Rick Nease color illustration of six-armed futuristic robot frantically handling an antiquated telephone in each hand.
There's new hope we might all be able to enjoy an evening dinner during the next big election cycle without incessant phone calls of interruption from political candidates and their many surrogates.
Yes, the dreaded political robo-call - those annoying computer-generated telephone messages that often include the voice of a celebrity of some sort backing one candidate or another - might well be a thing of the past. And wouldn't that be a wonderful thing?
Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, and others have renewed their bipartisan push to improve the decade-old law that regulates Wisconsin's no-call list.
Among the changes suggested by Harsdorf is making enrollment on the list a permanent thing, rather than subject to renewal every two years.
That makes sense, as most folks aren't likely to carefully track the date of their entry on the list, and they generally become aware they're off the list only when the unwanted solicitation calls start pouring in again.
So, Step 1 is to remove the two-year re-enrollment requirement.
An even better Step 2 would be to get rid of the loophole that lawmakers created for themselves that allows for political telemarketing calls for those on the no-call list. That was a bad idea then and remains so today.
Lest anyone needs reminding, it was as recent as last fall's campaign cycle - featuring presidential, congressional and state contests - that it was difficult to answer the telephone without being greeted by a candidate's pitch.
And as bothersome and irritating as the calls are, worse is that the robo-calls contribute to a general sense that the entire political process is annoying and something that is best to dodge. The last thing we need are more citizens "hanging up" on their chance to engage in the process of electing our leaders.
Legislative leaders in both parties and in both chambers need to do Wisconsin citizens a favor and tighten the no-call legislation so it stays in force and applies to the politicians themselves.