100 County Strategy

There has been some talk on the site about the creation of a 100 county strategy for the state in 2008. I have been thinking about it since before the election and I have come up with some ideas. Let me say that I know that I am new to NC so some of my planks are more general and could be (and I believe should be) applied to all states, but I still think that they are good ideas. The second thing is that in my experience working in politics, the majority of what I have done has been field work. This has made me a devoted advocate of field. I truly believe that I dollar spent in field is worth 5 spent on TV ads.

So here is the plan:

1) Hold all current office holders accountable. This includes everything from Dog Catcher up to Gov., Sen., etc.

2) Create, support and help fund local county organizations in every county. Even here in Buncombe there are precincts that do not have leadership. This needs to be fixed in every county in the State.

3) Every Race in every county needs to be challenged by a Dem. No Repthuglican should win because they are not opposed in the election.

4) In races where a Democratic challenger ran a good race and started to develop ID against an incumbent, encourage them to run again. In 2 years they won't have to fight the ID battle.

5) The creation of a State wide, grassroots/netroots controlled and run political data base to include voting records etc.

6) Ask all Progressive/Populists to get involved in the local parties to ensure the completion of this program and to foster the creation of a Pro-Pop grassroots in the state.

7) Create National and State PACs to help finance candidates, field operations etc.

8) Creation of paid Congressional District coordinators to ensure that all candidates are getting the attention that they need to and ensure that the above is being done. This could be paid for in combination by the State, Local, and National Parties as well as by donations from individuals and groups (i.e. Young Dems, Woman Caucuses, AFL-CIO, etc).

9) Get and collate all the volunteer, donor and voter files from the last election to keep us from starting and square one. (See 5 above as one way of doing this)

10) Finally, continue to create an effective netroots in NC that can serve as a liaison to the national netroots, but also can serve as a clearing house for opinion, activism and for holding the powers that be feet to the fire.

Over the next few days, as I need a break from writing my senior undergraduate thesis, I will explain the planks one by one and flesh them out.


#5 already exists

However, I think it is party-run. The Voter Activation Network is accessible by certain individuals, but I don't know exactly who has access.

Great list and some of it we have already started looking at in Mecklenburg County. It will take a regime change within the party in Meck to get it on board. Too many egos who want attention, but don't do a damned thing in this county.

I agree with the field work approach. However, we can't wait until we have the infrastructure perfect to run candidates (and I don't think that's what you're advocating). The name recognition gained from losing one race can catapult someone into the next race.

Really great ideas.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

# 5 was geared toward

Keeping track of the voting record of elected offcials than a voter record. As I said as I get the chance I will expand/clarify some of these planks.


The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

I had mentioned that a while ago as a goal

but I'm concentrating solely on the congressional candidates. The Washington Post has a wonderful data base and Thomas is easy enough to move around. Where we need the help is in interpreting each bill beyond the cute name given it by Congress. This was probably a litte more vital for the Republican years when the "Clean Air Act" meant loosening restrictions to make pollution worse.

It's easy to find out how someone voted, it isn't so easy to figure out what that actually means to their constituents/district.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Yes. Good Stuff.

Keep up your good tags so we'll have easy access to the planks!

Glad you're here.

#2 is key

very, very few precincts are organized in Mecklenburg County.I'm sure that's true across the state. Major first step and vital to success in 2008.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


From my personal experiences I would guess that under 50% of precincts in the entire state have any sort of formal leadership structure. I would also guess that less than 10% of all precincts have leadership that does something more than put their names on the paper.


"Keep the Faith"

100 county strategy is a good idea

so is shooting for 100% precinct organization, and I don't mean barely squeaking by a quorum.

It was an embarassment here in Wake County that we had so few organized precincts that could get out the people to canvass. People had to run hither and yon to canvass on the other side of the county, and it was always the same people who were out every weekend to canvass. Good for them, but why not distribute the load?

Organization also applies to the county party as well. FYI - a buddy of mine went to a party Saturday night and talked with a staff worker on a campaign that shall remain annonymous. The staffer said that they should have been handing out the Wake County voter guides all summer, but that their campaign didn't get them until shortly before the election. Talk about a wasted opportunity!

As soon as the primary election was over, we should have had voter guides out there for each and every county to give to each and every candidate to hand out along with their own literature. It would have really gotten the word out to all the voters. But for a variety of reasons, the county party didn't consider a voter guide until late June, and didn't take a vote due to lack of quorum. Then the July meeting was cancelled, and the vote was taken in late August, but the guides didn't get out until a few weeks before the election. We can't afford these kinds of delays!

I can tell you this - you couldn't pay me enough money to run for political office in a county that isn't organized properly. It's the equivalent of sending our soldiers out to fight in Iraq without the proper equipment. And using that example, what do you do about political leadership that sends people out with the equivalent of not enough equipment to fight a battle? Sure, no one dies in politics, but why put yourself out there to try and win an election if the people who ask you to run won't do the simplest things to help you win - and when you ask them for help they say it's up to you.

We need to shoot for 100% of the precincts in all 100 North Carolina counties to be organized. And that means - in the precincts - getting the precinct officers the help and assistance needed to get one volunteer to knock on or call 30 households a couple of times a year. That means that the candidates and the campaigns have to coordinate with the precincts to canvass so that you don't have each campaign trying to canvass each and every weekend with a limited number of volunteers who get burned out quickly. If you organize smart and you canvass and campaign in a coordinated and unified manner from dog-catcher all the way up to congressperson or president - it's one for all and all for one!

We wouldn't have lost 3 out of 4 county commissioner races in Wake County. We would have won Ed Ridpath's and Greer Beatty's races, and might have even won in Gerry Bowles' race against Neal Hunt. We lost these races by 55%-45% in so or smaller margains that I believe being better organized would have made all the difference.

That campaign staffer pretty much vindicated what me and a few others have been saying and fighting for since May. We wanted to get better organized, but we don't control the purse strings in the county party to get the voter guides printed up in a timely manner. And what is the point of fighting the party leadership who oughta be out there doing EVERYTHING possible to get candidates to run for office, and then raise the money and do the work to help get them elected. To do otherwise is like asking soldiers to fight for their country and then push them out of a plane with no weapons and say "good luck to you!"

Voter Guides?

Hey...Mecklenburg County rented a couple of vans for canvassers. That's about it. Y'all got voter guides? Meck Co. stinks royally compared to the rest of the state. Our entire county party should be relieved of duty. They are selfish and did not do a thing to help candidates.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.