I received a nice email today from Senator Jon Tester. It was short and to the point. He highlighted some of the work he has done in Washington over the past year and thanked his constitutes for their input and suggestions. He even encouraged me to contact him with questions, concerns, and ideas.
His website is equally impressive. Smartly laid out and with a clean design, it contained a compelling biography, his schedule for the day, a “Tester” news feed, and a contact form to send him my messages.
The only problem is that Jon Tester is a Senator for Montana — and I live in Michigan.
I wish the Jon were my Senator. Mine never email me, never ask for input, and never send me mail — except when it’s time to vote. Perhaps that is why they don’t email me — I’ve never voted for them — and never will. But I would vote for Jon; he seems like a great guy.
I think I know how this mix up occurred. The email address used to reach me once belonged to a company in Montana. I bought that business, Connections Magazine, in 2001 and moved it to Michigan. Since Jon has only been a Senator since 2006, there is a considerable gap that needs to be accounted for.
I have two theories. One is that someone on his staff bought an email list of Montana residences and my email was included. If this is the case, the list company has obviously made no effort to maintain or verify the list. Shame on them. This is bad business and results in a shoddy product.
The other possibility is that his staff obtained a list of Montana residences/voters and paid a firm to “append” contact information (This is a commonly done; email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses can be matched to a name, along with their demographic profile.) In this case, the company appending information has some bad data. They think that firstname.lastname@example.org is in Montana and used by Christine (who along with her husband Steve) used to own and run Connections Magazine.
I can’t fault my new friend Jon and am a bit amused by all this. I have unsubscribed from his mailing list, but am already having second thoughts. After all, hearing from a Senator who doesn’t represent me, is far better than not hearing from my own Senators who don’t seem to care.
Thanks Jon — and I wish you great success in 2008!