Republican "Silent But Deadly" Ground Operation

As well as Bush does tonite, The Republican Get-Out-The-Vote operation is much of the reason. Some facts about the Bush ground operation: (Sorry I had to put this together hastily…)

– Bush GOTV budget $125 million

– Pennsylvania, volunteers made 1.8 million calls last week compared to 415,000 in 2000.

– Washington State, GOP mailed out 1.2 million absentee ballots, up 53% from 2000

– And in WA volunteers contacted 200,000 homes last weekend

– Bush campaign contacting 400,000 people a day in Ohio

– In PA Bush campaign plan to contact 2 million voters since Friday

– Four years ago, Bush employed 22 paid staff members in Florida. This year, he has 500 on the payroll.

– Bush campaign Florida goal was 6,600 volunteers, instead they recruited 15,000

– RNC paying travel, hotel & food for at least 5,000 loyalists working in battleground states

– Minn – GOP contacting 1 million with freshly-refined database

– Chamber of Commerce claims to have registered 500,000 new GOP in corporations

– Chamber hopes to “reach” 20 million employees.

– Chamber/BIPAC embership was 50 corporations, now 500

– Oregon GOP 22,000 volunteers “largely hidden from view” “keeping their plans under wraps” and “silent but deadly”

– Iowa, GOP making 32,000 voter contacts each week

Sources:

US News, Nov 1: Pennsylvania:

“In 2000, the GOP had eight phone banks operating in the Keystone State. This time around, they have 28, with hordes of volunteers making phone calls and going door to door to help identify Republican voters and those who, as Novak says, “may be persuadable to the president.” Four years ago, the volunteers had made 415,000 calls. Last week it was up to 1.8 million.”

Seattle Times, Nov 1,

Through Thursday, King, Pierce and Snohomish counties had mailed out about 1.2 million absentee ballots, 53 percent more than the 786,000 sent in 2000. Some 450,000 completed ballots had been returned, far more than at the same time in 2000.

[…] The GOP has 20 paid staff members organizing voter-turnout drives statewide, in addition to the staffs of individual Republican candidates, he said. Over the weekend, Vance said, 5,000 volunteers called or rang doorbells at 200,000 homes.

Washinton Post, Nov 1;

A Bush campaign official said they were contacting 400,000 people a day in Ohio as well. In Pennsylvania, the Bush campaign planned to contact 2 million voters between Friday and Election Day.

[…] Bush’s budget for voter mobilization is about $125 million, at least triple that of four years ago, a knowledgeable official said.

[…] Four years ago, Bush employed 22 paid staff members in Florida. This year, he has 500 on the payroll.

[…] Scott Jennings, a state Bush campaign official, said they set a goal of recruiting 6,600 volunteers, one for every 50 voters they needed to meet their targets, suggesting the campaign is hoping to boost the president’s total by more than 43,000 votes to 330,000 tomorrow. Jennings said they recruited 15,000 volunteers, each with the responsibility to look after 25 voters.

[…] The Republican National Committee is paying travel and hotel costs and $25 a day for food allowances for at least 5,000 loyalists working in battleground states. In Ohio, the state party is paying poll watchers $100 a day to challenge voters with disputed registration credentials.

Minnesota, Nov 1, MPR:

Bearse says the drive should reach more than a million Minnesotans by phone or in-person. That’s after Republicans spent the year honing their computer database of registered voters to cull out likely Kerry supporters.

Mother Jones, Oct 4:

Corporate America has been organizing its own counteroffensive. Groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business-Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) have signed up hundreds of major corporations to encourage voter registration, early voting, and even election-day babysitting and caravans for their employees in the hopes of reelecting President Bush and his fellow Congressional Republicans.

… One Chamber White Paper instructs corporate executives to “use posters, email, the company intranet, newsletters and payroll stuffers to make your employees aware of the election and of the services you will be providing.” Greg Casey, BIPAC’s chief executive officer, says such organization now rivals campaign contributions in importance. …

[…] Casey’s fear-mongering has had an effect. BIPAC’s membership list, which stood at 50 corporations and trade groups in 2000, has swollen to more than 500 this year. The group claims to have registered about 500,000 employees so far. Firms like ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Household International and International Paper have set up internal political education websites or handed out candidate briefings in company lunchrooms. The organization hopes to reach 20 million employees before November 2.

Oregonian, Sept 12;

But the effort by the Republican Party and the Bush-Cheney campaign to get their vote out in Oregon is alive and well — although largely hidden from view.

[…] The Republican effort is driven by a large campaign staff directing about 22,000 volunteers using sophisticated voter lists to maximize the GOP vote in November.

[…] Republican officials are careful to keep many of their plans under wraps. For example, unlike the campaign of Democratic Sen. John Kerry, the Bush campaign refused to release the names of its volunteer county leaders in Oregon. And it would not allow a reporter to watch volunteers working at a key phone bank in Southeast Portland.

[…] Unlike many of the groups — which range from the unions to the League of Conservation Voters — involved in get-out-the-vote activities for the Democrats, Republican officials say they are not interested in publicity. Oregon Republican spokeswoman Dawn Phillips said these grass-roots efforts should be “silent but deadly.”

KGW, Iowa, Oct 17;

Democrats and affiliated groups are using hundreds of paid canvassers and volunteers to reach out, and Republicans are relying on a network of volunteers to make more than 38,000 “voter contacts” each week just in Iowa.