Got Moak? Careful, It’s Sour Moak!
August 16, 2010
The mudslinging in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District continues with millionaire telemarketer Steve Moak turning his sights on his opponents and beginning his attacks in an effort to distract attention from the latest revelations about his record. If you listened to Moak on the campaign trail or read the glitzy mailers the millionaire telemarketer is sending throughout the district, you’d believe that Moak intends to apply his business experience in Washington. The closer one looks at Moak’s record, the more one realizes that it’s not such a good thing.
First, Moak is a telemarketer. He made his millions of dollars calling you, your parents and your grandma during dinner. Aren’t Congressmen annoying enough without being telemarketers? If you are fortunate enough to live in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District, you are being bombarded by phone calls encouraging you to vote for Moak. Think those calls are coming from hardworking volunteers who are committed to the Moak wave sweeping the nation? Think again.
Moak has made millions with call centers all over America (and jobs he no doubt outsourced) who are masters at getting you on the line, holding you on the line, manipulating you and getting you to act in a manner that works for them to get what they want. According to what others have published, employees at those call centers are being forced to sign non-disclosure statements so they are not allowed to tell you, tell the media or tell anyone what they are being told to do on behalf of Steve Moak. Not a good sign of what Congressman Moak would be.
Moak needs to familiarize himself with the concept of transparency. Conservatives across America are rightfully demanding openness about what government is doing with our tax dollars. Businesses disclose as little as possible, only what they are required to share by law. Moak should understand that as conservative voters we are interested in honesty and openness from our candidates. Vernon Parker’s campaign imploded because he lost all credibility by repeatedly lying to Arizona voters (and is still now lying to them as he promotes his admittedly false YouTube ad online).
What Moak needs to understand is that we don’t want another Vernon Parker and we don’t want to be pestered with his phone calls. We certainly don’t want to be called on our cellphones and we’d like to know who is being paid to make these calls. Do these callers even live in Arizona or the 3rd District? If not, are they at least Moak supporters? Or are they employees of Moak’s telemarketing firms being forced to sign non-disclosure statements and make calls on behalf of the boss (or risk their jobs)? Do they disclose that they are not actual supporters in the call or do they lie to the voters who answer? Most conservatives are very much in favor of government being run more like a business in many ways. We want accountability for where our dollars are spent. But what Moak doesn’t understand is that in the “government as business” model, he doesn’t get to be “the boss” as a Congressmen. His ego won’t afford him the opportunity to “get it.” No Mr. Moak, you are applying to work for us.
A secondary concern about paid telemarketers in call centers across America and maybe even outside the country making calls on behalf of Moak is the legality. Moak is required by law to pay the full going rate for those calls. He is not allowed to take corporate contribution in the form of dollars or in the form of anything of value. If Moak is forcing employees of his own company to make those calls against their will and sign non-disclosure statements without full disclosure in his campaign finance reports, he’s violating the laws found under the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).
If friends in the industry are making those calls for free or at a discount on behalf of Moak, and it’s not fully disclosed, it would also violate the law. And when one gets to the question of how Moak is calling cellphone numbers (which is incredibly annoying to a lot of people) a whole different situation arises. The voter file available as a public document often contains numbers or can easily be cross-referenced with phone records to match up with your own home phone number. Such is not usually the case for cellphone records. Moak and his industry allies own telemarketing firms. Those firms have lists. If he is using those lists, not paying the full cost (for example what he would charge his opponents to use the same list) and not fully disclosing that in his FEC reports, he is once again, violating the law. Not a stellar list of unanswered question as the apparently very sloppy businessman becomes an all too typical politician.
Beyond the legality or ethical concerns of Moak using paid telemarketers across the country to pose as Moak supporters and bother you during dinner, is Moak’s business activities in past years and his alleged involvement in “slamming” activities that became prevalent in the telemarketing industry, eventually leading to an Act of the very Congress that Moak wants to join. If you don’t remember or you’re too young, here is what drove the revenues for businesses like Moak’s. You, mom and dad or grandma would get a call during dinner or some other inappropriate time of the day. You’d be kept on the line for a minute or so answering annoying questions and trying to politely get off the call. You’d finally hang up and be glad it was over. Then you’d find out later that your phone company was switched to MCI or another company and you never approved such a change. Lots of senior citizens kept paying bills and didn’t even realize their company was changed. More money for Moak.
Moak was a “slammer” and slammers did whatever they could took to make money. They pushed their actions to the very limits of the law, with no concern for ethics or morality. Eventually the public relations disaster and revelations drove MCI out of business. The bottom line is that we shouldn’t need an Act of Congress to have stop Moak from being ethical. Moak “the businessman” went to the full limits of the law, regardless of honesty or ethics, to benefit himself. It would be absurd to assume Moak “the Congressman” will be any different. Fool my once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
We haven’t seen the mainstream media even report on Moak’s business activities, much less investigate them fully and provide information to the voters necessary for them to make an informed decision. So here it is. Voters deserve to know the truth.
Lastly, Moak has abused not-for-profit laws to benefit whom? You guessed it to benefit Moak himself. After a couple of his children apparently experienced unfortunate problems related to drugs, Moak founded a charity to help families like his. His “NotMyKid” charity would seem to be a laudable pursuit. What Moak failed to disclose was that his charity was engaged in “donating” home drug tests and encouraging parents to regularly test their kids for drugs and advocating such an approach. However, what Moak failed to fully disclose and where his real charitable ends become more clear, was that Moak purchased a for-profit Company from which he bought the at-home drug kits which were donated – and in many cases sold through his charity website – to families. So your charitable donation to Moak’s charity allowed him to use your contribution to purchase drug test kits from his own for profit company and pocket the profits himself. And he encouraged suffering families to buy his not-for-profit’s drug-testing kits.
Is this the kind of “businessman” we need more of in Congress? Many of us on the right and in the Tea Party movement tend to think that this is the problem with Congress, not the solution. There is a reason no Tea Party has ever or would ever make an informed decision to support someone like Moak. As Tea Party activists, we must stand up and oppose the Steve Moaks of the world. We don’t just need Republicans. We’ve seen them fail before. We are sick of government benefitting at the expense of taxpayers, we’re sick and tired of big business, corporate welfare and taxpayer-funded bailouts and back room deals with Congressmen helping fat cat businessmen. Moak is what’s wrong with Washington and what’s wrong with the Republican Party, he is what the Tea Party was created to fight.
Playing off a marketing campaign of the milk industry, Steve Moak likes to use the catch phrase “Got Moak?” Be forewarned: Next time you see “Got Moak?” you should understand that Moak went sour long ago.