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  • Never vote for a spammer

       August 16, 2004

    Anyone else getting SPAM email from Tom Cross, Republican from Illinois?

    I am. I'm getting spammed by him, and so are the other users of this blog that have their email addresses listed over there on the left of the page. He wants me to look at his blog, wants me to help him develop "grass roots" support, etc.

    First, I don't even vote in his state, and I'm sure that 99% of the people that he's spammed don't live in IL. He must be out for campaign contributions.

    I'm certainly not going to give him any money. Just as you should never buy anything being hawked by a spammer, you should never VOTE for anyone who spams. So, everyone from IL, if you see Tom Cross on your ballot, don't vote for him. He is an inconsiderate spammer. You can just imagine the justifications that he has for it - maybe he thinks that it isn't a big deal, or maybe he'll claim it was all a mistake. The truth is, he knows that he can send out a million spam emails for free, and if that nets him a few bucks, well, to hell with whoever he annoyed in the process.

    In this article about Cross, an Illinois newspaper says:

    With help from an energetic team of 20-something staffers, House Minority Leader Tom Cross of Oswego has taken his political efforts into the Internet Age with a new focus on cutting-edge campaigning that replaces palm cards and yard signs with e-mail and a slickly produced Web site that now averages an impressive 10,000 hits a week.

    Yeah, Guess how he's getting those hits? His "hip 20-somethings" are spamming everyone on the internet! Certainly, the newspaper must have known this. If not, I'm going to make sure that they find out.

    The Cross camp now has a database of more than 100,000 e-mail addresses it uses for campaign-related messages. Reaching that many people by snail-mail, Dring points out, would cost thousands of dollars, whereas e-mail is free.

    "I think a lot of people, frankly, are a little envious of that," Cross says. "To be able to reach that many voters or potential voters at the push of a button, I think, is something to be proud of."

    So he's PROUD that his web staff compiled a list of email addressess that belong to people who never asked to get email from him? He's thinks that people are envious of his 100,000-strong spammer list? Hey Tom, after you're done with government, maybe you can get into selling "ch3ap medz online," or maybe penis enlargement pills.

    As much as I'd hate to see the Dems gain a seat in any legislative body, you have to ask yourself, is this really the man that you want representing you in government?


    UPDATE 1: I just got my THIRD spam email from Cross! believers@joincross.com mailer319@1871mail.com>. What a jackass.

    UPDATE 2: This article, "Political spam as national pastime," is about another candidate who isn't above sending out SPAM email. (I found it by searching google for "Tom Cross spam," btw, though the article isn't about his spamming, he just happens to be mentioned on the right-hand side.) The article points out that the politicians have written themsleves a nice little loophole in CAN-SPAM:

    Since Jan. 1, a federal law has regulated spam. But if you look at the law's fine print, you'll find a telling exemption: Our elected representatives made sure the restrictions don't apply to them. As a result, the Can-Spam Act covers only e-mail promoting "a commercial product or service," which lets political spammers off the hook.

    Oh, isn't that nice. Let's imagine that every politician in the US decided to follow Cross' lead and send out spam email. We'd all be sorting through thousands of these messages a day.

    UPDATE 3: As you can see by the comments below, the Cross campaign is maintaining that the emails were sent out errantly. They say that they "accidentally" checked a box that caused them to be sent out. But the question remains, why were THREE of my email addresses spammed, when I never in fact signed up for anything on Tom Cross' website? Why were three of my email addresses even entered into their spam program? Clearly, you dont take the time to collect email addresses and load them into your spamming program unless you intend to spam them. The Cross campaign explains that the lists were compiled by an overzealous intern, acting on his own initiative, and that this intern was the one who loaded their email "marketing" program up with the list.

    Of course, that could have actually happened, but I'm not buying it for one second. This is plain and simple political spin, nothing more.


    Posted by jkhat at August 16, 2004 08:34 AM

        The trackback entry for this page is : http://www.inthehat.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/330

     

    Trackback Entries
      Dummocrats.com linked with GOP candidate sends out spam email, then brags about how "popular" his website is in local newspaper

     


    Comments

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at August 16, 2004 09:25 AM

    It's ironic that guys like this are the ones who will be all over enacting things like CAN-SPAM, which, for the most part, just punishes legitimate markers while failing to do anything about actual spammer (whether they're selling themselves or pills or Nigerian scams).

    Has anyone seen a descrease in spam since CAN-SPAM was enacted? I didn't think so.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Jake Parrillo at August 16, 2004 09:47 AM

    Hey. I am from the Cross Camp.

    this is not a normal thing. We had some interns work here over the summer and they added a 'blogroll email list of about 250 blogs'.

    Our Emailer clicked the box today that had that group in it. Normally we do not SPAM!

    Seriously.

    Sorry about the mix-up. Our list is a true list and we have a real 'opt-out' at the bottom of every email.

    sorry about the mixup.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at August 16, 2004 09:52 AM

    Hmmm, why are you making this blogroll email list? Did you ever get permission from these bloggers? Did you ever intend to? You know that you legally have to do that, right?

    For your emailer to accidently click a box that must mean that you have this non-permission based email list all ready to in your email program. Why would you do that unless you intended to illegally spam them?

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: james at August 16, 2004 09:53 AM

    Why should I have to "opt-out" of your list? I never signed up for it. It should never have been sent in the first place.

    The fact is, you spammed at least three (3) separate email addresses of mine.

    And, I simply don't believe you when you say that it was an "accident" or that it was limited to "only 250 email addresses." The spam emails I got were dated hours apart.

    Additionally, why would you even compile a list of email addresses if your intent wasn't to spam them?

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Jake at August 16, 2004 09:56 AM

    Kris.

    Tough questions, eh? Well, they are traditionally GOP blogs and we are working toward the GOP Convention where we will be blogging from.

    We're not trying to hide anything. In fact, taht's why I am posting here.

    I could have stuck our collective heads in the sand but I decided it is more fun 'to play in the other kids sandbox'.

    I am not going to get into the long explanation about our contact manager and so forth, but it is a fairly easy mistake to be made....

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: james at August 16, 2004 10:02 AM

    I have a hard time understanding how your list of "250 blogs" contains email addresses. (Especially email addresses of mine that don't even appear directly on this site.)

    Also, Kris and I both asked "why even compile the list if your intent wasnt to spam?" and your response is "because we're working towards the GOP Convention?" move to strike as nonresponsive.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at August 16, 2004 10:03 AM

    Jake,

    I work as a legitimate online marketer. I know damn well that unless you had a spam list uploaded and ready to go that there's no way this is simply a case of pushing the wrong button.

    I think that you either a) don't know the laws. but, of course, ignorance of the law is not an excuse or b) know the spam laws but choose to ignore them.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Jake at August 16, 2004 10:08 AM

    Kris.

    o.k. we'll get into a discussion of how our system works.

    We have our email subscriber lists. We have about 10 of them grouped by different 'things'. We then have our contact manager listings which has about 25 different 'groups' that by simply checking a box, as you would do when you are sending out an email, your message goes to that group.

    We try to target our message, as I am sure that you do, so we usually check certain boxes when we send messages.

    The guy who sent this out, which by the way, I checked and it started at 7:11:17 AM this morning, simply checked the box that is marked GOP Bloggers. We have many other bloggers and other traditional journalists who have signed up for our emails.

    Again. Sorry for the mixup. Sometimes you can't take things back. We are working to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: jkhat at August 16, 2004 10:26 AM

    what a bunch of gobbleygoo double talk.

    explain to me, jake, why you had three of my email addresses on your list in the first place?

    i never signed up for anything. i've never been to your site. and i certainly didnt sign up 3 different email addresses. so why are they on your list?

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: jkhat at August 16, 2004 10:30 AM

    also, as to the times that i got the spams
    SPAM 1: Delivery-date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 07:46:10 -0500

    SPAM 2: Delivery-date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 08:06:49 -0500

    SPAM 3: Delivery-date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 09:43:31 -0500

    Kris, how many emails does your software send in 2 hours?

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Jake at August 16, 2004 10:38 AM

    jkhat.

    like I said...we had an intern collect some data. This was a project that he decided to go ahead with himself. We found out after he put them in the contact manager.

    I think that the emails go out in alphabetical order and to send out a couple thousand takes about 30 minutes.

    It looks like I am getting no where here, so I guess I will resign to having you guys call us 'evil' and a 'disgrace' to the GOP.

    That's the way!

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at August 16, 2004 10:47 AM

    actually, we don't use software here. we send our email through one of the most respected vendors in the country. the reason we chose them is because they are so dedicated to *permission-based* marketing. this dedication means that very, very few ISPs will block email from them because they know that if a person is getting email from one of their clients, they did actually sign up for it.

    that said, when we send out email it generally all goes out at the same time, so if we had three addresses for you, you would get three emails almost simultaneously.

    Cross is probably using some small time software, which just reinforces my thought that they have no idea what the laws around email are. It's not enough to have opt-out anymore.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: james at August 16, 2004 10:51 AM

    see my update above, kris, the spam laws dont apply to politicians.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at August 16, 2004 10:51 AM

    Okay, I didn't know that politicians were exempt from CAN-SPAM laws. But, for all the campaign workers that might visit here, just a quick reminder: just because it's legal doesn't make it right. And just because it's legal doesn't mean we won't call out other political spammers.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: james at August 16, 2004 11:02 AM

    umm, Jake, maybe you should learn to not put words into other people's mouthes.

    you said, above, "It looks like I am getting no where here, so I guess I will resign to having you guys call us 'evil' and a 'disgrace' to the GOP."

    I note how you put quotes around "evil" and "disgrace." Where on this page did either Kris or I call anyone "evil," and where, on this page, did we call anyone a "disgrace?"

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Jake at August 16, 2004 11:07 AM

    Sorry about the 'evil' comment. I just interpreted it...As for the 'disgrace' part:

    Thank you so much for the two unsolicited spam emails that i got today!

    For using spamming software, you are a DISGRACE to the republican party. What, did you just go to different blogs, pull email addresses off of them, then send out this junkmail?

    Of course, I am going to post about this, and I am going to advise people that just like they should never buy anything from a spammer, they should never, ever, vote for a spammer.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: jkhat at August 16, 2004 11:13 AM

    are you saying that that's the post that i left on your website? can you cite to it please? (i.e. http://etcetc... )

    ;)

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Gerry at August 16, 2004 12:25 PM

    I hate spammers

     
     

     

     


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