due to cost. Zucaro’s campaign responded that they did conduct a poll as a means of information gathering but not for influence peddling. No attempt was made to contact Seat A candidates as BocaWatch did not endorse for this race. Further, no attempt was made to obtain information from Haynie, Thomson or Gentile as all three campaigns have refused participation in prior BocaWatch attempts to reach out for information or interaction.
Don’t be Influenced, Be Informed
As has been said in other articles written here, a lot is at stake in this election. Don’t let PAC money sway you from voting for the candidates that will best represent the residents of the City of Boca Raton. We steadfastly continue to endorse resident friendly candidate for Mayor, Al Zucaro and resident friendly candidate for City Council Seat B, Andrea Levine O’Rourke.
Your Vote is Your Voice. It’s time to send a message: “We aren’t going to take this anymore”.