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You learn something new every day.

I spoke at a panel with Red State's Mike Krempasky on Sunday. Before the panel, we sat and chatted about politics, and I mentioned something along the lines of, "progressive blogs still aren't good fundraisers. If we raise $100K, it's a great response, and in races that cost millions, that's just a drop in the bucket."

My thesis has been that this "drop in the bucket" has more worth as a buzz-building tool, which then garners more traditional forms of fundraising and media, than it has worth in strictly dollars and cents.

Boy was I wrong.

Krempasky, who has been a long-time political operative, surprised me by saying (approximately), "You are selling yourself short. A good fundraising operation can take that $100K and turn it into $1 million over the course of a one-year campaign.

"That's why conservatives are willing to lose money on the initial response to a direct mail fundraising appeal. Because those who respond, in the long term, more than make up for the effort."

I was shocked, but still a bit skeptical. So I ran this by Nate Wilcox. Nate ran Richard Morrison's netroots effort in the 2004 election. Morrison was the guy who ran against DeLay. He had just about no money in the bank until the Daily Kos community started rallying around him. We raised about $65K in direct appeals for him which generated a great deal of buzz and excitement and he parlayed that into a credible race against the second most powerful man in the country. I thought that was the end of the story.

Nate, who now works for the Warner operation, again shocked me by saying that $65K we raised ended up being worth about $365,000 by the end of the race (about six months later). Considering he raised about $800K on the race, we accounted for nearly half his fundraising.

That list was segmented and worked. For example, they knew which donors responded to positive poll numbers and which ones responded to attacks on DeLay. And these small donors, unlike the big fish and their $2K checks, could contribute again and again.

The bottom line? We have collectively had a much, much larger impact on the dollar front than I ever imagined. How much we'll never know, and it doesn't really matter. But it's more than the direct results indicate.

But more than that, it simply shows the importance of early donations. The further in advance we can start helping out the campaigns we like and support, the more the campaigns will benefit in the end. The impulse is always to contribute at the end of a race, when the excitement of the moment sweeps us up. And that's great. Campaigns could always use the money. But the earlier we participate, the further that money goes.

Hopefully we can start adding candidates to the ActBlue netroots fundraising page soon.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:12 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Very good point Kos (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BTP, Lashe

    And it is one reason why the dems need to support candidates with data bases, good will, experience and we need to support the primary candidate we like early on.

    •  and the opposite holds true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When candidates do not respond in a fashion that we like (such as a failure to support the censure motion), we need to also respond just as strongly.  Telling someone on the phone that we're not sending money will mean nothing. Calling them and requesting that they remove us from their calling mail lists is a direct threat to their pocketbook.  1000 people doing that in one day should make a statement.

  •  Ned Lamont is at $95,881.59 (4+ / 0-)

    via ActBlue right now.

    Can we get him past $100k today?

    Let's do it.

  •  Meet Emily, of Emily's List! (15+ / 0-)

    You have just met E.M.I.L.Y.


    "Why can't you and the idea of separation of powers just hug it out, bitch?" Wonkette

    by Hollywood Liberal on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:14:09 AM PST

  •  Ciro (0+ / 0-)

    I was under the impression that Ciro lost his race.  Is there a reason that he's still on the ActBlue fundraising page?

  •  Great News & a Hopeful Sign n/t (0+ / 0-)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:21:16 AM PST

    •  Meant to Add-- (0+ / 0-)

      In a sense this meshes with the Dean phenomenon.

      The blogosphere wasn't ultimately sufficient to get him the nomination, but clearly it gave him a prominence that would be inconceivable without it.

      This suggests to me that it'll have the most short-term success launching candidates that enough of the party establishment is likely to embrace so as to round out the campaign once the launch phase is over.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:25:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  EMILY (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Malacandra, sj, Kagro X, fouro, Adam B, Lashe

    Early Money Is Like Yeast.

    Emily's List - great idea.  They knew and have put the notion to great use over the years.

    Bloggin' with a bar of soap and my car window IMPEACH -8.75 / -6.10

    by Alegre on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:23:04 AM PST

  •  By campaigns we like and support... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    talex, boadicea, Lashe, pomonademocrat

    I assume we mean campaigns where

    • the candidate has a realistic view and is savvy.
    • the campaign is well-run and has its act together.

    Ideology is not enough, and sometimes candidates that make a good pitch in a blog entry turn out not to have a good idea of what it takes to win beyond the usual applause lines that work with the netroots.

    The fundraising should be done early by the blogosphere (we may have gotten into the TX-28 primary a little late), and I hope that House Dems make good on their dues ASAP. Some are dilly-dallying, and in that group are some blogosphere favorites.


    Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), wrote to approximately 100 members of the House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday, asking that they pay at least 50 percent of their dues to the committee.

    Emanuel and other Democratic leaders are frustrated that many of their colleagues have not ponied up, and they have not been shy in publicly embarrassing members in arrears.

    House Democrats committed to paying between $100,000 and $600,000 in dues this election cycle to the DCCC, depending on leadership positions and committee assignments. Members facing tough reelection contests do not have to contribute.

    Many say they are going to make good on their dues. That's good to hear, but they should do it sooner rather than later.

    Visit my blog Penndit. Media, politics, campaigns, and political communications.

    by Newsie8200 on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:23:04 AM PST

  •  One interesting idea for 2008... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ogre, Shapeshifter, Lashe

    We are doing pretty well at ensuring all 435 seats in the House are contested- but we will still fall short.

    What if DailyKos and/or the progressive internet community bankrolled start-up costs for races- 3K, 4K, just to file, get things in order financially, maybe print a few bumper stickers.  Remember- its all about having a Dem name out there so that when its revealed Republican X has been sleeping with taking Abramoff's wife to sex shows on airplanes paid for by the the UAE we can pounce.

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:23:59 AM PST

  •  Not sure I understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But the earlier we participate, the further that money goes.

    My understanding of what Krempasky was telling you was that the earlier a campaign knew of donors, the earlier they could work at building a relationship with them and get them to give again.

    I don't see that as money going further, but as simply more money coming in that bypasses your calls to give.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the camapaigns should be working hard to make their early donors feel valued and not just like open wallets.

    Direct mail marketing is something that Rove at al have developed to a high science.  It helps that they made a point of going after the 30% who are more gullible and easily manipulated, but they know datamining.

    A vote for the Democrats is a vote for Democracy. A vote for the Republicans is a vote for Empire.

    by Bionic on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:24:32 AM PST

    •  I think the point was... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sj, Adam B, Luam, Lashe, vox humana

      that campaigns with money in the bank look better to newly identified donors, and tend to be able to raise more money by virtue of already having some.

      Backing a winner, and so forth.

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        Early exposure is everything - that is a basic tenet in just about anything, not just fund raising.

        I'm surprised the Markos would Pooh-Pooh $100,000. $100,000 would make one a Bush Pioneer and get you a sleep over at the White House not to mention a chance to bend his ear and special favors that not only benefit your business but also a give you a nice return on other peoples money.

        "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

        by talex on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:47:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  existing supporters are easier to get (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a basic point in direct marketing and fundraising that it costs a candidate or cause a lot more to find a new donor/supporter than to get more from an existing donor/supporter.  The marketing cost to raise donations from your existing pool of supporters is much cost than finding a new donor (marketing cost as a % of donations). New donors also give smaller amounts as they're still checking you out.

      However, new donors have a long term flow of donations so it's often worth spending a lot to find them.

      Your second point, making donors feel valued as more than a wallet is very valid but one that most campaigns haven't figured out.  In the business world, we learned that loyal customers not only buy more frequently and in larger amounts, but they have an even greater value as evangelists, telling all their friends about they really like a company and its products.  In political terms, campaigns treat volunteers like cheap labor, and put them on the phone or walking door to door giving out literature to strangers, when we should be helping them tell all their friends.

      Campaigns should build stronger relationships with loyal supporters and leverage their rich social networks to connect with a huge pool of voters. If campaigns thought this way, they would develop tools and materials to help supporters reach out to their social networks and to pass along targeted messages and encourage their friends to vote.

  •  'tis True (0+ / 0-)

    Although the important thing to note here is that netroots funding is difficult to capitalize on if the list of supported candidates doesn't start generating buzz EARLY. The last minute donations feed the frenzy, but limit the long-range benefits severely.

  •  How does this happen? (0+ / 0-)

    What are the mechanics of turning $65k into $365k for a campaign?  This doesn't make a lot of sense, because there's no way they could just throw it in savings and make that sort of increase.  I'd really like to hear how they do it, and if it could work for charities as well as political campaigns.

    •  direct mail donors (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, boadicea, Lashe

      have long-term value because many of them will give again the next time they are asked, and then again.

      Much of direct mail fundraising is counter-intuitive.  For example, the most likely people to give to your current appeal are the very people who gave to the last one.

      Most donor acquisition campaigns break even or lose money, because such a small percentage of people give.  But those new donors will pay back the investment, and then some, over time.  

      It does work for charities, which is why your mailbox is full of appeals.  But $65K to $365K in a few months?  No.  Political campaigns are special things.  The organization I raise funds for has grown our annual direct mail revenue by more than 100% over the past three or four years.

      We do it, by the way, with great respect for our donors and their wishes, and by establishing a relationship based on more than money.  For example, we publish a high-quality newsletter with brief, well-written articles about stuff our donors care about.  Most non-profit newsletters, well, suck.

  •  That guy again? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jon Meltzer, Adistius
    I'm really very uncomfortable with how comfortable Kos seems to be with Krempasky. Chatty little conversations? Co-authoring letters about legislation? He can't find someone who's, I don't know, a Democrat, to have a conversation with, to work with?

    Snakes bite. It's what they do. But they can bite you if you get close to them.

    Why is Krempasky so close?

    [awaiting inevitable troll ratings flung on me every time I question this guy, so knock yourself out!]

    "Words are, of course, the most potent drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.

    by Kimberly Stone on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:31:05 AM PST

    •  for real? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cdmc2, Shapeshifter, Lashe

      Kos not only admitted his thinking on the blog fundraising issue was wrong - very big of him, I think - it could possibly change his and our behavior going forward, for good reason.  Who cares if he learned from a Democrat, Republican or platypus?

      Can you remember the last time a member of the traditional media admitted he/she was wrong in public and changed their behavior as a result?

      •  Good point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I have always found it wise to obey the advice of a platypus, when one of them deigns to speak to me.

        Besides, how different can fundraising and digging for worms in muddy bottoms really be?

        The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

        by vox humana on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 10:10:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Speaking of worms (0+ / 0-)
          You've got to love platypi. I mean seriously, an egg-laying mammal? It's the ultimate "WTF?" beast.

          Now Republicans? Those are some nasty critters. They lie, not once or twice, but as a habit.

          "Words are, of course, the most potent drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.

          by Kimberly Stone on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 12:25:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah (6+ / 0-)

      it's a terrible idea to learn secrets of the trade from the very people who are winning lots of races and have taken over the government.

      Many Republicans are understandably proud of what they have accomplished and eager and willing to talk about it -- even to Democrats. I'm not sure why ignoring insight into the secrets of their success is a bad thing.

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        Some of the most of enlightening conversations I have had about the internet and technological uses in a campaign were with Chuck Defao, Patrick Ruffini, and Michael Turk right after the 2004 election.

        Heck I have even snuck into the Leadership Insititute trainings to learn what they are teaching the next generation of conservatives. (I took many showers afterward)

        Know thy enemy.

        With our party it's "change vs. more of the same"

        by kmthurman on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 11:29:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Learn what? (0+ / 0-)
        There was nothing to learn from Krempasky that you couldn't learn elsewhere. He didn't let the Republican cats out of the bag for you to catch and tame. He just said something about how our blog money is used. My response is a resounding "Duh."

        I've known that there was no Emily in EMILY's list for nigh on a decade now.

        You didn't? Well, I'm surprised.

        You're breaking bread with Krempasky, Kos. That butter knife he's using? It'll be a shiv in your back when he wants it to be.

        "Words are, of course, the most potent drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.

        by Kimberly Stone on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 12:20:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What's wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, vox humana

      with recognizing people on the other side who are capable of critical thinking, and working with them on issues that affect all of us?

      I can see where some people might claim it makes us look weak, but how is it weak to put together the largest possible coalition to deal with an issue?

      What's wrong with learning from people who've been successful at raising a lot of money for campaigns?

      Heck, I'm amazed that Krempasky was willing to SHARE that information. Republicans (in politics) in general don't seem to be much on the whole concept of "sharing".

      I did get a laugh out of Kos saying "Only $100,000", though. That's a good chunk of change. Wonder how much Red State has raised for candidates? Have they been that successful?

      Besides that, they were at a panel together, and having a polite (maybe even kinda friendly) conversation. I'm sure they've ended up at a lot of the same events over the past few years. You get to know people, and even when you disagree with them, it'as possible to carry on a polite conversation.

      Think how pathetic and petty it would look if one of "our guys" was busy snubbing everyone from the other side. It's all about manners. Some people were taught them as kids, others (coughShrubcough) weren't.

      Ignorance killed the cat. Curiousity was framed.

      by Lashe on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 09:28:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pick one: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        (1)If I don't trust the source, I don't trust the facts from the source.

        (2)If I know the source is out to fuck us with a chainsaw, then I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllyyyy don't trust the facts from that source.

        Apply (1) or (2) to Krempasky as appropriate. My option is (3), infra:

        (3) If I know the source is out to fuck us with a chainsaw, and I could have put 2+2 together for myself, and gotten my math checked by a trusted source, then dealing with Mr. Chainsaw is both unnecessary and noisome.

        You can keep your cocktail party polite chatter with people like that. They routinely treat us like they think we're traitorous filth. I'm willing to take them at their word.

        "Words are, of course, the most potent drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.

        by Kimberly Stone on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 12:32:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if you were paying attention (0+ / 0-)

          you'll see that Kos heard this from a Republican, and went to verify it with a fundraiser for the Democrats.

          He found out something important. His initial source may not have been someone we like, but it made him go find out more about how fundraising works which could come in VERY handy, so all in all it was a win for our side.

          Ignorance killed the cat. Curiousity was framed.

          by Lashe on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 03:53:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberly Stone
      Of course "learning" from anyone is a good thing, but at what cost? Is it worth giving him the opportunity to corrupt your thinking? We're rightfully outraged when our politicians pal around with the wingnuts: Shouldn't we hold ourselves to the same standard?

      The personal is political, and Krempasky is not our friend. He's the enemy, and he should be treated like an enemy.

    •  Occassionally we will have common cause. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, Shapeshifter, vox humana

      Remember the panel was put together for the SXSW festival with an eye to represent varying views.  You'd prefer a stony silence behind the scenes?  

      Krempasky made some valid points during the panel, so he's worth listening to for his expertise, just as Kos is for his, and Ruby from OrangePolitics (the other panel member) is.

      On the other hand, Krempasky was also perfectly comfortable referring to the opposition party as "the enemy" and that's worth remembering every time he comes around as well.

      A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey


      by boadicea on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 11:09:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am indeed their enemy. (0+ / 0-)
        And I just love it.

        On the other hand, Krempasky was also perfectly comfortable referring to the opposition party as "the enemy" and that's worth remembering every time he comes around as well.

        Indeed, yes.

        We need nothing that man has to offer. Kos has already demonstrated to me, and the world, that he has our party, and the blogosphere, very well sized up.

        There's nothing to be gained from Krempasky except lice.  

        "Words are, of course, the most potent drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.

        by Kimberly Stone on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 12:35:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Early money is more than just future money (9+ / 0-)

    I'm a professional fundraiser -- for a nonprofit, but the basic tools and ideas are the same for campaigns. And as a volunteer, I've frequently helped raise money for candidates or issue campaigns. So...

    Early money is worth more than even its ability to translate into future giving. Early money establishes credibility. While the Kossacks might be somewhat fatalistic about supporting candidates at times, most of the public isn't willing to support someone they don't believe can't win. Regardless of how much they like the candidate.

    Having early money show up in a respectable amount can be the difference between being seen as someone mounting an idealistic but hopeless effort and someone who is a serious challenger with serious ideas.

    Early money is more than future money. It is credibility. It is visibility.

    Late donations are nice. But often they just go to pay off the debt the campaign has already built up.

    There is no better illustration of the time-based value of money than a political campaign.

    --- Republican? Republican?! Sir, you have insulted me for the last time. I demand, demand, I say, satisfaction on the field of honor! [-8.25, -7.38]

    by Adistius on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 08:31:42 AM PST

    •  how is early money used? (0+ / 0-)

      Is it just the buzz factor? Or is it compounded by investing in additional fund raising efforts?

      •  'just' buzz factor? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adam B, cherryXXX69

        Don't misunderestimate <tm> the importance of buzz in the early stages of a campaign.

        But having the ability to hire professional staff in sufficent numbers early isn't just about raising money -- it is about getting your message out and avoiding those awkward missteps that kill campaigns.

        Having early money means being able to set up offices and recruit volunteers -- and have meaningful things for them to do.

        Early money is the difference between looking like you are running a campaign for class president out of your mom's station wagon and looking like a future <insert office here>.

        It doesn't take a great deal of money, incidently, to make a big difference. It takes just enough that you can run a campaign for a month or two in a reasonably professional fashion. If you can't parley that into enough money to carry you forward you don't have the skills to run in the first place.

        --- Republican? Republican?! Sir, you have insulted me for the last time. I demand, demand, I say, satisfaction on the field of honor! [-8.25, -7.38]

        by Adistius on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 01:01:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  professional fuindraiser here too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, boadicea, Adistius

      I would also add that early money helps build a solid team of professionals to develop and execute a smart, effective campaign.

      The difference between hiring a finance director with a freshly minted certificate from a weekend training and a professional with some actual experience can make or break a campaign.

      As netroots supporters, we need to exert a little muscle with campaigns when they begin to flounder. Influential donors do this all the time except many here have solid campaign experience and/or helpful expertise to share with candidates.

      It's called playing the game and if we want to win a few, it's time to learn the unspoken rules.

      Unbossed--a dangerous blog for dangerous times.

      by em dash on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 10:02:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  good point (0+ / 0-)

        it's nice to think one weekend at Emily's List prepares you for a big campaign, but experience is nice too. I had to laugh when I was being told how I (a 15 year veteran of Democratic politcs) didin't understand campaign fundraising by a member of the Kerry team - a 21 year old who was just about to graduate college and had been to DNC campaign school or something.

  •  Factor of ten (9+ / 0-)

    I ran students for McGovern and everybody for McGovern in San jose back in the Pleistocene Age.

    The early contributors came back again and again, increasing the total raised by March by 10X.

    A substantial number converted into monthly $25 donors (Remember, rent in San Jose was about $100 a month in 1972).

    On a national level, Morris Dees (Georgia anti-klan project) worked miracles for McGovern who, despite lots of other problems, never really had money difficulties.

    McGovern said,

    Let the opposition collect their $10 million in secret money from the privileged few and let us find one million ordinary Americans who will contribute $25 each to this campaign, a Million Member Club with members who will not expect special favors for themselves but a better land for us all.

    In the literature and music of our children we are told, to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. And for America, the time has come at last...Together we will call America home to the ideals that nourished us from the beginning.

    From secrecy and deception in high places; come home, America

    From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation; come home, America.

    From the entrenchment of special privileges in tax favoritism; from the waste of idle lands to the joy of useful labor; from the prejudice based on race and sex; from the loneliness of the aging poor and the despair of the neglected sick -- come home, America.

    Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream. Come home to the conviction that we can move our country forward.

    Come home to the belief that we can seek a newer world, and let us be joyful in that homecoming, for this â€oeis your land, this land is my land -- from California to New York island, from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters -- this land was made for you and me.”

    Bob Shrum wrote that speech, and McGovern never sounded better.

    Kos has spoken repeatedly about how the Republican Right rose from the ashes of the Goldwater defeat.  But the Democrats after McGovern came back even quicker, with huge house gains in the 1974 off-years, and legacy of political participation culminating with the election of our Texas state coordinator, Bill Clinton, to the presidency of the United States.

    Working together, the old pappy guy Dems and the Internet young turks can sweep the table come November.

  •  Missed Out in PA. (0+ / 0-)

    I know that this was meant to be a rah-rah, feel good posting. And yeah, I'm glad to hear that early money does have an impact. But I'm also pissed off. What would have happened in Pennsylvania if we had gotten behind Pennachino early on rather then backing <strike>Leiberman</strike> Casey? Yeah, Chuck had low name recognition and no money, but it turns out that we could have changed that with early money.

    I guess their is another lessen here: backing the candidate we belive in -- rather then the electable one -- is the right thing to do.

    •  Cart? Horse? (0+ / 0-)
      If winning were as easy as starting early -- if that were the "secret" kos just woke up to -- wins ouwld be a dime a dozen, wouldn't they?

      Early fundraising is an indicator of a candidate's commitment, personal organization, time management, network/contact skills, reality-based assessment, base of favorable impressions with acquaintances and near-acquaintances, and ability to recognize and follow good advice.

      Candidates who can't/won't/don't raise money are bad candidates, and ploughing contributions in early woould't have transformed them into good candidates.

      There's not a pony under every pile of shit.

      "DC consultants" know it. Maybe know it too well, and miss some bets on that account, but it's a true worldly truth.

      None Dare Call It Stupid!

      by RonK Seattle on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 09:48:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and I'm with you.  The A-List is missing one of the best bets with Pennacchio in PA.  Ciro was a bust - and now that I know he was running in an open primary against Republicans in TX, I feel like blog readers should be asking for their money back.  Now Lamont is vogue because Lieberman is such a tool but he's got a huge uphill climb in front of him - at least as big as Chuck does.  But he's also a millionaire and that was the early money that counted in this race as far as blogtopia was concerned.  

      I'm getting so sick of reading about how we just have to do something about losing Roe, the tyranny of the GOP, the weak-willed Dems, the illegal and unconstitutional NSA program and then not a word about getting Pennacchio elected in PA.  

      It's not as if Casey will win in November, indeed he has no chance.  This primary is about the fight for the soul of the party.  Anyone who accepts that Casey is the way to go should think twice before blaming Lieberman for any of his positions because they're on his team.

  •  Atheists for Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    I'm trying to spread your message, Kos.  Just finished Crashing the Gate and I think I understand the central message to be that we have to rebuild this party from the ground up.  Early fundraising can help do just that.

    Protect our First Amendment, Elect Democrats!

  •  Hi I'm Heather, and I'm a giver. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, Far left coast

    Yeah, EMILY and dough that like barn raising? ;)...and all that.

    One of the benefits of being almost debt free is I have a little bit more cash to donate to politics and other issues important to me.  Not enough for any tax deductions for nonprofit stuff...just enough to make me feel like I'm doing what little I can do to help.  Especially true for the campaigns that aren't even in my state.  The fact that I donate to politics at all is thanks to Howard...but I digress.

    Because of this and because I do my bill paying automatically...just like folks point out here...most of my mail is from organizations or campaigns I've donated to before...or the organizations that bought their database (which irks me a bit, but I get over it quickly as I recycle the requests).

    If the bank account balance allows it, I'm more likely to be a repeat donor...and that's fine with me.  And that's also a reason I just decided to go to ActBlue after reading this and throw a few more bucks to each of our candidates.  Candidates who I have read about and do support out of philosphy, by the way, not just because they're "electable".  Hell...I would never have supported Howard so much if I believed that!  ;)

  •  Webb (0+ / 0-)

    I understand he will be visiting this evening at 7 PM. If most of us like what he has to say how do we get him added? We really need to get rid of George Allen in the Senate. He is dead weight.

    •  mixed feelings (0+ / 0-)
      I have mixed feelings about this. Sometimes I think I would like to run against Allen for the presidency, he would be highly beatable. And I have a bad feeling that Webb is going to turn into yet another Zell Miller.
      •  Even Zell voted for Reid. (0+ / 0-)

        Don't knock that! :P  Just kidding.

        Thing about Webb is that he's high-risk, high-reward.  There is no way we're going to win that Senate seat without him--only if Mark Warner runs, but he's got bigger fish to fry.  I'm taking a chance on him.  I don't think he'll be a Zell.  He might irritate us sometimes, but think of the man he's replacing.  Allen once said that he wanted to knock the teeth of Democrats down our girly throats.  Or something like that.  I hope Webb knocks Allen's teeth down HIS girly throat!

      •  Webb (0+ / 0-)

        I don't see the comparison to Zell. He has a conservative streak certainly but I really don't see that as problematic. There are some things to admire about the idea of small, functional government that doesn't infringe on personal choice and making government cost effective. In theory these would be good things. It's too bad that the so called conservatives in Congress don't actually practice what they preach.(unless you want to count the fact that they don't want to regulate business as non regulatory, which I don't) When I look at Webb I see someone who really is more of an Independant rather than a Democrat or Republican. He is going to do what he thinks is best for the country. Will I agree with him 100%, probably not.  At least, though I will be assured that he took the time to learn who the Fed is or that he won't be looking to do away with the traditional forty hour work week, which will be a major improvement.

      •  Zell moved left-to-right. (0+ / 0-)
        Webb is on a right-to-left trajectory.

        None Dare Call It Stupid!

        by RonK Seattle on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 10:26:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  shameless plug (0+ / 0-)

    A classic candidate for early money netroots help would be Steven Herr.  He's a great progressive challenging an incumbent in a swing district (Wisconsin 1st) that isn't on most of the target district lists.  He faces the classic Catch-22: it's hard to raise money without being deemed a contender, but it's hard to be a contender without raising serious money.  A little seed money would go a long way to helping Steve!

    Take back Wisconsin's 1st CD - Steven Herr for Congress!

    by CA Pol Junkie on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 09:49:09 AM PST

  •  It seems that we need to get our act together! (0+ / 0-)

    From the thesis of this post, it seems like we may have missed the boat to be really effective in Busby's race (only $16k raised through Actblue), but luckily the local activists there have their act together.  ...Oh, but wait, if this thing goes to a run-off (which it very likely will), the time frame would be expanded and our money would still have more of an impact.

    Erm, anyway, if the thesis is that early money is 5, or 6, or 10 times better than late money, we should think about getting behind some more candidates.  Jim Webb?  Jack Carter?  Barry Welsh?  Eric Massa?  Chris Carney?  Darcy Burner?  Harry Mitchell?  Mike Callaghan?  Joe Donelly?  Monica Lindeen?  Andrew Horne?

    Say what you will, but we're not lacking for strong candidates this cycle who could be competitive given a financial b-12 shot.

  •  This presumes that people who'd been donating (0+ / 0-)

    thru ActBlue for their first donation, donate directly to the campaign directly thereafter.  Are people really doing that?  That doesn't sound too likely.  

    Unless they're doing this, then their donations should show up, no?  

  •  Two (2) instincts (0+ / 0-)

    One is to give at the end when the momentum catches you up in the excitiement.  The other instinct is to give early, take a chance, make a statement, getting caught up in the excitment of creating something new.  And when that works, it becomes the momentum that triggers others to give.  Kind of like Angel Investors and sock purchasers.

    " you smell something" -ghostbusters

    by David in Burbank on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 10:02:39 AM PST

  •  To laugh or to cry? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Markos, vanguard of the vanguard and destroyer of the Old Guard, stands slack-jawed in amazement at the most basic, universal jot of subject-area knowledge ... tossed off casually by an operative from the other side (who probably had no idea it was such a "secret").

    Are the Vandals ready to run the Empire?

    And before you crash the gate, shouldn't you at least case the joint?

    None Dare Call It Stupid!

    by RonK Seattle on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 10:03:11 AM PST

  •  I don't like this (0+ / 0-)

    I don't give early in order to be part of a list that can be hit up again and again - especially in one of many races outside my own state that I'm following closely.

    I give early so that that candidate can build an organization, get on the air, and get other people to give him money to keep it going.

    I've given $200 to Lampson's campaign.  And I don't regret a dime of it; it's important that that undercutting prig Lieberman go down.  But that's all he's getting from me; there will be plenty of other races I'll want to donate to in this cycle, and Lampson's gotten his share already, and then some.  Time for other folks - particularly Connecticut progressives - to take up the slack.

    "Regnery isn't really a press, it's more like wingnut welfare." -- Jane Hamsher

    by RT on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 10:33:18 AM PST

    •  Do you mean Lamont? (0+ / 0-)

      You shouldn't feel guilty about "only" giving $200 to Lamont.  $200 is incredible!  Most people out here on the netroots can only affort to throw $20 or $40 to a candidate.  If you're inclined to support other races, then my hat's off to you.  There is no need to break the bank over political donations.

    •  You mean Lamont... (0+ / 0-)

      ...though it is also important that Lampson makes sure that Tom DeLay goes down.

      Take back Wisconsin's 1st CD - Steven Herr for Congress!

      by CA Pol Junkie on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 10:53:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  maybe you don't but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      maybe you feel that way but the fact is others do not. Since the campaign does not know that, they have to resolicit every 6 weeks. and guess what? it makes money and it is important to keep in touch with those that have helped the campaign out.

      everyone has their priorities, some want to do as you do and give to lots of races and that is totally cool (im' not being sarcastic). others don't. and some give to whomever asks. Which of course is the number one reason anyone gives money in the first place.

      "asking" means you might get a yes, maybe a no. NOT "asking" ensures you do not get anything at all.

  • (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Howard Dean is now the head of the DNC entirely because he revolutionized fundraising with the Internet. The only respect I have for the current Democratic Party comes from its wisdom in leting him take charge, despite his "liability" (as perceived by latent Republican DINOs) as a firebrand and lightningrod.

    His Internet fundraising is exactly consistent with his grassroots rebuilding. Even his distribution of the take to the local parties, "starving the beast" at national HQ, is consistent with the decentralized national Internet campaign.

    I expect that the new Dean Democratic Party and the independent operators like DKos have a lot to learn from each other over the next year or three. And I also hope they will give only bad advice and discouragement to the enemy: Republicans and their own netroots like Red State, who so casually shared good advice with Kos.

  •  Direct Marketing 101 (0+ / 0-)

    "lifetime value" is the overiding metric.  Acquisition cost is some acceptable fraction of "lifetime value"

    In most every case, a group of recent, previous buyers/donors will will outperform any other group.

    •  Yeah ... (0+ / 0-)

      I have always thought that the grassroots sold themselves short in terms of their liftime value. The thing is people get very uncomfortable when they become numbers on a spreadsheet. But when you are trying to reach millions of voters or raise millions of dollars the spreadsheet needs to come out.

      The thing to prevent is making someone's "lifetime vlaue" their only value to your campaign -- that is why Kos is successful, because he most certainly does not.

      With our party it's "change vs. more of the same"

      by kmthurman on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 11:25:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jonathan Tasini (0+ / 0-)

    I'd personally like to see Netroots support Jonathan Tasini, who's running against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary in NY this year.

    Hillary deserves to go down as badly as Lieberman does, and to a true progressive.

    -Jason Brzoska

  •  More from the 'No Duh' file... (0+ / 0-)

    I see we have another circular from the "No Duh" file....

    Campaign 101: If your candidate can raise money early ,it's not just the cash they raise at the front end that's important.

    Early money from lots of donors shows others the campaign is worth putting their money and support behind, and shows the candidate is not some yahoo with too much "west wing" tv shows on the brain and not a clue how to win a race.

    AND, those folks can be resolicited OVER AND OVER and make back whatever you spent on the initial fundraising costs many times over.

    This is Campaign 101. This is "No Duh" type stuff. The fact people are only NOW realizing this? Hmm.

  •  Thanks for the nudge (0+ / 0-)

    I finally quit procrastinating and donated $40 to Lamont.

  •  It's not a zero sum game (0+ / 0-)

    One of the things that drive me nuts is the concept that "we" "need" to focus on the key races and focus a finite amount of money on the most competitive races.

    What's profoundly wrong with this concept is the idea that there is a fixed sum of money available.

    That's just not true, and my wife and I are living proof. We've gone from making contributions in the hundreds of dollars per year to thousands, and then thousands more.

    And these contributions are very heavily influenced by the phenomenon that started with Howard Dean, then led to our discovery of Move-on, Kos, Atrios, and the candidates they support.

    We are totally uninvolved with our local, state, or national Democratic Party. I'm almost as anti-partisan as nTodd, and my wife has been an Emily's list believer for years, yet really doesn't have much interest in Democratic politics. I have to keep telling her not to like McCain.

    But we do have a surrogate son in Iraq now, a conservative and conservationist approach to the world, and a deep hatred of the lying, hypocritical, anti-intellectual, fundamentalist puke that we know as Bushco.

    When Atrios or Kos or Robin at Factesque, or Move-on tells us to send money and it makes sense, we have the assets to fight fascism.

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