Tuesday, December 13, 2005

More Campaign Updates

I’m going to the Contra Costa County Democratic Central Committee (Co Co County DCC) meeting this evening. It’s a potluck and a small fundraiser ($15/person suggested donation) so there ought to be a good combination of local grassroots activists and elected officials and their coteries. I’m going for recreational purposes, even though I don’t live in the county, but I’ll keep my ear to the ground and see if I can’t pick up any info about the race in CD-11. It’s going to be the first opportunity for me to get a feel for the state of the race now that Ensign is out, so hopefully I’ll get a feel for how this development has changed the dynamics in Contra Costa County. You can check back on what happened tomorrow.

In the meantime, I figure it’s time to throw in some campaign updates. As usual, I’m only able to speak about what I’ve heard or experienced. I do not have much new information on Steve Filson’s campaign, so any Filson supporters out there (or really anyone knowledgeable about his campaign) can feel free to add an update in the comment section. The same goes for Steve Thomas.

  • First, I want to announce that due to a considerable response from the matching donor offer, the ActBlue site has generated $1,535 in contributions from new donors since last Thursday. Out of that, $100 went to the General Election Fund, $100 went to Ensign, and the remainder, $1335, went to McNerney. Because the matching donation offer was limited to $1,000, that offer is now over.

  • Second, Jerry McNerney has recently announced that he has hired a new campaign manager, A.J. Carrillo. Carrillo was the person I called “AC” when I allowed him to guest-post in an entry I titled “Expert Advice.” I have two things to say about this.

    • One, I think Carrillo, having managed the coordinated campaign for the DCCC in KS-3 (Dennis Moore’s district) in 2004, brings a lot of expertise to McNerney’s team. Carrillo has proven that he can function successfully in a very red district, and he brings with him a more systematized and more practical understanding of a congressional race than most of the other members of the McNerney Campaign. McNerney’s biggest weakness besides his poor fundraising numbers has been a pretty significant level of disorganization in his campaign. Working with an all-volunteer team without much establishment support is a recipe for learning the ropes the hard way. Adding Carrillo to the team ought to do a lot to add a keener focus to McNerney’s campaigning efforts.

    • Two, I think the process by which McNerney found Carrillo shows something important about the blogosphere. After posting Expert Advice, the McNerney people contacted me about Carrillo. I then turned around and gave Carillo the contact info of the McNerney team. I bring this up because I think blogs are uniquely suited to connect people who might not otherwise know of, let alone know, one another. That is, just having a “location” in cyberspace allows a process of self-selection on the part of the audience, such that people with similar interests and goals will almost inevitably wind up connecting if that’s what they want to do. In an area like CD-11 where the organizational structure of the Democratic Party is not completely straightforward (with four county committees, any number of assembly district committees, different clubs, etc. all inter-connected in various ways) blogs function as a locus of interconnection with very low barriers to entry. The informal nature of this organizing helps bring in people who might not otherwise feel comfortable in the Democratic Party hierarchy. Far from simply preaching to the choir, blogs can function as an important tool in the service of political organizing and community-building.

  • Lastly, Nick Juliano of the Tracy Press reports that Steve Filson raised approximately $20,000 at his Washington fundraiser on December 6. This was less than what I had speculated he might raise, as one commenter noted. However, the numbers I gave before the event were simply my guess, and were not based on anything Team Filson had put out. I have no way to determine how successful Filson himself considered the fundraiser, although I expect that he’d be happy to raise in one night an amount it takes his opponents a fortnight to raise.


Blogger themoonsplit said...

Interesting blog. :)

4:42 PM, December 13, 2005  
Blogger progressivedem11 said...

Very good news regarding the ActBlue fundraising recently. That's awesome news, Congratulations!

10:01 PM, December 13, 2005  

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