Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A belated report………………

………………. on the First District county leadership meeting last Saturday in Dubuque. The 1st District meeting was very well attended, well thought out and well run. John Ortega, Carl Gilbertson and Dan Nicholson deserve much credit for the format and content of the meeting. It was great seeing Rose Kramer again, who acted as the meeting secretary. Ray and Leon attended; I was there as Organization Chairman and Bonnie Hall also attended from the Central Committee. Bill Dix and Mike Whalen were in attendance. Pat Grassley also spoke as a representative of Butler County-and correctly discussed the misallocation of Republican resources in the last cycle.

The many county chairs in attendance provided great input. Much of it, of course, echoed the sentiments expressed in the Third and Fourth Districts. My county chair ear was particularly interested in the comments from Susan Frazer (Scott); Steve Bateman (Dubuque); and the dynamic duo from Black Hawk, Steve Schmitt and Don Wood. Demographic realities dictate that the more urban counties require far more attention than Iowa Republican strategy has heretofore acknowledged, and those three counties are of great significance to any Republican resurgence in our now very blue state. We have to start matching the Democrat committment to party building the eleven most populous counties or continue to surrender large margins in the gubernatorial cycle elections.

The district leadership meetings have made four areas of complaint abundantly clear, in no particular order: (1) An complete lack of any appearance of a defining and unifying Republican message; (2) A reliance on increasingly negative attacks-at times shockingly inaccurate and misleading that only repulse the voters; (3) An over reliance on redundant telephone calls that have become a form of harassment that further alienates voters, exacerbating problems 1 and 2; (4) The lack of on going effective institutional communication and organization within the various parts of the party (the campaigns, the legislators, other elected officials, the state party and the 99 county parties).

My wife says that God always opens a window when He closes a door. We have a window to a great future if we take the right turn at this cross road.
P.S. On a sad note, Polk County lost a good public servant this week. George Paletta, Director of Elections passed away last Friday. Although George was a Democrat he was always helpful and abundantly fair in all the dealings I had with him as a Republican county chairman. What's more, George was just a plain nice guy. So today's post is in red and green in memory of George.


Anonymous said...

Real Sporer-

I second your comments about George Paletta. I have known George all my life & would do anything for anyone. George dedicated his time as Director of Elections in Polk County to administering fair & honest elections for all parties. Polk County lost a great public servant. George, you will be missed.

john mcenroe said...

Sounds like you had a great group of turbo charged work horses at that 1st district meeting. Trust me Ted, they talk a great game but they don't lift a single finger. They attend the parties but not the phone banks. Phone calls and voter contacts are like any basic sales force. If I were an insurance salesman, or realtor, or car salesman etc. - the more calls I make, the more money I make. It's a law of numbers. It works the same with elections you boneheads!!! We just got the results yesterday. Biggest mid term election in Iowa ever! We got the people out and the problem was they didn't vote for us. If you're going to listen to Susan Frazer and company - then it's quite f-ing obvious that you were not in Scott county during 72 hours. You cannot be serious!!!
You're listening to the wrong people!!! That ball was on the line!!! JM

Anonymous said...

New to blogging and this site.
To JM - 72 hour calling was done in Scott Co. It was a part of the problem. Susan

mohammed was a pedophile said...

The bottom line here is that the Party is as useless at tits on a suitcase.

Anonymous said...


I agree Susan is a true asset to this party. I worked with her as a field rep in 2002 and she was classy all the way. I am glad to hear she is still as active today.

-Jarad Klein

John McEnroe said...

People were being kicked out of the HQ by you during 72 hours! I know we all think that we're the cat's meow to political strategy but don't you all think the RNC has a better understanding of what gets people out to vote - and they did pay for a lot of it. When was the last time Scott County elected a statewide or presidential? I know but I want you to guess. Then ask yourself - why? Same with Blackhawk? Grassley 2004 doesnt count - Art Small didn't have any money. We used to win in Scott County but what's happened? Do you think it's because you've been doing the same thing for so long and never changed your strategy? Just a guess! The chalk flew up! It was clearly in!

Anonymous said...

McEnroe - Guess what? Congress passed a bit of legislation called the DO NOT CALL list to protect people from the phones calls you describe as basic law of large numbers and normal. But, Congress exempted themselves from it. Just because you "CAN" do it, doesn't mean anyone wants you to. They don't.

The phone calls have become harrassment. They are up 100 fold from years past and people are sick to death of it. Nobody wants to place the calls and no one wants to receive them.

The harassing phone calls are just one of many examples of tired, worn out methods. When I made calls, I only got maybe 1 person out of 25 calls. Lots of wasted time and effort. I won't do it again.

Anonymous said...

The 72 hour program only works if you have a reason to go out and vote. The reason it worked for Bush is because Bush had an agenda and a message. No one else downticket did and we lost them all, even though they were part of the same 72 hour effort. How do you explain that? The difference is the message. Not just a silly platitude marketing slogan, but a real agenda.

Anonymous said...

McEnroe said: but don't you all think the RNC has a better understanding of what gets people out to vote.

I guess we found out the answer to that? No they don't. Someone brilliant once said "all politics is local". That is correct. The RNC has forgotten that and it was a critical flaw for us in Iowa who deferred to these RNC "experts".

Anti-War the RNC and their I know more than you do about your own state arrogant mentality.

Anonymous said...

John, No one was kicked out of the Scott County Republican HQ. You have been given faulty information.
Susan Frazer

John McEnroe said...

You are all missing the boat! We all vote - am I right? but Joe voter needs to have his hand held all the way to the polls, especially when we know he hasn't voted in the last two midterm elections. I realize the recorded calls got a little crazy and even caused me to react with one of my signature tirades but that's what it takes! I knew damn well what day I needed to vote! That's what we wanted. You cannot beat person to person voter contacts. Phone calls and door knocks are the only way to do that! No body pays attention to the ads anymore. If I get a nice courteous person smiling at my door and asking for my support and my vote - they'll get it. I didn't see one f-ing person on the Scott County Central Committee door knocking during 72 hours (not counting candidates)! I did see the Scott County Central Committee starting the victory party early though. Don't try to hide that fact. This is a place where we can tell the truth. This was a year similar to 1974 when we lost. You may have seen my heartbreaking 1980 Wimbledon loss but I got over it! You need to get over it and start f-ing door knocking and stop trying to blame everyone else. The whole stadium knows that it's in and youre calling it out? Explain that to me will yah!

Anonymous said...

George was a class act.

Thoughts and prayers are with his family.

sporer's old friend said...

teddy you are still as sentimental as you were when you were 12. do the iowa republicans know that you have a big heart and not just a big brain?

Anonymous said...

Sporer, what is your opinion of Mike Mauro? Is he guilty of election fraud in 1998 like Bob Dopf suugested? Was he involved in CIETC?

The Real Sporer said...

Just home from a very cold trip to Mason City.

I cannot opine on anything that went on in Polk County before 2001 as I have no knowledge upon which to base an opinion. Obviously there are many very corrupt Democrats involved in Polk County government, especially John Mauro.

However, the Polk County Election Office has always been helpful and honest in dealing with me. Never once did they lead me astray or, in the early days, take advantage of my lack of knowledge.

So, let's see what happens going forward in that office without Mike and George. Needless to say, we will be vigilant!

I liked Borg better said...


I'm a perfect voter. I always vote. Do you think that's because I got 100 harrassing phone calls telling me what day to vote?


Wasted effort, wasted time. Perfect voters know when to vote. It's condescending in addition to being harrassing.

Anonymous said...

The person who posted about the do not call list is correct. Cold Calling isn't really done anymore because of the do not call list. It's an out of date and ineffective method. Camapaigns are out of touch with modern prospecting methods. It's not phone calling anymore.

what we don't know won't hurt us said...

This really belongs in the "lie" post, but, I'll do it here because this just came out today.

Another big lie: We want to raise minimum wage because we care about poverty (in Iowa, as of yesterday's report is less than 3%). Remember: Most if not all union contracts are tied to minimum wage. Minimum wage goes up, Union wages go up. Bait and Switch Democrats do it again.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006 12:05 a.m. EST
Pelosi: Union Issues a 'High Priority'

Incoming U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she expects early 2007 House action on a bill backed by unions, but opposed by business interests, to make it easier for employees to organize.

In remarks after a meeting with leaders from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Pelosi reiterated her plans for quick action in January on issues such as raising the minimum wage.

Nicole said...

If phone calling isn't "in" anymore what is? Not everyone has computers let alone the internet.

I agree that perhaps people are getting too many phone calls from campaigns - especially if they're registered non-party - but everyone should be phoned once or twice as a reminder and to make sure they know their polling location as it does change every now and then.

You cannot do away with phone calling entirely.

Anonymous said...

To "John Mcenroe"
My name is Roger Mall, I am in the Davenport directory, that I made the following comments can be verified with a phone call. I have been an activist in Scott County Republican politics for about thirty years. The comments that follow are my own and do not necessarily reflect the position of any other Scott County Republican Central Committee member.

Because the name “john mcenroe” (hereinafter “JM”) is a nom d’ plume the question arises whether this person had any meaningful involvement in Scott County activities in this or past cycles, knows anything about the 72 hour program (or business sales and marketing), knows anything about the extent of Scott County Republican Party GOTV activities this cycle and past cycles or our relationship with RPI and individual Republican candidate’s campaigns.

My guess is that this person thinks that they know more than they do, but perhaps did have some relationship with the 72 hour program. However this person does not have the integrity to be up-front with the readership about that involvement and he or she is the sort who will cast cheap shots at a real person but does not have the integrity to face the accused. In spite of JM’s disclaimer, the sort of anonymous accusations thrown out by “JM” have nothing to do with the pursuit of truth or any relationship to it.

The problem with the blogosphere of course is that people can do just what “JM” has done; spread false implications and misinformation, impugning the dedication of someone who spent countless hours working for candidates and the Party. JM offers no accountability only accusations, and no information to enable an objective reader to evaluate “JM’s” disinterestedness or veracity or even closeness to the subject at hand. JM does the Republican Party no good by not advising the readership whom he or she is, or their involvement and responsibilities this election cycle. But enough about JM’s character for now, let me now address some bon monts thrown our way.

First of all to suggest that campaigns can not make enough phone calls in a narrow time frame in politics or business is evidence of a little bit too much consumption of the doctrinal kool-aide that was apparently passed around somewhere. Virtually content free phone calls do not get anyone to buy a car or to buy a politician. That takes features and presentation (message) and that has to have been achieved before the GOTV calls.

JM’s comments implied that cooperation with the 72 hour program in Scott County (and other GOTV activities we undertook) were insufficient to get Republicans to the polls. The truth is that the Scott County Republican Party went beyond every commitment made to support RPI efforts regarding the 72 hour program in spite of the egregious redundancies that existed in that program when overlaid on top of our long established and successful Scott County GOTV program. Who does JM think provided perhaps more space and more phones than perhaps any other county organization in support of all Republican efforts this cycle? Our facilities and phones were at the disposal of RPI and RNC for all local efforts for two months prior to the election.

The only thing we asked of the sponsors of the 24-hour program, which we thought was agreed to, was that the 72 hour program concentrate on advocacy calls to voter vault independents and perhaps soft-Republicans during that period rather than adding to a contact regime of phone calls to voting Republicans, whom are well administered to by candidates and Scott County’s long established GOTV program. That would seem to be a far better investment of time, when a reliable existing program was in place to turn out he base. If JM thought it was clear all along that it was going to be difficult to get out hard-Republicans that should have been a clue that there was one gigantic message problem, something that is not going to be overcome by stilted scripts, and also evidence that JM has a lot to learn. As it was agreements were ignored, calls across the board were made anyway, and resources were squandered accordingly. Although this election cycle had a lot of problems, sufficiency of phone dialing was not one of them.
Door knocking is a good thing to do, it helps get more information into people’s hands, but just as with the 72 hour phone calling, one needs an accurate list and an efficient strategy. There were a lot of problems with the 72 hour walk program, but I am already getting fatigued from responding to JM’s ignorance and distortions. I will say that the JM’s apparent knowledge of the typical volunteer base available for door knocking activities in the 72 hour lead up to the election is appalling. The teams that did go out, for which we were immensely appreciative, I am sure did all they could do, but if door knocking is going to replace phoning it is going to have to start earlier in the week and have more people.

There were a couple of other calumnies stated by JM that are just reprehensible. No volunteer was ever kicked out of Scott County Republican Headquarters. The accusation is false, period. Also, quoting JM “I did not see one f-ing person on the Scott County Central Committee door knocking during the 72 hours (not counting candidates).” Well, perhaps we can further narrow down the identity of JM, he / she has a potty mouth even when civil discourse is called for, and he / she may be blind, but more likely he / she is just prone to shameless unjustified defamation. If other large counties had a better degree of involvement, I congratulate them, but I doubt that someone with the perception and discernment that JM has demonstrated would recognize it. JM owes Susan Frazer and Scott County Republican activists a big apology.

mohammed was a pedophile said...


The reason it worked for Bush is because Bush had an agenda and a message.


Kenboiraq said...

Auto dialers work when used effectively - see Judge Pelton in Clinton County as my group "Children Need Both Parents" achieved a 50% "NON RETENTION" vote against him while in counties we did not use the auto dialer he had 80% retention.

You must campaign to get your message out and doing with multiple and complimentary ways will sway those previously uninformed about an issue.

Roger had it dead on that you MUST have a valid message to reach anyone. This is no different than advertising.

john mcenroe said...

Scott County,
Ya all keep avoiding my question! When was the last time Scott County was successful? Blame the party, blame the RNC, blame the candidates, if you want, but why don't you look at yourselves? Tell me what your plan is! Does it get the 10% of swing voters out and voting our way? Do you have any data to support brainbuster political plan? Tell me!

Anonymous said...

Hey MoPed

We know that there isn't a candidate ever that is going to please you. For the other 80% of us, Bush had an agenda and a message that we liked better than the agenda and message coming from either Al Gore or especially, John Kerry.

Thank god for the real base, the base that votes all the time, who protected the rest of you from John Kerry.

Anonymous said...

Ted- What makes JM such an authority on Scott County? He/She could not have been there for the 72 hrs., or he would not have given such totally incorrect info.
We are very proud of Susan Frazer, Scott County Chair, our Central Committee, and scores of dedicated volunteers.
What is your gripe J.M.?
Are you even a Republican --Don't even sound close to being a RHINO

Anonymous said...

To J.M.--Roger was very accurate with his information
I am on the Scott County Central Comm and went door to door for the 72hrs.
Got some good literature out in Bett 1-2, even though half the time we were chasing down bogus addresses that did't exist. Many of my fellow door knockers are on the Scott County Central Comm

Roger Mall said...

Taunting us for a plan is a shift of focus for you. I was responding to your calumnies about Scott County's participation in the 72 hour program. The process we participated in in Dubuque is about formulating a new plan. How is that for a plan - we participate in the planning.

The 72 hour program was not the reason for our losses. You seem to believe it would be the reason for victory. But of course it is primarily a mechanism to get out our supporters. Insufficient supporters and we lose.

Unfortunately our potential with no-party voters and soft Republicans had deteriorated and the 72 hour program was not going to fix that. That is dependent on a political milieu that for the most part is above our paygrade. County parties are pretty much functionaries, although I believe we could do more to define Republicanism to the community.

We can help plug the dike but some engineers better be moving in the big equipment to repair the damage that has been done to the damn we helped build.

We can spend way to much time on the mechanics of GOTV. You can spend an inordinate amount of resources on tasks that may just be burnishing the roundness of some wheels that have a sputtering polluted engine to propel them.

OK, enough strained analogies. GOTV efforts are still very very important. I will try to briefly extend my remarks over the weekend on GOTV subjects particularly as they relate to what I consider high cost to benefit programs with perhaps some brief comments on some structure issues as well. You still owe Susan Frazer and other Scott County Republicans an apology.

Big-killer said...

Johnny Mac -

I agree with Roger. Regardless of your points, your process, your MO dictates you owe MS Fraser and the Scott County Republican Central Committee an apology.

Do so or we will have to call the Big Swede out of retirement.

WAR Bjorn Borg !!!!

john mcenroe said...

That ball was in!

I hope the state central committee members take all of the recommendations from Patrick Grassley for allocating dollars. He has the experience to let them know how it would have better spent! Great knowing you all - I'll come back in 8-12 years with a revolution so we can take the power back. Until then let's party in Scott County on election night 2 hours before the polls close! JM

Anonymous said...

Ted, when is the 2nd district leadership meeting?

Anonymous said...

Dear JM
Once again you do not know what you are talking about,since you were not at the Scott Co HQTRS. on election night. If you had been there you would have noticed that our 50+ dedicated phone bank volunteers were calling people up until 8:40 PM - the polls closed at 9:00 PM--Just in case you did'nt know !
The party started when the phoning was done,as the party was held in the same room-to save money for our candidates.
See ya in 8-12 years . Maybe you will have your facts straight by then

mohammed was a pedophile said...

We know that there isn't a candidate ever that is going to please you.

I beg to differ. If a candidate comes along who is not a closet socialist, I will be more than pleased.

For the other 80% of us, Bush had an agenda and a message that we liked better than the agenda and message coming from either Al Gore or especially, John Kerry.

Which was "I suck less than these guys do."

Bush's agenda and "message" (or his hideous lack thereof) consisted exclusively of losing the war, amnesty for illegals and expanding the size and scope of government.

Oh well. He has an "R" behind his name so that makes everything just hunky dory to the "base" as you so cavalierly describe it.

Kenboiraq said...

Mohammed is on fire!

Seriously, I am also tired of Republicans not sure if they are "Republican" once their districts show any sign of socialist tendencies.

Jeffords and his ilk did not contribute before and running to the left of the middle to grab Democratic votes is a losing plan.

Just ask "Returning" congressman Jim Leach how his liberalism helped him beat a no name challenger this last election!

mohammed was a pedophile said...

Just ask "Returning" congressman Jim Leach how his liberalism helped him beat a no name challenger this last election!

Or better yet, ask Senator Ganske.

Anonymous said...

The Do Not Call list has nothing to do with political calls. The law excepts them, and the Constitution probably makes it impossible to ban them. So forget about that.

Pat Grassley's experience amounts to being born a Grassley. He's like 24 or something, right? I'm not saying he's wrong, it makes sense, but we'll talk about his experience in 10 years or so.

Anonymous said...

Mr Sporer. Say it ain't so. You speak highly of Mikey Mauro after all of the proved wrongdoing that he, his brother and kid for that matter have faced and been guilty of? Please tell me that someone stole your login so I can I prove to myself that you are not bipolar when it comes to the Mauros. Whats next saying Cunningham earned that money?

Anonymous said...

What is Mike Mauro guilty of? What is John Mauro guilty of? Act like a man! The people have spoken! Phillips out Mauro in. Hanusa back to DC & Mauro. Act like a man you sorry chump.

Anonymous said...

Mauro traded jobs with Ramona Cunningham. Kid for kid. Her daughter Rose worked for Mauro and his kid Steve received the biggest bonus outside of those implicated at CTECH. Winning elections does not clear people of wrong doing ask those who helped Nixon in 1972. The Mauros are dirty plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Yes, congress exempted themselves from the law that allows people to exempt themselves from receiving unsolicited calls into their home so that congress could make unsolicited calls into their home.

It's an out of date tactic.

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech is an essential aspect of our society.

If not for the freedom to hear and speak we would be communist or worse.

mohammed was a pedophile said...

This has nothing to do with the post but R.I.P Pinochet.

He was a great man and the world is a worse place without him in it.

Wes said...

I’ve been reading a lot on this thread about how phone calls are outdated and to a degree, I have to say that I agree. Phone banks during campaign season are generally associated by voters as annoying calls that harass them during their free time, so on election day, when the phone bank is a vital aspect of our “Get-out-the-vote” effort they have already tuned out.

We need to find a way to ensure our message is out and in their minds without upsetting them in the process. We have to remember that we’re dealing with a different audience than we have ever dealt with before. Let’s face it; we are dealing with cell phone carrying, wireless, drive-through culture of instant gratification. People have grown used to getting information in a manor that is fast, easy and doesn’t cause them too much inconvenience. Therefore, I think it’s a safe bet that we would be well served by a revision in our general marketing strategy as a whole. The question is how?

Its true, its probably more difficult to engage voters than it ever has been in the past. They hang up on our phone bank volunteers as thought they were telemarketers, they ignore direct mail and throw it away with the rest of their “junk mail” and when our commercials come on, they simply change the channel.

Personally, I found the following 3 methods to be highly effective in reaching this new audience of voters:

1. Substitute phone banks with auto-dialed messages from the candidate about a specific issue. But only send out auto dialed messages between 10:00am and 1:00pm. This time-frame gives you the best chance of avoiding a human contact and allows your message to go onto their answering machine/voice mail. The method allows us to avoid annoying someone with a message at an inconvenient time, and hit them with a specific issue from the mouth of the candidate allowing him/her to build name and issue ID without inconveniencing the target audience. I found that the auto-dialed message to the voice mail tactic is also more successful in actually reaching a target audience because people are much more likely to listen to a message on their answering machine than they are to listen to a radio or television ad. Why? Because there isn’t another channel they can change to. They’ll listen to it, if for no other reason than to delete it and move onto their next message. The point is, they WILL listen to it. Auto dialed calls are also much less costly than radio-TV and you are guaranteed to get the listener you want rather than blindly stabbing at listeners in the dark. For a small, low-funded campaign they are extremely effective in building name ID.

2. Rather than send quick/easy junk mail to voters, try this: create post cards “thanking them for their consider consideration of our candidates and issues,” that will fit in an envelope the size of a standard greeting card. Print envelopes for the mailing that say “Thank You” in gold lettering on the front, then hand address the envelope to the voter including a return address for the candidate and either his/her home or campaign office. Then stuff the post card into the envelope and mail it out with a standard stamp. The average person will see the packaging on the letter and immediately disassociate it from their junk mail pile and take at least a moment to open it and look at what’s inside. Granted, most people again will simply throw it away after they glance over it, but again, they will at least glance over it before they toss it. That’s far better than what they do with our mailings now.

3. Door knock, do every parade, go to community events, visit churches with family, friends, and supporters in different congregations and communities. In short, go everywhere and be visible. You would be amazed how many people a candidate can win over by just taking a hour of his/her time to go to a “Fireman’s chili-supper” in a tiny town, or if your candidate takes a moment during a parade to mingle with the crowd to chat and shake hands.

tim said...

Wes, I can't wait until you run for office again!

You were/are a great candidate and did everything correct for as little money as you had.

Enos for Congress 2008!

(or whatever!)

Anonymous said...

Good points on running for individual office.


The Chad said...

Pinochet will be remembered by history as a Napoleon-figure more than a Hitler. Maybe 3,000 seems like a lot, but think of the millions killed by the Leftists in Cambodia, U.S.S.R., China, Revolutionary France, North Korea, Cuba, and the list goes on and on!

mohammed was a pedophile said...

3,000 is a slow week under a Communist regime.