I signed up for the mailing lists at both Obama's and Clinton's websites many months ago, and I've also donated money online to the Clinton campaign. I'm amazed at both the regularity and the large quantity of spam I get from the Obama camp -- it's a constant never-ending stream of pitches filling my email inbox. In contrast, I've donated money to the Clinton campaign and yet I have not received one single piece of unsolicited spam.
Last night I received an Obama appeal for a $15 donation in return for "limited edition Obama campaign buttons". This morning it's a "limited edition car magnet" being offered for my $15 donation. I'm expecting a pitch for a "limited edition lunchbox" any day now...
Well, the people who are packaging and selling Barack Obama will soon be packaging and selling Barack Obama's supporters and their private information as well. The database being compiled by the Obama campaign is a treasure trove of riches, and they fully expect to exploit every single Obama supporters who has signed up and -- amazingly -- forked over tons of valuable personal information.
Almost 2 million people have entered personal information on Obama pages on social-networking Web sites such as Facebook, MySpace and his campaign's mybarackobama.com, offering home addresses, phone numbers, their views on specific issues and the names of friends. The data have allowed Obama, 46, to raise more than $200 million and motivate millions more with custom-tailored messages.
"It's gigantic," said Laura Quinn, chief executive officer of Catalist, a company that maintains a database of 280 million Americans. The list is as "transformational" as the advent of political advertising, she said.
The campaign's biggest innovation is in persuading people to enter personal information on the Illinois senator's site, according to Bill McIntyre, executive vice president of Grass roots Enterprise, a Washington-based Internet marketing firm that advises campaigns.
McIntyre, a Republican and former chief national spokesman for the National Rifle Association, said the data entered by 800,000 names on mybarackobama.com may be worth as much as $200 million.
Not to worry, progressives -- Barack Obama's transformational campaign of hope and change stands poised to produce lots of pocket change... but this change comes with a hefty price - the sacrifice of one of Obama's core principles.
People who provide their information online may not realize the data they are posting may have a long afterlife and find its way to other campaigns in future election cycles.
According to the Obama campaign's online privacy statement, it reserves the right to "make personal information available to organizations with similar political viewpoints and objectives, in furtherance of our own political objectives."[,,,]
Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to comment on the value or possible future uses of the data.
Two Hundred Million dollars is a lot of change, but wasn't Obama supposedly going to change the way politics were done in America instead?
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