Astonishing: Did Florida Dems outsource election robocalls to India?

Summary:Here we have, the Florida Dems calling Ma and Pa Florida asking them "please to go" to their polling place.

Note from David about this post:

I'm not happy about this post.

After spending a year writing How To Save Jobs, I've become hyper-sensitive to the problem America has with outsourcing jobs to other nations.

During my research, I also discovered astonishing instances where the U.S. government effectively encouraged outsourcing, and even paid workers outside the U.S. to learn skills that then made them competitive with U.S. workers.

So, when I got the call documented below, I assumed (without the ability to verify) that it came from a foreign call center. This was an assumption based solely on the caller's accent and was probably assuming too much based on the accent.

We have many fellow Americans who've moved to the United States and who retain accents from their homelands. Many of these people are very active politically and it wasn't fair to discount the possibility that a local volunteer was calling, merely based on his accent.

I'm still weirded out by the possibility that the Dems are outsourcing this work, but after sleeping on it it overnight and reading a few reader comments, I felt that the post seemed to have a tinge of intolerance for people with accents.

It's an impression I don't want to give, I've done a lot of work and analysis on the U.S. immigration issue, and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

I should also note that I respect the need and desire for workers in foreign lands to have jobs and outsourcing is a huge opportunity for them. It's just that with our current job situation, I feel that America needs to do all it can to retain and encourage employment here, instead.

I am leaving the original post here as a record of what was originally written, but I apologize if anyone got the wrong impression.

The original post begins here.

This one's going to be short and sweet.

As I mentioned last week, here in Central Florida, we've been assaulted by a never-ending stream of robocalls.

Today is Election Day and we just checked our voice mail messages. I'm telling you this because since the message was left on voice mail, it's less likely to have been a robocall and more likely to have been an actual human calling.

The call went like this:

"Hello, this is Joe."

He did not exactly sound like a "Joe". The man had a thick, thick Indian accent.

"I need every Democrat to go vote today. Please to go to your polling place."

Now, you need to understand that this is Florida, where we live below the Bible Belt. Wal-Mart workers wish you a "blessed day" and physicians try to pitch you on their churches. This part of Florida isn't the most xenophobic place in America, but it's not the most open-minded either.

And here we have, the Florida Dems calling Ma and Pa Florida asking them "please to go" to their polling place.

Now, certainly, it's possible that they had a local volunteer with a thick Indian accent, but I'm kind of doubting it. What this sounded like was a call center based in India making dials on behalf of the Dems.

I'm also not saying the Republicans wouldn't make such a stupid move in an economy desperate for jobs, but, well, the Republicans would never make this sort of stupid move. Other stupid moves, yes, but outsourcing election calls to India?

I'm not telling you this because I support one party or the other, but because, as a proponent of American jobs, I'm astonished.

Wow. Just, frickin' wow.

See also: The Democrats deserve to lose, but do the Republicans deserve to win?

Topics: CXO, Enterprise Software, IT Employment, Outsourcing

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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