RENO, NV - The phone has been ringing at a Reno barber shop - most of the calls are not people hoping to schedule a haircut. Barber Josh Arias said he is receiving calls for the Obama campaign's Reno office.
"It was ringing a good fifteen to twenty times a day," he said. Arias said the calls have been coming for weeks. He said there was an increase in the days leading up to President Obama's visit to Reno Tuesday.
KOLO found the phone number for Mayberry Salon and Barbers on the campaign's web site on multiple pages. The number is listed incorrectly as that of the Obama campaign office on Pueblo Street in Reno.
Arias said while at times it is difficult to get through giving a haircut without the phone ringing, the callers are pretty nice. He said many, after finding out they aren't talking to the campaign office, want to know how he plans to vote. He follows the advice of another barber: "you're a Republican if a Republican is sitting in your chair and a Democrat if a Democrat is sitting in your chair," he said.
Arias said he tried to call the campaign at another number, but he reached a voicemail that was full - he could not leave a message. He also said he e-mailed the campaign, but received a message stating: due to a high volume of e-mails, his might not even be read.
KOLO went to the Obama re-election office on Pueblo Street. While telling someone at the office about the problem, KOLO was asked to stop recording. Then, a campaign representative in Las Vegas spoke via phone with KOLO. She said the phone number would be taken down, and the campaign was unaware of the issue.
At least one of the pages with the incorrect information appeared to have been taken down several hours later.
Arias said when he receives the incorrect calls, he tries to see if the callers might need a haircut. He joked with a client that he ought to offer an Obama-style hairdo.