A Tale of Two Presidential Campaigns….

A few months ago I blogged about spam from U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. That spam has continued to arrive like clockwork. Today Mitt Romney’s campaign did the same thing — it sent email for the first time to a spamtrap that was closed in 2003. The Obama campaign’s mailings are sent through Blue State Digital. The Romney campaign is mailing through BlueHornet, a division of Digital River.

Both mailings are focused on fundraising. The Romney campaign mailing claims that the spamtrap address was added to its system on a date in 2011, although the spamtrap has not previously received email from the Romney campaign nor (as far as I could determine) any political campaign at any level. The spamtrap that receives spam from the Obama Campaign has done so since at least the beginning of this year. Since neither campaign is hitting multiple spamtraps of mine, I can only guess what caused the spamtraps to land on either campaign’s list. Typos are possible, although in both cases unlikely. The age of the spamtraps and the fact that neither one ever belonged to anybody in either Illinois or Massachusetts renders it nearly impossible that they were left over from previous campaigns. Epended lists? Unlikely, because both mailings address the spamtrap owner as “Friend” rather than by name. Third party lists, either purchased or donated by a supporter? All in all, I think this is the most likely cause of these spams.

The flood of political spam from campaigns, PACs, and interest groups this election year has certainly educated me about the lack of bulk email knowledge and/or ethics among those who run email campaigns for political purposes. It is an education I would rather have forgone. :/

Obama Campaign Sending IP:
Romney Campaign Sending IP:

Obama Campaign Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from mta-inap22.bluestatedigital.com (mta-inap22.bluestatedigital.com [])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with ESMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Fri,  6 Jul 2012 18:xx:xx -0000 (UT)
Received: by mta-inap22.bluestatedigital.com (Postfix, from userid 509)
        id <xxx>; Fri,  6 Jul 2012 14:xx:xx -0400 (EDT)
DKIM-Signature: <xxx>
Received: from maillist-<xxx>
        by bounce.bluestatedigital.com with local (PHPMailer);
        Fri, 6 Jul 2012 14:xx:xx -0400
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2012 14:xx:xx -0400
To: <xxx>
From: "Jim Messina, BarackObama.com" <info@barackobama.com>
Reply-to: info@barackobama.com
Subject: Urgent:
Message-ID: <<xxx>@bounce.bluestatedigital.com>
X-Priority: 3
X-Mailer: PHPMailer [version 1.71-blue_mailer]
X-maillist-id: <xxx>
X-maillist-guid: <xxx>
List-Unsubscribe: <https://my.barackobama.com/unsubscribe?email=<xxx>>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

Readable Email:

From: Jim Messina, BarackObama.com <info@barackobama.com>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: Urgent:
Reply-To: info@barackobama.com

Friend —

Romney and the Republicans announced yesterday that they brought in more than $100 million in June.

For context, that’s about what we raised in April and May combined.

We’re still tallying our own numbers, but this means their gap is getting wider, and if it continues at this pace, it could cost us the election.

If everyone who’s been waiting to give pitches in $3 or more today, we can start reversing this trend in just a few hours.

Please do your part — make a donation of $3 or more right now.



More to come.


Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Paid for by Obama for America

Contributions or gifts to Obama for America are not tax deductible.

This email was sent to: <xxx>
To update your address, go to:
To unsubscribe, go to: http://my.barackobama.com/unsubscription

Romney Campaign Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from smtp.baraboo.bluehornet.com (smtp.baraboo.bluehornet.com [])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with ESMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Fri,  6 Jul 2012 20:xx:xx -0000 (UT)
X-MSFBL: <xxx>
Received: from [10.64.xx.xx] ([10.64.xx.xx:xx] helo=localhost.localdomain)
        by returnpath.bluehornet.com (envelope-from <bounce-use=M=<xxx>@returnpath.bluehornet.com>)
        (ecelerity r(MessageSystems/Momo-dev:<xxx>)) with ESMTP
        id <xxx>; Fri, 06 Jul 2012 13:xx:xx -0700
Message-ID: <xxx>
Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2012 12:xx:xx -0700
From: "Katie Packer Gage" <info@mittromney.com>
Reply-To: info@mittromney.com
To: <xxx>
X-Outgoing: baraboo
Subject: Deadline Reminder
List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:unsub-<xxx>@listunsub.bluehornet.com>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

Readable Email:

From: Katie Packer Gage <info@mittromney.com>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: Deadline Reminder
Reply-To: info@mittromney.com


Just a quick reminder that the deadline to enter for your chance to meet Mitt on the campaign trail is coming fast. Donate today to enter before tonight’s midnight deadline!

Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. Winning a seat on the Team Romney bus during this historic election will be an incredible experience. I wish I could tag along too.

Good luck!

Katie Packer Gage
Deputy Campaign Manager
Romney for President

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN A PRIZE. No contribution or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this Promotion. Making a contribution does not increase your chances of winning. To enter by making a contribution, click here. To enter without making a contribution, click here. Void where prohibited.


This message was intended for: <xxx>
You were added to the system <redacted> 2011. For more information please follow the URL below:

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5 Responses to A Tale of Two Presidential Campaigns….

  1. Pingback: Political Spam Today: Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians Alike » MainSleaze

  2. Pingback: Political Spam Today: Romney and Warren Pile On…. » MainSleaze

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