How to Stop Junk Mail from the Major Party US Presidential Candidates 2016

Now that both conventions are over and we know who is running for president for the two major parties, it is time for our mailboxes to be flooded with junk mail.

Pile of junk mail

This is not the first step you should take to stop junk mail invading your house. Please follow my instructions for how to put a shield around your mailbox first, or contacting these people will do you no good. They buy and trade so many mailing lists, it is like playing whack-a-mole unless you put up a strong shield first.


Today, we will be stopping junk mail from the campaign that is asking for money. This will not stop those #@$#% postcards and fliers that you get during an election. The asking-for-money mailing list is different from the postcard list. The postcard list is based on the voter rolls. If you want to stop getting those, don’t register to vote. Don’t do that! Vote every election.

While I focus on real life, in-your-mailbox junk mail, you should know that they keep track of everything a supporter of a campaign does. How much money you donated, when you donated it, through what channel you gave it (postal mail, email, text). They also sell mailing lists back and forth. When a candidate drops out, one of the first things they do is sell their donor list to the other people running.

This is from the Privacy Policy of one of the PACs:

Third-party partners. We may share your information with organizations with similar political objectives and viewpoints for the purpose of advancing our own political objectives.”

That 3rd party? That is code for more junk mail.


Stopping Junk Mail:

If a candidate is sending you junk mail, call and email their office and tell them to stop. If you are ignored, put your request to be taken off a candidate’s mailing list on Twitter. Tweet at the campaign and the people running it. I found tweeting at them to be more effective than posting on the Facebook page for the campaign. But look closely at that piece of junk mail, is it directly from the candidate, or is it from their PAC? I will give you the contact information for both.


Stopping Emails and Phone Calls:

The best way to stop emails is to click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email and follow the instructions. Gmail and Outlook have unsubscribe built into the program. If that doesn’t work, start calling, emailing, and tweeting at them.

The phone calls are harder to stop. The Do Not Call list does not apply to campaign calls. If you get a real person on the line, tell them that unwanted phone calls and junk mail from political candidates is the most important issue in America today.


Stopping Recurring Donations on a Website:

This year donating to a campaign through the internet really took off. Bernie Sanders used ActBlue as his main fundraising platform. A part of internet fundraising sites is setting up a recurring donation. They make it very easy to start. But very difficult to stop. Mic media wrote instructions on how to stop recurring donations from both the Clinton and Trump websites.


What if none of that works?

If you contact a campaign and the junk mail doesn’t stop, take it to the next level. File a complaint with the DMA, the FTC, and your state’s attorney general.


My sources will be:

From the Sunlight Foundation:  Open Secrets and Influence Explorer because they are all about the money trail.

Ballotpedia and P2016 because they list the team that is running the campaign.

The root of all of this information is the FEC fillings by the candidates and their committees.


Let’s start off with the Democrats:

DNC junk mail


Hillary Clinton website 1

Hillary Clinton, official campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016 page. She is a former First Lady and a former Secretary of State.

To opt-out from official campaign: the contact page has a webmail form. Also call (646) 854-1432.  Twitter: @HillaryClinton.

Hillary for America’s  direct mail is by Mission Control, Inc (the only junk mail you’ll ever read… twice). Politico talking about Mission Control getting the direct mail contract.

Hillary Victory Fund is using  Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey for it’s direct mail program.

The biggest PAC supporting Team Clinton is Priorities USA Action. Influence Explorer page. To opt-out: send an email to EmailDigital1@prioritiesusaaction.org Twitter: @prioritiesUSA


Now for the Republicans:

National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee


Trump 1

Donald Trump, official campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016 page. He is a businessman from New York.

To opt-out: the contact page has a webmail form and call (646)736-1779. Twitter @realDonaldTrump.

Direct mail is by Left Hand Enterprises LLC. It is a front for Persuasion Partners.  Washington Post article that talks about Left Hand and the other direct mail firms that Team Trump is using. Including Wizbang Solutions.

Team Trump has 2 fundraising committees in partnership with the RNC:

Trump Make America Great Again Committee 310 First St SE Washington, D.C. 20003 or PO BOX 1776 Merrifield, Va 22116-9400  and Trump Victory fund. Fortune talking about the joint fundraising partnership.

From Politico:

“Party fundraisers have informed some Trump-weary donors that they can earmark their donations to Trump Victory and another joint committee called Trump Make America Great Again Committee in such a way that all the money will go to the RNC, and none to Trump, according to a finance operative who delivered such as solicitation and a donor who received such a solicitation.”

To opt-out of these 2 groups I would contact the National Republican Committee, to opt-out: send an email to eCampaign@GOP.com with “Unsubscribe” in the subject line. They are assuming you are opting-out of email, let them know it is for physical postal mail, and call (202) 863-8500. Twitter @GOP. Make sure you mention that Trump Make America Great Again Committee and the Trump Victory Fund are why you want off their mailing lists.

Even though he didn’t want them, there are a few PACs supporting team Trump:

The most active so far is Great America PAC, Influence Explorer page. New York Times article about Great America PAC. To opt-out: the contact page has a webmail form. Twitter: @GreatAmericaPAC

There are other pro-Trump PACs out there but they are having trouble raising funds. One pro-Cruz PAC has flipped and become pro-Trump.


Did I miss something? Are you getting junk mail from different Trump or Clinton groups? Let me know in the comments.

Drowning in Junk Mail – Rules for the Stop Junk Mail Project

After I wrote the last post I realized that I had never told you guys what my rules were. I talk about them throughout the blog, but I never said what they were.

Junk Mail Rules

The Rules for the stop junk mail project:

Spend as little time as possible dealing with the mail.
I wrote a blog about the mail so I spent about 1,000% more time touching, photographing, researching the mail than a normal person should. If I hadn’t documented everything, I would have spent about 1-3 hours a week on the mail. Put all the mail in a box. Sort through it once a week, enter it into PaperKarma, then call and email the people who sent the most junk mail in a week.
This philosophy is what lead me to going after the fundraising companies and direct mail firms. If I could go above the piece of mail in my hand and stop another 5, or 10 charities who use the same direct mail firms, that would save me time.

Spend as little money as possible.
I only used postage to send Form 1500’s out. I bought all the supplies at the dollar store or Wal-Mart using the money that was sent to me in the junk mail.

When dealing with the people who work in the direct mail industry, treat them with respect. 
Call it social engineering. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Use whatever philosophy you need to get you through the interaction with them. You need their help. You need them to do what you want them to do. Coming at them from an angry place will get you nowhere. These people are at work and have a job to to. Do you like it when people come out of nowhere and start yelling at you at work? No. If someone is throwing a temper tantrum are you going to go out of your way to help them? No. Of corse I say all of that and I blew up at someone. Even I had a breaking point.
One thing I did learn is that instead of saying “I need to get my relative off your mailing list.” Say “I need to get off your mailing list.” It was a lot easier to get the person on the phone to help me if I became the person who’s mail I was trying to stop.

Keep emails as short, and on point as possible.
The emails I sent were very short:

Subject line: Remove from Mailing lists

Body of email:
Please remove
Name
Address
from your mailing lists.
Thank you,
Name

No long story about your loved one. They don’t care. If they cared about the pain their junk mail causes, they would work to stop the out of control selling and trading of personal information in the direct mail industrial complex.

Keep track of when the mail should stop. Follow up when it doesn’t.
March Calendar
I used one of the calendars that came in the junk mail to keep track of when junk mail from each group should stop. Use whatever system works best for you. Following up is very important. They are counting on you forgetting about them in 8 weeks. If you get something on the 9th week call and email them that day. Don’t let them push you around. If you have to, email the CEO of whatever group you are trying to stop. Every mailpiece they send after it should have stopped is another email and another phone call, until the junk mail stops.

If the junk mail doesn’t stop, tattle on them to anyone who will listen.

I'm not going to be ignored, junk mail

I’m not going to be ignored, junk mail

They have promised that the junk mail will stop in 8 weeks, twice now. But after 16 weeks the junk mail hasn’t stopped. It is time to take it to the next level. If not for you then for the next person who has the same problem with the same people. If enough complaints are filed someone will take notice. File complaints with the DMA, and your state’s Attorney General.

While it won’t stop the junk mail you can also file complaints with the FTC and the  U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Many a criminal investigation was started with someone seeing a lot of complaints with the FTC or the USPS.

If you really want to make a stink go to the media. Reporters are always looking for a good story, and everyone hates junk mail.  Every local TV station and newspaper has a customer advocate “On your side” reporter.  Contact them and tell them what you are going through to stop junk mail, who won’t stop after all that hard work, and how it has affected your family. This story from ABC15 Arizona is a perfect example of the type of story I am talking about.

Are there any other rules for stopping junk mail I should have?

Drowning in Junk Mail – How to get Junk Mail Revenge

How to get junk mail revenge

How to get junk mail revenge

This is not the first step to stopping junk mail. Read the Start Here page to see how stuffing envelopes fits into my battle plan for stopping junk mail. This is the fun part of stopping junk mail. It is like arts & crafts. Get the kids involved! Everyone loves glitter and sharpies!

Things you will need for this project:

  1. Pre-paid envelops found in the junk mail you want to stop.
  2. Flat objects that will fit into the envelope.
  3. A black marker.

There are 2 goals for this project:

  1. Cost the junk mailer money.
  2. Be so annoying to the people who open the mail, that they will take you off the mailing list.

This is the least effective way to stop junk mail. It is more therapy than anything else. I found it very satisfying every week filling the envelopes with garbage, sending it off and “sticking to the man.” The goal was to be as annoying to them as they were to me. If they are going to waste my time will all that junk mail, I am going to cost them money.

First I will tell you what not to do. Then I will show you the best way to get some small bit of revenge on the people hammering you with junk mail.


Return to sender
One of the first things people do when they want to stop junk mail is write “Return to Sender” on the envelope and put it back in the mail box. This no longer works. The postal worker will just toss it out.

There are also some popular memes on the net on how to stop junk mail:

LOL look he put a bricks and rocks in a box then mailed it off!!11!!

The only problem is that this doesn’t work. A pre-paid envelope is not a mailing label. It is an envelope. The postal worker can declare it trash and toss it out.

What about a brick? Can I put the pre-paid envelope on a brick??
Pre-paid envelope taped to a brick
Again no. You can’t put a pre-paid envelope on a brick and expect it to get to it’s destination.

From the Straightdope, From MotherJones.com

“According to rule 917.243(b) in the Domestic Mail Manual, when a business reply card is “improperly used as a label” — e.g., when it’s affixed to a brick — the item so labeled may be treated as “waste.” That means the post office can toss it in the trash without further ado.”

We must work within the rules that the postoffice has set up.


Time for a video!

Let’s review:

No Postage Necessary if Mailed in the United States
Gather up all the pre-paid return envelopes you get in the junk mail.

When you are done stuffing the envelope, you want it to be thick so that it costs more. Over 1/4in is best.

You want the envelope to be stiff so it won’t go through the sorting machine. The guy in the video spent money to buy the pieces of wood. Spending lots of money is a no no and goes against one of my rules. I bet that if you go through the week’s junk mail or your closet you will find something stiff to slide into the envelope.

Put old CD's in medium envelopes, it will make it stiff and cost them more postage
CD’s?

PB050013
Note cards? Or other thick, stiff paper.

stuffed envelope 50 grams
Don’t have any of that? You can also use shredded paper.


Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic National Committee, Stuffed envelope
Now for some fun. Stuff the envelope as full as you can with other junk mail.

stuffing the envelopes of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton
In this example I have pulled the old political switcharoo. Slick Willy goes in the RNC envelope, and 41 goes into the Democratic Senate something something envelope. Mix it up as much as you can. Try not to put the same junk mail back in the return envelope. You want to come off as goofy as possible. You want to to be kicked off the mailing list.

PB050040
Since all they want from you is money toss in a fake check or 2.

Princess Money from the Dollar store
or Princess money from the dollar store.

Stuffed Fake Lottery
In this example the entry fee for the fake lottery was $10. So I slipped in a fake $10 bill.

I also liked to use perfume samples from magazines.
perfume samples from magazines
Tear them out and cut them up into smaller pieces. If you keep them in a baggy all together the smells all combine into an ungodly stench.

National Republican Congressional Committee
DNC Survey
Fill out their little survey (I always tried to make junk mail the #1 issue that Americans were concerned about). Then write “Take me off your mailing list” in large friendly letters with a black marker. The guy in the video talks about “having a conversation” with the junk mail sender. You can write a note about how the junk mail has affected your family, or any other topic you want.

Adding glitter
Then top it all off with a sprinkle of glitter.

I will repeat: The goal is to be as annoying as possible. Nothing is more annoying as glitter mixed with stinky shredded paper all over the office.

Stuffed, Sharpied and ready to go
Mark out all the bar codes on the front of the envelope. This makes the post office sorting computer not to read the envelope and causes an extra step for the postal workers. The post office will charge them for the extra sorting time.

What is you favorite thing to stuff an envelope with?

Drowning in Junk Mail – Wrap up stats and other thoughts

Hi there everyone. This blog is coming to an end. The junk mail has stopped for good. Some days my mailbox is empty. I thought I would give the blog some closure, and take a peak into the box of junk I have been holding on to for a year.

The average American household receives 848 pieces of junk mail per year.
From April 2014 to December 2014, 8 months she received about 1,786 mailpieces.
From January 2015 to September 2015, 9 months she received about 155 mailpieces. Her peak week was 154 mailpieces.


Money spent about $220. Some it was bankrolled by money found in the junk mail.

Postage and stamps – $150 This is so high because of all the larger mailpieces that got a Form 1500, and all the jerks that had to go to step 2.
Envelopes $8 all bought at the Dollar store.
Fake Money and Real Glitter
Glitter $6
Princess money $1
Permanent markers – $2 for 2 packages of permanent markers from the Dollar Store.
Paper $4 (I think it was on sale) the cheapest ream of paper from Wal-Mart.
Toner – $25 It takes me about a year to go through a cartridge. Even printing on the lightest setting, was no match for the 100+ Form 1500’s I printed out.
Avery Mailing Labels – $23

A lot of that was optional. You don’t need Avery mailing labels or glitter.


PB050003
I think a lot of people have been waiting for this. The big box of all the crap that I have gotten over the past year.

PB050006
Over 100 form 1500’s. This does not include all the mistakes I made. And there were a lot of mistakes. I tossed in the DMA complaints that I had a paper copy of into the photo.

PB050015
Happy photos of happy politicians.

PB050013
Greeting Cards. I can to open a Hallmark store now.

PB050042
Membership cards. What would you like to be a card carrying member of? I have plenty of choices.

PB050030
Note pads. This is not all of them. I used 3 of them for taking notes about the blog.

PB050028
Post cards. Because you never know when you will need a post card from Jesse Helms.

National Association of Blind Veterans a project of National Federation of the Blind
This cheap travel clock from National Association of Blind Veterans is a favorite of mine. Mostly because it has a cover over the clock face, rendering it useless for a blind person. The face is just a piece of paper. I sent this off to Melanie Hicken a CNN reporter along with a pile of junk mail. I like to imagine that in the middle of the big fancy NY CNN office there is a reporter with this cheap clock on her desk.

PB050009
Bookmarks and prayer cards. Note that I wrote my own prayer on one of them.

PB050008
A couple of DVD’s. One of them with the Fox News all-stars on the cover.

PC030002
Calendars. How nice you have a different photo for each month. I have a different calendar for each month!

PB050060
Window clings. Why yes I do support one of the worst charities in America.

PB050040
Fake checks. Whatever you do don’t cash these. It gives the “charity” access to your bank account.

PB050047
Of course the crap from St. Joseph’s gets a photo all it’s own

Mountain States Legal Foundation
By far the strangest swag I received was a bag of dirt. Sadly I don’t know where they are right now. They were lost in the piles of junk mail.

return mailing labels
And the granddaddy of them all. Over 1,600 return mailing labels. Keep in mind I used hundreds of them, and didn’t make a dent in the pile.


The blog maybe slowing down, but if you still want stories about junk mail, the elderly, scams, scam PACs, scam charities, and anything else that catches my fancy you can follow the Facebook page I set up for the blog.

One last thought: I do not make money from this blog. The ads you see are not from me. WordPress has to cover it’s costs some how.  Ethically I can not monetize this blog. Can you imagine the ads that Google ads would put on this blog with all the political, and charity links I have put on it?

How to Stop Mail for a Deceased Person

AARP has a great check list of things to do when someone dies. I am going to expand on the section about what to do with a deceased person’s mail.

With in days of the person’s death put a stop on the mail with the post office. Piles of mail on the porch will bring unwanted attention to the house if no one is there.

After the funeral, put in a change of address to the Post Office to redirect the mail to the executor of the estate.


To stop junk mail:

Use the deceased persons original address for this step. It will take a while for the junk mail to catch up to the change of address.

Fill out the DMA’s Deceased Do Not Contact Registration form.

acxiom is a huge data broker. Their opt-out page has a box you can check if you are opting-out a deceased person opt-out here.

Epsilon.com AKA Abacus is another huge data broker. They have a whole page about opting-out from them, but if you only want to opt-out a deceased person call them at (888) 780-3869 with the full name, address and date of death of the deceased, and they will remove the individual from their databases.

None of them will ask you for paperwork of any kind.

It is going to take 3 months for all that to take effect.


In the mean time open all the mail and look for pre-paid envelopes and send it back with note saying that the person is deceased.

Competitive Enterprise Institute

This is what I did. You do not have to be as blunt as I was.

If you have a smartphone you can use the Paperkarma app. You can add the deceased person’s name along with everyone else that receives mail at your address. Or you can make a separate account for the deceased person with both their original address and the new address.

You can also write “Deceased” on the outer envelope of all un-opened junk mail. Then give it back to your postal worker.


Change Of Address Packages

After the estate is settled and is dissolved, and you are no longer receiving important legal mail for the estate, get 2 change of address packages from your post office. One is going to be for the deceased person’s original mailing address and the other is for the address the mail was changed to after they died.

Fill it out like normal but under “New Mailing Address” put Deceased.

Change Of Address form Deceased

DO NOT MAIL THIS IN! You are going to hand it into the local post office branch for each address. When you hand it in, have a copy of the proof that you have Power of Attorney, or are the Executor of the Estate, and a copy of the Death Certificate. This should stop all mail immediately.

I hope this quick guide makes this small part of dealing with the death of a loved one, a little easier to navigate.

Drowning in Junk Mail – This Month in Junk Mail – September, 8 pieces

All 8 pieces

This is it. Put a fork in me, I’m done. After doing this for a year an a half I am stopping this project.

Woo Hoo!!

Her estate is settled, and she is only getting junk mail now. But just because my junk mail stopping project is done, doesn’t mean I am done with junk mail for good. I have a few more junk mail stopping tips to write about. I also have a wrap-up post to do (come on don’t you want to know how many calendars I got over the past year?). I am also taking everything I learned, and everything that I think needs to be changed and putting it into a letter and sending it to the Senate Special Committee on Aging and anyone else I can think of. The biggest of all is I am helping a couple of CNN reporters research the junk mail industrial complex. If you want to talk about your battle with junk mail with a reporter contact Melanie Hicken melanie.hicken@turner.com. They just wrapped up a report on the BBB if you want to see the kind of work they do.


All 8 pieces

Here are the 8 pieces she received in September. Last September she received about 150 pieces of junk mail.


House junk mail

These 3 are all about her house. One is from a Farmers Insurance agent in her city to renew her policy. The other 2 are from Homeowner Rights Law Group (800) 969-4754, dealing with the fallout of her reverse mortgage.


Charter cable junk mail

Not even death can stop junk mail from the local cable company.


Care More

This is from Care More.  They are “One of America’s leading architects of integrated medical care to the elderly.” Whatever that means.


NAVS

National Anti-Vivisection SocietyWiki page, Charity Navigator page, opt-out here navs@navs.org and call (800) 888-NAVS. Some of you may not know what a vivisection is. It is a the dissection of an animal while it is still alive. BTW that link on the the word vivisection is not for the weak of stomach.


NAACP

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. To opt-out: call (877) NAACP98 that is (877) 622-2798, or the national office (410) 580-5615, or the membership hotline (866) 636-2227.


Sweepstakes Clearinghouse

Sweepstakes Clearinghouse 2000 E Lamar Blvd Ste 600 Arlington TX 76006

You win Sweepstakes Clearinghouse. Only telling the post office she is dead, and stopping all of her mail will stop you.


One Pre-paid envelope ready to go

One last bit of revenge on Sweepstakes Clearinghouse. I hope you guys like glitter.

Drowning in Junk Mail – This Month in Junk Mail – July

The Daily mail is continuing  it’s Godzilla like rampage all over big charity in the UK. They took one man’s massive pile of junk mail and traced it all back to him not checking one box:

The Daily Mail's chart of where Mr. Rae's information was sold

The Daily Mail’s chart of where Mr. Rae’s information was sold

Mr Rae’s son Chris summed it up the best:

“The way charities have treated him is absolutely disgraceful … If what they have done to my father is legal, then the law needs to change.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself.


Now back to my own junk mail nightmare.

All 7 pieces

In the month of July she got 7 pieces. Last July she got about 220 pieces of junk mail.


Citizen Guardian

Citizen Guardian (202) 469-3433, (540) 630-6400 and email info@CitizenGuardian.org Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page. Contact Engage Direct Mail at  info@uscomplianceservices.com to opt-out.

I have a feeling that after what I did last month, this will truly be one of the last mailpieces I will get from them.


Second Amendment Foundation and Neptune Society

This mailpiece is very interesting. On the outside it is for Second Amendment Foundation (Wiki page, run by Alan Gottlieb. SourceWatch page for Mr. Gottlieb. Great article about Alan GottliebCharity Navigator page. Opt-out here: Call (425) 454-7012 or email info@saf.org. It will take 90 days to be dropped from their mailing list.) But on the inside it is an ad for the Neptune Society.  How much is the Neptune Society paying the Second Amendment Foundation for an ad in a Second Amendment Foundation mailpiece?


NAACP

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. To opt-out: call (877) NAACP98 that is (877) 622-2798, or the national office (410) 580-5615, or the membership hotline (866) 636-2227. Mail from them should stop next month.


Real estate postcards

These 3 are all about her house and the fall out of the reverse mortgage.


Pro Wave Model 101

Nature’s Wave, Pro Wave Energy System, Rife Model 101 Frequency Generator PO Box 490300 Leesburg FL 34749-0300. Dead website, no phone pick up, no reply to email. This maybe zombie junk mail. BBB page F rating. Here is another company that sells the same thing. Royal Rife wiki page, QuackWatch page. I have already filed a Form 1500 about these guys.  But if they are a zombie company there may be no way to stop them.


one pre-paid envelope

Only one Pre-paid envelope to send out this month.

 

 

 

Drowning in Junk Mail – My Battle to Stop Junk Mail from Citizen Guardian and Engage Direct Mail

In July, I broke some of my rules. I was rude to people on the phone, and I was snappy at people in email. That it took me a year to snap at someone is a miracle. Let me lay out my case for completely losing my mind at these people.

Last year she was getting junk mail from:

The Seniors Center a project of Checks & Balances for Economic Growth
The Seniors Center a project of Checks & Balances for Economic Growth, (202)785-9500Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.  They have been in trouble with the FEC in the past.

National Sovereignty Center, Program of the Citizens Assembly
The Citizen’s Assembly, Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

American Seniors Against Obama Care a program of Citizen Guardian
Citizen Guardian (202) 469-3433, (540) 630-6400 and email info@CitizenGuardian.org Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

The Council of Seniors a program of Volunteer Americans
Volunteer Americans, Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

Secure America Alliance a program of United States Public Policy Council
U.S. Public Policy Council changes@PublicPolicyCouncil.org Citizen Audit page, Charity Navigator page.

American Service Council office@americanservicecouncil.com , Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

and Civic Council, Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

All these groups have one thing in common, they all use Engage Direct Mail for their direct mail fundraising campaigns. I have already written about them, and Gary Jarmin. I contacted their compliance office info@uscomplianceservices.com in July 2014.

Letter from the Engage Direct Mail Compliance Office 7/23/2014
They sent a letter saying that it will take 12 weeks to be cycled out of their system.

Dear [name]

I am writing as a follow up to your request on July 22, 2014, requesting that your name and address be removed from out clients’ mailling lists. In response to your request we have been instructed by each of our clients American Service Council, Checks & Balances for Economic Growth, Civic Council, Citizen Guardian, U.S. Public Policy Council, Volunteer Americans, The Citizen’s Assembly to add your name and address to their do not mail lists.

Please be advised that we have received confirmation from out data department, that your name and address has been removed from the mailing list of all out clients as of 07/23/2014.

I must emphasize that direct mail solicitations are produced at a minimum of twelve (12) weeks in advance of their mail date. As such, letters in production prior to the date of this stop mail request could include material addressed to your name and address and could already be in the mail stream. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in resolving this matter.

If you require any additional documentation, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at (310) 606-9250 or email me at info@uscomplianceservices.com.

That was July 23, 2014. That means that junk mail from all those groups will stop in mid October 2014. Fine.

The junk mail didn’t stop.

Secure America Alliance a program of United States Public Policy Council
This mailpiece is from Secure America Alliance a program of United States Public Policy Council arrived on December 18, 2014. 2 months after mail from Engage Direct Mail should have stopped.

So I circled back to Engage Direct Mail. Now junk mail from them should stop in March 2015. ( I think I filed a DMA complaint about Citizen Guardian around this time. My notes about the DMA complaints are incomplete.)

IT DIDN’T STOP!

American Seniors Against ObamaCare a program of Citizen Guardian
This mailpiece from American Seniors Against ObamaCare a program of Citizen Guardian arrived on April 2, 2015. A month after mail from Engage Direct Mail should have stopped the second time.

She died in February. Now it is on. I registered her will everyone I could think of to tell them she was dead, and to stop sending her junk mail. But Engage Direct Mail just kept rolling along.

I contacted Engage Direct Mail in May. I was told that she was removed from the database March 27, 2015. Why wasn’t she removed in July 2014? Whatever. Another 12 weeks it is. That brings us to June 2015 for the new stop date.

Citizen Guardian
In June I got a mailpiece from Citizen Guardian on June 9, 2015. You can see my note on the envelope that it should be the last one.

Well this is what arrived in July:

3 from Citizen Guardian

What the hell??

That is when I unleashed my full middle-aged, white privileged, entitled self. This woman became my spirit animal:

For each of these mailpieces I left a screaming message for Citizen Guardian on both of their phone numbers (202) 469-3433 and (540) 630-6400. I knew it would do no good. But it felt good.

After the first mailpiece I filed a complaint with the California Attorney General. I mentioned things like that she was dead, that I had been trying to stop junk mail from them for a year, and that their mail was offensive and harassment.

Letter from the State of California Department of Justice 7/6/2015

Dear Jennifer Bell,

Thank you for bringing your consumer complaint to the attention of the Office of the Attorney General. Often, it is only through letters from concerned and responsible citizens, like you, that out office becomes aware of consumer problems.

You Should be aware that California state laws do not allow us to represent private individuals in person cilil matters. However, in cases of statewide significance, we can bring legal action against a company when substantive evidence is presented to us supporting allegations that a firm has violated California law.

We have forwarded a copy of your letter along with an inquiry from our office to the company you are concerned about. Hopefully, this will elicit from them a response which we will all find satisfactory.

Again, thank you for contacting out office and giving us the opportunity to assist in this matter.

Lupe Zinzun
Public inquiry Unit

for Kamala D. Harris
Attorney General

This was the response I from Engage Direct Mail. I didn’t get this until after the 3rd mailpiece.

Letter from the State of California Department of Justice 7/23/2015

Blah Blah. Copypasta 12 weeks. Blah blah removed from data base on 7/15/2015. Blah blah.

After the 3rd mailpiece I emailed the compliance office again:

It has been more that 12 weeks and [name] is still getting junk mail from Citizen Guardian. She has received 3 so far this month. I cannot emphasize enough 1. How dead she is and 2. How upsetting it is for her family to see mail addressed to her. I have given your company more than enough lead time. This is now harassment. From here on out I am going to send you an email every time I get a piece of junk mail from Citizen Guardian.

Please remove [name and address] From your mailing lists. She is dead. She died penniless because she gave all her money away to people like you. Please stop sending her junk mail.

And here is the reply

I personally took care of your request to remove your [relationship] name and number from our data base on 7/21/2015.

Please note, that direct mail solicitations are produced at a minimum of twelve (12) weeks in advance of their mail date.  As such, letters in production prior to the date of this stop mail request could include material addressed to your grandmother’s name and address and could already be in the mail stream. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

HER NAME WAS STILL IN THE DATABASE?!?!?! What the hell is going on in that office? Are they purposefully malicious or just incompetent?


On their website, Engage Direct Mail they claims to have the “cleanest” mailing lists with the best leads:

Cleaner Data in: From the first mailing, we’ll clean your data like never before. First we’ll use the standard tools like NCOA, LACs, and DPV. Then, we’ll bring out the big guns. Our proprietary ECOA process culls out undeliverable addresses, phony names, and those records our 11 years of testing tells us just won’t work. Then our system corrects and adds titles, appends apartment numbers, corrects misspellings, and applies vanity addresses (if your donor says he lives in Beverly Hills, do you really want to address his mail to Los Angeles?). From your first mailing we can increase your response even more with our proprietary Response Maximizer which will grade your file based on our 10 Characteristics of Responsive Households and remove the households least likely to respond.

There is a lot going on in that paragraph. I’m going to pull out a couple of my favorite phrases.

“Remove the households least likely to respond.” I would think a dead person trying to get off their mailing list for over a year would be “least likely to respond.”

Is one of the “Characteristics of Responsive Households” family members who are trying to stop your client’s junk mail? If so, I am in the prime demographic.

As far as I can tell the database for Engage Direct Mail is filled with either dead people, or older people with dementia that can’t afford to give money to their fake PACs.


The clock has started again. Now it is scheduled to stop mid October 2015, a year after it should have stopped the first time.😡

Through this whole project I have tried to keep my cool during my contact with any of these blood sucking monsters. But even I have my limits. It is sad when I have to turn the bitch level up to 11 to get something done.


If you are getting junk mail from these people, my plan of attack would be:

  1. Email info@uscomplianceservices.com and request to be removed from their mailing list.
  2. Wait twelve (12) weeks for it to stop.
  3. When the junk mail doesn’t stop, file a complaint with the DMA and your state’s Attorney General.

Do not let it drag on for a year like I did. At the first sign of non-compliance, hit them with the big guns. Leave a paper trail of complaints, for yourself and others. They need to learn that they can’t ignore people’s requests to be taken off their mailing lists.

Blog post from 2006 from a person who went through the same thing I did.

To connect the dots between these scams, you have to google Gary Jarmin. Don’t be surprised if you get so many diverse hits that you think you’ve found a whole group of different people. In fact, he’s (a) a former moonie; (c)legislative director of Christian Voice; (c)national field director of the American Coalition for Tradition Values; (d) head of the American Federation of Senior Citizens, E) Freedom, USA; (f) American Intelligence Council…

Drowning in Junk Mail – This Month in Junk Mail – July, 10 pieces

I have been in contact with a few reporters in the last few months. One of them was finally able to squeeze me in one of their pieces.

When Will Tucker from Open Secrets called me, and told me who was going to be the focus of his write up, I was tickled. He chose Scott B. Mackenzie. Mr. Mackenzie and ForthRight Strategy have got to be the biggest villains in direct mail. The republican establishment has gone as far to say that if you use them to run your direct mail campaign that you will not be backed by the national party.

The best part of being mentioned in Mr. Tucker’s piece is, a few days after it went live, I was contacted by Mr. Mackenzie. He offered to take her off all of his client’s mailing lists. I sent a reply so fast I think I burned some internet servers.


All 10 pieces of junk mail

This month she only got 10 pieces of junk mail. Last July she got about 220 pieces of junk mail.


3 from Citizen Guardian

The clear winner for the month was Citizen Guardian. 3 pieces came in July. This is very, very, bad. Junk mail from them should have stopped in June. I will talk about my fight with Citizen Guardian and Engage Direct Mail in another post. Let’s just say it got real.

Citizen Guardian phone number (202) 469-3433 and (540) 630-6400 leave a message, and email info@CitizenGuardian.org no reply. Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page. Their mail is made by Engage Direct Mail Opt-out here and email info@uscomplianceservices.com. Junk mail from them should stop in October.


Second Amendment Foundation

Second Amendment Foundation, Wiki page, run by Alan Gottlieb. SourceWatch page for Mr. Gottlieb. Great article about Alan GottliebCharity Navigator page. Opt-out here: Call (425) 454-7012 or email info@saf.org. It will take 90 days to be dropped from their mailing list.


Ben Carson Carson America

Dr. Ben Carson we really should stop meeting like this. What if Rand Paul catches us together?

Official campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016 page.

Ben Carson Lithograph

Oh Ben you dream boat, sending little old me photos for my scrapbook. It reminds me of Judy Garland singing to Clark Gable:

Here Ben I wrote this for you:

Dear Dr. Carson,

I am writing this to you
And I hope that you will read it so you’ll know
My stomach feels so queasy
When the mail you send is sleazy
Every time I see you in my mailbox
And I am getting out the Maalox.

You made me donate to you,
I didn’t wanna to do it, I didn’t wanna to do it
You made me donate to you,
And all the time you knew it, even when I said “Just screw it”.

You say Obamacare is an awful thing,
A doctor like yourself shouldn’t say anything!

Fox News is a joke,
But I didn’t want to tell you, you don’t want to hear me tell you.
I thought you’d have a clue,
Yes, I do, deed I do, you know I do.

You’ve separated twins and you have held a human brain,
But donors to your campaign are still insane.

You made me donate to you!

To opt-out: the Contact page has a webmail form. Don’t even bother, all that happens is you are put on their email spam list. I wound up tweeting to @Mike_Murray_ his Senior Advisor, whatever that means. I know what you are asking “Why that guy, he isn’t even listed on the Ballotpedia page?” Well he just also happens to be President and CEO of TMA Direct, a direct marketing agency. If nothing else he should know how to get someone off a mailing list. Twitter .

Update: Ben how could you cheat on me like this? I thought we had something special😦


NAACP

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. To opt-out: call (877) NAACP98 that is (877) 622-2798, or the national office (410) 580-5615, or the membership hotline (866) 636-2227.


Homeowner Rights Law Group

Homeowner Rights Law Group (800) 969-4754. This is connected to the mess dealing with the reverse mortgage. Get scammed by a reverse mortgage? We can get you of it. I am not in charge of the reverse mortgage. I just stop the junk mail.


Sweepstakes Clearinghouse

Sweepstakes Clearinghouse 2000 E Lamar Blvd Ste 600 Arlington TX 76006

Are you kidding me? Another one! I have been trying to stop these guys for over a year now. How many ways to I have to tell you to stop? I have all ready taken them to step 2 for a Form 1500. This one came on the heals of last month’s mailpiece so fast that I haven’t had time to send the other one out.


American Bill Money
American Bill Money

American Bill Money PO Box 4008, Portsmouth VA 23701 (757) 455-3551 Ripoff Report page. This is your basic postcard chain letter pyramid scam. Do not bother calling. They will refuse to remove you from their mailing lists. They do not take responsibility for what their clients do. Fill out a Form 1500 to make them stop.


Young America's Foundation Reagan Ranch

Reagan Ranch from the Young Americas Foundation Wiki page Source Watch page Charity Navigator page. Contact page and call 1-800-USA-1776. Their mail is made by HSP Direct and Eberle Associates

Hay! Do you remember that cool calendar we send you last month?

Reagan Ranch from Young America's Foundation
Do I? Of course I do! I love photos of Ronnie!

Well, we want money for sending it to you. The money will go to kids or something so they learn all about St. Ronnie.

Young America's Foundation Reagan Ranch

“Please let me know today that your 2016 Reagan Ranch Calendar arrived. While your calendar was a free gift, I sincerely hope you will consider a generous gift to honor Ronald Reagan.”

Send us money or we will send you more photos of Ronnie looking like a fly pimp.


Huge thanks to my mom for helping with the Ben Carson song.

Drowning In Junk Mail – How to Stop Junk Mail from the Top 10 Republican Candidates for President

Update: I have a new post on how to stop junk mail for the final 2 candidates: Trump and Clinton.

Fox News was very late in telling everyone who was going to be at the first Republican debate. I can understand, this is the first time over one billion trilliony people have tossed their hat in the ring, to run for president. Fox has narrowed it down to the top 10 men who want the Republican nomination.

All of these people are thirsty for money to run their campaigns. The best way to get all the money they need, is to become friends with the Koch brothers. After that the best way is to send direct mail to people who have sent money to other campaigns in the past.

This is not the first step you should take to stop junk mail invading your house. Please follow my instructions for how to put a shield around your mailbox first. Or contacting these people will do you no good. They buy and trade so many mailing lists, it is like playing wack-a-mole unless you put up a strong shield first.

I am linking to Ballotpedia, and P2016 because they list the team that is running the campaign. If you are ignored after calling and emailing, get loud. Put your request to be taken off a candidate’s mailing list on Twitter, where everyone can see it. Tweet at the campaign and to the people running it. I find tweeting at them to be more effective than posting on the Facebook page for the campaign.


Trump 1

Donald Trump, official campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016 page. He is the most classy, phenomenal, fantastical presidential candidate of all time.  I didn’t think he was going to raise money for his campaign, mostly because he has more money than God. But just like everyone else he is.

To Opt-out: the Contact page has a webmail form and a phone number (646) 736-1779. Twitter .

Be on the look out for PACs using The Donald to raise money. They are not connected to him in any way.  I mean even less connected than most PACs to their candidates. They are Make America Great AgainCitizens for Restoring USA, MAGAPAC2016 (This website is now dead but the internet never forgets), and Hispanic Citizens for Trump.


Jeb! 1

Jeb Bushofficial campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016 page. He is the son of a former president, and the brother of a former president.

To Opt-out: the Contact page has an email Info@Jeb2016.com. Twitter 

The PACs that are backing Bush are:

Right to Rise Super PAC, Contact page with webmail. Email info@righttoriseusa.org. Twitter .

Right to Rise Policy Solutions, Contact page with webmail. Email info@rtrpolicy.com.

Vamos for Jeb 2016. At the bottom  of the Get Involved page there is a webmail form. Twitter .

Millennials for Jeb a project of Millennials Rising PAC At the bottom of the About page they have the emails of the entire team working for the PAC. I would email Founder & Executive Director: Lucas Agnew lucas@millennialsrisingpac.com to get off the mailing list.


Walker 1

Scott Walkerofficial campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page. P2016 page. He is the Governor of Wisconsin.

To Opt-out: the Contact page, has an email swinfo@scottwalker.com or call (608) 446-7258. Twitter .


Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabeeofficial campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016 page. He is a bass player and Fox News talking head.

To Opt-out: the Contact page has a webmail form, the only email is for the press. If you get no response from the webmail, I recommend tweeting at the campaign . Sarah Huckabee Sanders is his daughter and campaign manager give her a tweet also .

The PACs that are backing Huckabee are:

America Takes Action No contact information given on website.

HuckPAC The Contact page has a webmail form.

Pursuing America’s Greatness The Contact page has a webmail form.


Ben Carson website

Ben Carsonofficial campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016 page. Ben is my junk mail boyfriend. Ben and I go way back. I remember the days when other people were asking for money for him. Now he is all grown up and asking for money for himself. Sniff, Sniff, they grow up so fast.

To Opt-out: the Contact page has a webmail form. Don’t even bother, all that happens is you are put on their email spam list. I wound up tweeting to @Mike_Murray_ his Senior Advisor, whatever that means. I know what you are asking “Why that guy, he isn’t even listed on the Ballotpedia page?” Well he just also happens to be President and CEO of TMA Direct, a direct marketing agency. If nothing else he should know how to get someone off a mailing list. Twitter .

The PACs that are backing Carson are:

One Vote PAC The Contact page has a webmail form and an email address Info@onevotepac.org. It also has the contact information for the Executive Director Andy Yates’s phone number (704) 727-8092 and email address andy@reddomegroup.com.

2016 Committee AKANational Draft Ben Carson for President Committee (Run Ben, Run) The Contact page has a webmail form and an email address info@2016Committee.org and a phone number (202) 760-2795.

USA First PAC The Contact page has a webmail form. Twitter .


Cruz 1

Ted Cruz, official campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016 page. He is a United States Senator from Texas.

To Opt-out: the Contact page, has a phone number (713) 353-4330 Twitter  , go ahead and tweet at them both. They are both active.

The PACs that are backing Cruz are:

Jews for Cruz FEC Tells ‘Jews for Cruz’ PAC to Change Its Name, and not for the reason you think.

Jobs, Growth & Freedom Fund The Contact page has an email address info@jobsgrowth.org and a fax number (512) 487-5024.

Keep the Promise PAC Because whenever I go fishing off a dock with my family, I make sure my 2 little girls are in brand new matching outfits. Contact page

Stand for Principle PAC The Contact us link auto opens your email program. Here is the address info@standforprinciple.com.

Cruzaders PAC The Contact page has a webmail form, and an email address info@jointhecruzade.com.


Rubio 1

Marco Rubioofficial campaign website (AAhhh!! FU infinite scroll😡 How can I get to the bottom, where all the important info is, if infinite scroll keeps pushing it down?), Ballotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016. He is a United States Senator from Florida.

To Opt-out: the Contact page has an email contact@marcorubio.com. Twitter .

The PACs that are backing Rubio are:

Students for Rubio No Contact information. Twitter 

Reclaim America PAC their website is down. So I will link to their Open Secrets page instead.

Conservative Solutions PAC The Contact page has a webmail form.

Conservative Solutions Project email address team@conservativesolutionsproject.com.


Rand Paul 1

Rand Paulofficial campaign website (he sure likes that counter at the top of the page. When he launched the website he was counting up all the money that people had donated to him.), Ballotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016.  He is a United States Senator from Kentucky. And one of the mascots for this blog.

To Opt-out: the Contact page has a webmail form and a phone number (202) 735-5323. This is hidden at the bottom of  the Privacy Policy page Info@RandPaul.com. Twitter  tweet at them both, they are both active.

The PACs that are backing Paul are:

America’s Liberty PAC The Contact us link has a webmail form and an email address info@americaslibertypac.com and a phone number (703) 291-3450.

Forever Free PAC The Contact page has a webmail form. Emailsupport@foreverfreepac.com and phone number 941-896-7770.

Human Action/ Draft Rand Paul for President 2016. The Contact page has a webmail form.

Rand PAC 2016 At the bottom of the Donate page there is an email donations@randpac.com.

Ready For Rand PAC The Contact page has a webmail form. Twitter .

Reinventing A New Direction PAC, No website so here is a link to their Open Secrets page.


Christie

Chris Christieofficial campaign website (OMG, who designed this website?! Giant auto-play video at the top? Fire them now.), Ballotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016. He is the Governor of New Jersey.

To Opt-out: Again hidden on the Privacy Policy page “You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time by contacting us via the email address given on our website: info@chrischristie.com”. Twitter .

The PACs that are backing Christie are:

America Leads again with the auto play video.  No contact information. Twitter .

Leadership Matters for America This email address is at the bottom of the page info@leadershipmattersforamerica.org.


John Kasich

John Kasichofficial campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page P2016 page. He is the Governor of Ohio. You can’t win the electoral collage without Ohio. He may have all ready won the presidency, and we just don’t know it yet.

To Opt-out: the Contact page has a webmail form, and an email info@johnkasich.com. Twitter .

The PACs that are backing Kasich are:

New Day For America  The Contact page has a webmail form and an email info@newdayforamerica.com address and a phone number (614) 500-3295.

Balanced Budget Forever The Contact page has an email info@balancedbudgetforever.com and a phone number (614) 769-7852.

That is the top 10. Do you want me to do the other 7? Ask me to do it in the comments.