Internet Forcing Casey Jr. to Campaign: MSM Notices

This really could be a first.  Putting my Pennacchio for Pennsylvania hat down for a moment, I think something is brewing that has never happened before.

With fourteen months to go before the U.S. Senate Democratic Primary in Pennsylvania, the first battles are not being fought on television, newspaper, or on the radio--the opening round is taking place in real time, online, in the blogosphere.

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No Filter: The Net as a Tool for Upstart Campaigns (LONG)

When an underdog campaign gets started, it generally has a difficult time taking the fight to opponent(s), a negligible ability to impact the daily mainstream media cycle, and often lacks the staff and organizational tools to effectively talk with the grassroots (ie. ground game).

Fortunately, it's a brave new world.

Some of you might have read what I consider the first piece in what I hope becomes a series based on my campaign experiences:  "My ATM Pin Number: Or Online Fundraising." If not, you can check it out HERE, but not until after you finish reading this full entry.  Deal?  

It is a collection of observations I had while working Communications/Online Outreach for Jeff Seemann's Congressional campaign.  The writing is mostly about the ill-informed belief in "political circles," that the Internet is good for one thing, fundraising.  It also touches upon what I believe are good practices and how treating the Netroots as an ATM Machine simply will not work.

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AP Complicit in 'Bossed Primary': Set it straight

From the diaries, with more here--Chris

As much as the Pennsylvania Democratic Party would like to have you believe, Bob Casey Jr. is not running alone in this primary.  I am about to give you some inside dish here, so follow along if that kind of thing interests you.  

When Bob Casey Jr. announced today, we decided that we needed to move from under the radar and fire off our first press release.  Of course, the Associated Press was included in my list of contacts.

About two hours later, I followed up with a phone call to make sure that Chuck Pennacchio would be included in the list of candidates running for the seat.  I even told him, I don't care if it is a brief mention--we aren't even looking for a story.

He challenged me to legitimize the campaign...

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PA Democratic Party to DFA: "No Blog For You"

Ahhh, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, where reform goes to die. Forcing candidates out of the Senatorial primary. Endorsing Fowler for DNC chair after Dean secured the votes to win. Not giving Ginny their full support (more on that later). And now, this. No wonder in a state where Democrats lead in voter ID and voter registration, they are substantially behind in the legislature, the congressional delegation, and don't have a Seantor. Color me disgusted--Chris

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a Bucks County PA DFA attended by Pennsylvania Democratic Party Executive Director Don Morabito.  This DFA group has been clamoring about a state party blog to help organize and provide mobilizing information to the grassroots.  Now that the E.D. was there, they asked me to plead the case.

The meeting began with brief introductions, and the Meetup organizer, a terrific lady named Jeanne, introduced me, the State Party Blog Project. and the efforts of

So, I plead our case.  Certainly I have been more passionate in the past.  I spoke about two-way communication, listening to the grassroots, and providing mobilizing information.  When he was no longer making eye contact with me, I decided to speak his language, fundraising and the urgency of the 2006 US Senate race.

His response?

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Blogger Conference Call with Chuck Pennacchio (mp3)

Hey everyone.

Just wanted to let you know that we are still at it here on a Sunday night in campaign HQ (yeah, its midnight).  I also wanted to tell you about a conference call we had last week with about a dozen bloggers, mostly from Pennsylvania.  In the extended entry you will find a bunch of the audio clips from the call, and reactions from the participants.

Hopefully this will provide a bit more of an introducion to the candidate.  I tried to break it up into reasonable segements.    As always, there is much more--including video issues positions--at the campaign website.

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A new day for Dems: State Party Blog Project Update

I love online political activism--Chris

We can show them with more than just money.

In the hours since Howard Dean was selected to lead our party into the years ahead, the blogosphere has responded by contributing over $97,000 in the past 48 hours to the DNC. We do so as a show of support for the Governor. "We've got his back." For the little its worth, I urge you to continue contributing nationally, but I also implore you to act locally.

One of the major tasks ahead of us is building a solid party infrastructure that has been woefully neglected until now--until the grassroots uprising inspired in large part by the Dean campaign. The State Party Blog Project attempts to take the next steps, online, in our own states.

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Calling out the Illinois State Democratic Party

Yo. Anybody there in Springfield? Cause no one is responding. I hate to call you out in public, but many have tried in private. Now I gotta shame you. Your website is the worst mechansim for any sort of meaningful communication or information I have ever laid eyes on in my life.

I am not even trying to get all Internet evangelical on you; you gotta crawl before you can walk. But seiously, as a native, I am embarassed.

Where to even begin:

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State Party Blog Project: Now YOU have the tools

So it's looking good that Howard Dean will become our next DNC Chairman, and that means we have a mandate. A mandate to reform the party.

Don't get it twisted; the fact that Howard Dean will most likely be heading up the Democratic Party is  OUR victory.  It is the voice of the grassroots lifted up into the halls of power once owned by the "aristocracy of consultants." No more.

It is incumbent upon us to continue this fight and provide our state parties the tools available to communicate with the grassroots.  When that is done, we begin at the county level--and so on.

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Chairman Brewer: The next to fall on his sword?

I promoted this not to edge at Donnie, who I don't know the details enough to know how involved he was in the affair. But as for Brewer, I have no respect for the man, and he should not be the President of the ASDC. Jerome

Chairman Mark Brewer is a man who needs no introduction around these parts after kicking Jerome and Matt Stoller out of the ASDC DNC candidate Q&A (alot of acronyms).

And don't forget the fact that that Michigan Mark Brewer kept relishing kicking out bloggers, as if he were so clever that he knew what a blogger was and how they were secret press or something.  We've moved from a losing party of the 20th centurty to a losing party of the 21st century.

by Matt Stoller on Sat Dec 11th, 2004 at 10:01:54 PM EST

Today we learn a bit more about Chairman Brewer and more than a whiff of scandal reported in the Detroit Free Press and across the blogosphere.

People who said they were familiar with the situation told the Free Press that national party activist Donnie Fowler and Michigan campaign officials notified national party leaders they needed an extra $2.5 million on the last weekend before the Nov. 2 vote.

They said they would have to curtail the state campaign if the money wasn't forthcoming, used lax accounting practices and were so disorganized that several campaign vans turned up missing, said the Democrats, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Fowler and Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer vigorously disputed those charges Monday, which they said were part of an effort by party rivals to undermine Fowler's DNC candidacy.

Interestingly enough, Chairman Brewer is running to become the Chairman of the Michigan State Democratic Party.  He aleady has the endorsement of Governor Granholm.

But should he?

The election takes place at the Michigan Democratic Party convention on February 19th.  You can register your feedback on Governor Granholm's opinion form.

State Party Blog Project & Alabama!

A few weeks ago, many of us embarked on a project to bring each and every state party online with a blog for their home page.  It started with Bob Brigham's discovery that 3/4 of state parties lack the most basic tools for two-way communication with the grassroots.  So we embarked on a mission -- a mission to bring the 34 state party websites without blogs, up to speed.  Today, I am happy to report that the next of those states has come on board, and who would have guessed it...

The New Alabama Democratic Party Blog.

I must admit, the project got me down.  Tales of failed attempts to convince and outright refusal by some states to even discuss the prospect of a blog had me about to call it quits.  Now, I am ready to pick the fight back up. Bouyed by the Alabama Democratic Party (Brannon), I want all who stepped in the first time to join me again.  

In the extended entry you will find a list of states who don't have blogs, and ones that do but do not use them.  Even if someone has claimed a state, jump on board and indicate in the comments that you will do so.  Let's put the pressure on from all angles.

Please keep me updated as you progress, or decide not to progress.  If states don't want to listen, we can adopt a plan 'B' for them.  Let's set a stated goal of June 1, 2005 to bring every state party on board.  Once again, please include the state you are adopting and your email address in the comments.  If you have already done some work, please report on your experience as well.

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