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Al Franken Delves Into American History Al Franken Delves Into American History

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Al Franken Delves Into American History

It's hard to come up with something new amid the election year's constant barrage of fundraising emails -- just ask the Obama campaign, whose requests for money are often mocked.

But Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., may have broken new ground in a money request with the subject line "Great Moments in Fundraising Email History." The former SNL writer gets to exercise his comedic chops, laying out the following timeline in the email:

1808: Charles Cotesworth Pinckney's campaign sends history's first fundraising email, requesting 75 cents to "help defeat the scourge of the Embargo Act of 1807." Note: 75 cents would be around $10 in today's dollars.

1828: Andrew Jackson's campaign asks supporters to "give a Jackson to stand with Jackson." This failed because Andrew Jackson was not yet on the $20 bill and no one had any clue what he was talking about.

1924: Calvin Coolidge earns the nickname "Silent Cal" after his web team accidentally sends out a blank fundraising email. (It does surprisingly well.)

2012: (Insert your name here) donates $5, $10, or even $20 to help my campaign raise the $20,000 we need to keep our operation going and growing this month.

Okay, so maybe Franken was making some of that up. Still, it takes something special to break through the email clutter.

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