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Democrats Grill GOP Telemarketer

June 13, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Annoyed Democrats drilled a telemarketer with tough questions Tuesday about his company’s work raising money for Republicans, but didn’t get many answers.

Telemarketer Steven Brubaker offered to look into the Democrats’ complaints but conceding nothing _ not even that the National Republican Congressional Committee was a client.

Brubaker, senior vice president of Akron, Ohio-based InfoCision Management Corp., an Akron, said he didn’t know about published reports in which doctors complained of being misled by the phone campaign his company was running.

Repeatedly, the House subcommittee members waved newspaper clippings or read excerpts from published stories. Repeatedly, Brubaker said he didn’t come to Capitol Hill to talk about that and wasn’t prepared to answer their questions.

Afterward, he admitted to reporters, ``I am familiar with some of it,″ but said questions would have to be handled by the company’s marketing director, who turned out to be out of the office all the week.

The GOP organization behind the calls, meanwhile, said it didn’t know what all the fuss was about.

Only Democrats have complained about the calls, said NRCC spokesman Jim Wilkinson, who defended the campaign as legitimate and above-board.

``They’re told in the script they’re from the NRCC,″ he said. ``If people support us, they give money. If they don’t, they say `No, thank you.‴

In the telemarketing campaign, doctors are told they’ve been nominated to a ``Physicians Advisory Board.″

Those who accept are told they’ll get a certificate and their name in a newspaper ad. In exchange, they’re asked for a donation of $300 to $500 to help elect House Republicans.

The solicitation was first reported Friday by The Associated Press. Additional details were reported Monday by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. By coincidence, Brubaker was booked to represent the telemarketing industry at a telecommunications subcommittee hearing on legislation seeking more limits on the hours commercial solicitations can be made.

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