eOutreach Blog
17Aug/12

DPAD Mail Bag: Medicare is Everywhere

Posted by Jen Zingsheim

The DPAD Mail Bag is chock-full of correspondence from a variety of groups about Medicare. It's the issue of the day, which is reflected in today's email Newsletter Roundup. Read about it, and more, below.

Email Newsletter Roundup

Ali at Autism Speaks announces “Updated School Community Tool Kit Available Now” in the organization’s e-Speaks newsletter. The piece opens with: “As students return to school, Autism Speaks is pleased to announce the launch of the School Community Tool Kit 2.0, a tool kit to assist members of the school community in understanding and supporting students with autism. Plus, find more tips and advice on our "Back to School" page. And enter our Back-to-School photo contest for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Build-A-Bear Workshop.”

Similarly, Autism Society sends out its newsletter titled “The Bullying Group Update; Back-to-School Resources for All Ages,” which opens with: “The Autism Society assembled educators, professionals, chapter leaders, self advocates and others of different backgrounds and experiences to address some of the most pressing issues facing those with autism. Working groups met at the Autism Society National Conference to focus on the topics of bullying, quality of life, employment, equal access to screening and early intervention; community collaboration and college programs for students with autism.”

Americans United for Change is “Calling out Romney's lies” in an email that begins: “Medicare has vaulted to the national stage over the past week, and Mitt Romney’s giant ad buys continue to tell the wrong story. Let’s set the record straight. Romney’s Medicare plan would essentially end Medicare as we know it, while President Obama’s plan works to save it. Romney wants to turn Medicare into a voucher program while Obamacare increased benefits for seniors and extended Medicare’s life by 8 years. What’s not to understand here? Most people are buying into the falsehoods. We need to tell them the truth. Will you share the facts with 3 friends?

Obama Victory Fund 2012 sends out “Hey: A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” seeking donations and stating in part: “Chip in $5 or whatever you can today to be automatically entered for the chance to win this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We'll fly you both out to Charlotte and put you up for three days -- and you'll get VIP passes to the convention. And here's the best part: On the night of President Obama's speech, you'll get to sit in the First Lady's section and witness history in the making.”

A similar campaign drive is spotlighted in an email from Mitt Romney with Romney Victory, Inc., titled “Celebrate with us in Tampa.” It asks for contributions and states: “It's been a long road to the convention, and supporters like you have gotten me this far. That's why I'm excited to invite you to join us in Tampa. Donate $3 today to be automatically entered for your chance to go behind the scenes in Tampa and to be there when I accept the nomination.

Other fundraising letters are sent by Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts and Democratic National Committee.

“NFIB: Learn Who Truly Cares About Small Business” is the newsletter sent by National Federation of Independent Business. The email begins with a message from the group’s CEO, Dan Danner: “The Big Convention Reveal: Who Really Cares About Small Business? Nobody hates small business, especially politicians. But the important thing to know is who really fights for you in Washington. Who works to keep the government from siphoning off your hard-earned cash and handcuffing you with more regulation and red tape?”

MoveOn.org asks “Have an idea for a petition?,” writing: “About a year ago, MoveOn launched a website called SignOn.org to help anyone to start their own online petition. And since then we've seen thousands of MoveOn members use the site to do truly amazing things.... Now it's your turn. Using SignOn.org, you too can start your own online petition and invite your friends to sign it. We'll send the most popular petitions to other MoveOn members to help build support for your cause. Click here to start your own petition on SignOn.org right now.

The Heritage Foundation claims “Obama Edits Official State Department Documents to Tout Himself” in an email that opens: “Inserting himself into the biographies of past presidents on the White House website apparently wasn't enough for President Obama. His State Department is now editing its descriptions of foreign countries into yet another taxpayer-subsidized campaign commercial for the Obama Administration. The State Department has recently ended its long-running series of Background Notes, which were analytical, objective histories of other countries. In their place, new "Fact Sheets" now tout Obama's policies and actions toward each nation. No more historical context, no recounting of complex and long-standing issues in the country. Just cut to the chase—that is, the time when the current Administration came to power.”

Environmental Defense Fund spotlights “Your impact” in a newsletter touting the group’s Faces Of Climate Action campaign. It begins: “The Faces of Climate Action vary so much across our country, but one thing remains constant: You. We know that climate change can be overwhelming. The scope of the issues we are facing can seem insurmountable at times. But you are the powerful force, voice, and face that makes our work possible — and we can't thank you enough.”

David Corn and Kevin Drum at Mother Jones’ Political MOJO newsletter write “It's Campaign Season in America: Photos From the Trail.” The piece states: “Danny Wilcox Frazier's photography assignments have taken him around the world, from Afghanistan to Cuba, Kosovo to Tanzania, and many places in between. But for our September/October issue, we asked Frazier, a Mother Jones contributing photographer, to trek around the middle of America and check in with three candidates fighting to go back to Washington. While putting over 3,000 miles on his Toyota 4x4, Frazier followed Bob Kerrey, who once served as Nebraska's governor and senator—and now hopes to serve as senator again—to two down-home Fourth of July parades. He traveled with Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat in a conservative trending state, on a whistle-stop tour of Missouri's small towns as she fights outside-funded dark money attacks. And he followed Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq veteran and double-amputee now running for an Illinois congressional seat, who jokingly asked him to shoot only ‘her good side.’ Together, the photos give a snapshot of the summer of 2012, when politics tints every ritual of the season.”

ThinkProgress War Room focuses in on “143 seconds” in an email that touts “Romney’s Medicare Madness Explained in 143 Seconds - Earlier today, Mitt Romney held a surprise press conference and, even more surprisingly, busted out a white board and attempted to explain his tortured position on Medicare. We decided to pull out our own whiteboard and give you the facts. Watch ThinkProgress’ Igor Volsky break things down.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Heritage Action for America urges “Want to Stop Taxmageddon? Email Your Representative Now.” The piece claims: “You've seen the damage: taxmageddon is a $494 billion tax increase on our beleaguered economy. Now it's time to take action to stop the largest tax hike in history. >> Email your Representatives and urge them to stop the coming tax hikes.

17Aug/12

DPAD Ads: Time to Listen

Posted by Jen Zingsheim

Today's online advocacy ads come to us from Romney for President, the Democratic Governor's Association DGA Action committee, and Autism Speaks, which states that it is "time to listen."

Online Advocacy Ads

Romney For President, Inc. sponsors a video ad on Kiplinger.com, which states “More Jobs, More Take-Home Pay.” Viewers can “roll over” the ad to watch the full screen video and the click through to the campaign site for details or share the video on several social media platforms.

Daily Kos features an ad from Democratic Governors Association’s DGA Action circulating a petition to “Stop the Romney-Ryan Plan.” It urges readers to “Fight back against the plan to end Medicare as we know it” and links to action.democraticgovernors.org for details.

Autism Speaks also spotlights its programs through an ad on the Washington Post, linking to autismspeaks.org for details.

17Aug/12

DPAD: Franking Tweets

Posted by Jen Zingsheim

Ah, Twitter. Another day, another potential political issue--this time, it's House Members that may have violated rules when they tweeted their reactions to Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan for the VP slot. According to Emma Dumain at Roll Call, Congressional rules prohibit Members from "campaigning" via Twitter. Hopefully the rules will be made more clear later this year, when the House Franking Commission rolls out its new manual. Read about this, and more, in today's Reading List.

Reading List

Tweets Surrounding Paul Ryan Pick May Have Violated Electioneering Rules by Emma Dumain (Roll Call): “When news broke that Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) had been tapped as presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's running mate, many of his colleagues on Capitol Hill turned to Twitter to share their reactions. In the process, they may have unwittingly violated House and Senate rules that prohibit Members from ‘campaigning’ via tweets. The Sunlight Foundation, which collects politicians' deleted tweets and posts them online, found a number of instances where Congressional lawmakers, primarily from the House side, expressed excitement or disappointment over the Ryan pick - and then erased them from their Twitter feeds... As Twitter use has expanded, lawmakers have struggled to nail down and then conform to specific rules and regulations regarding their behavior. Finding common ground over what constitutes its appropriate use is further complicated by the fact that Members' Twitter accounts, like other social networking tools, are managed at any given moment in time by full-time staffers, part-time interns and the Members themselves... The bipartisan House Franking Commission is expected to roll out a new franking manual later this year that could clarify proper Twitter usage once and for all.”

Bakery receives bump from RNC after turning down Biden visit by Alicia M. Cohn (The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room): “The owner of a bakery in southern Virginia turned down a photo opportunity with Vice President Joe Biden earlier this week and is doing a booming business Thursday.... The Republican National Committee is already claiming McMurray for their team. ‘LIKE and SHARE if you stand with small business owners and know THEY built their business, not the government!’ the RNC posted on Facebook Thursday with a link to the story about McMurray.”

How Do Advocacy Organizations Build their Mobile Support? by Colin Delany (ePolitics): “Hint: most often, it’s not by cell phone. M&R Strategic Services updated their mobile benchmarks report today, and the results are interesting in a couple of areas. First, the rate of growth of nonprofit mobile acquisition has slowed somewhat since 2010, which the survey authors attribute to the organizations having picked the low-hanging fruit on the existing supporter lists — i.e., the people on their email lists who WOULD sign up to be contacted via cell phone HAVE signed up. Which leads us to the second point: groups are still gaining the bulk of their mobile following NOT by getting people to sign up via their phones. Instead, roughly two-thirds of their new mobile activists are converts from email lists.”

TSA: Complaints low; 821 guns found so far in 2012 by Keith Laing (The Hill’s Transportation): “The Transportation Security Administration said this week that less than 1 percent of the 375 million passengers it has checked so far in 2012 have complained about their airport security screening. The TSA released a midyear report in a blog post on its website. The report showed that 375,432,402 passengers have passed through TSA checkpoints this year, but only 30,204 have logged formal complaints about their experience. [...]Many complaints about TSA come in the form of posts on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, but the agency's numbers only reflect formal written complaints.”

16Aug/12

DPAD Mail Bag: Wisconsin and more

Posted by Jen Zingsheim

Wisconsin's primaries were held Tuesday, and now both sides are gearing up for the general election. Mothers Against Drunk Driving are preparing for Labor Day, and the Children's Defense Fund points out that Congress voted "to cut babies by decreasing the Child Tax Credit." Read about these issues and more in today's email newsletter roundup.

Email Newsletter Roundup

Mothers Against Drunk Driving sends out “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over this Labor Day,” stating in part: “In an effort to get drunk drivers off the road, raise public awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, and most importantly, to save more lives on our roadways, the national impaired-driving enforcement crackdown—Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over— will be held from August 17th to September 3rd. Supporting the heroes who keep us safe on the road is a critical part of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®.  Statistics show that when the public’s perceived risk of being arrested for impaired driving increases, the less likely they are to do so.  Increased saturation or roving patrols, as well as sobriety checkpoints, remind the public of the legal consequences that can come from driving drunk.”

Rich Galen’s Mullings address “Those Polls, That Biden,” spotlighting that “USA Today invested good money surveying people who are not going to vote in this year's elections. Why? So they could find out how Barack Obama would do in November if everyone did vote. According to this survey among the people who will not be voting Obama beats Mitt Romney 43% to 14%. Yes, I know. There is a certain Alice-in-Wonderland aspect to all this, but let's keep going.... The important point is: If these data are correct and people who are not likely to vote favor Obama slightly more than 3-1, then every poll we read that includes ‘Adults’ or ‘Registered Voters’ should be considered fatally skewed toward Obama. Only polls that use ‘Likely Voters’ can be considered legitimate (assuming all the other legitimizing factors are adhered to).”

Black American Political Action Committee forwards a fundraising email via Townhall Spotlight, titled “They're Spending $250k to Smear Allen West.” It states in part: “A SuperPAC founded by Allen West's opponent's father, just released one of the most bigoted and hateful ads in American history. It depicts Congressman West as a woman-beater, a mugger and a coward! Please make a special generous contribution of $35, $50, $100, $250 or more to help the Black America's Political Action Committee (BAMPAC) stand up to this garbage and defend Allen West. [...]Please help me defend Allen West. BAMPAC is uniquely qualified to stand up for this American hero. Unfortunately though, BAMPAC doesn't have anywhere near $250,000 to help counter this massive independent personal attack. So I'm turning to you.”

Phil Kerpen with American Commitment offers an “IRS Power Grab Update.” It notes: “One week ago we launched our effort to support U.S. Senator Ron Johnson's Senate Joint Resolution 48 (SJR48), which would stop the IRS's unlawful effort to trample states that exercised their right to opt out of Obama's health care exchanges. Already, American Commitment activists have sent over 28,000 letters to the Senate urging support for the Johnson Resolution.  But our records indicate you have not sent yours yet. Please click here now to urge your U.S. Senators to do everything in their power to support the Johnson Resolution and Stop the IRS Power Grab!

League of Conservation Voters Action Fund highlights “The Newest Battleground.” It alleges “Last night, Wisconsin GOP primary voters went to the polls and elected former Wisconsin governor -- and former Bush administration official -- Tommy Thompson to be the Republican nominee for the Wisconsin Senate seat. While many Americans have struggled over the past few years with a feeble economy and rising energy prices, Thompson has profited from hundreds of thousands of dollars from his investments in the oil and gas industry. He also supports Paul Ryan's extreme budget plan which would protect billions in Big Oil subsidies. If he wins the Wisconsin Senate seat in November, you can bet he’ll be one of Big Oil and Dirty Coal’s best friends in Washington. We don’t need another crony of Big Oil and Dirty Coal in Washington. We need a leader who will fight to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. That’s why it’s critical we show Tammy Baldwin that LCV supporters are committed to her campaign. Will you chip in with a donation today?”

Emily’s List also touches on the Wisconsin race in “New updates from the Baldwin campaign,” which seeks donations and opens: “I'm getting up to the minute reports from my staff on the ground with Tammy Baldwin's Senate campaign in Wisconsin. Here's the deal: we just got word that the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove are going up with a massive TV buy attacking her. Tammy needs to get on the air right away so that she can get her message out before these shadowy, corporate funded right-wing groups take over the airwaves. She's counting on $50,000 from EMILY's List donors before midnight tonight to do it.”

Other fundraising emails are sent out by Romney for President, Inc., and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

National Taxpayers Union wants to “Keep the Pressure Up on Lawmakers: Stop Farm Welfare.” The email opens: “This is an important reminder: if you haven’t already done so, please join hundreds of other National Taxpayers Union members by taking just 2 minutes to sign the ‘No More Farm Welfare’ petition and download our August Recess Action Pack. As you know, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney selected six-time NTU Taxpayers’ Friend Award winner Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running-mate. His choice sends a strong message that he is serious about entitlement reform. However, if Republicans in Washington want to prove they can really get the spending spree back under control, they shouldn’t wait until next January – they should start today by ending fiscally irresponsible entitlements that mainly go to Agribusinesses.”

Public Citizen writes about “practically nothing” in an email that opens: “Five months. That’s how long ago Public Citizen and our allies asked Obama and Romney to disclose the names of the wealthy donors who tap their elite networks for checks then deliver the spoils to their candidate in one big bundle. Obama’s campaign disclosed 638 of these ‘bundlers.’ Romney, on the other hand, has revealed practically nothing. His campaign disclosed only the bare minimum required by law — 34 bundlers who are federally registered lobbyists. ... Tell Mitt Romney it’s time to open up about the big-money donors bankrolling his campaign.

David Avella offers “The GoPAC Newsletter,” highlighting: “At this month's GOPAC State & Local Summit in Denver, Colorado, state legislative leaders from across America developed proven solutions for creating jobs and growing the economy in the states come November.  Also this month, we are excited to welcome a successful and reform-minded state leader in Eric Holcomb to GOPAC's Board of Directors. And as we work to gain a Republican majority in several key states this year, including the Colorado, Iowa and Nevada State Legislatures, GOPAC is proud to announce our endorsement of Mari Nakashima St. Martin for Nevada State Senate.  Finally this August, Chairman Frank Donatelli highlights for us the impact of Governor Mitt Romney's selection of Representative Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, in addition to the role that candidates and campaigns must play in advancing the national debate on important issues facing our country.”

The US Chamber of Commerce pens an email, titled “Economic Recovery Weakest Ever Since Great Depression,” which opens with a story from Stars and Stripes. The article, titled “‘Hiring Our Heroes’ Kicks Off Joint Initiative With Toyota at Quantico,” links to Hiring Our Heroes and begins: “Dakota Meyer owns a small construction company in his native Kentucky, but the 24-year-old former Marine sergeant and Medal of Honor recipient is taking some time away from work to help other veterans find jobs. ‘This is not about me. It's about Marines, military and their families,’ said Meyer, who was at Quantico to help kick off a hiring initiative by Toyota and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which launched the nationwide job fair last year.”

Democratic Governors Association asks “Romney wins Pennsylvania?” The email claims “Yesterday, a judge ruled that the new Republican ‘voter ID’ law can take effect this year—a law that could ‘make it harder for the elderly, disabled, poor and young adults to vote,’ according to the Associated Press. If President Obama loses Pennsylvania, all bets are off. We have to act now to stop this atrocious law from taking effect. Join the DGA in calling on Pennsylvania Republicans to stop pushing voter suppression laws to gain an advantage against President Obama.

Children's Defense Fund sends out “Billionaires Over Babies,” which urges action and begins: “Earlier this month the U.S. House of Representatives made a clear decision to support billionaires over babies. They voted to extend the Bush-era tax giveaways to billionaires while voting to cut babies by decreasing the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit (which helps pay for college). The result of these cuts to tax credits benefiting children? 900,000 children would be thrown into poverty and another 6.4 million children would be pushed deeper into poverty. TAKE ACTION: Don’t Let Them Get Away With This Vote.”

Madeleine Buckingham with Mother Jones writes “Paul Ryan doesn't want you to read this” in a subscription drive email that alleges “There's never been a more important time to subscribe to Mother Jones: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will say anything to win the election, and it's important to defend yourself from the tsunami of right-wing misinformation, propaganda, and flat-out lies.”

“Wind Energy Subsidies Are As Useful As VHS Tape Subsidies” claims The Heritage Foundation in an email, which opens: “The wind production tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year, which has the industry crying out for continued subsidies. Heritage's Nicolas Loris has made the case that the wind energy tax credit makes as much sense as a VHS production tax credit. Can you imagine the logic: ‘We can't afford to lose our VHS tape manufacturing plants. They provide valuable jobs. Americans need a variety of ways to watch recorded entertainment.’ Loris says this is what proponents of wind energy tax credits sound like.”

Center for Media and Democracy offers up “Paul Ryan's Priest, Olympic ‘Sin-Washing’ and More in The Spin,” opening with: “VP Role for Paul Ryan Has His Former Parish Priest Worried - The entrance to St. Mary Elementary School in Janesville, Wisconsin has two identical archways with contrasting inscriptions. One entrance says, ‘For God.’ The other says, ‘For Country.’ That is where Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, first merged his studies of government and religion as a young student. The priest who presides over the archways says that Ryan's interpretation of Catholic teaching in national budgetary matters and his prospective vice presidential role have him ‘worried.’”

ThinkProgress War Room asks “End Medicare Sooner?” and claims: “New Romney Plan: Make Medicare Insolvent by 2016 - Yesterday, we discussed the Romney campaign’s attempt to distract from the Romney-Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it and replace it with a voucher system that will increase seniors’ health care costs by thousands of dollars. The Romney campaign was also under fire for attacking the $716 billion in Medicare savings found in Obamacare, despite the fact that Romney himself had repeatedly endorsed plans including those exact same savings and even promised just this week that he’d sign the Ryan plan that included them into law.”

16Aug/12

DPAD Ads: Campaign Ads

Posted by Jen Zingsheim

Campaign ads are dominant, as advocacy ads appear to be dialing back during the Congressional recess. Today's ads come to us from Obama For America, the Clinton Foundation, and the Obama Victory Fund.

Online Advocacy Ads

Obama For America sponsors an ad on The New York Times, which asks “When did Mitt Leave Bain?” It links to the campaign site for donations and “the Truth.” Readers can sign up to be part of the “Truth Team” and “When you’re faced with someone who misrepresents the truth, you can find all the facts you need right here—along with ways to share the message with whoever needs to hear it.”

Daily Kos hosts an ad from The Clinton Foundation noting that “President Clinton is turning 66 on August 19. Send him your birthday wishes.” It links to clintonfoundation.org/happybirthday for details and an email sign up.

Obama Victory Fund 2012 invites readers of The Huffington Post to “be their guest at the convention.” The ad promises “front row with Barack and Michelle,” linking to the campaign site for details.

16Aug/12

DPAD: Concerns about “Text to Donate”

Posted by Jen Zingsheim

Over the past couple of months, the DPAD has been monitoring the emergence of technology that would allow political donations to flow through smartphones. The "text to donate" technology is up and running--but so are concerns about the system. The FEC is navigating the tricky waters of compliance, and National Journal's Tech Daily Dose looks at how they are addressing the wireless industry's concerns. Read about this, and more, in today's Reading List.

Reading List

Ron Paul Backer Owns RomneyRyan.com, Willing to Sell By Niels Lesniewski (Roll Call): “If you happen to visit RomneyRyan.com, you might think you have reached a website operated by a Democratic political action committee, President Barack Obama's re-election campaign or maybe the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In reality, the man behind the site, which highlights the controversy around presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's tax returns, is an enterprising young supporter of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Peter Crowley of Queens, N.Y., said in an email that he bought RomneyRyan.com along with dozens of other variants of potential Republican presidential tickets in 2010.”

FEC Addresses Industry Concerns Over Text Campaign Donations by Juliana Gruenwald (National Journal’s Tech Daily Dose): “The Federal Election Commission on Wednesday tried to allay concerns from the wireless industry related to the agency's approval of campaign donations via text messages, saying wireless providers would not be responsible for ensuring compliance with campaign-giving rules. In response to a request from the wireless industry group CTIA, the FEC said in an advisory opinion issued on Tuesday that wireless carriers would not be responsible for ensuring donors are eligible to give or enforcing limits on donations. In approving a text-to-donate option for political campaigns in June, the FEC limited donors to $50 per month.”

Report: Obama has more fake Twitter followers than Romney by Alicia M. Cohn (The Hill’s Twitter Room): “President Obama has several times more fake followers on Twitter than Mitt Romney, according to a new Twitter analysis.  StatusPeople, a tool designed specifically to check for fake followers, finds that of Obama’s 18.6 million Twitter followers @BarackObama, 41 percent are fake, 29 percent inactive, and just 30 percent ‘good,’ or presumably real users. The tool also indicates that of Romney’s current 857, 260 followers @MittRomney, 12 percent are fake, 30 percent inactive and 58 percent ‘good.’... StatusPeople works by analyzing a sample of an individual account’s followers rather than measuring the full count, so the website acknowledges that for the very popular Twitter accounts — those with more than 10,000 followers, for instance, such as both Romney and Obama — ‘the tool will still provide good insight but may better reflect your current follower activity rather than your whole follower base.’”

Is Internet Freedom Going to Be a Campaign Issue? by Miranda Neubauer (techPresident): “Democrats and Republicans may be considering incorporating positions related to Internet freedom in their platforms in response to the advocacy of groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Demand Progress, US News reports. Jason Koebler cites a source involved with the drafting of the Democratic National Committee platform who says that early drafts included language that "advocated Internet freedom globally." The source could not confirm if that provision would make it into the final platform, Koebler writes.... Demand Progress launched a campaign this week urging both parties to incorporate Internet freedom into their platforms.”

15Aug/12

DPAD Mail Bag: Lights Out

Posted by Jen Zingsheim

The Heritage Foundation notes the premise of a new TV series, where all electricity is knocked out, is plausible. The American Library Association promotes its legislative alerts via mobile, and there's much more in today's email newsletter roundup.

Email Newsletter Roundup

A new campaign is announced in an email from Heather Shelby with Environmental Defense Fund called “Saving their home.” The email begins: “Anyone can make a difference. The smallest voice can be heard, and the most unlikely of sources can truly make an impact on the world around us. Through our brand-new "Faces of Climate Action" campaign, we are sharing the stories and images of real people who are working tirelessly with EDF to reduce the impact of climate change around the world. And as one of our most loyal supporters, I know you will be inspired by their stories. Cutting and burning trees adds as much global warming pollution to the atmosphere as all the cars, trucks, ships, and airplanes in the world. Any real plan to reduce global warming must include an effort to stop deforestation of tropical rainforests. In rainforests across the world, an array of forest-protection policies called REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) is being implemented to reduce global warming.”

Humane Society Legislative Fund sends out an email urging readers to Please help stop anti-animal politicians like Steve King.” The email claims “Congressman Steve King of Iowa recently made shocking comments opposing a federal bill that would crack down on dogfighting and cockfighting. King defended his campaign to defeat legislation that would make it a crime to attend or to bring a child to an animal fight. In a tele-town hall, King said there’s something wrong with passing legislation to keep children away from animal fights when ‘it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting.’ He added, ‘there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that [sic] think like that.’ King is leading the effort in Congress to give dogfighters and cockfighters a free pass. Will you make a special gift to HSLF today to help us pass legislation to crack down on animal fighting and support our other work to fight cruelty?

“[District Dispatch] News from the ALA Washington Office” is forwarded by the American Library Association. It opens with: “How your phone can help you turn into a super library advocate... Last week, we sent out our first action alert using our new advocacy tool, Mobile Commons. This was an exciting first step because it was our first time using mobile technology with our network of strong library advocates. Mobile Commons allows us to send text message alerts to our mobile list. From there, our advocates can connect directly to their legislators simply by responding to the text. Mobile Commons also enables us to post click-to-call alerts on our webpages. The alert connects advocates, whether they're on our mobile list or not, to their legislator's office simply by entering their phone number on our page and clicking ‘call.’”

Matt Kibbe with FreedomWorks writes an email titled “Pelosi Attacks Allen West” explaining that “Tea Party-backed Representative and former Army Lt. Colonel Allen West easily won his primary in Florida last night, besting a liberal Republican and moving closer to victory on Election Day. But the Democratic machine has already leapt into action, blistering West with offensive ads that depict him punching women and seniors. The despicable ad was created by American Sunrise PAC, a group funded largely by the father of Democrat Patrick Murphy—West’s general election opponent. Not to be outdone, Nancy Pelosi recently attacked West, declaring: ‘how sweet it would be for the country’ to beat him this election year. Pelosi, liberal Super PACs, and national Democrats are making Allen West their number one target. It's more urgent than ever that we defend Rep. Allen West right now.”

Other fundraising emails are seen from Human Rights Campaign, Democratic Governors Association, EMILY's List, Romney for President, Inc., Obama for America, and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The US Chamber of Commerce spotlights a Wall Street Journal piece, titled “Obamacare Will Result In Two-Tiered Healthcare System, Less Doctors.”

The Heritage Foundation warns “This Threat Seems Fictional, but It's a Real Danger,” writing: “What happens to our society if we lose all electricity? A new TV show premiering next month, Revolution, will explore that question. It will be set in a world ‘where every single piece of technology—computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights—has mysteriously blacked out forever.’ Eric Kripke, one of the show's executive producers, said, ‘We did our homework and came up with something that's actually plausible.’ He's right.”

Tom Philpott at Mother Jones’ Food For Thought newsletter asks “Does Coke or Pepsi Have ‘Pouring Rights’ at Your Kid's School?” It continues: “Is your kid's public school a Coke school or a Pepsi school? If you don't know what I mean, consider yourself lucky. Starting in the early '90s, cash-strapped public schools began selling exclusive ‘pouring rights’ to one or another Big Soda company, which would then supply all the beverages sold in on-site snack bars, stores, and soda machines as well as at sports events.... It's no wonder that schools turn to selling junky snack food and cutting deals with sugary soda makers to augment stingy budgets. But what are they giving up in return?”

Lucina Kress with Romney for President, Inc. pens an email titled “Para Fortalecer la Clase Media.” The bi-lingual email begins: “I couldn't have been more proud to be at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden, CO as Governor Romney unveiled his Plan For A Stronger Middle Class. He was surrounded by Colorado friends and Juntos Con Romney families from across the state as he revealed new policy that would help Americans of every creed and color get back on the right track. No one can disagree that each of these policy areas addresses the issues weighing on the minds of every American, particularly those in the Hispanic Community. In February 2009, shortly after taking office, President Obama sealed his own fate with the words: "If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition." And yet, Americans across the country remain unemployed, underemployed, and struggling to make ends meet. Child poverty among Hispanics is at record levels, and annual household incomes have dropped significantly. Y la verdad es que todos saben Quién Es Responsable.”

ThinkProgress War Room examines “Medicare Cuts 101,” claiming: “The Romney-Ryan Plan to Cut & Then End Medicare - Having picked the architect of the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it as his running mate, Mitt Romney and his ‘I am rubber, you’re glue’ campaign is now trying to paint President Obama as the real threat to seniors’ health care and economic security. The most astounding part of Romney’s attack is that he accuses the president of cutting Medicare by more than $700 billion despite the fact that the exact same Medicare savings are included in the Romney-Ryan budget, which Mitt Romney has eagerly embraced, said he would sign, and whose architect is now his running mate. The real scandal is that while Obamacare reinvests these savings back into Medicare to make it stronger, offer seniors new benefits, and close the prescription drug donut hole, the Romney-Ryan budget steals that same $700 billion and uses it pay for new tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and huge corporations.”

Justin Ruben with MoveOn.org Political Action writes “10 things about Paul Ryan's radical agenda,” which claims “Paul Ryan is bad for America. He's anti-choice, and would give big tax cuts for millionaires, while raising taxes on the middle-class. He's a Tea Party favorite who takes donations from the billionaire Koch brothers, and he introduced one of harshest and most inhumane budgets in recent history. His ideological hero for many years called selfishness a virtue and charity an abomination. But most people don't know just how bad Paul Ryan is. So we made this list of 10 things to know about Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential pick, Paul Ryan. Read it, then click here to share this list as an image on social media, or just forward this email! The future of America is on the line—from a woman's right to choose to our economy. 10 Things to know about Paul Ryan...”

15Aug/12

DPAD Ads: Stories of Progress

Posted by Jen Zingsheim

Today's online advocacy ads come to us from the Obama Victory Fund, a trio of text ads seen on Daily Kos, and a placement from Goldman Sachs lauding their "stories of progress" on the Washington Post.

Online Advocacy Ads

Obama Victory Fund 2012 sponsors an ad on The Huffington Post compelling readers to “Join us now” stating: “We’ve come a long way, but there’s still more to be done.” It links to the campaign site for participation.

A set of political text ads appears on Daily Kos, including one from the Romney campaign and one from the Obama campaign. A third is sponsored by Coalition of Americans for Political Equality Political Action Committee, linking to mittromneyin2012.com for details in support of Romney.  The ad states: “Mitt Romney For President Join Our Support Campaign Get Info at Mitt Romney In 2012.com.”

Washington Post features an ad from Goldman Sachs using videos to promote the financial firm’s involvement with “Stories of Progress,” including “Titan International, An American Manufacturer.” It also provides buttons to share the stories via email or Twitter, linking togoldmansachs.com/our-firm/progress for details.

15Aug/12

DPAD: Wrestling with Twitter

Posted by Jen Zingsheim

Ill-conceived Twitter use has claimed another job, only this time it wasn't a marketer fussing about the traffic in Detroit. Roll Call carries the story of WWE wrestler Brian Jossie, who was fired for a political tweet earlier this week. Read about this, and more, in today's Reading List.

Reading List

Study: Obama leads Romney in social-media activity by Jennifer Martinez (The Hill’s Hillicon Valley): “President Obama's reelection campaign is pumping out nearly four times as much online content as GOP challenger Mitt Romney's campaign and is active on nearly twice as many Web platforms, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.... The study reported that Obama's campaign posts an average of 29 tweets per day, while Romney's posts an average of just one. Obama also published twice as many blog posts on his campaign website as did Romney. Both candidates, however, averaged about two posts a day on Facebook.”

WWE Wrestler Fired After Political Tweet by Neda Semnani (Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill): “Abraham Obama Washington, or A.W. (also known as Brian Jossie), was fired this week from his gig at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).... Jossie was fired after he tweeted his support for former WWE CEO Linda McMahon’s Senate candidacy, the Connecticut Post reports.... After the WWE shuttered Jossie’s official Twitter handle, he made a whole new, incredibly entertaining one where he has not only slammed his former employees, but also has thrown his support behind the Democratic candidate for Senate, Rep. Christopher Murphy.”

Stearns Poised To Lose Primary by Adam Mazmanian (National Journal’s Tech Daily Dose): “Twelve-term incumbent Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is poised to lose his bid for renomination in an unexpectedly close primary race to a tea party challenger. As of Wednesday morning, Stearns was trailing political rookie and veterinarian Ted Yoho by about 750 votes in Tuesday's primary election. ... Yoho staged an insurgent campaign, with quirky online ads, including one featuring a George W. Bush impersonator, and another depicting Washington politicians as pigs at a trough.”

Announcing techPresident's "Politics and the Internet" Timeline by Micah L. Sifry (techPresident): “We're happy to announce techPresident's ‘Politics and the Internet’ timeline, a living archive tracking how technology has started to change politics, government and civic life in the United States, worldwide and online, from 1968 to present... The timeline starts with the first vision of the ‘networked society,’ as described by J.C.R. Licklider and Robert W. Taylor, in early 1968, and the release of ‘Request for Comment-1,’ the first of many open standards planning documents that created the protocols of the Internet, in early 1969. And then it slowly unfolds, from the invention of email and the rise of the first online communities, to the release of the first web browser, the creation of the first congressional website, and the first major legislation governing online speech. And then in the mid-1990s history starts to accelerate, as political activists start organizing online and bloggers start getting arrested for their online activities. And that's just the first 30 years.”

14Aug/12

DPAD Mail Bag: Taxmageddon (again)

Posted by Jen Zingsheim

The drumbeat on the possible "taxmageddon" that will occur continues to be a popular topic for newsletters, along with a number of fundraising letters. Find out what issues advocacy groups are campaigning on below, in today's email newsletter roundup.

Email Newsletter Roundup

American Diabetes Association sends its newsletter, titled “August eNews: Are You Connected?” The email opens: “Stay in the Know About All Things Diabetes - There are so many ways you can help Stop Diabetes®—your voice, your presence, your connection to the ones you love. By joining us on our social media channels, you will receive up-to-date information about Association events and resources as well as the opportunity to connect with so many people who share your same goal—to Stop Diabetes. From personal success stories on our blog, to scientific breakthroughs coming from our YouTube channel, our social media hotspots have a place for everyone. We look forward to seeing new Facebook fans and Twitter followers, and hearing you raise your voices in the fight to Stop Diabetes!”

Heritage Action for America warns “Taxmageddon is coming...” The email highlights “the website thetaxmageddon.com” and opens: “On January 1st, 2013, there will be a $494 billion tax increase on you. This is the highest single-year tax hike in U.S. history. We call it taxmageddon. Taxmageddon is coming from a variety of income tax rates increases, a higher death tax, new taxes from Obamacare, and many more. These tax hikes will primarily hit the middle class, with the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax being the worst offender. You need to see the details to grasp just how bad it is. >> We've broken out these tax hikes by state, so you can see how bad taxmageddon is for you.

Dan Gross with Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence exclaims “Let's do this!” The letter urges action and states: “It has just been announced that Jim Lehrer of PBS's NewsHour will be the moderator of the first Presidential debate on Wednesday October 3, in Denver, CO. Yes — the first Presidential debate will be held within 10 miles of two of the most deadly mass shootings in U.S. history: Columbine High School and the Aurora movie theater. Yet neither presidential candidate has offered a plan to prevent gun violence in America. You can help change that by co-signing my letter to the moderator to make sure that the presidential candidates present their plans to make America safer. Sign my letter to Jim Lehrer to ask the Candidates: What specifically are you going to do to prevent gun violence in America? ... We have less than 90 days to make this issue the important part of the presidential election that it deserves to be!”

The US Chamber of Commerce spotlights a New York Times piece, titled “Decades Old EPA Superfund Draining Taxpayer Money and Time.”

Democratic Governors Association asks “want to come?” The fundraising email begins: “This is it. Tomorrow's the deadline to enter our contest for tickets to the Democratic National Convention. ... We’re going to give two lucky people an opportunity to experience that in Charlotte, Sept. 3-6. The Democratic Governors Association will take care of everything. We’ll pay airfare and put you and your guest up in a hotel near the Convention site. We’ll give you tickets to events around town and passes for the speeches. Give yourself a chance to win by entering today. Click here to donate $3 or more and your name will be automatically entered to win tickets for you and a guest to the Democratic National Convention.”

The Heritage Foundation warns “Taxpayers' Auto Bailout Losses Mounting” in an email that begins: “Taxpayers will lose even more on the auto bailout than previously thought, as the Treasury has just revised its estimate upward to $25 billion. This may still underestimate the losses to come—yet President Obama plans to tout the auto bailout as a key accomplishment of his Administration. Politico recently obtained a draft of planning documents for the Democratic National Convention, finding a repeated focus on the auto bailout.”

The Alliance for Retired Americans offer thoughts on “Seniors Celebrate Social Security's Birthday; Romney-Ryan Plan to Cut It.” The email urges action and opens with: “Today, Social Security celebrates its 77th anniversary. Alliance members across the country are holding rallies and grassroots events to meet with their elected officials to discuss the needs of current and future retirees. How ironic that just as seniors celebrate Social Security’s birthday, Mitt Romney has named in Paul Ryan a running mate who wants to decimate the program.... Please submit a letter to your local editor here. The Letter to the Editor section is one of the most widely read sections of the newspaper and can reach a large audience. You can comment on the way issues are being addressed in the media and influence the topics the local paper may choose to cover. We've made it easy for you to submit a letter to your local editor today. Click here to take more actions and save the programs we care about!

Save the Children sends out an email via Mother Jones warning “U.S. kids at risk!” The email opens with “16 million girls and boys in America live in poverty — for some, poverty means a severe lack of simple needs like books, healthy food, and places to play and exercise. For others, it's worse — like not knowing if there will be food on the table or a safe place to sleep. Without early intervention, these children are far more likely to drop out of school, be arrested for violent crime, or become teen parents. But with your support, we have the solutions and experience to help free these children from poverty and give them a chance at a better life. Sponsor a child in the U.S. today. And you will join Save the Children in delivering early childhood development, literacy, nutrition and most importantly, hope for a healthier and more successful future for some of America's neediest and most vulnerable girls and boys.”

Democratic Governors Association sends out an email titled “Sad Fact.” The state-specific email, highlighting the group’s efforts with Emily’s List to elect a woman governor, opens “It's a sad fact: next year there are going be fewer female governors than at any time in recent memory. That's why it's so important that we elect one of our two strong Democratic women who are running in New Hampshire. This is one battleground state where the contrast just couldn't be clearer. On the Democratic side, we have two experienced female candidates who have clear plans to create jobs and protect the rights of women. On the Republican side, the likely nominee is one of the most anti-woman candidates in the entire country. If elected, he would limit women's access to contraception and preventive health services. He even opposes requirements for insurers to cover life-saving screening procedures like mammograms. Will you join the DGA and Emily's List in standing against anti-woman Republican extremism in New Hampshire?

FRC Action announces “VP Pick Paul Ryan confirmed for Summit! Room deadline August 23.” The email features an image noting the Values Voter Summit will be held in Washington, DC from September 14th to the 16th and links to valuevotersummit.org for registration and details.

ThinkProgress War Room offers “12 Things You Must Know About Paul Ryan” The email calls Ryan a “Radical VP Choice” and claims: “On Saturday, Mitt Romney showed once again that he’s unable or unwilling to stand up to the most extreme voices in his party. He picked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), architect of ‘the most extreme budget plan passed by a house of Congress in modern times,’ as his running mate. It’s now clearer than ever that as president, Mitt Romney would end Medicare as we know it and raise taxes on middle class families by more than $2,000 in order to pay for massive new tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans. It’s also clearer than ever that this election will now be a choice between two wildly different visions for America: an economy that works for everyone or a rigged game where the rich get rich at the expense of everyone else. Here’s the rundown on Romney’s extreme VP pick...”