As if her campaign wasn’t already in enough trouble reports are circulating that staffers for Michele Bachmann stole an email list belonging to the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE) and then sent spam emails to their homeschooling participants.
The “co-opting” of the email list according to the organization was taken and used without permission.
According to NICHE they realized the spam was occurring when two emails were sent to the list from the Bachmann campaign.
In the meantime it has been determined that one NICHE board member is a paid employee for the Bachmann campaign although the group’s President says the campaign’s mistake was “inadvertent” and that the campaign does not endorse Michele Bachmann for President.
Now that the email has been sent Federal law requires that NICHE charge a usage fee to the Bachmann campaign and then offer other Presidential hopefuls the chance to pay for two emails that can be sent out to their homeschooling members.
If the Bachmann campaign is found to have used the list without any expressed permission from the group how do you think the issue should be dealt with?
TheIowaRepublican.com obtained the following message from Justin LaVan, the group’s president:
I want to apologize on behalf of the NICHE Board and advise you that we discovered that our list of homeschool contacts was uploaded without our knowledge or permission by the Michele Bachmann Campaign and used twice for e-mails from her campaign. We have been assured by the Bachmann Campaign that it was inadvertent. Due to safeguards built into our contact list, we immediately recognized the use. That same day NICHE contacted the Bachmann Campaign and instructed them to cease any further use of the NICHE list, to which they immediately took the necessary corrective actions to correct the situation. By the next day, the Bachmann Campaign was able to find that portion of their database that contained the NICHE list, and we have received written assurance that our contact list was completely deleted.
NICHE has now added even greater protections to the NICHE homeschool contacts list to attempt to eliminate any further mistaken transfers or unauthorized use. Like you, we value our privacy, and NICHE is committed to protecting your confidential personal information in every way we can. NICHE has never shared or sold the use of the NICHE contact list in the entire 20 years of NICHE’s existence – and we will continue this policy. Moreover, NICHE does not endorse or support any candidates.
However, due to federal legal issues surrounding the unauthorized use, NICHE is forced to take several steps to rectify this situation. Because the Bachmann Campaign did receive the benefit of two emails to the contacts on our list – even though NICHE did not authorize this use in any way – we now must require the Bachmann Campaign to pay for the reasonable value of that usage. Further, in accordance with the legal requirements, NICHE must allow all the other campaigns the equal opportunity to pay for two similar e-mails to the contacts on the NICHE list. If the other campaigns decide to pay and send the two e-mails, NICHE will send the e-mails directly without sharing or compromising our contact list in any way.
Again, this one-time procedure is the unfortunate result of this incident and the actions NICHE is required to follow under the federal laws. I sincerely apologize and seek your understanding in this.
In His Service,
Justin E. LaVan
Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators