Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No, KC Elections Did NOT Give Out Your Phone Number

I called KC Elections about Stand for Children's rep telling me last night that they got my phone number from them.  I was told, they never give out phone numbers or e-mail addresses.

I called Stand and talked to a couple of people I know there.  I was pretty clear on my unhappiness.  I was told that they DID get it from the voter registration rolls.  I told them KC Elections said no so how could this be? 

I was told that Stand had used a group - Win Win - and got the list from them and they "probably" got it from the voter registration.  I was also told that robo calls are legal because it's a political message being delivered but, of course, they don't mean to bother anyone.  (I did look up the group "Win Win" on Google, in several forms and found nothing. )

(I also asked about Peter Maier and they said that no one in that race was recommended by their endorsement group and hence, he was the only incumbent not in their Town Hall.)

I called KC Elections again and went up the food chain.  I was told that no public info - phone or e-mail - is ever given out.   That info is for KC Elections' use in case of an issue with a ballot.  I was told that possibly Stand (or whoever) could have obtained the voter list and did some kind of cross-match with DEX or some other phone entity.  I still don't get how that would apply to me as I have an unlisted phone number. 

I told Stand to take me off their list.  You can call Stand as well at 632-7451 and ask for Brooke Brod who will be happy to take your name off their list. 

I think Stand should come clean on where they really got these phone numbers. 


seattle citizen said...

Maybe they got them from the good people at Strategies 360 PR company, uh, the Our Schools Coalition. They have the list of parents and educators. They first wrote on their meticulously accurate "research" abstract that accompanied their push-poll, biased "report" that was used to try and influence the 2010 union contract negotiations) that they got the list from Seattle Public Schools. When questioned, they changed their meticulously accurate Research abstract to say they got the list from SPS and KC voting lists (now we find out KC doesn't give that out, hmmmm). Then they modified their meticulously accurate Research abstract to not say anything about where they got the names and phone numbers of parents and educators.

When further questioned, it supposedly turns out that the list came from...was it the Alliance? LEV? who had apparently recieved the list from the SPS district for some other ostensibly legitimate purpose, and illegally passed it on to S360, uh, OSC. It's not legal to share this private information.

Maybe someone could ask SPS's new PR person, Lesley Rogers, where that list, or this new one that Stand is using, came from? She worked at S360 during that time, and was then hired by SPS.

seattle citizen said...

Win Win

SolvayGirl said...

I did NOT get a robo-call, but I don't have a child in SPS. Did anyone who does NOT have a child enrolled in SPS get a call? That could narrow down the source of the phone numbers.

someone said...

@seattlecitizen - nice find. Not to stir the conspirarcy pot too much (ok, a maybe little ;) but SPS's lobbyist works for one of the organizations listed as a partner on that site. Interesting - we did not get such a call - no kid at SPS, but an employee. interesting.

dan dempsey said...


The Win/Win Network is a forward-thinking collaboration formed to improve coordination and communication among nonprofit civic engagement organizations in Washington State.

The network's non-partisan mission is to establish collective action around a common agenda.


So what common agenda?

another mom said...

SolvayGirl, I was called and no longer have students in SPS -aged out.

another mom said...

Also, they have been out for a number of years. They qualify as adults these days.

RosieReader said...

You can ask them to take you off their list, and they should listen to you because it's smart from a PR perspective. But the law that requires telemarketers to remove you from their list specifically excludes political entities. Before anyone comments with a sense of outrage, please understand that that was done to comply with the First Amendment. which I hope, we can agree, we all like.

Anonymous said...

how about Stand For Children and all the rest of these astro turfs come clean and put on their websites lists of all people who get money from them and all people who give money from them.
Maybe those passing into the Gate$ of the 1% would prefer to keep all that money stuff hu$h hu$h?


seattle citizen said...

RosieReader, I agree that the First Amendment is a good, good thing. Even if it means robocalls (which I am free to call screen!)

My concern is how Win Win got phone numbers/names. If we give out that info to someone, sure, but if it is once made free by some restricted agency (such as SPS)is it then a free-for-all, where organizations, even businesses, can trade lists?

I suppose it is increasingly difficult to keep one's info private, but you know me, I'm always looking to see who is scratching who's back. Win Win is evidently, given its list of members, a pretty diverse group, ideologically speaking. I don't think I have a problem with that. But where did Win Win get this list? THAT is the question. Who gave it to them?

seattle citizen said...


This doesn't show the cash flow, but Dora Taylor and Sue Peters put together this little flow chart showing the Lines of Influence in Seattle, which shows who the "players" inter-relate. Could use some updating, but a pretty clear view from last year.

Christina said...


Look here for SFC contributors and here for recipients of SFC PAC money. There is openness as mandated by the Public Disclosure Commission.

WV Humor alert:"pormatho"

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I did the exact same thing today. Confirmed that KC Elections did not give out my phone number. Then I called S4C in Portand asking how they got my number and got this Seattle # for S4C 206.801.8488 and it went to VM. So I did a phone number search and found this Seattle S4C blog:

There are more contact #s. All going to VM.

Total BS and swayed my only incumbent vote to the challenger in the Carr v. Martin race in a small voice protest!

SPS Parent

SP said...

I think anyone can ask & get the list from SPS- it's amazing to me each year when I read how much "private" information is released (without guidelines or district policy?). This is from the Opt-out FERPA form:

"Directory Information: Under FERPA, SPS may release “directory” information to anyone, including but not
limited to parent-teacher organizations, the media, colleges and universities, the military, youth groups, and
scholarship grantors, unless you tell SPS that you do not want the information released. The following information
is considered directory information: parent and student name, home address, home telephone number, home email
address, student photograph or video, student date of birth, dates of enrollment, grade level, enrollment status,
degree or award received, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports teams,
height and weight of athletes, most recent school or program attended, and other information that would not
generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed."

seattle citizen said...

Thanks for the link, Christina! From that list of donors, some of the top (I stopped counting at over half a million in the last year or so):

Over 500 thousand dollars.

Connie Ballmer – 105 grand

Mike Bezos – 75 large Co-leader Bezos Family Foundation (ed philanthropy)

Judy Bushnell -30 thou Board member League of Education Voters

Jon Runstad 30 big ones

Rajeev Singh 12.5 k “ Key Executives Misrepresent Educational Credentials” Wikipedia
Steve Singh 5000 “Key Executives Misrepresent Educational Credentials:” Wikipedia
(Both Singhs are from :Concur Technologies

David Habeeb 1000 hmmm… Mathworks financial officer? Harvard Ed Tech Group? Don’t know…

Tim Burgess 1000 well, we all know he is our city’s councilmember…and Our Schools Coalition signator…

dan dempsey said...

Oh so only those with endorsements were allowed to play...

(I also asked about Peter Maier and they said that no one in that race was recommended by their endorsement group and hence, he was the only incumbent not in their Town Hall.)

Thus three incumbents and no one else.

That sure sounds like a super duper way to find out very little. Why not just read the party line?

Peter should be having a hard time getting endorsements from ... most everyone ... but given that Seattle politics is an insiders game... No retraction from Reuven Carlyle's endorsement is to be expected.

Any chance Reuven would like to explain PM voting to give out $363,000 after saying this.

Kate Martin said...

Campaigns can buy the voter lists with the names, addresses and phone numbers from the state democratic party. They call the lists VoteBuilder. It costs a couple of thousand dollars to buy the citywide list. It's a pretty sophisticated software program that lets you sort the lists in a variety of ways for calls, mailings, and door-belling.

watcher said...

First, it looks like anyone with a credit card can order a full copy of the WA state voter registration database. They just have to promise to only use it for political purposes. There are severe penalties for misuse of the data, see this link:

1) Order Monthly Voter Registration Database Read more at https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/vrdb_order.aspx

Second, the state does not require you to include a phone number as part of your voter registration, even though they ask for it. I'm glad I didn't.

2) Minimum information required for voter registration

Third, it's a little odd if you read #2 in the following link, which implies that phone number is not part of the data that gets passed to purchasers of this data. But your voting record IS! I believe this means just whether or not you voted in a given election, not how you voted, but making that data public for individuals is somewhat troubling as well. Peter Maier has been digging through this data to try to find dirt on his opponent and bringing it up it in the candidate forums. Like he's clean!

3) The following info... regarding a voter or a group of voters is available for public inspection

Lastly, a link that supports RosieReader's observation about political telemarketing:

Political phone calls

Melissa, I think it's worth more digging to see exactly how your info got pulled, and by whom. Hope this is helpful.

watcher said...


Thanks for the telemarketer info, it was sadly enlightening. But after reading several of the laws surrounding this, I do not agree with this interpretation of the first amendment, and I am outraged. I do not see why political entities should be exempted from an otherwise commonsense law.

Isn't it suspicious that the writers of our laws have managed to exempt their own organizations? FWIW, there is at least one movement to fight against this practice:
Stop Political Calls

SP said...

Do not underestimate the power of the SPS directory "free service" available to "anyone". As I posted above, "anyone" is defined by SPS as including, but NOT limited to:

"Under FERPA, SPS may release “directory” information to anyone, including but not
limited to parent-teacher organizations, the media, colleges and universities, the military, youth groups, and
scholarship grantors, unless you tell SPS that you do not want the information released."

----Does anyone know if there any district policies or procedures limiting the access of directory information to "anyone"?

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't have a child in SPS and I got the calls.

Nope, SP, I always was very careful to sign the FERPA form AND keep a copy.

Kate, so why didn't Stand tell me that if that's how they got the phone numbers?

It's all quite curious.

Jenny said...

I got a call and I've never had a child in SPS so they don't have any info on me.

I have given money to the state democrats, so they may have gotten my info from them.

Chris S. said...

Well, I'm a little confused. They called my cell phone. I'm sure the KC or state democrats or whatever do not have that number. I think the only relevant organization that has that number is SPS (for obvious reasons: they might need to find me in real-time)

It's theoretically possible I gave the number to LEV...but I doubt it. My money is it's the same list OSC got thru shady means from SPS.

Can I get that list? Maybe I'll try.

Jan said...

RosieReader -- I agree with you on the carveout for political calls. Thanks for the link. I will follow up!

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