Friday, February 13, 2004

The DFA list

DEAN LEADERS AND OTHERS IN OUR GRASSROOTS:  PLEASE READ THIS AND SHARE YOUR
COMMENTS IN EMAIL FORM.  THIS REFERENDUM ASKS THE DFA TO SHARE THE NAMES AND
EMAIL ADDRESSES  OF DEAN SUPPORTERS WITH THE DEAN GRASSROOTS!  THIS IS OUR CHANCE TO BE HEARD IN UNISON.

PROPOSITION:  That the DFA must provide the  Dean grassroots organizations with Dean Supporters' names and email addresses.

RATIONALE. Over 600,000 Dean Supporters have signed up with the DFA via DFA.com and other websites, as well as at MeetUps and other gatherings. These Dean Supporters signed up with the intention of helping out at election time.  But all of us have been rebuffed when we asked the DFA for access to the names and email subscriptions by Dean Supporters.  This has created great problems.

In many states, having or not having those names and email addresses can and has made the difference between successful canvassing and campaign failures. Remarkably, there are 10 times as many Dean Supporters whom we have not contacted as there are Dean Supporters now accessible to us!

Contrary to reports we've received from some DFA officers, the published DFA Privacy Policy does NOT prevent the DFA from sharing Dean Supporters names and email lists with us.  The relevant policy regarding grassroots organizations getting access to the information is this clause, online* and available to anyone who supplies info to DFA:

"We use your e-mail address to send you Dean for America updates. We may use your zip code and state to send you e-mail messages about upcoming campaign events in your area. You may remove your e-mail address from our lists by emailing us at unsubscribe@deanforamerica.com. We do not share our mailing lists with non-political third parties; however, we may share your information with other like-minded Democratic candidates and organizations."

I examined the FEC regulations and believe it is fair to say that the FEC does not prohibit these lists being shared, either.  The rules deal with the sale and rental of email lists to third parties, but not loans to "like-minded Democratic ... organizations."

In other words, nothing except its own reticence prevents the DFA from sharing supporters' names and email addresses with us at the grassroots.

Should the DFA provide us with supporters' names and email addresses?  I believe so. Please let your opinion be known and share this referendum with other Dean groupings, so that they can express themselves too.  I'll convey the results to DFA with pride.

* The entire DFA Privacy Policy (regarding user names, email addresses, contributions, etc.) is at:

http://www.deanforamerica.com/site/cg/index.html?type=page&pagename=privacypolicy

Contact bluefire@well.com with your opinion.

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