Bob Gammage, Spammer for Governor

The Bob Gammage for Governor campaign has started spamming me. Sorry, Bob, I vote for politicians that want to end spam, not ones who do it.

Political spam is ugly and annoying, but it's not illegal. That's because the politicans exempt themselves whenever they write laws to outlaw spam. Nonetheless, just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right. Spam is abusive and politicians shouldn't do it.

The exemption for politicians isn't necessarily a bad thing. Political speech deserves a much higher level of first amendment protection than commercial speech. Spam laws tend to focus on just the latter. That may be one reason why they've survived all court challenges to date. But it does create a huge loophole for sleazy campaigns to crawl through.

The Gammage campaign spam is some of the worst I've seen. First, the periodic mailings are annoying, ankle-biting screeds that just attack his primary opponent. Worst of all, there is no way to stop them. The campaign does not put an "opt out" link in the emails. If you try to respond to the email to ask them to stop, your message just bounces. This goes beyond annoying into the realm of incompetent, which is not a quality I want in my Governor. (By the way, I hadn't a position of any kind in this race until Gammage started spamming me.)

The reason why politicians spam is that it's a cheap and easy way to reach people. Traditional mechanisms, such as covering a neighborhood in door hangers, take significant money, effort, and volunteers. Those factors are built-in inhibitors: there is only so much a campaign can do, and they have to work hard to make sure what they do is most effective. Spam, on the other hand, requires few of these resources, so candidates can, if allowed, send you as much crap as they want.

The best way to end spam is to make it ineffective, so here is my plan: from now on whenever a politician spams me I will make a nominal donation to their opponent. If enough people do this then politicians would be harmed more than they are helped by campaign spam. Then maybe they will stop. Or, at least, maybe we'll elect fewer spammers to office.


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re: Bob Gammage, Spammer for Governor

How do you know the spammers aren't deliberately trying to put you off voting for Bob Gammage?