May 31st, 2011
An unexpected gift arrived in my email inbox this evening: an invitation (subject line: “Invitation”) to join Newt Gingrich’s email list:
As you may have heard, I am an official candidate for president of the United States. But I know that it will take more than one person in the Oval Office to get our country back on the right track. That’s why I’m inviting you to join the campaign as we work to win the future together with the right policies and the right results.
The links go to a bare-bone email signup page, with no attempt at persuasion and no mention of social media despite the email’s touting of his 1.4 million fans and followers, but my question is this: how’d Newt get my address? His message is clearly unsolicited, since I haven’t asked to receive email from him, but since it’s political his entreaty is immune from spam restrictions. His campaign sent it to my Epolitics.com address, which sometimes implies that it’s a blogger pitch, but this message is too generic for that and is coming from a mass-email system, a no-no for targeted outreach — unless Newt has a really bad blogger-relations team.
Of course he bought my email, probably as a relic of some long-dead campaign whose updates I agreed to receive months or years ago. I’m curious to see if I hear from him again via this list, and while I WILL sign for his updates out of a sense of (amateur) journalistic responsibility, I’ll use a different (and super top secret) address for that purpose. After all, how else would I be able to learn that “America only works when Americans are working”?