Days 54 and 55: 7/13/19-7/14/19

Over the past weekend, 83 emails arrived in my inbox from 18 campaigns. While these are usually pretty evenly matched, one of the campaigns seemed to have a bit of a glitch, going overboard on their non-donor messages.

All 18 campaigns sent a total of 43 non-donor emails, while the other 40 emails were sent by 17 campaigns to their donor list. The only campaign who did not email me on the donor list had not qualified to be on the donor list.

Did you guess it was Tim Ryan with the email glitch? You should have.

Tim Ryan went above and beyond this weekend, sending me 7 emails in 2 days. To be fair to Ryan, those extra non-donor emails were all exact duplicates of emails he had already sent once to both donors and non-donors.

Look at all those duplicate subjects.

To kick Ryan in the inbox, OH GOD TIM, WHY? It was bad enough that he fills my inbox every single day, but to have a day where he sent every email to me 3 times instead of merely twice? Ryan, please, if you’re reading this, get someone to help you with your emails. Please. Please.

In comparison, everyone else was perfectly restrained this weekend, with only Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, and Amy Klobuchar sending 4 emails. Julian Castro, now that he has achieved his goal of getting the donors needed for the fall debates, is no longer interested in burying my inbox, or even talking to me at all. He absolutely is that friend who only bothers you when he needs something.

Sunday had the email flood from Ryan.

Saturday was still a busier day than Sunday, with 42 emails to Sunday’s 41.

Emails still come during working hours on the weekend.

And unsurprisingly, the overwhelming amount of emails arrived between 11 AM and 5 PM EST.

Though there is a debate qualification deadline (today, actually, Monday, July 15, a fact that Tim Ryan has been relentlessly hammering with his countdown in every email), this is the middle of the month at the start of a quarter. I was a bit surprised at how many campaigns were asking for money. Joe Biden keeps reminding me that July is typically the worst month for fundraising. Maybe that’s why everyone is asking so hard.

Biden himself is offering a reward for making a donation: he might give you a personal call. This is something Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has made a big deal about, and Cory Booker has offered it as well, when Q2 was wrapping up. With Biden, though, you need to make a monthly reoccurring donation to possibly warrant a phone call from the candidate himself.

I don’t trust this chart.

Amy Klobuchar reached out to me with a chart this weekend. Maybe she saw the way Mike Gravel’s charts got into this blog. Maybe she saw my excitement over watching Kamala Harris’ chart grow. Maybe she had success with her charts in the past. Regardless, she sent that beautiful ask above.

Except… there is no scale. Green is how much they’ve actually raised, navy is how much they wanted to raise… but what are those actual values? Did they want to raise $13 and actually raised $19 in Q2? That would fit that chart if each gridline was $5. Did they want to raise $13 million and actually raised $19 million? There’s no way of knowing. That chart is almost worse than useless.

Even worse than that chart, though, is this chart.

Arrived in my inbox on July 12.

Technically, this chart arrived on Friday and not during the weekend. However, I was going to let it slide. Until she sent the quarterly chart. And that is when I decided to do a little digging.

The previous chart was from July 12. The following chart was sent on June 29.

Arrived in my inbox on June 29.

Can you see a difference? Because I can’t.

Arrived in my inbox on June 28.

All three of these charts were sent at different times. They are all exactly the same image. Why bother making up data showing your growth when you can just reuse the same picture? It’s not like people actually read these emails, right? It’s not like transparency is something people care about in their future potential President.

Yes, Amy Klobuchar, I’m going to name and shame you for this. It’s bad enough you obscure your data by not giving any sort of scale, but to be so lazy as to not even change up the chart every time you send it out? Did you think no one would notice? Well, congratulations. You’ve successfully flagged this for me so I’ll make a point of checking it every time you send it out. I’m also going to be looking over your FEC filings (they’re due in today!) to see if I can figure out what scale you used for that quarterly chart above.

Thanks a lot, Klobuchar. Math is exactly what I wanted to do when I started following everyone’s mailing lists.

On a… happier? note, many candidates took the opportunity to talk about immigration issues this weekend, especially in light of the ICE raids. Elizabeth Warren warned the Trump administration that a Warren administration would hold them accountable for abuses against immigrants.

When you physically abuse immigrants, sexually abuse immigrants, or refuse to provide them the medical care that they need, you break the law of the United States of America.

Donald Trump may be willing to look the other way.

But President Elizabeth Warren will not.

Elizabeth Warren

Marianne Williamson sent a long missive about the ICE raids and how un-American they are.

No matter who people are—no matter what their citizenship—they are entitled to humane treatment and equal protection under the Constitution according to our system of laws. Nothing should ever lead America to compromise our basic values as a nation.

Marianne Williamson

Cory Booker and Kamala Harris both sent information about what to do if ICE shows up.

Tomorrow, according to reports, ICE will be raiding homes across the country under the orders of the Trump administration.

Terrorizing families and ripping people’s loved ones from their homes doesn’t make us safer. It doesn’t reflect our values, and quite frankly, it’s moral vandalism.

Cory Booker

These planned raids are another prong in President Trump’s fear campaign against immigrant communities. Targeting people who have lived in our country for years and breaking apart families creates fear and mistrust. It does not make our communities safer.

As a career prosecutor, I’ve heard it countless times from law enforcement officials. When people fear reporting crimes due to their immigration status, real criminals aren’t brought to justice and our communities are less safe.

Kamala Harris

Julian Castro’s one email was about immigration.

My grandma came to America when she was just seven years old after being separated from her dying mother.


I watched the pain of never getting to say goodbye haunt her even as a seventy-year-old woman. 


I see her image in the children at our borders today — children as young as infants ripped from their parents, locked in cages, and even “lost” in the system. 

Julian Castro

And Michael Bennet kept his email short and to the point:

America is not a weak country. Donald Trump is a weak leader.


Michael Bennet

Jay Inslee also talked about Trump, but not about immigration. Instead, he called him out for his environmental successes speech.

On Monday, Donald Trump gave a speech about his “environmental accomplishments.”

Seriously. Don’t laugh — it was so bad that even Fox News cut off the speech so they could fact-check the president. The speech was predictably filled with absurd lies, but this one stuck with me:

“From day one, my administration has made it a top priority to make sure America has among the very cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet.

Here’s the truth: The New York Times just reported that internal Trump polling shows his administration’s abominable environmental record is a HUGE electoral vulnerability with key voters like suburban women and millennials. So now Trump’s desperately trying to sweep his abysmal climate record under the rug.

Jay Inslee

Inslee also asked me for $1 as a non-donor and $1.00 as a donor, which makes me believe his donor emails are matching my actual donation.

The real winner of this past weekend’s emails, however, was Beto O’Rourke. He recently learned that both he and his wife were descendants of slave owners, and he wrote a surprisingly passionate message about what this means to him. He presented an image of the property log showing the two confirmed slaves, and the subject of his email was their names: Rose and Eliza. He also did not include any donation button or link to his website in his email: this message was about them and the injustice heaped upon them and their descendants by his ancestors.

Something that we’ve been thinking about and talking about in town hall meetings and out on the campaign — the legacy of slavery in the United States — now has a much more personal connection.

Ownership of other human beings conferred advantages not just to Andrew Jasper and Frederick Williams, but to Jasper’s and Williams’ descendants as well. They were able to build wealth on the backs and off the sweat of others, wealth that they would then be able to pass down to their children and their children’s children. In some way, and in some form, that advantage would pass through to me and my children.

That those enslaved Americans owned by my ancestors were denied their freedom, denied the ability to amass wealth, denied full civil rights in America after slavery also had long term repercussions for them and their descendants.

The way that fortune was passed through the generations from Andrew to me, misfortune was passed through the generations from Rose and Eliza to their descendants who are alive today. Rose and Eliza were denied their freedom and the benefits that their labor produced; they and their children were then denied their civil rights after the end of Reconstruction; and their descendants endured open terrorism, economic exclusion and racism in the form of Jim Crow, lynchings, convict leasing, voter suppression, red lining, predatory lending, and mass incarceration. Everything their descendants have accomplished in their lives is despite having all of these odds stacked against them.

Beto O’Rourke

It really is too bad that this email was so long, because I feel it’s worth reading as a rich white man accepts his ancestors’ actions and deliberately makes a stand to try to rectify the wrongs of the past.

I benefit from a system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others. That only increases the urgency I feel to help change this country so that it works for those who have been locked-out of — or locked-up in — this system.

As a person, as a candidate for the office of the Presidency, I will do everything I can to deliver on this responsibility…

We all need to know our own story as it relates to the national story, much as I am learning mine. It is only then, I believe, that we can take the necessary steps to repair the damage done and stop visiting this injustice on the generations that follow ours.

Beto O’Rourke

In reference to yesterday’s post, this email was not spiteful at all. It was absolutely one of hope. There is a definite difference between going “not my fault, not my problem” and going “I benefited from this, I should try to make things right.”

I googled “is Wayne Messam still running,” and as of last month, the answer is still yes.

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