Right Wing Text Spammer is Back with New Super PAC
WASHINGTON,DC — A right wing telemarketer with a history of scaring voters with misleading spam text messages in the 11th hour is back. A new report from the Center for Public Integrity warns that Gabriel Joseph, the man behind the controversial ccAdvertising, has formed a new super PAC known as The Survey Group PAC. This may mean a new round of illegal and anonymous political spam text messages will be coming to a state near you.
Known for spreading false and often outrageous messages through anonymous text messages, conservative text spammers have been hitting voters with uninvited SMS messages the last few Election cycles. In addition to spreading lies about candidates, the spammers have also spread misinformation about where and when to vote in egregious acts of voter suppression. Innocent cell phone users often end up footing the bill for these uninvited spam messages — and have no way to opt out or identify the sender. Revolution Messaging has been documenting and fighting these campaign tactics since 2010 and encourages the pubic to visit pocketspammers.com to learn more.
“Voters beware: the right wing text spammers are back in business. Consider this your warning,” said Revolution Messaging CEO Scott Goodstein. “When not misused, text messaging is one of the best ways for people to stay in touch with the campaigns they support – from giving donations and sharing event details to sharing big news or announcements. However, those who abuse the technology keep exposing its dark underbelly.”
Goodstein was proud to make history through the use of text messaging as a political campaign tactic in Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. As in that campaign, text messaging is being used by campaigns and organizations across the country to keep interested members of the community up to date and engaged. Texting is one of the most effective methods of organizing available to campaigns. Texts are much more likely to be read and to spur the reader to take action than emails.
Background on Political Text Spam
Revolution Messaging has been leading the fight against political mobile phone spam since 2010 when an onslaught of illegal text message spam was used against Democratic candidates. The organization documented the practice and developed a calling tool for Americans to call their attorney general’s office to report messages.
In 2010, text messages were sent from Joseph’s Americans in Contact PAC (AICPAC) in a dozen states with negative and misleading information about Democratic Candidates as well as containing the phone number of the Democratic campaign office in an effort to jam up their phone lines.
In 2011, Joseph’s company is believed to have sent text messages in the same anonymous way during the Virginia off-year elections where his employee was running for state delegate. Revolution Messaging helped the Virginia Democratic Party’s efforts to stop unwanted text message spam which was being used as a new type of voter suppression tactic in Virginia State Senate races.
In 2012, ccAdvertising was at it again and found their sites suspended by Go Daddy for spam and abuse. FCC complaints were filed against ccAdvertising, Gabriel S. Joseph III, and Americans in Contact Political Action Committee (AICPAC) regarding unsolicited, anonymous text messages sent at the end of October 2012 by both Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington & the Human Rights Campaign Fund.
While Revolution Messaging has a petition before the FCC urging them to take a stand against these practices by clarifying the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Americans should be on the look out for false, misleading and unsolicited text messages. These illegal texts cost our citizens money and erode our democracy.