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Update: I published this diary yesterday, and followed it with a schadenfreude diary shortly after. The schadenfreude diary got more comments and recommends than this action diary. Am I crazy? I thought we were here for more and better Democrats and moving forward, not gloating or a bunch of damn cat pictures. Let me be very specific. What I have in mind is phone-banking, virtual or otherwise scripted off the top of my head like this:

"Hi, my name is _, from OFA. Did you vote for BHO four weeks ago? Do you support his economic proposal to the Republicans in the House? The reason I'm calling is to ask you to call or e-mail our representative (insert name) at phone number-email address and let him/her know that we want as much of the president's proposal voted on before the X-mas season is over. It will help the economy.
Here's the thing: ORCA was a flop, but the Rs have money and time. We have a small time window where our tools are better than theirs, I say we need to use them before the other side catches up. But if I can't generate grassroots here, which is supposedly an action site, then I guess I'll have to learn to use Facebook. The original diary follows.

President Obama has dragged (drug?) out the soapbox to urge people to call/write their legislators in re: the fiscal cliff/mountain/molehill. He's out there asking people to call, e-mail, hashtag their congress critters. This has caused some consternation among the WATB Rethugs. And rightly so.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here's my question: Can OFA help? After all, we know how to phone bank. We know how to generate phone bank lists. We can get people to call their local House member, both Ds and Rs, or e-mail/twit/whatever their offices. I know we had GOTV efforts in House districts with Rethug "representation"; I worked in one. Wouldn't it be great if we could cut phone lists, organize virtual/real time phone banks to "phone-bomb" their Senator/Representative? I have initiated petitions to let us re-organize and push our agenda forward. In other words, I am still in campaign mode.

Here is a link to the petition to the White House asking for Dashboard and other tools to be re-activated and turn us loose. And here is a petition with the same purpose, through Change.org. I'm not sure if the White House petition will stay active, it uses government resources to address a campaign entity. IANAL.

P.S. I kept the whole Rachel clip not just because I have a crush on her, but at around the 13:45 mark, she talks with Eugene Robinson about what I'm talking about!

Originally posted to Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 11:51 AM PST.

Poll

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (39+ / 0-)

    I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

    by Jonathan Hoag on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:38:50 PM PST

  •  2 sigs now (6+ / 0-)

    I'm in! I just signed for you! Go get 'em!

  •  And change.org sucks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jonathan Hoag, madhaus, blueoasis

    For two reasons:

    1) They actually needed people to tell them to stop putting up Michele Rhee's bullshit Student's First peitions.

    2) I don't care for having Palau pop up instead of Pennsylvania when I hit "P" on their form. A tick under 21,000 people live in Palau. Pennsylvania has 34 municipalities with more than 21,000 people. Fucking Palau has one 608th the population of Pennsylvania........get it the fuck off of the quick menu for selection one's state on the change.org!

  •  So should I write Kerry or Warren? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Jonathan Hoag, CroneWit

    Something tells me they're on board with an all American approach.

    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

    by Minerva on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 04:27:49 PM PST

    •  Always (6+ / 0-)

      You always write. You tell the ones that agree with you that you have their back, and you tell the ones you disagree with that not all their constiuents agree with them.

      "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

      by Catte Nappe on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 11:57:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Both. But I want a setup so you/we can flood (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CroneWit

      their offices with e-mails and calls. Also, I'd like every Republican House member to hear in no uncertain terms that not everyone in their district is an "R" and that 2014 isn't far away.

      That's what this diary is about.

      I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

      by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:50:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some hopefully constructive questions: logistics $ (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, MartyM, mdmslle, CroneWit

    Like you I saw Rachel & EJ Dionne talk about the mighty power that might be available to the White House & OFA through all those carefully characterized contacts - built up in 2 campaigns.

    The assumption they both made was that this was an instrument available to aid the President - that it was historic, unique. Potentially a difference maker.

    Now, maybe that assumption was made on the basis of having a really great Rolodex - that, and that alone. Certainly, there was not a great deal of discussion of folks phone-banking. Which would, realistically, need the tools employed in the campaign itself.

    Which tools need money like car needs gasoline.

    Turn on Dashboard and you must turn on the real and virtual servers. You must rent that cloudspace on Amazon with instances of a database. You must have engineers, IT and software support to keep the wheels turning.

    So, how much would be needed to make the Dashboard and other tools fully active? To keep them fully active for a protracted period of time how much?

    It isn't just the volunteer effort - does OFA have the dollars to make this real? If not, can they legally solicit such support for a sitting President?

    •  Okay, fair point. It's my business, servers are (5+ / 0-)

      cheap. Narwhal has been thoroughly stress tested and is a turnkey. Votebuilder, and I imagine the other contact software used in every other state is also turnkey.

      All I want is my access back and the 10k other people who can do what I did. Monitors for Dashboard? Scriptwriters? we had 'em, if they want, we can put them back on line, but (don't tell my FOs) I wrote better stuff when I was cutting my own lists.

      Fully active? Ask Mr. Byrd. But, rough guess, say it's $50k/month for everything, including our contractual expenses third parties like Votebuilder, etc.

      I'm in for $50. Bet I can't find 1000 people to follow me?

      I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

      by Jonathan Hoag on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:45:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pinned to my bulettin board (3+ / 0-)

      A pithy saying, illustrated with Peanut's characters, that is discouraging but true (and appropriate to this situation, as many others)

      every time there's a good idea, somebody brings up the budget

      "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

      by Catte Nappe on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:02:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in for bucks. I'm a computer network (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CroneWit, Catte Nappe

        geek. If they need help in Chicago, or wherever the servers are, I can be had.

        I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

        by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:51:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There are still a number of people still on staff (3+ / 0-)

      with OFA. We are using what we learned here addressing local issues and some national ones. I have said from the beginning his greatest gift to us was taking the time to organize us, make us better more effective citizens able to make government work for us. The whole idea is such a happy melding of populism and progressivism, it is indeed potentialy power to the people.

      The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

      by cherie clark on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 01:37:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely. DFA's training acadamy is the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cherie clark, CroneWit

        same way as far as I'm concerned; a great gift.

        But I still want access to my lists and my peeps. (I was an out of state organizer.)

        I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

        by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 02:58:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a LD chair so I can access vote builder (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jonathan Hoag, CroneWit

          but it would be nice to have everything else to go with it. We have a very active LD and have much work to do before 2014.

          The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

          by cherie clark on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:17:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Me, too! I can still access, and make lists, but (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cherie clark, CroneWit

            I can't make users, cut territory, set up VPBs. I have no access to groups I made, or groups any sort anymore. And, stupid me, the accounts I made to do things that were technically above my pay grade, I had given them an expiration date. I essentially followed the rules to the point where now I'm locked out of my best stuff.

            I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

            by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:44:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  A lower case "d" democratic organization would (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit

    be more responsive. The uppercase case "D" Democratic party is a lower case "d" democratic organization. Why not focus on it instead of OFA. The OFA campaign did a great job but the election has already happened. OFA did a great job. OFA was not responsible for what happened in 2010, and won't be responsible for what happens in 2014 or 2016. For that look to the Democratic Party.

    Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts http://kagrox.libsyn.com/rss
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    by We Won on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:14:20 PM PST

    •  What , look to the DCCC, or the DSCC who only bet (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery, divineorder, CroneWit

      on "winners" Blue Dog or not?

      Bite me. We have a machine. And if this doesn't work, I'll be looking to BUY the machine. After all, the "O" in OFA stands for Obama, and he's had his last election.

      There's software, lists,talent that is not going to be used again if O decides not to. That's stuff that can be on the market.

      I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

      by Jonathan Hoag on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:49:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like this idea. I was wondering a few days (5+ / 0-)

    ago, if we could replicate the energy and effectiveness of the OFA with people working out of their homes, and meeting in public places, but staying in touch through the internet so we didn't have the expenses of the offices but still retained the power and effectiveness of the grass roots volunteers.

    I realize I've sort of a jock like ...."hey, how about one of the internet thingies like "the tubz"  and grass roots -- we could call it nettroots!"

    But, seriously, we don't have that cool software and other organization.  

    The day after the election Erick Erickson was trying to console conservatives and asserted that the Democrats were not really a Democratic coalition but an Obama coalition and the the power of the OFA would not carry on into a tool for Democrats into 2016 and beyond.

    Now might be a great opportunity to keep the OFA system and momentum going so it can gradually transform itself into on ongoing daily force for Democrats in situations like this.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:02:30 PM PST

    •  That's the idea. There are tools we can use (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kansas Born, cherie clark, CroneWit

      to keep the agenda going forward. What's the point of getting the guy elected if he can't get what we elected him for passed?

      I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

      by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:45:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They already have this (3+ / 0-)

    In motion, I believe.  Have you gotten their e-mails?  They are reaching out to people to stay involved.

    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

    by delphine on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:09:17 PM PST

    •  Yes, I've gotten the e-mails, taken the survey etc (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kansas Born, cherie clark

      BFD, we need to ACT! The servers are still in place, I can log into my (much restricted) accounts now, what we need is access.

      Let me cut phone lists, let me email my or other phone bank coordinators/volunteers, let us start phone-bombing local offices. All I want to do is stay involved.

      I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

      by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:43:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure (0+ / 0-)

        that they can hand out the phone lists without the formal structure.

        But I agree with you.

        Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

        by delphine on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:58:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Theaction.org (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jonathan Hoag, CroneWit

    Started by folks from the campaign,/admin I believe including Kal Penn, (at least he was on the initial email)  and targeting volunteers and supporters .as they try to build a broader movement

    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

    by delphine on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:22:48 PM PST

    •  Thanks! Examining action kit now. (0+ / 0-)

      I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

      by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:45:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know they tried this after the first election. (4+ / 0-)

    And it was a big bomb. But things are very different. In the last election, we had volunteers calling people to call their conservative, conservative Republican reps. to pass health care but we had no leverage. NONE.  This time around, there is plenty of leverage. Those calls would make a hell of a lot more sense. Since I didn't volunteer with OFA this time around, I've not gotten any emails to ask for my help. Are they seriously not doing anything?

    Help a Milwife win the Photobucket contest - Please Share, Like, and Comment, not necessarily in that order!

    by angelajean on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 01:06:30 PM PST

    •  No - they are doing things - or intend to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jonathan Hoag, angelajean, CroneWit

      Here are some recent articles on that topic.

      NBC Chicago:

      Now that President Barack Obama won a second term, it only seems likely that his Chicago-based campaign apparatus would pack up and leave the city, right? Not so fast.
      Campaign manager Jim Messina told a crowd at a Politico-sponsored event Tuesday that "Obama for America" could take on a new role.
      Messina says it could morph into a new operation that works to back President Obama's agenda.
      The campaign organization -- which by law will need to be dismantled -- is surveying its supporters to get a sense of what they'd like to see a new organization focus on.
      I highlighted that key phrase - they first have to wind down the campaign, before they repurpose it.

      HuffPo: Keeping OFA alive in some form.

      Campaign manager Jim Messina signaled Tuesday that Obama For America will play a role in the legislative process -- beginning with pending fiscal cliff negotiations.
      :: ::
      He added that supporters want to remain involved in shaping and supporting the president’s agenda over the next four years, and identified Dashboard as a means for them to connect with members of Congress during the critical fiscal cliff talks.
      •  Thanks for the NBC article. Dasghboard (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angelajean, CroneWit, ItsSimpleSimon

        exists, must have been put together as a free standing entity. Maybe it's for sale? For like "ne dollar in hand and other valuable considerations" to an organized effort? I still have family in Chicago, I have a place to crash...

        Votebuilder has been around for a long time, as a co-project with the DNC. Can we get DNC sponsorship to give us access?

        I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

        by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:03:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Having been with OFA continuously (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jonathan Hoag

      as a Regional Lead, I wouldn't call it a bomb.  It was a challenge and learning experience.  We phone banked for 10 months.  Here in East Texas, we did start by calling our local conservative congressmen and Senators, but graduated to calling Arkansas (at the time 5 of the 6 congressmen/senators for Democrats).  We also called into Chet Edwards district (a Democrat) here in Texas and Rep. Cao (R) in Louisiana.

      We did also call for financial reform.

      It is a hard slog.  One of the problems is that some Democrats in Congress reacted to OFA in a hostile manner.  Chet Edwards was a problem here in particular.

      Barack Obama for President '12

      by v2aggie2 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:40:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chet Edwards et al will want us in their corner in (0+ / 0-)

        2014.

        I know this will never happen, but what I really want is control over VPBs during the democratic primary races. Then we'll see what Mr. Edwards has to say.

        I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

        by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:10:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Okay... it was a bomb in San Antonio. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jonathan Hoag

        However, I will say that trying to herd progressives in San Antonio is tough anyway and OFA might not have had much of a chance in the first place. But I can remember some very dedicated volunteers spending hours and hours calling folks to call Lamar Smith when their time would have been much better spent getting those same callers to phone the President and demand a more liberal health care plan. Or getting them to write Letters to the Editor. Or having them attend the health care protests that MoveOn and others were helping to organize. Anything but call Lamar.

        Help a Milwife win the Photobucket contest - Please Share, Like, and Comment, not necessarily in that order!

        by angelajean on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:17:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My question is about the legality (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jonathan Hoag, CroneWit, v2aggie2

    OFA is a political organization, a campaign tool. Elected officials are not allowed to do politics from their offices, use their official staff for political purposes, et cetera. There is a good reason for keeping these rules in place.
    So, would it be legal for Obama to use OFA as a tool of his office?
    Don't get me wrong, I love the idea and want very much for Obama and his team to keep the momentum going. OFA is one of the most efficient and effective organizations I've ever seen and if any group can deliver the message to all 50 states and DC, this one is up, debugged and running.
    And if it's legal then by all means, GO BABY GO!
    If it's not legal in it's current form, can it be modified to be legal without losing it's mojo?

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:01:47 PM PST

    •  IANAL. Sems to me, though that OFA is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CroneWit

      a separate organization. As far as I know, Jeremy Bird is not a government employee, and he couldn't have been through the last campaign. All I'm asking is, does OFA have any money left, and if so, can they please let us have access to Dashboard/Votebuilder/whatever GOTV databases we had access to before. They don't even have to pay people to DO anything, we have enough volunteer skills to write script, cut territories, organize phone banks whatever.

      But I'd like it to be NOW because this phoney-baloney fiscal "cliff" is something we can have an effect on.

      I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

      by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:40:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We did call for OFA for health care (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jonathan Hoag

        and financial reform.  So it is OK

        Barack Obama for President '12

        by v2aggie2 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:41:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So how can we call again for the fiscal pothole? (0+ / 0-)

          I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

          by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:47:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good question (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jonathan Hoag

            our targets were actually volunteers (the MyCampaign part of Votebuilder).

            Where do you live?  If there are staff still there, they may be able to help

            I think the problem right now is the transition.  Phonebanking will be much easier once we are into the 2nd term

            Barack Obama for President '12

            by v2aggie2 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:55:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was/am a N. CA carpetbagger into Nevada. (0+ / 0-)

              I no longer have access to my volunteer group lists that I built and coordinated. I cut phone lists that reached 900+ primary Spanish speakers in NV-02, and I can't e-mail my people any more. Not to mention my ex- in OH...never mind.

              As far as staff in NV, all I have are their OFA phone numbers, which are all deactivated. I am seriously screwed here.

              I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

              by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 11:05:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with what you're saying (0+ / 0-)

    but it wouldn't hurt to join facebook too.

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:25:09 PM PST

    •  Okay, sure. So what, then? Is facebook (0+ / 0-)

      going to have my volunteer groups in it> Or voters by registration/party? or MY groups that I can e-mail as a group to  pass them phone-bank lists?

      Back in the day, we did this with "phone trees". I/we had lists of people, and when I got a message, I passed that message along to everyone on my list. All I want is my lists back.

      Facebook? Yeah, I'm going to post a bunch of cat pictures.

      I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

      by Jonathan Hoag on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:06:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Facebook is useful (0+ / 0-)

        for disseminating information. If I find something on Daily Kos that is particularly compelling, I post it on facebook.

        It's helped me to find out which of my neighbors and others in the community are democrats and interested in helping with liberal causes.

        I have also joined some facebook groups which are politically oriented. For example, when I found the youtube clip of Tommy Thompson saying he was going to do away with medicaid and medicare, I posted it in a diary to Daily Kos, but I also posted it in about 5 or 6 Wisconsin facebook groups. This helped it to go viral.

        Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

        by JamieG from Md on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:43:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm...I'd rather have the tools I'm used to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JamieG from Md

          but there's nothing that says an old dog can't learn new tricks.

          I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. -John Wayne (-9.00,-8.86)

          by Jonathan Hoag on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:27:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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