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Re-Defeat Bush

Today’s guest blogger: Jon! What does Jon have to say for himself? Read on:

I am contacting you to let you know about a new political organization with a catchy name, the Committee to Redefeat the President. I have volunteered at their last three events (I just got back from one of their events tonight!) Having seen them in action, I feel that I can, in good conscience, recommend them to all of you. I thought that I would do my bit to publicize their efforts.

The Committee to ReDefeat the President, which often goes by the shorthand “Redefeat Bush”, is an independent expenditure committee. Its purpose is to conduct an Internet-enabled voter registration drive that will secure at least one million new Democratic voters in key battleground states. At the meeting I attended tonight, a group of us, operating out of one bar in D.C. in just a few hours, registered almost 1,000 new voters in Pennsylvania.

If we can do that in one bar in D.C. in one night, just think about what could be accomplished if this same scene were replicated in cities around the country over an 8 month period!

In cooperation with other Democratic and progressive organizations, the Committee sponsors nationwide Tuesday Night Democratic Clubs that began this month, in March 2004. These gatherings (at bars and other meeting places) enable volunteer activists with cell phones or pens to call or write to households that are likely to register as Democrats but are not currently registered to vote. The goal is to get 20,000 volunteers to register 50 new Democrats apiece, thus registering one million new Democratic voters in key states that we will mobilize to vote on Election Day 2004.

Right now, to my knowledge, Redefeat Bush is only active in the D.C. area, but the group is very interested in expanding to other cities and towns around the country, as soon as possible. I encourage all of you to visit their website. You can sign up there to be a volunteer or an organizer.

. . . Several of you have told me in the past year that you would like to find some way to get involved in the campaign this year. Here is one way to do so! . . . You have more power than you realize. I hope that you consider getting involved in this organization… Thank you for your consideration.”

Thanks, Jon!

{ 4 } Comments

  1. AP news article about Redefeat Bush | March 17, 2004 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Posted on Wed, Mar. 17, 2004

    Action Group Aims to ‘Redefeat’ Bush

    EMILY FREDRIX

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON – The name says it all: Committee to Redefeat the President.

    Tapping into the animosity many Democrats feel toward President Bush, and crystallized by the disputed 2000 election, a political action committee is using a mix of marketing tools, cell phones and humor to contact unregistered households in core Democratic areas of swing states.

    The goal: Persuade enough people to register and then vote a Democratic ticket to unseat Bush.

    “What we want to do is harness activities in regions that are highly competitive and decided by a small margin,” said Democratic activist David Lytel, head of the Committee to Redefeat the President.

    Although the group’s name is a jab at the fact that Bush didn’t win the popular vote in 2000 – and the Supreme Court had the final say – its goal is serious. Lytel, an adviser in the first Clinton administration, wants 1 million Democrats signed up to vote in November, and hopes to get 20,000 volunteers to register 50 Democrats each.

    The field of unregistered voters is much larger than Lytel’s goal. Almost 36 percent of eligible voters – or nearly 73 million people – were unregistered in 2000, according to the Census Bureau.

    About 2,000 people interested in helping are on the group’s mailing list, and the effort is spreading by word of mouth and through the committee’s Internet site, which tempers political desire with humor. On the site, an animated send-up of Bush wonders aloud if “redefeat” is a word and admits he wouldn’t mind losing because he’d then have more time to play in celebrity golf tournaments.

    The Bush-Cheney campaign sees the group’s actions as “more negative, bitter partisanship,” said spokesman Scott Stanzel. “So far we haven’t seen much in the way of positive strategy from the president’s opponents,” he said Tuesday.

    For the past few weeks, between 40 and 100 volunteers have gathered for “Tuesday Night Democratic Clubs” at a Washington bar, contacting about 1,000 unregistered households in Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County, which includes the city of Wilkes-Barre. Through letters and calls on their own cell phones, volunteers are encouraging would-be voters to register for their state’s April 27 primary, and offering to fill out registration forms or send forms to their homes.

    Many of the 30 people that volunteer Carol Hausman called didn’t know about Pennsylvania’s primary. Her political involvement usually is limited to donating money to candidates, but she wants Bush out of office – and she wants to help make it happen.

    “I care more this year than any other time I can remember,” said Hausman, 70, of Washington.

    Voter registration has always been important to volunteer J.E. McNeil, this year even more so.

    “I’m especially concerned when people are elected by such squeaky margins,” said McNeil, 52, of Washington.

    The group is concentrating solely on Democratic strongholds in Ohio and Pennsylvania, two swing states that loom large in November. Bush edged out Democrat Al Gore in Ohio, which offers 20 electoral votes, while Gore captured Pennsylvania, which this year has 21 electoral votes.

    ON THE NET

    Redefeat Bush: http://www.redefeatbush.com

  2. phantom dennis | March 17, 2004 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    During one of my many trips out to DC, I stopped in at the bar and saw this group in action (and bought a couple of buttons). They were very impressive!

  3. Jon | April 1, 2004 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Here is an update on what ReDefeat Bush has been up to in the past two weeks (this is actually the text of an email update I received from ReDefeat Bush recently):

    The ReDefeaters Digest 3/29/04: ReDefeatBush Calling Crews in DC and
    NYC Tomorrow Night; Organizational Meeting in Boston 3/31; Opening Soon
    in Arlington VA, Bethesda MD and San Francisco; Where We are Going and
    Why We Need Your Contribution

    ReDefeatBush.com brings together Democrats to register Democrats by
    phone and mail in key battleground states.

    To contribute http://www.redefeatbush.com/donate
    To volunteer http://www.redefeatbush.com/volunteer
    To buy our stuff http://www.redefeatbush.com/store

    ***************************************************
    In this issue:

    1. This Tuesday Night in DC and NYC PLEASE RSVP
    2. Organizational Meeting Wednesday in Boston PLEASE RSVP
    3. Progress Report on New Sites
    4. Following the Money: Why We Need Your Help

    ***************************************************

    1. The Tuesday Night Democratic Clubs have been renamed the
    ReDefeatBush Calling Crews, because we’re not just about Tuesday nights anymore.
    We’ll be at our original location in Washington, DC (Spy Lounge 2406
    18th Street, NW) Tuesday 3/30 starting at 6:00 and are opening up our
    first New York City venue that same night at Sandobe Sushi (167 1st Avenue
    between 10th and 11th) at the same time. For DC please RSVP to
    ronna@redefeatbush.com and for NYC please RSVP to
    elana@redefeatbush.com.

    2. We’ll have an organizational meeting to find volunteers and explain
    how we operate on Wednesday 3/31 in Boston at 7:00. If you can come
    please RSVP to david@redefeatbush.com. We think it will be at Trinity
    (63 Chatham St.) which will be confirmed when you RSVP.

    3. We’re scheduled to launch in Arlington, VA on Wednesday 4/14 and in
    Bethesda, MD on Monday 4/12. To RSVP for either location please send
    an e-mail to ronna@redefeatbush.com. We do not yet have a launch date
    for San Francisco but are working on one. (It is more complicated
    because it requires the creation of a new list of unregistered citizens in
    one of the western states.)

    4. Following the Money: While we now have full time organizers in NYC
    and SF and made almost $2,000 Thursday at the DNC fundraiser (thanks to
    all), we urgently need to raise money to be able to go national. To
    this point we have given people access to our database of unregistered
    people in Pennsylvania by putting it on paper and giving them clipboards.
    The next big step is making our contact management all electronic, so
    that we have an immediate tabulation of results and we can manage not
    just hundreds of volunteers in a few locations but thousands of
    volunteers in dozens of locations. There are three components to this
    expansion. First, we need to enlarge our list of unregistered citizens. We
    will get 25,000 more names, which will cost us several thousand dollars.
    Second, we need to license the software necessary to control access to
    our data via a Web interface and track the results of our telephone
    calls so that we can do follow-up phoning more easily, which will a!
    lso cost several thousand dollars. Finally, we need to equip the
    Calling Crews in each of our cities with a sufficient number of laptop
    computers so that we can provide phone numbers and track results
    electronically. We think a ratio of about one laptop for each four volunteers is
    about right, meaning if our events continue to draw about 50 people
    each week in each location and 40 of them are phoning (the rest are
    writing letters and addressing envelopes) then we need 10 laptops per city.
    The laptops (and the cell phones we have already secured) will move to
    a different location each night of the week. For example in the
    Washington area they will be in Bethesda on Mondays, DC on Tuesdays, and
    Arlington on Wednesdays. We will buy used laptops, but still are expecting
    to have to pay $500 each, so we need $5,000 for each city in which we
    are operating. To total these requirements, we need to raise about
    $25,000. We think this is doable and we’re asking for your help at h!
    ttp://www.redefeatbush.com/donate. If you have a laptop you would like
    to contribute it needs to run Windows or be a recent vintage MacIntosh
    and have a slot for a PC card so that it can be given a wireless
    network connection. We’ve reached a thrilling moment in which the model
    we’ve created has proven that it works, but now we need to expand so we can
    really get a million new Democrats registered.

    Please forward this message on to your friends so we can continue to
    grow.

    — David Lytel, founder

    ReDefeatBush: We beat him once, we can beat him again

  4. Sorry for the long post... | April 1, 2004 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    the bottom line is that ReDefeat Bush now has several locations up and running in New York City, is about to get up and running in Boston, and is opening Soon in Arlington VA, Bethesda MD and San Francisco.

    Chicago would be great too, if enough people are interested in your fair city!

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