Just As I Thought

They make the laws, they don’t have to follow them

Here’s all you need to know about the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats:
Today I started a new part time job, vetting emails and deciding which are spam and which are not. There are clear rules — laid down by the Can Spam Act, which was passed by a Republican Congress. Among the rules are requirements that for most emails, people must opt-in to the mailings and there must be a opt-out system. Mailing should not be sent without that opt-in; the emails must explain how you came to be on the list, and how to get off of it.
A large number of the emails I looked at today were from candidates in tomorrow’s election. And out of many emails from Republican candidates, only one followed the rules laid down in the Can Spam Act. And out of many emails from Democratic candidates, only one did not follow the rules.
Many of the Republican emails claimed that they were sent to registered voters who are “politically active” — which still doesn’t fulfill the opt-in requirement — but they were sent to dummy addresses that don’t exist and aren’t real people. Meaning, they’re sending emails out to non-existent addresses, the hallmark of spamming.
I also check to see what other domains exist at the same server that the email was sent from, and to a one, the Republican emails came from servers that included either known spam domains or domains that were perjorative about the opponent — JohnDoeLies.com and the like.
So, all you need to know when you vote tomorrow is that Republicans — from the president on down — think that the normal rules that apply to mass emailings don’t apply to them.


  • The CANSPAM stuff just applies to commercial emails–those that are trying to sell something. Even for those, sadly, you don’t need to opt-in to emails. The mailer just needs to make sure that the email is clear that it is a commercial message (i.e, the subject is not deceptive), and present an opportunity to optout. If you optout, they can never send email to you again, or share your email with anyone else for any reason. The law gives people permission to spam if they follow those restrictions.

    It doesn’t apply to political messages, anyway. (I just sent out my first spam a couple weeks ago, btw!)

  • Yes, you’re right — although, the crib sheet I have by my desk from the FTC doesn’t mention anything about who is or isn’t exempt from the regulations.
    In addition, the vast majority of the emails I saw from Democrats were actually sent by the candidate’s organization and/or the Democratic Party. The Republican emails are all being sent by a multitude of special interest groups and more than a few genuine crackpot groups.

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