By: Thomas Nephew
As I write this, we’ve raised $986 for Senator Russ Feingold’s re-election campaign — just $14 shy of our goal of $1000. Way to go, “Get FISA Right” supporters! Nearly two dozen of you have stepped up with generous donations — thank you all! For those who haven’t — please support Russ Feingold now!
By adding different “refcode” tags to the different email appeals and blog links, we’re able to see where the donation clicks are happening. Of the 23 donations so far, about one third were done via the mass e-mailing to “MyBarackObama” lists, another third happened via links at this blog (either in the post or the ‘widget’ at the upper right corner), and the remainder have come from untagged links or other miscellaneous sources. The lesson seems to be that everything can work, but it may work best when it’s synergistic and simultaneous — it seemed to me that donation pace accelerated during the day yesterday, perhaps as multiple reminders showed up on people’s computer screens. …So get ready for another blitz. Support Russ Feingold now!
Enough on fundraising minutiae — how’s the Wisconsin campaign going? Unfortunately, the most recent polls I could find (October 1) suggested the race was getting tougher for Feingold, with Johnson if anything widening his lead. At the Huffington Post, Mark Blumenthal writes: “The trend in Johnson’s favor since the summer is hard to miss. Our trend line estimate now puts Johnson ahead by nearly 10 points (52.9% to 43.1%).” On the other hand, the Feingold campaign has cited internal polling showing the race is virtually tied, and Feingold has gone on the air with an ad accusing Johnson’s team of ‘excessive celebration.’
Whatever the case may be, it’s important for us to not let dismay at poll numbers turn into inaction, and thereby turn those numbers into a self-fulfilling prophecy of defeat. Support Russ Feingold now! Let’s go ahead and do what needs to be done so Feingold can keep fighting the good fight in Wisconsin — while his opponent hides from view. The Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel’s Don Walker reports (October 7):
Turn on the television or listen to the radio, and Republican Ron Johnson is everywhere. Finding him on the campaign trail can be a little more difficult. […] Aside from carefully scripted campaign events, it is hard for the public to get information about his appearances before groups and organizations. “We don’t receive any advance notifications of his travels or appointments,” said Stewart Rieckman, general manager and executive editor of the Oshkosh Northwestern, Johnson’s hometown newspaper. The Associated Press says the same thing. The Wisconsin Newspaper Association also inquired about a campaign schedule for member newspapers, but the Johnson campaign has not responded, according to Beth Bennett, the group’s executive director. Last Sunday, the Northwestern published a profile about Johnson. Rieckman said Johnson did not respond to multiple requests for an interview for the story. “This is the strategy,” Rieckman said. “Shield him from the press. Keep him under the radar.”
Walker goes on to attribute that to the advent of online campaigning. Personally, I think “Citizens United” and a tidal wave of anonymously sourced advertising has more to do with it. Johnson doesn’t show himself because he doesn’t need to show himself. When he does, it even embarrasses some conservative spectators, as at a grassroots “vetting” event where Johnson was asked whether he supported the Patriot Act. Johnson’s response:
…I’ll put it this way: So much of the Patriot Act exists in law, and they just put it within that law. I certainly share the concerns of civil liberties. Now if you have Barack Obama in charge versus George Bush—I wasn’t overly concerned with George Bush in power. I’m a little more concerned about the Patriot Act when you have Barack Obama. […] Our nation was at risk. When you’re at risk by things like international terrorism and stuff, you have to react to that. And you sometimes have to give up a little bit. But again, I like the fact that it should be of a temporary nature and be something for renewal. …
“pompadour”‘s response shows that civil liberties concerns aren’t limited to the left:
Here’s a tip for you, Ron: A law that compromises civil liberties is problematic no matter who’s in power. […] That[Johnson]’s comfortable with the Patriot Act in one administration’s hands but not another—and that he’d keep it around anyway—demonstrates how far from the Constitution Johnson’s actually standing. He doesn’t grasp the very real danger that lies in passing and growing accustomed to any law that grants government unconstitutional powers over the People.
(Emphasis in original.) Couldn’t have said it better myself. Support Russ Feingold now!
[crossposted from newsrack blog]
UPDATE, 1pm: $1002, from 24 donors!!! This is now one of the most successful fundraising drives for Russ Feingold on ActBlue — we’re currently in 9th place for total dollars raised and 11th for number of donors. Thanks to everyone who has helped and to everyone who has donated! Let’s run up the score for Russ Feingold!
2D UPDATE: I corresponded with Harry about this last night; we’re increasing our goal to $1500.