Open Letter to Chris Dodd
I think you’re a smart person who cares about honesty and the rule of law.
I also think your e-mail fundraising campaign is undermining that message by sending what I believe to be deliberately deceptive emails. To be clear, I am not referring to deception in the political message — spinning words, being loose with the facts, telling only half the story, etc. — I am referring to emails which show every sign of lying about the intent of the sender and contain a false and misleading message body, in an attempt to deceive the recipient into thinking he has inadvertently been copied on a private message from your campaign manager to Tim Tagaris. The idea, I suppose, is to enhance the perceived veracity of the email’s message by depicting it as private. A campaign might lie to the public, but within the family, so to speak, it would be much more honest.
This is a clever hack, and one which might work on some people. In fact, something very similar was done as part of a stock tout scheme. A woman left voicemail messages seeming to be intended for a close friend, explaining that she just got inside info on a company, and that the friend should invest. You don’t need to be a United States senator to see that this is both illegal and unethical. In the case of your analogous email, sir, it is certainly the latter. We will see if it is the former when the Federal Election Commission receives the registered letter I will be sending them.
By the way, if you have an honest IT staffer, feel free to have them contact me about getting the actual email. Here is a text rendering of the full header (with my email addresses altered to foil address-harvesting bots), and the misleading and untruthful portion of the message body:
Return-Path: <firstname.lastname@example.org> X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.1.6 (2006-10-03) on norad.cwalsh.org X-Spam-Level: X-Spam-Status: No, score=-0.7 required=5.0 tests=ADVANCE_FEE_1,ALL_TRUSTED, BAYES_00,DEAR_FRIEND,HTML_MESSAGE,HTML_TITLE_SUBJ_DIFF, MISSING_SUBJECT autolearn=no version=3.1.6 X-Original-To: resident[-@-]cwalsh.org Delivered-To: cwalsh[-@-]cwalsh.org X-policyd-weight: using cached result; rate: -8.5 Received: from m152.prod.democracyinaction.org (m152.prod.wiredforchange.com [188.8.131.52]) by smtp.cwalsh.org (Postfix) with ESMTP id D4CCCA1341 for <resident[-@-]cwalsh.org>; Fri, 30 Nov 2007 11:38:30 -0600 (CST) Received: from [10.15.20.109] ([10.15.20.109:46923] helo=pidgit.mcl.wiredforchange.com) by mailer.mcl.wiredforchange.com (envelope-from <email@example.com>) (ecelerity 184.108.40.206 r(19176)) with ESMTP id C8/F2-01963-29A40574; Fri, 30 Nov 2007 12:38:26 -0500 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.orgDB.mail.democracyinaction.com> Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007 12:38:26 -0500 (EST) From: Sheryl Cohen <email@example.com> Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: resident[-@-]cwalsh.org Subject: Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="----=_Part_1562616_10791175.1196444306859" Envelope-From: <email@example.com> X_email_KEY: 133294684 ------=_Part_1562616_10791175.1196444306859 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Tim, I made a few small changes to your email draft -- you'll see them in bold below. Would have sent to the entire list, but I could only figure out how to send this test.
Update: I am not the only one who noticed.