Late Night Open Thread: Anyone Else Getting Sanders-Spam on Their Cell Phone?

First thing is, I don’t text. My secondhand Galaxy S6 has texting capabilities, but I don’t need them, so I’ve never bothered to learn them; the only ones who contact me via text are T-Mobile and my dentist’s office, both of whom get phone calls if I need to reply.

Second thing is, I don’t give out my cell number, if I can avoid it. We still have a landline, and that’s what I use for ActBlue or similar sites that demand phone numbers. Even Senator Warren’s people don’t have my cell number, and I *like* her campaign!

So… when I got an exclamation-point-laden text telling me that, as a “Bernie Supporter” I would be *very excited* to add my name!!! to the latest local-voluteer list… I assumed some schmuck had paid for the wrong mailing list. But the tweet here, and the numerous replies with screenshots of similar misdirected Bernie-begs, are making me wonder if this is gonna be a nationwide pest problem going forward. (Especially since the ‘yeah, me neither’ tweets I’m seeing are all from people with feminine nyms. Which could be a coincidence, but then again… )

Any of you jackals getting unsolicited cell-spam from the BernieBros, or from other candidates? Is this yet another form of grift to which we’re gonna have to adapt?

74 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Well I don’t think they have people of color in Vermont. Unless you count wallpaper paste white a color.

  2. 2
    C Stars says:

    Got Bernie spam yesterday. I ignored it. Having done a lot of text banking last year, I know that any response will trigger a reply, and the back and forth can go on for quite a while. I was all in for Hillary the whole time in 2016 and pretty much directed all my resources and energy toward her (unlike a certain Mr. Stars), so I’m not sure why I’m getting the texts and he’s not.

  3. 3
    dr. bloor says:

    Selling email and phone lists to any willing buyer isn’t restricted to Republicans. You probably threw a few bucks to a deserving candidate at some point, whose communications firm then aggregated and pedaled the info. It’s like herpes, only more annoying.

  4. 4
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    No – not yet, anyway. I’m not sure there’s an emoji obscene enough for my reply if I got something from one of Wilmer’s minions.

    What I am getting is a steady stream of Mekons songs from my Pandora station. I like my timeline better than yours.

  5. 5
    mvr says:

    Also, there can be spoofing going on though that does not sound like what this was. It will happen though.

  6. 6
    Mary G says:

    I got rid of my landline because of so many sales calls. I get calls on the $100 semi-intelligent phone I have now from numbers I don’t know, and I don’t answer. So far no texts, probably because I am old and “accidently” fill in the old number on any forms I submit.

  7. 7
    Gravenstone says:

    Haven’t had the privilege yet. But pity the poor sod who does try. They’re likely to learn some new words and ideally won’t be inclined to engage further.

  8. 8
    RedDirtGirl says:

    Our phones/tablets are delivery systems. Information about the body politic used to spread through human interactions, in the civic sphere. But that sense of public space doesn’t really exist anymore.

  9. 9
    sukabi says:

    @Mary G: oh Mary, some poor bastard’s been getting hundreds of phone calls that start “Hi Mary, we’re happy to inform you that you’ve won an all expense paid…” To hear in return “I’m not fucking Mary!!!”

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’m to bed before someone else pisses me off and I have to write another post!

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    “I’m not fucking Mary!!!”

    Well, who is then?

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Bruuuuce says:

    Have not yet gotten text spam. Looking forward to blocking numbers if it’s the BS sort.

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    Given that phone spam is universally despised… what’s the point here?

  15. 15
    Cacti says:

    Sadly, no. I have not yet had a chance to verbally abuse anyone from the Sanders campaign.

  16. 16
    Ruckus says:

    No texts but have been getting emails, and I sure didn’t ever give those assholes my email. The first time I replied with some four letter words. The second time I told them what I thought of the candidate in no uncertain terms. They may need to understand Enlisted Navy Conversational English though to understand all the context but I’ve bet they’ve heard it before. And I told BS that I only voted for DEMOCRATIC candidates, and as he’s proved he’s not one, he ain’t getting my vote. And I will be voting. And hold him responsible if he continues to fuck around and get us another fucking republican candidate.

  17. 17
    SectionH says:

    Um, no. I did used to get Fandango spam… never figured out how to stop that shit, but it did stop eventually.

    I’d try msging them back with Fuck Off, Russian tools, and see what happens. And then block the number.

  18. 18
    smintheus says:

    I decided it was for the best to turn my phone off permanently. Nothing incoming allowed. No software updates. No patience for anyone or anything trying to impose demands on me via a device in my hand.

  19. 19
    Brickley Paiste says:

    How many post have you written complaining about Sanders? Certainly scores. Maybe hundreds.

    The motherfucking Russian bots spreading division on the left ain’t got nothing on you.

  20. 20
    SectionH says:

    @Ruckus: Can’t you just unsubscribe to that BS? I know that’s a PITA but it makes it go away. That’s not a snarky question- Lately I’ve had political spam that has no unsubscribe links, so not,sure what to do about that except send it to Junk That seems to still work eventually.

  21. 21
    Juice Box says:

    @Brickley Paiste: Welcome back! We missed you. Is it as cold in Bulgaria as it is here in the U.S.?

  22. 22
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Brickley Paiste: I gotta agree with you there. The energy spent and the vitriol generated in the fight between the “incrementalists” and the “radical left” is such a waste of human capital.

  23. 23

    @Ruckus: I already blame him for Trump.

  24. 24
    MissWimsey says:

    I’ve gotten a bunch of text spam from a handful of the dozen-plus Chicago mayoral candidates. It’s not just a problem in national races. In two cases, the text messages were addressed to either my brother or my mother! I have no idea how that happened.

  25. 25
    Gex says:

    Yeah, I got it. I assumed they got it when they stole data last time around. I never gave my number to him, but I did give it to Clinton.

  26. 26

    I get lots of ACA open enrollment spam, and got lots of spam last year from the sort of stuff the San Francisco online left was into. Perhaps this year I will get Bernie spam.

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    No cell phone, smart, dumb or indifferent. Thus no problem.

    In other developments, better late than never. (WaPo link)

    For the second time in two days, a building called Trump Place decides to take down the president’s name

  28. 28
    eclare says:

    Haven’t gotten anything, but I never signed up for any communications, text, email etc from Bernie.

  29. 29
    eclare says:

    @NotMax: That’s gotta hurt, I love it.

  30. 30
    varmintito says:

    Based on the targeting you describe (spamming users who are predisposed to get pissed off at precisely this message), I would not be too quick to dismiss the possibility that it is a continuation of the Russian interference from last time — the centerpiece of which was to sow division. I’m not a Bernie fan either, but this sounds like there might be some ratfucking in play here.

  31. 31
    frosty says:

    After all the ActBlue donations last year I get emails from candidates I never heard of. Unsubscribe has been easy and it works. No spam texts yet.

  32. 32
    Laencleardale says:

    Some tech/privacy person on Twitter was saying a bunch of the do not call and remove me from registries get reset after a government shutdown.

  33. 33
    SectionH says:

    @RedDirtGirl: I really really hate text spam, but I’d rather spend my hate IRL on drivers who can’t deal with 4-way stops

    @Major Major Major Major: Most of my phone spam is health care crap. California is kinda special – they give you health care you don’t qualify for… gotta love em for the principle, gotta hate em for the insanity.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:

    I got a ton of political texts during the 2018 election, but none from Sanders. Phew!

    All of mine in 2018 seemed to be California-only, FWIW. State and local elections.

  35. 35
    Jay says:


    Pasty Brick is a long time troll and shit stirrer here.

    He used to specialize in telling us that if we didn’t know the difference between a clip and a magazine, we couldn’t comment on 2nd Amendment issues,

    But then the Russian/NRA money went dark.

    I guess that Bernie’s big day of tundraising has returned some of his cash flow, because “he’s back!”.

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    My mail program already sent it to junk. Where it belonged.
    But no reason not to let the old fart know how I feel about his useless ass.
    And yes, then I did unsubscribe.
    Yeah, that also. Which of course makes him far worse than just useless.

  37. 37
    Chris Johnson says:

    @varmintito: Bingo. If the folks making the decisions on how to run the troll farms thought another candidate would hurt the country as much as running Bernie, they’d be piling on to support THAT candidate. This is a substantial part of why I’m not supporting or giving money to Bernie this time (and I did give him hundreds of dollars last time so I know it can’t all be laundered Russian money ‘cos mine wasn’t). He’s getting used because he’s rightly perceived as a guy who can completely split the Left and will never be forgiven for making Hillary look bad and wrecking her victory.

    If he’s seen as that sure of an America-wrecker, I don’t want him for President. Incrementalism is bullshit but there’s a limit, and none of this is happening in a vacuum.

  38. 38
    Pogonip says:

    I’ve never got political spam, though I did hear from royalty once, a prince in Nigeria. 😎

    Our big problem is computers calling the house phone about an important change in my credit score (have a house and a car, don’t care about my credit score), my (nonexistent) student loan, and my (nonexistent) inquiry into back, neck, and knee pain solutions. Telephone-call-making computers should be outlawed. As should use of the word “solutions” unless you’re talking about chemistry or math.

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Any of you jackals getting unsolicited cell-spam from the BernieBros, or from other candidates?

    shrug I’ll never know. I don’t text, If somebody sends me a text, it’s obviously from someone who doesn’t know me and I ignore it. I don’t even know how to open a text.

    If somebody wants to talk to me, they have to, you know, talk to me.

  40. 40
    satby says:

    I was getting spammed by the Bern-bot acquaintances on FB, so I informed the (casual) friend that I was unfollowing him and his B.(ull) S.(hit) propaganda for the duration. It’s going to be a long, ugly campaign because the bros are going to make it that way. Or they’re going to try like hell to anyway.

  41. 41
    Kathleen says:

    I’ve been getting emails from its campaign (“you signed up at our web site NOT). I’ve unsubscribed. I was wondering if it was from his campaign’s hack of DNC donor information.

  42. 42
    Catherine D. says:

    @Pogonip: VOIP (voice over IP for the non-geek) should be banned. I had to set one up once and was horrified that you could set the calling number to be anything.

  43. 43
    Evap says:

    I frequently get phone calls from Scam Likely, I don’t know if this is a T mobile thing or all carriers do this.

  44. 44
    Brachiator says:

    Second thing is, I don’t give out my cell number, if I can avoid it. We still have a landline, and that’s what I use for ActBlue or similar sites that demand phone numbers. Even Senator Warren’s people don’t have my cell number, and I *like* her campaign!

    I am not getting spam on my cell phone, but I will keep these tips in mind.

    I get spam on the recorder attached to my land line which I delete while quickly skipping through the messages. Lot of local political stuff.

  45. 45
    Nancy says:

    Nancy here:
    I also got an exclamation-point filled text with a lengthy subject line, “excited about Bernie. . . .” Deleted without opening. I’ve been getting lots of cell calls that my system labels as likely scam, no messages left.
    I mostly use my cell for work and mostly get texts from my contact list. Of course I probably gave out my cell number at some point. I’m resigned to getting political emails, but the Bernie texts are new.
    Like some of you, I have a land line and we screen calls with our answering machine. I assume the many hang ups are political, but who knows?
    I did add my cell to the No Call list, so the vinyl siding calls are down.

  46. 46
    Nancy says:

    @Evap: Just saw your comment after posting mine. I wonder how they know scam is likely.

  47. 47
    randy khan says:

    I don’t think candidates need to have positions on everything up on their websites on day 1 – among other things, I understand the need to roll out particular ideas and plans over time to make sure they get enough attention – but if you’re running as a Dem, you’d better have your correct position on gun control on your site right away. Not having it there is a sign you’re not serious.

  48. 48
    msdc says:

    “I assumed some schmuck had paid for the wrong mailing list.”

    That’s what happens when you buy your voter data from the Internet Research Agency.

    “…making me wonder if this is gonna be a nationwide pest problem going forward.”

    This sentence works on so many levels.

  49. 49
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    I am so freeeeeeaking sick of unsolicited calls and texts to my/my husband’s cell phone. The sooner the Democrats find a way to outlaw this these random robo sales calls I’m am going to make it my second job to document and report them to whatever agency can haul their asses to jail.

    The latest trick is we get a text-from a number similar to someone who lives in our region of the state–saying something innocuous, but inferring you know them, trying to get you to respond so you affirm some frigging scam. “Are you busy right now? Guess what? You’ll never believe it!” or “Can’t wait to see you–I have big news!!” were the last two i got. Ran the numbers through a scam list and they were confirmed as unwanted sales solicitations.

    Why this cutsey little trick has a tendency to work here is that like a lot of folks in ruralish areas of the country, my dumb phone often loses it’s contacts list names due to poor reception/connectivity. It really could be a friend. I don’t always memorize phone numbers nowadays.

    Blocking the numbers is futile, they’ll just make more. And the No Call List is apparently worthless under TrumpCo just like every other pro-consumer protection rule.

    The fact I have no idea who is really calling or texting me and what they could do to my phone should I respond pisses me off to no end. It’s also why I would hold some heavy skepticism that any annoying, unsolicited Bernie or other candidate’s texts are even from someone authorized to do it–this is probably going to be the new front in the war of ratfucking by Russian influencers.

  50. 50
    kindness says:

    I have a landline that I prefer to use for most non-personal communications. I have that set up via an answering machine and if I don’t recognize the number calling I let the answering machine take it. If it’s someone I want to talk to I’ll pick up while they are leaving a message. We left the greeting the generic computerized greeting which seems to confuse telemarketers because it doesn’t say who they called. Most sales stuff they don’t leave a message and hang up. I’m cool with that.

    I like some of Bernie’s notions. He just needs to address the how to pay for it more specifically. Most Bernie things require the same faith and hand waving (magic *) that Paul Ryan demanded. That doesn’t work for me. But I figure there is a way to do it that will satisfy most all of us and that is what needs to be worked out. BernieBros are so caught up in the ‘movement’ they are cultish and don’t see that in themselves. And far too many of them don’t have a problem mortally wounding other actual Democrats running. I can’t link myself to that, sorry but no.

    I will vote for which ever Democrat wins the primary though. Even if it’s Bernie.

  51. 51
    Raoul says:

    Depending on the sender, my replies to texts are:
    – “I was happy to give once, best wishes, please unsubscribe me from texts”
    – “Please unsubscribe”
    – “Stop”

    I *hate* text-based fundraising. Hate. It. I get that for some folks, texts are routine parts of a communications panoply. I use texts to plan dinners with friends, and to stay in frequent contact with my BF.
    I have one bot: road condition alerts in Summit County, CO — the weather there can be pretty wild, and driving decisions are important.

    Beyond the above, I want NO texts. I know that’s unrealistic, but my unsubscribe command is at-the-ready.

  52. 52
    Wilson Heath says:

    No texts yet. I would respond that the point is to not have a lazy egotistical grifter in the White House at all.

  53. 53
    tybee says:

    i got an email from bernie:
    From: Bernie Sanders []
    Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 12:11 PM
    To: tybee
    Subject: I’m running


    Sisters and Brothers –
    I am writing to let you know I have decided to run for president of the United States. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least a million people from across the country…

    my reply: don’t bother. I won’t contribute and DAMN sure won’t vote for you.

  54. 54
    StringOnAStick says:

    I got a text from the BS campaign, asking if I was “in”. I wrote back “Fuck Bernie, I will never vote for him” plus “unsubscribe” . We’ll see if it works. Whether there’s any value to responding negativity is a good question, perhaps a cult member or three are getting an education; I enjoyed doing it though!

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    I think a lot of people who constantly text don’t want to talk with you, they want to talk at you.

  56. 56
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Broccoli Puss:

    How many post have you written complaining about Sanders? Certainly scores. Maybe hundreds.

    IOW not nearly enough. BS badly needs to FUCK OFF AND DIE IN A FIRE. As do you, you miserable imbecile.

  57. 57
    Boussinesque says:

    @tybee: I’ve been getting emails from my congressional rep, Ro Khanna, about how he’s endorsing BS and is so honored to be joining his campaign as one of his 4 national campaign co-chairs and blah blah blah. I walked a precinct for the guy back in 2016, and now I’m regretting ever supporting him, since almost every fundraising email I get from him (and they’re *all* fundraising emails) is either about how lame other democrats are for taking PAC money and how awesome he is for not, some piece of legislation that he’s introducing with BS (how does that even work, since BS is in the Senate and he’s in the House), or something else belittling Democrats or supporting Justice Democrats. I kind of want to write a nastygram as a response to these antics, but I’m not sure what the best avenue to respond would be—I’d feel a little bad calling his office to yell at an intern/staffer about his communication strategy, since they’re unlikely to have had any input on those decisions (although maybe they deserve it in general if they’re working for him).

  58. 58
    No One You Know says:

    I’m looking for a job, and wading through numbers for calls I don’t know is exhausting. My phone shows Scam Likely sometimes, and I trust it enough.

    What does hurt is wondering if people think that if I don’t answer, they don’t leave a message.

    My phone is there for my convenience, not theirs.

  59. 59
    No One You Know says:

    @kindness: Bernie’s not a Democrat.

  60. 60
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So what exactly the path to nomination for Democrat racist dog whisper that every Democratic voter can hear? I can see now why Bernie is so popular with the money class. A Socialist a Capitalist can trust.

  61. 61
    VividBlueDotty says:

    I got this

    Hi Kristina! This is Peggy with Bernie. Did you hear? He’s running for PRESIDENT & asked us to text past supporters to ask if they’re in. Are you?

    I replied

    No. I won’t be supporting Bernie in the primaries. Please unsubscribe me from twxts.

    Will watch and wait to see if I get more.

  62. 62
    Gvg says:

    I don’t know if it will help anyone else but I recently upgrades my old cell phone specifically so I could get an ATT ap that identifies likely fraud/spam callers. I like it so far. The unknown numbers sometimes display likely telemarketer above the number. I block the number and my annoyances have gone way down. Recently one number said severe fraud warning, so I guess there are degrees and confidence levels for ATT. I have googled some of the numbers to check the complaints and most of them have a lot. Interestingly each number can be associated with multiple kinds of fraud calls.
    Att is more expensive than some cell providers incuding some ATT owned companies and I haven’t heard the ap is available elsewhere yet. I guess they want more money for now. All companies need to do this IMO. This is what can work.

  63. 63

    FYI, there’s also third-party app, such NoRobo, that do similar kinds of a spam call-blocking/warning. Haven’t used any of them myself, so I don’t have specific recommendations.

  64. 64
    Bevster says:

    Yeah, I got a similar text to blue dot Dorothy above. I just replied no, and they responded to ask who did I support. I said it was too soon to tell, and they just said ok thanks. Perfectly civilized but surprising interaction.

  65. 65
    J R in WV says:


    I wonder how they know scam is likely.

    Because the actual calling number and the calling number to display are different. Only reason for that is a scam.

    On the thread topic:

    I was having a big sad (not really!) because after donating to a ton of progressive liberal Democratic candidates in the last election cycle, I DIDN’T get an email from Bernie Sanders, Russian Stooge. So then I looked in my spam folder, and there it was!!

    “In solidarity, Brothers and Sisters!” What a maroon, Russian Stooge kind of guy! Never gonna give that phoney grifter a single cent. Wait, how much does it cost to process a $0.01 donation??? Maybe that’s the answer, donate til he goes broke.

  66. 66

    No text messages yet, although I do get the typical spam email from wide spectrum of politicians. A couple years ago, I got a spam fundraiser email from a republican running for some office in Texas, of all places. I replied “Fuck You”. Ever since, in the salutations, It starts as “Dear Fuck You”. Just a little something to brighten my day ;)

  67. 67
    different-church-lady says:

    First thing is, I don’t text.

    Come here and be my best friend.

  68. 68
    TomatoQueen says:

    The call-blocking program is NoMoRobo, is easy to use, and so far Comcast hasn’t started charging for it, so my landline stays mostly clear of this garbage. The phishing calls have diminished, and there are only a few error calls. One caveat that took some effort to clear: some 800 numbers will trigger a call block, and if you happen to do business with those numbers, you’ll need to have some customer service conversations. The worst one was when my caregiver realized that Nomorobo was blocking…me calling in from work. That happened because the work number shown was not my direct line, but the main switchboard number for BIG AGENCY. Comcast customer service was exactly no help in this regard, so I had to persuade Nomorobo in the form of their VP for customers to add the BIG AGENCY number to their proprietary whitelist–he didn’t want to and I yelled good and loud at him. It’s fixed now, but it was such a pain in the ass that I don’t want to repeat it. Can’t complain tho’, Nomorobo provides unlimited call blocking so you never run up against a mechanical directory limit, and here in Northern Virginia during election season….well any sanity is better than none. Highly recommended, I think it’s available for modern little phone things too.

  69. 69
    Gravie says:

    I did some phone banking for a Congressional candidate in OR-2, and one of the people I called asked where we got his number. Turns out it was from the state’s voter rolls, which I guess are public info, at least here in Oregon.

  70. 70
    Planetjanet says:

    Texting is about to become like emails. It’s the new marketing trick since no one listens to their landlines any more, if they have one, and emails get lost in the deluge. I fear it is not just a Bernie thing. Lamentably.

  71. 71
    MattF says:

    @TomatoQueen: I use Nomorobo (it’s free for landlines) and it works pretty well… but it’s getting less effective as time goes on, since the spammers are getting smarter. Verizon is picking up the slack, to some degree, so I’m still a semi-satisfied customer.

    Your phone line has to be VOIP– so, e.g., it works on the multi-play phone packages from internet providers– and the setup is a little messy. But for free, it’s worth it. It also works for mobile phones, but you have to pay for that.

  72. 72
    StringOnAStick says:

    I don’t answer calls where I don’t recognize the number or it isn’t already in my contacts list, so that takes care of some of it. I’d actually rather deal with spam texts than emails since they are short and easy to get rid of. This NoMoRobo sounds like something I need to look into, stat.

    Texting or email has the same problem: emotionally tone deaf. I have a sister who can’t talk about serious stuff, can only text about it so I end up texting my fingers off but it works right now and that’s OK. The best part about texting is it lets you time shift the conversation to when you have time to answer, and it’s shorter than trying to read an extensive email (usually).

  73. 73
    cleosmom says:


    I have a landline that I prefer to use for most non-personal communications. I have that set up via an answering machine and if I don’t recognize the number calling I let the answering machine take it.

    I have a cell phone and landline, partly because the reception in our rural area is spotty at best. The landline is connected to an old-fashioned answering machine which informs them that “this phone doesn’t accept unsolicited sales calls so if you’re one of them you might as well hang up now.” Works better than the joke called the No Call List.

    Don’t text because (1) I don’t like the annoying things it does to people and (2) it drives busybodies crazy.

  74. 74
    Ol'Froth says:

    I too, received Bernie-spam on my cell phone.

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