If you’ve been following the Texas Senate race, you’re probably aware that Beto Campaign text messages have become a running joke. I blogged about the bizarre text messages a few months ago.
Not only are the text messages sent to voting demographics well outside of Beto’s support base (something I believe is intentional data mining), but they’ve been sent with annoying frequency and often addressed to a name other than the recipient’s. I, for instance, continue to receive text messages from the Beto Campaign for Brianne. In case you missed it, my name is not Brianne.
In any case, Sameer Syed, a Texas voter, filed a complaint against the Beto Campaign alleging the campaign has violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The TCPA prohibits, “calling or text messaging individuals on their cell phone using an automated dialing system without their consent, except for emergency purposes,” according to the South East Texas Record.
The complaint was filed as a potential class action suit.
While Beto O’Rourke believes “Texas deserves better,” at least one Texan believes he’s owed $500 for each unsolicited text received from the Democratic hopeful’s U.S. Senate campaign.
Seeking damages under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Sameer Syed filed a potential class action lawsuit against Beto For Texas on Oct. 18 in the U.S. District Court for Northern Texas, Dallas Division.
The TCPA prohibits calling or text messaging individuals on their cell phone using an automated dialing system without their consent, except for emergency purposes.
Syed alleges he began receiving text messages from Beto’s campaign in 2018, around nine in total from different phone numbers.
When he called the numbers that sent the texts, the calls resulted in error messages or disconnected dial tones, illustrating that the texts did not originate from cell phones but rather from an automated telephone dialing system, according to the lawsuit.
Syed maintains the campaign never had permission to text or call his cell numbers.
“The calls placed by Defendant to Plaintiff were regarding political campaign activity and not for emergency purposes,” the suit states. “Under the TCPA … Defendant is liable to Plaintiff for at least $500.00 per call.
“Moreover, Defendant’s willful and knowing violations of the TCPA should trigger this Honorable Court’s ability to triple the damages.”
Syed is represented by Dallas attorney Shawn Jaffer.
According to Houston’s ABC News affiliate, Beto’s Campaign claims a large grassroots campaign in compliance:
On Sunday, O’Rourke’s campaign told Eyewitness News their grassroots program is the largest the state has ever seen, and is completely compliant with the law.
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