Campaign calls

Dear Editor:I was disturbed to receive several calls from the candidate Fernando Vasquez's campaign people. The caller sounded like a very young teenage girl calling to ask for my vote and she asked for me by my whole name. Because my phone number is private and unlisted, I asked the campaign caller how they obtained my phone number. She told me that they got all my voter information from the city and that they were allowed to use that information to call and ask for my vote. Really? I have a copy of a voter registration application and guess what? It does not ask for your phone number of the application. So really, where did they get my phone number and know my name? This is very disturbing to me. I don't appreciate random people calling me at all hours of the day and night, especially when they are campaign calls. To me, there is nothing more annoying than having to drop what I am doing to answer a call from someone that should not have my phone number in the first place. This month alone I have received over 30 campaign solicitation calls… from Meg Whitman to Jerry Brown. Do these people actually believe their disturbing and annoying phone call is going to sway my vote? Isn't it enough that my mailbox is littered with enough campaign advertisements to wall paper my bathroom? And then they still feel the need to inundate me with several phone calls as well? Back off and stop disturbing my peace. I feel like I'm being harassed on a daily basis by these campaign people. -- Stacey Rodgers, Downey

Dear Editor: It all began in September. My unlisted phone rang and I answered it. This would be the beginning of my nightmare for the next eight weeks. This was the first call from the volunteers representing our newly elected member of the Downey City Council, Mr. Fernando Vasquez. I was informed that they were calling on his behalf and wanted my support. I advised them that I did not wish to be called and asked that my name and number be removed from their calling list. I believe it was that weekend that I got my first visit. My doorbell rang and there was the first of many of his volunteers peering though my door seeking support. I again advised them that I did not want to be contacted either in person or by phone. I then began receiving calls on a daily basis. Not one call, but several calls. Every day. I think this is when I asked again to stop harassing my family and stop calling. I was na?Øve to believe them on the line when they apologized and said they would stop the calls. I actually received another call that very evening. As I recall that following weekend Mr. Vasquez showed up at my home, marking his first visit. He approached me at my car as I was trying to pull out of my driveway and introduced himself. I accepted the leaflet from him and didn't give it a second thought before depositing it in my blue recycle bin. By mid October, I was almost awaiting the volunteers at my door every weekend, and some evenings during the week. They were coming so often and seemed shocked every time I asked them to stop bothering my family. I suggested that this was bordering harassment and watched the young woman make the notation "harassment" on her clipboard in late October. I simply told her that neither I nor any other family members were planning to vote for him due to these constant visits and calls. The calls continued all through the month of October and up until and including election day. Around October 28, I advised the caller that due to the continued harassment from the Vasquez campaign, nobody from my family was planning to vote for him. We all planned to vote for Mr. Alex Saab. She was a little shocked but said OK. What could she say?! Wait, this gets even better… On Halloween night, the first person to ring my doorbell at 5:30 p.m. was Mr. Vasquez. He actually drove right to my home to address us and ask for our support. I was not surprised and actually expected him to show up at some point as we had advised his campaign that they could not count on our votes. Here he was harassing us in person. This came to be his third personal visit. Mr. Saab came to my home once, just ONE time. It was the only time anyone from the Saab campaign visited my residence. What a nice, articulate man. There was no begging, no pushing. He advised us of his great plans for the city of Downey, he is truly dedicated to this city. It was refreshing to hear from someone that cares about this city. He immediately had our votes. I feel bad for the residents of this city that I grew up in. I've seen so many changes over the years and could see Mr. Saab as someone that could move this city forward in an honest manner. The residents got bullied into electing Mr. Vasquez. He used his presence to bully too many uneducated and misinformed voters into casting their votes for him. All I know is that now he needs to prove himself. Mr. Saab has already proven himself by running a clean, honest campaign. I cannot say the same for Mr. Vasquez. I can only hope that Mr. Saab remains active in this city. We need people like him making decisions on our behalf, not somebody so desperate for support that he had to bully his way into office. One more note: If I have an unlisted number and am registered on the nationwide do-not-call list, why was it OK for Mr. Vasquez and his campaign to call my home? --Michelle R. Lugo Downey

********** Published: November 4, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 29