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Who Do These People Think They Are?

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AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

It’s one thing when a fundraising email is sent under the name of someone famous or “signed” by them, it’s another when the name attached is a nobody from the start. Yes, they’re all actually written by nobodies – low level staffers with questionable vocabulary size and the cognitive skills you’d expect from a recent college graduate – but it’s not very often the person pretending to make the sales pitch is someone an organization is trying to build into a star who isn’t actually running for anything.

The Democratic Governors Association sent out an email Saturday “signed” by someone named Laura Carlson. If that name doesn’t sound familiar it’s because it shouldn’t. The DGA might want you to know it, and maybe it is if your life is Democrat politics and obsessively reading the New York Times, but that seems unlikely. It’s easy to pretend someone is a “name” in politics, it’s another completely to manufacture one. However, Democrats are using her name to fundraise off of, which must mean they think it carries some weight, so let us take a look at what they’re doing.

There are three races for Governor this year: Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky. Democrats control the last two, but there’s no reason Republicans couldn’t sweep. This will be a pretty good indicator of what’s to come in 2024, should nothing change between this November and next (NOTE: Everything will change between then and now, and some will change back because that’s what happens in politics).

Anyway, Carlson’s email this time, and many times in the past with a couple dozen sent under her name, include a GIF of her talking. GIFs don’t have sound, so they include captioning of what she’s allegedly saying. I’m no lip reader, so I have no way of knowing if it’s what she’s actually saying or not, but whatever. This latest email’s GIF reads, “Please, chip in what you can by midnight tonight. I’m counting on you.” You wouldn’t want to let down someone you’ve never heard of, would you?

That’s a weird way to open an email, and it is the first thing you see when you open it. 

Carlson is a nominally attractive, young-ish, kinda nerdy looking white woman (although we’re dealing with Democrats, so who knows how any of them “identify.” Why it’s important or even thought of to include her image is odd. 

The email is oddly personal, like the reader went to high school with her. “Hi there, Derek, (i)t's Laura, Chief Digital Officer here at the DGA. Our April Blue Firewall Membership deadline is just around the corner, but we're still falling pretty far short of our 2,500 member goal. That's why I'm personally reaching out to a select group of our most reliable supporters – including you. Please, will you give me just a few minutes to explain why your membership is so important?”

Exactly one month earlier she sent, “Derek – our Blue Firewall Membership Drive closes at 11:59 P.M. tonight. I know we’ve emailed you multiple times over the past few days, so sorry to reach out again – but when I looked at our records, I was SHOCKED to learn that you haven’t activated your membership! With just hours left until our urgent deadline, we’re DANGEROUSLY close to missing our goal, which would put us behind at a critical time in the election cycle.  A donation of $3 will ensure your DGA membership remains active through 2023, so please rush your gift through this link before midnight!”

The DGA really sucks at hitting their goals.

They also suck at identifying donors, since I’ve never even considered giving them a penny and they continually call me a top donor or supporter. I get that they can’t craft emails for every individual, especially since they don’t care for the concept of individuality, but you’d think they’d have an email list of suckers who’ve actually donated something, no matter how small, in the past, wouldn’t you? Nope.

“Early investments like your membership gift are absolutely essential in races as close as these,” the latest email concludes. “GOP megadonors are already bankrolling attack ads and spreading lies about our candidates. We'll only have the resources and the momentum to fight back if people like you chip in NOW. Please, will you activate your membership before our midnight deadline to defend our blue firewall in 2023 and beyond? Democratic governors are our last line of defense against GOP extremism. We cannot afford to lose.”

A search of the fundraising emails I’ve received from Democrats just this year returns 88 results for “activate your membership.” At this point I assume their wallets look like George Costanza’s in the Seinfeld episode where he couldn’t fold it anymore, only his problem was receipts not “membership cards.” Of course, that assumes any suckers out there are crazy enough to fall for it. Considering the number of emails from Laura Carlson I’ve gotten this year, it’s a safe bet many have. 

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