I received an email today from the Deeds campaign (the Mary Margaret Whipple endorsement). Actually, I received two. Getting multiple copies of the same message from politicians is nothing new for me, but since I’ve never signed up for any Deeds info (or contributed to him), I was curious to see what address they’d used. Well, it seems they’ve gotten ahold of a unique email address I’ve only used once in my life – on a contribution to the Commonwealth Coalition (a now – as best I can tell – defunct organization that tried to fight the anti-gay marriage amendment in Virginia two years ago).
Now, as a matter of principle and email management, every time I ever give an email address to anyone, I opt-out of any sharing. So I’m sure I did that with the Commonwealth Coalition. Further, the Commonwealth Coalition – by the nature of its advocacy issues – would surely have had some appreciation of the confidential nature of its contributor lists. And yet here we are, with Creigh Deeds magically ending up with that email address (those who are familiar with Deeds’ “support” of the Commonwealth Coalition’s position will enjoy the irony, here). But what really makes me wonder, here, is the fact that this is the *second* time a unique email address specific to an organization with a similar agenda has been used by the Deeds campaign. When contacted about this, the director of that second organization assured me that they do not ever share email lists.
So. Where’s Deeds getting his email lists from?
Update: Apparently this needs to be said – I’m not posting this as a personal criticism of Creigh Deeds. I *am* posting it because I’m interested in an actual answer here. In case anyone missed it, Virginia is a state in which discrimination has been enshrined in its constitution. And that discrimination is against exactly the people who are likely to be active supporters of the Commonwealth Coalition (but not necessarily public supporters, for reasons I hope are obvious). Whoever is responsible for sharing these lists appears not to get the importance of the promise of privacy (among other things). I’d like to make sure that they do.
Update II: Representatives from all three organizations – the Commonwealth Coalition, Equality Virginia, and the Deeds campaign, have all told me that they have never shared or exchanged lists. Which means that we’ve got a bit of a mystery going, as the information was (at some point) in the custody of someone who did share the information. I’m looking forward to finding out who that was, and I’m sure that – given their clear understanding of the importance of the confidentiality of this information – each organization will continue to be helpful in sorting this out.