My Turn: Less than favorable parts of campaigning - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Less than favorable parts of campaigning

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I'm feeling the need to pick on some local politicians this week.  I have two issues - robocalling and campaign signs.

Robocalls are exempt from the regulations that prevent most telemarketers from calling your cell phone or calling your home phone if you have your number on the "Do Not Call Registry."  So if you have a phone, you likely know what I'm talking about.  As we get closer to Election Day, it will only get worse.  I think these calls are a rude and unnecessary intrusion.  Plus, they make me less likely to vote for that candidate.

And the campaign signs - they look like litter strewn about our otherwise beautiful city.  The thing that really ticks me off is the Azalea Festival folks did a wonderful job organizing a huge city-wide cleaning effort, only to have the politicians muck it all with their signs, just in time to welcome thousands of out-of-town guests to our city.  They couldn't wait one week.

I have an idea.  How about the robocallers giving me their candidates' cell phone numbers so I can call them at dinner time or when they're watching TV so I can play them a pre-recorded promotional announcement for WECT? 

And for the folks responsible for all the signs, give me your address and let me know when you will be expecting out-of-town guests so I can plant some WECT signage in your yard.  How's that for turn-about fair play?

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at


Emailed comments from viewers:

I agree 100% with what you said about the signs and calls. But you forgot about how they fill your mailbox with garbage mail. In one day I had 12 pieces of mail that were nothing but political advertisements. I even had a 2 page letter from one candidates wife. All I can say is, "annoying!" Even if I like the candidate and I'm thinking of voting for them, I don't want all of that.


I agree with you entirely! Even if I agreed with a candidate's position, I would not vote for them on principal if they robocall me. This stuff needs to be illegal.


  I completely agree with your position on unwanted phone calls. There are some things you can do that may help.

  I was getting so many calls from charities that I called the Attorney General's office. I was told that charities, politicians, and companies that you do business with are exempt from the Do Not Call Registry.

  However, all you have to do is tell the caller to place you on their Internal Do Not Call List. The Attorney General takes robo-dialing very seriously. If they continue to call after you have told them not to, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General and they will take action. For pre-recorded political messages, I assume that you would have to call a campaign office to arrange this. I hope this helps.


You have hit the nail right on the head as you have done many times. 


I agree with your recent post on political signs and robocalls.

In regards to the political signage: What can we do about this? This past Saturday, me, my wife, and our daughter packed up to head to Carolina Beach, and I was appalled at the number of political signs peppering the side of Carolina Beach Rd. just before Snow's Cut Bridge. To me, the view from the bridge to the island is one of the many breathtaking landscapes our area has to offer. But this time, as I was driving over the bridge, I was focused on how fuming I was over the gauntlet of signs I just had to drive through rather than enjoying the quick peek at the ocean's horizon I usually steal.

My point is your point. These signs cannot possibly influence others to vote for the candidate. The only reasonable explanation is that the signage will only increase awareness and name recognition. As a trusted media outlet, I beg of you, can we please do something about this? Isn't it important to the candidates that our area remain positively visually aesthetic, or are they so blinded by their own narcissism and personal selfishness that we all have to pay the price?

What are the current guidelines/restrictions, and how can they be improved upon?

Thanks so much for any input/guidance/thoughts you may be able to share.


You are right on as usual. The rules for robo-calls should be the same as for calls placed by people. Political signs should have a time limit, like 2 weeks after the election. Then any signs  left would be picked up bu the city or county at the cost of $2.00 per sign. There are a lot of unemployed people that would do this and the fine could be split between the city or county and the sign bounty hunters.

Keep up the good work.


Bravo!!!  Bravo!!!  I never what tv due but for some reason I decided to see what was going on  in the world and I saw your skit. I enjoyed it. It made m laugh. I am so glad you voiced you option on the politicians and the signs and the phone calls. It is way too much. I also have some thing to say on UNCW spending $85000 to have the new chancellor say a few words about how happy he is to have a job. Thats way too much money for someone to set up some folding chairs on the lawn and to hook up a few electro cords and microphones. Thank you


Gary, you are really hitting the mark these days with your commentary!! I, too, am SICK of unwanted calls and the plethora of campaign signs!!! Thanks for speaking out..... You give MEDIA a big ole A+!!!


For once, you are so right.


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