Sunday, September 30, 2007

Questionable Democratic Fundraising E-mails?

So, I recently moved to Olympia, WA and I would just like to say that it took Comcast FOREVER to successfully hookup my internet access. I say successfully, because the first TWO times they came, it quit working. So, after about a month long hiatus from blogging, I'm happy to be back (not to mention how thrilled I am to have regular access to e-mail. I'd like to give props to The Evergreen State College for tacitly allowing me to use their library computers for personal internet use. Good people there.).
A good friend of mine who blogs under the moniker Tzepish drew my attention to a couple of questionable fund raising e-mails he's received from the Dodd campaign, and it looks like he isn't the only one.

From Tzepish:

The extremely informal "Hey," opener makes this email seem almost as though it
were written only to the recipient from Chris Dodd himself. The request for
"$23" (as opposed to $20 or $25) is meant to give the impression that he really
is only $23 short of the goal, whereas a request for $25 would have been more
readily recognized as a regular donations solicitation email.

and regarding a second e-mail from Dodd (image not available) which read:

"I noticed that you recently made an attempt to make a contribution to our
campaign on-line, and for some reason the attempt was not successful."No. I did
not recently make an attempt to contribute to the Dodd campaign, and this email
won't get me to do it. I did contribute to the campaign a couple months ago, and
guess what? The charge on that one went through. But imagine if I had recently
made a donation on the website (let's say $25), and then received this email?
Chances are a good portion of the people receiving this would go ahead and
attempt the donation again, and whoops, there goes another $25! Right into the
pockets of the Dodd Squad.

A Dodd staffer actually responded to Tzepish's concerns in the comments of the blog, writing that the second e-mail was a response to an earlier donation from a previous accounting period (although, I'm not sure I buy it, but whatever, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt).

These e-mails rubbed me the wrong way. It's not that they were necessarily out right dishonest (well, the second message would be if my suspicions are accurate), but they do seem kind of sleazy. It's like the candidate (in this case Dodd, but Atrios has also received a similar one from Obama) is trying to trick us into donating. I know marketing is essentially professional trickery, but for whatever reason (perhaps my naivete), I would expect more from politicians. This all smacks more of e-mail spam than it does legitimate electioneering. How strong are a candidate's convictions about his or her campaign if they have to resort to tricking the party loyal into contributing to their primary coffers? I'm probably just being to sensitive, but I still don't like it. Not at all.