“Public records” turn into political spam nuisance

A Republican gubernatorial candidate in Florida needs a lesson from Merriam-Webster – the definition of hypocrisy will do. Charlie Crist, Florida’s Attorney General, has hard slapped more than one spammer in the much-touted spam capital of America, but he may now have to set his crosshairs on his own campaign staffers. They used a list garnered via a public records request to send campaign emails to folks who opted-in for messages direct from the Governor’s and AG’s offices. Of course, they scrubbed the list for state employees, but never ventured to think “Hey, I wonder if any of these folks are pissed off Democrats.” The list is likely now full of exactly that.

Crist’s political director, Arlene DiBenigno, said “It’s not spam, it’s political speech. We’re not selling anything, we’re not being deceptive. We love the First Amendment, and there’s nothing more powerful than political speech.” Ms. DiBenigno probably read CAN-SPAM, and figured it was all ok (hence the references to “selling anything” and “deceptive”). Now its REALLY “public record,” and going to backfire, but at least she’s not blaming the fiasco on someone else.


As it is turning out, little ol’ ladies from Land O’ Lakes weren’t the only ones getting spammed by Crist’s bunch. Joe Spooner, an investment advisor, got caught up in it too. He tried tried unsubscribing five times, and then threatened to file a complaint with…get this…the Florida Attorney General’s Office. Ha.

Now they have another spokesperson doing the talking – a Ms. Vivian Myrtetus. She’s about as clueless as Ms. DiBenigno. “This is not spam. This is truthful, it’s straight forward. We’re honest. To be spam it has to be, under Florida law, defined as being deceptive.”

I just love the double standards when it comes to political manuevering.

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