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Kansas residents who spammed state lawmakers with messages supporting ridesharing service Uber are mad that one lawmaker spammed some of them back.
State Rep. John Bradford (R-Lansing) responded rather curtly to several people who asked him to vote against an amendment that they said would prevent Uber from setting up shop in Kansas.
“I have received your email,” Bradford responded to them. “I don’t need it, so I’m sending it back to you.”
Paul Goode II, one of the Kansans who received the reply, told the Daily Dot that he angrily responded to Bradford’s curt boilerplate, only to receive a blank email as a followup. Another, redditor Thad-Jarvis, said her husband, who is dependent on Uber because he is blind, was aghast at Bradford’s answer.
It’s worth noting, however, that both users emailed Bradford with the exact text that Uber used in a Tuesday message to the Kansas state legislature. In other words, they copied and pasted an outraged letter. And they didn’t just send it to Bradford. Many of the Kansans to whom Bradford replied sent Uber’s boilerplate message to all 165 members of the Kansas legislature.
“We put an amendment on the bill, something to do with insurance,” Bradford told the Daily Dot by phone Tuesday evening, referring to S.B. 117. “The company got upset and urged people to send an email blast, against the advice of their lobbyist, who I talked to today.”
Bradford said he had received between 1,500 and 2,000 emails, all with the same content, and was fed up.
“It tied up phones, tied up emails. I said, why don’t we just send them all back to who sent them,” he said. “My intent was, if I gotta take the time to read a form letter, you gotta take the time to get my reply.”
The Uber spam was enough of a hassle to the Kansas legislature—and enough of a novelty—to warrant local news coverage.
Bradford said he expected that the email blasts had actually doomed Uber’s chances.
“If it came up today, the legislature would say no,” he said.
Photo via John Bradford/Twitter | Remix by Jason Reed
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.