Representative: 'Robo' calls revealed lawmakers' cell phone numbers

Representative: 'Robo' calls revealed lawmakers' cell phone numbers

Rep. Brandon Hixon, (R) Caldwell

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 16, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 18 at 12:41 PM

BOISE -- A group of state legislators report being targeted by 'robo' calls that, in some cases, revealed their private cell phone numbers.

The calls were directed at other legislators, and even citizens, who would then be connected to the legislators' cell phones.

The unfortunate occurence happened to Representative Brandon Hixon, (R) Caldwell.

That's when a family afternoon in Boise took a strange turn for Hixon.

"We were going to lunch, and my cell phone started ringing off the hook with some people who were very concerned," said Representative Hixon.

Those callers reached Representative Hixon after getting a robo-call warning them 'Obamacare' was coming to Idaho. Hixon wasn't the only legislator who got calls from constituents and citizens after they'd gotten a robo-call.

"Anybody who was in support of the Governor's state exchange bill were the targets of these robo calls," he said.

HIXON: CALLS 'MISLEADING'

Representative Hixon said the call was misleading.

"That phone call, in my opinion, played on some of the fears of what's happening across the nation right now," Hixon said.

He and six other legislators targeted by these calls took their concerns to Idaho's attorney general, Lawrence Wasden.

"We received a complaint from the representative related to some robo calls that were done in the state in the last several weeks," said Deputy Attorney General Brett DeLange.

DeLange said automated calls, or 'robo' calls, are against the law here in Idaho.

"It essentially says for these types of calls, these robo calls the automated dialing sort of calls, at the outset, they're supposed to identify who they are, the purpose, and how to contact them," said DeLange.

Hixon said this was not the case, and the group behind these calls could face a penalty.

FACING A PENALTY?

"The telephone solicitation act says that if you violate the act, a court can assess as civil penalty of up to $5,000 per violation," DeLange said.

Representative Hixon said he and the other six legislators who filed the complaint just want their constituents to get the truth about the issue.

The Deputy Attorney General says he does not know how long their investigation into this case will take.

Idaho's healthcare insurance exchange bill is now headed to the senate for a vote.

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