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In Iowa as in many states, Obama's campaign recruited many dedicated volunteers. These volunteers did an amazing job of seemingly endless phone calls and weekends full of door knocking. While their efforts were certainly not the only reason for the decisive win, no one can argue that they weren't a very important part.

Unfortunately, when the election was over, Obama's campaign left, taking with them all the data that Democratic volunteers had painstakingly collected. It seemed to be "Thank You Very Much, Your National Party Will See You in Four Years".

Every Democrat needs to ask for their state. Please Mr. President, will you share the voter data we helped you collect? Follow me below for more.

One of the many problems in the 2010 election was that state Democratic parties, including Iowa's, had to re-create much of the voter information that we had in 2008. And while OFA helped, and we appreciated that a lot, it was too little too late.

Now for 2014 and beyond, we face exactly the same problem. Much of the voter and volunteer data we collected in 2012 left when OFA left the state. So here goes.

Dear Obama Campaign:

We respectfully request that you share the information collected from public databases, combined with the information the citizens generously provided to the volunteers. That includes VAN, contact information, whether they voted by mail, early in person, or at the polls etc.

One of the responses we got when we asked you to share the data was that some of it was confidential. If true, then thank you, but we prefer not to have the confidential info on our citizens, just the public stuff. If not true, then all the easier.

Yes, you're right, we can probably re-create at least some of this ourselves and will be doing so, but how wasteful is that!! There are so many other things that need to be done.

We are all on Team Blue. Maintaining searchable, updated databases in each state between elections will be a real advantage in taking back the House in 2014 and in supporting the Democratic candidate in 2016.

What do you say?

Sincerely Yours,
The grassroots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    Scifiowa - Well-behaved women rarely make history

    by scifiowa on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 04:39:35 PM PST

  •  I don't understand this complaint (2+ / 0-)

    VAN is available to any Democratic candidate that wants to learn how to use it. And all of The Obama's campiagn voter info is in VAN.

    Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

    by jsfox on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:00:25 PM PST

    •  VAN is just the start. (0+ / 0-)

      When one calls, one notes weather the door was answered. Weather said Democrat lives there, and if they are a supporter or a potential volunteer.

      It is the undated and amended list that the diarist speaks of.

      To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

      by Bluehawk on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:05:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We'll weather the weather (0+ / 0-)

        whatever the weather.

        Whether they help, or not!

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:07:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And all that info is entered into VAN (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kefauver, elmo

        And kept current daily. Good grief I got yelled at enough by the campaign because I wasn't keeping my data updated nightly to know.

        There are no undated and amended lists.

        Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

        by jsfox on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:43:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's the candidate, not the database, that matters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cyeko

    Understanding that there where difficulties in 2010, why weren't precautions taken to secure the info needed in the future during this past cycle?

    I guess I don't understand why OFA would know more about a state than those that actually live there? What was done before there was an OFA?

    I'm all for continuing to collaborate to strengthen the party, but I don't know if OFA is obligated to hand over info to people for whatever purpose they see fit. I would be hesitant to turn over massive data to candidates unknown at this point. I'm sure they will work hard on behalf of those on the ballot in 2014 and beyond;it is in their interests to do so.

    It is their work product and they are going to use it as they see fit.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:03:55 PM PST

  •  Dare we dream (0+ / 0-)

    I was so disappointed when they rolled up and left in 2008.  I wonder if OFA has the records?

    I just got a reply from OFA to an email I sent in September.

    Here it is, it includes contact information.  I think OFA is where the records are

    ____

    Hello,
    Thank you for your email! The OFA team is hard at work developing education and  activities for OFA members and the horticulture industry. One of us will be in touch  with you very soon. If you have an immediate need to speak with an OFA staff member  please call us at 614-487-1117. You may also find a directory of staff at  www.ofa.org/staff.

    Sincerely,
    OFA

    Hello,
    Thank you for your email! The OFA team is hard at work developing education and  activities for OFA members and the horticulture industry. One of us will be in touch  with you very soon. If you have an immediate need to speak with an OFA staff member  please call us at 614-487-1117. You may also find a directory of staff at  www.ofa.org/staff.

    Sincerely,
    OFA

    ______

    I have no idea what the "horticulture" reference is to.  I sent an anti-Romney ad I made for OFA.  Go figure.

    Hope this helps.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:03:56 PM PST

  •  Keep asking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cherie clark

    It's still unclear what will happen with the data, and with the relationships that OFA built up with voters since 2007.

    The people who built and were trained on these systems are still around and can become part of 2014 campaigns.  The Voter Activation Network (VAN) will continue to be available, if not always at a price that some state and local campaigns will be able to afford.  And the big consulting firms will continue to dominate the big campaigns.

    But only the DNC can make sure that all this data, training, and systems work ever helps us again.  And it is not at all clear if the DNC will have the needed resources, or if it even will see this as its mission.  

    Keep pushing.  I'd guess the important decisions are being made now.

    Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

    by mbayrob on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:05:49 PM PST

  •  Well (4+ / 0-)

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    by Ex Con on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:06:44 PM PST

  •  You have to understand that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, Hedwig, jlms qkw, elmo

    campaign finance law puts limitations on providing candidate-to-candidate in-kind contributions.  And, the datebase and its information is an in-kind contribution.  So, while most of this information may well be provided, there are legal constraints.

  •  Share database won't help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sebastianguy99

    Contrary to what people think at DailyKos, the only chance to win back the house is to elect conservative/moderate democrats who can win because of gerrymandering.

    Moreover, some unknown pol can't win on policy because it's about trust ... and people trust Obama more than some unknown ... ask Romney

  •  teach democratic voters (0+ / 0-)

    election just don't matter in presidential elections

    that will help more than sharing voter information

  •  this info (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, jlms qkw, sebastianguy99, elmo
    contact information, whether they voted by mail, early in person, or at the polls etc.
    is all in the voter registration rolls. nothing to do with Dem databases. anybody can buy that information, as long as they promise not to use it for non-political purposes (can't be used for marketing, etc.)

    As far as VAN, CA Dem Party is now using MOE (Mobilize, Organze and Elect) not VAN, but I have used VAN and any Dem Party endorsed candidate should be able to get lists or access to VAN or MOE and whatever information it has. it's a shared database.

    As far as any campaigns' personally collected lists of supporters and donors, let alone all the info the Obama campaign reportedly has, tread carefully. Those people opted in to one candidate; not necessarily all Dem candidates, and it wouldn't necessarily be an advantage to assume they were all in for all Dem candidates.

  •  My inbox is flooded with "Contribute" emails (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver

    I don't want even Dem wanabee in the country inundating me with email solicitations for cash.

    •  Agreed. Telemarketers are Bad Enough. (0+ / 0-)

      OFA has my phone number. I don't want them sharing that with every Democratic candidate within 500 miles of me.

      When President Obama actually signs Social Security and Medicare cuts into law, then I'll agree with you that he is a "sellout."

      by kefauver on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:26:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's a Better Idea: (4+ / 0-)

    Instead of yelling "I'm gonna teach Democrats a lesson and not vote this year because I feel slighted!," people should suck it up and get out and vote or we'll have a repeat of 2010, which is why we're in this whole fucking mess to begin with.

    When President Obama actually signs Social Security and Medicare cuts into law, then I'll agree with you that he is a "sellout."

    by kefauver on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:31:15 PM PST

  •  I worked hard for OFA in 2008 and early this year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    humphrey

    then when at a gathering we asked the out of town "organizer" if we shouldn't also be including a little plug for our good Dem Rep who was going to face a tough fight in a redrawn district.  He was all out against it.  I never lifted another finger for OFA since I'm in CA.

    I think the best way we can support Obama is to clean up the House and get more good Dems in the Senate.  OFA should be working to keep everyone involved not guarding the family jewels.

    I've gotten a few emails from OFA to call on policy matters but that's not enough.  They should be making more effort to make sure Dems stay engaged, and turn out to vote.  This is really important in CA since the R's got fools to vote in the top 2 go to the primary.  So we may not even have a candidate in some races were the top 2 end up being R's if to many Dems run and split the votes up.  Of course, the same works in reverse and some races also had no R's in the General Election.

    Congressional elections have consequences!

    by Cordyc on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:26:32 PM PST

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