12 May 2008

Obama: Stop Wasting Paper!

Senator Obama sent me another letter today. That's at least three since the start of the year, but to be honest with you, he makes a poor pen pal. That's because he sent the same letter each time, the standard fundraising appeal with the exact same note from Ted Kennedy attached each time. I don't know if this is because they've got mailing lists from three different magazines (I subscribe to at least four that might make mailing lists available to a Democratic candidate) or if the Obama campaign keeps sending letters until they get a response, or even after a response.

As past readers may recall, I don't think I owe a candidate anything more than my vote, though if I were especially enthusiastic about someone I might consider volunteering my services to the campaign. I'm not interested in perpetuating a political system that depends on money and creates a class system of rich and poor candidates. But that's as much rehashing of my position as I intend to do today.

Rather than preach about money and politics, I want to ask whether it isn't rather wasteful of the Obama campaign to send me the same letter three times over. That's not nearly as bad as some organizations like Amnesty International that send me identical fundraising letters as often as once a month, but I'll hold Obama to a higher standard because he wants to spend our tax money. It doesn't exactly build confidence in his abilities, or those of people who would probably work for him if he becomes President, to see his campaign blithely send out redundant junk mail. Common sense might tell them that if they don't get money back from the first letter, they're unlikely ever to see any. It might also suggest that if the first letter didn't work, you should try a different approach instead of repeating a failed appeal. But who said there was common sense involved in fundraising? Look at it at the lowest level: if a panhandler had common sense, how did he end up panhandling? I'm not comparing Obama to a panhandler; the comparison is unfair because I blame the system that requires him to beg. But as long as we're stuck with this system there's got to be a better way to beg.


hobbyfan said...

The fact that the same letter has reached your mailbox 3 times means that there's a poor method of checking mailing lists one against the other(s). They're looking for donations, yes, but they shouldn't have sent you three copies of the same letter. One is sufficient, and once that one is sent, your name should've been checked off the list to avoid duplication.

Luckily, I don't have such problems, and I'm registered as a independent. That aside, I'd say they need to fix the clerical departments when it comes to pithy matters like bulk mailings.

Samuel Wilson said...

I'm also an independent, but I still get the mailings. What triggers them isn't your party affiliation, but the magazines you subscribe to or other organizations you join. If you don't get any political magazines, for instance, you probably haven't gotten any fundraising letters from candidates.

Anonymous said...

I don't subscribe to anything, I am registered Independant, and I am an atheist, yet I still get mail from stupid christians and conservatives begging for my money.