The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Thursday, October 20, 2005

You Got Questions, We've Got Answers

From the e-mails, the Texas Democratic Party is trying to raise $5,000 to help offset some of the startup costs for the four new field staffers the DNC is providing to us:

Dear Fellow Democrat,

Over the next few weeks, the Texas Democratic Party will deploy
four field operatives around the state to work with Democratic candidates,
county parties and grassroots activists from the county to the precinct-level
and help turn Texas blue.

The only way to beat the Republicans is to organize Texas one
precinct at a time and these field staff will do just that.

But these staff will be stuck in Austin without your help.

The DNC is making a financial commitment in electing more Democrats in
Texas by paying the salary and benefits for 4 field staffers that will be hired
by and supervised by the TDP. Their sole job is to travel the state working with
Democrats to put together campaign plans, trainings and events to excite our
base and win over new voters.

While the DNC is paying for the salaries for the new staffers, it's our
responsibility to pay for the equipment and supplies that they need. That's why
I'm emailing you today.

We must raise $5,000 in the next week to pay for the start-up costs for
these new staffers. If we don't have the equipment and software they need, these
staffers won't be deployed! Your contribution of $5, $10, $25, $50 or even more
will help us reach our goal.

Join the DNC & make an investment in the future of Texas!

Here are the kinds of needs we have to ensure that our new field staff
are operational:

- Laptops with wireless internet capabilities, so the field staffers
can do their job from anywhere;

- Voter file updates to make sure that the data shared in the field
with activists is as accurate as possible;

- Copies of training materials and information on Democrats;

- And the other costs associated with setting up 4 mobile offices.

With voters waking up to the Republicans' corruption and inability to
govern our great state, it's time for a Democratic resurgence in Texas. With a
small investment by Democrats like you, the TDP will get the benefit of four
full-time staffers who will spend their time not here in Austin, but working in
the field.

Five grand gets us four staffers. Not a bad deal. A commenter on a local listserv asks these questions though:

What happened to all the left over money after the election- in Kerry or Edward's
bank account? Surely the DNC can pay for office supplies- and how much are the
salaries and benefits going to be--and can 4 people cover the state?

I'm assuming the commenter is asking about the $45 million Kerry still had left in the bank after the election. That's Kerry's money, he can do whatever he wants with it. Like spend it on a failed presidential nomination run in '08. I'm sure that the DNC could pay for these items, but I'd venture a guess that they're gonna spend- minimum- $24,000 per staffer. Highly likely that it'll be more. But even if its not, four staffers are gonna cost them $100,000. Not including benefits.

Let's also remember that the DNC is going to do this in every state. Not every state is going to have as many as four staffers- I think North Carolina has two- but I'd say at the end of the hires they're gonna have at least 100 of these field staffers, minimum, nation wide. That's a whole lotta moolah.

And no, four staffers can't adequately cover the state as, say, eight or sixteen would. But it's what the DNC can give us right now. Five thousand dollars is not alot to ask for. It's $1,250 per staffer. Just as a juxtaposition, compare that to what the DNC is potentially going to be paying these staffers per month. Plus you know exactly what its going for. That gets them a laptop with wireless access (the kind that can get you internet anywhere. not the kinda you need to be in a hot zone to use), access to accurate and up to date voter files, and whatever else they might need.

If you can, give some to help get these staffers out of Austin and into the field.