ATA Needs More Cash For No-Call Fight

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WASHINGTON - The American Teleservices Association needs another $1.75 million to take its fight against the national no-call registry to its conclusion, the head of the ATA's fundraising effort said yesterday.

Past ATA chairman Tim Searcy, who is leading the association's strategic defense fund, told members gathered for the ATA's annual legislative conference here at the Mayflower Hotel that 40 members had donated $1.25 million, enough to get the legal challenge off the ground. A total of $3 million will be needed, especially if the case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court as expected, Searcy said.

"We're probably going to go the distance," he said. "To go the distance, we need your help."

The ATA saw record attendance of 215 at its annual legislative conference, which it dubbed a "Survival Conference" this year in light of the regulations that currently confront the industry on both the state and federal levels. Association members gather in Washington every March to discuss legal issues and meet with federal lawmakers.

ATA chairman Tom Rocca urged members to write editorials, lobby officials and publicly advocate the industry's position to help improve telemarketing's prospects for the future. The conference began March 24 and is scheduled to end today.

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