A New Jersey state lawmaker has introduced a revolutionary piece of legislation that would allow Americans to give telemarketers a taste of their own medicine.
Introduced by state Sen. Jon Bramnick, a Republican and former Assemblymember, the “Seinfeld Bill” would force annoying telemarketers who hassle customers to hand over “the name and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the call is being made.”
This information would have to be handed over within the first 30 seconds of the call, lest the telemarketer be hit with a disorderly person citation.
“New Jerseyans should know who they’re talking to on the phone and what’s being sold to them by telemarketers,” Bramnick said in a statement.
“My legislation requires more transparency from telemarketers and punishes those who lie and misrepresent information on sales calls. If you’re on the up and up, you should have no problem with this bill if you’re a telemarketer,” he added.
Bramnick is up for reelection this year:
Monday please join us pic.twitter.com/Sd6lKyXgVy
— Jon Bramnick (@JonBramnick) January 26, 2023
His bill would also require “the mailing address of a telemarketer and any business on whose behalf the telemarketer is telemarketing to be disclosed on any website owned or operated by the telemarketer and on any subsequent written communication to customers.”
The bill was inspired by an episode of the classic sitcom “Seinfeld.” In the specific episode, protagonist Jerry Seinfeld (played by comedian Jerry Seinfeld) flips the script on a telemarketer by saying he’s busy and offering to call back later.
“Why don’t you give me your home number and I’ll call you later?” he says to the telemarketer.
“Uh, well I’m sorry, we’re not allowed to do that,” the telemarketer replies.
“Oh, I guess you don’t want people calling you at home,” Seinfeld responds.
“No,” the telemarketer says.
“Well, now you know how I feel,” Seinfeld replies.
Interestingly, Bramnick is himself a part-time stand-up comedian. In fact, he swears he’s the funniest senator in America.
“When Bruce Wayne finishes his day, he fights crime at night. When Assembly Minority leader Jon Bramnick finishes his day fighting for the people of New Jersey, he becomes ‘New Jersey’s Funniest Lawyer’ and he’s actually funny!” local radio station WKXW reported in 2021.
“Bramnick, a candidate for New Jersey State Senate in the 21st District, will be performing standup comedy with Mike Marino and myself this Saturday at the Brook Art Theatre in Bound Brook,” the station added.
At the time, Bramnick was a member of the New Jersey Assembly. Evidently on account of him being so popular and likable, he easily won a seat on the New Jersey Senate, despite going up against someone much younger.
“Democrat Joe Signorello is the fast-talking young mayor of Roselle Park. … He’s a venture capitalist who helps start-ups grow, and he speaks fluent German and still follows German politics after working for four years in Germany and Switzerland. At 33, he’s about half his opponent’s age — and if elected, would likely be the youngest lawmaker in the 120-member Legislature,” the New Jersey Monitor reported at the time.
“Signorello thinks he can beat Bramnick in this district where Democrats outnumber Republicans — and unaffiliated and third-party voters make up more than a third of the electorate,” the paper added.
Signorello thought wrong.
Watch Bramnick performing below:
Dovetailing back to Bramnick’s bill, it’s already made it through the New Jersey Senate Commerce Committee, so that’s a good sign.
However, Democrats control the New Jersey Assembly, Senate, and governorship, and given their opposition to anything that’s good and decent, it’s not certain that the bill will ever even make it to the desk of Gov. Phil Murphy.
Though on the other hand, the Democrats who run New Jersey’s neighbor state, New York, had no issues about pushing through legislation late last year requiring “telemarketers to give customers the option to be added to [the] company’s do-not-call list.”
“We are dialing up our efforts to give New Yorkers a break from unsolicited telemarketing calls. For too long, New Yorkers have dealt with these nuisance calls, not knowing they can avoid these interactions by being added to a telemarketer’s do-not-call list,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said at the time.
“This new legislation will protect New Yorkers from receiving frustrating, unwanted calls by better providing information on do-not-call lists,” she added.
Not bad, though the public definitely appears to prefer the “Seinfeld Bill.” In fact, some wish their own state legislators — or, better yet, their national legislators — would follow Bramnick’s lead:
Make it the law in every state.
— Jose Loyola (@joseloyola1686) February 1, 2023
Heck, make it a federal law. imho
— 70Camaro (@AllGMFamily) February 4, 2023
We need this in Tx too. I barely answer my phone anymore because 90% of the time it’s “Stephanie from the funding department” at this point I am sure I am losing clients and these telemarketers should be paying my phone bill.
— Miles Hendrix (@StarSailor2222) February 3, 2023
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