Lawmakers use e-mail campaigns to reach voters

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An article in today’s Wall Street Journal describes the e-mail campaigns that some lawmakers are launching to “get in touch with their constituents.” A review of expense records for the nine months preceding this past March 31 revealed that “House members spent $3.5million from their office accounts on electronic outreach.”

The use of e-mail campaigns seems to be one issue that both parties can equally agree on – the top ten spenders were evenly divided along party lines. Speaker Pelosi, Representative Sam Graves, and Minority Leader John Boehner were referenced in the article as members that utilize e-mails as a way of reaching out to constituents and potential voters.

The company, iConstituent is a top vendor for State and Federal office holders and has developed programs specifically for the government sector. iConstituent earned $1.6million for services provided to Congress members during the time period reviewed by the WSJ.

Unlike postal mail, which is governed by certain election regulations, electronic mail, web sites and social-media tools are less restrictive and governed only by guidelines,
rather than hard-fast rules that reference spending prior to an election.

Legislators are taking advantage of this technological loophole and spending money on data-mining and micro-targeting to strategically reach out to voters.

Read the full article on congressional e-mail campaigns.

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