Pelosi Campaign Settles Lawsuit Over Unsolicited Text Messages
The campaign of Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California recently had to pay $7,500 to Illinois resident Jorge Rojas to settle a lawsuit he brought claiming the campaign violated federal robocalling laws. The lawsuit accused the Pelosi campaign of sending “illegal, campaign-related pre-recorded and automated texts to Plaintiff’s telephone number, which were not consented to.” Rojas received unwanted texts from the Pelosi campaign from November 2021 through July 2022, even after he sent the campaign a message to stop the texts.
Violation of Federal Robocalling Laws
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 pre-dates texting technology, but it now includes texts as well as traditional robocalls made to anyone who has joined the Do Not Call Registry. The lawsuit filed by Rojas stated that the Pelosi campaign sent “illegal, campaign-related pre-recorded and automated texts to Plaintiff’s telephone number, which were not consented to.” The suit also claimed that the campaign continued to send messages even after Rojas asked them to stop, resulting in “malicious, intentional, willful, reckless, wanton and negligent disregard for Plaintiff’s rights under the law and with the purpose of harassing Plaintiff.”
Settlement of the Lawsuit
The lawsuit sought $31,500, an amount calculated on a per-text basis for 21 texts Rojas said he received. In February, the Pelosi campaign paid Rojas $7,500, calling the payment a “settlement.”
The payment was buried on page 5,496 of a Federal Elections Commission filing.
Campaign Contribution Requests
In February, Los Angeles Times columnist Nicholas Goldberg wrote about the deluge of campaign contribution requests he receives. He noted that after last fall’s elections, the pleas for cash, “seemed to ratchet up from a previous level of frantic anxiety to a new plateau of panic and hysteria.” Goldberg wrote that he receives the pleas even though he has never signed up to be on lists to get them, nor has he contributed to the candidates. He also expressed frustration with the tone of the messages, calling them “patronizing” and “cheesy solicitations.”
The lawsuit in its entirety: