Open Source Research: Romney's $250 Million

Bumped from the diaries -- Jonathan... Good to see MyDD alumnus Kombiz Lavasany doing such good work over at the DNC. This sounds like a great project for those who have a few minutes on their hands and want to help out.

The FEC just posted millionaire Mitt Romney's financial disclosure form online. For the first time, we'll be able to see exactly where his $250 million dollar fortune is invested. But it's a big job, and we need your help. Please help us comb through the document to look for red flags, conflicts of interest, and other investments that look interesting.

We've started a thread on the Democratic Party' blog where we're asking you to let us know anything interesting that you find in Mitt Romney's financial disclosure forms.

We'll be pouring over the documents looking at the investments, conflicts of interests, and where Mitt Romney's $250 million dollars are invested, but one thing we know is that there's a wisdom to crowds and there's a lot of expertise in the online progressive community. So join us in pouring through the financial disclosure forms and let us know what you see in this thread on our blog.

Click here to see the documents.

Click here to post what you see on our blog.

Disclosure: I work for the Democratic Party.

There's more...

Gov. Dean Wants You To Clean Up The Mess

This year, Governor Dean is asking Democrats to get their hands dirty. We're dedicating our annual Democratic Reunion to an effort that is critically important-the fight for a cleaner environment.

Each year Democrats come together at Democratic Reunion events to build a stronger party. Last summer, we knocked on doors in thousands of neighborhoods right before the 2006 elections. We were supporting the important work of organizers on the ground, putting the 50-State Strategy into action and helping win back Congress in November.

There's more...

Unexpected Wins

Carol Shea-Porter just picked up New Hampshire's first congressional district. Jason Altmire just won Pennsylvania's 4th district. CNN doesn't have a picture on their website for Carol Shea-Porter. As an aside Carol Shea-Porter raised more than $85,000 through ActBlue.

Tea Leaves from the Bloody 8th

The first full county reporting in Indiana gives us a possible indication of what's to come through the night. Vigo county is a temperture county nationally having voted for the winning presidential candidate for over 50 years. In 2002 Bryan Hartke took 53% of the vote in Vigo county. In 2004 Jon Jennings took 54% of the vote in Vigo. Tonight with 92% of the vote reporting Democrat Brad Ellsworth is at 71%. Hopefully a sign of things to come tonight.

"Turn on your answering machine" - The story the media can't explain

Two years ago on the eve of '04 elections the Bush/Cheney email list blasted out an email to its list demanding that their supporters turn on their answering machine to record phone calls from Democrats that would demean the troops, religious people and any other strawman that the right-wing had constructed over the last 40 years. It was a ballsy move because when that email went out the RNC and groups working to elect Bush were dumping millions of dollars into negative robocalls into districts and swing states around the country. Anyone who's ever worked a campaign knows that it's Republicans who blast sewage through phone lines hoping to depress turnout and turnoff unaffiliated Dem leaning voters.

It's a fairly easy story for the media to tell since Independent expenditures are now required to be filed every 24 hours and since every election there are isolated local reports of voters being woken up in the evening or getting a nasty call about a Democratic candidate. In 2002 we found out that they were actually using their robocalls to jam Democratic GOTV phone lines in New Hampshire. In the last few days there have been reports of malicious political phone calls around the country. The Washington post reports:

In various places, voters complained yesterday about a deluge of automated phone calls from candidates and party committees, generating at least two Federal Election Commission complaints from Democratic voters in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Some voters reported receiving up to seven calls per day, including calls in the middle of the night.

There's more...

"Turn on your answering machine" - The story that the media can't explain

Two years ago on the eve of '04 elections the Bush/Cheney email list blasted out an email to its list demanding that their supporters turn on their answering machine to record phone calls from Democrats that would demean the troops, religious people and any other strawman that the right-wing had constructed over the last 40 years. It was a ballsy move because when that email went out the RNC and groups working to elect Bush were dumping millions of dollars into negative robocalls into districts and swing states around the country. Anyone who's ever worked a campaign knows that it's Republicans who blast sewage through phone lines hoping to depress turnout and turnoff unaffiliated Dem leaning voters.

It's a fairly easy story for the media to tell since Independent expenditures are now required to be filed every 24 hours and since every election there are isolated local reports of voters being woken up in the evening or getting a nasty call about a Democratic candidate. In 2002 we found out that they were actually using their robocalls to jam Democratic GOTV phone lines in New Hampshire. In the last few days there have been reports of malicious political phone calls around the country. The Washington post reports:

In various places, voters complained yesterday about a deluge of automated phone calls from candidates and party committees, generating at least two Federal Election Commission complaints from Democratic voters in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Some voters reported receiving up to seven calls per day, including calls in the middle of the night.

There are reports in the 6 th district of Pennsylvania, the 5 th District of Connecticut, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota and Maryland. Below is a graph from publicly available Independent Expenditure reports from the FEC that shows the amounts of money party committees's and outside groups are spending on robocalls and other phone calls.

Here's what you're seeing.

The chart represents independent expenditures spent on phones.
Each point of the X axis represents a week.
The Light blue represents positive phone calls that Republican groups and the NRCC.
The light yellow represents negative phone calls that the NRCC and Republicans have spent money on against Democratic candidates.
The purple represents positive phone calls that the DCCC and Democratic aligned groups have spent money on.

What does it tell us?

In the coming weeks before the election Republicans are outspending Democrats on paid phone calls and robocalls by large margins.
The DCCC and Dem groups are using these phone calls to deliver a positive message about their candidates going into the election GOTV.
The NRCC and Rep groups are using negative phone calls (and these calls are often much nastier than anything else that comes on TV or in the mail) to either motivate their base (that says something about Republicans doesn't it) or they're using it to push down turnout among unaffiliated voters and Democrats that are less likely to vote in the coming election. With scattered reports that Democrats have been getting these calls it's fairly obvious that the universe of voters Republicans are targeting with deceptive and nasty phone calls is the later group. Why are they nasty? Because unlike TV and even direct mail robocalls are rarely if ever reported by news organizations because they almost always last as long the person who is receiving them has picked up the phone unless they're recorded.

Imagine if the media could wade their way through a publicly accesible database to report more than just a tiny story about a phone call in their district.

"Turn on your answering machine" - The story that the media can't explain

Two years ago on the eve of '04 elections the Bush/Cheney email list blasted out an email to its list demanding that their supporters turn on their answering machine to record phone calls from Democrats that would demean the troops, religious people and any other strawman that the right-wing had constructed over the last 40 years. It was a ballsy move because when that email went out the RNC and groups working to elect Bush were dumping millions of dollars into negative robocalls into districts and swing states around the country. Anyone who's ever worked a campaign knows that it's Republicans who blast sewage through phone lines hoping to depress turnout and turnoff unaffiliated Dem leaning voters.

It's a fairly easy story for the media to tell since Independent expenditures are now required to be filed every 24 hours and since every election there are isolated local reports of voters being woken up in the evening or getting a nasty call about a Democratic candidate. In 2002 we found out that they were actually using their robocalls to jam Democratic GOTV phone lines in New Hampshire. In the last few days there have been reports of malicious political phone calls around the country. The Washington post reports:

In various places, voters complained yesterday about a deluge of automated phone calls from candidates and party committees, generating at least two Federal Election Commission complaints from Democratic voters in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Some voters reported receiving up to seven calls per day, including calls in the middle of the night.

There are reports in the 6 th district of Pennsylvania, the 5 th District of Connecticut, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota and Maryland. Below is a graph from publicly available Independent Expenditure reports from the FEC that shows the amounts of money party committees's and outside groups are spending on robocalls and other phone calls.

Here's what you're seeing.

The chart represents independent expenditures spent on phones.
Each point of the X axis represents a week.
The Light blue represents positive phone calls that Republican groups and the NRCC.
The light yellow represents negative phone calls that the NRCC and Republicans have spent money on against Democratic candidates.
The purple represents positive phone calls that the DCCC and Democratic aligned groups have spent money on.

What does it tell us?

In the coming weeks before the election Republicans are outspending Democrats on paid phone calls and robocalls by large margins.
The DCCC and Dem groups are using these phone calls to deliver a positive message about their candidates going into the election GOTV.
The NRCC and Rep groups are using negative phone calls (and these calls are often much nastier than anything else that comes on TV or in the mail) to either motivate their base (that says something about Republicans doesn't it) or they're using it to push down turnout among unaffiliated voters and Democrats that are less likely to vote in the coming election. With scattered reports that Democrats have been getting these calls it's fairly obvious that the universe of voters Republicans are targeting with deceptive and nasty phone calls is the later group. Why are they nasty? Because unlike TV and even direct mail robocalls are rarely if ever reported by news organizations because they almost always last as long the person who is receiving them has picked up the phone unless they're recorded.

Imagine if the media could wade their way through a publicly accesible database to report more than just a tiny story about a phone call in their district.

"Turn on your answering machine" - The story that the media can't explain

Two years ago on the eve of ’04 elections the Bush/Cheney email list blasted out an email to its list demanding that their supporters turn on their answering machine to record phone calls from Democrats that would demean the troops, religious people and any other strawman that the right-wing had constructed over the last 40 years. It was a ballsy move because when that email went out the RNC and groups working to elect Bush were dumping millions of dollars into negative robocalls into districts and swing states around the country. Anyone who’s ever worked a campaign knows that it’s Republicans who blast sewage through phone lines hoping to depress turnout and turnoff unaffiliated Dem leaning voters.

It’s a fairly easy story for the media to tell since Independent expenditures are now required to be filed every 24 hours and since every election there are isolated local reports of voters being woken up in the evening or getting a nasty call about a Democratic candidate. In 2002 we found out that they were actually using their robocalls to jam Democratic GOTV phone lines in New Hampshire. In the last few days there have been reports of malicious political phone calls around the country. The Washington post reports:

In various places, voters complained yesterday about a deluge of automated phone calls from candidates and party committees, generating at least two Federal Election Commission complaints from Democratic voters in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Some voters reported receiving up to seven calls per day, including calls in the middle of the night.

There are reports in the 6 th district of Pennsylvania, the 5 th District of Connecticut, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota and Maryland. Below is a graph from publicly available Independent Expenditure reports from the FEC that shows the amounts of money party committees’s and outside groups are spending on robocalls and other phone calls.

Here’s what you’re seeing.

The chart represents independent expenditures spent on paid phone calls and robo-calls.
Each point of the X axis represents a week.
The Light blue represents positive phone calls that Republican groups and the NRCC.
The light yellow represents negative phone calls that the NRCC and Republicans have spent money on against Democratic candidates.
The purple represents positive phone calls that the DCCC and Democratic aligned groups have spent money on.

What does it tell us?

In the coming weeks before the election Republicans are outspending Democrats on paid phone calls and robocalls by large margins.
The DCCC and progressive groups are using these phone calls to deliver a positive message about their candidates going into the election GOTV.
The NRCC and Rep groups are using negative phone calls (and these calls are often much nastier than anything else that comes on TV or in the mail) to either motivate their base (that says something about Republicans doesn't it) or they're using it to push down turnout among unaffiliated voters and Democrats that are less likely to vote in the coming election. With scattered reports that Democrats have been getting these calls it’s fairly obvious that the universe of voters Republicans are targeting with deceptive and nasty phone calls is the later group. Why are they nasty? Because unlike TV and even direct mail robocalls are rarely if ever reported by news organizations because they almost always last as long the person who is receiving them has picked up the phone unless they’re recorded.

Imagine if the media could wade their way through a publicly accesible database to report more than just a tiny story about a phone call in their district.

CT-SEN - Perspectives from a former Lieberman Guy

Bumped from the diaries -- Jonathan. Very solid stuff, as always, from Kombiz, who brings a unique perspective to the debate over Joe Lieberman

Three years ago for a period covering about six months I literally gave blood for Joe Lieberman while working on his presidential campaign (fairly low down on the totem pole). Over the course of the fall of 2003 and the winter of 2004 I hit deer on the roads of Iowa, skidded out into a car accident on the roads of Chicago, drove through Indiana in what for a Californian might as well have been the blizzard of the century and moved every single one of my belongings ten times into new temporary residences. All of this for campaign wages I was happy to receive, but that meant pushing off financial obligations into the future.

I've been part of this community for several years but have kept quiet over the last several months as Ned Lamont has been challenging Lieberman for the Democratic primary in Connecticut. Partly because I think my opinions on the race are close to irrelevant considering Democratic primary voters in Connecticut hold the only opinions that really matter, and partly out a sense of loyalty for those grueling, though rewarding, six months.

I preface this background because unfortunately there has been a somewhat concerted effort by a few prominent Lieberman supporters to undermine the conversations going on in the blogosphere under the badly misguided notion that by painting the bloggers as the modern day emergence of armed-communist revolutionaries, they may save Lieberman from a primary defeat. It's fairly clear that I'm not the wide-eyed communist revolutionary or a Lieberman hater but, like many Democratic primary voters, I'm a progressive voter who enjoys chipping years off his life by fighting for progressive candidates and causes.

A year and a half ago, I would have imagined writing a defense of Joe Lieberman at MYDD, something akin to what Markos wrote during the presidential primaries on the front page of DailyKos, littered with personal analogies and a persuasive case for keeping the guy in the Senate. Unfortunately I find myself, much like Josh Marshall or Mark Schmidt, hoping for a Lamont win on August 8th.

The problem has been documented in several places, but I think the issue most strongly boils down to support for the basic Democratic policies that keep a social safety net in place, (think the Social Security fight and the cloture vote on bankruptcy and Alito.) Since the Social Security fight where several former staffers conferred over email while waiting for Joe to come out against privatization, (Josh Marshall documents that history fairly well, here, here, here, here, here, here ), my own doubts have gotten stronger.

Joe's Wall Street Journal Op-Ed demanding support for the "real progress" in Iraq was especially hypocritical considering the policy papers and statements that the Lieberman campaign was publishing in 2003 questioning the policies put in place in Iraq by the Bush Administration. This is a fairly serious point - Lieberman wasn't questioning going to war during his campaign, but the campaign and Joe were publishing statements with serious criticisms of the Bush Administration's plan in Iraq. We can have a conversation about Iraq without whitewashing the policy blunders and claiming "real progress" when basic facts on the ground dispute the assertion.

Iraq is a serious enough issue by itself, but it's been the recent swift-boat campaign against the blogosphere by GOP alum turned DLC Cheerleader Marshal Whitman and sometimes smart guy Dan Gerstein that have set me off.

Less substantially, Whitman has taken to speaking in general terms about progressive ideals, while at the same reading from the press releases of Liddy Dole, in condemning the progressive blogosphere as the sons of armed communist's revolutionaries on the verge of taking over the Democratic Party and then the government. Needless to say, the strawman falls apart if you've actually participated in the community for several years, and have seen middle-aged bloggers who daylight as fairly benign professionals. Here's a word of advice for Whitman, who was a GOP operative and working against some of the progressive heirs of the party of FDR and Truman during the 80's and 90's (think Bayh, Culver and Wellstone): it helps not to disparage Democratic primary voters when you're trying to appeal to Democratic primary voters.

As for Whitman's fear that Republican's will try to brand Democrats as extreme, the RNC will always call Democrats the heirs of left-wing radical lunatics and a whole host of other names from here to eternity. Democrats shouldn't run or govern out of fear that Republican's will call them names; they should accept the fact that it will happen and stand for something in the process.

As for the inquisition first forwarded by right-wing commentator David Brooks and picked up by others including Dan Gerstein. If this was a purge, it would be one of the worst executed purges of century. Anyone who has reads blogs over the last two years has seen laments that Lieberman has been too cozy to the Bush Administration on Iraq, has voted incorrectly on Alito, or the bankruptcy bill, etc. For almost two years one could read on any progressive blog a yearning that someone should challenge Lieberman in the primary, even as a desperate act. Bloggers jumped at any hint of a challenge. Most everyone I know thought the act itself would be futile, but it turns out that Lamont is a strong candidate, with an appealing narrative and not the one-dimensional anti-war strawman Whitman, et al. expected. Now there's an actual race in the primary. Gerstein also takes a broadside to Sirota for having applied to work for Lieberman during the 2004 campaign. It's a silly insiders game, Dan has info that no one else has and it can be spun to discredit Sirota for a CW slam dunk, it's so Mickey Kaus. How that helps Joe Lieberman in Connecticut is beyond me, but it's a fun game when we can discredit those dirty liberal bloggers.

For the record Sirota is right, Lieberman was an early supporter of the civil rights movement and held a fairly ballsy progressive record in Connecticut on civil rights, and gay rights. There's certainly no shame in working for Joe, but now that there's a full fledged primary in Connecticut and Gerstein and his cohorts should realize that spinning to smear the progressive blogosphere to people who don't know the difference between blogspot.com, and amazon.com doesn't help anyone, Democrats or Lieberman, and should just get on with the task of fighting a primary. The candidates are both real, the people who make the decision are Democratic primary voters in Connecticut and the issues are substantial. Why people like Gerstein and Whitman insist on navel gazing, and creating strawmen out of the political blogosphere instead of getting out the vote is completely beyond me.

Dem 08 - Iowa opens for business

The Des Moines Register published the results of a poll they conducted on the preference of likely Iowa caucus goers for the Jan '08 election. The survey like most surveys this far out needs to be taken with a giant grain of salt and in most cases is merely testing name ID of the major candidates. The top four candidates would be expected to have 100% name ID in Iowa.

There are three pieces of information to read out of the tea leaves in the poll.

There's more...

Diaries

Advertise Blogads