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Thread: GOTV Proposal for Winning Primaries: Precinct Autonomous Unit Leadership Project

  1. #1

    GOTV Proposal for Winning Primaries: Precinct Autonomous Unit Leadership Project

    Dear Friends,

    Many of you have read my post highlighting some of the mistakes that "we" (the grassroots) and "they" (official HQ) made in New Hampshire. In this post I wish to propose a way that we can can finish first in other states. While I'm glad that my other post found enough support to be made a sticky, if one of my posts is going to be sticky, I hope that those who decide such things will find this post more useful that that one.

    Background

    Our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness: the decentralized nature of our volunteer base. If I had to sum up the biggest flaw in New Hampshire, it was GOTV. GOTV requires organization.

    Note: If you are not familiar with the term GOTV, please acquire yourself some background understanding by googling "gotv techniques" or checking the wikipedia article on that topic.

    GOTV takes organization. But as we've seen, HQ is not capable of effective GOTV organization, and we the grassroots do not have a GOTV organization strategy. We must have GOTV organization that is decentralized. Here is my proposal for achieving this goal.

    How this will work

    1. First, I hope that some others here will consider this proposal, and suggest improvements that are consistent with the stated values and principles.
    2. Once the pledge is fully described, at least one person in each state should set up a list of every precinct in that state where people can sign up to indicate that they have taken this pledge to be part of this project. The people maintaining the precinct sign-up list have no authority over those signing up to participate. Ideally the list will be published in more than one place so that no one list-keeper can corrupt it.
    3. Once there is a sign-up list, the goal is to have at least one person in each precinct take the pledge and sign up to be a Precinct Autonomous Unit Leader. Ideally the Unit Leaders will choose precincts where they themselves live and vote, but it's more important that every precinct have a Unit than every Leader be from her or his chosen precinct.
    4. Once every precinct in your state has a Unit, you can join an existing Unit as a volunteer, or take the pledge and start your own second Unit in a precinct that already has one. The more (operational) Units we have, the better.


    The Pledge


    Warning: This solemn pledge is a serious undertaking on which will depend your public honor. If you take this pledge you will come under heavy pressure to violate this pledge. The official campaign will tempt you to become a "Ron Paul Precinct Leader." You will be told "the official campaign needs you." On the day of decision you will receive urgent requests--perhaps from people you trust--claiming that "HQ is short of volunteers and needs you now." If you take this pledge, the true grassroots Ron Paul movement will be relying on you to refuse these temptations and to lead yourself and your precinct to victory. Do not take this pledge if you are not prepared to keep it.


    Statement of Values

    • We believe in self-government. We believe people should make the choices that affect themselves.
    • We believe that centralized authority is inefficient. Even when conducted with the best intentions, information failure will prevent centralized decision-making from working as well as individual decision-making.
    • We believe that ownership breeds responsibility.


    Affirmation of Principles

    • Autonomous Unit Leaders should should interact with the official campaign as little as possible.
    • Autonomous Unit Leaders should not accept any information from the official campaign except for the times and locations of Ron Paul's public appearances.
    • Autonomous Unit Leaders should accept campaign materials from the official campaign only if decisions of how to use the materials are left entirely to the discretion of the Autonomous Unit Leader.
    • Autonomous Unit Leaders should never accept so-called "voter" lists from the official campaign.
    • Autonomous Unit Leaders should never provide voter names to the official campaign.


    By taking this pledge, I am declaring myself to be a Precinct Autonomous Unit Leader. I have chosen and announced my precinct, and I take this...

    Pledge to Action
    • As a Precinct Autonomous Unit Leader I am responsible for my precinct. I am responsible for bringing Ron Paul as many votes from my precinct as possible. Failure to do so will be mine an no one else's. I will own my precinct.
    • I pledge to find and meet every Ron Paul supporter in my precinct. I will knock on every door, visit every business, and do everything I can think of to establish relationships with every person in my precinct who can be motivated to vote for Ron Paul. I will learn who they are and how to find them again.
    • I will assemble a team of volunteers to help me in my mission. I will not let anyone who works for the official campaign be on my volunteer team.
    • For my primary, I will assign the volunteer duties for voting day. I will leave nothing to chance. I will be responsible for having at least one person inside the polling place at all times and will not leave before the vote totals are certified as official, including absentee ballots. I will be responsible for making sure than Ron Paul has people holding the largest sign of any candidate outside my polling place.
    • If a primary, I will assign volunteers to knock on the door of or call every Ron Paul supporter starting early in the day and repeatedly until every one of them votes. We will be pests on election day. I will be responsible for assigning volunteers to be door-knockers, phone-callers, drivers, poll-watchers and sign-holders. I will leave nothing to chance.
    • If any of my volunteers needs credentials from official HQ (to be a poll-watcher, for example) I will acquire the credentials well in advance, and without compromising the integrity of this pledge.
    • If a primary, I will learn who has authority for conducting my polling place. I will introduce myself and my volunteers. We will be cordial and friendly to election workers at all times.
    • If a caucus, I will make sure that every Ron Paul supporter in my precinct attends the caucus.
    • If a caucus, I will familiarize myself with the rules of procedure for selecting delegates well in advance of the caucus.
    • If there is another Autonomous Unit in my precinct, I may, but am not required to, work with the leader or volunteer team of that unit.
    • I publicly pledge that I will answer to no one but myself and will be guided at all times by my best judgment of how to maximize the number of votes counted for Ron Paul in my precinct.


    I am a Precinct Autonomous Unit Leader.
    I support Ron Paul, but I do not work for the Ron Paul Campaign.

    Last edited by mackler; 01-14-2008 at 03:57 PM.
    Don't criticize. Decentralize.

    Are you a true grassroots Ron Paul activist?
    Take the Precinct Autonomous Unit Leadership Pledge.



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  3. #2
    Thank you for your contributions to this. I think your idea is what we need right now (although I don't like admitting it).

    I've just come through seeing the same kind of disaster in Michigan, caused almost entirely by the staff installed there by HQ. There's an ongoing discussion about that here:
    http://ronpaul.meetup.com/boards/vie...thread=3896241

  4. #3
    I had the same problems in Iowa. I was one of the student volunteers. I believe that the term that went around was, "we are able to do this in-spite of the campaign, not because of it."

    The campaign ruined Iowa. The GOTV effort was nothing.
    The sad thing is, I tried to tell my meetup group of 350 people about this and I was blasted. I was accused of being a troll.

    Thanks for organizing this for us. I will make sure this happens in my precinct, and anywhere else I can have an effect in missouri.

  5. #4
    This sounds good.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by dkim68 View Post
    This sounds good.
    Great. That makes at least two of us.

    Now how we gonna make this happen in time to save the campaign?
    Last edited by mackler; 01-16-2008 at 04:40 PM.
    Don't criticize. Decentralize.

    Are you a true grassroots Ron Paul activist?
    Take the Precinct Autonomous Unit Leadership Pledge.

  7. #6
    Since we have 3 people here who have experienced the same sorts of problems from HQ firsthand, from NH (mackler), Iowa (tinymachines), and Michigan (me), can we blacklist the offending staff members? I realize that doing that isn't going as far as the pledge here entails. But it seems like a bare minimum we can do. Then we can find out where those staff are set to go work next and we can warn the grassroots workers in those areas to be especially wary of them. It might in turn lead some of those grassroots to go as far as taking the pledge.

    I'll be able to start with the naming of names. In Michigan, the staff worker that national installed who was behind all of the damage was Kerri Price. I don't yet know where she's set to go "help" next. But when I do I'll start warning them.

  8. #7
    I disagree with this approach of blacklisting for several reasons.

    1. The problem is not so much certain people as the system of organization.
    2. Even if the problem is certain people, those certain people will exert their influence through others who are not on the blacklist.
    3. Even if a blacklist has some value, by its very nature it would cause more interpersonal conflict that it's worth.


    Just as socialists' dreams of making government work by "cleaning house" are doomed to failure, so is any plan to make this centralized bureaucracy somehow be effective.

    The only solution I see is to organize completely independently of HQ, with decision-making authority at the precinct level. Additionally there can be even more than one autonomous unit per precinct, just in case one unit fails or is otherwise ineffective.

    Anyone on the same page as I am?
    Don't criticize. Decentralize.

    Are you a true grassroots Ron Paul activist?
    Take the Precinct Autonomous Unit Leadership Pledge.

  9. #8
    I'm on the same page. But I don't see why not to warn volunteers in upcoming states when we know a specific person from the campaign is on the way to "help" them and it's someone with a known negative track record. Once people in that state realize the need to shun that person, they will probably be in a better position to shun HQ and take the pledge. All I know from what happened in Michigan is that wherever Kerri Price goes next, I'll do my part personally to make sure the people there are warned. It's true that a general warning about trusting, working with, and giving money to HQ is in order. But I'm only in a position to guarantee to people what's in store if they deal with Kerri Price. Whereas I can't say one way or the other if they are guaranteed to experience the same things if they deal with a more honest staffer.
    Last edited by erowe1; 01-16-2008 at 02:41 PM.



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  11. #9
    Here's a couple of thoughts on the technical aspect of this. IT folks out there should be able to add to this and pick up the ball and run with it.

    1. We need a web site form and GIS database to track Ron Paul supporters. It should be national with drill down capability to a given precinct. The system needs to be available to Precinct leaders nationwide. It should show supporters location and voting status info in, for example, Google Earth. You should be able to drill down and narrow the view of the supporters to just your precinct.

    2. Ron Paul supporters in a precinct should be entered into the system via a web site form either from canvassing discovery or by supporters going to the system and entering there information directly.

    3. Supporters or precinct team members should be able to indicate that the supporter has voted by going to the website, or sending a text message to the system.

    4. Supporter email list for a given precinct should be appended as supporters are registered in the system

    5. Supporter phone number list should be easily generated from the system.

    6. This system needs to be secured somehow from opposing campaigns attempting to pollute the supporter database with bogus data.

    Just some thoughts on getting this type of system online asap to maximize the effectiveness of the local precinct teams.

  12. #10
    I have been on the same page for a while now. I also wrote a letter very similar to your first post that was stickied. The plan was to send it to all the meetups. However, I wanted to know what my meetup leader thought of it first, and she never got back to me.

    I think we should totally decentralize. WE made this campaign. WE can make the GOTV work too.

    I did, however, talk with someone from HQ two days ago. It was someone that I trust. She was at the "Ron Paul Supporters Swarm Giuliani" event with me that ended up in a bunch of you tube videos. I told her my concerns, and she is going to see what she can do at a local level to work this out.
    The problem I have is that I don't have any large signs. I don't know how to get any before Feb. 5th without going to the HQ. Our old meetup leader is now the field coordinator, and I believe he had most of the large signs.

  13. #11
    bump
    rewritten history with armies of their crooks - invented memories, did burn all the books... Mark Knopfler

  14. #12
    I agree partly, and disagree partly:

    Quote Originally Posted by alsis8xmy View Post
    1. We need a web site form and GIS database to track Ron Paul supporters. It should be national with drill down capability to a given precinct. The system needs to be available to Precinct leaders nationwide. It should show supporters location and voting status info in, for example, Google Earth. You should be able to drill down and narrow the view of the supporters to just your precinct.
    We need a website that lists every precinct, and the names of everyone who has signed up to be an Autonomous Unit Leader of that precinct. But beyond that, I do not think there should be any more information online than that. Lists of supporters should definitely not be available nationwide, and especially not on the Web. Reasons:

    1. Precincts are very small (at least where I live). A listing of every person who lives in my precinct--RP supporter or not--would fit on one page of paper.
    2. There's no reason why anyone outside of the Autonomous Unit needs that Unit's information about who the supporters are. Making the information available outside of the Unit organization just encourages damaging centralization and is a honeypot to our enemies.
    3. Supporters will be more likely to provide their contact information if they can be assured that it will never go into a computer or otherwise be shared outside of the Precinct Unit organization.

    Quote Originally Posted by alsis8xmy View Post
    2. Ron Paul supporters in a precinct should be entered into the system via a web site form either from canvassing discovery or by supporters going to the system and entering there information directly.
    Again, I am opposed to the idea of using any web-based technology to track supporters. The small size of each precinct, the fact that each Unit and only each Unit is responsible for getting those supporters to vote, the dirty tricks that having such a list available to our enemies would invite, and the significant privacy concerns all suggest that supporter lists should be kept offline and within each unit.

    Quote Originally Posted by alsis8xmy View Post
    3. Supporters or precinct team members should be able to indicate that the supporter has voted by going to the website, or sending a text message to the system.
    This seems unnecessary. On voting day it's easy enough to put check marks next to names on a paper list while going door-to-door (or calling people whose phone numbers we have).

    Quote Originally Posted by alsis8xmy View Post
    4. Supporter email list for a given precinct should be appended as supporters are registered in the system
    This might be a nice extra-feature, but not necessary. Many people will not have or give email addresses, so it's not a reliable way to reach everyone. And time sending emails to supporters would probably be better spent finding new supporters.

    That said, when canvassers find supporters who want to join the GOTV Unit, getting their email address will be important.

    Quote Originally Posted by alsis8xmy View Post
    5. Supporter phone number list should be easily generated from the system.
    For the reasons above I oppose this. It's too inviting of mischief, discourages people from providing their number, and simply isn't necessary. Precincts are small enough you can put everyone's phone number on one page of paper and not have to worry about who might download it.

    Quote Originally Posted by alsis8xmy View Post
    6. This system needs to be secured somehow from opposing campaigns attempting to pollute the supporter database with bogus data.
    This one I agree with. All my responses above seek to address this concern. The best way to secure the "system" is to keep it offline, and limit access to each precinct's information to the Unit(s) within that precinct.

    To repeat in summary, we definitely need a website for each state that lists every precinct in that state and allows people to sign up to be an Precinct Autonomous Unit Leader. But once a precinct has a Unit Leader and team, that Unit should not put their supporter database online, nor share it with anyone outside of that Unit.

    And we should not overlook the benefits of minimizing the online technology: simpler and faster to create, and less likely to fail. All this should have been done months ago. We have very little time and really need to make this happen yesterday.
    Don't criticize. Decentralize.

    Are you a true grassroots Ron Paul activist?
    Take the Precinct Autonomous Unit Leadership Pledge.

  15. #13
    sounds complicated. autonomous is kindof self decribing.
    Ron Paul Phone-Calls from Home - call people the campaign have on lists that might vote for Dr Paul.
    http://phone.ronpaul2012.com



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