Dennis Thompson over at the Statesman Journal has the latest scoop on the spam emails spewed across the state by Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point). He writes:
Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, raised hackles back in January when it came to light he had used public records requests to obtain residents’ email addresses from state agencies and build an email list containing hundreds of thousands of names.
Richardson initially said he wanted the email addresses so he could solicit budget-cutting ideas from the public. He holds a powerful position in the legislature as co-chair of the influential Joint Ways and Means Committee, which drafts the state budget.
But the representative has continued using the email list to distribute his legislative newsletter and other communications.
Richardson’s newsletter served as a forum for him to launch a vitriolic attack on teachers and students. In the Friday newsletter, Richardson criticized students for “breaking rules” after they organized a walkout and protest in response to Eagle Point school budget cuts. Rather than praising students for exercising their rights and showing dedication to their education, Richardson alleges that this community concern about education must be part of an orchestrated “stunt.” And, with his new spam system, Richardson had a good chunk of the state (nearly 500,000 emails) as audience to his politicized rant.