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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Stuff like this makes me crazy
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Stuff like this makes me crazy

In this morning's Washington Post I read:
A group of well-connected Democrats led by a former top aide to Bill Clinton is raising millions of dollars to start a private firm that plans to compile huge amounts of data on Americans to identify Democratic voters and blunt what has been a clear Republican lead in using technology for political advantage.

The effort by Harold Ickes, a deputy chief of staff in the Clinton White House and an adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), is prompting intense behind-the-scenes debate in Democratic circles. Officials at the Democratic National Committee think that creating a modern database is their job, and they say that a competing for-profit entity could divert energy and money that should instead be invested with the national party.

Ickes and others involved in the effort acknowledge that their activities are in part a vote of no confidence that the DNC under Chairman Howard Dean is ready to compete with Republicans on the technological front. "The Republicans have developed a cadre of people who appreciate databases and know how to use them, and we are way behind the march," said Ickes, whose political technology venture is being backed by financier George Soros.

So, their answer to a "vote of no confidence" is not to go to Howard Dean and offer assistance. No. Their answer is to cut him off at the knees. As a Democrat, and an on-the-ground activist in the party, this makes me want to just throw up. Why bother trying to strengthen the one organization that is tasked with winning Presidential elections and growing the party (read its charter here). Oh no. Run off by yourself, thumb your nose at those of us who fucking NEED YOUR MONEY AND EXPERTISE and create a whole new layer, probably unavailable to any state or local Democratic party except for a fee, WHICH WE DON'T HAVE, by the way, because instead of INVESTING THEIR MONEY IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, these selfish SOBs choose to line someone else's pockets and snicker up their sleeves at us.
As it stands now, the DNC and Data Warehouse, created by Ickes and Democratic operative Laura Quinn, will separately try to build vast and detailed voter lists -- each effort requiring sophisticated expertise and costing well over $10 million.

Oh yeah. Such an effective use of funds. Redundancy. One of the things I stress in my organizing is being careful not to duplicate someone else's efforts, but if possible, to build on them. Idiots.

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