WA State Democratic Convention: Day One, Part One
It's a lovely sunny day, so of course I'm going to spend most of my time indoors in windowless rooms. At least that's one way to protect against skin cancer.
I've registered and picked up my delegate materials: tote bag, ballots, event tickets, etc... Since I under-packed I also picked up an Obama t-shirt I can wear on the drive home. I passed on the Obama milk chocolate, and Bush/Cheney dark chocolate bars.
I also signed in as a member of the press. It appears I was the first to do so. It grants me access pretty much anywhere, although my desire to have the press badge has as much to do with having my blog name on the press sign-in list as anything so that reporters signing in on the same page might see it and wonder what the world must be coming to when an "amen blogger" is getting press credentials. Then again I'm not sure how many reporters will bother to report on the workshops I'll be attending today. Indeed, you may not read anything I write about today anywhere else, and if that's true and this adds value for people then I say "amen" to that.
Quickly said hello to Secretary of State candidate Jason Osgood. I met Jason almost exactly ten years ago when we were both consulting on the same project. One thing about Jason that will appeal to voters is that he's much more focused on the issues and protecting voter privacy, and vote counting accuracy than partisan politics. These aren't Democratic or Republican issues to him, and voters will be drawn to the fact he's not running to make them so, despite the full endorsement of his candidacy by the Democratic Party.
It's early in the campaign and his Web site will need filling out, and his message will need to be tightened up so voters can best understand his positions and why the issues he is raising matter. If he can manage to gain support from Republicans unhappy about Sam Reed (and there are many of them) he has a shot, but he needs to get his name out there, and he'll need money to do that. This convention will help in that regard.
I'm currently attending State Party Coordinated Campaign Deputy Director Rory Steele's "Campaign Training 101" talk. I'm seeing a number of familiar faces from the Congressional Caucus.
People generally don't have a good sense of just how much work an effective campaign is to coordinate and organize, and this talk definitely highlights all the things a campaign has to consider: campaign plans, staffing, research, knowing the opposition, fundraising, getting out the vote, effective use of time, calling, door-belling, attending events, mailings, media out-reach, etc...
A comment has been made that ballots are secret. Hmmm... I think Rory needs to talk to Jason about how true that is, or isn't.
A question about using the Internet in a campaign. Steele makes reference to the role blogs, explicitly mentioning HorsesAss.org, played in raising awareness about Darcy Burner's first campaign run in 2006. David Goldstein will be on a Blogging Workshop panel this afternoon that will surely go into great detail about the role blogs can play in the election this year.
A bit of discussion about calling people and how to avoid over-saturation, while recognizing that calling can help get out the vote.
A lot of great questions and suggestions. Reaching out to bloggers and the media. Using YouTube. Targeted advertising. Facebook. Professional looking Web sites. Candidate blogs. Many candidates are technology challenged and don't recognize the importance of their online presence as a campaign tool.
I'm getting hungry now, so the next event, a Burner campaign luncheon, is timely. I'll post more later in the day.