Day 107: 9/4/19

Wednesday had a unifying theme and an increase in emails. Tulsi Gabbard did an Ask Me Anything, Beto O’Rourke was the victim of a nasty rumor, and Pete Buttigieg has a new Twitter account.

Only one of the climate change candidates didn’t email me yesterday

Wednesday brought about 7 hours of the candidates talking about climate change on CNN. All candidates who had qualified for the September debates were invited to answer questions for 40 minutes each on climate change. Out of the 10 who qualified for the stage, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren all sent 3 emails. Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, and Andrew Yang sent 2 emails. Joe Biden sent 1 email, and Julian Castro remained silent.

Not to be overlooked, Tim Ryan also sent 3 emails.

Climate Change Town Hall = Media Appearances

Unsurprisingly, the town hall was THE topic of the day, followed closely by policies. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Michael Bennet, and Cory Booker all talked about their climate change plans or asked my opinion on climate change. Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg both released their climate change policies the morning of these town halls, while Bernie Sanders continued to insist that he was the ONLY candidate ready to take decisive action on climate change.

Steve Bullock launched his own policy, one focused on strengthening rural America, while Marianne Williamson released a policy on reparations. Both of them seemed eager to buck the current political conversation in hopes of standing apart from the crowd.

Tulsi Gabbard didn’t make it to the climate change debate, but she did announce that she was doing a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) at 5 PM EST, the same time the climate change town halls began. Interestingly, the subreddit she was doing it on, r/WayoftheBern, is a Sanders subreddit.

Here come the donations

Beto O’Rourke sent 2 emails on Wednesday, but despite being on the climate change stage, neither had anything to do with climate change. The first was about his debate contest, where if you donated anything, you could win a trip to the Houston debates. The second was to talk to me about the issues with big tech.

We need to talk about tech.

This past weekend, a right-wing bot network spread the completely false rumor that the Odessa shooter had a Beto sticker on his car.

* On Twitter, we saw thousands of tweets echo this conspiracy theory, some of which received tens of thousands of retweets. 

On Facebook, a single post containing this misinformation received more than 34,000 shares. 

* And, on Google, this malicious conspiracy theory became the second-highest-trending search query related to Beto for the preceding week.

Tech companies can no longer turn a blind eye to right-wing operatives using their platforms to spread damaging misinformation.

Team Beto

This is absolutely a problem in today’s digital world. The old adage “A lie can find its way around the world before truth can put on its boots” is even more true today. Once the lies are out there, they start sowing doubt. Even if you don’t believe the lie, once you keep hearing it, you may subconsciously start to wonder if there isn’t a grain of truth behind it.

It is absolutely crucial that we each do our part in not spreading misinformation. It’s just too bad that we don’t have a President who feels the same.


The candidates who didn’t qualify for the September debates aren’t ready to give up. Tim Ryan sent out multiple pleas that he’s not like the other candidates, he’s focused solely on me and believes in old-fashioned fundraising of meeting people face to face and not just holding swanky parties. Tom Steyer reminded me that he had launched his own climate change town hall yesterday, and I could watch the recording. John Delaney was excited to pick up his newest endorsement… from a former Des Moines Register columnist. Maybe this means something in Iowa, but I was a bit less than impressed in Michigan.

Cory Booker also launched a weekly campaign newsletter with updates on how things are going. In the first issue, he informed me that he had successfully hit his August fundraising goals. It was a shorter issue than Beto O’Rourke’s newsletter, but unlike O’Rourke’s, which required me to opt-in, Booker is requiring me to opt-out. If I don’t react to it, he’ll continue to send it to me.

I much prefer opt-in.

Speaking of opt-in, Pete Buttigieg also announced that he had set up a campaign Twitter account that he encouraged me to follow. I didn’t. Instead, I followed every candidate’s campaigning Twitter account (some had separate accounts for their Congressional stuff that were not actively campaigning for President, so I chose the one that was.)

Already, I regret this decision.

I probably won’t be reporting on their Twitter activity here, but if you follow me on Twitter (@but_their!), I may start giving commentary on what they talk about. Feel free to tag me whenever you see something in your feed that relates to political emails! I love butting into conversations and giving facts about my collection of 4,653 political emails.

Friendly reminder I’ve barely been tracking more than 100 days. Anyone over 200 has sent me multiple emails a day.

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