Politicians often play fast and loose with permission and data. This can cause them all sorts of problems with email delivery at major ISPs. I really expect that politicians buy, sell, transfer, spindle, mutilate and fold data. If they can use it to further their goals, they will. And, many of the consumer protection and privacy laws don’t apply to political groups.
The news that Representative Bachman may have known that some of her mailing list was taken and used by others is a surprise even to me. I talked with a few ESP reps, though, and they told me that this was mostly par for the course and that they often have a lot of delivery and compliance issues with their political clients. Many have had to suspend or terminate political clients, and a couple people mentioned SBL listings.
This isn’t a problem with just one side of the political spectrum, it seems endemic in how the game is played.