Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bayh uses creative team bankrolling, oops, building in Iowa

A sidebar on the DMR website this morning:

Sen. Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat taking steps toward running for president, said his political action committee will pay for 23 campaign staffers to help Democratic candidates in Iowa in this fall's elections.

Bayh's All America PAC has held training sessions for more than 100 campaign workers, with the idea that they would also be willing to work for Bayh, should he move forward with a presidential campaign next year.

"We thought this was in some ways better than just giving people a check," Bayh said. Bayh is among eight prospective presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans, who have operatives on the ground in Iowa.

Iowa is expected to host the leadoff nominating caucuses in January 2008.

A good example of effective innovation: future presidential campaign comes to Iowa, notices a need for resources, expands the definition of resources to be provided by presidential campaigns to include local staff training and payroll support, makes announcement, spooks Republicans.

It might be that I am just unaware of a GOP presidential campaign working the same angle with the state Republicans, but more likely it's creative team building put together by Democrats & Bayh and new to the mix on both sides. Does it mean that Iowa Democrats were, and with this announcement were is the correct verb, a little behind in managing their Statehouse campaigns or does this give the Democrats an advantage going into the fall?

Newt, Mitt, Bill, Mike, Sam, John(s) and the other guys with multisyllabic names, where are you when your potential friends need you?

I don't think that its so much a lack of staffers, but a way of providing coordinated campaigns with folks in Iowa to do some research/background foundation laying, as well as root out potential precinct captains, etc., which Bayh and Warner are already doing.

Russ Feingold is doing this same type of thing with his Progressive Patriot Corps and then will be sending a staffer to Iowa. Mark Warner paid for a new field staffer who comes on in August. It's all about getting your feet wet with field staff.

As far as I know, no Republican is doing the same, but they've got a lot of Iowans already on the ground working for their campaigns/PACs and are being a bit less subtle about their 2008 intentions when compared to Dems.

I still believe adding these sorts of numbers to a payroll is a completely different ballgame. It's more than a staffer or two; it's a significant campaign infrastructure investment provided by a PW campaign with few strings. My guess, Bayh has a few 'in pocket' endorsements that he closed with this move.
Yeah but the difference between Bayh and Warner and Feingold is they are donating the services of one or two staffers...

Bayh's donating the services of 23.

I attended one of the Camp Bayh's here in Indianapolis. If it were 10 years ago I would have killed to be able to participate in the Full Immersion program.
While Warner is only providing one, Feingold's Patriot Corps is training a substantial number of folks as well. Bayh's got bigger money resources than Feingold to commit to this type of stuff, but Feingold's working hard too.

And I don't disagree with you about the whole system being a different ballgame, IE. I think the difference is that there isn't so much a quid pro quo about 'in pocket' endorsements with folks in the state Democratic structure of employees/staff/activists but more of a way for the staffer to reach out to folks in the precincts and other areas to give them someone to work with when it comes to laying the groundwork. Bayh's being methodical about what he's doing and its working. The whole new ballgame is undoubtedly working, its just so hard to see where and how it is going to work and be effective.
CW and IE

We asked this question over at the Caucus Cooler. How is this legal? Isn't Bayh confined by the contribution limits. Is there something we are missing?
As I am not an expert on legal issues (note "AP calls it" post), my thought is that if you hire a bunch of people and lend them back to a campaign, what's the problem?

What if they are to be paid out of a 527, isn't the law a little murkier on how those organizations function? You could argue that they are working for a local campaign on a set of specific issues core to that particular 527's agenda.

I'm thinking this move will generate some serious questions about what is legally permissible in presidential campaign activity. Lawyers always need more work.
As a federal PAC if you hired a bunch of people and lent them to the campaign, wouldn't that be coordinated exenditures? We are certainly not legal experts, thus our question.
That's brilliant!
I suppose we really need to know what political fund machine Bayh plans to use to pay for all of this labor. Okay, fine, I'll see what I can dig up, but y'all at the CC probably have more access to resources and can winnow the possible down quick.
We did a little research on this IE, and found that Presidential PACs are allowed to coordinate unlike Business PAC's which gives Bayh the ability pay staff and lend them to campaigns.

Shows you what we know.
Funny, I already started working on this dorky issue. I'll post it later after I look at Bayhs FEC PAC expenditures for Grassroots Solutions. A political consulting group out of Minnesota with self described expertise in "field operations".

But I'm glad you posted; there is never enough help going round this world.
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