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Trippi brought a lot of new volunteers (not voters a difference he forgot) into the process.  He created what, almost 300,000 donors, most of which were new to the process.  It looks now that he abused the pocketbook, spent recklessly, especially on TV (where Trippi made a handy commission), and wrecked what was the most formidable political force in the 20th century through forgetting the difference between activists and voters, as well as serving his own ego.  I'm scared to death that his stupidity might turn off a lot of people from politics, since they were used.  Anyone share these setiments?

Originally posted to audibledevil on Thu Jan 29, 2004 at 03:53 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  yes (none)
    I share these very concerns. I really, really hope that these reports aren't true. And if the money really was spent on ads, I really, really hope Trippi didn't pocket much of it.

    If Trippi comes out of this with $5 million or more in ad money, he better start wearing a bullet-proof vest. (No, I'm not making a threat.)

    •  Some figures (none)
      Lets figure they spent about $10 million on TV (the only ones that trippi gets a cut of)

      15% is the highest commision, I'm guessing it probably averaged to 10%

      That is one million dollars!!!

      I think in the next session of congress, or meeting of the FEC, they should revise guidelines so this stuff is better reported.

      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." ~Ghandi

      by audibledevil on Thu Jan 29, 2004 at 04:03:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And y'know.. (none)
        It wouldn't be such a huge problem if the ads didn't suck ass.  You convince a candidate to pay $10 million on ads from which you directly profit, and then they turn out to be footage of a candidate in an empty white room?  I mean seriously... it's like Trippi pulled an Enron on Dean.  

        Kerry sucks. Bush sucks more.

        by ChicagoDem on Thu Jan 29, 2004 at 04:07:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  in the white room (none)
          Apple Computer's "switch" ads featured footage of a single person in an empty white room, and they were considered brilliant and were widely copied. The idea of stark simplicity has a lot of merit, particularly for someone who's supposed to be a straight-talking outsider, although I do agree that the ads themselves were not great.

          I'm for Howard Dean -- because he's going to win." ~ Molly Ivins

          by buddhistMonkey on Thu Jan 29, 2004 at 06:39:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Re: Some figures (none)
        "15% is the highest commision, I'm guessing it probably averaged to 10%"

        the NYT claims he was getting 15%.

    •  most of the money pays for TV time (none)
      not for making the ad, and from what i hear, those ads wouldn't have cost that much.
  •  Yep, no doubt (none)
    I agree with you 100% and have been thinking about posting on this myself.  I still haven't decided what precisely I want to say though.

    The medium was never the problem. It was the best thing the Dean campaign had going for it.  The problem were the mediators and I fear that the progressive movement will suffer for them.

  •  It's not THAT bad... (none)
    The money went to a lot of places. First, the fundraising itself has overhead. VISA charges 3% (i think) for each transaction. That alone could explain a million bucks. Then there's the direct mail campaign, the cost of fundraisers, flying Dean and the entourage around the country for campaigning, maintaining permanent staff in many states, producing signs and stickers and t-shirts, etc. It's all very, very expensive. But if even half the money was spent on ads, that's twice as much as should have been spent.

    Remember, Dean is an incredible tightwad. He probably kept fairly good track of the money.  I see two possibilities... one, he approved of the spending IF it produced results, which it did not. Or two, Trippi hid the true amount that had been spent from Dean until it was too late. Either way, he deserved to be fired, but the latter would probably get some real acrimony from Dean. But given the timing, i'm pretty sure it was the former. Trippi was clearly giving him bad advice around Iowa - going negative at a bad time, the Jimmy Carter visit, etc, PLUS the ads were themselves bad.

    Bogonomicon - Oh, I dunno... fewer crazy red-faced rants?

    by Radical Middle on Thu Jan 29, 2004 at 04:12:29 AM PST

  •  the ads suck (none)
    the ads definitely sucked...they look amateurish and cheap. People been saying that for a looong time...I didn't know Trippi was part of the company behind the ads...with him gone...can we get a new ad company now? Sheesh! Let Rob Reiner direct an ad for FREE!

    "I am a princess! All girls are! Even if they live in tiny old attics! Even if they dress in rags! Even if they aren't pretty or smart or young!"

    by Modest Mouse on Thu Jan 29, 2004 at 04:18:29 AM PST

  •  Proof of claims? (none)
    It looks now that he abused the pocketbook, spent recklessly, especially on TV (where Trippi made a handy commission), and wrecked what was the most formidable political force in the 20th century through forgetting the difference between activists and voters, as well as serving his own ego.

    Do you have any links or can otherwise prove your claims? I'm not saying you're totally wrong, but I need proof before buying into such broad claims, such as the notion that one man (Trippi) single-handedly "wrecked" the Dean campaign.

    I should think that Dean, Enright and others had a role to play in a famously decentralized campaign.

  •  Dean saved some face by running him off (none)
    It was a good thing that Dean axed him. By the reports, it seems like Dean himself was surprised. "We did what with all our money?!! That's it, you're done, Joe. I've had it with you. Goodbye!" No doubt, that is the simple, heroic, excusatory portrayal of what went down this week in Burlington, but it may be true enough to keep people hooked to the process, and the ideals of Dean's platform.

    Granted, the affair hurts fundraising in a big way, but I think Trippi managed to get more people involved in the political process than he turned off by going on a tv spending spree.

    Perhaps this isn't totally parallel, but look at how people have respond to how their money is spent at the national level. We've gone from a huge surplus to $500 billion deficit. Yet most people don't pay it much attention (crazy enough). Easy come, easy go. Dean's message, however, touched a deep, raw nerve in a lot of people and that can't so easily be dismissed.

    Dean passion: FDR had it too

    by trifly on Thu Jan 29, 2004 at 04:30:38 AM PST

    •  I don't know that the affair hurts fundraising... (none)
      I just sent some more money.

      The whole thing has the net result of restoring some confidence in the campaign.  We all knew something was wrong, but what was it...  Now the campaign is taking responsibility.

      It is a bit of a shock to think they burned through all that money, but they are developing a new strategy so I gotta think my money will now be better spent (HA! - that wouldn't be hard)

  •  trippi (none)
    If Trippi had really ripped off the campaign I can't imagine that Dean would have offered to keep him on the payroll.

    And, fwiw, I think Trippi deserved a pretty decent paycheck for what he accomplished in 2003.

    •  nothing (none)
      Unfortunately, trippi accomplished nothing and that was the problem.  At the end of the day, you can have the movement and the blogging and the letter writing but if it doesn't come together to result in primary votes, then it is all just a colossal waste of time and energy.
    •  he mighta wanted to keep him on (none)
      because the internet bloggers loved him!

      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." ~Ghandi

      by audibledevil on Thu Jan 29, 2004 at 11:57:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Money (none)
    I'm not putting much truck in rumors until I actually see real data or actual campaign quotes. Who knows? Leak a rumor about lack of money to make the opposition spend a bit more to attempt to kill ya chances.

    Is New Hampshire greeat.. orrrrr what???- Joementum 04'

    by Demise on Thu Jan 29, 2004 at 05:37:29 AM PST

  •  really, really nitpicky... (none)
    Sorry, I have to point this out.  

    We're not in the 20th century anymore.

    But if as much money was spent as the rumors say, I agree with much of what you say.  I've been concerned about the perceived (or real!) conflict of interest in having the campaign manager also own the company making our ads.  

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