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 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 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.

Update August 29, 2016: There is a new scam PAC. American Horizons PAC run by Ian Hawes. Open Secrets page, Influence Explorer page. Politico story about American Horizons PAC and Ian Hawes.
He is fundraising through 2 websites,, Facebook page Help Support Donald Trump. And, Facebook page CrookedHillary2016. Do not give money to American Horizons PAC. None of the money is going to help team Trump.

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

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. 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 – 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 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 Citizen Audit page, Charity Navigator page.

American Service Council , 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 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

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.)


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 with 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 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 – How to Research Who Makes the Junk Mail

For anyone who stumbles on this post, please read how this fits into my over all strategy for stopping junk mail. This is not the first step. This is for groups who will not stop sending junk mail after being repeatedly asked to do so.

I have gotten a couple of requests asking how I find who is behind the junk mail. This takes a little foot work, and a little Google-fu to get what you are looking for.

For Charities, 501(c)3:

Sign up for Charity Navigator and Guidestar. They both have the IRS 990’s for charities. But they only give you access to the documents if you sign up. I like Charity Navigator better, but sometimes only Guidestar will have the documents you are looking for.

Look up the charity who’s junk mail you want to stop. In this case I have picked United States Justice Foundation in Charity Navigator.

Look past the 1 star rating and click on the IRS (Forms 990) tab

Scroll down to the bottom of the page where the links to the PDF’s are. The IRS documents will always be out of date. In this case the newest 990’s are from 2013. You just have to hope that they haven’t changed fundraisers.

This is the first page of the PDF. It gives all the vitals, address, phone number, who is in charge.
This is when you start scrolling.

This is what you are looking for.
Section B. Independent Contractors. This is for independent contractors that received over $100,000 in compensation. There are only 5 spaces. This is only the top 5 independent contractors that got over $100,000. In this case they are all for direct marketing. Sometimes they list printers, or the delightfully vague “consulting”.

They are:

Keep scrolling
Supplemental Information Regarding Fundraising or Gaming Activities. This is the other section where you will find fundraisers. In this case it is their biggest fundraiser Richard Norman Company. Who they paid over $200,000 in 2013.

For Political Action Committees, PACs, 501(c)4, Dark Money groups:

Open Secrets used to be my goto for documents, but they aren’t consistent with giving a link to IRS documents for every group. Now I use Citizen Audit for looking up IRS documents for PACs.

Citizen Audit is very easy to use
Citizen Audit

Just type in the group you are looking for and click “Search”. It will appear under the search bar.

Click through to the group’s page.
Citizen Audit 2
Scroll down a little and look for the “See PDF” for the newest IRS 990. It is the same form that charities use.

IRS 990’s only ask for the top 5 independent contractors that received over $100,000 in compensation. The FEC wants all of a PAC’s expenses. Every pen and pencil, every taxi ride, every stamp for every envelope.

For FEC documents you have to go to the official This website is AWFUL. No really, it is as bad as any geocities site from 1995. I am just going to link to the search page to save your brain from the terribleness of this website.

Candidate and Committee Viewer search

Type in the candidate or PAC you want to look up.

This is the page for Ryan Zinke the house representative for Montana. He was sending my gal junk mail. She was in California.
You want to click on the operating expenditures link. A note about the FEC website: NEVER, EVER use the search bar in the top right corner. It will plunge you in to the worst garbage search of all time.

These are the expenditures for team Zinke. It goes on, and on. Page after page. Click the “Purpose” bar to put the expenditures in alphabetical order. You are looking for key words like: Printing, Postage, Direct Mail, Marketing, Fundraising, Caging, List Rental

Capitol Caging corp: Caging fees. Open Secrets page

Forthright Strategy: creative fees, I am cheating with this one I already know who Forthright Strategy is.

Legacy List Marketing: List Rental
O’Neill Marketing Co: List Rental

CMS – Consolidated Mailing Services: Printing
Donor Bureau: Printing

I may not call the 2 company’s who do printing. Unless they keep popping up over and over with other PACs

So what do you do with this information? Look up each fundraiser in Google, go to their website, then email them and give them a phone call. They maybe confused. Tell them all about your junk mail problems until they take you off their mailing list. They may ignore you. Take note of the lack of response and move on to the next fundraiser. When the junk mail doesn’t stop, and you file your formal complaint with the DMA and your state’s attorney general, mention the lack of help you got from each company.

Drowning in Junk Mail – How to Opt-out of Junk Mail and Phone Calls from InfoCision

InfoCisionWiki page. Call them at (330) 668-1400 or email them at If they still won’t listen file a complaint with the DMA.


If a charity calls you chances are the person on the other end of the line works for these guys.

From their “Our Markets” page:

Serving the nation’s largest health and humanitarian organizations, professional and recreational associations, museums, and public broadcasting stations, InfoCision’s nonprofit division reaches out on behalf of the causes that touch our lives. In addition to making outgoing fundraising calls, we also take incoming calls generated by television and radio broadcasts as well as print media.

That means late at night when you see the commercials with the sad animals and the kids dying from cancer, InfoCision is ready to pick up the phone and take your money.

They also take a heathy percent (Sometimes it is over 100%) of the donation you give over the phone.  If you really want your money to go farther for the charity, give to the charity directly.

InfoCision is listed as a telemarketer but they are so much more than that. They also do mailing list management for their clients. And maybe a little data brokering on the side.

How well does being a telemarker pay? Well they have a stadium named after them.

Bloomberg article about InfoCision. Ug, so many words. Is there a cute graphic that breaks it down for me?

How Charities Enrich Telemarketers

Thanks to HuffPo for pulling the graphic from Bloomberg Markets Magazine

Thanks HuffPo!

Washington State page for InfoCision. It has a partial list of their clients:

American Heart Association, Inc., Wiki page, Charity Navigator page Opt-out here or call 1 (800) AHA-USA1

American Institute for Cancer Research
American Institute for Cancer ResearchWiki page,Charity Navigator page 0 stars, opt-out here or call (800) 843-8114.

American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities has been the exclusive fund-raising organization of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 1957. Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. Opt-out here or call (800) 822-6344. St. Jude’s also uses MDS Communications they have a do not call hotline (888) 243-2981.

American Leprosy Missions, Inc., Wiki page Charity Navigator page Opt-out here or call (800) 543-3135. They also use TrueSense for direct mail.

American Lung Association, Wiki page, Charity Navigator page 2 stars. Opt-out here. They also use Brickmill/Quadriga Arts as a fundraiser. CNN on Quadria Arts. Brickmill pops up on the fundraiser side of the Worst Charities in America list. I would tell you how to opt-out from Quadriga Arts but they have deleted their website.

The AOPA Foundation, Inc. Wiki page, BBB’s Standards Not Met (This is not a bad thing, the BBB wanted a financial brake down of expenses.)Opt-out here

Back To The Bible Opt-out here or call them at (800) 759-2425

ChildFund International, USA  Wiki page, Charity Navigator page Opt-out here or call them at (800)776-6767 They also use iSandbox, and CMS for fundraising.

Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Inc. a project of American Center for Law and Justice Charity Navigator page 1 star, Opt-out here or call (202) 466-3234

Secure States Initiative a project of Citizen Guardian, Kris Kobach Secretary of State Kansas
Senior Citizens Alliance a program of Citizen Guardian
Citizen Guardian, Inc. GuideStar page, Opt-out and call (202) 469-3433. They also use Engage Direct Mail

Citizens United junk mail
Citizens United

Concerned Women for America
Concerned Women For America
 Wiki page, Charity Navigator page, Opt-out here and call (202) 488-7000

Convoy Of HopeWiki page, Charity Navigator page, Opt-out here and call (202) 280-2002

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Of America, Inc., Wiki page, Charity Navigator page, Op-out here info@ccfa.orgc and call (800) 932-2423 They also use Sanky Communications (212) 868-4300

Disabled American Veterans, Wiki page Charity Navigator page, Opt-out here and call (877) I AM A VET

Doctors Without Borders USA, Inc./Medecins Sans Frontieres USA, Inc.  Wiki page, Charity Navigator page, Opt-out here and call (212) 679-6800 They also use Names in the News call (415) 989-3350 and AB Data opt-out here and call (866) 217-4470

Easter Seals, Inc.  Wiki page Charity Navigator page (unrated because they don’t have 7 years worth of IRS docs) Opt-out here and call them at (800) 221-6827

Faith & Freedom Coalition
Faith and Freedom Coalition, Wiki page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page, opt-out here and call (770) 622-1501. They also use American Target Advertising for fundraising

Feed The Children, Inc.Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. Opt-out here and call (800)627-4556

Feeding America
Feeding America, Wiki page, Charity Navigator page, opt-out here and call (800) 771-2303

The George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, Wiki page, Charity Navigator page Op-out here (979) 862-2251

The Humane Society Of The United States, Wiki page Charity Navigator page Donor Advisory (HSUS is going to have to pay $15.7 million settlement and other drama.) Opt-out here, or call (202) 452-1100 or (866) 720-2676

International Fellowship Of Christians & Jews, Inc.Wiki page, Charity Navigator page Opt-out here (800)486-8844

Judicial Watch
Judicial Watch, Wiki page, Source Watch page, Charity Navigator page opt-out here also call them at (202) 646-5172.

LeSEA Global Feed The Hungry, Inc. Wiki page Guidestar page Opt-out here and call (888) 832-6384

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Inc. Wiki page Charity Navigator page Opt-out here and call (888) 557-7177. They also use Innovairre for fundraising email them at and call them at 856.663.2500 and Direct Media Communications opt-out here and call (866) 588-7360  and Paradysz

March Of Dimes Foundation Wiki page Charity Navigator page Opt-out here and call (914) 997-4488 They also use PEP Direct Washington State page and Paradysz

The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children, Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. Opt-out here and call (703)224-2150

National Rifle Association Of America, Wiki page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page, Opt-out here and call (800) 672-3888

Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy, Wiki page, Charity Navigator page, opt-out here and call (800) 628-6860

North Shore Animal League America, Inc., Opt-out here (516) 883-7575

Open Doors With Brother Andrew, Inc., Wiki page for Andrew van der Bijl, Charity Navigator page. Opt-out here (888) 5-BIBLE-5

Operation Blessing International Relief And Development Corporation, Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. Opt-out here and call (800) 730-2537

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA, Wiki page, Charity Navigator page, Source Watch page. Opt-out here and call  (757) 622-7382

Smile Train, Inc.Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. Opt-out here and call (800) 932-9541

United States Fund For UNICEF, Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. Opt-out here and call (800) 367-5437

Tony Even’s The Urban Alternative, Wiki page Opt-out here and call (214) 943-3868

And here are a few more not listed on the Washington State page

Nora Lam Chinese Ministries International
Nora Lam Chinese Ministries International

Guideposts opt-out here

College Republican National Committee
College Republican National Committee, Wiki page, they are known for making the “Say Yes to the Dress” parody political add. Opt-out here: or call (202) 608-1411

What I would do if you are getting phone calls and/or junk mail from anyone on this list is first contact them directly. Then contact InfoCision. If you are getting phone calls and junk mail from one, you will be contacted by other clients of InfoCision.

Drowning in Junk Mail – How to Opt-out of Junk Mail Using a DMA Ethics Complaint

This is a step of last resort. Before you do this you should have:

  • Signed up for DMA Choice and waited 6-8 weeks after the latest update to the do not mail list, if that didn’t work,
  • Directly e-mailed and called the junk mailer waited for a reply, and then wait 6-8 weeks for it to take affect.

You have done all of that. But the junk mail won’t stop. Now it is time to bring out the big guns. Contact the DMA. All of that other stuff you have tried to do, and them ignoring it is a big no, no in the eyes of the DMA. Them ignoring you makes every other direct marketing firm look bad and gives the whole industry a bad name.

DMA ethics guidelines:

There are a couple of ways to file a complaint with the Ethics Board at the DMA:

  • The best way is to fill out the online form, you can upload photos and emails.
  • Or you can go old school and mail in an example of the junk mail and a complaint letter to:
    Direct Marketing Association
    Corporate & Social Responsibility (CSR) Department
    1615 L St. NW Suite 1100
    Washington, DC 20036-5624

Lay out your case, tell them all the ways you have tried to contact the junk mailer. That snippy email reply you got from a junk mailer? Include that. How much mail you get from them, how often. Use key words like: how old your person is, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, that the junk mail is elder abuse. You get the idea.

DMA Ethics Case Complaint form for State Department Watch

My enclosed correspondence. If I knew they were going to forward this to State Department Watch I would have added more personal information about her.

DMA Ethics Case Complaint From

Name: Jennifer Bell
Email: darthjenni at
Date: September 26, 2014
Name of organization that you are bringing to our attention: State Department Watch
Organization Contact Information:
Address on return envelope: PO Box 97343 Washington DC 20090-7343
Street address: 22648 Ave San Luis WOODLAND HILLS CA 91364,
Mailing address: PO Box 6102 WOODLAND HILLS CA 91365
Phone number: (818) 223-8080
Contact Person at the organization: Carl Olson

Please give a brief overview of your concerns and attach any relevant correspondence or other documents:

This complaint is being made on behalf of [name]. My family has power of attorney for her affairs.
I have contacted State Department Watch by email and by phone and received no response. I would like [name] to be taken off their mailing list.
I would also like her to be taken off the mailing list for their other projects:

Minuteman Project With Jim Gilchris
Tea Party Campaign With Dr. Jerome Corsi
The Tea Party
American Sovereignty Task Force

Letters from the DMA to Carl Olson and Jerome Corsi

This the response I got back from the DMA:

This letter is concerning a complaint that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has received regarding mail pieces being sent from your organization to the above-named consumer. In our ongoing effort to build trust and be responsive to the consumers of the direct marketing industry, we are forwarding this complaint to you for your response.

Ms. [name] [relationship], Jennifer Bell, has tried repeatedly to remove her elderly [relationship] name and address from your organization’s mailing lists but has not been successful in having her requests honored. Please see enclosed correspondence. Ms. Bell has asked us to contact your organization to request that you remove her [relationship] name and address from your in-house mailing. Prospect and share lists.

The Direct Marketing Association encourages all marketers to adhere to its self-regulatory Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice and its Commitment to Consumer Choice (CCC) program and Compliance Center This includes promptly honoring individual opt-out requests, whether the individual is a customer or prospective customer. Our guidelines require that you keep a list of consumers who have asked not to hear from you and remove them from lists you mail to, share or rent.

We ask your cooperation in complying with the consumer’s request in a timely manner. We would appreciate it if you respond directly to Ms. Bell and provide us with a copy of your response.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.


Lisa Brown Shosteck
DMA Corporate & Social Responsibility Department

I didn’t get a response from Carl Olson or Jerome Corsi but the junk mail did stop.

Since I now know that my letter will be seen by the group that won’t stop sending stuff, I revised it a bit:

This complaint is being made on behalf of my 87 year old [relationship][name].[name] has dementia and my family has power of attorney for her affairs. I would like [name] to be taken off their mailing list. I contacted [junk mailer] by email and phone and received no reply. I would like her to be taken off their master mailing list, the master mailing list of their direct marketing firm, and any lists they buy.

That is a good template to start with. I have added more depending on how bad it has been dealing with one group or another. If they are using multiple variations of your name include them all.

The only problem with the e-filing system is that it doesn’t send an auto-reply conformation email. Make sure you keep good notes on the complaints you have sent out.

Drowning in Junk Mail – Catalog Choice vs. PaperKarma

PicMonkey Collage words

Before I start this review, the best way to get off a mailing list is to contact them directly. Email them, call them, harass them like they harass you. For this project that was just not an option. It would have been hundreds of emails and phone calls. Even with cut and paste my entire day would have been sending emails, and keeping track of responses. That is why I used both Catalog Choice and PaperKarma.

Also they count requests differently, Catalog Choice counts each request individually and PaperKarma lumps all the requests to each group together. So if I get 10 mailpieces from Citizens United, Catalog Choice would have 10 requests and PaperKarma would have 1 request. I am going to use the PaperKarma standard for this review to 1) lesson confusion and 2) so I don’t inflate the stats. The numbers are ridiculous enough without counting each piece of mail individually.

They essentially do the same thing: you enter junk mail into their system, they try to contact the junk mailer and ask for the junk mail to stop. The key to both of them is to maximize the system. Enter every piece you can. Leave a paper trail of what you have received. Use all the tools they give you. Don’t be passive about the process.

Catalog Choice Your Choices page

Catalog Choice was bought by TrustedID it is the older of the two. It is web based and very easy to use. You can enter multiple names and addresses into the system. You can only send requests to the groups in it’s database.

Catalog Choice company profile page

It works best on well established legitimate charities. It does not work as well on 501c(4)s, candidates running for office, and scams. They need to update their database more often. One great feature is: if you are still getting junk mail 90 days after your first request, you can file a complaint with Catalog Choice and they will pass it on to the FTC.

I used Catalog Choice from April to the end of July. I have 173 requests for individual groups on that service. I was imputing fewer and, fewer mailpieces because they either weren’t in the system or I would input a mailpiece but it wouldn’t go through to the company.

Catalog Choice Action Required

Out of the 173 groups I entered, only 51 went through and 16 required further action. About a 30% success rate. That is about my response rate when I send out emails.

PaperKarma opening page

Out of frustration I started using PaperKarma. It has many of the same problems of requests not going through, but it has a higher success rate. In defense of both companies I am testing the limits of the system. The bizarre fringe PACs and “sound a like charities” that I get, fly so low under the radar most people have never heard of them.

PaperKarma taking a photo

PaperKarma is newer. It was bought by It is a smartphone app. You take a picture of the mail and they use some fancy software and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (Wiki page) to figure out who sent it to you.

PaperKarma junk mail page 1
PaperKarma junk mail page 2
PaperKarma junk mail page 3

With PaperKarma you can enter multiple names but only one address. The program will learn new junk mail names and addresses. You have to train the program, as it will sometimes guess wrong. When you sign up you have the choice to use your Facebook account or create a fresh account with your email address. I have read the reviews of the app and some people have trouble with using Facebook to log in. I created an account with my email address, mostly because I didn’t want my Facebook to get intertwined with this project. After the the first 5 mailpieces you upload it will ask you to send an email to 5 friends. If you don’t want to do that, just use the emails of people who send you junk mail. I have plenty on this site.

PaperKarma Archived Requests page

Out of 308 total requests 160 went through, about a 50% success rate. Of the junk mail requests that have gone through about 5% are wrong. Either they are the wrong advertiser or a random PO Box. Not bad for a robot. Again, it worked best on established charities, and well known advertisers.

PaperKarma Failed and Pending
The app starts to get sluggish after about 150 requests. Keep it tidy by “archiving” the requests that are green Successes. Only the blue Pending and the red Failed should be on your main page. Don’t worry “archived” is a strange word to have used, they are still active requests and you can still tell them if the mail has stopped of if they are still sending stuff to you.


If the request was successful, after 13 days they ask you if the mail has stopped. I would like this to be changed to 45 days as many junk mailers like to send stuff once a month.

PaperKarma Archived Requests page date change

If they want me to tell them on the 13th day if the mail had stopped then they should have it say 13 days ago. After 8 days it changes to a date. I would also like the website to be more interactive. I would like to access my account from a desk top computer and see the all the photos and make corrections when needed. It would also be great if I had the ability to see full name and address of sender of junk mail. A lot of the SuperPACs have names that are very similar, many fake charities have “sound a like” names. I need to see the whole thing t0 make sure the robot found the right group.

Screen caps are boring. Time for some videos!

CBS News about stopping junk mail. Featuring an interview with the founder of Catalog Choice, Chuck Teller

CBS New York talking about DMA Choice and PaperKarma.

Things I would like in a junk mail stoping service this includes DMA Choice, Catalog Choice, and PaperKarma:

  • No means No. If I choose to opt-out of everything, I mean everything. Not for 5 years, forever.
  • Unlimited names and addresses. Because of the way I did this, I have 2 addresses to handle at once. And the junk mail people like to play around with her name, flip-floping it and strange misspellings. Once one list does it, it spreads like wildfire. I have 6 variations of her name and DMA Choice only has space for 5. In PaperKarma it is a long string on one line that I can’t see all of at once. They all need to take a que from the fantastic opt-out page for data miners acxiom. That is how you do it, it is all on one page, and you can have 10 of everything. Sometimes it is nice to deal with a data pro.


  • Ability to opt-out of direct marketing firm or get off what ever master mailing list they have bought. I do not have the time to opt out of all 50 clients that are sending me mail from the same place. You know they are all connected, let me opt-out as few times as possible.
  • If it requires an extra step (phone call, a direct e-mail, fill in a form with a captcha) they do it for me.
  • A yes or a no if it went through, no “waiting” or “processing” forever. If I need to do it myself let me know. Don’t leave me hanging.
  • Ability for me to enter a new group. There is no way they can keep up will all the new charities and PACs that are created every year.
  • If it is a scam tell me the proper authorities to contact (better yet contact them for me), show people how to use form 1500, file a FTC, or DMA complaint if it comes to that.
  • If the mail doesn’t stop after 90 days, automatically send a complaint report to the FTC and the DMA. Or at least alert me in some way to do it. Both Catalog Choice and PaperKarma are very bad at telling users that it is time to go to the next step.
  • Stop “To Current Resident” mail, EDDM postcards and the like. That is the type of mail that is the most annoying to the most people.

I have been hard on both services. Mostly because the job I had was was hard to do. I am sure none of the people who thought up these services never imagined someone like me rolling up on them and dumping hundreds of requests on them. PaperKarma gets a B+ and Catalog Choice gets a C-. If you have a smartphone definitely use PaperKarma.

Did I miss something? Comment below and tell me what you want in a junk mail stopping service.

Drowning in Junk Mail – How to Opt-out of Junk Mail from American Target Advertising

Today’s direct marketing firm is American Target Advertising, they also have the website Non-Profit

Contact them here. If that doesn’t work call (703) 392-7676

The company was founded in 1965 by Richard Viguerie using a mailing list made up of 12,500 of Barry Goldwater`s $50-plus donors. He went down to the clerk of the House of Representatives with a gaggle of secretaries to write down Barry Goldwater’s donors who gave $50 or more. Out of 15,000 names they only got 12,500, before someone kicked them out. That list of names became the backbone of his direct mail firm, The Viguerie Company that became American Target Advertising. Mr. Viguerie has spun off his marketing techniques in to a class, so you can do them yourself Viguerie Marketing Institute. He has also written a book about direct mail marketing America’s Right Turn.

Direct marketing firms all share/sell their mailing lists with each other. Groups who I opted-out of months ago started popping up again. That tells me she was being sold back on to the list. Or I was getting 2 of the same mailpiece in the same week and got it down to one. There was a list above what I had gotten her off of. That lead me to the history of direct mail and Mr. Viguerie. I am sure my gal has been on this guy’s list since the 1970’s.

Like Mr. Viguerie I am using the Federal Election Commission  and the IRS as a tool. Only this time it is to find out who his clients are so I can make mail from American Target Advertising stop. Between Charity Navigator and Open Secrets I have taught myself how to dig into the boat loads of paper that charities and PACs have to file. American Target Advertising is a classy firm that doesn’t blab about their clients on their website. I had to dive into documents that can be hundreds of pages long, to pull out who does the fundraising for each one.

Here are some of their clients:

Eagle Forum
Eagle Forum, Wiki page, run by Phyllis Schlafly. Ballotpedia page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page. Opt-out here

Phyllis Schlafly and Richard Viguerie have been friends since the 1960’s. He uses her take down of the Equal Rights Amendment as a case study in his book America’s Right Turn. It is a perfect example of someone using alternative media, to get people who otherwise are on opposite sides of the room, to come together for a common cause.

2 from Faith and Freedom Coalition
Faith and Freedom Coalition, Wiki page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page, opt-out here INFO@FFCOALITION.COM

2 from
Catholic Vote, Wiki page, Open Secrets page a project of Fedelis Open Secrets page. Opt-out here

The Jesse Helms Center Foundation
Jesse Helms Center,  Wiki page. Charity Navigator page Opt-out here.

Traditional Values Coalition
Traditional Values Coalition, Wiki page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page (no rating) opt-out here

Christian Seniors Association
Christian Seniors Association sister organization to Traditional Values Coalition

Liberty Guard
Liberty Guard, run by Bob BarrCharity Navigator page

Conservative Caucus
Conservative Caucus, Wiki page, Charity Navigator page

If I find more clients I will add them.

Drowning in Junk Mail – How to Opt-Out of Junk Mail from HSP Direct

This is months in the making. I have spent more time researching, sent more emails, trying to get off of this company’s mailing lists than any other. But they just redesigned their website and opened the door for me.

HSP Direct, opt-out here If that doesn’t work, contact the CEO Jamie Hogan
Also contact NOVA List and email Sunrise Data Services They manage the mailing lists for HSP Direct. You are going to have to be as annoying as possible to get these people’s attention. It took 3 months for NOVA List to get back to me. Do not be as shy as I was. Blitz them all at the same time.

This direct marketing firm is the crème de la crème of direct marketing. They have won tons of industry awards over the years.

Citizens United, Pand Paul photo
They send some of the classiest mailpieces around.

They also have an overall look that is easy to spot. Crazy blue handwriting and red stamps on the return envelopes.

Justice for Brian Terry Fund and United American Patriots
These are 2 different unrelated groups. But the formatting of the letters are very similar.

Justice for Brian Terry Fund and United American Patriots
The return envelopes have the same red stamp

Justice for Brian Terry Fund and United American Patriots
and similar blue writing all over the place.

HSP Direct
The back of one mailpieces says that HSP Direct is actually doing the fund raising for them. This was the first big clue that lead to me finding out about HSP Direct.

Huffington Post piece that mentions HSP Direct. They also gave money to one of their employees Alex Mooney to win a seat in Congress. Did he get an employee discount on mailpieces sent out during the election?

Open Secrets page

Influence Explorer page

Their clients include:

Citizens United junk mail

Citizens United, Wiki page
Citizens United Foundation Charity Navigator page
Citizens United For A Secure America
Citizens United For American Sovereignty
Citizens United Political Victory Fund
National Committee For Faith & Family
National Committee For Family Faith & Prayer

I have already written about Citizens United.

This is the main group who’s list I needed to get off of. I think she gave so much money to them, that she was on the Super Gold Elite mailing list. During my research I realized that some smaller groups only buy the Super Gold Elite mailing list that Citizens United has. My hope is that by getting off this one list it will stop about 80% of the junk mail I am still getting.

Freedom Works

FreedomWorks, Wiki page run by Matt Kibbe. Source Watch page, Right Wing Watch page. Open Secrets page.
FreedomWorks for AmericaOpen Secrets page
FreedomWorks Foundation Charity Navigator page

From Mother Jones, A donor wanted a better return on investment from his donations to FreedomWorks.

United American Patriots

United American Patriots
Defend Our Defenders
Warrior Defense Fund
Warrior Fund, The

Washington State page, ProPublica page in 2011 79% of expenses went to fundraising.

Article all about bad charities that raise money on the backs of vets.


Sarah PAC, Wiki pageOpen Secrets Page and Wonkette’s breakdown of the numbers.

HSP Direct helped Mrs. Palin buy some of her books when sales weren’t very good.

In fact, SarahPAC’s biggest operating expenditure was spending $87,148 on direct-mail firm HSP Direct, on fundraising.

Daily Beast August 2013

Other clients that I either didn’t get, or don’t have a photo of:

Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, Charity Navigator page

Renewing American Leadership dead website but someone bought the domain. It is a non-profit run by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Gingrich Productions.

Americans for Tax Reform, Wiki page, Source Watch Page, Open Secrets page
Americans for Tax Reform Foundation

Young America’s Foundation, Wiki page, Source Watch page, Charity Navigator page

These are not their only clients. Only the ones I can find proof of.

Drowning in Junk Mail – How to Opt-Out of Junk Mail from ForthRight Strategy AKA Base Connect

Update: They have changed their name but not their scummy practices, Base Connect is now known as ForthRight Strategy. It is run by all the same people, with all the same clients.

Their new contact information is (bounced back on 4/7/15) (202) 457-1254 my guess is that Kimberly Bellissimo new email is It is a valid email but I have not sent anything to it.

When they ignore you, file a complaint with the DMA, the FTC and your state’s  Attorney General. Catalog Choice and PaperKarma do not work on them. Do not waste your time. Go straight to filing complaints.

Today’s direct marketing firm is Base Connect. Wiki page. Opt-out here If that doesn’t work, email the President and CEO Kimberly Bellissimo

Salon Article from 2010 about Base Connect some PAC’s and treasurer in common: Scott Mackenzie Open Secrets search for Mr. Mackenzie

Base Connect executives have argued that as much as 35 or 40 percent of the money paid to their firm goes directly to postage costs. But even assuming that is true, the firm is still taking five or 10 times as much money in fees as the amount going out to help campaigns — and the donors are still seeing virtually none of their money helping candidates.

The New York Times taking about the shady PAC’s that are connected to Base Connect Part 1, Part 2.

The Dally Caller: The Direct Mail Fundraising Racket: Is It Ethical?Kim B’s baww response. And finally the original reporter’s rebuttal.

Higher ups in the Republican establishment have:

reached out to Republican candidates to make the case that Base Connect, one of the firms with which Mackenzie has been associated, will not provide a good return on investment and has suggested he’d withhold endorsements from candidates who retain the firm.

So if you use Base Connect/ForthRight Strategy you will not get support from the rest of the Republican establishment.

They changed their name because CFO Michael Centanni was caught with child porn. He plead guilty.

Open Secrets contacted me for this article about Scott Mackenzie. My favorite quote is “A charity that reported such high fundraising costs relative to contributions made would face a serious risk of an IRS audit.” But the FEC doesn’t have the authority to audit scam PACs.

USA Today contacted me for their second article about Scott Mackenzie and VIGOP.

Part 1: How the Virgin Islands could decide the GOP presidential nomination
Part 2: PAC donations from elderly donors draw scrutiny

Politico piece about Ryan Zinke’s connections to Scott Mackenzie and VIGOP.

Their clients include:

60 Plus Association

60 Plus, junk mail

Rand Paul for 60+ junk mail

60 Plus junk mail

60 Plus Association, James L. Martin

Important: Barack Obama Set The Death Tax At 40 Percent But Wants An Even Higher Rate, The 60 Plus Association

Wiki page, Source Watch page, Open Secrets page.

Southeastern Legal Foundation

Southeastern Legal Foundation

This has got to be one of the worst designed mailpieces I have gotten in a while. Someone put the main text of the donation page over a ghosted graphic of The Constitution. That makes the page impossible to read for people with bad eyesight. Like the elderly, the very people this mailpiece is aimed at.

Southeastern Legal Foundation

Southeastern Legal Foundation junk mail

Wiki page, Charity Navigator page, Source Watch page

Freedom’s Defense Fund

Freedom's Defence Fund, Jerome Corsi

Jerome Corsi junk mail

Run by Jerome Corsi,  Open Secrets page

Black Republican Fund, Edward Cousar

The Black Republican Fund BRPAC run by Edward Cousar. New York Times article about PACs that raise a lot of money but don’t spend it on candidates, it mentions the Black Republican PAC.

Disabled Police Officers of America Inc., no website

Disabled Police Officers of America

Disabled Police Officers of America

Disabled Police Officers of America Inc. is one of the worst charities in America according to the Tampa Bay Times. Along with shaming the charities they also shame the direct marketing firms that collect the money like Base Connect.

Conservative StrikeForce

Conservative StrikeForceOpen Secrets page. From Fox Detroit:

“Since 2010, the Conservative Strikeforce has raised nearly $10 million. More than $9 million of the loot was paid to the fundraisers. That means candidates got less than 8 percent of the money donors sent in.”

Opt-out here and call (888) 295-6480

Dick Morris's Stop Hillary Now

Dick Morris’s Stop Hillary Now a project of Virgin Islands Republican Party (VIGOP)
Opt-out here and call (340)332-2579

The New York Times breaks down a typical Stop Hillary Now! piece of junk mail.

Other clients that I either haven’t gotten or didn’t take a photo of:

Veterans for Victory, dead website
Open Secrets page

Republican Member Senate Fund, no website
Open Secrets page

This is not a complete list of the clients of Base Connect. It is only the ones I could find prof of.

And a big thank you to Dan for getting Kimberly Bellissimo’s email and sharing it with me.