California Group Seeks Ballot Initiative to Ban Unsolicited Calls, E-Mails

Voter Revolt, a California consumer organization, yesterday launched a ballot initiative campaign to ban unsolicited telemarketing calls and e-mails. In addition to prohibiting unsolicited sales calls and e-mails to California residents, the measure would give victims of such calls or e-mails the right to sue violators in small claims court for $500 to $1,500 per violation. The measure also gives Internet service providers the right to sue violators for compensation of costs incurred as a result of unsolicited e-mail. Consumers who want to receive unsolicited sales calls and e-mails could do so by placing their phone numbers and e-mail addresses on lists that would be maintained by the California Public Utilities Commission. In order to qualify the initiative for the ballot, Voter Revolt must collect 420,000 valid signatures of California registered voters. The group plans to gather the signatures using both paid signature-gatherers and by posting petitions on the Web.

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