New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella announced today that Deep Fake voter suppression robocalls aimed at dissuading voters from voting in last months Democratic primary have been traced to a Texas-based firm called Life Corporation, owned by a man named Walter Monk. The calls used a voice like President Biden’s and told voters not to “waste” their vote in the primary, implying that you could vote in the primary or the general election but not both.
Monk seems to have a long and pretty sordid history of low-rent robocall type operations, but at least on first pass not a clear history of involvement in politics.
All the way back in 1990, Life Corp., then based in Grand Prairie, Texas got in hot water for automated dating service calls to residents in Memphis, Tennessee. Life Corp was then doing business as “Singles Telephone.” Life Corp got in trouble then because Tennessee was apparently one of the first states to attempt to limit or outlaw automated robocalls. Monk said that the law didn’t apply to his company since the calls were made from Mississippi. Mississippi also had an anti-robocall statute. But by calling from one state to another Monk’s operation managed to avoid jurisdiction in both states. Or at least that’s what Monk claimed. Life Corp finally stopped about a month later when the Tennessee Public Service Commission referred Life Corp to the Shelby County DA’s office for potential prosecution.
A dozen year’s later, now-Governor and then-Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott, of all people, sued Life Corp and 15 other companies for violating Texas’s new do-not-call registry. “These 15 companies have obviously not gotten the message that do not call means do not call,” said Abbott, according to an article in The Star-Telegram. “These are what we call repeat offenders.”
By this point, Life Corporation was based in Arlington.
Walter Monk told the paper he was a “stockholder” in Life Corporation. But the FCC had him down as President of the company and among the names the firm operated as were “Confere Dating Game, Psychic Inroads, MICD Hosting and the Association of Luxurious Living.”
It certainly seems like Monk has been on the leading edge of phone based sleaziness for literally decades. So who hired him this time?