Hillary Clinton to replicate Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy


The Hillary Clinton campaign intends to replicate Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy that was so effective in 2006 and 2008. (Don’t even get me started about Organizing For America).  This follows on news last month that the liberal donor network Democracy Alliance will focus more on groups working at the state level in the run-up to 2020 (and redistricting). A 50 state strategy and more Democratic money at the state level is a very good thing.

The Huffington Post reports, Hillary Clinton Campaign Launches Grassroots Organizing Program In All 50 States:

hc-220Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is launching a major grassroots organizing effort Wednesday, sending staffers to every single state to start building an infrastructure of volunteers ready to pound the pavement.

What’s being called the “Ramp Up Grassroots Organizing Programwill have paid staffers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories through the end of May. They’ll be working with Clinton supporters to organize local meetings, volunteer trainings and other grassroots events, according to the campaign.

Wednesday’s announcement recalls the “50-state strategy” pushed by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean when he was chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. Dean argued that Democrats shouldn’t concede any state as “unwinnable” and should invest resources in building an infrastructure in every single state — a strategy Clinton will be testing should she make it to the general election.

The campaign is also sending an email to supporters Wednesday with a video featuring Marlon Marshall, Clinton’s director of state campaigns.

“Organizing is the heart and soul of this campaign,” says Marshall in the video. “As we speak, things are ramping up in all 50 states and the territories. Face-to-face conversations with your friends and neighbors are how we will win. So we’re doubling down on old-school organizing.”

* * *

Clinton’s team recently launched a “Hillstarters” fundraising program where donors are asked to raise $2,700 — the maximum an individual can give during a primary season — from 10 people. In return, Hillstarters will get an invitation to a summit with Clinton next month.

The campaign also said this grassroots organizing program is part of its effort to ensure that they “will be ready to compete and win the primary or caucus” in every state.

Last month, Liberal donors geared up to fund new state-level agenda:

An influential network of liberal contributors plans to fund a new, left-leaning agenda, focusing on issues such as income inequality and confronting climate change, its leaders say.

The announcement comes as members of the Democracy Alliance gather in San Francisco this week to mark the group’s 10-year anniversary of organizing the political donations of wealthy Democrats — and as Hillary Clinton kicks off her campaign to extend the party’s hold in the White House for a third term.

A key part of the alliance’s strategy: focus on groups working at the state level, where Republican gains in the 2014 elections put the GOP in control of 31 governors’ seats and nearly 70% of the legislative chambers around the country. The group wants to mobilize more minorities and young voters ahead of upcoming elections and seeks to attract white, working-class voters to the party by sounding populist economic themes.

“The failures of the last election cycle had a lot to do with not addressing the economic anxieties of working people,” said Gara LaMarche, the alliance’s president.

The group plans to raise more than $150 million over five years to assist more than 30 groups, including organizations focused on battles to increase the minimum wage, beat back voter ID laws, address global warming and reduce the influence of money in elections.

The Democracy Alliance does not disclose the names of its roughly 110 donors, but its members have included some of the biggest names in liberal politics, such as billionaire financier George Soros and Rob McKay, a philanthropist and Taco Bell heir. The organization helps direct money to powerhouse groups on the left, including the Center for American Progress, the liberal think tank founded by John Podesta, who is chairman of Clinton’s campaign.

In a departure from previous years, the group is releasing the names of the organizations it intends to help fund and will allow journalists to view parts of the three-day, closed-door meeting via streaming video.

The media always likes to make the false equivalency that these liberal donors play on the same level as David and Charles Koch and the “Kochtopus” organization that they have built. It’s not even close.

$150 million over the next 5 years? The “Kochtopus” has committed to a $900 million, two-year budget to advance its policy and political agenda ahead of the 2016 presidential election alone. This does not include what its network of dark money laundering operations, think tanks, and faux media operations spend, which no one can accurately put a dollar figure on.

The LA Times estimated that Democracy Alliance pumped an estimated $500 million into an array of liberal organizations over the last decade. That’s half the $900 million plus the “Kochtopus” will spend on the 2016 election alone, wh1ch is three times the estimated $290 million spent on the 2014 election. There is not a level playing field, despite what media villagers try to pretend.

The New York Times reported, Group Spells Out 5-Year Plan to Build Liberal ‘Infrastructure’:

The donors, all partners in the Democracy Alliance, held a spring retreat in San Francisco, where the alliance’s leaders presented a new five-year plan intended to help stem political and legislative losses faced by Democrats. The alliance will seek to double the amount of money its partners contribute to a portfolio of liberal-leaning “infrastructure” organizations, said Gara LaMarche, the alliance’s president, aiming to push roughly $50 million a year into about 30 think tanks, policy advocacy organizations, and other groups.

A significant amount of that money will go into funding new or expanded organizations at the state level, where conservatives and Republicans have exploited electoral success to usher in sweeping changes on issues like abortion, gun rights, and taxes. Mr. LaMarche said the alliance hoped to replicate the success of conservative organizations in raising money for local politics from big national donors.

“We are building on our success in advancing progressive issues and supporting progressive infrastructure by moving forward with a plan for 2020 that focuses on the need to build power in the states, where progressives have lost critical ground,” Mr. LaMarche said.

* * *

While the alliance is avowedly neutral in Democratic primaries, it is adding to the portfolio this year some groups that have been critical of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, and Democrats more broadly, for being too closely tied to Wall Street. They include the Economic Policy Institute and Americans for Financial Reform. (The alliance also funds the Center for American Progress, which Mr. Podesta helped found and which is stocked with former and future Clinton aides.)

“The failure to have a compelling economic narrative for voters was a problem for progressives in the last election,” Mr. LaMarche said.

The Washington Post reported, Wealthy donors on left launch new plan to wrest back control in the states:

A cadre of wealthy liberal donors aims to pour tens of millions of dollars into rebuilding the left’s political might in the states, racing to catch up with a decades-old conservative effort that has reshaped statehouses across the country.

The plan embraced by the Democracy Alliance, an organization that advises some of the Democrats’ top contributors, puts an urgent new focus on financing groups that can help the party regain influence in time for the next congressional redistricting process, after the 2020 elections. The blueprint approved by the alliance board calls on donors to help expand state-level organizing and lobbying for measures addressing climate change, voting rights and economic inequality.

“People have gotten a wake-up call,” Gara LaMarche, the alliance’s president, said in an interview. “The right is focused on the state level, and even down-ballot, and has made enormous gains. We can’t have the kind of long-term progressive future we want if we don’t take power in the states.”

The five-year initiative, called 2020 Vision, a 2020 vision for the democracy alliance: funding recommendations – Politico (.pdf), will be discussed this week at a private conference being held at a San Francisco hotel for donors who participate in the Democracy Alliance. Leading California Democrats are scheduled to make appearances, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General Kamala Harris. The alliance, which does not disclose its members, plans to make some of the events available to reporters via a webcast.

Also from the Post, via the “Kochtopus,” naturally: Explainer: How Democracy Alliance works:

Koch allies have seized upon an internal document produced for Democracy Alliance’s spring conference in Chicago that was made public. The 60-page portfolio, which was first disclosed by Politico Tiger Beat on The Potomac and is being widely circulated in conservative circles, describes the internal strategies about 20 groups on the left that the alliance has recommended for funding this year.

The briefing book also lists a bigger group of roughly 170 organizations, most of which were nominated for support by individual alliance members. That broad list is the basis of a chart being circulated among Republican Hill staffers that depicts Democracy Alliance as the central hub of a vast network.

Sorry, this is the best resolution.


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The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. A survey of Arizona voters showed 67% overall support for the idea that the President of the United States should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states.

    By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 60% among Republicans, 79% among Democrats, and 57% among others.
    By gender, support was 75% among women and 57% among men.
    By age, support was 56% among 18-29 year olds, 65% among 30-45 year olds, 71% among 46-65 year olds, and 65% for those older than 65.

    Now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don’t matter to candidates.
    Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes
    for Bush in 2004.
    Oklahoma(7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 “wasted”votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes).
    8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state.
    Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for.
    Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

    In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

    Most Americans don’t ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House.Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it would be wrong for the candidate with the most popular votes to lose.We don’t allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

  2. A truly nationwide presidential campaign of paid polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits (funded all the way to Election Day, rather than just May 2015) with every voter equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods.

    The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states, including polling, organizing, and ad spending) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every voter is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

    With National Popular Vote, when every voter is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren’t so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

    The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 250 electoral votes, including one house in Arkansas (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), and Oklahoma (7), and both houses in Colorado (9). The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.


  3. The “Ramp Up Grassroots Organizing Program” will have paid staffers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories through the end of May.

    They only seem to be committing to having A paid staff member in all 50 states and the territories at the START of the campaign

    As the Salt Lake Tribune pointed out: “President Barack Obama had a staffer in Utah during the 2012 election, who largely helped organize trips to the nearby swing states of Colorado and Nevada, where volunteers knocked on doors.”

    Analysts already say that only the same 7 or 8 states will matter in the 2016 presidential general election. — Florida, Ohio,Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire

    The indefensible reality is that more than 99% of presidential campaign attention (ad spending and visits) was invested on voters in just ten states in 2012- and that in today’s political climate, the swing states have become increasingly fewer and fixed.

    Where you live determines how much, if at all,your vote matters.

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, will not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit,advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

    Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided “battleground” states and their voters.

    There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states
    where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win.
    80% of states are conceded by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dominant party in the states,and ignored by all parties in presidential campaigns.

    After being nominated, Obama visited just eight closely divided battleground states, and Romney visited only 10. These 10 states accounted for 98% of the $940 million spent on campaign advertising.They decided the election.

    Two-thirds (176 of 253) of the general-election campaign events, and a similar fraction of campaign expenditures, were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa).

    Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

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