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Give Jeb Bush $25, or maybe something happens to your email account

Maybe somethin' you wouldn't like

David Becker/Getty Images

Ashley Feinberg at Gawker received an unusual email from the Bush campaign yesterday, which effectively asked her to cough up protection money. In exchange for $25, Jeb (also known as Jeb!) promised to stop sending email for two weeks. In the email, Bush refers to this extortion attempt as a "deal," an "early Christmas present," and a way to "opt-out."

Bush's instincts are at least half-right. For politicians seeking office, there's a lot of money in email — probably more than most people expect. Bush may be pioneering brute-force methods, but years ago President Obama really cracked the science of looting the public through their email accounts. As Bloomberg Business reported in 2012, most of the $690 million that Obama raised online was the successful result of spamming everyone with lucrative subject lines such as "Change," "Do this for Michelle," and "Hey."

It may be possible, though, that Bush only knows how to experience the world through email. It appears to be his only interface — the same way a cat might only know how to speak through the medium of claws. Maybe it's a huge personal cost for Bush not to send people email constantly. And if it's a form of self-sacrifice, one can see how Bush thinks not emailing people is a sort of gift.

Bush is so proud of his emails that he's currently selling an entire book filled with boring missives. "I loved being the governor of Florida," he wrote in the book's first chapter. "My staff estimated I spent 30 hours a week answering emails."