Trolling for Dollars
I don’t check my Gmail account as often as I should, so it wasn’t until this morning that I got this missive from the Obama campaign, sent out on October 12:
According to our records associated with this email address—hopefully it’s yours if you’re reading this!—here’s your online giving history for this organization:
—Your supporter ID number is: 1014949027
—Your most recent online donation was: $0
—Total amount donated online in 2012: $0
It looks like you haven’t made an online donation to the campaign yet. If you were waiting for the last minute, you’re pretty much there.
Tonight at midnight is one of the most important deadlines we’ve faced—it’s one we set ourselves. We’re figuring out tomorrow morning what resources we have for the final push and what we can do with them. We’re making some of the final decisions of this campaign.
The President is counting on people like you to step up now, in these last weeks, and this is one of your last opportunities to do it. Don’t let him down.
It’s “signed” by Julianna Smoot, Deputy Campaign Manager. Now, here’s the thing: I’ve never contacted the Obama campaign in any way, shape or form. I’ve probably looked at the Obama for America web site a handful of times doing research. I’ve certainly never suggested that they put me on a donor list, and as far as I know I’ve never given them my Gmail address (which I’ve used as a point of contact only for a very small number of people, all family or close friends).
So here are my questions for OfA:
•How did you get my Gmail address?
•Why did you assign me a donor number?
•Why are you making emphatic statements like “Don’t let him down”? What if I do?
Drew at Weasel Zippers got this same email—in his case it was addressed to him by name—and wrote this about it:
I put myself on both campaign mailing lists and I’ve never received anything like this from Romney, never mind the fact that Team Obama has been known to send out 10+ emails in a single day.
The fact that he got something addressed by name and I didn’t suggests further that, since I never put myself on a campaign mailing list for Obama, he’s simply harvesting addresses somehow and sending out these emails in an attempt to bring in money from people who wouldn’t normally donate, but might be fooled into thinking they are supposed to.
Back in the 1970s, some anonymous person put a classified ad in, IIRC, Mother Jones magazine. All it said was, “Last chance to get your dollar in now!” along with a post office box in Oakland. Over 3000 people dutifully sent their dollar in, and then, when the fog lifted, collectively said, “Hey!” It looks like the Obama campaign is pulling that same trick.
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