Ralph Seekins' daughter in trouble for mass e-mail

Posted: Sunday, November 03, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Senate candidate Ralph Seekins' daughter is in hot water for sending out a mass e-mail on the University of Alaska Fairbanks computer server urging people to vote for her father.

The message was sent out by Beth Seekins on Thursday night. It asks recipients to vote for Seekins and contains an attachment detailing Seekins' university platform.

Debra Damron of University Relations said the spam was both a violation of the student e-mail user agreement and a violation of the students' code of conduct.

According to Richard Machida, UAF associate director of computing and communications, the user agreement states that students are not supposed to use their account for personal or political gain. Spamming for any reason is against university regulations.

Neither Damron nor Machida knew just how many of the 6,000 or 7,000 people on the university network had received the e-mail, but Damron said it appeared to be ''fairly campus-wide.''

Ralph Seekins didn't say where the idea for the e-mail originated but said that his daughter has been connected with his campaign, as has the rest of his family.

''This is my daughter working for her daddy,'' he said.

Seekins defended the e-mail in principle, arguing that his daughter's error was only in sending it from a university e-mail account instead of an independent one. He said she got the addresses not from any university database but from entering the addresses in by hand from the public directory.

''She punched every one of those e-mails in one at a time,'' he said. ''There's nothing in there that says you can't send an e-mail to those addresses.''

Damron said Beth Seekins' e-mail account has been locked up and that the dean of student services is considering an investigation.

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