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Pittsboro politician attempts to hijack private email list

By Gene Gallin
Posted Monday, June 13, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - Pittsboro politician Randolph Voller's recent email blasts have been blocked by the Chatham Chatlist listserv because his emails appear to violate the terms of service. His emails were being sent by a service, Constant Contact, which defines sending mail through its service to "mailing lists which send indirectly to a variety of email addresses" as spam, and spamming is not permitted on the Chatham Chatlist.

On May 30, I asked Mr. Voller to remove the Chatham Chatlist from his email list.

Date: Mon, 30 May 2011 18:21:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: Chatham Chatlist
Subject: Please Delete the Chatham Chatlist from your Email List

Randy Voller -

Please remove the Chatham Chatlist from your email list.

As a general rule I do not sign up the Chatham Chatlist for email lists.

In addition, per the Chatham Chatlist guidelines -

"Harvesting of chatlist email addresses is not permitted. Any member caught trying to "harvest" email addresses from the chatlist will be removed and banned from the chatlist. It's that simple."

Chatham Chatlist moderator

Mr. Voller's response -

From: Randolph Voller
Sent: Tue, May 31, 2011 10:06:39 AM
Subject: Re: Please delete the Chatham Chatlist from your email list

What list are you referring to? The chatlist is not on our newsletter.
Please advise.
Regards,
R. Voller

Thanks to Chatlist member Lynn Contant Fass and her post in Chatlist #4454 we see that the information coming to the chatlist is in fact the same as that going out on Mr. Voller's email list.

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
<http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=vlbhmrfab&v=0015XVNn_3fRZVY3xoyNeOIQadRAiHl8BoW30u-1Y3UbAEE-7nwTOV-uUD5PjLv4lTeqJPaOWCB8qsd6XcmcMzo8u6hbVtbceA7sPMl8sFrvD2w1Nf7GNxcTTa3zF1KpXAD>

<http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Chatham-County-FY-2011-12-Budget.html?soid=1105463575925&aid=bpLSVC7a1kM#fblike>

[image: Chatham Democratic Party]

June 1, 2011

Commissioners Sally Kost (D) and Mike Cross (D) were not happy with an abbreviated budget process for Chatham County.

*Budget process short circuited*

Please let our county Commissioners and the local media know what you think of this truncated budget process:

Sincerely,

Randolph Voller, Chair
Chatham County Democratic Party

*Forward email<http://ui.constantcontact.com/sa/fwtf.jsp?llr=vlbhmrfab&m=1105463575925&ea=sallykost%40gmail.com&a=1105773440892>

<http://visitor.constantcontact.com/do?p=un&m=001tHo_twGRRUnq878ly01lag%3D%3D&se=0013e6dsMA25jc%3D&t=001BeElK96tIBOHJLStOG7BUg%3D%3D&llr=vlbhmrfab>

<http://www.constantcontact.com/index.jsp?cc=TEM_BusLet_002>

In essence, Mr Voller is attempting to involuntarily draft over 3,700 members of the Chatham Chatlist into his email list.

This appears to be somewhat inappropriate and I checked on the Constant Contact's policy about such matters -

Excerpted from http://www.constantcontact.com/uidocs/CCSpamPolicy.jsp

Constant Contact's Policy

Constant Contact has a no tolerance spam policy. Constant Contact's customer support actively monitors large import lists and emails going to a large number of contacts. Any customer found to be using Constant Contact for spam will be immediately cut-off from use of the product.

What is Spam?

Spam is unsolicited email also known as UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email). By sending email to only to those who have requested to receive it, you are following accepted permission-based email guidelines.

What constitutes consent?

The recipient of your email has been clearly and fully notified of the collection and use of his email address and has consented prior to such collection and use. This is often called informed consent.

Constant Contact is a permission-based email-marketing tool that follows the strictest permission-based philosophies.

Mr. Voller's email list also seems to fail potions of Constant Contact Spam Test

1. Are you sending to distribution lists or mailing lists which send indirectly to a variety of email addresses?
2. Are you mailing to anyone who has not explicitly agreed to join your mailing list?
3. Does your email fail to provide a working link to unsubscribe?
4. Are you failing to process any unsubscribe requests that come to you via a reply to your email within 10 days or the request?

If you have answered YES to ANY of the above questions you will likely be labeled a SPAMMER. For more information visit The Coalition Against Unsolicited Email (www.cauce.org) or contact Constant Contact Customer Support (support@constantcontact.com)

I am forwarding this information to Constant Contact and will let them and Mr. Voller work out the issues concerning adherence to their terms and conditions. At this point, this is something that is best settled between the two parties.

There is however some great news!

Mr. Voller continues to practice his freedom of speech on his website and via his email list. Individuals are more then welcome to visit the site and exercise their right to sign up for the email list if they so desire.

Chatlist moderator

 
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