Beto O’Rourke Campaign Sued for Alleged Spamming of Text Messages
Love him or hate him, Texas senatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke has caused quite a stir in Texas politics as he's taken on Ted Cruz ahead November's mid-term election. One North Texas man, however, says he has reason to be very annoyed with Beto - unsolicited campaign texts.
KXAS-TV reports that a Collin County resident has filed a class action lawsuit against O'Rourke's campaign after he says he received at least nine text messages on two devices. The suit alleges that the plaintiff did not opt in for such messages, but was included in an automatically generated list of registered voters in Texas.
The plaintiff, who the Forth Worth Star-Telegram identified as Sameer Syeed, says he tried calling the number the texts were coming from and received error messages and disconnection tones indicating they were send from an automated system.
So, why file a lawsuit? Well, Syeed cites the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, which places restrictions on the use of auto-dialing systems. Language in the act specifically mentions the transcription and transmission of text and images by "telephone facsimile machine[s]".
KXAS reports that Syeed is asking for $500 for each unwanted text message, and has asked the court to triple the damages. He says Beto's campaign willfully and knowingly violated the law.
Beto's campaign responded to KXAS by writing, ""Our grassroots volunteer program with thousands of Texans canvassing, phone banking, texting, and organizing is the largest this state has seen. It is fully compliant with the law."
Political campaigns are exempt from do not call lists, but it's unclear if that would have any bearing in this case.