House Party's, They KILL me!
by photoshopking, Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 11:07:03 PM EDT
Sittin' on a corner in Saudi Aurora, such an awful sight to see. There's a girl My Lord! slowing down to make a laugh at me. Take it easy. Take it Easy."
Well, that's the parody of the old Eagle's tune I sang to myself a few weeks ago while I stood on a corner in Aurora with a "Perlmutter for Change" sign directing people to that evening's house party.
Normally not too many folks will show up to the small event. Well, not as many as I expected, though Arapahoe County Feild Coordinator Bill Holen always seems pleased when 10 people show up. The normal routine goes as follows: First, Ed will take 10-15 minutes to tell everyone his story: where he grewup (the 7th CD), his past legislative experience (8 years in the state Senate), a cute little anecdote about his children and the history of the prominent Perlmutter family, and why the hell he wants to be a U.S. Congressman. From there, he goes onto taking questions. He asks everyone to tell him a little bit about themselves before they ask him a question. On occasion, people will have very articulated, well-thought-out questions about the direction of the nation, Congressional politics, and public policy. Though with the good questions, you also have numerous people that just want to vent! I would assume that they think they have someone with some power in front of them and if they could tell him their problems, maybe someone will do something about it. All the while, Ed is writing everything down: the best restaurant in the area, a proper way to fix Social Security, a viable exit strategy for Iraq, and any tactics that the Campaign can use to defeat the "neo-con death cult." Then, Bill Holen will kindly interupt to say that "the candidate has along day tomorrow and needs to get going soon. He will take just a few more questions, please." It's almost like clock-work.
House parties are not generally a very big fundraising event. At everyone I've attended, their has been a table with information about Ed, a few buttons for supporters to fashion, Blank Returnable Envelopes for large donations and a jar for small donations. Surely people might take an Envelope, but whether they return it with a nice check is another story. As for the donation jar, I've been to 5+ events and I have never even seen a nickel in the jar. But that's not to say the campaign isn't well-funded, because it is rolling in dough!
Anyway, house parties are a great tool that a candidate can use to interact with the activist community. Since the campaign is focused on winning the caucus election, the goal is to have as many activists at the house parties as possible. Registered Democrats are primarily the only folks targeted by the campaign. The campaign will request a copy of all registerd voters in each county, these lists are available from the county party, the County Clerks Office or the county elections Office. First and foremost, the campaign will target all registered Democrats in the voting precinct the House Party will be in. Then, if time is available, people from surrounding precincts will be contacted, as well as unaffiliated and some open-minded Republicans that live in the area.Their are a few ways in which these democrats are contacted: First, they are called on the phone, possibly a few times. Through phone calls the campaign makes can determine who is supporting Ed, who will be at the House party, and who the campaign should NOT call until August, or maybe even November because they will simply hang up the phone (the hang-ups tend to shoot the self-esteem down a notch). The feild coordinator and volunteers will also walk through the area a few days and sometimes hours before the event to talk to folks about the upcoming event and to give them information about Ed. If the person has already been in contactwith the campaign or if their e-mail address is available with their voter registration information they will be contactedby e-mail. People are contacted a few times until the campaign has spoken to them about their attendence at the caucus or the house party; though if we have spoken to them, they are not contacted again. These may seem like a lot of phone calls, e-mails, and knocks on the door that turn into only 10 people showing up at an event and maybe a few more at the caucus. But not so, everytime someone hears the name"Perlmutter," their is a greater chance chance they will remember the name, and come primary or general election time, they know the name "Perlmutter." In fact, it takes 3-4 times for the voter to hear the name before it is easily recognized. (Note: sentence in middle of page and that is a weird page, sorry all I could find.)
At the end of the month, we will see if these House Parties have any impact. I'm sure they will.
Oh yeah, "why do House Parties KILL me?" Because, as an intern and a supporter of Ed, I just sit there and watch. I don't want to ask any questions, simply because if I ask him a hard question-the only one's I have- he may answer with a real, honest, and leaning moderate response. That would ruin the whole damn thing. People that attend the House Parties are activists that tow the Party line on everything, and are not always in the reality bassed community that I am in. Or maybe he would give a democratic socialist response, that wouldn't be good either. And, well, I don't want the guy to hate me! I also feel that I can talk to Ed anytime he is free at the office, the folks at the event simply can't. This is their one-time to speak one-on-one with him. Why ruin that for them?