Obama takes email list to the bank

November 19, 2014

Obama’s 2012 digital program earned a lot of praise, but that’s not all it earned.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Want to borrow President Barack Obama’s campaign email list? It will cost a pretty penny.

The nonprofit group Organizing for Action is paying more than $1.2 million a year to rent what is widely believed to be the largest political email list ever created, according to new tax filings released Friday to The Wall Street Journal.

OFA is paying the Obama campaign — which still exists on paper — just under $5 million for a four-year rental of the campaign’s much vaunted email list and campaign data. OFA has paid about $1.3 million of the total balance, according to tax records.

OFA, created in 2013 by several top Obama campaign alumni as the offshoot of the president’s re-election campaign apparatus, emerged as Mr. Obama’s grassroots arm during last year’s debates over immigration, climate change and gun control. Though those polices ultimately failed to pass a divided Congress, OFA raised more than $26 million in 2013 and aimed to mobilize thousands of volunteers across the country for small, local events. OFA staff also run the @barackobama Twitter handle.

Mr. Obama’s two winning, analytics-driven presidential campaigns left his political organization with an immensely valuable trove of email addresses, voter data, and volunteer information. In remarks in front of donors in early 2013, former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said that the list had more than 30 million subscribers at the end of Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign.

Read the full article here.

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