The Widder Curry on Petitions and Pollsters: “The Frustration Is Mounting!”

by on March 16, 2017 · 15 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, The Widder Curry

The Frustration Is Mounting!

There is no question that the results of the Presidential Election sent me into a tailspin.  And I can’t help but feel that I am in an eddy, spinning, spinning, spinning out of control.

No, I am not going to do anything that I will regret – except change my party affiliation to that of a Republican in the election in 2018 so I can vote against all the “balless” people running for office.  That I might regret – temporarily, but I can always change it back if I can even find a candidate that I support.  (Just to throw it out – how about Robert Kennedy Jr?)

What has really pissed me off – and I use the word advisedly – is the number of petitions that have come my way in the last TWENTY-FOUR hours.

Yes, I have been signing petitions ever since the election, but I decided to keep track of those received for the past day.

Know how many there have been?  Want to venture a guess?  How does 20 sound?

I don’t mind signing those petitions if I believe in what is trying to be accomplished, but here is what rubbed me the wrong way. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE PETITIONS HAS ASKED ME FOR MONEY!  Every single one!  Some asked for as little as $3; some even had $5600 listed.

Are they kidding?

Some are asking for a monthly contribution; some are asking for a weekly contribution. What is wrong with this system that in order to have your voice heard you have to donate to the cause?  And what makes things even worse is almost all of those 20 requests are from organizations that I support – Planned Parenthood, Daily KOS, Move-on.org, Kamila Harris, Cory Booker, Martin Heinrich, Watchdog, Sierra Club, Change.Org, World Wildlife, AARP, DCCC and on and on and on.

So what’s the answer?

Not to sign the petitions?  Because there is no way in hell that I can – or will – contribute to these causes.  Not because I do not believe in them, but because I do not have the money that is being asked for.

Does my signature mean anything if I don’t contribute? Do they still submit my name if there is not a dollar sign in front of it?

And, as if the petition drive isn’t enough, I received three calls yesterday – Sunday – with very pushy people telling me that unless I “contributed to the cause” things would become worse than they are now.  I hung up on these solicitors more frustrated than before and understanding just how nauseating it can be to be “on the other side.”

While we are at it – let me also say a word about the “pollsters” that are calling also.  Their questions are so one way – trying to tell me what a great job Issa is doing; how Hunter is being misinterpreted – (“after all, he is a war veteran…..”) and then asking me my opinion of “do you support him”?

I just hope that somewhere – soon – this frustration changes into one of glee and happiness.  I don’t know if I can take another 1409 days of this administration without thinking of running for office myself! (I can see it now – “Great-Grandmother runs for President in her Motorized Wheel Chair!”.

I sure hope there’s an answer before that happens.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Jeffeck March 16, 2017 at 10:53 am

It is all a ploy to fund raise. People will contribute if they think that they are having their voice heard. In the Federal system, petitions are meaningless. Not in the Constitution.

In the state of California, I don’t think any meaningful (official) petition for an initiative can be mixed with fundraising.

I got the same from the Republicans when they were desperate to defeat Obama

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avatar Doug Porter March 16, 2017 at 11:34 am

Sadly, petitions have been the domain of monetizers. Unless you actually belong to an organization circulating a petition, Just.Say.No. In addition to using these pleas (and surveys!) to build fundraising lists, they are also using them to build sophisticated profiles which target you through Facebook and other means.
This article: https://medium.com/startup-grind/how-the-trump-campaign-built-an-identity-database-and-used-facebook-ads-to-win-the-election-4ff7d24269ac#.7v3zc5d5r provides a glimpse of how the Trump team used this sort of information their advantage.

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avatar Judi March 16, 2017 at 11:50 am

Thanks for the info, Doug. To say it is maddening is putting it mildly!

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avatar Fishing Widow March 16, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Interesting…before I even read your article I am subjected to a ‘Donate Now’ button for the OB Rag.

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avatar Frank Gormlie March 16, 2017 at 6:58 pm

Oh, c’mon now, that’s ridiculous. You’re “subjected” ? Gotta be a joke.

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avatar Hop Porter March 16, 2017 at 8:07 pm

I am not bothered by pollsters because I don’t answer phone calls from people I don’t know (identified by caller ID). I am not bothered by petitioners because I tell anyone at my door or a public site that I am not interested. It is only a problem if you let it be one.

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avatar Judy Swink March 17, 2017 at 1:20 pm

I, too, receive these (it seems to be hundreds of) petitions. There’s no way I could afford to donate to each request even though I understand and appreciate the additional costs that resisting just about the current administration wants to push through.

Instead, I have joined a long list of these organizations and I respond to petitions but do not donate, simply click on Submit. I’d like to think the organizations compile the responses whether or not a donation accompanies the response.

When I get too many from the same source, I simply delete them. I don’t unsubscribe because, with groups or candidates who I consider to be supporting the right principles, they also use the number of people on their mailing lists to demonstrate support for their cause.

Keep in mind, though, that demands on all of these organizations we support – with or without money – are spending escalating amounts to fight back against the President’s agendas.

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avatar Judy Swink March 17, 2017 at 1:22 pm

P.S. If it’s some new group I’ve never heard of, I unsubscribe, because they seem more likely to be trying to jump on a gravy train.

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avatar Judi March 17, 2017 at 4:44 pm

I sometimes wonder how many requests I get from the same organization. I am at the point now where I am “unsubscribing” to the requests. But…and this is no surprise, many of the places do not let me do so. Interesting.

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avatar Judy Swink March 20, 2017 at 8:57 am

I’ve observed that some websites offer multiple levels of Unsubscribe. Sometimes they ask if you want to only cease receiving certain emails (newsletters, updates, etc.) and sometimes the link that Unsubscribes from everything is not obvious.

I’ve not had an Unsubscribe fail. I’ve learned to look for the one that Unsubscribes from everything and when I sign a petition, I look to see if there’s a box to uncheck regarding receiving notifications from that organization however, there are those which have an agreement to receive updates etc. automatically so I sign then, if I don’t want to continue receiving that group’s emails, I Unsubscribe again. Or I simply delete many duplicative emails without opening them. Tedious but that’s life online these days.

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avatar Judy Swink March 20, 2017 at 9:00 am

P.S. They’re required to provide an Unsubscribe link but they often are hidden in a small-print paragraph at the bottom of the page.

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avatar judi March 20, 2017 at 10:23 am

Believe me – I check for the unsubscribe link all the time. Twice in the past week I have been told “the link is not working, try again at a later time.”

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avatar Judy Swink March 20, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Don’t know what else to say! I’ve never encountered that issue.

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avatar Local One March 18, 2017 at 7:46 am

Good commentary, but you lost all credibility in mentioning Robery Kennedy, Jr. as a candidate you could support. Unfortunately, Robert Kennedy, Jr. is a well known anti-vaccine conspiracy nut and recently appointed by that other conspiracy nut case Donald Trump to head a national commission on vaccines. The scientists I work with at UCSD scoff at Robert Kennedy’s conspiratorial ideas and can cite the proven benefits of vaccinations.

Maybe you should vet your candidates better if you truly feel strongly about electing qualified people?

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avatar judi March 18, 2017 at 10:18 am

You are partially right. I should have said I support Joe Kennedy, III. Robert Kennedy has said that he supports vaccines – all of his children have been inoculated, but he is willing to work on Trump’s behalf to check out whether the vaccines cause autism, in spite of the reports saying that it does not.

So I should have double checked who I am supporting – it is Joe, not Robert. I could never support anyone that finds anything good about Trump and his ideas, or is willing to prostitute themselves to work on his negative agenda.

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