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Don Roach: I Hate Politician Adspam

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


I hate quarter end. And by the end of today’s article, if you already don’t hate quarter end, you will too.

Let’s start with the following e-mail I received:

Subject: Still the shortest email you'll receive today with CORRECTED LINK

Don --

Please help. Need money for my campaign before midnight tonight.


I imagine thousands of Rhode Islanders received the same spam-a-liscious e-mail from the David Cicilline team. Let’s deconstruct the e-mail. First, let’s start with the subject line. Yes, if you read the subject you’ll connect the dots and know that this was not the first but second e-mail of the same content sent by the Cicilline team. The first one sent out, you know the one whose content holds 77 characters (half as long as the longest tweet) had the wrong link included. So, of course, the Cicilline team had to send out a corrected e-mail because they couldn’t take the thirty seconds to make sure the link worked before sending out the original “shortest email”?!

Need money…

Next, the email addresses me as Don just to make sure I know that this isn’t some random e-mail from some politician I’ve never met, will never support, and who nearly brought down the city of Providence. Sticking to the point it seems like whoever is addressing me needs help. What help is required? “Need money for my campaign.” Let’s repeat that…






Are you kidding me? We’re electing and paying the salaries of our congressional leaders and their sending us junk like this? Was adding the “I” before “need” too much for the congressman to add to this e-mail? Yes it works grammatically, but come on! And where’s the why I should support Cicilline and his pursuit of reelection – assuming that was what was meant by “my campaign.”

Am I alone in wanting just a little more persuasive (forget informative) language in solicitation e-mails than “Need money for my campaign”??

I have not had the opportunity to meet Congressman Cicilline in person but apparently we’re on a first name basis. Alrighty then, David, may I suggest something? Next quarter when you and your team are shucking and jiving for a few more dollars on the last day of the quarter please send supporters, non-supporters, and politicos solicitation emails that at least exhibit someone on your team passed kindergarten. I’m not looking for 10th grade English – no NECAP proficiency here - or heck even 4th grade, just passing knowledge of kindergarten English would be nice.

Thank you and since we’re on a first name basis, this is a request from Don.

That’s not all…

Just when I was content to roll my eyes at all of the last minute campaign solicitation e-mails, Cicilline’s team hit the poor unfortunate souls on their e-mail distribution list two more times on the 31st. The first e-mail came around 8pm when there were 4 hours to collect any additional first quarter campaign contributions. This one didn’t come from David but a staff member but was just as short and sweet, but it did tell me they needed about seven thousand to reach their first quarter goal. The subject was “4”, just “4”. Creative, I know.

Then about an hour later I received an e-mail from the same person with a subject of “hurry…we only have 3 left”. It was also asking me for money as the earlier “4” but at this point I was done with David. I replied back, “please stop” and apparently the Cicilline team understands short and to the point quite well because I didn’t receive a “2” or “1” message from David’s staff. Score one for Don.


I can’t be the only one mildly annoyed by the rush of campaign contribution spam – and it is spam – from political candidates at the end of each quarter am I? I’d like to say something along the lines of “if campaigns spent half the time on solicitation e-mails as they did on…” but as you can see from David’s e-mail half the time wouldn’t amount to much. Hmm…maybe David and the rest of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation are spending half the time on actual issues facing the state and the country.

Given the state of our economy, that would make perfect sense.

Don can be reached at [email protected] . Don is also on Twitter @donroach34


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