Smith for Governor Events Center (acknowledges BlueBroward)

This is kind of interesting, and effort to do something like the BlueBroward calendar on the state level. I would rather not have it associated with any one campaign site, though, or at least to have a life beyond this campaign cycle. I’ve been toying with the idea of expanding beyond the county level and have a reservation on blueflorida.org. Anyone want to encourage me to go for it?

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Smith for Governor Events Center for DEC and Club Events, and Rod Smith for Governor Events

Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 12:15:12 -0400

From: Paul Neaville <pneaville@gmail.com>

Hello this is Paul Neaville, Rod Smith’s campaign manager. Please forgive this intrusion, but I wanted to give you all access to an exciting new tool we have on our website, www.rodsmith2006.com , which will allow you to post YOUR events on our website and allow our supporters and your members to have awareness of your events.

http://tools.rodsmith2006.com/page/event/search_simple is the link, and as it says, its simple!

You can do many things here, the main one being that you can create your own event–and upload your club and DEC meetings into our calendar.

While there are sites like www.bluebroward.org that have county specific events, we are hoping to replicate these successes on a statewide level for all Democrats!

From our homepage, www.rodsmith2006.com, you can go to the Events Center on the right hand of the screen and follow the prompts to either find an event near you, or create your own.

If you go to this link, and click on “plan an event” you can follow the prompts to load your events, be they regular meetings or special events you’re having, into our website.

Once you enter in your zip code, just follow the prompts to set up an account and you’ll be able to put your events out in one simple clearinghouse for the members of the Rod Squad. While we envision this being a tool for primary use by our supporters, we also envision this being a way for your members to communicate with a larger audience who may not attend normally scheduled meetings. There is no cost to you, we just ask that you only put events here that are not related to our opponent in the primary. We welcome other events related to other candidates other than our opponent. I’m sure you will understand this simple rule–other than that, we are happy to assist you by adding new categories or to add features you might find useful.

Please let us know what you think of the system, and thanks for being loyal Democrats!!!

Paul Neaville

Campaign Manager

Rod Smith for Governor

PS–forward to your friends and colleagues, I’m sure I missed some email addresses!

Can the Democrats Win the Ground War at Home?

I missed this piece in The Nation when it was first published, but found it a very interesting analysis of what went right and wrong in 2004 and the signs of hope for the future. The article particularly looks at the issues of coordination, or the lack of it, between the Democratic Party and allied groups like ACT.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051219/hayes

BlueBroward.org is intended to be a unifying force on the local level, open to Democratic clubs as well as sympathetic groups such as Democracy for America. We’re all supposed to be on the same side, right?

Giving the Democrats a 1-2-3-4 punch

Read Robert Watson’s opinion column in the Palm Beach Post. Thanks to Barry Dockswell for pointing this out.

Excerpt:

Most Americans support restrictions on assault weapons, know that families can’t live on minimum wage, favor clean air and clean water and believe that America is always strongest when leading our allies, not bullying them. So Democratic policies don’t need to be changed; instead, the way they are presented to the country does need to be changed.

For example, the Republican Party, like a good courtroom attorney, frames debates in such a way that to oppose the war is to oppose our troops. To criticize or question Bush is to be unpatriotic. Democrats need to lead on national security and the fight against terrorism by reminding the country that being patriotic means providing our soldiers with protective armor, a livable wage, fair death benefits, and the truth about the war.

The Worst Thing a Campaign Web Site Can Be Is …

…outdated. The same could be said for most Websites, political or not. But when I do a campaign Web site, I want people to come away with the impression that there’s a lot going on with the campaign, momentum is building, this is a campaign worth getting involved with or supporting financially.

Conversely, if you’re not careful, you can present the impression that there’s not much going on with this campaign and it’s not worth paying attention to. If a visitor to your Web site clicks on a link that says “News” and sees only a few press releases that are several months old, what kind of message are you sending? Better not to have a News page if you can’t commit to keeping it current.

That’s why I always include a feature for listing current campaign events, and I have the events automatically expire off the Web site when the event date is past. I don’t want people coming to the Web site and seeing an invitation for a fundraiser from two months ago. I want them to see something new.

Often, Web sites become outdated because it’s too difficult to get new information posted. Typically, the bottleneck is a webmaster who maintains the site manually and is the only one who has access to the software and the password to make updates. But it shouldn’t be that hard!

A good Webmaster ought to be able to provide a way for other members of the campaign to post routine updates, such as press releases and event notices themselves. And they shouldn’t have to be technical geniuses to do it — anyone with the right password should be able to update the campaign Web site, and doing it should be no harder than sending an email.

So make sure it’s easy to update your Web site, and then keep it up to date.

Recruiting Candidates and Volunteers

I attended a Hollywood Democratic Club meeting last night, which is unusual for me because I live at the other corner of the county, in Coral Springs. But I had some other business down there and asked to have a minute in their program to talk about BlueBroward.org.

My basic pitch was that BlueBroward.org is set up to connect candidates with volunteers who can elect them, and in order to do that, I need to have both candidates and volunteers be aware of the site and, ideally, register with it.

Signing up for our campaign listings ought to be a simple decision for candidates, I’d think, because I’m offering them free advertising. But trying to give something away for free can be tough, maybe because it makes people suspicious. I keep trying.

I ran into Christian Chiari, a Democrat who is running for Florida House District 91, who told me he had hesitated to post a listing because he felt his own campaign Web site wasn’t very polished yet.

So maybe there’s some confusion about this — candidates don’t necessarily have to have a fancy Web site to take advantage of the BlueBroward.org campaign listings. If you provide a link to your own Web site, great, people can go there to find out more about you. If not, you can still post a few paragraphs about your candidacy and some contact information to BlueBroward.org, and hopefully we can steer some help your way. With luck, we’ll get a few people to click on that red-white-and-blue Join Campaign button and send you their BlueBroward.org profile (which is how the system is supposed to work).

It’s meant to be a no-lose proposition.

Since I mentioned Mr. Chiari, let me put in a plug for him as a hard working candidate whom I’ve seen at every Democratic event I’ve attended lately. He’s also working hard for Ron Klein, one of our great Congressional candidates.

Christian can be reached at (954)803-4844 or chiari06@att.net