Targeted Victory, a U.S. political campaign organization, is emailing several of my spamtraps. Most are typotraps: pristine spamtraps that are similar enough to the domain names of large ISPs or companies that they receive a great deal of misdirected email. The email was sent through ESP and marketing automation specialist Silverpop, which was recently acquired by IBM.
Secure America Now, a political web site whose splash page promotes the impeachment of U.S. President Barack Obama, just emailed a spamtrap email address at a former European ISP. The email address has not been live for several years, and formerly belonged to a citizen of that country who had no ties to the United States. The email was sent through NationBuilder, a “community organizer” that uses ESP Sendgrid.
It became obvious in the past week that the real story of political spam in this campaign doesn’t involve ESPs and legitimate bulk email. It involves snowshoe spam being sent either by U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign, or a supporter. Whoever is sending this spam is sending much larger quantities of spam to purchased and other non-opt-in lists than all of the legitimate campaign mailing lists and ESPs combined.
This *weekend* the presidential campaigns doubled down on spam, as an FEC deadline at the end of September crept up upon them. Eight spams, all from one of the presidential campaigns or a Democratic Party campaign committee. One single spamtrap received copies of six of these eight spams. I’m not the typical email recipient, but if I had received that many begging emails from a candidate that I supported, I’d be tempted to vote for his opponent.
Today the presidential campaigns doubled down on spam, begging their supporters to donate as much as they could in advance of an FEC deadline at the end of September. *Nine* spams, all from one of the presidential campaigns or a Democratic Party campaign committee. (While the Romney campaign is hitting plenty of spamtraps, the Republican party counterparts to the Democratic Senatorial and Congressional Campaign Committees are either not sending as much spam or have managed to avoid my spamtraps.) Notable highlights include a double-header in the DSCC’s Spamming Senator of the Day Contest (Harry Reid and John Kerry) and thanks from First Lady Michelle Obama for a contribution — to a spamtrap that hasn’t been live for years and can’t have contributed any money to any candidate.
Nobody took today off, probably because it’s the end of the quarter for FEC reporting. :/ Bill Clinton bright and early, followed by Romney campaign deputy digital director Abe Adams, Senator Al Franken, and Ann Romney. And several other groups. <sigh>
Today’s take: several spamtrap hits from President Barack Obama, with his name front and center in the From header, four spamtrap hits from Senator Barbara Boxer, a few spams from SuperPACs, and a single spam from a peace activist group that only creeps into the category of political spam because it expresses support for a few candidates. If somebody had planned this to remind me that both political campaigns are running less-than-opt-in mailing lists, they could not have done a better job. (The Romney campaign appears to have taken the day off.)
Today’s spam take: seven spam emails from one presidential campaign, one senatorial campaign, and our old friends the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The DSCC, DCCC, and MittRomney.com are really pumping it out today. :/ Mailings from the DSCC, DCCC, and ElizabethWarren.com are blocked by SpamCop, a major blocklist. So far MittRomney.com has escaped listing on any widely-used blacklists, but if the spamtrap hits continue at this rate, that won’t last.
I admit it. I’ve been hesitant to talk about the flood of political spam that is hitting my spamtraps because there’s so much of it that I don’t know where to start. But the situation is crazy and getting worse by the day. So welcome to the new Political Spam Today report on the MainSleaze blog.