Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Chris Bowers, Open Left - More details have emerged on the apparent death of the fifty-state strategy. First, I received this email from the DNC:

Everyone at the DNC remains very dedicated to the [State Partnership Program] and the SPP staffers who made up the success of the 50 state strategy over the past four years. When the program was first adopted in early 2005, an [memorandum of understanding] was signed with the state parties that concludes at the end of this month. This date made sense since it corresponded to the end of the election cycle and was in conjunction with upcoming elections for some of the state party chairs. It was always important that as state parties began the new election cycle they had an opportunity to review what worked, and build upon the earlier infrastructure and hard efforts of those that preceded them. I am sure as the new team arrives at the DNC they will have an appreciation for this program and would like to see it continued.

However, I also obtained part of the email that was sent to 200 organizers who were fired. Here is the relevant graph:

"Because of your efforts and hard work, last night we made history on November 4. Barack Obama is the President Elect and the world, as we know it, is forever changed. This is a bitter-sweet moment because this great victory comes at the end of our SPP program, which was funded only through November 30. Therefore, this memo explains your final paycheck and the transition from the program."

In a follow-up email, I asked the source the following:

Do you think "transition" means a new job, or is it corporate speak for "you're fired?"

The source replied "you're fired."

People inside the DNC are telling me that the program is not dead. This doesn't surprise me, because it is a popular program and I imagine that many of the remaining staffers at the DNC are committed to the program. At the same time, all of the organizers--who were chosen by local state parties--have been fired. That effectively kills the program, no matter the messaging and commitment of the remaining staffers.

The best bet is that the remaining staff at the DNC will try to push for a continuation of the program once the new administration is in place. In the meantime, many of the large donors who always wanted Dean out and the program terminated seem to have, at least, temporarily received their wish. Although I have no evidence to support this at the current time, I wouldn't be surprised at all if this is connected to Rahm Emanuel becoming Chief of Staff..

The DNC organizers were all chosen by the local state parties, not by Dean. Now, the idea that you fire a bunch of locally chosen people, and then send "your own" people back to those local areas, is absurd. The new people will be reviled, and unable to function with the local parties. No one is being replaced. The program is being terminated. 200 community organizers just got fired by Obama's campaign. How ironic.


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