By MAGGIE HABERMAN
April 5, 2007 — Democratic White House hopeful John Edwards’ team has been collecting e-mail addresses from supporters who’ve sent his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, notes – and using them for fund-raising requests, aides acknowledged yesterday.
The link on Edwards’ campaign Web site invites people to “send a note to Elizabeth and John” and features a sad letter from the former senator penned just after the couple found out her breast cancer had spread and is now incurable.
But people who’ve been sending such well wishes have been hit with e-mail solicitations from Team Edwards, asking for donations just as all candidates are looking to post big online fund-raising numbers.
In the letter, Edwards says the pair is staying optimistic and fighting hard for Elizabeth. Below the letter is a space for writing the couple a message – which can’t be sent without all sections completed, including one asking for the sender’s e-mail address.
That, in turn, is added to the campaign’s online database for boosting Internet donations.
In response, message-senders get a “thank you” for their kind words, but no other indication that their e-mail addresses are being stored.
Late yesterday, after being confronted by questions from reporters, the campaign said it will add an option to allow well-wishers to decline getting future e-mails.
An option to decline? Edwards….anyone that votes for you should be shot, but FIRST we will at least give them the OPTION TO DECLINE deportation. Okay so it won’t be an option.
WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING EXPLOITING A LIFE THREATENING DISEASE IN ORDER TO MAKE A FINANCIAL GAIN SO THAT YOU CAN WORTHLESSY RUN FOR AN OFFICE YOU WILL NEVER GET ELECTED TO? Eh Your wife and I told ya so on this one Nate 😛
As Andrew Dice Clay would say…. Unbelievable.
Update: I decided to try it out for myself. The following is the sappy thank you letter you read before you even type your sympathy message:
Elizabeth and I are so grateful for your prayers and wishes. Your support means a great deal to us during this difficult time.
As you may have heard, yesterday we found out that Elizabeth’s breast cancer is back, but confined mainly to her bones. Although this isn’t the news we wanted to hear, we are very optimistic. Having been through many struggles together in the past, we know that the key is to keep your head up, keep moving and be strong. And that’s exactly what we intend to do.
Elizabeth and I have been married for nearly 30 years and we will be in this every step of the way together. We will keep a positive attitude and always look for the silver liningâ€”that’s what we do.
Although the cancer is no longer curable, it is treatable, and many patients in similar circumstances have lived full, energetic lives. We expect nothing less for Elizabeth. She expects to do all the things next week that she did last week.
Our campaign goes on and it goes on strongly. We are so proud of the campaign we are runningâ€”a campaign based on ideas and reaching out to people. This campaign is not about me or Elizabethâ€”it’s about all the people we have met these past few years and people like them all across America and the worldâ€”people worried about feeding and clothing their kids; people without health care; people facing hardships overseas.
Both of us are committed to this campaign. We’re committed to this cause and we’re committed to changing this country we love so much.
Thank you again for your support and for standing with us.
Send A Message To Elizabeth and John
If you would like to send a message through the mail, please use this address:
410 Market Street, Suite 400
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Click here to watch the press conference we held in Chapel Hill on Thursday, March 22.
First Name: Angry
Last Name: American
Email: [email protected]
ZIP Code: XXXXX
Your Message: My sincerest sympathies to Liz, so uh how much is this one gonna cost me?
X Check here if you’d like to receive future emails from the campaign.
(I chose to withold my personal information for the purposes of the blog 🙂 )
You then can click Submit and you recieve the following message :
Thanks for your message. Elizabeth and I are so grateful for your prayers and wishes. Your support means a great deal to us during this difficult time.
You can click here to watch the press conference we held in Chapel Hill on Thursday, March 22.
I am awaiting my email asking for cash and I will then post it back here. Stay Tuned!
Updated @ 9:55pm by Nate
I am eagerly awaiting your results. I’m suspecting that since the backlash, they may have corrected the tactic.. er, um, problem.