THE BLOG

Frack Call Response

05/12/2014 12:36 pm ET | Updated Jul 12, 2014

I am a Democrat in PA and a primary is coming up.

None of the Pennsylvania Democrats running for governor want to stop fracking.

Went to a local Democratic meeting last week where one of the candidates for state senate got up and waxed poetic about getting all this cash from frackers to fund the schools. Asked him if fracking was safe.

He replied about how he was worried about how 10 percent of the fracking fluid remains on to the surface and poses a health hazard. When asked about the other 90 percent in the ground and earthquakes causing a mixing with the water tables -- he agreed that was a problem.

I responded by asking if he realized how insane his answer is. How do you vote for something you KNOW upfront is unsafe? He got bailed out by the people running the meeting stating that we should not attempt to fight the fracking issue.

Why do I have to vote for these guys just because they are Democrats?

The party is not obligated to provide a voter like me a non-fracking choice; even though last year The Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee voted not to support anyone who favors fracking. My head is hurting from banging it on the wall.

So why not write someone in who doesn't like fracking? I cannot believe there are not other Democrats who wish to remain a Democrat (to keep our ability to vote in the primary) and do not want Fracking.

Hey -- there is a Green Party candidate, Paul Glover, who is running and doesn't like fracking, maybe I will write him in? Even better, why not get other Democrats to write him in as a protest vote?

How do I reach them? Since I would be writing in a Green Party candidate, I decided to start there. They are a typical third party who is worried about how much influence money and the two party system has. They are not afraid to pose as this great clean alternative to that dirty two-party system.

They are having trouble getting Glover on the ballot. They need 17,000 signatures by July for him to be on the ballot -- as opposed to the 1,000 to 2,000 signatures needed for the other major parties. Third parties wear this as a badge of honor as they suffer openly for democracy. Also -- Glover cannot campaign himself to run on the Democratic Party ticket -- otherwise state law would prevent his run on a third party ticket. I cannot contact Glover on this, but I can contact other members of his party.

So I constructed a campaign to present to the Green Party. The basic idea is to do a robo call to the most active members of the Democratic Party base the weekend before the primary and tell them to write in Glover. If the media picks up on this at the last minute and Glover gets a few thousand signatures, the Green Party gets some publicity to make it easier to get those 17,000 signatures. It may help with their fundraising. It also makes the Wolf Campaign pause for a moment about fracking. (I really think he wins at this point.)

As I was presenting the campaign to the people in the party, I began to realize they do not know the first thing about campaigning in the 21st century. I started asking about some basics about fundraising and got a blank looks. So I re-engineered the campaign to have a fundraising component.

The idea is to target $30,000 via an email campaign asking for $50 a pop to perform an outreach. The $50 allows about 750 phone contacts. The cost of this outreach would have roughly half of the money going to rent a list of phone numbers where at least one person associated with the phone number voted in three of the last four Democratic primaries (about 434,000 people). The list was constructed from some very good data tools from Aristotle.com.

The other half of the cash would go to another outfit, CallFire.com, to perform the dialing and presentation of the phone call. The one minute phone message needed to be delivered by a Democrat, or some other famous person associated with the fracking issue. One minute is important because it costs $0.035 to make a one minute call. Here is my sample call link (do not be frightened of the beard -- it is harmless) .

It is important to realize that one could affordably run a short, to-the-point campaign in the waning moments of an election. It also tells you the value of $30,000 in politics and how a thought out selection criteria for messaging can sway a state.

A campaign like this works. A few years ago, this method was used the night before an election when a candidate stepped up and asked to be written in. We got the guy on the ballot by knowing who to target with a couple of calls.

As of this moment, the director of the Green Party has stated that he would rather not use phone lists, doesn't like Democrats, doesn't have $30,000 and if he did, he would only pay people directly to take names on petitions.

I think all I found was a new wall to bang my head on...