Tim Eyman campaigns for delegate with a special t-shirt
Tim Eyman stands outside the media room at the Washington State Republican Convention in Tacoma wearing his "Vote for Tim Eyman (Me)" t-shirt. (Photo: Peter Callaghan/The News Tribune)

Hav­ing decid­ed he’s not enough of a pub­lic nui­sance, dis­graced ini­tia­tive pro­mot­er Tim Eyman today sent a large list of Demo­c­ra­t­ic activists a copy of his lat­est email appeal, which is for the most part a rehashed ver­sion of what he sent on Mon­day announc­ing his lat­est scheme to dev­as­tate pub­lic ser­vices, I‑1550.

We know about this because NPI sup­port­ers have been con­tact­ing us all morn­ing long telling us they got an email from Tim Eyman and won­der­ing why, since they nev­er signed up to receive any emails from Eyman or his associates.

We inves­ti­gat­ed and dis­cov­ered that Eyman has cre­at­ed a list in his MailChimp account called “DEMOCRATS”. We don’t know where he acquired the list from (or whether he obtained it legal­ly), but it appears to be of a sub­stan­tial size, judg­ing by the num­ber of activists who have con­tact­ed us already.

It is against MailChim­p’s Terms of Use to send peo­ple email with­out per­mis­sion. Sec­tion 17 (Gen­er­al Rules) of the TOS states:

You promise to fol­low these rules:

  1. You won’t send Spam! By “spam,” we mean the def­i­n­i­tion on the Spamhaus web­site.
  2. You won’t use pur­chased, rent­ed, or third-par­ty lists of email addresses.
  3. You won’t vio­late our Accept­able Use Pol­i­cy, which is part of this Agreement.
  4. If you use our API, you’ll com­ply with our API Use Pol­i­cy.

If you vio­late any of these rules, then we may sus­pend or ter­mi­nate your account.

MailChimp requires that peo­ple who import address­es in bulk tell MailChimp where they got their list, so Eyman would have been asked that at the time he uploaded all of the email address­es he acquired — but of course, he’s a com­pul­sive liar, so it’s very pos­si­ble he was less than truth­ful with MailChimp.

Eyman has relied on unso­licit­ed email for years to spread his pro­pa­gan­da, and elect­ed offi­cials are fair­ly used to get­ting mes­sages they did­n’t ask for from him, but what exact­ly he thinks he’s accom­plish­ing by blast­ing his mis­sives into the inbox­es of pro­gres­sive activists and Demo­c­ra­t­ic PCOs is unclear.

Eyman pref­aced his email with the following:

Hel­lo. We recent­ly added a mas­sive num­ber of new emails to our list. Each week, we send out two infor­ma­tive email updates. If you want to keep get­ting them, you don’t need to do any­thing. If you don’t, the unsub­scribe but­ton appears at the bot­tom. Have a great day!

Send­ing unso­licit­ed email isn’t ille­gal, but providers like MailChimp have fair­ly com­pre­hen­sive terms of use poli­cies, and Eyman is required to fol­low those.

We believe that Eyman may have vio­lat­ed MailChim­p’s terms of ser­vice by import­ing and using a third par­ty list of email address­es, and we’ve asked MailChimp to inves­ti­gate and take appro­pri­ate action to enforce its TOS.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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