Howard Dean is a Spammer

Update: Blue State Digital claims they are not responsible for the e-mail list software (Lyris) being used by Democracy for America. So I’m going to remove my more incendiary comments about them and the links to their site. However, I’ve taken the e-mail measure that Joe Rospars of Blue State Digital suggests, and I’m in no mood to spend money talking to them on the phone. Given the passions spamming arouses, Blue State Digital may wish to rethink the prominent branding on the DFA site that suggests they are indeed responsible for all the tech being used. If I find out that they are indeed responsible for e-mail policies at DFA, I will repost my characterizations of them with some extra helpings of bile.

In the primaries, I was rather public about my support for Howard Dean, to the point that I actually voted in the Democratic primary for him. Somehow (I don’t recall how, actually) I ended up on the mailing list. It was infrequent, so I didn’t freak out.

Of course he lost.

So afterward my e-mail address was kept on to the new organization he created, Democracy For America, to support select Democrats in various races around the country. While I thought Dean was encouraging, I’m still mainly interested in a split, do-nothing government. I haven’t turned into a Democratic activist.

So I decided I really wasn’t interested in giving them any money or reading about it. So I followed the directions and unsubscribed.

As I did for the next e-mail.

And the next.

And the next. This one I sent back with a warning that unsubscription wasn’t working, and my patience was at an end–and to unsubscribe me. The next one I did the same, as well as filling out the form on their Web site.

So the next one got reported to SpamCop, and I sent it back with a nasty note that it and all future ones were not welcome and would be reported as spam.

The next one I just reported to SpamCop.

So this one has pretty much ended any amusement I had left. So I want it known loud and far that Howard Dean’s organization are no-good goddamn dirty spammers.

I haven’t subscribed to try it, but I’m willing to bet Bush 2004 would unsubscribe me if I asked, and asked, and asked. So why the fuck can’t they stop being no good goddamn dirty spammers and turning Howard Dean into some sort of Jerry Fallwell-alike money-grubber who won’t let you go?

And yes, I’m making that comparison because they just went off about Jerry Fallwell in their latest spam, so if they don’t like the comparison–they can take me off their list.

7 thoughts on “Howard Dean is a Spammer

  1. For the record, we do not own or operate the email software that sends Democracy for America emails. If you’re having a problem unsubscribing from their list, you should send them an email at or call 802-651-3200 and they will be able to help.


  2. This is weird. I unsubscribed from Dean’s list after the VA primary, and never received another e-mail from them again. (I later subscribed to DFA’s list.) So it’s not like they have a standing policy of not honoring unsubscribe requests or anything. And DFA keeps the volume of mail they send pretty low (I receive maybe one or two messages from them a month — much lower than the daily messages I used to get from the Dean for President list), so calling them “dirty spammers” is probably a bit strong.

    To clear up the relationship between Blue State and DFA: there are a lot of new companies that were formed by the diaspora of Dean tech people after the campaign, among them Blue State, CivicSpaceLabs, Political Technologies, and others as well. I’ve talked to people from Blue State before and they are not scuzz buckets.

    I’d tend to agree with Joe that it’s probably just an oversight. As someone who runs a mailing list myself, I’d want to know if people couldn’t unsubscribe — having people on the list who don’t want to be there does me no good and causes me lots of heartburn — so I’d say it’s worth making the call to DFA and seeing if they can’t straighten things out.


  3. Which three venues of contact — e-mail, e-mail, and e-mail? 🙂

    Seriously, do you have any idea how much inbound e-mail they are on the receiving end of? My list has 170,000+ people on it and we get so much mail every day that it’s a huge challenge to filter out the valid stuff from the tidal waves of spam. We do our best, but I’m sure we miss a few. I imagine that DFA (which is a much more high profile target) has the same problem to a much higher degree.

    That’s why I suggested breaking out of e-mail and using the phone — e-mails can get lost (especially when they go to a general mailbox, rather than a specific person), but phone calls can’t.

    I agree that their system is borked, but they can’t fix it if they don’t know about it.


  4. I’m having the exact same problem. It has refused to let me unsubscribe after 5+ tries. For god’s sake this is annoying.


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