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 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
USJF 1

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.
17322097291_d865a9694e_o

This is the first page of the PDF. It gives all the vitals, address, phone number, who is in charge.
USJF 3
This is when you start scrolling.

This is what you are looking for.
USJF 4
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
USJF 5
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 FEC.gov. 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.
FEC
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
FEC 2

FEC 3
Capitol Caging corp: Caging fees. Open Secrets page

FEC 4
Forthright Strategy: creative fees, I am cheating with this one I already know who Forthright Strategy is.

FEC 5
Legacy List Marketing: List Rental
O’Neill Marketing Co: List Rental

FEC 6
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 – This week in Junk Mail 5 pieces

April Calendar

Welcome to April! Here is my little calendar with all the groups that should stop this month. Note that Conservative StrikeForce is on there.


All 5 pieces

I am really getting down to the nitty gritty. This week is filled will old friends.

All 5 pieces

Not the kind that you want to have a cup of coffee and a chat with. The kind you need to take out a restraining order on. If you read this blog every week you can’t help but to notice that I cut and paste a lot. It made sense when I was getting over 100 pieces a week. I was spending 20+ hours a week on this blog and I needed some short cuts just to make my self imposed weekly deadline of Tuesday or Wednesday. I haven’t looked up some groups since I did my initial research. For some of them it has almost been a year. That is a lifetime in the direct marketing world. So this week I re-looked up everyone. And I found some changes. They are all still scumbags, that didn’t change.


Western Center for Journalism

Western Center for Journalism. Wiki page. Source Watch page. Run by Floyd Brown Opt-out here and call (623) 217-7766 also opt-out from Response Unlimited

It is apart of Liftable Media Inc witch includes click bait mills liftable.com and thoughtfulwomen.orgBizapedia page, it is entirely run by Floyd Brown and his family. Patrick Brown has put up a slideshow made by Floyd on how to blog. I do everything he talks about, except the monetization.


Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research

Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research AKA Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, PO Box 254, Great Falls, Virginia 22066 Facebook page (no posts since 2011), Washington State page, Charity Navigator page (not rated), Guidestar page. Opt-out here contactus@lincolnreview.com (703) 759-4278. I got no response from either. Did you see that? I finally found a website for them. It has completely different contact information than the junk mail. The contact information listed in the mailpiece is novone@verizon,net and (703) 759-4599 that will get you nowhere.


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 info@conservativestrikeforce.com and call (888) 295-6480, mailbox was full. Also opt-out from ForthRight Strategy AKA Base Connect. That is right Base Connect changed their name last month. Kimberly Bellissimo and Scott B. MacKenzie have hung up a new shingle to run their fundraising scams. Was it because they are listed as a fundraiser for one of America’s Worst Charities? Or was it because if you use them as the fundraiser for your political campaign, you will no help from the Republican establishment? No, it was because CFO Michael Centanni was caught with child porn. He plead guilty. For those of you keeping track that is the third name for this firm since 2002. I have contacted Conservative StrikeForce and ForthRight Strategy AKA Base Connect already. Normally I would send a complaint to the DMA.

There were a couple of interesting things about this mailpiece. One was the amount of money it asked for: $2.16, $20.16, $200.16, $2106.00.

The other was the pretense of the mailpiece. It is to pick who your Republican Presidential Preference is. The list is: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Bobby Jindal, Jim Gilmore, Rick Perry, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Sarah Palin, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Undecided and Other. Over the past year I have gotten junk mail from no less than 7 of the people on this list.


American Seniors Against ObamaCare a program of Citizen Guardian

American Seniors Against Obama Care a program of Citizen Guardian, Inc. GuideStar page, Opt-out info@CitizenGuardian.org and call (202) 469-3433. They use Engage Direct Mail and InfoCision.  Mail from them should have stopped last month. Normally I would file a complaint with the DMA.

One part of the letter reads:

At a cost of about 45 cents for the printing and postage to get out petitions into the hands of just one person, I need to raise $450,00 within the next 30 days. And another $950,00 after to intensify the pressure right through June.

I need to stop mail from them before they “intensify the pressure right through June.”


Balboa Mailing Company scam

Balboa Mailing Company scam

Balboa Mailing Company George Taylor 510 W, Broadway STE 800 San Diego CA 92101. Opt-out info@moneymailerprogram.com no reply, or call (619) 760-0570 it is just a pre-recorded message about how great their program is. I have already sent in a form 1500 for these guys, but it won’t kick in until next month.

No pre-paid envelopes, and no form 1500‘s to send out.