tv U.S. Senate CSPAN January 4, 2010 8:30am-12:00pm EST
partnerships with ietf, with the engineering society and all the other players in the ecosystem. so we have a very humble role to play. it's a small little role, and we have to do our best to be a fair meeting place and to let the internet name and number space evolve. >> host: and finally, mr. beckstrom, are you familiar with icann watch.org, the organization that reports on what icann does and not necessarily always positively? >> guest: we have a lot of critics inside and outside the community, and that's part of what makes, i think, any multistakeholder process fair and open. >> host: and there's traffic on icann watch about what happened on october 1st, and some constitutionality concerns and some sovereignty concerns. how do you address those? >> guest: first, i'm not a lawyer. i'll explain that. i'm more of a business be guy, technology guy and a bit of government policy. i'm not an attorney. there are some subtle legal issues that some parties have
tried to represent that they're concerned about sovereignty. on the other hand, the preponderance of our community is absolutely delighted with the outcome on october 1st, including thousands of attorneys around the world who think it's a terrific thing. so i think that may have been written by someone i know who's a very articulate and intelligent critic and watcher of i cann and actually someone who's contributed a lot. i think we need to consider that issue, but by and large the world has spoken, and the world is very pleased with the affirmation of commitment, and even more countries are already coming to the table to engage, so we view it as positive. but there will always be criticism, and that's a great thing. >> host: rod beckstrom is president of icann, christopher rhoads is a technology reporter with "the wall street journal." gentlemen, thank you. >> guest: thank you.
>> "the communicators" is c-span's weekly look at the issues facing telecommunications policy. if you missed any of this discussion with rod beckstrom on the management of internet domain names and addresses, you can see "the communicators" again tonight and each monday night in its prime time slot at 8 p.m. eastern right here on c-span2.
>> now available, c-span's book, "abraham lincoln: great american historians on our sixteenth president." it's a unique, contemporary edition on lincoln from his early years to his life in the white house and his relevance today the. abraham lincoln in hard cover at your favorite bookseller and now in digital audio to listen to anytime available where digital downloads are sold. learn more at c-span.org/lincoln book. >> a discussion, now, on campaign financing and major
donors recently hosted by american university in washington d.c. we'll show you as much as we can before we take you live to another event from the university's public affairs and advocacy institute on the use of political ads and climate change. [inaudible conversations] >> are we back? hello. okay. hello. everyone have a nice lunch? okay, good. apparently no one ate lunch. all right, well, welcome back to the campaign management institute at american university can. i am very, very excited to introduce a first-time speaker and a good friend of mine, jason mida, who is the vice president of development for the victory fund which means he raises big,
big, big money all over the country for candidates and has been doing so for about five years? i was going to say, like, 20 years and give away his age, but then he'd get mad. i'm really proud because jason is a fellow texan and a graduate of abilene christian university. as a native hue stone yang, he was instrumental in helping to elect anisse parker to be the first openly-gay mayor in the entire country can. if you haven't guessed already, we're moving into money. so we're going to be raising money for the rest of the afternoon, also into sporadicaly through the rest of the class, but this is your first foray into money. it's not about how many votes you need for the next two hours, it's about how many dollars you need. you ready? all right, jason, take it away. >> thank you, liz. how's everybody doing? good. can everyone hear me okay? all right, good. i really want this -- you've probably heard this several
times, but i want this to be as interactive as possible, so we're going to go over sort of some working with major donors 101, and then at the end we'll probably spend 20-30 minutes of role-playing. hopefully, we'll have some volunteers to do that. if you have a question at any point, please, interrupt me. that's the way i want this to work. and we'll just go from there, okay? like liz said, i work for the gay and lesbian victory fund and primarily work to elect candidates to office and started out fund raising in 2005, actually started as an intern at the victory fund and they were kind enough to keep me around and over the years have worked in different positions. i really enjoy fund raising. i never thought i would say that, but i really do, and it's something that i'm excited to be here today to talk to you about. so just going over a few basics. fund raising myths, things that you might be thinking about fund
raising but i want you to leave today and those no longer be in your head because they're just not true. first of all, that fund raising is just tough, that you can't do it, that people don't want to give money. like anything, it's a skill set, and it's something you have to learn. but it's something that there's a rhyme and rhythm to it, and once you get used to that and once you get over, quite frankly, the fear of it it becomes a lot easier. so this is not something that has to be tough. you're probably going to be your own worst enemy in fund raising because there's a lot of things you're going can to have to get over, and once you're comfortable, it's not nearly as tough as you might think. second point is that people will only give if they get something in return. i've got to have a coffee mug, you've got to give me a license plate with your -- no, that's not true. if it were, we wouldn't be able to raise money. now, they're investing in something, and in your case they're going to be investing in a campaign. they're going to be investing in a candidate. they're going to be investing in
an ideology, but that investment is enough reason for them to give, so just remember that you don't have to necessarily give something physical to someone once they write you a check or if they make a commitment. third, and i think this is very important and we'll talk more about this when we get to events, is that you need a star to raise money. you don't, you don't need a star to raise money. does it help? sure, of course. if you can get, you know, an a-list celebrity to come to your event, obviously, you know, have them there, that would be awesome. but you don't have to have a star to raise money. what you do have to have is a clear mission and you have to have a clear, focused ask. what are you asking this person to do? what are you asking them to do? and that is going to be a huge part of what we'll talk about today because it may sound very simple, but a lot of what gets lost in fund-raising is people don't have a clear ask. when you're sitting in front of someone, you're going to have to actually the focus that and, you
know, you're the one who's asked for this meeting. you're the one who's picked up the phone and called them, so the onus is on you to make an ask, and that has to be clear, short and concise. and then you have to spend money to raise money. now, you know, i don't mean this, you know, absolute in thisceps that -- absolutely in the sense that you're not going to spend any money. of course there's going to be some investment, but you don't have to go out there and spend tens of thousands of dollars to the raise money from people, that's not the way it works. part of what i want to say here is if you can raise money over the phone, and i'm talking big donations like you guy thes are trying to get $2400 to max out to your respective senate candidate, right? if you can do that over the phone, you can raise money in any form or fashion, but that's really the challenge you're going to have to get over first and foremost. so what are some things that are true about fund-raising? what i want to talk about in terms of giving to candidates
and asking donors to give to candidates is sort of just a broad overview of society and how we're trained to give. we don't come out of the womb and we're not taught growing up to give money to candidates running for office. in church you might be taught to tithe, you might be taught to take a can of green beans to a local food bank. those are things that we are taught, those are things in our society that are generally taught. but there's not an education out there for, hey, give to political candidates. now, there's different organizations such as my organization, and we're out there, and we're encouraging people to give to candidates because we believe lbgt candidates should be at discussion tables across the country, but in general asking people to contribute to the a candidate is a very difficult thing. it's difficult in the sense that you're not talking about some broad-based appeal. you're talking about a very specific ask. and in your case with the races that you're working on, you don't have the time to turn this
into a year-long marketing campaign, right? i mean, this is, you know, quick. this is a phone call, this is a quick meeting, this is an event you're doing. it is a very quick thing. but just understand that when you're asking for a candidate, that's not something that people wake up one day and say, i'd love to contribute to a u.s. senate candidate. that's just not the way we're trained, so you have to educate them. the onus is on you to educate potential donors about your candidate and your campaign. secondly, it may seem very simplistic, but it is a matter of trust. people that you are asking to contribute to a certain campaign, a political organization, a nonprofit organization, it is the a matter of trust. they need to trust you. money is a very personal thing. it's a very personal be thing. whether you're, you know, talking to friends and family about it, it's kind of an awkward subject sometimes. so you want to make it as easy as possible but part of what you want to do is in establishing
that relationship whether it's a relationship, you know, ten minute conversation over the phone or you're going to have a meeting, remember, this person needs to trust you, and they need to trust what you're asking for. so, you know, not to be trite, but one of the things i really have come to love about fund-raising and one of the reasons i think i'm going to do it for a long time is pause it's about sincerity -- because it's about sincerity. it really is. if you're sincere with doe no, sir, people will respond to that. and all of you are going to be asking for money for people you believe in. you believe this person should be in the u.s. senate chamber, and there's a reason for that. and you don't need to be afraid to convey that when you're asking people because, remember, when you're asking someone for money even though you may be doing it for a candidate or a cause or a different campaign, at that moment it's just you two. that's it. so a matter of trust is very important. now, i said earlier that money, talking about money can be can awkward, but it doesn't have to
be. let me give you an example. a lot of times when i'm working with people that go through our training program and talking about, oh, how do you raise money and people have never done it, if you've never done it, it is very daunting at fist. it certainly was for me. you can make things less awkward by saying this: cody, can we have a conversation about you potentially giving to my candidate? what are you doing there? you're asking to ask. i didn't just say, cody, will you give $2400 to my candidate can, i said, can we have a conversation about that? that immediately take thes out some of the awkwardness, doesn't it? and nine times out of ten if someone says, yeah, we can have a conversation, i don't know what you're walking away with, but you're going to walk away with a contribution for your candidate. and it's a very polite thing to do, and it's something that you can do if you're nervous, and just remember that. you can always ask to have the conversation. and then i would say under truths, finally, giving people a chance to help. kind of going back to what we
were talking about that, you know, we don't live in a society where people wake up and say, i want to give you money. that's not even the world we live in. you need to give donors a chance to help you, but they can't help you if you don't ask them. i know i've said that a few times, but people cannot give you money, will not give you money if you don't ask them. that's just not the way things work. so why do you have to do this? why do candidates have to do this? why are you going to have to do this with your different senate races? first of all, you need to deliver your message, and you need your message to do what? you need it to deliver voters to the polls. you need this to win, and you need to pay the messengers. mail consultants, etc., etc. -- >> and we're going to leave this taped session, now, an earlier session from american university, of the public affairs and advocacy institute, and we are live there again this morning as the program continues. invites leaders and leading
figures from political consulting organizations to introduce students to lobbying strategies. among the topics expected today, climate change lobbying campaigns, political coalition building and the use of survey research and polling in lobbying campaigns. you're watching live coverage, now, on c-span2. >> on this important climate advocacy issue before the senate. dan is the senior fellow and directer of climate strategy at the center for american progress. and before that he was the chief strategist and lobbyist for issues like on the clean air act, the clean water act, food safety act at mnr strategy services where he was for a while he served for 16 years as the sierra club also. so he knows about the topic, using paid media in climate
advocacy campaigns, but he also knows the content in detail about the cap and trade bill that passed the house, is pending in the senate and will be on the agenda of the senate, i think, after the health care bill. and he, therefore, knows strategy of buying media, but also he knows the details of this bill. we welcome dan weiss. thanks for coming. the. >> thank you, jim, and it's quite an honor to be your very first speaker of this decade. [laughter] i'm sure that you'll remember it, and you can buy your souvenirs of this event in the lobby afterwards. [laughter] aaron, if you could do me a favor and give me, you know, like a five minute sign when it's, like, fife after nine -- five after nine, that'd be great. good morning, happy new year, happy new decade. it's always great to be the first person speaking. one year i spoke as the last speaker, like, 2:00 on new
year's eve day, and at the lobby institute here, and that was very challenging. i'm going to talk about using paid media as a tool in advocacy campaigns. we're going to talk about the two types of strategies for advocacy campaigns. the purposes you use media for, the key elements of an advertising or paid media campaign, the factors that help you plan your campaign, ways to maximize the impacts of your advertising, and some limits on issue advertising if you decide to go that route. it's also important to note i'm not going to the talk very much about online advertising which is a different creature and requires really somebody under the age of 40 to talk to you about. [laughter] i don't know, are they having someone talk to them about online advertising separately? >> yes. >> okay. so you'll get that covered elsewhere although if you ask, if you have a couple l questions can about that, i'll be happy to make something up.
[laughter] >> rosen brat's already met with them. >> oh. my colleague -- >> a distinguished alum of american university. >> yes, and that just shows you with a lot of hard work, you can end up working for center of american progress. [laughter] so we're going to talk about the two types of strategy for lobbying congress that are not mutually exclusive. and these are both highly technical terms. so i want you to get your pens and papers out and remember these terms. first is the inside game. okay, got that? inside game. then second is the -- anyone have a guess? outside game, excellent. have you sat through this before? [laughter] there's the inside game and the outside game. and, remember, you can do both together. they are not mutually exclusive. the inside game is based on tools of private persuasion. it's when you send in somebody to go talk to the senator you un
and the person is a big executive from her state or you send in the head of the afl-cio to talk to representative teller. and so those are kinds of private persuasion. over you go talk to the staff. those sets of direct contact with with either the decision maker or the staff. optimally, it's best in my view for micro issues, small things that don't effect the larger economy or other major parts of american life. for example, if you're trying to get a provision inserted into a tax bill, the benefits of one or several companies using the inside game going to talk to the senator or her staff quietly is probably the most effective way to do it. now, the best lobbyists to do this are former members of the body, former senators or
representatives, or their very senior staff. so, for example, trent lott, the former senator from mississippi, made sure that he retired from the senate, he actually resigned his seat in midterm in order to make sure that he only had a one-year ban on lobbying his colleagues ready or than a two-year ban that was about to kick in had he resigned a few weeks later. and now he's part of a lobbying firm, and he goes and lobbies his colleagues all the time. the key element of the inside game to make it work is two things. number one is direct access to the decision maker, the senator, representative or her senior staff, and second is some sort of relationship to the district or state that the person's from. now, the latter isn't always required, but it's very, very helpful. so, for example, if you're the president of ford motor company,
it's relatively easy for you to go talk to one of the senators from michigan. ford's headquartered in michigan, it's easier to talk to the senators. say they wanted some tax break, that's how they would make it happen. gesundheit. and so those are the things that make the inside game work well. for the outside game, it really relies on using the tools of public persuasion. and it works best for macro big-picture issues. a good example of that is the upcoming debate on clean energy and global warming. this is a macro issue, it's going to effect a large part of the american economy, it's going to effect a large number of american firms, american workers, american consumers. it's a big-picture, macro issue. now, undoubtedly, there's going to be a lot of inside game played there as well
particularly on the side of those who are trying to stop the bill. because since the public based on opinion polls supports action on global warming and supports clean energy reform, then if you're a company that is against it, you may not want to trumpet the fact that you're trying to thwart the public's will. so instead you'll try and play the inside game. but you also might play the outside game because this is such a big issue. and, you know, the outside game lends itself very well to a certain kind of issue that's different from cap and trade which is issues, in my view, that are, that don't really have a corporate or economic interest. a good example of that are gun control or abortion. those are ones that don't really have an economic interest at play, that are more cultural and appeal to people's values. those are the kinds of issues that really lend themselves to the outside game. but there are also economic
issues like health care, like global warming that also lend themselves to the outside game. it often helps when you're playing the outside game to get the public to be generally on your side. now, in an issue like global warming if you watch tv or read the newspapers, you've probably seen ads from either big oil companies or other energy special interests talking about how many jobs will be lost or how much gasoline is going to cost if we act on global warming. those people don't really have the public on their side, so they're using it, paid media in a slightly different way. but for advocates, they're using paid media to take the public opinion that they know is on their side and increase its intensity. and we'll talk more about this in just a minute. so you've got the inside game, tools of private persuasion, and the outside game, going out to the public and talking to them
directly through paid advertising in the media. now, there are several ways that you can use paid media in your issue campaign. it's -- paid media is a communications tool that can be used to inform, raise the visibility of, persuade, thank or hold accountable. and during issue campaigns you might use ads at different times for each one of those things. for example, running issue ads on global warming on cnn or fox or msnbc in the washington, d.c. metro area is a way of increasing the visibility and seeming importance of the issue. you know, if you're running the ads on cnn in the washington, d.c. market, there's not too many swing members of congress here. but it does raise the visibility
of the issue to the congress people and their staffs who often have cnn running all the time in their office. or to take out ads in outlets like roll call or congress daily or congressional quarterly is a way of raising the visibility of the issue. members of congress get bombarded with dozens of messages every day about dozens of issues, so the ones that they see paid advertising about, it raises the visibility or salience of the issue to them. come on in. in addition, you can use paid ads in outlets like roll call or congress daily as a way of communicating very substantive information most likely to congressional staff, but also to other media that is covering the
topic, and also to the -- sometimes the decision makers themselves. in fact, when i was doing advertising, we used to run ads in congress daily that were, like, paid fact sheets. does anyone know what a fact sheet is? do you want to tell me what it is? i know it's monday morning, but come on. no one can can tell me what it is? okay, yes. >> well, it's just kind of you look at various sides of an issue and you put -- normally used to leave behind once you visit a member of congress just to reiterate your points and what you want to get across mainly. >> that's right. gus is right. it is a way of leaving behind and reiterating the message that you just told them. a lot of lobbying and persuasion is a lot like teaching. this is what i'm going to teach you, this is what i'm teaching you, this is what i just taught
you. and you use the fact sheet as the this is what i just taught you part. well, another way to get people's attention is to run those very same sorts of fact sheets, you know, one page with bullet points, with factoids on them or in them and leave those, run those as ads. now, they're far too detailed to reach out to the general public or what i like to call civilians. but it is very appropriate for, to leave behind for either representatives or their staff or even with the media. so, for example, on global warming you might have a few factoids like the house bill will cost the average household only $160 per family, per year. or another factoid is that it will create 1.7 million new jobs. or a third factoid that it will actually help reduce the federal budget deficit. so you would put these factoids
in the fact sheet, and you could put them in the paid ad. now, the reason why you put them in the paid ad is they're more likely to get seen by the staff or member of congress than if you just hand them a piece of paper or e-mail it to them. because, again, these staff in particular get hundreds of messages a day all with at least three factoids each, so that's 300 factoids a day. if they're in a paid ad that they're reading, you know, they're flipping through roll call to see which congressman just did something embarrassing, then they see, oh, here's an ad about global warming. 1.7 million new jobs, reduces the federal budget deficit. and that will have some impact on their thinking. so you can run these ads in ways, and run ads that you'd never do with civilians but do have a lot of impact with members and their staff ask the media -- and the media. in fact, we had run ads with
quotes from firefighters talking about how we didn't need to chop down trees to save them which was the other side's proposal. let's cut down all these trees before they catch on fire. to prevent forest fires. and before they die. so we put in a bunch of quotes from firefighter, and one staff person said, you know, that ad you ran was really effective in getting your message out. well, we had already sent them the same information, like, three other times. but because it was in a paid ad, it had impact with them. so that's the second use. third use is outside washington, d.c. you can use paid media to, again, raise the visibility of the issue. one of the things that we did once is when i was with working on another clean air campaign, we ran ads on the need for more fuel-efficient cars in a place, and the representative who we were aiming at, his wife heard them on the radio back home.
and she made it clear to her husband that he needed to be good on this issue. and so we were able to raise the visibility of the issue by running them at home. in addition, you can use them to persuade, to seek the support of an elected official before a decision is made. now, that example we said, you know, be sure to call congressman x and get him to vote for cleaner car cans. cars. and, in fact, we ran the ad so much that his wife went to one of our champions on the committee, another congressman, and said, please, take off the ads. we'll vote with you, okay? and so the ad was very successful in persuading the congressman to support our position. so you can use them to persuade. you have to do that, of course, before the decision is made. if you run persuasion ads after
the decision's made, that's a little late. now, if the member decides to vote in your favor, you can then thank him or her in a follow-up ad. so that's another way to use paid advertising is to thank. so you've got a few reasons. you've got salience, giving facts, persuasion, thanking. but if you're going to do that, you need to make sure that the person you're trying to thank actually wants to be publicly thanked. once we were working on an issue where the member of congress was supportive of international family planning, but his district was about 70% catholic, and he didn't want his constituents to know that he had been voting right on this issue. unfortunately, the person working on this didn't think to ask him in advance, and we found out the hard way. so what you need to do is if you're going to thank somebody for doing, for voting the way you ask them to, check with them first to make sure that they actually want to be publicly
to try to persuade her, what does she think is going to happen if she votes against you? do you think she's going to know that you very possibly could run ads against her afterwards? yes, is the answer that you're looking for. i think we need those jumper cables. all right. so it's a very important too many running the persuasion ads, but to make it really effective, you have to name the name of the representative or senator, who is your target and once they know you're running a persuasion ad, they will be fairly sure that you're going to run a negative ad against them if they vote wrong. and so that's a very important thing. so we can use persuasion ads for informing, persuading, thanking, holding accountable, we call those either thank you ads or since this is on c-span, i'll say spank you ads, holding them
accountable and there's one other thing you can do with issue advertising. which is you can run ads that are designed to create a larger impression about the senator or representative's record that is more time for other purposes than persuading them on a vote, which is you can run them, you know, around election time, or, you know, in the months leading up to an election, highlighting the fact that senator davidson has been a strong supporter of clean energy reform and creating clean energy jobs here in virginia, and so that could be very effective in helping to create a favorable impression about senator davidson. similarly, you could run ads that say, representative woods has voted against clean energy reform and clean energy jobs, because he wants the support of big oil, please call him and tell him to start supporting clean energy reform.
we're going to talk a little more about issue ads in a few minutes, but that's another way, another purpose of issue ads, which is create an overall impression favorablely or negatively, about the senator or reb at this. -- or representative. now what are the key elements of an ad campaign? the most important factor is what? does anyone have a guess? yes? >> that's an important piece, not the most important piece. any other guesses? yes. [inaudible] >> that is an important piece we'll talk about in a minute. not the most important piece. >> channels through which you communicate. >> invaluable but not determinative. >> management? >> no, sorry. >> well --
>> bingo. money. that is the most important thing that determines the shape of your media campaign. the more money you have, the more options you have. the more money you have, the mortar gets you have, that you can -- the number of places you can run advertising. so budget is the first most important question. now, your budget for your campaign is what, a million dollars? is that for everything or just for paid media? >> everything. >> everything. that's relatively small, so let's say you spend, and i'm making this up now, say you spend about half of that on paid advertising. that's half a million dollars. depending on -- yes. >> already? time flies when you're having fun. i'm going to go longer and then maybe 10 minutes, let me know when it's 9:15 a.m. and then we'll take questions. say you spend a o half a million dollars, depending on how many targets you have, that may not
go very far. once you know your budget, you know your target. so for $5 million, i'm just making that number up, i'm not saying that's how much you should spend, but say you're spending half a million, i'm saying that that's enough money for anywhere from three to seven or eight targets, depending on the size of the state. you're focusing on the senate, so you have to run media statewide, or at least in key markets, so that's going to make it more expensive. so that's anywhere from three to eight. now if your targets are in smaller states, like the dakotas, then you can, you know, do more. if your states are larger states, like say, florida, then you can do less, because it's more expensive there. in addition, you might want to look at your targeting and see where there are states where we have two senators we're trying to persuade and not just one, and so again, that could help you figure out how many targets you can hit. those are the really two key
factors in determining the rest of your media strategy, which is budget and targets. number of targets. now, there's a big caveat. thanks to people of your generation, there's been an increased stratification in the viewership of broadcast tv and even cable tv. now, there's so many viewing options. there's on demand, there's netflix, people are watching shows on hulu, listening to their listening to their i-pods, doing scenarios for climate change strategy. all of those people are taking up pool's time and taking eyeballs away from people's screens or paid advertising on the screen. so we have a situation where it takes more and more money to chase fewer and fewer viewers, so that's also a consideration. as you plan your campaign.
it used to be that to make an impression on the public, you'd need to do like 700 gross rating points in a week. does anyone know what gross rating point is? about 100 gross -- go ahead. >> i think it's like 800 to 1,000 per week is proper saturation for a market, and they're based off of how many people are likely to view your tv ad. >> that's right. and each 100 points equals about one average view, so it used to be when i was doing this 10 years ago, it was 700 points a week of broadcast tv, would be enough to get your message across. now it's at least a thousand, if not more. which means, the more points you have to buy, which means the more ads you have to buy, which means what? more it's going to cost you. so -- so you've got your budget, 500,000, say, you've got your target, anywhere from three to seven.
then you have to ask, who's your target audience, which someone mentioned, which is an important piece. is it swing voters? is it women? is it elites? is it your base? in an issue campaign, you almost always, unless you're quite wealthy and have a large amount of money, like the big oil companies, which have spent $100 million in 2009 on advertising against global warming legislation, unless you're like them, you've got to really sort of target very carefully. so with a of a a million dollars, you're not going to persuade many people with that, so what you need to focus on is either elites, which means both paid media -- i'm sorry. the journalists, those are people who used to write for the thing we used to have called newspapers, now they usually write for websites, so journa journalists are elites, you know, corporate leaders, community leaders, high information voters, people like
us, who actually care about this sort of stuff. those are sort of the elites. you can aim for them, which means you'd buy on cnn or maybe local news shows, or fox or msnbc, or for base voters. the people who already agree with you, who you're trying to activate. so if you're trying to activate conservatives, you'd advertise on fox. if you're trying to activate progressives, you might advertise on msnbc, and those are sort of your base. or if you're trying to get women voters, you might do lifetime or advertise during oprah or other things that are more prone to women voters. if you're trying to get old white guys, you would advertise on the bass fishing channel. you know, or swing voters, you might want to target local news, or there's other -- your media buyer will help you figure out how to reach the audience you're going to reach. ok. so once you know your audience, you can pick your medium.
if you're going after elites, you can -- usually cnn is a good bet for high information elite voters, because like i said, you know, if you've got a senate office in the state, they may have cnn running hall the time. or you can do around local news shows. you know, tv is very expensive, broadcast, so you need a really big budget. cable tv is very cost effective and is really good at reaching niche audiences as we were talking about, so that's often a good mace to go. talk -- place to go. talk radio is a good place to reach elites, like for example, in d.c., you would run on wgop, which has news and weather every eight minutes. you would run it there and catch that audience. also, talk radio is an excellent tool for reaching your bails, particularly for conservatives, so you would run your ads on
rush limbaugh or glen beck or on the sean hannity loves glen beck shows. for progressive base, it's harder to use radio, because their base radio is national public radio, which you can't buy ads on, but you can do soft advertising. all things considered, this half-hour is sponsored by the coalition to stop global warming. but you can't have any more deeper message than that. so it's harder to target the, you know, progressive base with radio. print advertising, newspaper advertising, in my view is almost never a good use of our dollars, which is one of the reasons why newspapers are in decline, unless and here's one thing that it is good for, you want to show the breadth of a coalition. in a radio or tv ad, you can have this had was brought to you by the coalition to clean up, you know, the environment, or
clean energy works, is another coalition you could use. but you can't run a long list of people. on a print ad, you can. so if you wanted to show broad depth of support for your position, you can take out a print ad and then have 100 groups sign on to it and their names are in tiny print and everyone from that group will look for their name and it's a good way of showing breadth of your coalition. so in my view, that's the best time to use print advertising. otherwise, it's not as effective. so the next question you have to ask, is where. since you're focusing on senate, what is the key market. say you're targeting a senator from missouri. is the key market st. louis? is it kansas city? is it springfield? is it jefferson city. no, of course not. no one lives there. but, you know, you have to pick your market and see where you're trying to reach people. if in fact, you were trying to reach elites, you might want to
advertise in jefferson city, because it's the capital of missouri, an that's where there's a base of reporters that cover government and politics there, as well as the governor and a lot of state workers, so you might want to do jefferson city. if you're trying to target the base of say, senator mccaskill, then you might want to go to st. louis or kansas city. if you're trying to target the base of a republican senator, you might go to springfield, which is a very important republican city in the district. so you want to pick the place where the individuals would have the most impact on them and where you're audience is. then when is the most effective time to run the ads? one of the challenges in trying to run the ads, to either persuade, inform, or do anything before the vote, is figuring out when the vote is going to be. because the senate has no rules, and the number one rule of the senate is everything will happen later than they say it will, and
so figuring out the timing is really important. you don't want to go too early, because then it will get lost in further traffic, and if you run it two months before, no one is going to remember. you don't want to run it right before the vote, because the person may have made up their mind by then. you want to run your ads like one or two weeks out. if you can figure out when that is. now, if you're on the side that is trying to pass the global warming bill, your allies are going it set the timing, so you can talk to them and say, when do we need to start running our paid advertising, when do you think the vote is going to be and they might say the vote will be on april 22, that is the 40th anniversary of earth day. so then you might target your ads for the two weeks before. it can also help if you can target the ads for when the members are at home. so they're more likely to hear or see them. a good example, going back to what we talked about with the clean cars, going back to the clean cars, is that while the
member was here, his wife was at home and was able to hear the ads on the radio, so that's a very important piece. then lastly, somebody mentioned the message. that's a really important piece too. it's got to be consistent with your hobbing message, with your other communications, it's got to be consistent with everything else you're saying, and -- so if you're talking to senator woods about job creation, when you go into meet with him and his staff, you need to talk about job creation in your ads. ok. so you've got to make sure the ads reinforce your other messages. we're going to talk briefly about how you increase the reach of your ad, then we'll take questions. when you're ready to release your ads, it helps to expand their reach's effectiveness, to generate earned media coverage. does anyone know what earned media coverage is?
yes? >> it's one that a media outlet covers a story about you, but you didn't pay them to do it. >> exactly. used to be called free media, but everyone knows it takes a lot of work to spend money on to get that free media, so most people call it earned media. that was a very effective technique in the olden days and by olden days, i mean the 1990's, but it's lost some of its ability to generate news, because so many people have used it. hit me give you an example. in the year 2000, actually, it was 1999, we ran ads about george w. bush's clean record, terrible record on clean air in texas, and we ran them before the new hampshire primary. we spent only $30,000 on the ad, which is a small amount of money and we probably got about $200,000 worth of free media on it. that's harder to happen these days, but it's still possible if if you do it at the right time. you can also put the ad on your web site or put it on youtube and have a link to it.
be sure to e-mail copies of the ad to your supporters, if that state, to make sure they know about the ad and that they forward it and if it's a funny ad or a really good ad, it might go viral. that's a long shot, but you have to make sure your supporters see it. you can also use your ad as part of a fund mailing raising to your supporters. here's an ad, we want to put on the air, if you contribute x amount of dollars, we can raise $100,000 and get this ad up to persuade senator utley to support the clean energy act. so it's important to do that, in order to maximum highs leverage of your ads. -- maximum highs leverage of your ads. so you have two strategies, inside game, outside game, if you're paid media, you're using the outside game. you use outside media to summer wade the member, thank the member or spank the member. the key elements of the ad is money, money, an money. then you figure out your targets
and those two things will affect whether you run broadcast tv, cable tv, radio, or print, and make sure that you maximize the reach of your ads. yes. i'll take questions now. >> sorry to interrupt. let's start with money. they don't have a lot of money, but they do have the possibility of getting a coalition together that all contributes to an ad campaign. is that a common thing? >> very common, particularly in the global warming debate on the anti-side, the oil companies all have a big trade association, called the american petroleum institute and it's the api that's been with running a lot of the ads. i don't know if they ran the post today. i know they ran the post within the last couple of weeks, that they've been running their messages and that's an example of a coalition pooling resources. if you're on the clean energy side, you might want to make coalition efforts with clean energy companies, like wind companies or solar companies or
construction companies that do energy efficiency and have them contribute to your campaign, because they will benefit economically if you succeed. other questions. yes, sir. >> i have a question about the cap and trade. is there any discussion about what they're going to use the money from the permits for? >> yes. there's a lot of discussion with that and for those of you not familiar in the clean energy and global warming bills pending before the senate, they basically establish a dumping feed for pollution. instead of dumping the pollution on the land, you have to pay a dumping fee for dumping it in the hair. that will raise money and that money will be used for several things, number one is to defray the cost in electricity on rate payers, some will be invested in clean energy, like investing in wind or solar power, some will go to trade sensitive -- i'm
sorry, energy intensive trade agencies, to other companies that don't -- those are the kinds of things where the money is being talked about. yes, sir? >> long question, it's actually inside baseball. in your capacity at company as director of farmland strategy, who would you say, maybe like three ar four names, because you've been using all the these fake senators' names, that would be the top senators to target, the ones you see as most likely to go either way on the issue, where it's really up in the air right now, just a few names? >> well, if you're asking me to give you my target list on c-span, i don't think i'm going to do that. however, you can figure out the names yourself, and those are predominantly midwestern senators from manufacturing states, and some farm state
democrats, and some moderate conservative republicans. it's important to note in the global warming debate, you've got a large number of members in the senate, anywhere between 20 to 30, who don't even believe global warming exists, so you can write those people of off right away. then you've got some other senators on the republican side, who are not going to vote for everything a president obama wants, no matter what it is. so you can write those people off. then you have some progressives, who support action, so you want to be in touch with those people but don't want to spend your resources on them. then you have the people in the middle of the ones i described. the one big development is conservative senator lindsay graham has joined forces with progressive senator john kerry and moderate senator joe lieberman in order to put together a compromise package that can get the support of moderates and conservatives. that effort is in its infancy
and if that gathers steam, which we hope it will, then that will hopefully attract some of the swing senators. yes? >> [inaudible] -- making sure you're not going to target them. have you ever communicated with a senator before, doing any ads at all, saying we're going to run persuasion ads, if you tell us right now you're on board, we're not going to raise this issue in your district? is there any of that beforehand, or do you just generally go and wait and see? >> well, first of all, it's important not to promise any member of congress a quid pro quo. if if you do x, then we will do y, because that would certainly be wrong and in many cases, might even be illegal. now i'm not a lawyer, although i live with one, my spouse, which means she win wins every argume. so you don't want to do that. if you're running a persuasion
ad, you want to give a heads up to the office in advance and give them a script, but you don't want to do it too much in advance. you don't want to do it a week in advance. you might have want to do it the day before. they will know -- i mean, in a high visibility issue like this, the members know they're going to be targets of persuasion efforts from both sides, so it's not going to be a surprise to them if they're running an ad that you might be running ads. then if you're going to run a thank you ad, you want to check in advance to make sure it's ok with them, because you might say, you know, let this be between just us, and then, the third case, if you're running a spank you ad, there's no need to inform them in advance, because these are not your friends, these are your opponents. yes. >> talking about broadcast ads, i know a large majority of the budget for those is when and how much.
so what time slots would you suggest for us and how many times a day would you suggest? >> well, remember that max said you need to run, you know, up to a thousand gross rating points a week and you know, your ad buyer will tell you what shows, what slots will add up to that. given your limited budgets, you want to focus on a buy that attracts your audience. if your audience is elites, you run it around news. a good time to run ads in washington, that are visibility ads, are around the sunday talk shows. you know, "meet the press," this week, face the nation, that's a good time to reach elites. without spending a lot of money. and so you might focus on that. if your target is your base, then you're going to want to run the ads enough to get your base involved, so if your base is progressive, you might want to run around news shows, like i said, the best thing to do, the progressive medium of choice is national public radio, but you
can't really run ads there, and running the sort of generic ads i ran i don't think is very effective frankly, unless you're trying to drive traffic to your web site an even then, it may only be of modest success, so you want to figure out based on the numbers, what shows those people watch. it might be the sunday talk shows, it might be local news, and local news is usually often a good time to get them. it might be on shows like you know, i don't know, law & order or something like that, which is going to be expensive. and again, it depends on the state. if you're buying ads in north dakota, it's going to be a lot cheaper than if you're buying them in florida. >> >> you mentioned that it's important to have a clear strategy theme and message, where people agree on it. is that a problem in these campaigns, to get so many different groups to agree on what the message is, and is it the situation sometimes where
they overlap and they go against each other? >> that's an excellent point. there's been times that the environmental moment resembles what will rogers once said, he once said, along to know organized political party, i'm a democrat, and there have been times when various ads run by various groups didn't use its language or focus on the parts of the debate that pollsters and opinion research has pointed to. but now the environmental community has what's called the clean energy works campaign, which is sort of an umbrella campaign, where everybody is singing natalie from the -- singing not only from the same song book, but the same hymn, they're on the same line and they're singing the same notes and that's really essential. if you go on the industry side, they're all over the map, because the big oil is going to focus enema's lien prices, where -- on gasoline prices, whereas the coal industry is going to focus on jobs. those messages are different. that's one of the challenges of a business coalition is their bottom lines in the advertising
campaign is their bottom lines in their business. and so that's makes it harder sometimes for them. now, obviously, one of the iron rules of congress is, it's always easier to stop things than it is to get things done. so coordination isn't as important if you're just trying to stop things, because then you're just throwing everything you can against the wall and see what sticks. since this is on c-span, we'll say throwing spaghetti at the wallace opposed to -- all, as opposed to other things. >> you were saying, an environmental group, say you have a million dollar budget and your advertising budget is about half. in our academic exercise that we're doing, we're given a total budgets of a million dollars that includes our grassroots effort, includes the lobbyist's fees, includes the coalition building, contribution, public opinion poll, if we're going to go that way. how much and when would you
suggest, as far as these kind of items? >> well, grassroots organizing is very cost effective, because putting a person on the ground costs anywhere from, you know, depending on how cheap you are, from $3,000 to $5,000 a month. maybe a little bit more. that's much cheaper than running an ad that might cost you $10,000 every time you run it on "american idol." of course you only run ads on "american idol" if your target audience are tweens. so you know, you have to think about who your target is. if your target is from a sparsely populated state, you can have a relatively smaller media budget. if your target is from a relatively large state, with a lot of media markets, like for example, florida has seven major media markets, you're going to pick one or two markets to focus on in terms of paid ads. it's my view that you want to concentrate your money, spend more money on fewer targets and
then spend more money on fewer media markets or each target than running five ads here and five ads this in a different market, it adds up to nothing. so you want to target very carefully. you know, in a state like florida, that's your target state, you might want to forget tv altogether and just do radio, because radio is much cheaper. you know, it's interesting, in house campaigns, where tv can be very effective, is you can buy cable by congressional district, so even if you're trying to affect somebody in los angeles, you may only have to buy their c.d., which is very affordable, whereas if you're trying to affect a senator from california, there's no way paid media will make any difference really. >> media can be combined with paid media? >> you want to make sure the message in your earned media reflects your message in your paid media. so if your paid media message is around the jobs that will be
created with clean energy reform and global warming bill, you want to talk about jobs in earned media. you want to have studies that will show how many jobs will be created. the more state specific they are, the more effective they'll be. you want to do media events at say a new wind farm or a new factory that is opened up. a good example, look at president obama, when he delivered his earth day request, he went to a factory in iowa that used to produce washing machines that was chosed and now reopened and now produces i believe steel for wind turbines, so that sort of reinforced his message of earned media. obviously if you're the president, you get covered no matter what you to, but if you're running a campaign, wasn't to think of events like that. so if you're talking about a job, you want to reflect all of your earned media jobs. if you're on the other side and want to convince people it's going to cost too much, you want to focus all your earned media on costs with studies and other events, just like your ads talk
about costs. so that's how you reflect it. rachel? >> -- how important do you think it is to focus on the environmental effects that are going on? because i know you said there are certain members who are never going to believe in global warming, so how poontang it is to focus on the environment versus jobs and costs? >> first of all, the senators in the senate who don't believe global warming is real, you can't talk to him about jobs. it's not worth going to talk to him if you're trying to pass a bill. i think in terms of messaging, that depends on your polling. say you're focused on say, florida, then you want to poll there to find out what the most salient issue is. in florida, it might be, you know, we're going to be under water, or we're going to suffer huge devastating hurricanes, or the everglades may dry up or our beaches will be destroyed,
whatever they find there. that's maybe what you want to talk about there. if you're doing a farm state, it may be the number one thing to talk about is here's hall the opportunities that farmers are going to have to increase their income. they're going to be able to rent their land for wind turbines, they're going to be able to sell offsets, so people, you know, pay you not to pollute, you know, you're going to make biofuels out of somebody's crop, so that may be the thing to talk about there. that's where polling is important. in your campaigns by the way, i would recommend that nobody does any nationwide polling, because unless you don't have money, unless you only have money for one pole, because what you want to do is have polling results that focus on the states you're focused on. if you're focused on five states and each poll costs $40,000 each, that's 20% of your budget. so maybe what you want to do is say you're focused on, say, illinois and iowa, you focus on iowa, do a poll there and hope
that the results are similar enough to guide you in illinois. >> i'm curious to know whether you find alternative forms of advertisement, say, ads on a bus, or on a subway ortegas station, for example, those kind of advertisements to be effective in advocacy campaigns? >> they can be, depending on the size of the place you're trying to do them in. they're very valuable for raising the visibility of the issue. but you know, like if you're in a city like seattle, where they've got a lot of buses, it can be very effective. if you're in a city like detroit where you don't have that many buses, not as effective. it's much harder though to have a message -- i mean, the message has to be very simple, like three ar four words and the guy's name, your target's name. >> laura? >> you talked a lot about talk radio, and what do you -- what
are your thoughts on actually having someone on the show talking about the issue as opposed to an ad, like if you are going against it, and you want a of can difficult to go on a conservative talk show just to raise the visibility of the issue. >> that's a great example of earned media, getting somebody from your side to be on a talk show. hopefully one that's sympathetic and can arouse your base. so if you're the anti side on this base, trying to get your people on conservative talk radio would be a very valuable thing to do. it's harder to do on the pro action side, because frankly, there's much less progressive talk radio, so there are some shows, like that's where you target your national public radio, your local public radio if you're on the pro side, because that's your base, it's going to be listening to that and that's how you reach them. >> dan, thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] >> one of the main themes here is you need more money, so be
creative about bringing in more money to your campaign, because frequently a firm will be given a million dollars, but they also are expected to build coalitions, bring in money to help with the advertising. >> but remember, stealing is never a good idea and one other thing is i'm very glad to be the best speaker you've ever had this decade, so thank you very much. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> i'm going to take two minutes before our next speaker and then we'll have a break after the neck speaker. two minutes to set up for him, for c-span.
coalition building, coalition maintenance in issue campaigns and issue campaigns that will be helpful to you, it's related to cap and trade. now he's at wechsler walker, he's the executive vice-president and managing director and wechsler walker over the years have had interns from this program and as a matter of fact, employees eventually, they've been very loyal and wechsler was the president and founder of the wechsler group and then it became wechsler walker, she passed away this past year and i've sent a piece from the "new york times" magazine to you on the blackboard, some of you have read it, she was on our board here, she's very supportive of this program for many years, and we appreciate that. wechsler walker is part of hill naughton by the way and joel has an interesting combination of skills. he's a professional actor, and he's appeared on offbroadway and
in commercials, and as i was saying before, we've had other actors here, but they didn't realize they were actors, but he's a real actor, the only one that we have, he has a degree from yale in political science, but he's still ok, still learned something up there. he's worked on the hill, like many of our presenters, and worked in the private sector, and the private sector at wechsler walker. he's focused on issues that are part of the waxman-marquis bill on nuclear energy and electricity markets on hydroelectric power, but he also worked on nafta and ann wechsler was well known and joel for putting together the coalition to help get nafta passed when clinton was in the white house. it's a case study that lots of people focus on. we welcome joel yet again. again, he's part of the family,
he's been coming for many years. >> my pleasure. good to be back. hello to all of you. let me say at the outset, i love your questions, so don't feel like you have to wait till the end, if you have a question about something i'm talking about, it's probably best to address it then, and who knows, it may end up taking me in a different direction, which may prove more interesting and perhaps entertaining for awferl you. -- for all of you. as dr. thurber mentioned, the topic for the next hour or so is coalition building and how coalitions are used not only to define issue campaigns but to advance them and to enable them to succeed. i've been doing it at wexler-walker for 17 years and in the course of those 17 years, probably iran maybe upwards of half a dozen of those campaigns. each one is different. the issues are different. the time and place changes, which party is in control of congress, which party is in the
white house, so that element is always different, but there are common themes that run throughout and what i'm going to try to do is use one case study from a number of years ago, which will give you a sense of how all of these campaigns operate and why in thick, there is a need for pulling together what we try to make as eyebrow raising a group of traditional and non-traditional allies to stand up with, generally speaking, my clients to advocate for various policy outcomes. you've probably heard from other lobbyists, i should say at the outset, i'm proud to be a registered lobbyist. there are a number of lobbyists who have gone through the painful process of deregistering in these obama years, but i'm sticking with it. most lobbyists play their trade through relationships, through experience that they were able
to gain working on capitol hill, or for an administration. and the sense that they know the people, they know the issues, and so we, i, can be a successful lobbyist. that way thrives and it works real well. the way i have practiced and the way these campaigns operate is from an acknowledgement that you can't survive on relationships alone. in fact, what you need to do is create new relationships that don't currently exist, relationships among interest groups, relationships between private sector interests and public sector interests. to try to draw connections that those sitting in office will find interesting, and, more importantly, that will give them the sense that they can stand up and support from a public policies perspective the issues that that interesting group is advocating. so what we in putting together these campaigns can accomplish,
is we can provide cover, and when i say that, i mean both cover from the prospect of a member of congress, who wants to vote for an issue, but perhaps is wary about being too closely associated with the economic interests, with the corporate interests behind those positions. if we can provide other voices, other constituent voices, to give them a sense that this is the public good, more than the private good, that is usually a key element of success. another thing we do is to try to redefine issues for different audiences, and this both works from the perspective of educating lawmakers, to give them a new way of looking at an issue, but also potential allies. if we're approaching a group that perhaps isn't aware of its stake in the climate change debate, just to use one example,
how can we talk to them in terms that will them them understand that this is an issue not only that's important to them and their members, but one that if they don't take an active role in advocating for it, they and their members perhaps will suffer. and then ultimately, the goal in all of these is to try to make what is usually a controversial issue to make it seem less controversial. non-controversial. or at least convince enough people that that's the case. and in doing so, we try to work all different angles, and you're probably hearing from folks over the course of the last week or however long this is proceeding, folks that operate in one, perhaps two of these areas, but direct lobbying. grassroots advocacy, grass tops advocacy, we could talk about that in detail. coalition building, media relations, polling, strategic
research and of course, fund raising, which is an ever constant part of this process as well. my job is to focus on all of these, to work with a group of consultants, a group of firms that i generally manage, the effort under which they're operating and in working with that group in tandem with the core group of clients who are hiring us for your services, move forward with a campaign that usually lasts a number of years, that needs to be flexible, and one that ultimately can deliver again this public policy result. any questions so far? all right. why do companies, and it's generally groups of companies, that come together to hire a manager like me, it's usually a group that has a common goal, but frankly, they don't, as
individual companies, have the time or the resources to dedicate the time that's necessary to move that effort forward in a sustainable and successful way. so generally, they will pool their resources and come to some agreement to create usually a 501c organization, those funds that they pool are then used to hire a team of consultants that i generally am tasked to manage, and then we work quite chosely with those clients in a very dedicated way to try to make sure the process moves forward. so if you think about the work that i do, i'm a campaign manager, but the -- it's not a candidate that we are promoting, it's an issue. and the outcome isn't election to office, but rather passage or in some instances, defeat of a
particular piece legislation, or perhaps the outcome of a pending executive branch agency decision. let me talk in detail now about a campaign that i ran from 1999 to 2005. and let's stop there for a second and think about six years. whether we started this program, in fact, one of the questions the clients asked of us before we started is well, is this a one-year effort, how long do you think this will take? we had no idea that this would take six years. you all heard that the legislative process is extremely slow. i'm here to tell you that it absolutely is slow and it's a good thing that it is slow, because frankly, the legislative goals that we had at the outset were far different from what ultimately became the law of the land six years later and frankly what became the law of the land was a real, real good public
policy outcome and i think at the outset, we weren't quite at the point that it had gotten to that stage, so time can be a friend, not just to those who want to stop something, but also a friend to those who want to make sure that the end result is ultimately in the public good. in this instance, we were hired by a group of utilities who generate hydroelectric power. the ray the nation's hydroelectric system works is about a of the hydro in the country is managed and operated by the federal government. if you think of the bonneville power administration, the tennessee valley authority, the big federally run hydrodams that generate a good amount of the electricity in the pacific northwest, in the tennessee valley region, and in other places around the country. the other half of the industry are private entities or
municipal or rural electric co-op entities. you've got investor owned utilities that generate a lot of hydropower and then you've got cities, counties, who are part of the municipal electricity world, and some of the rural electric co-ops as well, that own and operate these hydroelectric projects as well. let me talk for a bit about hydropower, because, and i don't want this to become very i in-depth policy and analytical, but i think it's important to just touch on some of the attributes of the resource, because it gives you a sense of how we approached this process of surrounding the industry with some new allies. hydropower is clean, you're not burning anything to generate electricity, essentially, you have a running river, or you have a reservoir that some cases existed before the hydroproject was crafted, or in some cases,
the reservoir was created as a result of creating a dam that stopped the flow of water in a certain location. but in any event, you have water which can either be flowing free or if you wish at any time to open up a chute, the water stalled can pass through these chutes to spin turbines through the farce of gravity and those -- force of gravity and those turbines power the generators. it's a rather simplistic view but not too much more complicated than that. it's using the force of gravity to generate electricity. so it is clean, you're not burning anything, -- burning anything, it is quick to turn on and off. a coal fired plant, a nuclear plant takes hours if not days to get up and running or to shut down. generally utilities use the hydroprojects to generate peak
power. if during the summer, things are getting too hot and they need a bit more juice on the grid or in the dead of winter folks are outsing their heating more and they need to prop up the grid, you're able to really as simply as throw a switch, get the hydropower generated and off and running on the grid. it's crucial to the reliability of the electrical grid. it is also cheap. there's a huge consumer benefit. esendingly, if you look at all the different forms of electricity, hydropower is one of the cheapest, which is why in many parts of the country that are heavily dependent on hydropower, you have among the lowest rates in the country. now, the other important impact of hydropower is the environment hall impact and this plays a big role in this campaign as well. because you cannot in this -- and this held true in 1999 when we started, and it certainly holds true today, you cannot
enact any piece of energy legislation of note that has an environmental impact without building support from within the environmental community, without acknowledging that environmental impact, and to the extent you can, mitigating that environment hall impact, and we can talk in detail about that as well. let me spend a little time about the specific issue facing this industry and why they felt there was a need for this campaign to be mounted. the privately owned and operated hydroprojects in this country are run according to rules and regulations set forth in the federal power act. that is a piece of legislation that was originally enacted back in the 1930's. and over the years, has been modified and amended to keep up with current methods of generating electricity, and other concerns as well.
according to the federal power act, of after a set number of years, these privately owned and operated hydroprojects need to get a new license, they need to be rely sensed. -- rely sensed. without that new license, the projects wouldn't be allowed to operate and back in 1999, there was approaching a period where a good number of these projects in the country were going through this rely sensing process. the rely sensing process at the time and as a result of our work, this has been amended, but going back to the language in 1999, and this language is still in the federal power act today, i'm going to read you two bits from section 4 of the federal power act. one is discusses the fact that the federal energy regulatory commission and that is ferc, the commission in charge of this relre licensing.
they shall give equal purpose to protection mitigation of damage to and enhancement of fish and wildlife, the protection of recreational opportunities, and the preservation of other aspects of environmental quality. so it's basically telling the ferc that it has a responsibility to give equal consideration to energy and environmental values. but if you look a little earlier in the same section, it gives authority as well to certain resource agencies, and we're talking the u.s. fish and wildlife service, the u.s. forest service, and noaa fisheries, which was the national marine and fisheries service at the time. it was telling them that the secretary of that department, is able to impose any conditions that they shall deem necessary for the adequate protection and utilization of such reservation. it's basically giving these resource agency secretaries the ability to impose conditions on
this license to ensure that the environmental aspects that they are cast with overseeing are adequately protected. now, in practice, you've got the equal consideration on the one hand, but this -- what evolved into what was known as manhattantory conditioning authority on the other and there was a disconnect, because frankly, there were a series of karatekas which essentially tied the ferc hands. if practice, there were a number of hydroprojects that were facing blanket mandatory conditions by the department of interior, the department of commerce, or the department of agriculture, which are where these resource agencies are housed, and for example, there could be a condition imposed on a hydroproject and this was a real instance, where the hydroowner would be responsible to spend x amount of dollars to
build picnic tables in and around the project. there were conditions to demand that the utility construct an aquarium near the hydroproject. there were requirements that the utility build fishways and other means through wish species of fish not native to the river would be protected. now, those are some extreme examples, but the sense was, there was no mechanism through which these resource agencies were required to justify that these conditions were the right conditions, the right need for the right problem, and absent a tweaking of this federal power act language, there was a real concern on the part of these utilities that there could be a number of these very expensive conditions that could render the project uneconomical. it would become more expensive for them to get a new license for their project, than to get
the license with these conditions. so the industry turned to an effort that we were asked to run, to try to find a sensible way to change the way in which this mandatory conditioning authority was being utilized. any questions? that's a mouthful. all right, good. why did these groups decide that this effort was necessary? number one, and this is usually the top interest, there's hand economic interest at stake. these hydroprojects in many cases, if you look at some of the smaller municipal utilities in the northwest, you know, some of the counties in washington state have one hydroproject and if that hydroproject becomes uneconomic, that project is shut down and that county has nowhere to get its power from. extreme example, but those examples were out there. so there was this economic interest.
there was a sense that their trade associations, and this is important, very -- just about every company that operates in and around washington is a member of one, two, three, perhaps even more trade associations. and generally speaking, these trade associations are the entities that would be tasked with this type of grand effort to move a campaign of this nature forward. in this interest, you had the edison electric institute, which represents the investor owned utility i talked about, you have the american public power association, which represents the publicly owned, the municipal utilities i mentioned and then you had the national hydropower association. : decision to
outside of the realm of these trade associations pool resources and hire a team of consultants that could help drive this issue forward. importantly, our effort was done not only with close coordination with these trade associations they were literally at the table. they weren't paying participants of the effort. it was critical from our perspective and from the perspective that it be done under one coordinated roof. one of the real pitfalls of this type of legislative type of advocacy is that if you don't have a coordinated effort, if
you have two or three different entities all working towards the same end but doing it independently, it's a train wreck or multiple train wrecks ready to happen. we knew at the outset that there would be value in us all working from a coordinated posture. we were the only ones as we were told afterwards that brought to the table that this acknowledgement that there was this whole world of third-party advocates that no one had thought about tapping into. and this gets to the heart of why this effort is such a good case study for you today and frankly why the effort was ultimately successful. if you think about the players involved in hydroadvocacy, traditionally, you obviously have the utilities themselves and their trade associations. you have the environmental advocacy community. you have the federal and state agencies. you have a number of native american tribes, a lot of these
hydroprojects, especially in the northwest operate in and around tribal lands. and then you had, obviously, 535 members of congress, some more interested in this issue than others. and they traditionally were the ones who industry would work with to try to move this type of reform forward. but what was absent until this effort was moved forward were folks who frankly had an enormous stake in this issue and as i mentioned earlier, some of them were aware of this stake and some frankly were unaware and we had a job to do in educating them and bringing them on board. but let's go back to those benefits of hydro. i talked about reliability and the cheap -- relatively cheap aspect of hydroelectricity. that's a consumer benefit. the consumer advocacy world is enormously influential in washington. you have some national consumer groups. you have some regional and local consumer groups.
they had been absent from the hydroadvocacy world. clean air benefits of hydropower. it was not easy to find clean air groups who were willing to step out in support of a hydropower issue but we found a few. we empowered them. we gave them the ability to have their voice heard and it made a difference. recreation groups. i talked about these reservoirs that were created in some instances by these hydrodams. reservoirs through which an avenue of boaters fishermen, jet skis -- there's a whole industry and frankly vacationers. folks who build houses along lakes so there's a real estate interest as well. we brought them on board. the labor unions. one of the more effective alliances that we turned to our energy work regardless of the resource is to try to bring business and labor unions together. there are certain congressional districts.
there are certain states where unions are enormously influential. nationally especially with this administration, it's enormously helpful to be able to go in and talk about an issue where you have standing on one side a business interest and a labor union interest on the other. another key benefit of hydropower has to do with irrigation. in certain parts of the country, if you didn't have the hydrosystems, you wouldn't be able to bring water inland which enables farming interests to be productive. so we were able to reach out to the agricultural communities as well. so it gives you a sense that there are some innate constituencies that have ties to hydro until this time in '99 basically weren't part of the equation. so our strategy was -- yes. [inaudible] >> are there other groups that build coalitions? >> absolutely. that was about what i was going to get started with. no, you were right on target.
>> and joel, before you get to that. 50% of public not municipal or counties. were they include in the coalition? >> they were not. generally they are not subject to the same relicensing rules and so their stake was not relevant in this. that being said, some of the current energy campaigns i'm involved with now -- those entities are very much involved. so our first step and it gets to your question, how do you reach out to these types of groups? it starts from relationships. a firm such as ours who have been doing this type of work for decades -- we have over the years worked closely with many of these groups. so where relationships exist and it's always important when you identify relationships that you try not to let ego get in the way. a lot of people say, well, i know this group best. i know this senator best.
you want to do your homework to makes who has that truly best relationship to ensure that an approach is met with respect. it is met with an honest assessment and it is met with knowledge that whatever future relationship may come out of that approach, that relationship will be treated appropriately. and that's something i'll get to in the next few minutes as well. so you want to identify the best relationship and then the next step is how are you going to phrase -- how are you going to frame the messaging for this interest? i mean, we can put together a set of messages on why hydrolicensing reform was important. but some of those messages may not resonate with some entities as they will with others. so this is where creativity comes into play. and a lot of folks in my profession don't give creativity enough of an emphasis.
because often it's that thinking outside of the box which will give you that leg up and to give you that perhaps unseen opportunity to find some success which might otherwise be evasive. so you want to understand how best to speak to those groups, that individual group, in terms that will resonate with that group and their members and how can you convince them in what is essentially a five-minute phone conversation if you're lucky you'll have a face-to-face meeting afterwards but in five minutes, how can you communicate to them that this is something that a face-to-face meeting would be, you know, worth their while? and then those five-minute phone calls turn into face-to-face meetings which turn into additional follow-up conversations. and you want to get to the point where an individual entity -- and we usually try to start with national associations. if we are approaching the consumer world, for instance. in just instance we approached the consumer federation of america.
and we knew if you bypassed cfa and if you went to perhaps more of the localized chapters of cfa, their question would be, well, have you spoken to the national chapter. if you have the buy-in of the national entity, which is not always easy but if you have that buy-in, you are then in a position not only to immediately gain entree to their members with their permission but it immediately gives you that step forward in what will then be the next step, which is communicating the urgency to those local entities. and if they can reach out to their national association and get some sense that this is a worthwhile cause, we have a much better chance of getting them to join with us. so in this case we looked at these five or six broad areas which we wanted to tap into. identifying core trade association leaders forever each. we approached each of them through those best relationship means. and really the goal was to get
them to endorse a mission statement. and i'll talk very soon about core materials for building a campaign. but the very first writing assignment involved in any of these campaigns is what is the mission statement of a campaign? what is it that the campaign stands for from a public perspective that will actually be a vehicle that an entity can look at and determine whether or not to sign on the dotted line? in the case of hydrolicensing reform, we created a stand-alone entity. it was important that it not be known as the hydroindustry campaign to reform the licensing process. instead, we wanted to create something which could resonate in the media, resonate on the hill and importantly, resonate with what we hope would be potential coalition members. so we created a group and we called it "water power," the clean energy coalition. that is something -- it's important when you're choosing a name and one of the early
exercises in these campaigns is always to come up with some of the more outlandish possibilities of campaign names, but you want to make sure that the one you ultimately choose is readily identifiable by anyone who see it is. if someone gets something from water power, more than likely you're going to think about generating power through water. maybe not. i'd be interested in your thoughts if something was triggered in your mind. but we wanted to focus on hydropower without saying hydropower. and we wanted to tap in with the tag line, the clean energy coalition, which was ultimately our selling point, which is if you let these hydroprojects run the risk of being shut down, where are you going to make up that clean energy? and this was back at the time post-kyoto, when the clinton administration was very interested in pushing clean energy ideas and provisions. and we wanted to make a clear statement that you couldn't be
pro-kyoto and at the same time be antihydro. and we had a mission statement and this is also important. should a mission statement be specific to a piece of legislation? we had legislation that we inherited when we were signed on to this effort. legislation had been introduced in the senate and introduced in the house. did we want the mission of water power to be h.r. 1221 and s. -- whatever the numbers ended up being. it's important in framing these missions that you not tie yourself to too narrow an end result. coalitions take a long time. in this instance it wasn't just 1999 to 2005. but it was four separate congresses. the 106th, 7th, 8th and 9th congresses. you start from scratch and you want to make sure that your mission for water power is able to survive whatever twists and turns come your way.
you don't want to have to go through the ordeal once you build a coalition of having to switch mission statements and go back to each entity -- you know, take a fresh look at that time. do you still want to be a part of it? one of the cardinal rules of coalition-building is you want the coalition to build. you don't want to be losing coalition members. and once their members are tied to a mission statement, it's important that mission stay intact. so you want to build a mission statement broadly. the mission statement of water power was essentially listing the benefits of hydropower. talking about the threats of the current licensing process. and a statement at the end that water power supports reasonable environmentally responsible reforms of the hydroelectric licensing process. that was something that was broad enough to enable these folks to look at and say, we can support this. once we've made the case to them that it was something that would
be in line with their priorities and their members' priorities. so if we're lucky and in this case we were, we did our homework. we approached the right groups with the right messages. we were able to get a good core group of coalition members, national entities, to join with a lot of electric utilities and frankly a lot of the customers and end users of these electric utilities. the individual utilities were asked to reach out to their customers, folks who were beneficiaries of this reliable, relatively cheap, clean source of energy. and we were able through a public launch, which we pulled together, toward the end of our first year of existence -- we did an event in the u.s. capital where we had the heads of all of the trade associations involved in these third-party advocate groups i talked about. we had some ceos from our investor-owned utilities. we had some officials from the municipal utilities and we had the lead senator and the lead
congressman for the legislation that had been introduced. this was announcing water power to the public, both from a perspective of generating media attention. also from a perspective of generating legislative, lawmaker attention because the next stage would be building support in congress trying to neutralize what was a very antihydropower stance in the clinton administration in year one. then in 2001, when we had the new administration, taking advantage of a more supportive administration to help drive legislation as well. let me stop there. any questions? yes, laura? >> could you talk a little bit about how you maintain the coalitions and the tactics you use to contact the different members and how to keep everyone in the loop but still while maintaining your specific client relations? because in our instance, we're representing the u.s. chamber of commerce. so how do you define the
coalition and then still keep your client as the top priority? >> yeah. and you're exactly right. the client -- the person paying the bills needs to be the top priority. so what we do at the outset of these campaigns is figure out the infrastructure that works best for the paying entity or entities. in this case, we had about 20 individual utilities that were part of my client base. and we decided once a week we would get together. one of the trade associations, the edison electric institute hosted that meeting and invited to that meeting were not just representatives of the paying utilities but they were able to in turn invite all of their outside lobbyists as well. each of these individual companies have their own lobbying capabilities as well. and again, to ensure we were all speaking from the same coordinated page we brought them all around a very large table once a week. that enabled from the client
perspective a close look at the priorities of the coming week, the challenges that have arisen since our last meeting. discussions of strategy, both specific to what was immediately before us but also very large-scale tactical decisions which throughout the course of those six years we needed to make. so you want to make sure at this washington level on a regular basis that you have that face time for give-and-take for the clients. importantly throughout the year you also want to make sure that those who were their bosses at the headquarters whether the ceo, the vice president of government relations, those where those budgets generally came from -- at the end of each year, we, i, need to make the case to those whose budgets are the relevant ones that this is a worthwhile investment for them to continue funding for the next year. so that involved creating progress reports. at times face-to-face ceo meetings.
basically whatever the clients based in washington felt was needed for them to adequately make the case for progress to their superiors. so that kind of talks about the coordination from the client perspective. i talked about the cardinal rule of not having your membership from a coalition perspective decrease. it is very easy to take coalition membership for granted. once you are successful in getting an entity to lend you their name and in this case of water power, we were asking for their approval to list them as a supporter on our website, on our membership list as a supporter of the water power mission statement, that doesn't give me the authority to run an ad touting this individual company's support for hydrolicensing reform. it enables me to reach out to them and say we have an opportunity.
would you be interested in being profiled either on our website? or would you be interested in coming to washington to join a fly-in of a small number of water power members who would be meeting with legislators? it's important from the campaign management perspective to never lose the trust of your members because it happens and it happens quickly where you'll get an email saying, please take my name off your list. you ask why. and, you know, you'll find out something that said. -- that happened. it doesn't happen enough because i've done it long enough to avoid those pill falls but when i'm working with new staff, when i'm working with new sister firms who are part of my consulting team, our paramount objective is to not just gain but to maintain the trust of these folks that lend their support for our efforts. because as quickly as you get a benefit from let's say the consumer federation of america signing on to an effort, you will have greater damage if they
issue a press release talking about why they decided to leave water power. yes, sticking on this side of the room. howie? >> with regards to members of the coalition, which don't necessarily have many of the characteristics of the majority of the members, for instance, if you wanted to form a bipartisan coalition of, for instance, of organizations which would normally be proenvironment, p proconservation and wildlife and then you have another organization that isn't so much on that on your ground, what are some of the extra strategies that you would use or employ to keep those members who aren't necessarily -- that don't necessarily have the characteristics of the majority of your members with you and how much extra time do you devote to them? >> the answer is a lot of extra time. i would say most of the time i
spend during the day is talking to either coalition members or talking to my clients. less so with the individual members of congress, although, at certain times during the year that becomes my priority. i mean, the legislative cycle is such when we got hearings and markups, when we got floor votes -- that all of a sudden becomes the focus and there are always those on my team who are focused on the hill and administration interaction. but your question is how can we ensure that intrinsic obstacles within two organizations -- how can you avoid those positions which aren't necessarily relevant to water power in this case but how can you keep that from entering into the realm of water power to blow up the entire effort. is that -- okay. great. it comes down to my being aware of what those issues are. my trying to have well-timed
conversations with the entities involved. for them to know that i'm aware of this potential. and to find out again if advance before it becomes a problem what additional comfort they may need. what might they need to hear from this other entity that could help make things a bit calm. and what role can i play then in going back to the other entity to try to give that extra level of comfort? if i do my job well, we're able to take those issues, minimize the impact before they become a problem. in certain cases -- and i've had this happen recently where on a campaign two paying clients have a real controversy. and it's not so much outside of the realm of our focus on the campaign.bw]a what we've done in those instances is we've tried to make a determination with the buy-in of all of the clients that we as a coalition just won't take a position on that specific element of the issue.ñ?÷
if that doesn't take care of it, we try to find some other accommodation. if ultimately it's fought possible, you'll end up with one of the entities leaving the coalition.ñk it is not ideal. but oftentimes when it comes to and it's the best outcome. >> we're talking about building these coalitions. after you've got people on board, what about prioritizing in terms of what they're going to contribute whether it's financial support, organizational support or even just lending their name as you mentioned? could you just speak a little bit to that about prioritizing of the -- >> yes. every campaign is different. i would say 80, 90% of the ones i've done have been funded wholly by the clients who have hired me.
there have been some instances where coalition members would be asked to pay a nominal fee. generally speaking the rule of thumb the more people that are paying the more entities you have to really cater to. not that you're going to ignore a coalition member and it comes down to the type of job i do and regardless whether you're paying, you'll get the attention you need. but if a company is paying a relatively small amount, it is hard to convince that company's ceo that he or she has have the ability to mandate, you know, grand strategies. and that is where we can run into difficulties in terms of coordinating those big decisions with those who are paying the lion's share of the wait. it is also -- this won't be a surprise. it is easier to get folks to sign on as a coalition member if there is no fee.
usually we will make it a free situation. and that is usually met with a smile and an appreciation on the other side. but it does -- you know, there's always -- if an entity is doing it right, and i would expect them to, there's always going to be the question, well, who is funding it? how are decisions made? how will you be using my name? and that is again where those assurances that come from me and come from the reputation i've built over these 17 years that i'm someone that these folks can trust. because it happens a lot where other folks aren't as attuned to that and the coalition falls apart overnight. let's move over to this side of the room. scott? >> yeah. i was wondering -- you mentioned fees for members of the coalition. >> yes. >> we only have a million dollars in our scenario. and one thing we were investigating the possibility of was raising money for members of the coalition for things like paid media and do you think that's feasible.
and how would you go about doing it? >> it's feasible and given the $1 million budget it's necessary. any time you're talking about a paid media component, you're talking about a lot of money. and oftentimes the campaigns that i run outside of the dues structure -- there would be an assessment for additional contributions for a paid media campaign, for a new set of focus groups. you often tried to find either individual companies or individual groups of the companies to pony up that extra amount of investment. if you're not fortunate enough to have that type of resource available from individuals, then you need to be a bit more creative. there's a way to utilize online advertising to great effect and we've been doing that a whole lot more not just because of the new advances in online advertising but because of the economic realities that the
monster budgets of a few years ago are not going to necessarily be available depending on the issue, depending on the industry. so there's always -- there's always a way to take a million dollars and have an effective advocacy campaign. it's a question of prioritizing. it's a question of trying to have companies step up not just with additional assessment and influx of funds, but can they bring more of their lobbying resources to the table? can they bring more relationships through perhaps their boards of directors? are they willing to get their investors engaged? are they willing to get their employees engaged? if they're able to do that through means already taken care of in terms of, you know, every employee gets a paycheck every week or every two weeks. and there are a lot of instances where companies will put little stuffers in those paychecks with their pay stubs talking about a specific issue. here's why it's important to you. here's how you could get involved if you so choose.
this can have an enormous impact on a grassroots, grasstops perspective if your goal is influencing legislation. rachel? [inaudible] >> we have about 10 months for the project we're doing and it's a big inch on cap-and-trade. how feasible is it to build a coalition in that kind of time period? do you think it would make more sense for us, you know, to join a coalition that already exists or is it feasible in 10 months to kind of create our own? >> joel, may i jump in and say that the study is that they are pitching to the u.s. chamber of commerce and also the nrdc. >> good luck with that. [laughter] >> well, i work with both of of them and they're great entities. and both are very involved in lots of different cap-and-trade climate change coalitions. so your question is a good one. there are already a lot of campaigns and coalitions out there. the first question for any potential participant or contributor to that campaign is,
does the campaign involve truly speak to my and my organization's legislative -- preferred legislative outcome? does it represent my interests? well, there's somewhat of a good match, you need to think carefully. because especially with an issue like cap-and-trade, if and when we get to a legislative endgame, if you are not -- if you are not 100% in line with that coalition's focus and goal, you and your members may find their interests left outside at the end of the day. in terms of whether you can build a new campaign quickly, absolutely. it can be done -- it could be done overnight if you've got the right participants. it could be done in the course of a week. if you want to build kind of a, you know, 5 or 600 national members it's going to take a little more time but you're at a stage right now where you have a bit of -- i don't want to call it down time 'cause it's going to be very active on the climate
change front. but you won't be seeing any legislative action on the senate floor until, you know, april the earliest. and so in this, you know, first quarter of 2010, you've got a great opportunity and, frankly, the time to reach out to the right groups who may perhaps be less than enthralled with the path that their current coalitions are taking maybe seeing an opportunity to start something new. with a new renewed focused. so this three-month window of opportunity is a tremendous one. yes. >> the question i have, say we're a group like the nrdc and we're great exempt and that's great for us and our members obviously. and say we're thinking of using this partly of this million dollars to find other coalition members who might be willing to toss in money for our overall budget. and some of the other things that you were talking about as far as coalition-building. are we in any danger of hurting our tax-exempt status? is there something -- are there
ways we should do this or not do this that are going to affect that? >> well, i'm not a tax attorney. i always work closely with really good tax attorneys. and it's an important element of this because the tax laws as you can imagine are very specific and opposition groups and there are always opposition groups to every campaign i've run and any campaign that's out there. there are those who are literally waking up in the morning thinking how can we make, you know, that campaign really look bad today? and one of the ways that they will seek to do that is to make sure that your doing your 501c work appropriately. there are a number of very legal ways to have those contributions handled and taken care of. there are very specific reporting requirements that need to be done regularly throughout the year. and you need to have a little budget in your campaign for some tax counsel. yes, kenny? >> you brought up the opposition. and what is -- what should you do about an opposition coalition? do you ignore them?
do you try and bring out media that goes against them directly or how do you deal with an opposition coalition? >> it depends on who they are. one of the things you have to consider before you directly engage in opposition group is by your responding, are you giving them more attention and publicity than they would otherwise have if we stood back? the best approach that i take on in these campaigns is at the earliest stages, to try to sit down with those groups. if i have a personal relationship already, that comes in handy. if i don't, you know, try to find someone who can be an intermediary. generally speaking, there will -- there is enormous interest on the part of an opposition group to sit down early with the person who's running a new campaign. 'cause there's always this fear
factor, you know, how much of a budget does this campaign have. what are they doing? what is their true goal. not that i'm going to be divulging that in a sit-down. but if i can establish a personal relationship, an open line of communication and then we can do whatever we please with that open line, we don't have to utilize that, but if we can have that a little bit of personal interaction, you can diffuse the most problematic outcomes and perhaps open the door to great agreements. now, it is rare that those entrees can result in a joining of hands at a press conference and no problem. everyone is happy. and the legislation sales through. -- sails through. but oftentimes knowing the opposition group gives you a thought of perhaps what they may be trying to do. and then gives you the opportunity to think one step ahead of them or to go around what you expect they will do. but oftentimes the opponents are
smart. they're savvy. and they will surprise me. and make my life difficult. but it makes us better and smarter having to respond. you can't over the long term ignoring them is a problem. you can ignore individual opposition tactics, you know, for instance, if they issue some outlandish press release, cannot have a response. there are other ways perhaps you can respond without issuing your own release, you know, we all are utilizing on our campaigns and our websites the blogosphere and we are blogging usually attacking our opponents through blogs. that's an opportunity where reporters who are going to be the ones who are more apt to write about the issue will be tracking that give-and-take, that response, that back and forth without running the risk of perhaps your counter-attack getting too broadly disseminated, which is where
some problems could occur. georgette? >> you spoke about the balancing and not only maintaining relationships with the clients in your coalition but with their lobbyists as well. and on issues like energy and the environment that are so salient right now, i bet it's safe to assume that most of your coalition members are not only going to have their own lobbyists but are going to have retainers with not only one separate contract firm but multiple contract firms who are ultimately in competition to maintain that business. so has that ever created a challenge for you? -- in dividing labor and how are decisions made in your direct lobbying strategy and who's the best-suited lobbyists to take this client and coalition to the hill? >> it's an important and difficult task. and again, it gets to what i said early. you want everyone to the extent possible to be under your tent. it comes down to a personal relationship.
can the company involved, can the individual lobbyists of theirs involved know that i am not after their business? that's something that i have control over. can i at any opportunity that's available to me make those individual lobbyists look good? yes, there are opportunities. and i do that at every opportunity. there's a downside because campaigns end and then i lose the business while those lobbyists still end up working long term for those companies. but in the long run, i think i'm better off in terms of generating new business, a larger campaign business down the road, by having this ability to share the spotlight, to share the workload with other lobbyists. and to help them be as productive and successful in the eyes of their clients as possible. it's not always as easy. it depends on the willingness of
the individual company. it usually takes a while, a few months, perhaps a year, for the company to realize that there's a benefit for them bringing those lobbyists of theirs to our weekly or biweekly meetings. and then perhaps there's a question of -- you know, sometimes those lobbyists are on hourly rates rather than retainers. so there's a question of, you know, if i'm going to be calling the consultant to ask that they perhaps go meet with senator x, that will ultimately be passed through as a cost to the client. so i would to make sure that request goes to the client for them to make the determination. i can call the company representative and say, you know, given that your lobbyist's relationship with senator, you know, schumer of new york is so good, i would -- i would think it's important for the effort for that individual to take on as an assignment the schumer office. generally that is met with great idea. let's make it happen and then
i'm able to work directly with that lobbyist or using the company as an intermediary. but, you know, egos, personalities, it's a very competitive industry. very competitive business. you don't want to make enemies. and you can easily make enemies if people get a sense that you're trying to steal business from them or trying to undercut their reputation or their, you know, means of earning a living. lane? [inaudible] >> you talked about the uncertainty that kind of goes along with a bigger time horizon. well, for our project we're talking about -- basically within the next year but climate as an issue could, of course, go on for much longer. is there any provisions that you could take in building your initial coalition when over time it's not as effective or there's individual members that want to be released from the group or you want to unwind your project? like a scenario that i was just thinking about, you know, especially if you have a diverse coalition, you know, one member,
whether it's a firm or another group might decide they've change just ahead their stance on that and take a different opinion in the media. how do you have to unwind that group that you built? >> you handle it carefully. and you handle it in a way where there are minimal disruptions to the remaining participants. i'll give you one example. it happened with the hydro one and it was very delicate. our lead sponsor in the senate was larry craig of idaho. and idaho power was the main -- is the main utility in the state of idaho. and it got to the point in our legislative process where the legislative vehicle -- i remember -- i mentioned early on we inherit legislation and then that legislation in my opinion became refined and more effective over the years we were working on it.
well, as that movement tack place, idaho power made a determination that it was no longer a piece of legislation. that was in line with their interests. and so you had a situation not only of one of our members being disgruntled and wanting to leave but it's also the key utility of our key senator sponsor and it's a credit to senator craig and his staff and the way that they handled it that it was a smooth exit. one that frankly was done with minimal disruption. and one that frankly, you know, idaho power continued to be not a direct participant but we engaged with them. we consulted with them. and i would like to think that they benefited from the resulting change in the law. so it could have been a nightmare. but it was handled the right way. yes, sir. [inaudible] >> i would like to ask a broader question he. -- question. president obama basically has been attacking certain kinds of lobbyists.
the lobbyists that he agrees with are stakeholders. the lobbyists that he disagrees with are those awful lobbyists. >> right. >> and that he has what is in the public interest in his mind. and he's pushing it for the public good. you've used twice in your presentation the public good. now, you're a graduate of yale where a prominent pluralist robert dahl who said the public interest is the battle -- it's what comes out of the battle of specialized interest. but madison says, beware of factions. they'll undermine the public interest. could you define the public interest for us? [laughter] >> i think my time is up. [laughter] [inaudible] >> these are my own views, obviously, not my client's views, not that they would necessarily be different.
the public interest is what enables our nation and our society to continue on what i consider to be a path of prosperity and health. and that you could, you know, whittle down to enormous detail of what that means. but it's a sense that what congress is doing, what this administration is doing is going to ultimately be for the good of the individual citizens. now, i am a registered lobbyist. i've been one for 17 years. i can understand the concerns that this president has. i'm not surprised by them. i think it's unfortunate. i mean, you're looking at someone who frankly -- i think i'd be a pretty good servant of this administration in a formal capacity but it's not to be and i'm comfortable with that. but i do think there are specific instances where an individual's knowledge and experience are such a vital tool to this administration that's
shutting them out completely i think is a disservice to the public good. again, i can understand why they are making the distinction because there are good lobbyists and there are bad lobbyists. and you need to be careful with how that authority and power in the administration would be used. i think there are ways to structure it so that it could be used for the public good. >> thank you. >> other questions? justin? >> getting back to coalition-building. you mentioned there's a lot of work to be done on the back end to maintain relationships, to ensure that messaging is cohesive throughout the coalition. so in standing up a coalition, what is the typical staff structure? like how many folks do you bring on board and what type of folks do you bring on board. >> it varies from campaign to campaign. let me talk -- there are three campaigns i'm involved in right now. let me speak to the model that most of them are utilizing.
here at wexler & walker at my firm, there are four of us. that are working every day, you know, nine, ten hours a day on each of those campaigns. beyond the four of us, for each of the campaigns there's a dedicated public relations firm. that could have upwards of half a dozen to a dozen individuals working on that campaign. there's always legal counsel. a law firm which will have between one to three, maybe more, lawyers working on the campaign. there are other lobbying officials. -- officials. -- firms. we have cochairs and it helps draw press attention and press attention. they generally cost resources, cost money. so they usually have firms that they're associated with that are part of the staff. they will have staff that are part of our staff.
there are strategic research firms that are often part of the staff. so at the end of the day, we have about maybe 15 to 20 folks on a day-to-day basis working in some capacity as consultants on these projects. that is not counting the individuals at in some cases one of the campaigns i'm involved in now, there are 32 individual paying entities. and they all have, you know, at times dozens of individuals who are working not exclusively on the campaign but who are at our disposable and helping to drive our work on a daily basis. >> we have time for one more question. >> okay. who's got the best question? >> i thought i had the best question. >> rachel? -- rachel was talking earlier when you have multiple coalitions working around and similar interests. if there's multiple coalitions,
would it -- have you ever tried -- have you tried merging them and creating an umbrella group or something like that? and if you wanted to do that, how would you do that? >> i've never done that. not to say that it doesn't work and it doesn't work well. there's a time and a place for it. generally it's when one or both% of the coalitions aren't quite as successful as they need to be or there are limited resources. perhaps you have overlapping contributors. you've got, you know, six companies that are contributing to both and the fact is they don't have as large a budget as they used to and they need to find a way to ensure that both continue to work well. how can we do it? you can merge the two. you need to be careful in merging that you're being upfront to your individual coalition members. do the coalitions themselves have distinct missions and to what agree will one member of the coalition agree to all the elements of the mission of the other?
that's where it could get very confusing and difficult. which is why it's really an issue of last resort. but again, if the situation warrants it, it can be done. perhaps it should be done. but if you do your work right, and you've got the resources to make it happen, i think you're better off having as focused and narrow an effort as possible. >> thank you very much. >> you're welcome. [applause] >> we'll be back at -- in 15 -- well, 12 minutes at 11:00 to start with our next speaker. thank you, joel. >> thank you, thank you. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> our day long live coverage of american university's public affairs and advocacy institute will resume in about 10 minutes at the top of the hour, 11:00. until then, here's a look at another american university offering. their campaign management institute. this next portion looks at the efficacy of campaign ads. >> the next -- the next commercial is one of my favorites. it's from 2002. now we helped a then very
unknown state senator in oklahoma named brad henry get elected governor. and he started off about 6% in the polls in a crowded primary. and he was in a situation -- we just wanted to squeak in the second place spot. there was another candidate who was a self-financing candidate who had a lot of the traditional support from labor unions and teachers unions and even though he had recently switched from being a republican to being a democrat, people saw him institutionally as the most likely winner because he could bankroll his own campaign. so we really were the underdog in this. and we needed to do something that would just stick out from the crowd. that would grab people's attention. and we wanted to communicate -- you know, avenues young father. -- he was a young father. he had three attractive kids. he had energy. he had ideas but we needed to make a splash to get people to pay attention to us. and i want you -- i'm going to tell you a story after you see it. keep an eye out for the kitten in the ad.
♪ >> brad henry is running for governor to help keep young people in oklahoma. >> it's why we raised teacher pay with lottery money. >> without raising property taxes. >> it's why he created the oklahoma college savings plan. >> so parents be save tax-free. >> so we can grow up and stay in oklahoma. >> he's our dad. >> brad henry. >> he'll be a great cover. -- governor. >> so this kitten is probably a very large reason why brad henry got elected governor. [laughter] >> you know, part of getting to know a candidate and getting ready for the shoot, i knew he had three daughters. i hadn't met them. and i asked how old are these daughters. i was told -- i believe the ages at the time, 10, 8, and 6. and i thought, well, okay, 6 years old can usually pull
something like this off. we write the scrip and love the scrip. we show up in the shoot and bailey is 4 years old. doesn't want to have anything to do with the shoot. we shot the first two daughters and then we filmed her part third. we put her on this playground equipment and i usually will stand off to the side. i'll be watching the monitor. i'll say the line and the person will repeat it. she wasn't saying anything. and i'm watching this and i'm thinking, well, i guess this ad isn't going to go anywhere. and out of nowhere, this kitten comes walking up. and it couldn't have been more than 6 to 8 weeks old. and bailey goes, kitten, kitty or something and the mom thinks, okay -- she said can i hold the kitten. and she said yeah, if you do your lines. so we're holding that kitten over the camera lens. she is talking to the kitten. and it's wonderful.
you saw it. she's just perfect. and at the end of it i said to brad, well, the kitten was clearly homeless. it looks like you've got yourself a kitten. he said, i know, yeah. [laughter] >> and at that point in time the campaign -- you know, i said this might be an omen. it came out of nowhere. it saved this ad. and at that time the fundraising wasn't going that well. nobody knew who he was. and maybe things will pick up and then i called him about three weeks later and how is the kitten doing? well, you know, we took it to the vet. we gave it its shots. we got it -- whatever you do to kittens, dewormed and it died. and i thought oh, no. i don't want this to be an omen for the campaign. but we ended up getting another kitten for bailey. this ad was a huge hit in oklahoma. i mean, everybody will come up and talk to him about his daughters. they remember the ad and what they said in the ad. our numbers just took off when this ad went on the air and we
squeaked in that runoff like we wanted to. we made it runoff. and we were running against steve largent who was a former football player, very popular guy in oklahoma, a congressman. it was a tough race. so we were -- we were neck and neck with him. and right near the end of the campaign a wealthy donor basically called up and said i'm going to make a substantial contribution if you'll put that ad back on the air. and the campaign the governor wanted to put on. and we won by a half a percent. and that kitten really is a big part of him winning. besides the fact he's a great candidate and now a great governor. then we had a re-election four years later. i like to show this ad. this isn't one of the rules but maybe it should be. it's to speak in the cultural voice of the electorate. maybe it's the 11th rule. we were anticipating a campaign and ended up running against a congressman from oklahoma, a conservative republican.
we were going to position the campaign as the oklahoma way versus the washington way. and, you know, what is the oklahoma way? well, you'll hear it defined. that was the whole point of this ad was how do we define what the oklahoma way is. and you'll hear -- it's cultural conservative on a number of issues. and i came up with the idea since it was going to be oklahoma's centennial next year to have a bunch of 100 years old come up and talk about the oklahoma way. i want you to find eight 100-year-old people and he was scared the whole death because he was afraid just transporting them to where we were going to be shooting them he was afraid something would happen to them. here we'll show the ad from his re-election. >> ever since i became governor, we tried to do things the oklahoma way. now since oklahoma turns 100 next year we thought some folks
with the same birthday could explain the oklahoma way. >> you got to that bipartisan. >> and balance the budget without raising taxes. >> did that. >> better that cut taxes. >> and pay teachers more. >> i did that too. >> so we can protect ourselves. >> we called it the stand your ground law. >> if you're doing all of that -- >> you're doing it the oklahoma way. >> and again, governor henry got elected in 2002 which was a terrible year for democrats. especially in red states like oklahoma. but we were really proud to be a part of him getting elected in the first place. also in 2002 we helped the governor in tennessee. )jt the voters attention with something different and playing to your candidate's strengths. governor bredesen is an extremely thoughtful but reserved man. he's a harvard-trained physicist. he's not one of the typical political razzmatazz. he's a very serious guy.
and so we wanted to do an ad that had a little bit of flair -- you'll see. it's divided into sections, you know, so that each piece of it is interesting. and it talks about education and that's one of the things in political campaigns that you do so many ads on education. and it gets -- especially in federal races which are like parliamentary campaigns where you're talking@pxñ about classr overcrowding and teacher pay over and over pay. you want to talk about new ways in familiar issues and this is an ad that we feel did it and got a lot of attention for it. >> as governor, i've worked hard to improve our schools because it's the most important thing we can do for our kids. we now have prekindergarten in over 100 school systems across tennessee. we've raised teacher pay for the first time in years. our lottery scholarships mean every high school scrap -- can
go to a tennessee university. we're doing what's right for tennessee's children. >> now, we could have made anúvd that had governor bredesen sitting in a classroom talking to kids and talking to teachers and talking to parents and sort of -- this wouldn't -- we call them village people ads where you put the candidate in different situations. and sometimes? their talking people in hard hats and policemen and firemen. [laughter] >> and we wanted to do something different to education and people paid attention to it. i'm going to talk to bill richardson now. we worked on his re-election in 2006 which was really looking towards his presidential campaign in 2008. go richardson's presidential campaign until we worked on the obama's campaign in the general election. and the two ads i'm going to show speak to two different things. one is the rise of the internetz now, i haven't really spoken
about the internet but it really is a dominant force in campaigns now. and i think largely as a persuasion tool and an organizational tool.g72 i'll take a slight detour and talk about this.ghñgwb in a primary, it can be a most voters in a?xe primary are little more tuned in and a little more interested in what a candidate feels about different issues. they are more likely to go to your website. and read up on you, on the candidate. and it's also a great organizational tool in caucuses towgy out to people and a great fundraising tool obviously. in a general election much less of a persuasion tool. people just are -- the voters that are going to turn out in the general are much less likely to visit a website but it's still a great organizational tool.g2y advertising on the internet not something we do a whole lot of. still -- i mean, integration and convergence is happening. but where we use it the most is what you're going to see in the first ad. which is dealing with that skepticism i talked about
earlier that voters have. we'll hear in focus groups, voters will say that's just a 30-second ad. it doesn't tell me anything. i guess i'll have to go to the library and look it up. read more about these candidates. and so what we do now is we say in the ad, you can go to the website and read the whole plan. so right away 99.9% of the viewers will never go to the website. but they think that they could if they wanted to. and so it deals with that skepticism. it gives your argument a lot more credibility. you used to see preinternet days, you know, i'll send you my plan or call me up and i'll send you my campaign plan and they'd show a booklet. well, nowadays we like to try and show the website or refer to the website at the end of the ad. so that's the first ad you'll see which is the first time we did this was for governor richardson. we've done a few more since then. and the other ad is capturing the candidate's personality. we had done a series of very
traditional, positive ads for governor richardson but he has a larger than life personality. and one of his interesting accomplishments was he had attracted a lot of hollywood business into new mexico. hundreds of millions of dollars worth of production had been happening in mexico. how do we tell that story? and so i came up with this idea. and it became a real signature ad in the campaign. so you'll see two very different ads. both featuring the governor very prominently speaking in the first smaller speaking roll in the second but still a very clever, interesting way of talking about that most people won't think about hollywood business coming to new mexico. so we'll play two ads. ...
>> you can see all of these panels on our website, c-span.org. we move now onto a discussion on campaign finance. >> who was majority leader and an minority leader. she worked with the rules committee and became an expert on rules of the house and revision of those rules. she helped with the leadership elections in the house so she knows it well. that, cause, she would coordinate common causes approach to reform. specifically reform with respect to lobbing, but to a greater
extent campaign-finance reform. she's going to use as an example, her campaign, the campaign at common cause to reform, campaign finance. the title of her presentation is maintenance and advocacy campaigns, the case of campaign-finance reform. thank you for coming. we appreciate it. >> thank you. usually i can be heard kind of on my own and i'm not going to use this, but if you can't imagist let me know and i would go a yell a little louder. you guys must be very dedicated to be here. i'm sure you've heard this a lot but i am very, very impressed. yeah, i'm a lobbyist that it's harder and harder to identify yourself as being a lobbyist these days. lobbyists and the whole profession is coming under a lot of criticism as being kind of slimy and sleazy, and it's
really taken a beating. personally, i think there is nothing wrong with communicating a point you to our government. we are petitioning a government as a chairs foundation of our democracy, and we want to do everything we can to preserve it. but the problem is that lobbyists are now seen as a conduit between asking for the up a legislator, a lawmaker, and being the conduit to gods and gobs of cash that can go into the campaign for reelection for that legislation. and the lobbyists are now seen as the ones who fear that money back and forth. so you're asking for votes on one hand. you're advocating a position and are also being the way that that member of congress gets money into their campaign. and that i think is the connection between the lobbyist and money, that is the problem, that is why the lobbying profession is coming under such
fire. is not necessarily that they are petitioning their government. and so i think part of, the problem is the lobbyists are taking the brunt for what is really a campaign-finance system that is not -- is not to the advantage of anybody. the lawmakers don't like it. the lobbyists don't like it. where we have private money and big special interest money, that fund the campaigns of the lawmakers that they make public policy. the questions was asked of the last speaker, what is public policy, what is the public good? we can debate that forever, but i think it's a little bit like the supreme court when they were talking about obscenity. i'm not sure i can identify it, i'm not sure i can define it but i know it when i see it. the public interest is when -- it's pretty clear by polls and other ways of determining viewpoints, that the public thinks one thing, and the legislators keep lawmaking in another way.
like there's a 67 percent of the american people think we should have public financing of congressional elections. but it doesn't happen and it doesn't happen and it doesn't happen. because there are not a lot of of people who think that's the best way to go, even though the public wants it to go that way. i want to just take one second year in review of little bit from a "new york times" editorial today, maybe some of you have already read it. it's called really big money politics. it says the nation's hard times are privy to be a boom time for the lobbying industry in washington. lobbyists are expected to easily break the record of $3.3 billion in annual business, raising and inevitable question. how much more in special interest donations will be backed by lawmakers as they fergusson lobby on everything from health care reform to economic regulation. no one confuses -- i'm sorry, no
one confesses to explicit quid pro quo crudity, but the power of lobbyist as they channel money and urge favor for rich clients is a gripping and so far immutable fact of political life that it needs to change. they conclude, the editorial concludes as the lucas builds to critical mass, a public option for congressional and presidential candidates becomes even more vital. i bring this up for two reasons. one is because i think most of the people in this room are either are currently working for a lobbying firm, or are intending to become lobbyists in some way or another. and the other thing is that the coalition that i've been asked to talk about as a coalition whose goal is to change the way we fund congressional elections. from privately funded to publicly funded.
so if i could talk just a little bit about coalitions. first thing i would say about a coalition is avoided if you can, but the problem is you can't get anything in d.c. without a coalition and a really good running coalition. but the reasons that i would say if you could do without a coalition, do it, is because they are messy, they are cumbersome and they are extremely aggravating. they are hard to manage. they are hard to keep on track. and they are hard to keep accountable. it's difficult to keep them moving. they tend to get bogged down in little petty disputes over turf, overfunding, fundraising, over who gets credit for what, over whose staff is doing the most. and who is getting credit for the ultimate success of the coalition. like i said, the problem is you can't do it any other way. it's almost impossible to get anything very large done without a coalition. a coalition to you all thought about the breadth and depth of
your issue. is a conservative groups that are with you? is it liberal groups that are with you? is it both? you know, do you have a near list of coalition partners, or is it wide? is a diverse? you can tell a lot about the issue of who the players are and who decide to go into coalitions. so what makes a good coalition? i should say, if you have questions while i'm going along, please stop and ask because i don't know how much of this you've already covered in kind of come late in the program, maybe you know all of this. but a good coalition is made up of people, people or groups, who bring something unique to the table. something that the other groups don't have. they are also groups that can do and can play different roles. like good cop, bad cop. you know, an organization that can attack an organization that can say, well, what we really need to do is, whatever.
sometimes you need the brainy group versus the direct action just do it activist groups. so someone asked about b.c. three c-4. it's very good to have a group, some groups that are in c. rcts, some groups that are c-4 because there is a distinct difference between what he c-3 and c-4 group can do in terms of advocacy. i think was alluded to at the last speaker that everybody in the coalition has to understand the goal of the coalition. that seem so elementary. but if you don't have a clear understanding of what the goal is, you're not going to reach the goal and are going to wind up dropping coalition partners as you go along, as that goal becomes clear that it's really not what they want. the other thing is, the organizations have to have a commitment to that goal. it doesn't mean they have to have the same amount of work. some coalition partners will have a bigger share of the work
that others. but they have to have the same commitment to the goal and to working in the coalition. the other thing is the coalition has to agree on a structure and on a decision-making process. and that is harder than you think. you have to be able to communicate with each other and you have to be able to react quickly. and again, if you got the unwitting coalition, it's a very difficult to react to what's going on to something that comes out in the paper, or something that a member of congress has on the floor of the house or whatever. you also have to be able to fund raise and divide the work of an equitable way where everybody understands it and agrees with it. those are just kind of like a really broad brush strokes of what you have to have any coalition. let me talk a little bit about the fair elections now coalition and we will see if we actually do any of those things. one of the differences i think,
this coalition and others you may have heard from, is this is for the most part made up a nonprofit. we don't have -- you know, we're not, common cause is not a stable of lobbyist that i am the only lobbyist at common cause. you will find that to be the case in a lot of other nonprofits where there will be one person who deals with the hill, not a whole cadre of people. and went to was going through the staffing of the coalition, i'm thinking, if only i could have that. weekend to run a little bit of a leader leaner, organization and a leaner coalition, i think, than some others that have a lot more money and resources and are being paid by a client to actually participate in the coalition. but the core coalition, the six groups that do the work in a coalition, are common cause, and we have about 400,000 members and supporters across the
country. we operate in 33 states. we are veterans at running the inside outside grass-roots issue campaigns. we have a very strong hill capacity, even though i am the only, the only lobbyist, i have a rich array of staff that i can pull from in terms of issues who know the issues, who know the hill, who i can then work with on the hill. and we are a known and trusted brand. usually, when you say, cause, people have whether it's right or not i don't know, but they will have an image in the head about what common cause is. the other big partner is public campaign. public campaign is a smaller organization, but it has more people working on public financing, even than common cause does. it's been working on this issue for about 15 years. they have a great network across the country. they have a historical perspective. like i said, 15 years of working on this, so they know what
everybody -- what everyone's vote was in 1997, and in all the history of all the members going way back. they have a really good relationship with funders, the people who are interested in public financing and in funding public financing. that is a huge asset that they have. the next partner is the center for justice at nyu law school. and while joe was saying they had a contrary of legal experts, our legal team really comes from the brennan center. and we're very lucky because they are really, really good. and they have a whole unit that works on public financing. in fact, they, you know, common cause in the brennan center have been able to team up and actually work with legislators to write the legislation for public financing that's in place. we have it and actually three states. connecticut, maine and arizona,
all run their legislation or, legislation is run under public financing. whenever you make a big change like going from special interest funding to public funding, of campaigns, you're going to have people on the other side that don't like it. so there are a lot of lawsuit that, challenge the laws in those three states. the brennan center takes on the vending, human, defending the law. so they are an essential part of force. the next one is public citizen, who i assure you of heard of. they have an incredible research capacity. and they have a good brand name, and they also have a presence on the hill. the next one is the public interest research group. they've got a huge grassroots that an interestingly, in places were common cause doesn't. so where we in some places where we are a little bit weak, they tend to be a little bit stronger. they also have a great lobbyist, you know, a good deal operation and a pretty good brand name.
next one is democracy matters, which is a student group that works out of about 70 campuses across the country. it's important that we have some way to get into the youth movement to get our message to younger people. and they have an amazing amount of enthusiasm. they also tend to be, work as our farm league, in terms of entrance. we started to work with kids all over the country. they learn ,-comcommon causes, we learn about the. it's just a natural match that they kind of feed into our intern program. i would love it if you guys would like to do that as well. the next one and the last one is change congress. this is larry's group. we needed a group that was a little hipper than we are, that knows the internet, that can, you know, very quickly react with blogs, you know, facebook and myspace and all the other kinds of things that common cause is trying to work her way into, but it's not exactly what we are known for.
so we needed a partner that was known for that. the other thing is that he can play the back of. he has no problem of going out and attacking members that that's not common causes motorcar boat is to attack the system, to attack the way it's done. but every once in a while, you have a member of congress that is so brilliantly exemplifies what you think is wrong, that it needs to be said in that way. and that is something that change congress can do and actually likes to do. so that's our core coalition. and i think there is a handout that's going around. the core coalition, that's the letterhead. that's who we are. when you have a coalition, you also need other little kind of coalitions around it that also do work, that aren't in the decision-making body of the coalition.
and in our work, we went for the odd bit of. we went for the core of people that people are going to think it would probably like this isn't the way it is, the system is benefiting about. the first thing that popped into our heads was lobbyist. people are going to think that lobbyist love the system because they get all the credit. they get the access money, you do, all this money is working for them. but the truth is, not everybody. the first lobbyist that we signed up for the fair elections lobbies for fair elections was gerry cassidy, who is like the godfather of lobby. he basically started blogging as a profession. and his idea was, look, when i started this, lobbyist had to know something that you have to know the process. you have to know your issue. you had to be a public relations person. you have to network. now, any yo-yo, that's my word, with a checkbook, with a
checkbook and get into see a member of congress and can start to influence legislation. and that's not the way at the lobbying profession started. so he is very much in favor of changing this to a publicly financed system. we had eight other lobbyists of almost equal stature. one is that a ceo, who used to run the d. triple see, the democratic congressional campaign committee, which was the committee that raised all the money to run congressional campaigns in the house. so it was his job to actually get all this money for members to run on. and he is now saying this is out of control. this is so bad and so out of control, that i think we need to change to public financing. and a great thing about the lobbyist is that they are the odd bit of. nobody expects him to come out with us but they also have great relations with members so they can kind tell their story to members of congress to get them onboard with our legislation.
they know how to raise money. did i say help us raise money for the coalition. i can write off its. we've had a number of great letters to the editor and opinion pieces done by lobbyists that again are a little bit surprising. and it also shows that we have some depth and some breath to support. it's not just the wacky left wing nonprofits that think this should be happening. the other group that we have our business leaders. again, odd. who is this working for? is it working for the companies that are getting all this money to legislature, and to lawmakers? well, there are a lot of business people who think this is an outrageous way to do business. and it's not just the little businesses that are getting swamped by all the bigger businesses, giving pac money and you know, having hundreds and hundreds of lobbyist. it's a big, big businesses.
if you look on the flipside, there is an ad that ran in roll call, and on the bottom of it has all of the business leaders that supported this. the ad really was, look, we hate getting these fundraising calls just as much as you members of congress hate making them. so this system is not working for is. it's not working for you. it's not working for the public interest. let's do something. let's give it a. let's replace it with public financing. again, people i think would assume that businesses would be in favor of the status quo. not so much. on the other side, the one with the letterhead, these are the groups, the individual groups that have endorsed the bill that i will talk a little bit about the bill ritter, that have endorsed public financing and a specific bill that we are working on. if you take a look at it, it isn't so much that there's a ton of them, they're somewhere near 40. but it's who they are.
there are religious groups. there are civil rights groups. there are environmental groups. there are business groups that there are labor groups. labor has traditionally been thought to not be for public financing, because they thought that was -- that private funding was the only way they could compete with businesses. so now to have labored kind of coming on board is a new thing. the same is true with the naacp, the common wisdom was that minorities don't want public financing because for various different reasons they don't want challengers in the primary, or whatever. but we are seeing, as you can see, there are a lot of minority groups that are signed on to this that have now sent again, it's out of control and we have to do something about it. so when i go to the hill and i'm lobbying in my hand a member of congress or the staff person that list, bep they look down and see who is it that they know you can then they can see, this is not just a little tiny coalition coming together.
this is not just a bunch of very narrowly defined groups. this is broad. this has a broad appeal. the other thing is that these groups come in, they have no decision-making power in a coalition, but they are very active and they do what we ask them to do. if we have a member of congress that we think we can get on our bill, but they are on the fence and they have a good relationship with the environmentalists, they will call, write a letter, do something to try to help nudge that member to our site to get onboard. and that has happened more often probably than any other group that the same thing, labor can work with some of the more progressive groups. the civil rights groups can work with a minority groups. the minority legislators. and they have proven to be one of our strongest assets. so that's kind of, you've got the core coalition, the lobbyist
and the business people, businesses for fair elections, and then you have the general supporters, which is kind of like what the coalition looks like. how do you maintain a coalition? again, it's hard. it's really hard. our coalition start in 2006. it was a loose confederation. we didn't really have a structure. we didn't really have a lot of rules. we had meetings here and there. but as the campaign grew and as we became more and more successful, we realized that it's too unwieldy. you have to have some kind of a structure. and i think part of the reason that a lot of coalitions go along for so long without trying to organize themselves is that you have to make tough decisions when you are organizing. who is in charge? who gets the money? how is the money split up? who gets paid for the work, who doesn't get paid for the work? it is almost like then you start to shift who are the important people in the coalition and who
are, you know, who is the beating. people try to avoid those kinds of decisions as long as they can. but eventually, we had to come to a structure. so we've kind of, we've gone from being very loosely organized to having a pretty, pretty strict structure. and the biggest thing to happen was the two biggest groups in the coalition, common cause and public campaign merged into a partnership, just for this particular campaign. because common cause, we got like six or seven of the campaigns that we are running. but for the people who are working on this one and public campaign, we've developed a partnership. in fact, public campaign actually moved into our office space so that we are now, we are housed in the same place which makes an incredible difference in terms of communicating back and forth. the other thing is that now public campaign and common cause are raising money together.
i think, the speaker before was talking about groups that are part of the coalition. so if you've got, what did he say, idaho elected, and you've really got companies that are neighbors of the coalition, with us, it's mainly nonprofits and we can bring money to the coalition, but we also have to raise money to keep the coalition going. so who raises the money, and how it gets distributed is really, really important. prior to this kind of structuring, we found that common cause and public campaign were to be with each other for the same funders. and into a fund to come it looks like, he just asked me for this or they just asked the. why are two guys working together? i want to find one thing. so again, this is a big deal to actually start to fund raise together. the other thing that we change was, instead of getting the money up, kind of by percentages on how big the groups were, we
are now, common cause and public campaign are kind of running the money and we are contracting even with other groups within the core coalition. this actually works better for them because if they are smaller or if they have a smaller piece of the work of the coalition, they tend to get no money. now they will get paid for everything that they do. but again, it's a lot more structure than it was before. the hardest thing was coming up with a name. and coming up with letterhead. you may not think that's the most great letterhead you've seen the u.s.a. and the other one's. [laughter] >> and just to figure out a name, we actually focus group tested a name, again, lame as that one maybe it was the best one -- it was the one that most people understood and agreed with. so that is the product that many, many hours of torture negotiations on what the letterheads going to look like. did i see a question?
yes. >> what seems most challenging to me is originally the diversity of the different, unit, unique interest in your coalition that sort of the rider strength from, but the longevity of the coalition sort of depends on how some organization or structure, the message. how are you going to manage that struggle between protecting the uniqueness of each member, which is your sort of purpose to begin with, but then streamlining things and making things more efficient so that you have a common message or a name that everyone agrees on and you can sort of have effectiveness over time? >> right. some of that has to be ironed out before you actually let people into the coalition. so some of that work you can do, and if not, what are coalition, we actually had a very large group who had to just leave the coalition. because they couldn't go along
with what the rest of the group was willing to do and wanted to do. so the best thing was like early on for them to leave. because if you have a coalition member, partner, that is continually on a different page, you spend so much time trying to cajole them on, that it's not worth it. and so we just -- you know, agreed to amicably part. we also have a group who doesn't want to join the coalition, but wants to be in on all phone calls, wants to be in all the strategy, is doing work. and is a little irritating, but on the other hand, they are off to work so it's better to have been organized with us so that we know what they're doing and they know what we're doing, and we can share resources. but they are kind of this little satellite out there that doesn't really want to be a part of the coalition. and it's a little rough. i think with this kind of a coalition, we know that this is going to take some time. this is a big, big change and it's going to take, you know, it's not going to be six months or year or even two years.
so we all are in, and also, every one of these groups, is somebody with how you pass legislation. so it's not like they're going to be all bummed out if we don't get a positive vote this year. so i don't know if that is answering the question, but the core reason for public campaign to exist is to get this legislation passed. the core reason for the staff that's devoted to common cause is to get this passed. in the same with the staff from the other, the other groups. so they can continue to do all the other things they do. it's just some of the resources are devoted to this particular campaign. does that -- i don't know that answer your question or not. >> in your expense, what would you say would be maybe the best way to go about getting these so-called strange bedfellows,
the kind, maybe like the single most important piece of advice that you would give when you're trying, competing factions and getting them to come together, which they may agree on? >> yeah, i was interested in someone asked a question of the other speaker, what do you do about the opposite, the opponent, how do you engage the opponent. and i think, again, you've always got to be thinking about your opposition. for us, the opposition is going to be very well-funded. is probably going to be the chamber of commerce. it's going to be a certain number of lobbyists. it's going to be, you know, we kind of know where it's going to come from, so we've started to try to pick them off one by one as we go on early, early as we go on. we can kind of take head-on what people are going to be saying. is antibusiness. its anti-lobby that it's anti-republican. it's too little. it's not conservative. so we have tried to get
conservative groups. we tried to get -- we've tried to get a certain number as many republicans on as a good. we started out in the house. it's a bipartisan bill. the bill was introduced by john larson, whose the democratic caucus chair in the house, and by a republican from south carolina, i forget his name, walter jones. so it's a bipartisan bill. so i think the best way is to try him is to store to pick them off early. we knew that the lobby, you know, one of the raps would be the lobbyist don't like it. so again, early on we tried to get some of them more known lobbyists to come with us. and some of the bigger businesses to come with us. i think, you're asking what is the single best thing. for us, it's just the outrageousness of the system. for us, it's fine if those couple of people in terms of the
business world, who are not all swallowed up in what's going on on capitol hill or the politics of capitol hill, but just are willing to say, this is extortion. you know? you know, i am giving money to them because i want this and then they are doing this. i'm continually being asked for money and for lobbyists, and actually, this isn't -- i don't think this is the way democracy should run. [inaudible] >> that you might be attacked for not being able to get and try to get the ones that you definitely think you really have a chance at getting. >> absolutely. you don't need all of them. unique enough to fill up a piece of paper. you know, that looks like, yes, these are prominent people in this profession who agree with us. and here is why. and getting their stories is a very, very good. the jerry cathy zoi is a great story.
and is always going to be people on the fence. there are always people, again, i'm using the chamber of commerce, but there are going to be businesses that don't like how the chamber of commerce work. try to figure out who they are and get their fringe members. until you ashly start to get enough, that you start to get critical mass and it starts to roll. then the press takes a look at it. the press love to do articles on odd bedfellows. some of the best press that our coalition's guide has been on, you know, our affiliation with the lobbyist and with the business groups. those are the best way to go. okay. let me just get to like maintaining, you know, what we do on a daily basis, maintain this coalition and then we'll open it up to questions. we do, everyday, we do a short catch up meeting, it's like at 10:45 a.m. we all get on public campaign and common cause.
our stats get on the phone or meet any room for 15 minutes. and it's really a reaction. is anything that's happened in the press today. what can we reactor, how can we get notice today? what actually needs to get done? we try to limit that to 15 minutes, sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. but every day we meet together. we have a weekly meeting of all of the whole common cause of staff and the public campaign staff to plan strategy. to layout the weeks work, the moves worked, what can you case in camden, what's the hilton doing, what research have we got going, yada, yada, yada. at least once a week, every subcomponent meets. so we've got, we got a guilty and so all the lobbyist that are working, this issue, we all meet i think like wednesdays at 4:00 or something. so we have our own little meeting. the communications team has its meeting. the field team has the
grassroots field team has its meeting. and very frequently, we will meet with the grassroots team because, if we have a member that we don't think we can get by the power of our really at persuasion, then we need to go to the grassroots -- the field team to get them to call the members to start putting pressure on them in the district, to kind of trying to move them our way. so we worked a lot with the grassroots and the field team. the research team, they meet together on their own, at least once a week. and then, like every thursday, we meet with all six -- all six people in the coalition, we have one big meeting so that everybody can report on what we're doing. are we kind of going the right way? are things getting done? you know, who's being lame, who needs a kick in the tail. what kind of successes have we had. on the other thing, in terms of structure is that we now have a campaign manager. we have actually put someone in charge of this. but they are supervised by a
leadership team which is two people from every one of the six groups. so that the campaign manager actually has a supervisory group that is made up of members of the whole coalition. city can't get too far out of line. let's see, what else do we do? so that kind of -- is how -- and like i said, the more successful we get, the more we have to give it a. the more we have to act like a campaign and less like a loose federation. and it's funny because in our case it's happening under happening naturally. the field team is meeting a lot more than once we. we're on the phone with each other all the time but we are starting to do to him beatings. in terms of success, but last time i did this class, we had
just had a press conference that he was a joint press conference between the house and senate, which is unheard of, introducing a bill in the house and senate that it was the same model, that's basically the same bill. again, that's never happened before. usually the house has its version, set has its version and if you're lucky to get a pass, then the argue in a conference committee, and if something comes out there, it doesn't pass the full house or the president vetoes it or something. but we are way ahead of the game because it's the same model. also, the model that they're working on for presidential public financing is the same model that we are all working on. so we are ahead of the game. now i can say that we have over 125 cosponsors. we are fast approaching a majority of the majority, which is one of the kind of benchmarks that mr. larson has told us we need to get to. you to come he can't make it a caucus issue until we got the majority of the democrats. we've gotten an enormous number
of the congressional black caucus which is good. again, that was a caucus that common wisdom was we would never get. we've gotten over 13 of them. part of our second was to start with the conservative members first so it wouldn't get labeled, you know, a liberal lefty bill. we've got seven blue dogs. we've got three republicans. i forget how many democrats, but it's somewhere around like 20 or so. so it's a good mix of members. the other kind of thing that you have to remember when you're tried to pass legislation is people are going to look at what members you have. so you also have to look at the breadth and depth of the members that are on, that are sponsoring your legislation. so with that i'm just going to stop and answer questions.
>> foundations of nonprofit organizations. there is a question of lobbying, and therefore, there is a question of the foundations supporting some of these organizations like the brenner center. how do we solve that? keeping the tax status of the foundation while they are supporting a lobby effort. >> we had to be very careful because there are some meetings, the brennan center is a tiny. there are some meetings that we do that they can't come to. there are some coalition meetings that the c3 has to stay away from. but interestingly, i'm trying to think. i know public campaign has a c3, a c4 and a 527. , cause, the both of common cause is a c4 piqua also have a c3. if a c3 foundation wants to give money, they can give it to our c3. a lot of what the coalition does, a lot of the work we do is
grassroots that its education. it's not lobbying. so the c3 can do that. they can do all the public, the public education. a lobby team like myself, i can't take c3 my pic i'm a registered lobby. i can't do better and i to be careful that i'm not -- i can do almost anything, but i have to be careful in my organization who i bring with me to actually go on a lobby. because we didn't have to keep track of that. there's about 20 percent of common cause c3 back in lobby. but we don't usually try to even get into that because it gets really compensated and the c4 is so big that most of that money can come to the c4. but it is complicated. we do have a tax attorney on retainer, and we're constantly bugging her with questions like this. you can get yourself all boxed up if you're not careful about that.
>> can you go into more detail about the communication strategy that the campaign manager has, either in correlation to the supervisors that are uploaded within the coalition's? and the different teams, like communications and other teams? >> the teams that we have so far, there's the hill game. but again, that he'll team polson everybody. you know, we can akeley can't tell the committee tatian steam, it would be good if we could get at "new york times" editorial or it would be good if we could get a des moines editorial. we have a member we think is on offensively to get an editorial here or, we can ask them to gin up something. the research team is another one will do hill team can kind of say it would be really good if you could find out, figure out for us how many campaigns came in under the public option cap.
and then they will go figure that out. or if you could tell us how much money have the members of congress on the committees that deal with health care gotten from pharma. that would be really interesting. and then they will figure that was kind of things out. so everybody works hand-in-hand, but we have a research team, a hill team, a grassroots slash fealty and. we have a fund-raising team and a research team. and that's kind of loose broadly how it is divided out. in terms of structure and accountability. again, we are all adults, and we are all coming from places where we want this to happen. and so it's like you don't need a lot of discipline. because people are doing this. we are so excited about how far we've forward. but the communications team is made up of the communications
people of common cause, public campaign, i think we've got one from public citizen, but it's really about three or four people who are -- then again, they can call on the hill team. like i went, taking occasion spoke set up a meeting with the editorial board of u.s.a. today. but i will go to that because i, you know, i know the legislation. i know the members. i can talk, i can speak to it, they will come with me and they will set up the whole shebang. is almost seamless when you are running well. if that answers your question or not. >> could you just talk a little bit about the interaction between the campaign manager and the supervisors that you had mentioned? >> actually, we haven't had a lot of interaction between them because there hasn't been a problem yet.
but the campaign manager, you know, have to manage all the moving parts. and he made sure everybody does their meetings. he actually is on a lot of the team meetings, and he will do, you know, he has to do this for us. and he can kind of, because he's got everything in his head, he can kind of synthesize things and make some sense of things. and then help guide the teams do, you, let's focus on this today, that today. and a lot of what he does is taking all of our pages and coming up with a message, or something to do. one of the committee patients we are trying to figure out, i don't know if anyone has paid any attention to those citizens united case that the supreme court is we think about ready to decide. that case will have an incredible impact on fund raising as we know it. and so we are trying to what's the communication of how we have
or that we should be working on two, in this case comes down, we've got in response to and should be humorous, should be serious? should it be an advocacy, should be something that all of our grassroots people can deal? you know, and he will kind of chordate all that because we'll all have an opinion on the. and he will largely call meeting, calls when we have to just make big decisions about something, he will call it. we haven't had -- we've only had him for about a month and a half so we're still kind of feeling our way. but he came -- he was a staff person of public campaign. so he's kind of, you know, he knows all of us. one of the things he wants to do is hire a consultant to somebody who has a bigger name than any of us, who is a big, big name so people will kind of say, oh, they've got, blank like, working for the. you know, that's something that
he would organize and he would bring to us. to kind of knock around. he doesn't make a lot of decisions by himself. >> in your example, you talk about the fair elections, you talked about timetable of a year or two years, maybe even longer. to get your goal accomplished. in our scenario that we're doing we will only have a couple months, maybe six month or so. with that being said, how would you get, or do you have any vice of how you get your coalition active right out of the starting gate like at the very, grassroots and all of that? >> right. the best way to get a coalition motivated is to get members motivated. i think it and i think you've got to do exactly the same things that we are doing, only it's compressed. part of our problem is, members of congress are looking at everything else, but what we are talking out of your looking at health care. the energy crisis, they're
looking at the financial stuff. were asked, with you, they're looking at your stuff now that you are doing cap-and-trade. that's hot now so you're going to be able to compress your campaign into a much smaller timeframe that we are. largely because you'll be able to get attention. and i think part of, you know, if you can get like the most prominent orthopedist speaker, member of congress who's on your side to do either, get your coalition together on a conference call and get kind of ginned up, meet with her staff. draw from their enthusiasm because there are some members who are really ready for it. 's are some of you then opposed to it? is that how you split? do the same thing on the other side. who are the best spokespeople to get your troops and ginned up that yes, we can get that yes, it's not very much time but we can do. this is how they're going to do and these are all the things
that are going to everybody wants to go with a winner. everybody wants to be part of a group that's already in gear, that's already rolling, that's got a lot of enthusiasm, that's got success behind it. so come all that stuff and make a really good story for yourself. and that will generate more and more enthusiasm. but again, you are under -- it's not even a joke. you don't even have to say we've got to get this done in two weeks, three weeks. you really do. the press is ready to write the stories that you guys, you have what i wish we had, which is the focus of the press, the focus of the legislature, the focus of the american people. just capitalize on all of that by putting it all into a story, and then selling that story to try to get people really, really ginned up to do it, or scared to death about what's going to happen if he gets done. should we go this way?
>> does your campaign project at and say, okay, our goal is to get a bill moving in the next congress? or do you just kind of build and support with a let's wait and see what the climate is and hope that they will find that comes about? >> that's a great question. and the answer, and i learned this from david bonior, especially in politics, today's, three days is an eternity. anything can happen. and things change on a dime. so you have to be doing your homework or to have to be doing everything you need to do. you have to keep doing it every single day because when that opportunity comes, and will come if you haven't, you're not ready. and you may not even see it or know it came. if you have been doing it, you can grab it. you can seize that moment. so there are always people who will talk to us. and even if -- not everybody is working on health care
100 percent of the time, especially now that it's been passed by two buddies that i know they're going onto other things. this is something that so affects members lives. they spend 50%, 20%, 30 percent of the time on the phone begging for money and they hate it. this is something that affects them that they are a little bit more interested in personally than they might be in some other issues. the other thing is to try to get press. the editorial today in "the new york times." that's really good for us because that shows even if you disagree with it, it shows that it is an issue that is in the public consciousness enough for "the new york times" to comment on it. so you just kind of compile all of those things. is amazing how many small papers are now having columns on it. doing editors on it, having syndicated columnists write about it. so the more you can make members think you may not be thinking about it, but everybody else is
thinking about a. also, take what's going on in everyday and relate it to what your story is. the best thing for us is all of this money is just washing over congress. it works for us, because people are getting sick of it. how much money is going into members of congress', political coffers but is there a quid pro quo. is a relation to our members voted how much money they get from the special interest that's promoting that vote? how does that correlate with how the people in addition to thank? we have to so much research that we can be doing in kind of ideas that we could be spending out there of course, all the people will spend at the other way, but why we think it's just so obvious that we have to change the system. so the more you can take what they are saying on cnn and on fox news every day, and relate it to what you're doing, the better off.
is anybody on the side so he doesn't have to run? >> you mentioned that there is deadly and need for fundraising for the coalition in order to support the efforts that you are pushing out. i was wondering if you could expand a bit on your fundraising efforts, and sort of talk about some of the strategies that you employ. is as simple as going to your organizational supporters with your hat in hand? do you set up a fee structure for them to join the coalition? or are they strategic partners in grassroots fundraising efforts? >> i wish we could do a fee structure. the answer to that is no. no, it costs nothing to get into the fair elections coalition. we raise money from foundations. we raise money from individuals who are worried about the system. we raise money from loose alliances, and a lot of it is word-of-mouth. but the other way that we do it is that we have a fairly large
online capacity. and we go to our net roots, as we call them, and we will go with not only in advocacy strategy like sign his petition or call your member or do this, but also we need money for we do thermometers and we do all those other kind of things that you see on pbs, and we have telethons and we raise a lot of money for this through our grassroots, as does pirg will do the same thing. public campaign to do the same thing. but we have a big push to identify traditional supporters, individuals. again, all to stay course. if they really are a stakeholder they will want this to succeed. and the more successful you are, the more they kind of want, they want to get on board. so we've got people about this issue was dead, who are now saying that it's been reignited. and they are getting money.
we also try to do matches. like we will have someone who says i will give you $10000 if you can match it by such and such. people love that. they love to think that their dollars leveraging, the new, more money. i guess it's a traditional, eunuch, how we do it. i don't think we have a secret. i wish we did. because fundraising as you know, with this kind of a climate, journal contributions in these kind of advocacy groups are kind of hurting. so i wish we did know, i wish we did know more about how to raise money better. but it's pretty much have anybody, how anybody else raises it, except that we don't have pain members as such. so i covet that. >> with regards to your advocacy and expanding a coalition base, i know that you are focusing on a very specific issue of public
election, public financing for elections. what have you ever as an organization advocating a very specific issue which wasn't necessarily that when? such as something having to do with you but because you want to spend your coalition base i browned the central issue you are focusing on? so that way you can potentially attract support in your coalition for the central issue you are focusing on? >> that's a great question and it is a debate that happens frequently within the coalition. common cause itself has that debate, because we kind are a process group. we are about the filibuster, and the way things get done, and we are always lobbied by other groups to take a stand on specific things. like specific pieces of the health care bill or something. i think the only one that i can think of that we actually did was we came out in favor of a public option for health care. but that was kind of, we don't usually do that.
you can imagine that once you get a coalition together that actually working, other people do want to kind of come into it and pull it away. so far, we have resisted that. i will say though that we've had a struggle between two different models of how to do public financing. and it didn't care the coalition apart, but it did make one big play early. and it also -- glass-steagall talk about how they lost their major sponsor. we lost our major sponsor also because he wanted to do one thing and the coalition just could not stomach it. although we tried your and so we abandoned our sponsor. and went to another -- and it all worked out that any and it was all fine and actually is better. but we have resisted that so far. we have resisted that.
we've actually try to get the environs to come with us. and see how if we get public financing, how that will help the environmental community tremendously. because they cannot compete. the nrdc, all those guys, they cannot compete with the oil companies and the energy coming. and in the lobby were, they are getting swamped. >> letzig you have a million dollar budget to spend on her lobby campaign. let's say you gave maybe you decide $200,000 for this coalition contribution amount. when would you do that and when could you reasonably expect for that, do you think the? if i was an environmental group and a want to get to the fair elections coalition? >> in terms of, not to your specific coalition, let's say an environmental movement, environmental issue. that was big, and you had $1 million you're trying to build this coalition, and you've
got a contribution that you can put into the pot. you can get that in there. what would you really expect in those kind of situations? >> i guess it depends on where you are. i think part of the problem is that thunders always want to be, they want their $5000 to be the thing that pushed us over the top so they can take credit for. in fact, where you need a 5000 is to get started. you need a phone line that you need a computer. depends on where you are. if you're really just starting, that's when you need it. but again, if your funders need to think that you're the one that put it over the top, then who finds you? how do you keep your funders happy, and as i was a part of how you determine the timing. but in terms of the coalition, the coalition needs money early. they need money out of the box. and we have a number of people who really want to give money, but they will never say this,
but they want to be the ones that get it over the top it's like, but this is going to be a slog for a little while. and this is when we really need it, to keep it together so that we are ready to seize that moment when it comes. [inaudible] >> yes. >> the computer, the phone line, you get that going. >> you have to have staff. you have to have something . .
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