Invitation to Candidates

We’re getting into the season where a lot of new candidates are starting their campaigns. Please help spread the word about BlueBroward.org as a free resource for campaign listings, event listings, networking, and volunteer recruiting for all Democrats. This is potentially more useful for local candidates who don’t have their own websites, or who could use a few more links to their websites. But even for the bigger campaigns, with their own web and email campaigns, my argument would be that if it a listing on BlueBroward brings in one more volunteer or one more check, then it’s worth it, right?

Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s not worth something.

The campaigns currently registered on BlueBroward are here:
http://www.bluebroward.org/campaigns.php

In case it’s not clear, participation in BlueBroward doesn’t require the campaign to embrace any particular brand of Democratic politics other than, perhaps, an emphasis on grassroots organization.

Updated: Missing Meetings for Your Democratic Club?

Club meeting listings are offered freely to all the local Democratic Clubs in the area, as well as other allied organizations. If your organization’s meetings aren’t being included in the BlueBroward.org listings and you would like them to be, you can help by putting me in touch with the organizers. Sometimes the officers change, or email addresses change, and I lose touch.

Normally, what I try to do is establish one or more contacts for each group whom I can reach by email. I provide them with a password to post events. I also record the regular meeting day, if there is one, in a database. That allows me to send out automated reminders whenever the regular meeting day is coming up and no one from the group has posted an update. The goal is to make the calendar as complete and accurate as possible.

Also remember that any BlueBroward member can login to the website to post their own updates — not just for club events but for campaign kickoffs, fundraisers, organizing events, gripe sessions, disorganizing events, parades, parties, whatever. I reserve the right to remove inappropriate postings, but it hasn’t come up much.

The calendar is only useful if it reflects what is really going on in the community, so thanks for your help keeping it up to date.

P.S. After posting a version of this message with the BlueBroward Calendar Sunday email, I received the following note, which I’d like to respond to in case others have the same question.

Thank you for publishing a calendar of meetings of DEC Clubs. I believe you would be successful in getting ALL the clubs to participate if you put it under th banner of the DEC. Why not? Please tell me if BlueBroward has been sanctioned by the state DEC to act on its own with out disclaimer in your publications. I think all waiting for that information.

Here’s what I wrote back:

There is a disclaimer at the very bottom of these emails: “BlueBroward.org is an independent web and email publication of David Carr, not funded by any candidate or committee.”

It started out independently for historical reasons, and by now has taken on a life of its own. I don’t think the editorial policy of allowing members to post whatever they want, with just a little bit of editorial control, would be compatible with the DEC’s policies. And to be fair, they have to operate a little differently and more cautiously because they are the official voice of the Democratic Party in this county.

Still, I would be happy to help the DEC improve its own website and email communications, if they would accept my help or listen to my advice.

I think you have to treat BlueBroward as if it was a supportive but independent newspaper, newsletter, or other media outlet that backs the Democratic cause and can help you as a campaign or group organizer publicize events and other information. If an organization doesn’t want to participate, they don’t have to. My only point with putting out that note was to make it clear that I’m not deliberately excluding anyone.

I periodically get people writing in to ask why I’m not carrying the events for some Democratic organization, and the answer is that I can’t publish information I don’t have.

Mandate Media on Politics and Technology

These items are from a newsletter from Mandate Media that just turned up in my inbox. There’s a lot of good stuff in here. I particularly paid attention to the items on the value of making confirmation emails meaningful communications with voters, the worst campaign websites of 2006, and legal advice for online politics.

Innovative list-building Flash BlogAd from John Kerry

He may not be running for President, but John Kerry is staying in the game. This week, his was the first organization to debut a Flash ad with BlogAds. And not just any Flash ad — but a well-designed little sign-up form, inviting progressive activists to join his campaign to set a deadline to end the Iraq War.

John Kerry now hiring EIGHT new media staffers

We’re not quite sure what he’s up to, but Senator John Kerry’s campaign team is hiring to fill eight positions in his Netroots Team.

Now that’s a fabulous automated receipt email!

Anytime you donate or sign up online, there’s always that instant and automated response email. Usually, those emails are boring and entirely functional. Of course, since it’s an email that the recipient is actually expecting and hoping to get – it’s a missed opportunity to do a little communications, a little branding, a little relationship-building.

Convio acquires GetActive

Convio is one of the largest technology providers to large nonprofit organizations (and did some early work for the Dean 2004.) GetActive is a bit closer to the political space – with clients like the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Planned Parenthood, and…

15% of Americans say internet was primary source of campaign news

Some 15% of all American adults say the internet was the place where they got most of their campaign news during the election, up from 7% in the mid-term election of 2002. A post-election survey shows that the 2006 race also produced a notable class of online political activists.

Starbucks defends itself on YouTube

What do you do when you’re getting attacked online? Respond online. I don’t know all the details, but Starbucks is under attack from Oxfam for its business practices in Ethiopia. So, Starbucks has responded with a short video on YouTube…

Joe Trippi on Transformational Politics

Trippi: "My own view is that Television helped kill transformational politics because it took people out of the process and made chasing big money too important. I really believe — indeed have always believed since about the mid-1990’s that the Internet would help herald a new era of transformational politics because it puts back into the process the most essential ingredient of them all in a democracy — the people."

Don’t be a control freak

At his blog "How to change the world", tech evangelist Guy Kawasaki has an interview with the authors of a new book – Citizen Marketers: When People are the Message. He’s not talking about politics, but we could all learn a few things from the guy who sold the Macintosh to the world.

Making caucus votes open, transparent, and instantly reported

Over at the Iowa Voters blog, they’re discussing the possibility that the 2008 Iowa Caucus could feature instant online reporting of votes cast at the precinct level.

The confirmation email: a key resource

When someone donates to your campaign, do you send a brief confirmation email? And if so, do you take the opportunity to cement the relationship and encourage them to do more?

Extend the life of your computer

Over at TechSoup.org, the website for nonprofits, John Avellanet has a great roadmap for computer maintenance. In short, he argues you oughta pay attention to your computer like you change the oil on your car.

Safire explains "netroots"

It seems like we all use "netroots" these days, especially in this business of politics and technology. So, where did it come from? William Safire explains.

Candidate Domain Squatting

The New York Times took note of the large number of domain names being grabbed by squatters in anticipation of the 2008 presidential race. How much are those domains worth? The answer will surprise you.

Site Promotion Checklist

Over at TechSoup, Leanne Bergey has a great checklist for launching a new website. Everything from the free and easy to more expensive and complex rollout options. Nothing rocket science here, but most promotion stuff isn’t. Check it out….

Worst campaign websites of 2006

Over at CNet, they’ve compiled a slideshow of seventeen of the worst campaign websites in the country.

Organizing Online? Think like a rock band.

Frogloop: "It would be so convenient if launching a viral message campaign, political or otherwise, on a social networking platform were as easy as just adding water. But, the truth is that as with any grassroots campaign, it takes persistence, lots of online and offline effort, and the right tools and the right message in the hands of the right people at the right time. Oh, and a little luck, too. Basically, you need to be scrappy, flexible, and think like a rock band."

Right-wingers talk about the local lefty blogs

Mary Katherine Ham, of major right-wing website Townhall, wrote: "I’ve always felt a little guilty that I’m not better informed about the city council," Ms. Ham wrote. "The folks who do follow and blog that stuff are doing yeoman’s work."…

Legal advice for online political activity

There are always lots of questions about the legal reporting requirements and restrictions on bloggers, campaigns, and other kinds of activism. While the FEC (and state regulators) continue to explore the terrain, the Center for Democracy and Technology has released their Net Democracy Guide.

More, more, more…

Of course, there’s much more over on P&T. New stuff 6-10 times a month. Dig in at PoliticsAndTechnology.com

Atlantic Monthly: Bush is fading. Bush Republicanism is here to stay.

Atlantic Monthly editor Ross Douthat has an interesting commentary in the March issue about why Bush’s legacy is likely to continue in the Republican party, with current GOP candidates largely following his political strategy.

In addition to the continuing need of Republicans to court the fundamentalist Christian voting block, he writes:

Republican candidates have another reason for giving Bushism a second act: It has more potential to appeal to the broad electorate than other visions of where the GOP should go from here. The enduring popularity of the welfare state makes big-government conservatism far more palatable to voters than the government-cutting purism that Bush?s right-wing critics hope to revive. (In the long run, the country may be forced to choose between keeping spending high and keeping taxes low; in the short term, though, the deficits Bush has run up are not the public?s first priority.)

The link is here, although you have to be a subscriber to see the full text:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200703/douthat-comment

Presidential Contenders – Everyone’s Welcome

Back when the dust was still settling from the 2004 Kerry campaign, BlueBroward.org was established with the goal of organizing a community of volunteers who could be put to work for the next Democratic nominee for President. Well, as you may have heard, the 2008 campaign season is starting early. So far only the John Edwards campaign is registered on BlueBroward’s campaigns page.

BlueBroward is open to all contenders in the primary phase, so I encourage those of you who may be backing one of the other candidates to introduce the local coordinator for that campaign to BlueBroward and/or volunteer to be the person who will make sure campaign events in our area

will be posted to this calendar.

Any BlueBroward.org member can post events to the calendar, but ideally campaign events should be posted by designated representatives of the campaigns. First, we’ve got to get those campaigns to recognize BlueBroward as a regional organizing resource.

Remember, this is a community website, so ideally everyone’s supposed to participate in making it better – not just the webmaster! And I do appreciate all your help.

Thanks,

David

Help file for Democratic Club contacts

If you post event notices for your Democratic Club, these instructions may help you understand a little better how to use the meeting schedule editor on BlueBroward.org.

http://www.bluebroward.org/help/Club_Meeting_Editor.htm

Of course, it’s all supposed to be easy to use and self-explanatory, but some of the feedback I’ve gotten is that there’s still room for confusion. Hope this helps.

Congratulations and Thank You

Congratulations to the winners in Tuesday’s election — and to everyone who helped make those wins possible by making phone calls, knocking on doors, waving signs, manning polls, and/or writing a check or two.

Of course, we had some notable disappointments on the state level, and we ought to be thinking about what we could do better next time to produce the bigger turnout that might have put candidates like Jim Davis and Skip Campbell over the top. But first let’s take time to celebrate winning a Democratic majority in Congress and picking up seats in the State House for the first time in way too long. Let’s be proud of Ron Klein, Martin Kiar, and Ken Keechl for winning very tough races with enthusiasm, hard work, and the backing of a lot of great volunteers.

Winners from among the campaigns registered with BlueBroward.org included:

Congressman Kendrick Meek and Senator Bill Nelson

Ron Klein for Congress

Jeremy Ring and Ted Deutch for State Senate

Martin David Kiar and Elaine Schwartz for State House

Alex Sink For CFO

Ken Keechl for Broward County Commission

Phyllis Hope for Broward County School Board

(There were others who won without BlueBroward’s help, and congratulations to them, too, but here I’m emphasizing those who participated in our campaign and event listings).

I hope that BlueBroward.org provided some useful services to these campaigns. Feedback on what we could do better in the future is always welcome.

Broward Get Out the Vote Locations

Master List of Office Locations

All these locations should have yard signs and literature. Call to check on phone bank hours, which are being expanded as election day approaches.

Broward County Democratic Party

1824 N. University Dr.

Plantation, FL

954-423-2200

All Broward Realty office (Dale Holness)

4325 W Sunrise Blvd

Plantation, FL 33313

Pembroke Pines/Miamar Democratic Club (Howard Forman)

8367 Pines Blvd

954-297-4626

954-261-2306

Hollywood (HQ for Elaine Schwartz, Eleanor Sobel, and “the top of the ticket”)

4231 Hollywood Boulevard

954-478-7586

954-985-8505

Seeking volunteers to:

  • Phone bank
  • Sign wave
  • Man the polls on election day

Coconut Creek/Margate Dem Club Office

5217 Coconut Creek Parkway,

Coconut Creek, FL

(954) 979-3838

Note from Jack Shifrel: The campaign HQ on Coconut Creek Pkwy needs people on the phones for the next 5 days, we need people to drive voters to the polls & to be at several polling places on election day.

GLBT Democratic Vote Center

1700 N. Andrews Ave

Ft. Lauderdale

954-763-1880