Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Audacity to Win - The First Anniversary Of Obama's 2008 Presidential Win

Marking the one year anniversary of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential win comes the November 3rd release of David Plouffe's book, "The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory" from Viking publishing. Plouffe is also scheduled to speak at the Dallas Angelika Theater November 9th at 6:30-7:15pm. Tickets are $20. Call 214-855-7151. (click book image to go to Amazon)

Plouffe was the campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. After winning the election on Nov. 4, President-elect Obama credited Plouffe in his acceptance speech, calling him “the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.”

Plouffe is credited with the campaign’s successful overall strategy in the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and the general election by maintaining discipline over communications to deliver a consistent campaign message through a broad spectrum of media channels.

Obama's success owes a lot, of course, to his message of "change," but there was something more subtle at work, too. It was not just the message and the man and the speeches that swayed Democratic voters, it was the way the campaign folded the man and the message and the speeches into a systemic branding effort.

Reinforced with a coherent, comprehensive program of fonts, logos, slogans and web design, Obama was the first presidential candidate to be marketed like a high-end consumer brand through a spectrum of new media communication channels.

Obama's campaign staff out performed opponents on the ground by adopting new and innovative web-based and cellular-based media strategies to recruit supporters, put supporters to work, organize supporter actions, turn out voters on election day and (of course) to raise unprecedented amounts of money — all contributing to a crucial edge in the 2008 primary and general elections.

The Obama campaign is widely credited for its unprecedented use of New Media for everything from fundraising to volunteer coordination. Another just published book, "Yes We Did!: An Inside Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand," by Rahaf Harfoush, takes a comprehensive look at the campaign's use of technology leading up to election night and explores the strategic insights that organizations can apply to their own brand. (click book image to go to Amazon)

Peppered with interviews, photos and anecdotes from key members of the New Media Team, this book reveals how the combination of an unwavering strategic vision and collaborative technologies including blogs, social networks, twitter, SMS messaging, and a state of the art campaign website empowered a formidable online community to elect the world's first "digital" President.

Author, Rahaf Harfoush witnessed the "disruptive innovations" of this pioneering new media campaign firsthand when she joined Obama's New Media team in Chicago for three months. From the book's forward: "The Internet and an extraordinary social movement enabled him to come to power and youth were the engine of his victory.
Anyone who watched Obama dutifully address ten different Inauguration Balls on January 20, 2009, could see that the Youth Ball audience most energized him. Speaking to 7,000 young people he said “thank you” to a generation, explaining that his campaign was “inspired by, was energized by young people all across America.”

Said the newly inaugurated president, “Young people everywhere are in process of imagining something different than what has come before us: Where there is war they imagine peace. Where there is hunger they imagine people being able to feed themselves. Where there is bigotry they imagine togetherness. The future will be in your hands if you are able to sustain the kind of energy and focus you showed on this campaign…. You are going to make it happen.”

The story of the new media group described in 'Yes We Did' is a truly amazing one. Through the internet and other digital technologies a group of young people changed just about everything: how money is raised, how people campaign, how organizers organize, and how the electorate comes to understand the issues, make choices, and become engaged in political action. Who better to tell this striking story, and draw some lessons from it, than one of the most talented soldiers of the campaign—Rahaf Harfoush. Rather than the official account, this book is a tale from the trenches of young volunteers working with a new set of weapons and tools—the digital media."
And, in yet another recognition of the anniversary of Obama's innovative digital-age campaign comes the HBO Documentary: "By The People: The Election of Barack Obama."

HBO Documentary: "By The People:
The Election of Barack Obama" Promo 1

HBO Documentary: "By The People:
The Election of Barack Obama" Promo 2

BY THE PEOPLE: THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA, initially airing on the first anniversary of the November 2008 general election, is a record of the Obama campaign's history-making odyssey to the White House.

Interwoven with the drama of the campaign is never-before-seen footage of Obama behind the scenes, as well as interviews and candid moments with wife Michelle Obama, the couple's young daughters, Malia and Sasha, and senior campaign staff, volunteers, reporters, supporters and opponents.

It premieres Tuesday, November 3 at 9pm only on HBO. For more information, log onto"

MSNBC Countdown 10/29/09 Interview
of the HBO Documentary Producer

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Collin County: A Safe Haven For Republicans?

Shawn Stevens, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Collin County, takes exception with DMN statement. On Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Gromer Jeffers Jr. wrote an article for the Dallas Morning News containing the following statement: "More and more Republicans, however, are moving to the friendly confines of Collin County, leaving heavily Democratic southern Dallas more empowered." Here are a few snippets of that article to provide some context around Mr. Jeffers statement:
"It's been three years since local Democrats stunned Republicans and turned the Old Red Courthouse blue, along with nearly the rest of Dallas County.
[. . .]
Since that election, which swept into office Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins and County Judge Jim Foster, Democrats have seemingly solidified their dominance.
[. . .]
"Even the most ardent partisan can't claim we didn't get our clocks cleaned the last two cycles," said Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Neerman. "The question is why? We don't know what's driving it. I, for one, don't believe this is a Democratic county."
[. . .]
The numbers could prove it [Dallas Co.] is indeed a haven for Democrats.
[. . .]
The percentage of the Democratic vote in Dallas County has been rising since the start of the decade. It's now closing in on 60 percent of the overall vote.
[. . .]
More and more Republicans, however, are moving to the friendly confines of Collin County, leaving heavily Democratic southern Dallas more empowered. [. . .] "

To read the full Dallas Morning News article click here.
Shawn Stevens, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Collin County, takes exception with Mr. Jeffers opinion that Collin Co. continues to be a safe haven for Republicans.

Mr Stevens sends a copy of a letter he sent to the editor of the Dallas Morning News to the editor of this blog - as follows:

I'm not sure on what facts Gromer Jeffers would base the statement in
his column that "More and more Republicans, however, are moving to the
friendly confines of Collin County . . ."

Actually, Kerry received 28.1% of the vote in Collin County in 2004, as
compared to Obama receiving 36.7% of the vote in 2008, with Collin
County Democrats achieving a 29,650 net vote increase over Republicans
from 2004 to 2008. The number of straight ticket Republican voters in
Collin County actually declined from 113,078 in 2004 to 112,959 in 2008,
while there was an increase of 20,059 Democratic straight ticket votes
over the same time period.

Those seem like strong indicators that within a fast growing population
in Collin County, Democrats are becoming more numerous in Collin County
in comparison to Republicans.


Shawn Stevens
Chairman, Democratic Party of Collin County

Monday, October 19, 2009

November 3, 2009 Texas Constitutional Amendment Election

On Monday October 19, 2009 Texans will begin early voting for the November 3, 2009 Constitutional Amendment Election. Early voting ends on Friday October 30, 2009. The last day to register to vote in this election is October 5th. Election Day is on Tuesday November 3, 2009. Locally, in Collin Co., the Wylie school district has a bond issue, and the city of Farmersville has an alcohol proposition on the ballot for their respective residents.

On election day November 3, 2009, Collin County voters will take part in a "Vote Center" experiment. In late August of this year the Texas Secretary of State authorized Collin County to join four other Texas counties to experiment with a countywide "vote anywhere" Vote Center pilot program on election day. Election Day Vote Centers work almost exactly like Early Voting Vote Centers where any registered voter in the county can vote in any of the 59 Vote Centers located around the county.
More on Vote Centers:
Important Dates for this election:
  • September 4, 2009: First Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail
  • October 5, 2009: Last Day to Register to Vote
  • October 19, 2009: First Day of Early Voting.
  • October 27, 2009: Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (application must be received by October 27, not just postmarked October 27)
  • October 30, 2009: Last Day of Early Voting
  • November 3, 2009: Election Day
Election Information: There will be 11 proposed constitutional amendments on the November 3rd ballot. The Texas State Constitution has been amended more than 400 times since it was first enacted in 1876. In order for an amendment to appear on the ballot, the proposed amendment must pass by a two-thirds vote in both the Texas House and Senate. The proposals must receive a majority vote from the voters to be written into the constitution.

Below is a complete list of proposed amendments:

Proposition 1 - “The constitutional amendment authorizing the financing, including through tax increment financing, of the acquisition by municipalities and counties of buffer areas or open spaces adjacent to a military installation for the prevention of encroachment or for the construction of roadways, utilities, or other infrastructure to protect or promote the mission of the military installation.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 1: Military Buffer Open Space)

Proposition 2 - “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the ad valorem (Latin for according to value) taxation of a residence homestead solely on the basis of the property’s value as a residence homestead.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 2: Homestead Appraisals)

Proposition 3 - “The constitutional amendment providing for uniform standards and procedures for the appraisal of property for ad valorem tax purposes.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 3: Statewide Appraisal Process)

Proposition 4 - “The constitutional amendment establishing the national research university fund to enable emerging research universities in this state to achieve national prominence as major research universities and transferring the balance of the higher education fund to the national research university fund.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 4: National Research University Fund)

Proposition 5 - “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to authorize a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal entities that elect to provide for consolidated equalizations.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 5: Consolidated Boards of Equalization)

Proposition 6 - “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Veterans’ Land Board to issue general obligation bonds in amounts equal to or less than amounts previously authorized.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 6: Renewing Veterans' Land Bonds)

Proposition 7 - “The constitutional amendment to allow an officer or enlisted member of the Texas State Guard or other state militia or military force to hold other civil offices.” (Burnt Orange Report - PropositionProposition 7: Texas State Guards in Civil Office)

Proposition 8 - “The constitutional amendment authorizing the state to contribute money, property, and other resources for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of veterans hospitals in this state.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 8: State Funding for Veterans' Hospitals)

Proposition 9 - “The constitutional amendment to protect the right of the public, individually and collectively, to access and use the public beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 9: Protect Open Beaches)

Proposition 10 - “The constitutional amendment to provide that elected members of the governing boards of emergency services districts may serve terms not to exceed four years.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 10: Emergency District Term Lengths)

Proposition 11 - “The constitutional amendment to prohibit the taking, damaging, or destroying of private property for public use unless the action is for the ownership, use, and enjoyment of the property by the State, a political subdivision of the State, the public at large, or entities granted the power of eminent domain under law or for the elimination of urban blight on a particular parcel of property, but not for certain economic development or enhancement of tax revenue purposes, and to limit the legislature’s authority to grant the power of eminent domain to an entity.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 11: Eminent Domain Restrictions)

Detailed explanations of these amendments have been prepared by:
Other important information about this election:

Please vote early this year - you'll be glad you did. Early voting starts on Monday October 19th and continues until Friday October 30th at several convenient locations around Collin County.

Please remember to take your Voter's Registration Card with you to the polling place when you vote. Several forms of identification (in place of your voter registration card) are acceptable, but election clerks can use the bar code on the registration card to electronically verify your voter registration status. This makes the voting lines move much faster for everyone!!! Please DO NOT cut the bar code off of the card!!
Acceptable forms of identification for voting other than your voter registration certificate:
  1. a driver's license or personal identification card issued to you by the Department of Public Safety or a similar document issued to you by an agency of another state, regardless of whether the license or card has expired;
  2. a form of identification containing your photograph that establishes your identity;
  3. a birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes your identity;
  4. United States citizenship papers issued to you;
  5. a United States passport issued to you;
  6. official mail addressed to you, by name, from a governmental entity;
  7. a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
Did you receive your Orange Voter's Registration Card? If you did not receive an orange registration card during 2008 or 2009 and you have moved or you have not voted in an election in Collin County during the past two years, your voting registration record may have been "suspended." Check your registration status here.

You are eligible to vote with a mail-in ballot if you meet certain conditions that are set by the Secretary of State. In general, you may be eligible if you are disabled, over 65, or if you will be out of Collin County on Election Day and during Early Voting. For specific information and to determine your eligibility, click here to visit the Secretary of State’s web site or click here to visit the Collin County website. To get an application for a mail-in ballot, click here to visit the Secretary of State’s web site, where you can download an application or request that one be mailed to you. See important dates above regarding when your application must be made and your ballot must be received.

Have you registered to vote yet?
The October 5th deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3, 2009 election is fast approaching! In general, you are eligible to vote in Collin County if you are a United States Citizen, a resident of the county, 18 years old, not a convicted felon and not declared mentally incapacitated. For specific information and to determine your eligibility, click here to visit the Secretary of State’s web site and read the pamphlet on Texas Voting. Check whether you are already registered to vote here and if you are not yet registered to vote, get your Voter's Registration application here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Obama's Speech About Public Service At Texas A&M, Oct. 16, 2009

President Obama received a thunderous standing ovation as he arrived at Texas A&M's Rudder Auditorium to join former President George H. W. Bush to make a renewed push for volunteerism in America. Obama said, "Howdy, Aggies," getting an enthusiastic "howdy" back from the audience. Obama started his speech with high praise for Pres. G.H.W Bush's life-long commitment top public service. Videos follow:

Speech - Part 1 / From YouTube News1News

Speech - Part 2 / From YouTube News1News

A few hundred conservatives gathered in Spence Park near Rudder Auditorium to protest against President Obama, health insurance reform, paying taxes and government in general.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

German Shepherd Rescue - URGENT

A German Shepherd rescue group called Camp Wolfgang, in Ennis, Texas is closing down on 31 October. They had nearly 200 dogs that must find a foster or be adopted before 31 October or they ALL will be EUTHANIZED. I don’t normally solicit with this type of request on this blog, but this is URGENT! All the dogs are vetted, spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, well cared-for and many have had training.

If you cannot help by fostering or adopting...YOU CAN STILL HELP!!! Please forward this information to everyone you know...if we all forward this to everyone we know, chances are good that many of these dogs can be saved!

They do not need or want donations, they simply MUST place all of the dogs.

Adoption fees are $75.00, free to verifiable rescue groups.

Current dogs: (approximate)
120 German Shepherds
2 Akitas
1 Anatolian/Great Pyrenees
4 Purebred Rottweiler
1 Great Dane/Lab
1 Boxer/Mastiff
1 St. Bernard/Akita
1 WolfDog
45 Other mixed breeds

Time is of the essence!!

If you know anyone who can adopt, accept a dog into their rescue, or help in any way, contact Neisha Livengood, Kennel Master at Camp Wolfgang.

Neisha Livengood
phone: 214-755-1627
Camp Wolfgang
6234 FM 879
Ennis, Texas 75119
Thanks to everyone for anything you may be able to do to help these dogs.