Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ok guys, you win

Let's talk about this. Jane's gonna run to be state party chair. Can she win? Is this a good spot for her? Will it help Athens candidates?

From where I sit, any change has got to help. The state party is terrible.



rmabry said...

I think Jane is the best candidate we can have for DPG chair. And while I would agree wholeheartedly that I don't like the results that the current DPG and Bobbby Kahn have gotten us I think it's going to get worst before it gets better. This past election cycle, there were only 20 house seats in which the winner won with less than 60% of the vote and only 10 seats in which thw winner got less than 55% of the vote. The point is there are less than 5% of house seats that are competitive. Then there's the money situation. Republicans are killing us in fundraising. People are used to giving Kahn money and so are fundraising has not dropped off as much as it could have. Once Kahn's gone though, those connections aren't going to be there anymore. That's one of the reason Jane's a great candidate, because she does have a lot of connections throughout the state. We have got to be able to convince the national party to invest in Georgia, which the 50 state strategy should help us with. Though, I wasn't a fan of the 50 state strategy for 2006 because I thought that was a year in which we really focused on winning as many seats as we could have since we wouldn't have an opportunity like that come about for a while. But longterm, I think the 50 state strategy is good, though I may be a little biased since I live in Georgia.

Jmac said...

Though, I wasn't a fan of the 50 state strategy for 2006 because I thought that was a year in which we really focused on winning as many seats as we could have since we wouldn't have an opportunity like that come about for a while

As an aside ... does that mean you were more in the James Carville camp rather than the Howard Dean camp (regarding their most recent snafu)? Could Democrats have won more seats?

Anonymous said...

Jane, G-d bless her!

Why anyone would want that job is beyond me but, she is the best choice and I hope she wins if she really wants it.

Of the myriad problems with the DPG, at least one of them that I think Jane can fix is the "inside the doughnut" mindset of the DPG. Quite simply, the DPG has been utterly clueless about how to campaign outside I-285. They have this "one-size-fits-all" approach to campaigning that really works nowhere other than urban Atlanta.

Without launching into about 100 pages detailing all my experiences with the state party, let me just say that they have all been bad - without exception. The Republicans should be sending money to the DPG because the DPG is one of the most effective weapons the Republicans have had.

Good luck, Jane! I support you. I have 2 suggestions for you that I think will make you the most effective DPG leader in history. Upon taking office, on your very first day:
1) fire everyone who has ever worked for the DPG or who has ever known anyone who has worked for the DPG and start over - there isn't a single person in that operation worth keeping.
2) move the HQ out of Atlanta. "Atlanta thinking" has been crippling this party. The "best and the brightest" do not want to to live or work in Atlanta.
Athens is one good choice but there are others.

Gotta stop...
(still can't get my real blogger account to work)

rmabry said...

The idea behind the 50 state strategy is that you put resources into states that would not normally be competitive, places like Georgia. Some people don't agree with that because they think that you should put money only in competitive areas. I'm not against the 50 state strategy from that standpoint. I think we should put some money into the 50 state strategy because I think that Democrats have an inherent advantage the more local races get. There are areas that Democrats can win even in Mississippi and if they can win at the local level then we have a leg up by supporting them in their infancy. That way we can run more qualified candidates for higher office. I think there's an argument to be made that Democrats can field better candidates at the local level because Democrats are more ideologically inclined to do work at that level which requires lower pay, more of a sense of community, etc.

Back to the point though, I think the 50 state strategy is worth investing in because of diminishing returns mostly. Allocating $1 million to a state that doesn't get any money right now is going to help that state much more than giving $1 million to an area that already is getting $50 million.

The problem with the 50 state strategy to me is that it helps you in the long run, hurts you in the short term. Even with that, I think that it's worth the loss in the short term. My problem with the 50 state strategy is that it wasn't right for 2006. Here's a year where Democrats were going to make great gains and every extra seat that you pick up means more money to the party. So, I would say that we should have waited to implement it in 2008 or 2010. There were a number of house seats that weren't decided on election night. Arguably, those seats might have gone Democrat (esp. the FL seat that went to a recount) and then you use that incumbency advantage to raise more money.

So, I would say that I agreed with Carville in 2006 and I agree with Dean in the long run. I don't know if Carville doesn't believe in the 50 state strategy, which I do, so I don't know if we would be in the same camp on this though generally I would tend to be in Carville's camp. I never liked Dean that much, to be honest. I agreed with Carville that each state should have borrowed as much money as they could have to invest in 2006 because you'll get it back when Democrats took control of Congress.

rmabry said...

There's definitely a disconnect between the party (read "Atlanta") and the rest of the state.

However, it's nice to have the expertise there to be able to say that's what the "experts" think. If you can say "We understand why they think that way, we are going to go down a different route" then that works well, I think.

I think a good route to go is have the Atlanta expert and then someone in the area other than the candidate. We were able to make our mail much more Athens-esque than it started out by doing that.

That way you don't have a campaign going out and spending $5k on T-shirts but you don't have a campaign than is a cookie cutter either.

UGAdemocrat said...

Jane Kidd will be the best Chair Georgia can hope for going into the next two years. What the Kidd for Senate campaign did was what should have been done statewide - from collecting data, canvassing door-to-door, phone banking the voters, bringing the true democratic message to the voters. It was the best campaign in Georgia, and they simply wouldn't call it gerrymandering if it didn't work. But, Jane has the vision and the will to change this party. Anyone but Jane as Chair will be a continuation of the current.

Jane should clean house. Jane should start fresh. And like her campaign, change Georgia. Kidd won EVERY precinct in Athens-Clarke, including the early votes and absentee votes, and in high African-American precincts turned out highest numbers in a midterm election and got 90% of the vote in those precincts!

That's what we need. Time to unify the party and move us forward on a grassroots, self-defining party. With Jane Kidd, we can all welcome a New Georgia Democratic Party!

Go Jane Go!

Anonymous said...

Can I have some of what ugademocrat is on?

hillary said...

The "best and the brightest" do not want to to live or work in Atlanta.

Really? Do you mean politically the best and brightest or the best and brightest in general? And if so, where do they want to live in Georgia? I think a few of them want to live here in Athens, but probably not most of them.

mcantone said...

I agree with Bo and Al and everyone else about Jane. I know the type of campaign we ran and the things that we did, and Jane will honestly reform this party.

Jane is someone who can lead this party and fix it before it becomes too late. Jane is connected to every faction and type of Democrat in Georgia, but most importantly she is not "sold out" to any one or any of them. She is a true lifelong Democrat who can move us forward.

We have a lot of work to do, but it can be turned around here in GA. Look into her candidacy and remember what we all accomplished during the election cycle here in Athens-Clarke. We did indeed win every precinct and if turnout in Athens would have been a few percentage points higher than the 52% that we got compared to Oconee and Walton, Jane would be going to the Senate. We can change those percents statewide with Jane, in every race, and deliver Democrats back to our offices.

Please talk about her announcement and support her. We need to unify our party, and Jane Kidd will do this for us. Let's continue to fight for her, so she can fight for our party, our state and our future.

And, I know I've said it already, but publicly, thank you to everyone for such a great experience running a campaign on a scale that hadn't been done before here in GA.

Mike Cantone

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

The Dems got a few seats in the Midwest that they probably would not have without the 50-state strategy, so that more than makes up for any races that were made tighter elsewhere, especially since we still won most of those. I'm not convinced we could have won significantly more seats going the other way, and it helps the 50-state strategy in the future if you go ahead and start it now. So I guess I'm with Dean on this one.

rmabry said...

I think what Carville was saying was we need to go after the competitive seats. In the beginning that would have only included the 30 most competitive seats, but at the end (when Democratic gains were more likely) it would include the 50 most competitive seats. So I don't think the 50 state strategy can claim victory for the midwest seats, Carville was proposing putting money there also. The Dean strategy had people on the ground in Alaska (not joking) instead of putting money into those most competitive seats, arguably the midwest seats you are talking about now. I think that it is worth putting money there in future elections, but 2006 was wrong year.

Martin Matheny said...

That's kind of the double-edged sword of the 50-state strategy. It's always a great idea, just not for this cycle, right?

I mean to say, if we had postponed the 50-state strategy until 2008, I would put money on the fact that we would be having this same debate, just two years later. I think you've got to pull the trigger sometime, and the cushion created by the Republicans' stellar meltdown made this a pretty good time to pull the trigger.

I think that with the 50-state, we could have spent a lot of time arguing about when to execute, and we could always have come up with valid reasons not to do so. But eventually, you've got to close some doors to open up others.

So did we need staff in Alaska this cycle? Probably not, but will we need them in 2008? Maybe, maybe not. 2010? Same answer. But I'm glad to see the DNC not suffering from analysis-paralysis and actually pulling the trigger on something new and exciting. And, I do think, as Mabry and others have said, it's going to pay off good dividends in the long term.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see us talking about the DPG. I'm an at large member, having been appointed by both Calvin and Bobby at the recommendation of some very influential local State party members, like John Barrow, just for one.

I wondered when Bobby came on why none of the staff changed, they added Anne Bartoletti, but otherwise pretty much the whole crowd stayed.

I have been getting Mike from Gwinnett County's emails about his candidacy since before the elections, which kind of creeped me out, because we all agreed to put off electing ourselves to the committee and the exec committee until after the election.
I haven't heard directly from Jane, but certainly hope to, and look forward very much to hearing her ideas! I am a huge Jane Kidd fan, and am feeling awful that my non partisan project took so much time that I couldn't help her campaign much.

I am a huge fan of the 50 state plan, and thought it was tacky of Carville to call for Dean's replacement. I agree w/Robert, if not this cycle, when? Alaska is a great example, and those are valid questions, when to pour money into a region where Democrats are not going to be winning anytime soon. I would be in favor of a 159 county plan for GA., someone who's running for vice-chair coined that phrase, and I like it.

I have been thrilled by Oglethorpe County's new org, they're only a little over two years old, and are really doing the work. They canvass, they phone call, they show up for NAACP events, and support other like minded groups, have adopted a very visible portion of a highway out there, on and on and on... Okay, they're not winning, but don't dedicated dems like that have the right to every single resource that the more established orgs do? And in Franklin County, and even Elbert, dems are working hard. The voter file debacle, where Bobby et al promised us a vendor who would really make targeting folks easy as pie and then couldn't pay for it... that's one instance of a resource that if DPG did decide to invest in, every single county where they are going to send so much as one mailer out should have access to that. It's not fair to offer the data to big orgs like Gwinnett and Fulton at what is a nominal cost to them (say a few hundred bucks) and not have some sort of sliding scale fee for it for new little, poorer committees who are doing the work.

I don't know how you do that, understand, but it does seem right to me.

I look forward to hearing from Jane and working on all of this as soon as these holidays are over.
Hope everyone is happy and healthy and having a great time!

Madelyn Powell

Ed said...

As you well know, Madelyn, the GA Dem party mercilessly push canvassed for Girtz in the ACC 9th. The GA Dems, with Al Davison and Madelyn heading it up, totally raped the whole notion of non-partisan politics in Athens. As long as GA Dems keep being smarmy little whores, they will continue to be beaten by the Republicans. The Dems actually work dirtier than Reps could ever concieve. The spineless, coopted media in Athens really helps matters, too.