Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bayh's Playbook, 2006

There are a few questions spinning around (I know, kitsch use of blog title) about Evan Bayh’s All America PAC expenditure relating to the 23 immersion trained campers being sent to Iowa. There was one question as to the legality of bankrolling and then transporting the Bayh Campers across state lines using PAC dollars, but it seems, according to the experts, it’s not a problem – assuming they’re All American citizens.

Legally it's not a problem. Then again, if you are an Iowa Republican looking at 23 recently drilled, happily employed political operatives on the ground in small Statehouse races, it might look like a problem. I'm sure Republicans are hoping for 23 flashy dressers, smacking gum with limited interest in the elderly.

Anyway, a little digging is required.

The first find: the Bayh financed campers/operatives are most likely schooled in the style and methods of Grassroots Solutions. A Minnesota based Democratic campaign consulting group that specializes in field staff development. From the Grassroots Solutions website.
A focused field operation - complementing an effective media campaign - can make the difference between winning and losing on Election Day.

Unfortunately, too many campaigns rely solely on "paid" field programs to engage voters. In addition to coordinating paid field activities, grassroots solutions works with campaigns to build an active volunteer base that provides the capacity for voter registration, identification, persuasion, base mobilization, constituency organizing, vote by mail, and GOTV.

grassroots solutions works with political clients (candidates, initiatives, parties, and independent organizations) to plan and implement strong, yet flexible grassroots field programs.

Field Consulting services include:

• Creating customized field plans.
• Hiring, training, and supervising a field director and field staff.
• Analyzing targeting data to translate the numbers into recommendations that save time and preserve limited resources.
• Building a volunteer base to support the field plan.
• Recommending the best approaches for voter identification, persuasion, GOTV, voter registration, constituency organizing, and community outreach.
• Integrating campaign field activities with the coordinated campaign. For example, we work with direct mail and other vendors to ensure a comprehensive and unified field program.
A Democratic consulting firm speaking to a niche that the Party desperately needs and completely missed during the last cycle -- how do we get out our vote on election-day?

The second find: Evan Bayh has picked off the best of Newt and reinvented it new Democrat style; from All America PAC’s focus on grassroots activity (ala GOPAC ) to lifting the “opportunity society” theme, Bayh’s presidential campaign spruced up a bunch of circa 1990 Newtisms for the 2008 show.

From Bayh's recent speech on the condition of the middle class:

For the future of our nation and the future of my Party, that must change. If this President will not speak for our Middle Class, I will. And if Democrats want to lead this nation, we must.

As Democrats and Americans, we must build an “Opportunity Society” to strengthen our Middle Class. We must confront the challenges Middle Class Americans face – health care costs, college affordability, retirement security and more – so that all can build lives of greater prosperity and promise. And we must reward hard work, thrift and ingenuity so that all who aspire to it can join the Middle Class.

This must be the work of our generation.

The current Wikipedia entry for Newt Gingrich:

Gingrich took the chair of the Republican political action committee GOPAC in 1986 and transformed it into an effective vehicle for electing conservative candidates to office. This was accomplished in significant part by establishing and promoting a consistent language and theme for use by Republicans at all electoral levels. This theme, in Gingrich's own words, was that of "a conservative opportunity society replacing the liberal welfare state", emphasizing "workfare over welfare" and promoting the idea that "we are the majority".

Nice. Republicans should be slightly flattered that a guy running for the Democratic nomination for President lifts the themes and style from one of the most important Republicans of modern (post-modern if you’re fussy) times. Although I’m not sure if that’s a comparison that Bayh would like the Netroots Progressives to figure out anytime soon.

The big question is whether the Iowa Statehouse guys are going to worry about the 23 warm bodies or figure, given that the GOPAC culture has been around for almost thirty years, they’re in the right spot for 2006. But I would never recommend complacency.

Great Post. We should have done this kind of research before spouting off about Bayh. Thanks for the info IE!
Thanks. I keep writing this sort of stuff and people seem to keep reading, err, skimming.
I would far rather face some old liberal purveyor of misery like John Kerry (who might never have offered a patriotic or intellegent public thought) or the division of Evita than a seemingly reasonable, good looking, calm and reassuring sounding midwesterner like Bayh.

Now we learn that he's got tactical skills as well.

So of course, the Dems will run Evita and a more femine running mate, probably the Breck girl again-has that ever been done before-and the pachyderms will hold the White House and control both houses of Congress.
Republicans can take heart that Bayh's voting record is awful and that he doesn't have a scrap of common sense regarding foreign policy.
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