We’ve all heard about the fact that online will play a significant role in the upcoming elections. From websites, micro sites, social media and online applications, online is already playing out in a major way from the presidential level, down to the local level.
Posted Dec 17, 2010 by Matt Bales |
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| Filed in: General, Politics
The “Lame Duck” session of Congress is the period between November 2, 2010 and the swearing-in of the new Congress in mid-January. Usually a slow time on Capitol Hill, members, their staff, even the media, is trying to get out of town for the Holiday Season However, holiday plans may be on hold this year.
One political pundit, Jeff Crouere, says, “The disgusting spectacle of the lame duck session of Congress is horrible to watch. Democrats have completely ignored the November election results and the message from the people of this country.”
Since President Obama took office in 2009, Congress has worked well into the Holiday Season to deliver their gift – legislation –to the American people. Last year we got Healthcare Reform on Christmas Eve. What is in the stocking this year?
With a 13% approval rating, one would think that Congress would be eager to get out of town, the Democratic majority wants one last hooray before the Republicans take over.
Despite the typical Washington bubble last minute gouging, we are encouraged with what is around the corner in 2011.
All in all, 2010 was a great year for Cornerstone Solutions and our clients. We wish everyone a happy, safe and healthy Holiday Season.
The Republicans won and the Democrats lost. History repeats itself. Preparations for 2012 are underway and it will be one nasty, mud-slinging fight. The Republicans have the opportunity to regain the trust of the public. If the GOP can deliver on their campaign promises, they can hold power for some time.
The biggest takeaway of 2010 is the influence and power of social media. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube supplemented with a good website and online ads creates involvement and mobilization. Sharron Angle became an online fundraising legend with her online presence. Republicans learned the lessons of 2008 and capitalized on the new media trends. If you have not caught on yet, every sentence is fit for a Twitter update. 140 characters!
Republicans also took a page out of the Democrats’ playbook utilizing outside groups to influence campaigns. The Democrats will likely reorganize and ramp up their outside spending as well. Truth be told, the Democrats, Labor Unions, ended up outspending the GOP groups. If voters were tired after the 2010 Midterm, then I would disconnect your TV, phone and Internet because 2012 will be worse.
We, at Cornerstone Solutions, are excited about 2012 to see if we can help our clients win as we did in 2010. Experienced. Creative. Successful. Cornerstone Solutions.
From the first-ever female Governor of South Carolina, to the election of candidates that helped the Republicans take control of the North Carolina Legislature for the first time since 1898, Cornerstone Solutions is honored to be part of this year's historic election.
In this epic election cycle, Cornerstone Solutions managed or provided services for candidates, ballot campaigns, and independent expenditure efforts -- from US Congress and Senate to statewide legislative and ballot campaigns -- in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, and Maryland.
United States Senator-Elect Jerry Moran from Kansas. Services included absentee ballot chase program and phone banks.
Governor-Elect Nikki Haley of South Carolina. Services included phone banks and fundraising events.
Two US House of Representative campaigns (direct and independent expenditure campaigns). Services included web and new media, as well as TV creative and advertising.
Florida's No on Amendment 4 statewide campaign. Cornerstone provided all the web, new media, online advertising, grassroots mobilization and social networking strategy for this statewide constitutional campaign. In addition, we managed their email correspondence throughout the campaign to educate and mobilize as part of Cornerstone's unique cross-channel new media strategy.
Florida Home Builders Association's industry mobilization to Vote No on Amendment 4 which included mail regarding the Amendment to the membership, voter registration to non-registered construction licensee's, 400,000 paycheck stuffers to membership, employees and subcontractors, and yard signs.
The Broward Workshop: Services included GOTV and absentee chase efforts including direct mail and phone banks for the No on Amendment 4 effort in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
BusinessForce (Affiliated with the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce): Successful development and implementation of their independent expenditure efforts for several key local and state races. Services included strategic consulting, direct mail, phones and voter targeting.
Tom Murry, North Carolina House of Representatives, District 41. Our firm provided general consulting, as well as traditional and new media communications.
The North Carolina Homeowners Alliance independent expenditure efforts for several key state house and senate campaigns: Bill Brawley for NC House 103, Rick Gunn for NC Senate 24, and Thom Goolsby for NC Senate 9. Services included strategic consulting, direct mail and phone banks.
Maryland Homebuilders Association's independent expenditure efforts in local county commissioner races. Services included general consulting and direct mail.
Kansas Republican House Caucus campaign. Cornerstone provided targeting, data and lists, advanced balloting and telephone communications (live and pre-recorded calls) for 30 house races across the state.
Countywide Referendum: Cornerstone ran Palm Beach County's Community and Education Partnership's successful campaign to pass a countywide education initiative to protect 500 teachers' jobs and education programs for students.
County Commissioners: Congratulations to Richard Ranzau and Jim Skelton who were elected as County Commissioners in Kansas. Cornerstone provided strategic consulting, direct mail, phone and voter targeting services.
School Board Member: Congratulations to Jenny Prior Brown who was elected to the Palm Beach County School Board. Cornerstone provided strategic consulting, message development, grassroots operations, direct mail, phone, web, new media and voter targeting services.
Judicial Races: Cornerstone Solutions helped three circuit and county court judges get elected in 2010. Services included consulting, direct mail, TV ads, phone banks and message development.
On behalf of our numerous candidate, corporate and ballot initiative campaign clients across the United States, we would like to congratulate all of them on finishing strong on Election Day.
Running a successful campaign can be challenging, and sometimes intimidating. Everyone will offer their advice and attempt to assist in some capacity, but how do you know that you are doing the right things to win? Cornerstone Solutions can be your guide and help show you a path to victory.
Cornerstone Solutions is an award-winning full-service political consulting and strategic communications firm that delivers smart solutions and proven results for political campaigns on all levels. With over 75 years of combined experience, we help clients navigate the world of traditional campaigning and new social media tools, which have redefined campaigns.
Let our distinct in-house specialties that are unmatched in the industry set your campaign apart and help you win. Our services of expertise include:
Direct Mail: Our award-winning direct mail programs have garnered national recognition and helped candidates spread their message. Cornerstone can help your campaign accomplish a successful direct mail campaign.
Data Services and Targeting: Our data lists are unmatched in the industry. Cornerstone can build your walk lists, volunteer phone call lists and other targeted lists to meet all of your last minute GOTV needs.
Target Phone Banks – live and prerecorded messages: We have extensive experience in Florida and have provided phone banks for races on the national, state and local level. We can design and execute a targeted phone campaign, targeted to your voters to maximize your GOTV efforts.
Strategic Email Campaigns –fundraising and mobilization campaigns: Our email strategy is revolutionary and provides clients the ability to raise money, convey timely information and mobilize supporters and we can do the same for you.
New Media Strategy: Cornerstone Solutions has expertise in everything new media. No longer is it sufficient enough to have merely checked off the new media boxes for your campaign, if you truly want to making a lasting and interactive impact with your voters, let Cornerstone customize an online strategy for you.
We know how to win and we want to help you win. We look forward to helping you win your campaign and appreciate your consideration.
The United States Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions were able to exercise their 1st Amendment right in elections. Under precedence of McCain-Feingold (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act), the ruling struck down the provision that prohibited corporations, for-profit and non-profit, from participating in electioneering communications. Electioneering communications defined as broadcast, cable or satellite communications directly mentioning a candidate within a 60-day window prior to the election.
Target Corporation became one of the first companies to test the waters. Target donated $150,000 to a group called Minnesota Forward. Minnesota Forward used the money to support candidates that promoted their issue of free enterprise and a pro-business culture. One of the candidates publicly supported by Minnesota Forward was Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Mr. Emmer is seeking the Republican nomination. Mr. Emmer’s stance on social issues, specifically his ardent voice of opposition against same-sex marriage has drawn fire against Target from organizations such as MoveOn.org.
Target’s contribution to Minnesota Forward “was designed to support Emmer’s stance on economic issues,” Gregg Steinhalf, Target Corp. CEO, said. Critics of Target’s contribution have besieged the company and the candidate, because of stances on social issues. MoveOn.org and other gay rights organizations have called for boycotts and raised the stakes of this contribution. In doing so, is it reasonable to claim these organizations are trying to limit free speech on their own. Of course, activism is in and of itself a form of free speech. However, the question remains, where does one’s right to free speech end and where another’s right begin?
Do you think Target Corporation should be taking the heat for their contribution, or are the critics (MoveOn.org) going too far in their backlash?
The 2010 midterm election cycle is looming and its results will have consequences. Political pundits are predicting majority shifting changes and Democrats on the national and state level are worried. Republicans must capitalize on the shift in national sentiment and execute a developed campaign strategy focusing on the issues that matter. The underlying implications of this cycle will shape federal and state congressional district due to the decadal redistricting process.
Historically, the midterm elections indicate that the party in power will suffer losses at the polls. This year is clearly mimicking this trend according to recent polls. This trend raises a strong consideration for campaigns. Should state-level campaigns focus on the same issues as national-level races? What about strategy?
Clearly, this answer depends largely on the state in question. Issues of interest to North Carolinians are different from issues in Florida. Certain issues are an automatic talking point, such as, jobs and the economy. Contrastly, illegal immigration is more of a state-by-state issue.
For Republicans, their task is to execute a grassroots organization to contact and spread their messages. Utilize advancements in new media, rely on traditional methods of phone calls, direct mail and transition the public sentiment to a grassroots campaign. The “average citizens” are paying attention; they must be reached.
For Democrats, their task is to downplay national trends and rely heavily on polling if in a swing district. I think Democrats must fundraise with greater intensity during this cycle, because they must communicate more with the voters to convey their message amid the national climate.
At the end of the day, history does repeat itself and I think 2010 will hold true. Do you think that the Republicans will make the gains needed to hold a majority in Congress? In North Carolina?
As if the FCAT wasn’t already enough of a controversial issue, scores that are normally released before students break for summer have still not been received. However, as stated in an article from The Palm Beach Post, the latest estimate is that “scores won’t be released until the end of June”.
With student placement in advanced and remedial classes, teacher staffing and the uncertainty of knowing whether or not students will have to retake the exam all on the line, there is an understanding why so many students, teachers and parents are anxious. Those most concerned are the high school sophomores who are wondering if they passed the “high-stakes” test; since reading and math FCAT tests must be passed in order to receive a diploma.
This glitch in scores being delivered has given more fuel to the fire of those opposed to the FCAT.
Many parents, teachers and citizens of the Florida communities are fed up with the standardizing testing and the evaluation of a student to be based on such a “high-stakes” test.
But if the FCAT was to be removed, what would replace it?
What is the difference between the FCAT and the new system? The FCAT only tests students in a few subjects while all subjects in the new evaluation system would be required.
However, many question how school districts would create standardized testing for creative classes and if it is smart to put so much pressure on students and the education in Florida.
With elections right around the corner and many school board seats up for election, the issue of quality education and the use of standardized testing is a major issue and concern for parents, teachers and now candidates running for school board.
Are we truly educating the next generation if we are requiring our teachers to prepare students for ONE high-stakes test to judge their skill set and ability to move forward? And is it fair for a students gain in learning to be based strictly on a high-stakes test and the teacher be judged along with those scores? Is the governments answer to standardized testing really going to be more standardized testing?
Understandably, there is the need to make sure students are receiving adequate education. And if no form of standardized testing is used, it raises the question: How will schools be able to compare the education students are receiving with in school districts, counties, states and nationally? These along with other concerns are those of supporters of standardized testing.
However, maybe the resolution isn’t relying strictly on standardized testing or completely dismissing it. Maybe schools should use the testing as a guiding tool so when test scores are not being delivered on time, the schools and especially the students do not suffer the most.
Whatever the solution, I think it is safe to say the Florida school boards are going to spend a great deal of time looking to improve standardized testing and the influence it has on students, teachers and the structuring of schools.
Yesterday a YouTube video reached “viral” status showing North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge forcefully confronting two unidentified “college students” after the students asked whether Rep. Etheridge supported the Obama agenda.
According to Politico, DNC spokesperson Brad Woodhouse says, “Motives matter, and I think you can see who was behind this,” alluding to the suspicion that the Republican Party was the behind the tracking operation. Nevertheless, both political parties are guilty of the “gotcha” game.
Remember when a liberal tracker caught former Congressman George Allen saying “macaca” at an event that lead to his defeat in Virginia. Unfortunately, this is the norm in today’s politics. Many critics inquire as to why the faces of the two college students are blurred; well I would blur my face too. We all remember what happen to Joe the Plumber after his infamous question to then-candidate Obama on the campaign trail. His finances and records were made public as well as other private details.
Politics is and continues to be a nasty game. The moral of the story is…in the day and age of real-time internet, when you encounter someone holding a camera you better smile and be on your best behavior or avoiding the camera. Moreover, politicians must understand the power of the internet to propel their careers or end them.
In today’s anti-incumbent political environment, this sort of slip-up by Congressman Etheridge could cost him his election. Some pundits say Etheridge is too strong of politician with a sizeable war chest and will weather this storm. Of course, pundits also said that George Allen would survive his storm, but he did not. Do you think that Rep. Etheridge can survive?
A recent article in the Capitol Hill publication, The Hill, examines the spill over of the BP oil crisis into the Florida Senate race. Like in most crisis situations, everyone is quick to judge the response, or lack there of, by those willing to make some sort of effort to fix the problem. It seems the closer the oil gets to the Florida coast, the greater the tension rises not only nationally but locally. As White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel so eloquently said, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”
The major controversy between Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Republican candidate Marco Rubio is not an immediate fix to the problem on both accounts. Speculation as to the long-term effects the spill will have on ballot issues seems to be more of an issue for Crist while immediate concern for Rubio is stopping the oil leak.
However, what is relevant this minute may not be relevant to voters come November. Is it worth it for the politicians and lawmakers to spend all this crucial time debating and fighting tooth and nail to get an “off shore drilling ban” amendment on the ballot when drilling off the Florida coast is already prohibited? As one article from the Orlando Sentinel investigated, if BP had taken a more secure and tedious process to finalize the rig, this whole debacle could possibly have been prevented. Only costing approximately $1 million a day according to many estimates.
While on some accounts it is easy to understand why a cost of close to $1 million a day would be easy to veto, how much was it really worth?
Living in America the free market is arguably what helps so many people prosper in the land of the free. In times like this it may be nice if there was governmental regulation. Especially since many could argue there is already government regulation on everything anyways, shouldn’t there have been governmental checks all the way through the rig building process?
Through indirect wording by both politicians and BP executives, it is assumed the rig was not “properly” finished. While BP holds the responsibility of the safety of its employees in its hands, it also holds an obligation to the safety of Americans; along with a civil responsibility to the environment.
BP took the “short cut” to surpass the millions of the dollars for the more secure “finish”. However, how much did they really end up saving?
So is the issue in Florida banning oil drilling or is it government regulation on oil drilling?
It is during a crisis like this when many different approaches can be taken to look at the need for more or less government regulation and more initiative by companies to stop being so concerned with dollar signs and more concerned with the environment.
Steps have been taken to try to solve the oil spill. However, it is still too soon on most accounts to begin to feel some sort of relief. And until the feeling of assurance and satisfaction comes across members of the Gulf communities, it may be a safe assumption the issue of oil drilling on the Florida coast could be on the ballot in some form come November.