The Consulting Specialty Which Must Not Be Named

The new science of winning campaigns
Sept. 27 2012 9:15 AM

The Consulting Specialty Which Must Not Be Named

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The battle over whether or not campaigns can send you unsolicited text messages goes on

Photo by Manpreet Romana/AFP/Getty Images.

I wrote earlier this year about Democratic consultant Scott Goodstein, who oversaw Barack Obama’s mobile-phone tactics in 2008 and has since led a crusade for stronger laws restricting campaigns from sending unsolicited text messages to voters.

In the piece, Goodstein battled with Gabriel S. Joseph, the president of the firm ccAdvertising, who claimed to have eluded existing spam regulations by sending “millions” of messages through email servers that delivered them to phones in an SMS format. Joseph refused to talk to me for my piece. Prompted by political text-message spam reaching Virginia voters with attacks on Senate candidate Tim Kaine, the Los Angeles Times on Thursday surveys the legal terrain and discovers Joseph distancing himself from the practice if failing to explain what he exactly he does for paying clients instead.

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“I don’t know anything about sending text messages," Joseph told the Times’ Kim Geiger. "My company specializes in creating unique ways to be able to do stuff."

Sasha Issenberg is the author of The Victory Lab about the new science of political campaigns.