It’s been a few months since the Congressional election. I hope everyone had a good winter. Many active volunteers in Ted Ankrum’s campaign got together over the winter and decided to keep working toward putting a Democrat in the 10th District seat in Congress, no matter what!
So far, we have begun an effort that we call True Blue 10. It’s not actually a campaign organization. It’s more like a party-building effort to organize everyone in the new 10th District (CD10) to gradually build the activist infrastructure that can support whichever candidate the Democrats nominate for each biennial race. We want to know (and want every candidate to be able to contact) everyone willing to do phone-banking, door-knocking, sign distribution, house parties, fund raising, volunteer recruitment, folding & stuffing, data entry, web design, election analysis, media relations, newsletter writing, layout & production, blogging, public speaking, etc. Beyond that, we also want to archive which precincts are strong, weak, and which have the most potential. We want to know where we can put up signs, who will likely endorse, and who can influence groups or other contributors. We want to train our volunteers to be as effective as possible.
We don’t want to have to re-invent the wheel every time we have a new candidate. We want each campaign to build upon the last one until we have over 60% of the vote consistently, so the Republicans will give up on the last shred of Tom Delay’s ‘permanent domination’ dream! If Austin has to be divided into three districts, then why not elect 3 Democrats? If the district must span 8 counties, then let’s turn those counties as blue as possible! Harris County can always use another Democrat, too!
While Ted Ankrum has decided not to run again, two new candidates, named Dan Grant and Larry Joe Doherty, have emerged. Other candidates may also arise in the next few months, as well. We are not totally fixated on who our candidate is, at this point. We know it’s easy for a Democrat to be better than Michael McCaul, and most of us will gladly support whoever wins the Primary next February. Our effort is to help our victory become a reality!
Our organization has registered with Travis County Clerk’s office as ‘True Blue 10' and opened a bank account. This means we can now accept DONATIONS to help fund this effort! More about that later. In January, we chose our Co-Chairs, a Treasurer, and some other members of a Nine-member Board (spread throughout the District) that will plan and oversee our efforts. True Blue 10 is separate from any candidate’s campaign, although we have reserved the right to endorse a candidate at some point if that seems to be the appropriate action to take. Our funds will be completely separate from any campaign, and are strictly for organizing and voter education.
As Ted Ankrum has repeatedly stressed, we are going up against a wealthy incumbent, and our nominee will have to raise a substantial war chest. Candidates will need to focus on fundraising (and beg, beg, beg) from the very start of their campaigns. This can't wait for the primary. We believe that we can help that effort in two ways.
First, the broader and deeper our network, the greater the potential for meaningful grass-roots fundraising–basically, the seed-money necessary to begin the process of getting a campaign started. A thousand people, giving $10 to $2,000 each, send a clear signal that a serious candidate has appeared. These contributions need to reach your favorite candidate this year, before the organizations and other traditional donors choose which races to support. We expect to need at least $50,000 to $100,000 just to get the attention of the Big Donors that can get our candidate above the $500,000 level next year! Second, the broader and deeper our activist network, the more prominent our candidate will become, and thus the more credible our candidate will appear to the media, who largely ignored Ted last time. The size of our organization will further impress the traditional campaign funding sources and Party leadership, thus generating even more support. Our candidate will need lots of volunteers AND lots of donors to compete in a modern Congressional race!
While True Blue 10 will not be printing campaign leaflets, or running ads on TV, we still need reliable funding for our organizing efforts. We need a web site, an archive, flyers to explain our organization, occasional travel expenses for our public speakers, and office supplies, etc. We will work on the cheap, where ever possible, but we must be able to cover reasonable expenses. To that end, donations are gratefully accepted! Simply mail a check to:
True Blue 10
c/o Ron Coldiron, Treasurer
6509 Marblewood Dr.
Austin, TX 78731