Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines to a man who argued her campaign was harassing him with illegal text solicitations.
New filings reported by Business Insider show that Pelosi agreed to pay an Illinois man $7,500 after he filed suit against the congresswoman alleging she violated federal do-not-call laws by sending him 21 text messages asking for donations to her campaign. The man, Jorge Rojas, originally demanded $1,500 per violation for a total of $31,500 in damages. He moved to dismiss the lawsuit in February after receiving the smaller payment.
In the text of the lawsuit, filed October 2022, Rojas listed some of the outlandish claims made by Pelosi as she sought to shore up donations ahead of the November elections. Among her messages: Republicans are “fleeing the Senate” made in reference to the retirement of three Republican senators that year; Democrats have a “one-in-a-lifetime chance” to hold the House, Senate, and White House; and Marco Rubio was “in danger” of losing his Senate seat in Florida.
Despite setting record fundraising hauls for her party over her 20-year leadership tenure in the House, the San Francisco Democrat has drawn the ire of activists for her infamously frequent — and sometimes ill-timed — fundraising solicitations. After the fall of Roe v. Wade last year, she immediately sent out a national fundraising appeal.
Less than an hour after the repealing of Roe V. Wade Nancy Pelosi uses it to ask for more donations. (2022) pic.twitter.com/0ZcytQq0VS
— crazy ass moments in american politics (@ampol_moment) June 24, 2022
As automated text messages, or robotexts, from politicians have gained traction in recent years, so have lawsuits that seek to profit from any legal overstepping by political campaigns. And although politicians are generally exempt from limitations imposed by the national Do Not Call Registry, they can often be held liable for sending pre-recorded calls or text messages to voters listed with the registry.
While staying quiet in her official duties as a House representative recently, Pelosi has been vocal in her criticism of former President Donald Trump following his indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg over alleged financial fraud.
“The Grand Jury has acted upon the facts and the law. No one is above the law, and everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence. Hopefully, the former President will peacefully respect the system, which grants him that right,” the former Speaker said.