Tags: Organizing for Action

Organizing for Action: You Didn’t Forget to Donate, Did You?


This e-mailed fundraising message from Organizing for Action is best read in a Joe Pesci voice, with several large guys with broken noses in pinstriped suits punching their palms behind him and scoping out your home as he talks:

This can’t be right.

We’re just going through our records and — even though you’re one of our best supporters — it looks like you’re not a 2013 founding member.

Nothing’s changed: It still takes each of us chipping in what we can, when we can, to build the kind of grassroots movement that can win the big fights.

Please take a moment to review the supporter record associated with this exact email address:

     – OFA 2013 founding member: Pending
     – Suggested donation: $5

And make sure you become an OFA founding member by chipping in $5 or more today.

With all of us working together, we can accomplish a lot in the new year, but this is always going to be a team effort.

The post-script is, “Nice IRS return you got there, pal. Hope nothin’ happens to it.” I’m kidding.

For now.

Tags: Organizing for Action

Website Fails for Conference Call to Insist Website Is Getting Fixed



Some supporters who tried to log in to hear President Obama defend his embattled health care law on Monday night were unable to hear him because the website of the group behind the call, Organizing for Action, failed to work for them.

It will probably not surprise you that an Organizing for Action spokeswoman insists that the “vast majority” of callers were able to hear the president.

About 80 percent, then?

Tags: Obamacare , Organizing for Action , Barack Obama

Psst. Obama Stopped Talking About Gun Control.


Here is the entirety of what President Obama said about guns in his two appearances at events for Organizing for Action last night:

At the “OFA Dinner”:

Obviously, the scourge of gun violence is something that we still have to stay focused on.

At the “OFA Event”:


In those remarks, Obama mentioned the Great Recession, job creation, wage and income flatlining, college debt, health-care costs, immigration reform, climate change, Obamacare implementation, wildfires in Colorado . . . basically, almost every major issue except guns.

Until very recently, Organizing for Action’s fundraising e-mails emphasized the issue of gun control, again and again and again . . . and OFA had previously pledged to withhold support from four Senate Democrats who voted against the gun bill — Senators Mark Begich (Alaska), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), and Max Baucus (Mont.).

Tags: Barack Obama , Gun Control , Organizing for Action

In 2001, McAuliffe Wanted Democrats to Drop Gun Control


I wonder how many gun-control backers know that the Democrats’ candidate for governor in Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, wanted his party to drop its support of gun control after George W. Bush’s election victory in 2000:

By the middle of 2001, ditching gun control had become conventional wisdom among centrist Democrats. Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., said Al Gore had talked about it too much. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Gore’s running mate, thought gun control had cost the Democratic ticket “a number of voters who on almost every other issue realized they’d be better off with Al Gore.” Terry McAuliffe, head of the Democratic National Committee, in particular wanted his party to drop the issue.

Hey, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, did you know that? How about you, Organizing for Action? After all, you pledged to oppose every senator who voted against the last gun-control bill, including Democrats Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Why would a gubernatorial candidate like McAuliffe get a pass? Because he says he now supports a renewal of the assault-weapons ban?

So he agrees with you, but not when he thinks it could hurt his party politically, like in 2001. You’re going to go all-out for a politician with that stance?

Tags: Terry McAuliffe , Organizing for Action

Organizing for Action: Cough It Up, Tightwad.


No NSA records were used in the research for this fundraising message; it just feels that way. Jon Carson, executive director of Organizing for Action, wants you to know he and his staff have been checking up on you:

I just got a list of everyone who’s pitching in to build Organizing for Action — and it looks like you’re not part of it.

Here’s the record we have for this exact email address:

    — Organizing for Action member: No
    — Suggested donation today: $5

So here I am, on the Sunday morning of the biggest deadline we’ve faced as a young organization, and I’m asking you, earnestly and directly:

Please chip in $5 or more to build OFA today:

We have so many big fights we want to take on, and what we do depends on the resources we have at midnight tonight.

I hope you’ll help.



Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

The e-mail’s subject line: “Is this a mistake?”

“Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother.” — President Barack Obama, April 2009.

Tags: Barack Obama , Organizing for Action , Fundraising

Organizing for Action, Fundraising Off Gun Control Again


Organizing for Action sends out another e-mail on the topic of gun control — even though the legislation is kaput for the foreseeable future.

An interesting line: “In politics, there are two kinds of people: Those who say they’re going to do something, and those who actually do it.” Kind of like a president who makes big promises about a gun-control bill, and then fails to persuade a quartet of his own party’s red-state Democrats, I suppose.

The letter promises a petition to Congress demanding action . . . a short time after the Senate considered action and rejected it. Most likely, the petition is a data-gathering tool, helping Organize for Action refine their list and figure out which members are most passionate on the gun-control issue.

You’ll notice the letter asks for money . . . suggesting that some of these passionate gun-control supporters are just looking for a place to send money in order to “send a message.”

J –

I wrote you last week after 45 senators sided with the gun lobby and voted against expanding background checks for gun sales.

I said we weren’t going to forget — and that we weren’t going to stop fighting until we get the job done.

I’m writing today to follow through on that.

Next week, we’ll deliver an OFA petition to Congress demanding that they take common-sense action to reduce gun violence.

But it’ll only be as powerful as the number of supporters behind it.

Please take a minute and add your name to this petition right now.

In politics, there are two kinds of people: Those who say they’re going to do something, and those who actually do it.

I have no doubt about which of those groups OFA supporters are in.

But if we want Congress to get serious about reducing gun violence, and if we don’t want to see the fire behind this issue slip away, we are the ones who have to keep it going.

We choose who represents us in Congress — and what the constituents want is something that no politician can afford to ignore.

That’s why your voice is such an important part of this fight. People like me can talk all we want, but your representatives want to hear from you.

This letter will go to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on behalf of OFA next week.

Make sure your name is on it:



Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

A movement of millions elected President Obama. Let’s keep fighting for change. Chip in $5 or more to support Organizing for Actiontoday.

Tags: Gun Control , Organizing for Action

USA Today Poll: Support for New Gun-Control Law ‘Ebbing’


The Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt features a look at some utterly inappropriate responses to the Boston bombing, some polling news that probably depressed the folks at the Huffington Post, a graphic for those who don’t want the immigration bill rushed, and then this intriguing new poll result:

Organizing for Action’s Big Talk on Another Gun-Control Vote

After the defeat of the Toomey-Manchin compromise, you’re hearing a lot of gun-control advocates left in a combination of sputtering disbelief and rage. Midday Monday, Organizing for Action — formerly Obama for America — sent out a message that mentioned the “90 percent of Americans support this” statistic twice, concluding, “90 percent of this country is on our side, not theirs. If we all step up, we will be heard. And we will win the next vote.”

So they think there’s going to be another gun vote sometime soon. Say, as we get closer to Election Day 2014, does this vote get easier or harder for red-state Democrats? Do Kay Hagan in North Carolina and Mary Landrieu in Louisiana stay on board? Or do they feel even greater pressure to put daylight between themselves and, say, Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns?

Of course, if you want to pass something like Toomey-Manchin, you have to persuade Democratic senators Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas to switch sides and support the proposal. And in the end, the oft-cited “90 percent” figure clearly doesn’t matter that much to them. A more interesting question is, how do Montanans, Alaskans, North Dakotans, and Arkansans feel? Judging by the votes of those four, the provisions of the Toomey-Manchin proposal weren’t such a slam dunk.

Now USA Today offers a number that demonstrates the wording of the question matters a great deal:

Four months after the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a USA TODAY Poll finds support for a new gun-control law ebbing as prospects for passage on Capitol Hill seem to fade.

Americans are more narrowly divided on the issue than in recent months, and backing for a bill has slipped below 50%, the poll finds. By 49%-45%, those surveyed favor Congress passing a new gun-control law. In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in early April, 55% had backed a stricter gun law, which was down from 61% in February.

The survey of 1,002 adults was taken Thursday through Sunday by Princeton Survey Research. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points.

Clip and save the big talk from Organizing for Action, by the way. Because after the 2014 Senate primaries are done, when the Democrats’ hopes of retaining the Senate hang on Baucus, Begich and Pryor . . . let’s see how important this vote really is to them. Let’s see if Organizing for Action really is willing to leave these senators alone because of this issue, when they’re neck-and-neck with Republican challengers.

Maybe they’ll prove me wrong. But I’ll bet that as we approach November 2014, Organizing for Action will be sending out a very different message — about how Baucus, Begich and Pryor must be reelected for the sake of the president’s agenda in the next two years.

Tags: Gun Control , Polling , Organizing for Action

How Much Influence Does Organizing for Action Have in Red States?


If this really comes to pass, I will be surprised:

Jon Carson, executive director of Organizing for Action, told the Los Angeles Times / Tribune Washington Bureau on Thursday that the group will train its resources against the 45 senators who opposed the legislation, including Democrats Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

“What is happening right now is the reason that OFA needs to be here: to harness the energy and determination of people,” Carson said. “I think everyone would agree that the American people are on our side on this…. We need to show that the 90% on our side have staying power.”

“This is one of those moments where we have to prove that in the face of a setback we’re not backing down,” he added. “That’s the calculation that some senators were mistaken on…. The consequences they’re going to have to face are a bunch of angry constituents who are going to keep the issue alive.”

Carson said Organizing for Action will also demonstrate support for those who backed the measure, including the Republican co-sponsor, Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.

“Our volunteers are ready to show Pat Toomey how much they appreciate his leadership,” he said.

The group plans to launch sustained campaigns in which constituents will call and tweet lawmakers, write letters to the editor and hold local events spotlighting their support for gun control. Its next major effort comes Saturday, when supporters are organizing rallies and other events in the states of key senators.

Calls and Tweets, letters to the editor, local rallies with mid-level attendance… eh, most incumbent senators don’t fear those actions, unless they come in overwhelming numbers. One of the big questions is just how many Organizing for Action members reside in Montana, Alaska, and Arkansas. compiled a sortable, downloadable list of the 1,428 donors who gave more than $250. They list four donors in Alaska, who contributed $1,375; four donors in Arkansas, who contributed $51,500; and three donors in Montana, who contributed $1,250. In Pennsylvania, the group lists 34 donors who contributed $12,888. As you might expect, those are small fractions compared to states like California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland.

As I wrote this morning, the rhetoric of the president and his supporters would suggest that the defeat of Baucus, Begich, and Pryor is a priority. But the real question will be whether any of their fury over yesterday’s vote translates into support for a pro-gun-control primary challenger. The filing deadline for a party candidate in Montana and Arkansas is March 2014; for Alaska the deadline is June 2014.

Tags: Organizing for Action , Mark Pryor , Mark Begich , Max Baucus

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