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Don't Call List

Sen Fawghourne

     This is a second telephone interview with Senator Beauregard Fawghourne. It took place over lunch on a bench overlooking the construction site of the new Congressional visitors' center. Senator Fawghourne had a PB&J, thermos of milk and an apple. The reporter had a salad from a fast food place but didn't eat it because he was too busy taking notes.


     This article is brought to you courtesy of a kind grant from the American Cauliflower Council, the nations leading industry representative for breeders, producers, and marketers for cauliflowers in the United States.




WegoWeb:



Good morning, Senator.  Your office called and said that you had some things you wanted to get out to your constituents.


Sen. Fawghourne:



Yes, it has been a while since we talked and I was getting a bit lonely in the furnace room.  Don't get me wrong.  I have a full compliment of aids, assistants, secretaries and interns who stop by almost daily, but I think they just like the free donuts and want an opportunity to laugh at my vest.  Not many here on the Hill, or in my case beneath it, wear vests anymore.


I wanted this opportunity to apologize to all 50 million Americans who have signed up for the telemarketer "Do Not Call" list.  How we can talk about government "by the people" and "for the people" and ignore the wishes of about 20% of them just galls me. It's been turned over on a technicality, but we should have written it more carefully.  This never should have happened.  People who chose to deal with telemarketers are not, by this law, prevented from doing so.  However, people who would prefer not to deal with telemarketers would have had an alternative. 


WegoWeb:



The No Call list isn't dead.  They are already talking about passing a new bill and still having the list operative on October first.


Sen. Fawghourne:



That's irrelevant.  We are no longer in the era of the citizen representative.  We are professional politicians.  We have an obligation to do it once and do it correctly.  If we mess that up, we should admit we screwed up, fix it, and promise to better next time.  That's what you expect of carpenters, waitresses, students, quarterbacks and Indian chiefs.  (At this point Senator Fawghourne's cell phone rang.  He answered it and listened briefly.)  No, I don't want to buy a time share in western Nebraska.  Where were we?


WegoWeb:



Are you concerned about the telemarketing industry's argument that they are a multibillion dollar industry and ending telemarketing would cost jobs?


Sen. Fawghourne:



If those products are not sold over the telephone, they will be sold in stores.  If anything, this will be helpful to our employment situation.  The difference is that the salespeople will have to be in US stores, not some phone bank in New Delhi or someplace in the Philippines.  We've shipped so many manufacturing jobs overseas.  We are now shipping computer jobs over seas.  AOL's tech desk in in India.  IRS has contracted with an Indian company to enter American tax forms.  Even the Republican Party is now doing telephone polls from "offshore".  The least we can do is keep some sales jobs here.


WegoWeb:



What about the constitutional question?  Does the No Call list restrict the free speech of the telemarketing companies?


Sen. Fawghourne:



That's another thing that should be dealt with.  Corporations can't vote, die, mate, or love their mothers.  They are not people.  They are book keeping fabrications.  They are convenient fictions.  They should NOT have free speech.  It should not be an issue.  However, due to a footnote added to a law book about a rail road decision, they have been given person status.  It's something in the constitution that we should fix.  However, one of the interns was going to run out for some donuts and the Capitol guards were going to stop by and discuss the premier of "West Wing."


WegoWeb:



Corporations are a topic for another day.  Thank you for your time, sir.


Sen. Fawghourne:



Thank you for indulging me. 

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