Kerfuffle over Tucson listservPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- A candidate for the city council seat from Ward Four recently requested Tucson officials turn over E-mail addresses from all ward mailing lists, or "listservs."
He plans to use the contacts to send out campaign information, but one council member's not too happy about it.
City elections still more than five months away, but a campaign controversy already brewing because of an E-mail list.
"That list isnt intended for political purposes, its intended to keep constituents informed," said Paul Cunningham.
Ward Two council member Paul Cunningham disagrees with a recent public information request made by Ward Four candidate Tyler Vogt.
The request was for the thousands of E-mail addresses from ward listservs. Vogt says he intends to use the contacts to campaign.
"I'm trying to utilize all of the messaging tools that are out there, whether it be social networking through facebook and twitter, E-mail, internet," said Tyler.
But Cunningham says the listservs aren't intended for campaigning rather city business.
"People did not sign up to receive different solitors material, they signed up to receive information about the city council,"
Which is why Cunningham, who says he uses a separate listserv for campaigning, wasn't ready to give up all 2100 of his contacts. But he found out the city's required by law to release them.
"They're used by the city already. I mean, the city is communicating with the people, and the city council is communicating with all these people already and so whatever list the city uses is a public record and can be used by the candidate to send out his political messages," said attorney Dan Barr.
Vogt says he's not trying to clog people's inboxes, and if the recipients don't want to see his E-mails, they can unsubscribe from the list.
"I would like to utilize the same public record resource that the incumbents have to contact people who care about the city," said Vogt.
Another option for E-mail recipients who don't want the campaign messages would be to just block the sender, in this case Tyler Vogt.