Tuesday, October 26, 2004

"Caging"

Oliver Willis points to a BBC story about "caging" being done by the Republicans.

As it turns out, the "dead letter" page blogged about below has two spreadsheets with "caging" in the title. One of them (xls file) has 1834 entries, all of which look to be from Jacksonville. Each entry has names, addresses, city, zip, and a date.

About 75 entries (the bottom 75) have a comment column with notations such as "RTS," (Return to Sender) "ANK," (attempted not known) "NSN," (no such name), etc.

Viewing the file info (or "properties"), the spreadsheet was created by "Republican Party of Florida" and was last saved by a "kporter." No doubt kporter is Kelly Porter [kporter@rpof.org], who sent the file out originally (see the email below). The file was created Wednesday, August 25, 2004.

From the deadletter page, here's the original email that mentions caging and has the above spreadsheet attached. It went up all the way to RNCHQ (look at the email addresses involved rnchq.org is the Republican National Committee Headquarters -- rpof.org is Republican Party of Florida headquarters.).

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Griffin - Research/Communications [
mailto:tgriffin@rnchq.org]
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 6:34 PM
To: kporter@rpof.org;
Lindy Landreaux - Political [
mailto:LLandreaux@rnchq.org];
Miriam Moore - Research/Communications
[mailto:MMoore@rnchq.org];
Victoria Newton - Research/Communications
[mailto:VNewton@rnchq.org];
Shawn Reinschmiedt - Research/Communications
[SReinschmiedt@rnchq.org];
rkammerdiner@rnchq.org;
sshiver@rpof.org; bdoster@georgewbush.org
Subject: Re: caging

Thx
Tim Griffin
Research Director and
Deputy Communications Director
Republican National Committee
310 First Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
w:(202) 863-8815
f: (202) 863-8744
tgriffin@rnchq.org

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kelly Porter [kporter@rpof.org]
> To: Lindy Landreaux - Political [LLandreaux@rnchq.org];
Miriam Moore - Research/Communications [MMoore@rnchq.org];
Victoria Newton - Research/Communications [VNewton@rnchq.org];
Tim Griffin - Research/Communications [tgriffin@rnchq.org];
Shawn Reinschmiedt - Research/Communications
[SReinschmiedt@rnchq.org];
rkammerdiner@rnchq.org [rkammerdiner@rnchq.org];
Stephen Shiver [sshiver@rpof.org];
bdoster@georgewbush.org [bdoster@georgewbush.org]
> Sent: Thu Aug 26 18:12:49 2004
> Subject: caging
>
> Total as of today is 1834.
>
> Kelly
>
> ATTACHMENT: Caging-1.xls
Looking over that "deadletter" page at georgewbush.org is getting more and more interesting.

UPDATE Sven in comments writes:
I conducted a quick test on the addresses in the Excel file, comparing them (using MapQuest) to a map of black neighborhoods: http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/ETI/integration/jacksonville.htm

All the addresses I tried out seemed to correlate. I find the "fundraising" explanation in the BBC story to be implausible, unless the GOP has suddenly decided to target African American households.
I didn't replicate Sven's test but it wouldn't surprise me. And the fundraising explanation the Republicans are giving has got to be bogus.

UPDATE again: Once again, Sven in the comments has done some digging and found that the addresses in the "caging" spreadsheet above are, remarkably, in locations with very high concentrations of African-Americans.

Now, on to Sven, who created the image and did the analysis:

Here's a graphic representation of what's going on:
(Click for larger image)






http://condi.topcities.com/dbimg/jacksonville.jpg


Between the two caging lists, there are 508 names from the 32209 zip code in Jacksonville. Compare the map of that zip code with the distribution of minorities - 32209 matches almost perfectly with the area labled "black more than 80%." Just as strikingly, I couldn't find any entry on the list that corresponded with a "white more than 80%" area (BTW, the zip codes also correspond to the 3rd Congressional District, which is almost half African American).


From what I gather, "caging" is standard practice in building mailing lists. But I'll be a monkey's uncle if the Florida GOP didn't already know EXACTLY who lives in the 32209 zip code, and wasn't planning on mailing them campaign literature.


Thanks to Sven for the analysis and the graphic.

--UPDATE 2008. The George Bush Dead Letter office URL has changed. The new URL is:
http://2004.georgewbush.org/deadletteroffice/
I've updated most of the links in this post. [22 May 2008]. Yes, Think Progress readers, Tim Griffin's name appears over there more than once.

4 comments:

Sven said...

I conducted a quick test on the addresses in the Excel file, comparing them (using MapQuest) to a map of black neighborhoods: http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/ETI/integration/jacksonville.htm

All the addresses I tried out seemed to correlate. I find the "fundraising" explanation in the BBC story to be implausible, unless the GOP has suddenly decided to target African American households.

Sven said...

Here's a graphic representation of what's going on:
http://www.zippyimages.com/files/131924/jacksonville.jpg

Between the two caging lists, there are 508 names from the 32209 zip code in Jacksonville. Compare the map of that zip code with the distribution of minorities - 32209 matches almost perfectly with the area labled "black more than 80%." Just as strikingly, I couldn't find any entry on the list that corresponded with a "white more than 80%" area (BTW, the zip codes also correspond to the 3rd Congressional District, which is almost half African American).

From what I gather, "caging" is standard practice in building mailing lists. But I'll be a monkey's uncle if the Florida GOP didn't already know EXACTLY who lives in the 32209 zip code, and wasn't planning on mailing them campaign literature.

rzklkng said...

Check your log files...the kporter from RPOF is Googling herself...looks like the emails are legit.

riffle said...

rzklkng wrote
"Check your log files...the kporter from RPOF is Googling herself...looks like the emails are legit."

You mean this kporter, listed on the Staff Directory of the Republican Party of Florida page at:

RPOF Staff DirectoryKelly Porter
Executive Assistant to Executive Director of Political Affairs & Executive Director of Party Development