Cooking up a campaign? Need a new recipe? You've come to the right place! The Campaign Cookbook offers tips to season your campaign, make the dough rise, and be prepared for when it gets hot in the electoral kitchen. Recipes tried and true, and innovative too, presented by GreenDog Campaigns. www.greendogcampaigns.com
A lot as it turns out. Now, I have run plenty of campaigns for underdog candidates who did not have the best endorsements in terms of elected officials or well-known opinion leaders, or major organizations, but they did have endorsements from their friends and neighbors, the people who cared about the issues they cared about. The people who could introduce them to other voters, donors, volunteers and provide locations for signs.
Here are a few things endorsements are good for:
1. Helping raise name recognition. So and so supports you. I know so and so, I'll support you too.
2. Finding other contacts. Ask your endorsers to provide the names of five others who might endorse or help out in some way.
3. Finding volunteers. The endorsers, their family, friends and colleagues who care about your issues can all be part of your network.
4. Money - Yes, ask those endorsers for a campaign contribution and to help you find others to ask as well.
4. Ask them to hold a house party. They invite their neighbors, you come and speak to a few interested folks, leave with sign locations, donations (usually small, but everything counts, right?) and even eager volunteers.
6. And it spirals. Go viral with the spiral of your growing contact list. Invite them to your website, your Facebook page and to invite their friends to "like" your page as well.
7. Now you have a campaign. These people believe in you. they are the ones to call for phone banking, walking, helping in a myriad of ways. They are invested. Use them. Remember, if they donated once, they'll donate again. If they walked one precinct they'll walk another. And so on.
Caveat - You have to ask. You have to pick up the phone and make the call, make the ask. Your new endorsers are waiting.
Database Maintenance: 4 Ways to Streamline Your Process
Aug 30, 2017
By Ken Christensen
(from Campaigns and Elections magazine)
(Interested in more? This is a great resource!) click here.
A communications database needs to be a part of the overall
infrastructure from launch. After the crowd leaves, have a plan in place
to constantly add and update individual contact information on a daily
basis. Given the day-to-day demands of a competitive race, that’s not
Here’s my best advice for streamlining database maintenance.
Draft initial lists ahead of time.
Democratic congressional campaigns, which are my specialty, should
gather lists like the follow: The candidate’s family, friends,
supporters, volunteers, donors, colleagues, Facebook friends, targeted
likely voters; national, state, regional and local labor union leaders.
Include Democratic County, township and ward chairs; local Democratic
precinct committeemen and first-time Democratic local, state and federal
candidates. I could go on, but you get the picture.
Itemize contacts by position and include at least an address, phone
number and an email address. Research will need to be done to gather and
verify contact information on each individual accordingly.
It’s a massive data-entry project, plan accordingly.
Management should recognize that the development of the campaign
communications database is a time-consuming project. Ideally significant
staff and volunteer resources should be assigned to the project during
the campaign infrastructure set up.
Entering and coding all the individuals and lists into the campaign communications database is the next step.
All the individuals and lists to be entered into the campaign
communications database must coded accordingly. For example, if an
individual is added that contact must be coded into an appropriate
category that the campaign determines. If an excel file list is
uploaded, it will need to coded accordingly. For example if it is an
excel file list of Democratic County Chairs it would be simply coded
“Democratic County Chairs.”
Coding individuals and lists makes it easy for a campaign to target
email messages when necessary to a specific group of individuals — a
press release to the “News Media” list, for instance. Naturally the
campaign will be able to send an email to the entire list with the good
news and progress of the campaign accordingly.
Trust but verify information.
Since the campaign will be gathering various lists of individuals, we
cannot count on the information on each individual in those lists to be
up to date.
The campaign will need to verify the contact information especially
email addresses on all the individuals in the campaign communications
database. Some information will simply need to be tracked down the old
fashioned way by calling an individual to get their email address for
example. If a phone number is needed, then research will need to be done
to get a phone number.
Initially volunteers could be used to reach out to individuals to
verify and update contact information. At the same time the volunteer is
on the phone verifying and updating contact information they could also
ask the individual to follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter and
to sign up for text messages.
Hire someone to update information on a daily basis.
The campaign should develop a plan to constantly add and update
individual’s contact information on a daily basis. The best way to do
this is to hire a database manager or appoint a volunteer with excellent
computer and organizational skills to manage the database.
Ken Christensen, who works in U.S. Congressional Democratic
politics, is the CEO of Christensen & Associates Inc., a Washington,
D.C.–based Democratic national fundraising and political consulting
Admittedly this is a crazy time in American politics. Never
before have we seen so many presidential appointments come and go so
You can almost hear President Donald Trump saying to
each one, “Welcome to the White House; don’t let the door hit you on the
way out,” as he ushers them in one door and out the other.
are rough all over, as people prepare for the 2018 elections, praying
there will be a 2018 at all, with a wary eye on North Korea, Iran and
Not to mention the man behind the White House curtains.
The popularity of politicians is at an all-time low. Whether you
don’t trust this government, the previous government or government in
general, a lack of trust in elected officials is rampant.
So why would anyone want to run for local office?
LOCAL POLITICS STILL A GOOD BET
question. The answer is that the only way to counter the negativity in
national politics is to start electing good, ethical people to local
Some of them will go on to higher office and some won’t.
Either way, they have the opportunity to make a difference in their
towns and cities, their counties and special district areas, like water
board, sewer board and of course school boards.
In Marin, most of the city councils have been holding their
elections in odd-numbered years. While the state and national elections
have all been in even-numbered years, leading to a lopsided voting
pattern, with many voters ignoring local elections altogether.
in 2018, local Marin County, (and all of local Califonria), offices will now be elected in even-numbered years, to
encourage higher voter turnout. But this year offers a unique final
chance to run in an off-year election in these communities: Fairfax,
Novato, San Rafael, San Anselmo and Larkspur all have regular elections
this year, while Tiburon and Sausalito have special elections to fill a
Some of the terms will be for three years and others for five
(except for Tiburon, which is only for one year), until all communities
have moved their elections in even numbered years.
If you live in
one of these towns, you might consider a run. Maybe you’ve served on a
board or commission and have been thinking about running before.
Maybe you’ve been a community volunteer and want to do more. Maybe you just see a need that you are uniquely qualified to fill.
For those jurisdictions where all the incumbents are running to keep their seats, filing closes on Aug. 11.
But if any incumbent decides not to run, filing will remain open until Aug. 16 for any non-incumbent to run.
The time to make that decision is now. And if not this year, maybe next year, when other seats will be up.
RUN TO WIN!
if you haven’t decided what you are running for or when, or even if you
want to run, but are curious to learn more about the process, you might
want to attend an election training to learn more.
Women’s Political Action Committee (MWPAC), a nonpartisan group
dedicated to helping pro-choice women and men run for office, is holding
a campaign training session on Aug. 23, at the McInnis Park Club
restaurant in San Rafael.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the program will feature campaign
professionals, as well as elected officers and editorial page editors,
to discuss such things as the nuts and bolts of campaigning, raising
funds, managing your time as a candidate and as an elected official and
how to get those important newspaper endorsements.
The cost is $30 and includes a buffet dinner and handouts that offer tips for would-be candidates.
MWPAC is a membership organization and welcomes all pro-choice women and men to join.
In September, there will be an endorsement meeting to choose who the organization will support in the coming election.
vote in that endorsement process, held on Sept. 13, you must be a
dues-paying member by Aug. 13, or 30 days before the endorsement night.
A new report from the Sacramento Bee confirms what we have known for a while; the number of female elected officials in California falls far below the goal of fifty/fifty by 2020, the goal of the many women's political groups, both nationally and internationally. It's 31% (or 149) of the City Council seats in 482 California Cities, 69 more than two years ago, but still not parity. In the Legislature, the numbers have actually been going down: 26 as opposed to the 31 in the 2015-2016 session. or 22%. 25% of Supervisors in the 58 Counties are women, and about 42% (or 137) of Mayors are women. Of those only Libby Schaaf of Oakland is the Mayor of one of the ten major cities.
Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland
We do have 2 U.S. Senators, Dianne Feinstein and newly elected Kamala Harris, but only one Statewide officeholder, Controller Betty T. Yee. Now Fiona Ma is vying to become State Treasurer and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin is running for Governor. And Green Party member, and former Mayor of Richmond Gayle McLaughlin is running for Lt. Governor.
It's a start. Now it's your turn. Think about what you might run for, on the local level, first. City Council, School Board, Water Board, Hospital Board and on and on. The positions are there. Don't let them go begging.
Run to Win!
Need help figuring it all out? If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, or even if not and you can get here, the Marin Women's Political Action Committee is having a mini-seminar in Running for Office, the basic nuts and bolts, how to get endorsements and raise money for your campaign. August 23, in San Rafael. It's only $30, including a buffet dinner and helpful handouts from experts in the local campaign world, yours truly and others in GreenDog Campaigns, my consulting firm among them. Go to www.mwpac.org and sign up today.
Here is a post lifted from today's London Guardian on the stunning Parliamentary wins in France of the new Party of Emmanuel Macron, elected President last month. This win seems to solidify the power of his new centrist Party, La République en Marche, to the chagrin of the Socialists and Labor. At least the ultra-Right National Front of Marine Le Pen suffered a solid defeat. Where this all leads I don't know. But here is the Guardian's take on it so far. Next round of voting soon.
France has given its new president an impressive extra mandate. The contrast with the political chaos in Britain is painful
Fortunate car drivers may be familiar with the “green wave”,
in which a sequence of traffic lights are coordinated so that each
conveniently turns to “go” just as the vehicle approaches. To judge by
the first round of France’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, Emmanuel Macron seems to have invented the green wave’s political equivalent.
In the 10 months since he launched his meteoric political career,
Mr Macron’s radical centrist project has found every traffic light of
the many that might have blocked his path on green. If next week’s
second round confirms Sunday’s results, the French president and his new
party will have secured an overwhelming parliamentary mandate
for his reform agenda. Theresa May, who will sit next to Mr Macron at the Stade de France on Tuesday evening for a football match, can only look on with drooling envy.
At the start of this year, Mr Macron’s fledgling party La République
en Marche did not even exist. Now it is projected to win between 400 and
450 seats out of the 577 in France’s national assembly. In Sunday’s
first round, La REM finished first in the majority of seats and came far
ahead of its nearest rival in terms of national share of the vote.
This sweeping success is one of the largest in the history of the Fifth
Republic. Yet it has been achieved not by one of the well established
parties or blocs but by a new movement, half of whose candidates had
never stood for public office before. In some respects this is an even
more formidable achievement of mobilisation than Mr Macron’s success a
It is significant that more than half of French voters failed to go
to the polls on Sunday. Turnout was a mere 49%, compared with 78% for
the first round of the presidential election at the end of April. Yet
this high rate of abstention needs to be interpreted with care. The
Fifth Republic’s constitution has always elevated the president above
the parliament. National wariness about political “cohabitation” – a
president and parliament of competing parties – tends to be reflected in
higher abstention on the opposition side, as on Sunday. And the French
electorate may be suffering voter fatigue
after a succession of primaries and presidential votes in recent
months. To that extent, low turnout may not be as damaging in practice
to Mr Macron and La REM as the numbers may imply.
For the moment, however, it is Mr Macron’s political opponents who are in disarray. France seems to be witnessing a process of dégagisme
– of clearing out old parties and leaders. The left is deflated after
the worst Socialist result in parliamentary elections since François
Mitterrand refounded the party at the Épinay congress in 1971.
The centre-right is deeply divided. Meanwhile the hard right Front
National, which lost 4 million votes on Sunday compared with Marine Le
Pen’s showing in the first round in April, now faces a gruelling
internal conflict over its political direction, a battle that is likely
to come to a head at its party conference in 2018.
Mr Macron is on course to win a decisive mandate. This is important
not just for France itself but for the European Union. Germany’s
willingness to help loosen the eurozone’s fiscal strictness will
inevitably have to await the Bundestag elections in September.
Yet Berlin will be under little pressure to act unless Mr Macron is seen
to be credible as a reformer of France’s high-spending,
high-unemployment economy. That depended upon the results in these
elections. Signs of improving economic growth are yet another well-timed green light for Mr Macron.
The fact remains that three out of four French voters did not vote
for Mr Macron in the first round in the presidential contest, while two
out of three of those voting on Sunday did not support La REM either.
This will certainly not prevent Mr Macron from getting his public
spending plans and his labour market liberalisation proposals through
parliament later this year. He will face challenges, perhaps including
demonstrations and strikes, from the unions (with whom he has promised
to consult over the summer) which will test the resolve and discipline
of his tyro legislators. Plans to incorporate emergency anti-terror powers
into the criminal code after the welcome ending of France’s 14-month
state of emergency provide a further point of conflict. One day, Mr
Macron will be faced with a red light. Seen from across the Channel,
however, France’s quiet revolution of the centre appears an
extraordinary and, in many ways enviable, contrast to the snarl-up in
Wow, California! We just stepped up to the plate legislatively and passed single payer health care (in the Senate; it still has to be passed in the Assembly and signed by unpredictable Governor Brown). And that same Governor just stood up to Trump and said, "Do what you will, little man, California (along with Washington State and New York) are fighting climate change anyway." California is the world's 6th largest economy, and the US largest state. And it's a (mostly) solidly blue.
So why is our Democratic Party race for Chair such a conundrum? Almost two weeks after the election, we still don't know who the Chair is. The vote count showed Eric Bauman with 62 more votes than Kimberly Ellis. Then Kimberly asked to review the votes cast. Out of 2900 votes, a 62 vote difference is about 2%, slim enough to warrant checking. And close enough to show serious differences in our Party.
Bauman represents the mainstream, long time, inside politician. He's chair of the LA Democratic Party, works with the political committee of the Assembly, and heads a campaign consulting firm who last year got people in a tizzy over siding with big Pharma (and big bucks) over lower drug prices for consumers.
Kimberly Ellis is the long time executive director of Emerge California, a group that trains Democratic women to run for office. More progressive voters (some say "Berniecrats) tended to vote for Ellis, while more mainline Party oriented Dems went with Bauman. (Bot supported Hillary Clinton in the June primary last year and several Progressive Caucus members voted for Bauman).
Today, we learn that the review has shown "alarming
discrepancies and an amassing of ineligible voters to change the outcome of the
election" and the Ellis campaign team is calling for an independent audit. Bauman is resisting. If all is on the up and up, why not have an independent outside source prove it? If not, there will be suspicions and hard feelings for years to come. If we want transparency and any chance at unity, how can this hurt?
OK, this will sound like shameless self-promotion, and so what? I run a female owned campaign consulting company. We don't work exclusively for women, but we do work for and with a lot of women and issues that women care about, like education. We can be as tough as the guys, but we understand how o tell a story effectively. Women are good at that. If you are a woman candidate running in 2017 or 2018, check us out; check out other female owned firms too. There aren't that many. For some insight into this subject, see Why Female Consultants Matter Right Now by Kate Maeder in Campaigns and Elections Magazine.