Letter to the Travis Irvine Campaign

To:  David DeWitt (Press Secretary)

I am always happy to see more libertarian candidates in our Congressional races, but in the year 2010 I just don't think there is an excuse for sending out a mass email for anything other than Viagra without an "unsubscribe" link. This is particularly true given that your campaign must be harvesting email addresses from a variety of sources rather than using an opt-in system, since up until today I had never even heard of Travis Irvine nor do I live in Ohio.  There are many services that provide automated mailings that take care of all the list management and unsubscribe mechanics.  Constant Contact has a very nice service.

Since your candidate is a libertarian and, I assume, familiar with the concept of rational self-interest, I will put my suggestion in those terms.  Without an "unsubscribe" link, I am forced to hit the "report spam" button in Gmail.  If enough people do the same, there is a good chance your candidate's email will not be getting through to anyone's email box, even those who are interested.


  1. David DeWitt:

    Or you could just hit the reply button and say you don't want to be on our list. Seems pretty easy to me, and relatively effortless.

  2. perlhaqr:

    David: You got caught acting like a spammer. Don't make it worse by arguing about it. Take your lumps and just fix it.

  3. Don Lloyd:


    Then we can infer that you are willing and able to manually individually remove from your email address list all of the names who return
    such a reply? It's not clear which makes less sense, someone expecting that to happen, or you actually doing it.

    Regards, Don

  4. David DeWitt:

    In fact, I can and have manually, individually done so. Very little effort required in the task. It was a joy to do so really -- a pleasure. I'm happy to do it. If I had an "unsubscribe" button, I'd include it. But seeing as this is the first time somebody has displayed such an adverse reaction to such an innocuous campaign e-mail, I suppose I'll have to continue the arduous task of manually removing a given contact from our little list every three or four months when somebody inexplicably cares enough to make an issue of this.

    All best,


  5. skh.pcola:

    An absolutely delicious, elitist response from a campaign apparatchik. I'd expect that sort of passive-aggressive behavior from leftists, but not from a supposed libertarian. I suppose it's possible that the libertarian candidate has hired a progressive press secretary, which would account for the sniffingly-superior tone of DeWitt's reply.

    You do your candidate a disservice by displaying a lack of tact, DeWitt. You are yet another example of an over-paid functionary. A better reply would have been addressed privately to Warren, instead of the route that you chose.

  6. David DeWitt:

    I did send a private reply. I don't get paid anything from the Irvine Campaign. And there's nothing passive (or communist for that matter) about my aggressive view of the ridiculousness of this thread of comments so far.

  7. rox_publius:

    Feel free to use or paraphrase:


    I had assumed that folks would reply personally and let me know that they wish to be removed. I can see how a simple 'remove from list' button would make this a bit easier for the sender and recipient, however. Thanks for the heads up. We'll look into it for our next mailing, which you will not be receiving.


    **** your name here ****

    No pissing match required!!

  8. John O.:

    Ah the hard lessons of managing a campaign. As a member of the Libertarian party I find the current state parties to be organized poorly and this one of the results of such.

    As for Mr. DeWitt: I wouldn't take it too personally. Instead I suggest you look for better and less offensive ways to reach out with your campaign. The Internet makes campaigning cheap and easy but it also can annoy the heck out of millions.

    -- John O.

  9. Mary M:

    Although the provisions of the Can-Spam Act do not apply to political messages, it behooves the sender to comply with those requirements in order to avoid alienating recipients. In the eyes of the receiver, there is no distinction between an unwanted and unasked for email and spam from a commercial or business source. Both are irritating.

    Mr. DeWitt: do yourself and your campaign a favor and adhere to those regulations.

  10. Henry Bowman:

    Nice plug for your relative, Coyote. I'm not saying it was anything other than good advice.

  11. perlhaqr:

    One hopes Irvine is familiar with the concept of "externalised costs", though DeWitt appears not to be.

    David, you're not going to make any friends with this crowd by claiming you have the moral high ground by making us do the heavy part of your job for you. Again, when you realise you're in a hole, stop digging.

  12. spiro:

    @Mr. DeWitt:

    It's primarily a matter of understanding your base. If you want to get the libertarian vote, you need to understand how we think...or rather, THAT we think. libertarians put much stock in the principle of free agency. This being the case, we do what we do because it is what we WANT to do, and we bristle at anything that smells of compulsion or intrusion. Spamming libertarians with campaign emails is the equivalent of Mike Huckabee holding wet t-shirt fund raisers.