Anti-Obama Text Messages

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Anti-Obama Text Messages

Barack Obama Targeted By Anonymous Hate Text Messages [UPDATE]

WASHINGTON -- A string of vitriol-laden text messages hit voters' phones Tuesday night, blasting President Barack Obama with anti-gay attacks and false claims.

In what appeared to be a coordinated campaign of cell phone text mail or text messages, one Virginia voter received a message from the address [email]sms@votegopett.com[/email] that made the inflammatory claim: "Obama supports homosexuality and its radical social agenda. Say No to Obama on Nov 6!"

Mike Madden tweeted one from [email]sms@informedett.com[/email] that declared, "Re-electing Obama puts Medicare at risk."
Attorney Pater Saharko tweeted that he got a message from the same address that read: "Obama is using your tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood and abortion. Is that right?"

New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman tweeted that his 13-year-old daughter also got a text. "Obama denies protection to babies who survive abortions. Obama is just wrong," said the message from [email]sms@gopmessage.com[/email].

HuffPost's Sam Stein also got a message, declaring, "Seniors cant afford to have 4 more years of Obama budget cuts to Medicare."

Some of the messages did not seem well-targeted.

Jennifer Cyr tweeted that she got one from [email]sms@obamaliesett.com[/email] that said: "Stop Obama from forcing gay marriage on the states. Your vote is your voice."


Cyr used her voice and answered back, saying, "I'm gay, you f**king d**chebags."

The Federal Communications Commission bans unsolicited text messages, but political operatives use a loophole: They send unsolicited emails to people's phones. The telephone companies interpret these as text messages and send them along. They also charge the recipient for the unwanted message if the receiver does not have a text messaging plan.

The senders were all anonymous. A quick search for one -- votegopett -- found it was registered in February, with the owner information blocked.

Scott Goodstein, a progressive online strategist with the group Revolution Messaging, said the texts "are coming from an email address."

"It is not just random cell phone numbers," Goodstein said. "There is a company out of Northern Virginia that does this." He said the company data "matches right-leaning voters ... It registers a URL and you can't find out without a court order who owns the URL. And they send emails to your phone number via text messaging."

Goodstein added, "It costs consumers money. It is disinformation and there is no source as to where it is coming from."

UPDATE: 11:58 a.m. -- The culprit behind the texts appears to have lifted the veil of anonymity on its domain registrations, revealing itself as ccAdvertising, a firm that was accused on Halloween last year of a similar anti-Democratic stunt in several Virginia races, including one involving Republican state Senate candidate Jason Flanary.

Flanary lost to Democratic state Sen. David W. Marsden.

A Jason Flanary is listed as the technical contact in the newly revealed registrations, and Flanary is the chief operating officer of ccAdvertising, according to his bio posted by the Fairfax, Va., chamber of commerce.
The firm and related companies have also been linked to similar incidents of political text spamming elsewhere.
Flanary was not immediately available to discuss the latest stunt, his office said.

UPDATE: 5:54 p.m. -- By late Wednesday, some conservative groups began distancing themselves from ccAdvertising, with Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform telling Roll Call that it was dumping the outfit because of the unsolicited texting.

Whether you agree with the text messages or not, do you think that it's right for a company to send unsolicited political ads to consumers phones that the consumers may then have to pay for, depending on their plan? Also, is it a good or useful tool, since apparently the messages may go to anyone with a phone (including children?) Any other thoughts?

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I think it is awful that they are using people's phones to send texts that they then have to pay for. I don't care if it was anti-Obama or anti-Romney. It is wrong and gross. I hate that it is targeting people under 18 too because what other messages could they be sending?

I hate getting political ads in the mail...these would really peeve me.

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As far as the content of the texts, I do not think they are a really out there POV. Aside from Obama not supporting homosexual rights, I have seen all of those statements at some point on my FB feed. (Yes, I am REALLY ready for the election to be over)

I no longer have a land line, just a cell phone. But before when I did have a land line I received political calls ALL THE TIME. It was so irritating. It would be worse on a cell phone because you have to pay for those minutes. I think political calls should have to follow the same rules as the do not call list.

Because we live in a Red state, we have not gotten much attention for the election. I have a friend though that lives in a battleground state and she told me she gets calls all day long.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

I think it is awful that they are using people's phones to send texts that they then have to pay for. I don't care if it was anti-Obama or anti-Romney. It is wrong and gross. I hate that it is targeting people under 18 too because what other messages could they be sending?

I hate getting political ads in the mail...these would really peeve me.

AMEN. Very well put, i feel exactly the same way!!

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I think political calls should have to follow the same rules as the do not call list.

That would be perfect. And so true!!! They are soliciting just as much as any telemarketer!!

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I think text messages should be the same as phone calls, if you have put your phone on the do not call list they shouldn't be able to text you either. I hate spam no matter the source.... phone, email or text.

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I wholehearedly agree it's wrong. But it's not any worse than the unsolicited phone calls people are getting as they use up minutes too. I think if you want to campaign, the tv, purchased signs, and internet should be the only medium used. Personal mail, phone, and email should be off-limits because that takes their time and/or money for the consumer. Not OK.

eta-That being said, the author of the article should rethink his terminology or should have put a text message that had a message of hate/vitriol. None of the ones (except the response one) were hateful.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I wholehearedly agree it's wrong. But it's not any worse than the unsolicited phone calls people are getting as they use up minutes too. I think if you want to campaign, the tv, purchased signs, and internet should be the only medium used. Personal mail, phone, and email should be off-limits because that takes their time and/or money for the consumer. Not OK.

eta-That being said, the author of the article should rethink his terminology or should have put a text message that had a message of hate/vitriol. None of the ones (except the response one) were hateful.

I agree with you, except i don't think email really takes up much time or money. Slightly more than the others because you have to take the time to hit the delete button. It would be akin to getting crap in snail mail, and seeing as we get all sorts of spam both in the snail mail and in email, i don't see why campaign spam would be different.

Although i rarely see campaign stuff in email. I wonder if its deemed ineffective.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

Although i rarely see campaign stuff in email. I wonder if its deemed ineffective.

Interesting. We have gotten several e-mails from Obama, Ryan, and Romney. DH was really annoyed that we somehow got on Obama's mailing list.

I don't really mind e-mails. I just send them to the junk folder without reading them.

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I do mind!!!! I'm such a freak that I have to read them to see what they say.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Interesting. We have gotten several e-mails from Obama, Ryan, and Romney. DH was really annoyed that we somehow got on Obama's mailing list.

I don't really mind e-mails. I just send them to the junk folder without reading them.

These are direct from those campaigns? Or someone campaigning on their behalf? Interesting.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I do mind!!!! I'm such a freak that I have to read them to see what they say.

Well sure, its just hard to argue that Campaign spam isn't allowed when "Enhance your breasts" spam is LOL

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"KimPossible" wrote:

These are direct from those campaigns? Or someone campaigning on their behalf? Interesting.

Let me see if I can find some.

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Friend,

We recently found out that Barack Obama and his liberal allies raised $1 billion -- the first time in history a political campaign has hit that mark.

They will use this money to blanket battleground states with negative ads. The President?s billion-dollar machine has resorted to petty attacks and empty rhetoric, because they have no agenda for a second term.

We cannot allow his billion-dollar machine to win -- and we can?t allow them to continue to lie about and distort my record and plan. Paul Ryan and I have bold ideas and a strong agenda to get America working again.

We will get this country back on track -- and we need your help to push back against the Obama machine and to promote our agenda.

I am proud that in September alone, we raised $43.15 million from 1,011,773 donations under $250 -- that?s 93.1% of all donations from across the country. Your donation today supports our game-changing ground operations.

We've prepared for this moment by building a record-breaking ground game run with over 120,000 devoted volunteers. We?ve made nearly 51 million voter contacts and crossed the 11 million doors knocked threshold -- that?s incredible.

But our grassroots operation must have the resources it needs to compete with the President?s billion-dollar machine.

On Saturday, we launched an effort to raise $7 million in 7 days so that we can take our message into new states and tell voters about our plan to create 12 million new jobs.

Act now -- contribute to help build up our ground game and help Romney-Ryan and the Republican team.

This race is close -- and you can directly affect the outcome.

Thanks,

Mitt Romney

-------

Friend,

Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country are growing dim.

Our country needs a leader to revive those hopes, and we need someone of principle.

This week?s convention in Tampa marks a crucial moment for our party and our nation. This is the moment when we pull together and renew our commitment to returning America to prosperity and greatness.

Governor Romney is the man for this moment. He, the Republican team, and I share one commitment: We will restore the promise and greatness of this country.

Donate $3 today to support us and the Republican team -- and to advance an agenda of economic growth, job creation, and fiscal discipline.

Your donation will automatically enter you for a chance to join us in Tampa to watch Mitt accept the Republican Party?s nomination.

Thanks,

Paul Ryan

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Dear Friend,

If you’re like most Americans, there’s nothing more important to you about health care than peace of mind.

Given the status quo, that’s understandable. The current system often denies insurance due to pre-existing conditions, charges steep out-of-pocket fees – and sometimes isn’t there at all if you become seriously ill.

It’s time to fix our unsustainable insurance system and create a new foundation for health care security. That means guaranteeing your health care security and stability with eight basic consumer protections:
No discrimination for pre-existing conditions
No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays
No cost-sharing for preventive care
No dropping of coverage if you become seriously ill
No gender discrimination
No annual or lifetime caps on coverage
Extended coverage for young adults
Guaranteed insurance renewal so long as premiums are paid
Learn more about these consumer protections at Whitehouse.gov.

Over the next month there is going to be an avalanche of misinformation and scare tactics from those seeking to perpetuate the status quo. But we know the cost of doing nothing is too high. Health care costs will double over the next decade, millions more will become uninsured, and state and local governments will go bankrupt.

It’s time to act and reform health insurance, drive down costs and guarantee the health care security and stability of every American family. You can help by putting these core principles of reform in the hands of your friends, your family, and the rest of your social network.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

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Are you listed as unaffiliated or independent in your voting registers Bonita?

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Republican.

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I haven't gotten any political calls on my cell (then again, I haven't gotten any unsolicited text messages on my phone either.) Are they allowed to call your cell unsolicited? I don't think that should be allowed either, since people may have to pay for their minutes.

Email doesn't bother me as much since you typically don't pay by email and it is easy enough to screen your emails (unless you're Lillie :p) Same with home phones. We have a home phone again because it was cheaper to package a home phone and internet and cable rather than just get internet and cable, and it has been ringing off the hook because DH is an independent in a swing state. But we also have caller ID, and I just refuse to answer any number I don't recognize (anyone who knows me knows to call my cell, and that's the number I put on all forms and paperwork) so it's easy enough to ignore the political calls.

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Bonita, its hard to tell who those are actually coming from or are endorsed by, KWIM? They could be from anyone. I agree that if you are registered republican it would be very strange to get an official email from the Obama campaign. Whole thing seems weird!

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Bonita, is your Dh in a union? We were getting a TON of stuff, emails, mail, phone calls and texts, from the Obama campaign. Come to find out the Oregon Educators Association (local teachers union) gave our information to the DNC

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"KimPossible" wrote:

Bonita, its hard to tell who those are actually coming from or are endorsed by, KWIM? They could be from anyone. I agree that if you are registered republican it would be very strange to get an official email from the Obama campaign. Whole thing seems weird!

"mom3girls" wrote:

Bonita, is your Dh in a union? We were getting a TON of stuff, emails, mail, phone calls and texts, from the Obama campaign. Come to find out the Oregon Educators Association (local teachers union) gave our information to the DNC

I forget for what, but DH filled out something online about health insurance I think. This was the response he got. He then was forever on Obama's mailing list.

Dear Friend:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I have heard
from countless Americans struggling to afford health insurance and
health professionals striving to provide care. I appreciate your
perspective.

There is broad consensus among the American people on
the need for affordable, high-quality health care. The rising cost of
health care is the most pressing financial challenge for families and
for our Nation, and controlling this cost is essential to bringing
down the Federal deficits we inherited. We must end unfair
insurance practices that leave millions of Americans without
coverage, denying them access to care, and exposing them to
extraordinary burdens. And we should ensure that all small
business employees have access to affordable, high-quality health
plans so that we can make our economy--and our small businesses-
-more competitive. Now is the time to move forward, and I am
working to get health insurance reform done this year.

Since I took office, we have done more to improve health
care than we have in the previous decade. In February, I signed
H.R. 2 to provide coverage for millions of children through the
Children's Health Insurance Program, and I signed the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act to make key investments in
computerized medical records and preventive services.

Still, more must be done to lower costs, expand coverage,
and improve the quality of health care. My 2010 Budget makes a
major down payment on health insurance reform by implementing
efficiencies in government health care spending while improving
the quality of care. To help fulfill the debt we owe to our service
men and women, it includes the largest proposed single-year
increase in veterans funding in 30 years. It expands health care
coverage to an additional 500,000 veterans by 2013, implements
technology that eases the transition from military care to veterans'
care, and enhances screening and treatment services for those
suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic
Brain Injury.

Looking forward, there are tough choices to be made, and I
will seek to bring employers and workers, health care providers
and patients, and Democrats and Republicans together to create a
system that delivers better care and puts the Nation on a
sustainable, long-term fiscal path. To learn more about my agenda
or to share a personal story, please join me online at:
Health Reform. For further information on health care and
assistance that may be available to you, you may call 1-800-
FEDINFO or visit: USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal.

I share the sense of urgency that millions of Americans have
voiced. I watched as my ailing mother struggled with stacks of
insurance forms in the last moments of her life. This is not who
we are as a Nation; together, we will fix it.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

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He sent them a message to take him off their mailing list and they did.