Shhh: Romney Using “Secretive” Data-Mining

Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:15 am

A big AP “exclusive”  on the ruthless tactics of the evil Mitt Romney. In case you weren’t aware, he knows your every move. The better to control you once he’s sworn in next January.

Mitt Romney’s success in raising hundreds of millions of dollars in the costliest presidential race ever can be traced in part to a secretive data-mining project that sifts through Americans’ personal information — including their purchasing history and church attendance — to identify new and likely, wealthy donors, The Associated Press has learned.

For the data-mining project, the Republican candidate has quietly employed since at least June a little-known but successful analytics firm that previously performed marketing work for a colleague tied to Bain & Co., the management-consulting firm that Romney once led.

I knew Bain must have a hand in this. Why, this is outrageously outrageous.

The head of Buxton Co. of Fort Worth, Texas, chief executive Tom Buxton, confirmed to the AP his company’s efforts to help Romney identify rich and previously untapped Republican donors across the country. The Romney campaign declined to discuss on the record its work with Buxton or the project’s overall success.

The project shows that the same strategies corporations use to influence the way we shop and think are now being used to influence presidential elections. The same personal information that we give away, often unwittingly when we swipe our credit cards or log into Facebook, is now being collected by the people who might one day occupy the White House.

There are no records of payments to Buxton from Romney’s campaign, the Republican National Committee or a joint fundraising committee. Under federal law, companies cannot use corporate money or resources, such as proprietary data analysis, for in-kind contributions to campaigns.

The effort by Romney appears to be the first example of a political campaign using such extensive data analysis. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has long been known as data-savvy, but Romney’s project appears to take a page from the Fortune 500 business world and dig deeper into available consumer data.

Of course if Obama was doing this instead of accepting dubious credit-card donations we’d be hearing about how “savvy” his operation is. Instead, Romney outwits the Chicago thugs and it’s — oooh! — a secretive, sinister scheme or something.

You know what would be a nice project for AP’s next big “exclusive” story? Find Obama’s college transcripts.

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