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Unity08 Invites Me to Profile Nondisclosed People

Unity08 Chief Operating Officer Anya T. Harris wrote an e-mail to me today that said:

Jim:
Thanks for the time yesterday. Let’s keep the dialogue going.

Regards,

Anya T. Harris

OK, let’s keep the dialogue going. It’s going to take a few days to get through the list of actual answers, quasi-answers and non answers, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Let’s start here. Anya T. Harris wrote yesterday:

We know that Jim is profiling our $5,000 donors and we have invited him to profile our smaller donors who are many times in number and deserve the same or more visibility as our major donors.

Actually, no, on a number of points:

1. I am not “profiling your $5,000 donors.” I am profiling (which means nothing more than collecting already public information) every donor identified in the 4th Quarter report, starting right from the first line and going right down to the last line. Every donor identified in the 4th Quarter report. As of yesterday, I’d made it down to the incorrectly spelled “Don Ackermam.” I haven’t yet made it down to Angus King, whose place of employment is listed as “Bowden College.” You know, I almost went to “Bowden College,” but they spelled it differently back then. It’s these sort of mistakes that lead me to wonder how the world’s first national online secure presidential nomination will be pulled off in one year’s time. If it’s not going to be accomplished, why should anyone waste their money? Except for the venture capitalists, of course, since they have loads of money to waste. I mean the rest of us, the $250 or less “grassroots” from which Unity08 got just 8% of its money in the 4th Quarter of 2006.

2. Unless my memory fails me horribly, I was actually NOT invited by Unity08 to profile any of their donors before the posting of Anya T. Harris’ message yesterday which refers to such an invitation. In fact, Anya T. Harris reported at the end of last week that she couldn’t find an Irregular Times e-mail address (hint to future correspondents: look on our front page under “Contact.”), so I can’t see how such an invitation could have been sent. I’ll take yesterday’s message as an invitation, however. So let’s consider the small donors…

3. Small donors identified in the IRS reports (even if you count a $1,000 donor as a “small donor”) are NOT “many times in number” the $5,000 donors. They just aren’t. Period. Go find the IRS disclosures that Unity08 won’t show its “grassroots” on our own webpage here and see for yourself.

4. This leads me to conclude that Anya T. Harris and the rest of the staff at Unity08 have invited me to profile the donors of less than $200. This is currently impossible for me to accomplish, however, since the IRS disclosures do not include any information regarding people who donate less than $200. I don’t have names, much less addresses, occupations or employers. I don’t have Jack — which makes yesterday’s “invitation” really bizarre. Unless…

5. I conclude that Unity08 has just offered to send me all the information on donors of less than $200. Thanks. Please send it on. You’ll need to give me names, addresses, occupations and employer information for all these people in order for me to complete the profiles Unity08 wants me to share with the world. Fortunately, this is all information that Unity08 is supposed to collect anyway, according to the IRS.

(Say, where is the missing “occupation” information for those big donors anyway? Isn’t there a big IRS penalty for reporting errors and for late reports? Has Unity08 paid them yet? How big are the penalties? Or is Unity08 planning not to pay the penalties? Can I do that for my tax forms, too?)

I look forward to receiving the information. You surely have a database of these donors, and since you’re going to give me information on ALL the donors now, including the small donors, you don’t have to do any filtering of your database. You can just save the appropriate fields to a comma-delimited file and send me an attachment via e-mail. That should take, like, twenty minutes, so you should be able to accomplish that tomorrow. If you want to get all secure and junk (which would be odd since you just invited me to share the information with the entire world), you can send me something by registered mail tomorrow, and it will get to me on Monday. You already know my postal address, so that will be easy, too.

====

Unity08’s protestations to the contrary, detailed communication is not difficult. It just took me a day to start responding to Unity08’s points, and I’ll keep right on doing just that.

1 comment to Unity08 Invites Me to Profile Nondisclosed People

  • Ralph

    Interesting that she implies the process of data selection that led you to profile mostly $5,0000.00 donors was yours, and not Unity ’08’s.

    She’s critiquing your methodology without bothering to understand it.

    Ms. Harris, if you’re reading, that’s the kind of trick you can get away with in a seven-second soundbite, a 30-second “debate” exchange, or any number of twentieth century media like direct mailing. It doesn’t work in this medium–which you Unity ’08 people are supposed to be wizards at. In this medium, a single intelligent person can take all the time he or she wants to analyze your spin and reveal where what you say deviates from the available information.

    Jim is one of the grassroots out there demanding a higher standard of accountability from American political organizations. You’d have thought that was exactly the kind of attitude Unity ’08 would have embraced.

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