Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Obama Needs to Share His Campaign Data Base

With Virginians likely faced in 2013 with the most extreme and dangerous GOP candidate for governor in the state's history, it will be critical that Democrats turn out the coalition of those threatened by Ken "Kookinelli" Cuccinelli's ignorance and theocracy based agenda, namely all citizens other than Christofascists, angry white men and Tea Party loons.   Gays, blacks, Hispanics, women, non-Christians - i.e., anyone who is not a Kool-Aid drinking white evangelical - is threatened by Kookinelli.  It is critical that these groups targeted by Kookinelli be educated as to just how extreme and dangerous this man is to them.  Hence the need for Barack Obama to share his campaign data base with the Virginia Democrats so that they can defeat Kookinelli and other minions of the Christofascists at Family Foundation.  In 2009 Obama did little or nothing to assist Democrat candidates in Virginia and the result was that perhaps the most extreme slate of GOP candidates in recent memory was swept into office.  This cannot be allowed to happen again, particularly with Kookinelli aiming for the governorship which would allow him to appoint extremists to boards and commissions across Virginia.  A piece in Politico looks at this issue as it applies to Virginia and elsewhere.  Here are highlights:

The hottest property to emerge from Barack Obama’s lopsided victory over Mitt Romney is not the president’s much lauded campaign team. Nor is it the shrewd turnout operation that catapulted him to victory.

It is something far more valuable that’s being guarded as zealously as the Pentagon: Obama’s unprecedented database of an estimated 16 million voters, volunteers and donors, which gave the Democrat an indisputable edge in November.

From the candidates running in 2014 to the state Democratic parties to progressive advocacy groups, there is an intense behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign afoot to pry from Obamaland its groundbreaking voter database. The data is rich with intricate layers of information about individuals’ voting habits, television viewing tastes, propensity to volunteer, car registration, passions, email address, cellphone numbers, and social media contacts. The historical trove enabled Obama to connect with voters on a highly personal level and get them not only to vote but to actively persuade their neighbors to do the same.

Now that Obama has been reelected, other Democrats are falling over themselves to get their hands on these sophisticated indicators for their own campaigns.

Among the prime options being discussed by president’s political hands: setting up an independent, not-for-profit entity, run by Obama aides, to manage and keep the electronic files updated so the contacts could be used to further the president’s agenda. Handing over the names to campaigns is not high on the list right now

Nonetheless, this hasn’t stopped Democrats from beating at the vault’s door.  So excited was Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran about the prospect of getting the database for next year’s governor’s race that he announced last week that he already had it. He doesn’t.

So intent are Senate incumbents to get their hands on the voter files that, at a private meeting with Senate leaders and incumbents up for reelection in 2014, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Tom Harkin of Iowa led the group in imploring Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to lead the charge.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) has also prodded the Obama campaign to make the database available to House and Senate candidates to avoid a midterm bloodbath like the party saw in 2010.

Instead, Obamaworld — in an effort similar to the post-2008 campaign period — is attempting to leverage its campaign data to generate support for legislative initiatives.
Messina was emphatic on the point in his first post-election on-camera interview last month.

“The important thing to note is — and I want to be firm about this — you can’t just hand this to the next candidate for president,” he said at a POLITICO Playbook breakfast last month.

“You know, this organization was built for people who supported this president and who were involved. We had over 32,000 neighborhood team leaders who basically volunteered full time, and those people were involved because of the issues and positions the president took, and … you can’t just hand it to the next candidate. They have to have their own relationship with [voters]. … Look, we learned from our shellacking we took in 2010: Too many Democrats thought they could put Barack Obama’s picture on a piece of literature and his supporters would turn out magically for them. It doesn’t work like that.”

Yes, each candidate needs to have their own base.  But the Obama campaign data would expedite the process.   There's much more to the article, which deserves a read.  Personally, I remain very concerned that Obama will ignore Virginia as he did in 2009 and now the stakes are even higher.  And, if he is worried about his legislative agenda, having an insane nutcase like Cuccinelli become governor of Virginia would be extremely detrimental.  I supported Obama for president - the boyfriend and I even housed one of his campaign staffers for two months - but I am worried that he may revert to having his head up his ass as he did in 2009 when it comes to Virginia and the anti-gay forces in this state.

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