Was Mark Towner Behind the Voucher News E-mail?
That depends on who you talk to. It seems that a fair number of Utah bloggers (like Marshall over at Wasatch Watcher) believe it to be so. The Deseret News reported on the deceptive spam e-mail in today's edition. What's suspicious is that the contents of the e-mail linked to a pair of Towner blogs and, for some odd reason, to the Utah Democrats blog. Why the link to a blog that supports vouchers when the purpose of the e-mail is to "tell these pro voucher people what Utahn’s for Public School really think"? Simple answer: it's a red herring.
But how do we know that Voucher News is linked to Towner? Check out the following screenshot:
That post is by The Political Spyglass, the name of Towner's main blog. (There's also classic Towneresque spelling and grammatical errors in the e-mail message.) Given his long and sordid history of spamming (read more here and here), it doesn't take Dick Tracy to stick two and two together and suspect that Towner used his large e-mail list to boost blog traffic and try and stir the pot a bit. I can't prove it yet…. but you can.
If you have been the recipient of one of these e-mails, please forward the entire message to me (with headers) so I can analyze them and see what correlation there is between his spam list (remember that I snagged a copy?) and the recipients of this message. I've also sent e-mails to the Deseret News and Utahns for Public Schools to let them in on our suspicions. (Hey Mark? I have the screenshot of the site, so no changing the author of the post, m-kay?) I may be pro-voucher, but I feel much more strongly about being anti-spam.
UPDATE: There's no maybe about it. The e-mails are from Mark Towner. Busted!