This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 22, 2004 9:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was "I'm in trial". The next post in this blog is Tax a Roni, the Portland treat. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, January 22, 2004

The thanks you get

Once upon a time, my spouse made the mistake of joining OSPIRG, the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, in response to a door-to-door solicitation.

Now, years after she's stopped giving them money, they're calling our house at 9:25 p.m. with some urgent message or another, including, no doubt, to ask for more money. What is worse, they are bypassing a message that we pay good money to the phone company for. When you call our home, before our phone rings, you are first warned that we do not accept solicitations, and instructed to push "1" to get through only if you are not a solicitor.

Apparently, OSPIRG telemarketer Audrey Albrecht doesn't understand English. She went ahead and interrupted our night by pushing "1." At 9:25 p.m. Which is why I told her director, Jonathan Jelen, that OSPIRG should never, never, never call our home again.

Before putting yourself on OSPIRG's phone list by giving them money, you may wish to consider this story.

Comments (8)

That group operates all sorts of funny schemes all around, doesn't it? I always got weirded out at the U of O, because they would always get five minutes in front of the class to spout off. Odd.

(Oh, and their signs were atrocious.)

"Spout off"? While I agree that calling someone that late and pushing through the solicitor shield is rude, I was of the mind the org. does do some good work.

I give the PIRG money each and every month. I also don't give out my phone number to any organizations.
See? It's easy--all the gratification, none of the bother.

But Jack, would you have gotten riled about this before your girls were born and your household acquired a real bedtime?

WWP bailed on OSPIRG the day George W. Bush was installed as president. The connection between the PIRGS and Ralph Nader, whom we have to thank for the Republican "victory" in 2000, goes back years. Nader has his tentacles in each and every one of the PIRGS across the country, and his organization benefits financially from the transfer of funds directly from the PIRGS (which he helped to found, incidentally). It's not a pretty picture. Read for yourself: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,80925,00.html

Yeah, OSPIRG was a pretty popular group at the U of O (the most well funded, as I recall.) They would ask for five minutes or so for a recruiting pitch before just about every non-science class. It got pretty irritating after a while, especially when you knew that they were a prime funding mechanism for the USPIRG.

Um. Ralph Nader has his "tentacles" in all of the PIRG's (OSPIRG being Oregon State Public Interest Research Group), because he STARTED the it in 1971. Would you like to take a guess where? That's right, at the University of Oregon.

The PIRGs freak me out because they almost always wangle themselves a special funding mechanism on the campuses where the operate, so that there are basically no controls on what they spend at all. I was on the Student Finance Committee at my undergrad school, and everybody else submitted budgets and competed for funds, but OPIRG had gotten the student body to vote at some point on a thing where they got a chunk of everyone's activity fee automatically. I thought it was absurd and unfair, and very, very bad policy. Anyone who's afraid of budget oversight is, in my opinion, not to be trusted.

I went to school with an audrey albrecht, who went on to work for OSPIRG...and if it is the same person...she always was pushy!

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