Fear of a Liberal Planet

GOP telemarketers harass the elderly, groove on hip hop, and scream like monkeys

This hard sell can be gleaned from several FLS telemarketing scripts that were provided by a former employee. They are studded with fear-mongering and political hyperbole. A script used to raise money for the RNC, for example, instructs employees to up the emotional ante if their initial request for a donation is rebuffed. "And already, Democrats are attacking, using super-charged, political hate speech," the script reads. "It seems that what's worst for the American people is what's best for them politically--& that if President Bush is FOR something, they're AGAINST it!" If the donor is still not persuaded, the specter of a forthcoming liberal jihad is raised. "If Democrats win, they're poised to roll back Republican reforms & raise taxes," the Republican faithful are told. "Their liberal war room is up & running."

FLS employees also describe what they feel is the misleading nature of the company's sales pitch. Potential donors are never told that they are being called by a for-profit company. They are simply informed that the telemarketer is calling "on behalf" of whatever candidate or cause they are raising money for that day. In addition, according to an internal memo, if donors inquire where their money goes, the correct response is to tell them that "100% of your contribution goes directly to [client name]."

Exactly what percentage of donations actually supports Republican candidates and causes is impossible to determine. Because FLS is a private company, it is not required to disclose such data. Jeff Larson did not return two calls seeking comment.

Ted Swaback worked two stints telemarketing, raising funds for Republican candidates and causes: "Basically it's a big zoo"
Michael Dvorak
Ted Swaback worked two stints telemarketing, raising funds for Republican candidates and causes: "Basically it's a big zoo"

In recent weeks, according to workers, the Hastings call center has been ramping up its operations for the forthcoming elections, constantly hiring new telemarketers. But those who spoke about their experiences inside the GOP fundraising factory conclude that would-be donors should hold on to their money. "I would never give a dollar to the Republican party," says Rebecca Nibbe, who worked at FLS until November. "Or to any party for that matter, because you don't really know where that dollar's going."

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