Archive for get out the vote

Beating the Kochs: Dems get it-- Turnout, turnout, turnout. Show UP! #GOTV

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The media is feeding feelings of growing panic among Democrats about losing the Senate in November, to which Dems are finally responding with one word: Turnout. This is a good thing. This is a very good and healthy thing, not just this November, but for every election ever. Without a huge voter turnout, Democrats lose, but when turnout efforts are successful, we generally win.

Here at TPC and on Twitter, I've been on a mini-campaign on this very thing. As Harry Reid so wisely framed it recently, Ridiculously Big Huge Enormous Gigantic Money (read: the Koch brothers) is a major obstacle that we must overcome. And that point underscores all kinds of issues that Democrats are passionate about, such as income inequality, the wealth gap, increasing the minimum wage, equal pay for women, and more. Targeting the Kochs gives voters something on which to laser focus and channel those passions.

And when voters are passionate, they make beelines (and long lines, and slow lines, thanks to GOP voter suppression laws) to the polls, and at this point, that is our best remedy. The Kochs may have tons of money, but we have tons of people. They have monetary power, we have people power... as long as we show up.

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Memoli and David Lauter wrote about that very thing:

Faced with a strong prospect of losing control of the Senate in November, Democrats have begun a high-stakes effort to try to overcome one of their party's big weaknesses: voters who don't show up for midterm elections.

The party's Senate campaign committee plans to spend $60 million to boost turnout. That's nine times what it spent in the last midterm election, in 2010. [...]

"Disgruntled voters turn out at a somewhat higher rate than what I like to call the gruntled voters," said Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist.

However, there are a couple of catches:

But Democrats disagree on how populist an image to present. Some advocate a turn toward the left that they say will spur younger and minority voters to take interest in the election. Others argue for a more centrist tack, which might attract more moderate voters.

Mitch Stewart, who was the battleground-states director for Obama's 2012 campaign, said, "The conventional wisdom is that you don't start contacting voters until after Labor Day, [but that's] an outdated model." He couldn't be more correct about that. The time is now to knock on doors, make calls, email, you name it, in order to educate and inspire voters.

Why now? Because "motivating core parts of the Democratic voter base, particularly younger and less educated voters, is not easy." I can vouch for that. Trying to get young voters to pay attention to politics, especially during midterm elections, is, well, challenging. I've tried, and while their first impulse is to respond enthusiastically, they often lapse into:

UP squirrel dog animated gif

Terry McAuliffe, like him or not, had the right idea when he won the Virginia gubernatorial race. He emphasized issues that Dems cared about, like Medicaid, marriage equality, and women's reproductive rights. He also targeted those who only voted occasionally.

But of course, that costs money, which brings us full circle to the Kochtopus. Again, though, they may have the money, but we have the numbers.

We can do this, but we must, MUST, register to vote, do everything we can to help others register and then get to the ballot box, and never, ever acquiesce to Big Corporate Money or the Corporate Media, both of which thrive on manipulating the message and pushing meaningless speculation.

Below are four words that are both meaningful and our most urgent message:

gotv 3

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New secret vid- RNC official accused of racism: Can't get Detroit voters "to stop playing pool, drinking beer”

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Republican minority outreach at it's finest. The tape is a little garbled, so the transcript is below. Via the Freep.

Transcript: What Weiser said to tea party forum

“If Obama loses Michigan, his paths to the White House reduce substantially. It’s very hard to see a path for him to the White House again. If we lose Virginia or Ohio, it saves us the election, and we will still win. That’s how important Michigan is.

Now I’m going to tell you my own theories in Michigan because it’s one of the reasons the RNC is sending as much money as they are here and why you will see some of our friends spending money here. Because I talk to them all the time. They call me because I was the chair here. I understand what’s going on.

I think there’s two things that make a huge difference. No.?1 is a very fundamental thing?…?Are there any Democrats in this room? (laughter) It’s a very fundamental thing. We have always had to overcome to win the governorship or the presidency a margin that used to be bigger, but in recent years has been about 350,000 votes out of Wayne County. And then if we could keep it even in Oakland County or win by a little bit, we’d have to overcome them in the rest of the state.

Well, let’s look at Wayne County. Two big groups. The first one’s Detroit. Population’s now shrunk under 700,000. Last presidential election it was probably about 800-850 (thousand). Less voters.

Secondly, no Coleman Young machine. No Kwame Kilpatrick machine. There is no Dave Bing machine. There’s no machine to go to the pool halls and the barbershops and put those people on buses and then bus them from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times. And there’s no machine to get ’em to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall. And it does make a difference.

Now let’s go out-county. No McNamara machine. If there’s a Ficano machine, it hasn’t got a nickel. Or it’s under indictment — one or the other. (laughter) So I believe, and I’ve told these people this, that I don’t know how many votes less they’ll have, is it 60,000, 50,000, 80,000, there’s gonna be less of a margin to have to beat out of Wayne County then we’ve ever had before. That’s one?… (applause)

Obama has hired a lot of people to go help him get that vote out. But if you’re not from Detroit, the places where those pool halls and barbershops are, you’re not going to be going at 6:30 in November. Not without a side arm.”

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Letter: "I am a Republican. This year I voted Democrat. Why? It was their attitude."

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Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Obama again: Swing states seal second term,” Nov. 7

I worked as a poll worker in Santa Fe Springs for 15 hours on election day.

I was elated to see the young and middle-aged men and women, senior citizens and the physically challenged with their wheelchairs, walkers and canes — all taking the time to come to the precinct and vote.

I translated in Spanish for about 30 people, some first-time voters. Some were immigrants who had recently become U.S. citizens. One woman from Ecuador had tears in her eyes and thanked me for assisting her in voting.

Near the end, an older gentleman arrived with two young men. He told me: “They have to stop playing their games or watching TV. They need to come to vote. They are the ones who will inherit this country.”

Juanita Meraz
Santa Fe Springs

***

I am a Republican and have been for the last 30 years. However, I am an American first. This year I voted Democrat. Why?

Because the Republicans became the “Republi-cants” and “the party of no.”

I expect the Republicans to work with the Democrats. Not doing so is anti-American, and I am an American first. So if they want to know why they lost — it was their attitude.

Elliott Brender
Villa Park

***

It was with a deep sense of shame that I watched fellow Americans have to wait two to three hours to cast their votes. I waited five minutes to vote. This is a problem easily fixed by adding polling stations.

Doubly shameful is the use of the electoral system — antiquated and unfair to voters of all parties, a system that makes the votes of those in “swing states” more valuable than the rest of the country.

I suspect that these issues will not be dealt with until the day before the next election.

Robert Shapiro
Long Beach

***

Though I'm not ready to accuse the mainstream media of contriving a too-close-to-call presidential contest in order to bolster audience attention, I will affirm that my faith in American democracy has been fortified by the reelection of President Obama.

After all, how could anyone who has been awake the last four years not be aware of our president's hard-earned accomplishments?

As the campaign slogan said: Osama bin Laden is dead; General Motors is alive. One doesn't have to be a fastidious fact-checker to acknowledge that truth.

Indeed, with 303 electoral votes compared with Mitt Romney's 206, this contest wasn't even a particularly close one. Thank goodness.

Now the president can get back to the business of governing our nation without the distraction of a seemingly endless, often inane campaign.

Ben Miles
Huntington Beach

***

Cheerleading for the failure of an American president and just saying no in Congress are not winning political strategies.

The silent majority spoke, and Republican/“tea party” extremism was rejected soundly. This is not a center-right country.

Alan Segal
San Diego

***

Some claim Romney lost because of the 47% remarks and Superstorm Sandy. During his concession speech, I could see the real reason he lost — there was no diversity among his supporters.

More than the dismal economic and social policies he wanted to implement, failing to recognize that the time of white control of government and politics is over alienated the new majority.

If the GOP continues to be led by the nose by the tea party, it will be as irrelevant nationally as it is in California. That's just fine with me.

Raul Valdez
Alhambra

***

If there were ever a case to be made for campaign finance reform, the amount of money spent on this election is it.

How many homeless shelters could have been provided? How many Head Start programs could have been funded? How many unsafe bridges could have been repaired or replaced? How many college scholarships could have been funded?

What a waste of money on all that campaign literature that went straight from my mail box directly into the recycle bin, unread.

The time for meaningful campaign finance reform is now. And it should come from a citizens committee because the politicians have no objectivity or interest in making meaningful changes.

Ed Hieshetter
San Diego

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Entire VIDEO: President Obama in Mount Vernon, Iowa targets Romney's "sketchy deal" - 10/17/2012

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In his first speech after winning last night's Presidential debate, President Obama broke down the choice in this election and how we're moving forward.

President Obama understands that women's issues are America's issues. When asked about equal pay for equal work Romney refused to answer and didn't tell the truth—instead he talked about women as resumes in "binders."

Indeed Romney did, and he lied: Mitt Romney appears to be in a bit of a bind… er.

But even though President Obama won, “don’t gloat! VOTE!”

But pay particular attention to this moment:

He goes after Romney's "jobs math" hard and reminds us that Mitt's trying to sell us a "sketchy deal."

GObama!

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VIDEO: President Obama won. But "don't gloat! VOTE!"

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At the debate we saw a clear vision from President Obama and the reviews are in.

Today on the Stephanie Miller show, David Bender reflected the relief and elation many of us felt after last night's second presidential debate. But he also did his usual voice-of-reason thing with this new catch phrase:

Don't gloat. Vote!

Precisely.

There is a third debate coming, there are still about three weeks until Election Day, and early voting is already underway. People are voting right now, today, as we speak.

Turnout is everything. Get out the vote. Then, after President Obama wins, gloat to your heart's content.

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About that youth vote... SQUIRREL!

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I taught in high school classrooms for years and had a short stint at a community college. There's been a disturbing trend that kicked in from the time I started, back in 1997 or so, one that can affect this election: Short attention spans aka Squirrel! Syndrome. And the spans keep getting shorter.

It's not just my observation, not by a long shot. Not only has every teacher I've spoken to been alarmed by the same phenomenon, but countless other adults have all told me they've noticed the same evolving problem, and we all noticed that it appears to be tied to one thing: The increased addiction to electronic devices.

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of high techitude, and I use it regularly, However, unintended side effects on young people may include gas, bloating, dizziness, dry mouth, and drowsiness the inability to concentrate for longer than a couple of minutes, becoming easily distracted, and difficulty with: clear verbal communication, active listening, critical thinking, speaking and writing in full, well-thought-out sentences, grammatical correctness, reading analog clocks, identifying basic emotions, cursive writing, and following through on well-intended promises.

That last part, those pesky well-intended promises, is what concerns me the most during this election season.

The kids I taught were sweet, bright, funny, kind (for the most part), caring, committed, and enthusiastic. But as time went on, as smart phones grew in popularity, as students became more dependent on computers, as iPods became more prevalent, as texting became their preferred form of communication, their collective ability and willingness to converse and listen at length (literally longer than about three minutes) and follow through on promises and commitments decreased accordingly. Coincidence?

If I were to say to a teen or twentysomething, "It's imperative to vote (or do homework, or even eat, but right now, it's about voting). You need to make your voice heard, so don't forget to get to the polls today," the standard (and sincere) response was, "Oh I will! I promise! It's really important! I'm so excited to vote!" At that moment, they really-truly-honestly-absolutely-undoubtedly-without-question were going to cast a ballot and make a difference.

And then they wouldn't.

They didn't.

They'd be busy, they'd get a text, a call, or they'd forget, or they put it off until the end of the day and then run out of time. It wasn't a priority after their initial "Yes!! I get to vote! I can't wait! I sweartogod I will. Count on it!"

They meant well.

They meant what they said.

They meant to vote.

But they didn't.

Squirrel!

And this is why I am concerned about the youth vote turnout. If you know a young person who has the best intentions in the world but suffers from Squirrel! Syndrome, please make sure they follow through on those intentions. Keep them focused. Point them to their polling place right-now-this-moment-immediately-before-they-get-sidetracked.

Get out the youth vote.

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VIDEO: Gotta Vote

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If you can, please make sure everyone you know is registered, and offer rides to the DMV, other registration agencies, and the polls if at all possible.

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Learn more: http://OFA.BO/T1ztfj (GottaVote.org)

Voiceover:

"Gotta get up. Gotta get to class. Gotta pay that tuition. Gotta get a job. Gotta move out. Gotta make my own decisions about my own health, about my own life. Gotta stay positive. Gotta keep working. Gotta keep believing that it's our country. Our country. It's our country too."

"Gotta keep moving forward, not back. Gotta keep hope. Gotta vote."

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