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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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July 2, 2008 7:53 AM

AquaSox don't want baseball mixed with politics

Posted by David Postman

Dino Rossi’s campaign misused the mailing list of the minor league baseball team he is a part owner of to solicit donations to his gubernatorial effort. The invitation to a “NIGHT OF GREAT FOOD AND EXCITING AQUASOX BASEBALL” was followed up by an e-mail from the Everett team’s majority owners offering their “deepest and most sincere apology” for the violation of the team’s privacy policy.

The Everett AquaSox are the Mariner’s Class A affiliate. Rossi, along with former Mariner star Jay Buhner, were among seven who bought minority shares of the team in April, 2007.

The Rossi campaign invitation to the fundraiser was e-mailed to people on the team's mailing list. It invited people to join Rossi's Snohomish County finance committee for a $100 per person, or $200 per family, fundraiser at the Everett ballpark on July 7. The team plays the Yakima Bears that night.

After complaints from team fans, an e-mail was sent by Peter A. and Peter E. Carfagna, the father and son whose family is the majority owner of the team. It said, in part:

We recently learned that our personal privacy policy was compromised in an attempt to solicit your support for a partisan political fundraiser.

In that regard, on behalf of our family ownership group, we would like to express our sincere apologies.

Although we did not authorize this communication nor were we aware of it in advance, we have justifiably received numerous complaints from you expressing your displeasure. We take full responsibility and again beg your pardon.

We take your personal privacy seriously. We will remain vigilant in protecting your e-mail address from solicitors and vendors. We are taking immediate steps to ensure an incident like this never happens again.

I've asked the Rossi campaign if the candidate knew about the use of the AquaSox mailing list.

UPDATE: Rossi spokeswoman Jill Strait responds:

Our Snohomish County Finance Chair Tom Hoban, who is also a part owner of the AquaSox, requested the list from the AquaSox General Manager, who then gave a list of e-mails to one of our campaign staffers. The campaign believed that since we had received the list from AquaSox management, we had permission to send an e-mail about the upcoming event. We were wrong. It is our fault for not double checking. Dino Rossi was unaware that the list had been requested or used. We apologize to AquaSox fans who received this e-mail.

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