There oughta be a law

Dear Editor:

Usually I’m not a fan of more new laws and regulations. But there’s one I would heartily support!

You know all those “opinion surveys” you rush to the phone to answer? Well, the survey taker who calls you never seems to know who is funding it. Ask them — you will get the runaround. All they know is the name of the polling outfit they work for, not who is footing the bill.

Why is it that political lawn signs and mailed flyers have to have a disclosure (in small type of course, but nevertheless printed) of who paid for the thing, when the far more intrusive phone call never has to divulge the funding source? As was widely reported recently, there have been significant abuses in the opinion polling world (Google “Group Using Fake Name to Survey Mainers on Culture War Issues,” July 19). Push polling is illegal in Maine, but the line between leading questions and push polling is very fuzzy. Most of the surveyors seem to be completely ignorant on the basic definition of a push poll, so they wouldn’t even know if they were conducting one.

Can some of our dear legislators please put forth a bill requiring that all phone surveyors know who is funding the poll, and must disclose that information to the victims of their phone calls upon request? This is not a partisan issue!

Abbie McMillen


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