Day 316: 3/31/20

I almost didn’t notice that Tuesday was an FEC deadline. Only one of the candidates was bothering to mention it at all. There was a spike in my emails, though…


For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, though I have previously been on the mailing lists of 28 Democratic candidates! 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!

It took some time for the Trump emails to kick in, so I started officially tracking his list on July 7. I have been tracking Biden’s for longer, but I will start comparing them as of July 7. All of these emails are going to a new email, and I have not donated, filled out surveys, signed petitions, or otherwise interacted with either candidate’s emails.

The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.

Both candidates emailed!

Joe Biden picked up the email quantity with a whopping 4 emails for this FEC deadline, while Bernie Sanders managed to scrape together enough words to send out a single email!


In true FEC deadline fashion, Joe Biden’s four emails were all focused on fundraising. He had a goal set for 100,000 donations: rather than a dollar amount, he wanted to show the broad strength of his coalition of support.

Bernie Sanders talked about Walmart.

All of today’s charts are separated by sender.

While Biden’s asks were all for donations, Bernie Sanders emailed me a petition to sign to demand Walmart gives its employees hazard pay, sick leave, and PPE.

Walmart workers are asking for three main things as they perform their critical jobs:

Prevention & safety: Provide gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and other protective gear to all employees who interact with customers, vendors, and suppliers.

Paid leave: Provide adequate paid sick days, paid family leave, and comprehensive health coverage that they can afford.

Hazard pay: Double the regular pay for employees who decide to come to work during this health pandemic.

Bernie Sanders

Interestingly, Walmart announced yesterday that they would be providing high-quality masks and gloves for any worker who wants to wear them. Anyone who comes in with a fever of over 100 degrees would be sent home with pay. They’ve relaxed their attendance policies, waived fees for their telehealth services, and are providing cash bonuses to their hourly workers.

Is it perfect? No. Is it everything Sanders is demanding? No. But it’s not nothing either.

One thing that Sanders seems to overlook is that if you get angry at people who are taking small steps in the right direction because they haven’t gone all the way, you’re not going to bully them into making a big leap. Instead, you’re going to convince them that taking any step in the right direction isn’t worth the hassle, and they’ll stop moving or worse, regress. This is something that has come up repeatedly over his campaign: if you’re not giving everyone in America completely free healthcare, don’t bother getting them cheap healthcare. If you’re not giving everyone in America completely free college, don’t bother getting anyone free college. If your trade deal is an improvement over what we have now, but it doesn’t have provisions for climate change, don’t bother implementing it at all (this was an actual vote he took in the Senate this year, turning down a trade agreement that he himself said was an improvement over the existing conditions).

Most people aren’t ready to make huge, radical changes in their world view or belief system in one single step. But encouraging and congratulating every little step will get them a lot closer to where you want them than scolding them for not making as much internal change as you already have.

This is all leadership 101. Our next President needs to understand this basic concept.

Sanders is one away from 600 donor emails.

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