The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion. © James R. Conner.


15 October 2012

Obama’s fundraisers employ collection agency tactics

Update. Political published a similar story today at 1357 MDT. I uploaded my post at 1113 MDT.

Some months ago, I made a mistake. I subscribed to the Obama-Biden campaign’s email list, foolishly expecting to receive useful information. Instead, I received, virtually on a daily basis, appeal after appeal for money, a direct consequence of the President’s rejection of federal financing for his re-election campaign. Until last week, the appeals, to the best of my recollection, were friendly.

Then, on 12 October, Deputy Campaign Manager Julianna Smoot sent me the following attempt to shame me into sending Obama-Biden money:

James —

According to our records associated with this email address — hopefully it’s yours if you’re reading this! — here’s your online giving history for this organization:

  • — Your supporter ID number is: XXXXXXX
  • — Your most recent online donation was: $0
  • — Total amount donated online in 2012: $0

It looks like you haven’t made an online donation to the campaign yet. If you were waiting for the last minute, you’re pretty much there.

Tonight at midnight is one of the most important deadlines we’ve faced — it’s one we set ourselves. We’re figuring out tomorrow morning what resources we have for the final push and what we can do with them. We’re making some of the final decisions of this campaign.

The President is counting on people like you to step up now, in these last weeks, and this is one of your last opportunities to do it. Don’t let him down.

Note how the last sentence is a command, not a request or plea.

There may be some people who react to that kind of appeal by writing the campaign a check. I’m not one of them. I need my money more than the President does — remember, he could have chosen public financing — and I take umbrage at the suggestion that my not contributing to his campaign proves my character is weak.

I uttered some vivid words and immediately unsubscribed from the campaign’s email list.

If Obama needs my vote to win Montana, he’ll get it. But I’ll not take joy in casting it, not after his campaign treated me like a deadbeat.