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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Yes, says The Ponemon Institute research firm, according to a poll of the American public, and Rudy Giuliani is least likely. The study also found that 40 percent of you say that protection of your privacy rights is either important or very important in deciding your choice for president. (See MSNBC article) On the Democrats’ side, it seems that survey participants favor Obama over Hillary Clinton and John Edwards almost 2 to 1; 43 percent for Obama, 25 percent Edwards, 23 percent Clinton. Larry Ponemon thought that a little strange since Clinton is the only Senator from the three sponsoring privacy legislation. I did a post on March 9, 2006, titled: “Why the Democratic Party is NOT the Party of Privacy.” (Scroll half way down page) In that piece which was done over 18 months ago, I exclaimed that Republicans have not, nor would they ever address the issue of individual privacy. The privacy of business, yes, but the little guy, no. I also quoted a 2000 article from that was optimistic over what the Democrats would do, but it was obvious at the time they hadn’t done it. And, they still haven’t. I wrote a letter in late 2005 to Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In it I outlined my concept that could stop identity theft at its birth, putting a whole new face on the privacy issue. It would also include an option to participate in a program that could serve as a supplement to retirees’ Social Security or pension plan. Simply stated, the concept is to grant consumers control over their names and private information, and compensate them from the $4 billion the junk mail list industry makes from their sensitive data each year. Bold, original, even outrageous to some...but a workable plan. This would require federal legislation, and this is what I suggested to Governor Dean, as well as making privacy an important plank in future platforms of the party. Never heard from Howard. What did happen later is a mailing they sent me with a survey of important issues including: the economy, Social Security, foreign policy, education, the environment and health care. Agreed, these are all extremely important, but shouldn’t privacy be in their somewhere? I sent the same appeal to Barack Obama in the early stages of his campaign. Now we all know the Senator does not have the time to reply personally to specifics of my concept, maybe not even top staffers, but someone down the line should have at least gotten back to me and said we think your idea has merit, or you’re nuts and we’re not interested. Otherwise, why encourage responses on the Obama ’08 Website? Since they established an Arizona presence, I get phone calls on a weekly basis, none of which addressed my concept, and my reply has been that if the Senator is willing to consider my approach to the identity crisis, I would consider supporting him, and work for the campaign. From my conversations with the volunteers, it would appear they are looking for warm bodies to do what they want me to do, like, perhaps, door-to-door canvassing. I tried to offer my services once before in predictive modeling to the Arizona Democratic Party, but after weeks dealing with a floundering staff, I gave up. Maybe it’s time for candidates of all kinds to understand that they need to view some volunteers as specialists when they are trained for a certain kind of job. There are some who simply want to lick envelopes because they don’t want to get too involved. However, I do want to get involved, but only with the right candidate.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! The Dunning Letter will return Friday.

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