DATE: Tuesday, August 19, 2012
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Adam Ruben, Political Director, MoveOn.org Political Action
Michael Podhorzer, Executive Director, Workers’ Voice
RE: Strategy for Voter Contact Partnership Between MoveOn.org Political Action and
Workers’ Voice – Largest Independent Volunteer Program
ANNOUNCEMENT AND PURPOSE
MoveOn.org Political Action and Workers’ Voice have joined together in an unprecedented
progressive alliance to launch a new, innovative voter contact program that will mobilize
volunteers to reach out to millions of people all across America. Our goal is to re-elect President
Obama, to elect progressive candidates, and to build independent progressive infrastructure and
power that last past the election. We are combining cutting-edge technology, a commitment to
learning from data, and proven organizing tactics in a voter persuasion and turnout effort in
which a massive volunteer corps will knock on millions of doors and make millions of phone
calls by Election Day.
But our work leading up towards Election Day is just a down payment by our over 19 million
members towards a long-term investment in a progressive infrastructure that works together 365
days a year on legislation and organizing. It is also our hope that in the short term, and the long
term, other progressive organizations will join these efforts.
This memo provides an overview of our program and how it harnesses the joint organizing
experiences of our organizations, which we expect will be the biggest independent on-the-ground
electoral effort this year. Unlike Karl Rove’s groups on the right, which are raising massive
amounts of 1% cash from a handful of elite billionaires to flood the airwaves with lies, our
approach focuses on the combined grassroots people power of hundreds of thousands of
volunteers and is funded by many contributions from working people.
JOINING FORCES: THE POWER OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT PLUS
Here’s why Workers’ Voice and MoveOn.org are partnering together: First, our values and
understanding of what’s at stake are closely aligned, both for this upcoming election and the
long-term legislative fight ahead. Second, our strengths complement each other on and offline.
Third, we share a commitment to building grassroots progressive power for the long run – a 365
day a year alliance.
We see this election as a choice between two starkly different views – one that holds everyone
should have a fair shot and pay their fair share, and one that holds the poor and middle class
should pay more so the rich can get richer. And our members know that working Americans will
be in trouble if Mitt Romney is elected president. He and Paul Ryan are the 1% duo who would
raise middle class taxes to pay for more tax give-a-ways to millionaires. They would end
Medicare, which would double the out-of-pocket costs for seniors. Their George Bush economic
approach would tank the economy, killing a million jobs in 2013 alone. President Obama is
committed to ending tax give-a-ways for the wealthy, defending Medicare, and investing in
American jobs and the middle class. Re-electing him is our shared priority this cycle.
This grassroots partnership which brings together our over 19 million members takes advantage
of our organizations’ combined experience, knowhow and resources—lessons from decades of
grassroots organizing, physical infrastructure in key swing states, and expertise at using the
Internet to mobilize activists. Our organizations share a commitment to testing and using data to
determine the organizing approaches that work best. And we have millions of members who are
eager to get to work re-electing the president and electing progressive candidates. Our members
are especially motivated by the recent selection of right-wing radical Paul Ryan as the GOP
We are committed to building on-the-ground relationships between our 19 million members and
grassroots power that will last well past the election. We know that the fight for fundamental
economic fairness won’t be over even if we win in November, and we intend to continue
working together to support policies that create jobs and level the playing field late this fall as
Congress and the administration confront the “jobs cliff” and a right-wing push to extend the
Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and as other fights emerge in the new year.
STRATEGY AND TACTICS
Our strategy for this election is to contact millions of people across America to inform them
about the crucial choices facing them, to persuade likely voters to vote for President Obama and
progressive candidates, and to turn out Obama supporters who might not otherwise vote.
While Karl Rove’s organizations and shadowy 1% front groups funnel hundreds of millions of
dollars into negative and false TV ads, our focus is on the grassroots, and on mobilizing
volunteers to have one-on-one conversations with friends, family, and neighbors. We’ll focus on
building real grassroots power by connecting with people in homes, neighborhoods and
workplaces across the country.
Through our partnership we will make 1.5 million calls to volunteers to recruit them to sign up to
reach out to voters. We have 14,000 worksite/canvass coordinators ready to implement this
program and we are aiming to grow to 400,000 volunteers as the program ramps up.
To optimize volunteer effectiveness we will be employing and improving on the sophisticated
organizing techniques our organizations have developed that allow us to incorporate lessons
learned in real time into our canvassing and phone banking to make minute by minute
adjustments to our targeting to maximize efficiency.
We will also hold call parties around the country—a tactic first deployed by MoveOn in 2006—
but will update them with new technology like smart phones and tablets to increase their
efficiency and accessibility. These parties will empower activists who live outside of swing
states to contact and recruit potential volunteers in swing states to get them involved.
JOINT STATEMENT BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL DIRECTOR ADAM RUBEN
AND WORKERS’ VOICE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MIKE PODHORZER:
“We are mobilizing a 99% electoral army to take on 1% Romney and Ryan and their budget that
would end Medicare to give tax give-a-ways to millionaires. Karl Rove’s 1% front groups and
Super PACs may be flooding the election with hundreds of millions of dollars of lies, but we will
fight back by employing the joint people power of our 19 million members and sophisticated
new mobilization techniques to play a major role in electing President Obama and progressive