Day 158: 10/25/19

On Friday, Julian Castro is bullying his brother, Michael Bennet declared he has no slogan, and Bernie Sanders knows that Joe Biden is actually scared of him, not Trump.


For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of 18 candidates for the Democratic Presidential Nomination! This blog breaks down recent emails with charts and excerpts. If you already know all of this, feel free to skip to the next chart!

I signed up to all mailing lists either on May 21 or the day the candidate announced, whichever was later. Using a different email address, I have donated at least $1 to all candidates who have been on a debate stage (I have given additional donations to my preferred candidates through my personal email, but the campaigns have linked the two accounts together and may ask for more as a result).

When showing breakdowns by campaigns, there will usually be 2 numbers. Emails to my non-donor account will be indicated by a darker color/top bar in horizontal bar charts. Emails to my donor account will be indicated by a lighter color/bottom bar.

Unless otherwise specified, all other charts combine the donor and non-donor numbers, as they are roughly 1-for-1, so the percentages and relative differences don’t change much. You can divide the numbers in half to get the rough estimate for what someone not signed up twice would be receiving. The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.

If you want specific data on any particular day, feel free to drop a comment!

Yes, I double-checked these numbers.

Friday brought 4 emails from Julian Castro’s campaign, which feels like it has veered completely off the emotional rails and is ping-ponging around the entire feels spectrum. Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren all sent 3 emails each. Interestingly enough, Harris did not send any donor emails on Friday, and Warren only sent 1.

A full third of the emails were NOT asking for money directly.

Julian Castro’s emails collapsed back into self-pity on Friday, with subjects such as “RE: Tom Steyer,” “in dire need,” and “it can’t end like this.” However, in-between the last two emails was this little gem: “Joaquin Castro SHAVES his head!!!??”

Meeting Julián’s End of Month goal is SO critical to keeping him in this race, that if we can raise $100K TODAY, his twin brother Joaquin will SHAVE HIS HEAD. Rush $5 to make it happen! >>

Things just got REAL. 

If we raise $100K for Julián today — we’ll get his twin brother to shave his head! 

THAT’S what family is for — and we’re so close to reaching today’s $100K goal to make it happen. Will you rush $5? >>

In the interests of FINALLY being able to tell these twins apart… 

For the media that are ALWAYS mixing up Julián and Joaquin…  

And as a symbol of how absolutely critical these final days of the month are to the entire future of Julián’s campaign… 

Will you rush $5 to close the final gap of today’s $100K goal?

Team Julian

Also included: this screenshot.

"If we raise $100,000 today, I think @Castro4Congress should shave his head." - Julián Castro
I remember retweeting this with enjoying the twins being brothers.

Except… at no point in the email or in the twitter thread that I saw did it say anywhere that Joaquin agreed to shave his head. Castro suggested it and Castro’s team publicized it, and Joaquin is now begging America not to do this to him. I do not know if the brothers talked about this in person or if Joaquin actually consented to shaving his head, but the way it has been publicized shows Castro demanding something be done and publicizing it in such a way that Joaquin can’t actually say no without looking like a dick.

It’s just hair, just a shaved head, it’s not that big a deal. But. But. If any of you reading this have someone in your life tell you what to do with your body and tell others that you’re going to do it without your consent, that is a form of manipulation and abuse and you do not have to stand for it. Stacey Abrams did a great job of demonstrating how to stand up for yourself much earlier in the campaign cycle when Joe Biden’s team was floating the idea of announcing her as his VP before he even won the nomination, and she came out and put her foot down hard because he hadn’t even asked her.

It may be easier to ask forgiveness than permission, but it’s better to ask permission than need forgiveness.

(I’ve been asked why I’m so hard on Castro. It’s reasons like this. Yes, Julian and Joaquin are brothers, but if my brother put me in this situation, I’d ream him out. Not cool.)

Michael Bennet, meanwhile, is trying to raise $175,000 by the end of the month. To do so, he’s offering magnets.

Donate anything! (average online donation: $29)

First of all, I’d like to point out that “Solutions, not slogans” IS a slogan.

Secondly… slogans sell candidates. Shall we talk about “Make America Great Again” or “Yes we can!”? A slogan that can boil down the essence of your campaign into just a few words is a vital part of marketing a candidate.

I suppose “Solutions, not slogans” does count for that with Bennet. He is all about the getting-stuff-done aspect of governing and not so much the flashy reality show part, which his slogan conveys.

Iowa Caucuses are being counted as “Campaign Events” now.

Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, and Beto O’Rourke all weighed in on the Super PAC issue from Thursday, with all three of them siding against Super PACs.

Joe Biden’s campaign decided they need a super PAC. They say it’s about Trump, but that’s not true.

It’s about you.

It’s about a record number of individual donors and donations to our campaign out-raising the wealthy and powerful people who normally buy these elections — by a lot. Their $2,800 checks aren’t enough. So now they need more zeroes.

So Bernie needs our help to fight back. We need to respond in a MAJOR way for him. Because this super PAC is aimed directly at us.

Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020

I won’t mince words with you: My campaign is fighting to stay funded. 

Meanwhile — here’s what I’m up against:  

– Tom Steyer just personally spent $47 MILLION to buy a spot in the next debates. 

– And Joe Biden just went back on his word to reject all super PAC money. 

I refuse to go back on my word to you to build this campaign without a cent from corporate PACs — even now that I am in dire need of funds to stay in this race and compete against billionaire candidates. It would mean so much to me to have your $5 to hit my make-or-break goal instead. I’m truly counting on your $5 before I’m forced out of this race. >> 

Julian Castro

When we say this campaign is all people, no PACs, we mean it. It’s not some gimmick or catchphrase. It’s the right way of doing things, and the only way we can truly make sure we put power back into the hands of the people. 

But to be completely honest — it’s not easy. Grassroots fundraising is hard work, especially when we’re trying to meet a critical deadline (like we are now to qualify for the November debate). So when we heard that Joe Biden went back on his no super PACs pledge and decided to encourage billionaires to form a super PAC to bankroll his campaign — you could say we were frustrated…and concerned!

Let’s be very clear: super PACs exist so corporations and special interests can spend unlimited money. And you don’t spend unlimited money unless you’re hoping to gain influence. We’re competing against more big money than ever before in this race and we need your help so we can stay competitive in our fundraising. Will you chip in $3 and help us raise $200,000 before the end of the month?

We knew that our decision to be a grassroots-funded campaign would make it difficult for us to financially compete with other candidates.

But we also know that candidates taking money from super PACs undermines our democracy and hinders us from fighting for real change. 

Campaigns don’t give up on their values because they feel confident about where they’re going. They change course because they’re scared. Scared of losing, sure, but scared of losing to grassroots-funded campaigns. Yes, it’s corrosive that billionaires and lobbyists can use super PACs to help nudge their preferred candidates along. But it’s also saying something: grassroots donations matter. And they’re working.  

We’re fighting to do what it takes to put people — regardless of wealth and influence — back at the heart of our politics. We’re taking a stand against the corruption and greed that has influenced our elections.

Help us win this the right way, and show our competitors how powerful grassroots donors can be: Chip in $3 or anything you can now.

We don’t need a super PAC. All we need is you. 

Team Beto

Nobody is very happy about Biden forming a Super PAC, though I do have to wonder if Castro and O’Rourke really don’t need some additional help based on their fundraising numbers last quarter. Nobody is mentioning Andrew Yang’s Super PAC. I have to look into his past to see if he’s switched positions on Super PACs or if he’s never disavowed them like Biden once did.

Joe Biden has hit his $250,000 goal by the end of Saturday. More than hit it, actually! He’s gone so far beyond it, he decided to set another $250,000 goal. He even went so far as to show me what that money would pay for.

Donor version
Non-donor version

Biden goes on to say:

But here’s the truth: There are 99 counties across Iowa and it takes a ton of organizers and money to reach every voter before the Iowa Caucuses.

If we don’t hit this updated goal, it will seriously hamper our ability to communicate, organize, and get out the vote ahead of the February 3 Caucuses.

I have to admit confusion. Just yesterday, they needed $250,000 to not hamper their ability to compete in Iowa. Now they need an additional $250,000 on top of that, or else their ability will be seriously hampered.

If the additional goal is actually a required goal, why wasn’t it part of the original goal?

I’m starting to wonder if all of Biden’s fundraising drama is genuinely because his team is really bad at math.

Finally, the December debate requirements have been revealed, and there’s a 200,000 donor threshold now. Cory Booker and Tom Steyer are asking for donors to hit those goals, while Andrew Yang is asking for polls. So far, only three candidates, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, have qualified for the December debates.

Biden has nearly double the emails of Buttigieg and Yang.

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