Absentee ballot requests down 21% compared to 2010 #masen special #mapoli

Secretary of State Bill Galvin announced today that requests for absentee ballots are down 21% (49,748 down from 63,610) from this time in 2010 before the Scott Brown, Martha Coakley and least we forget Joseph L. Kennedy race.

The 2010 race broke this way.

Brown: 1,168,178 51.8%
Coakley: 1,060,861 47.1%
Kennedy: 22,388 1%
Others and blanks: 2,300
Total less blanks: 2,251,427 (used to calculated vote percentages)
Total votes cast: 2,253,727

If we extrapolate Galvin’s dip in absentee requests to the total voter turnout we see 473,282 fewer voters in the 2013 special for a total voter turnout of 1,780,445.

The 2013 Warren v. Brown race drew 3,184,196.

Galvin said: “With many people focused on the Bruins playing in the Stanley Cup final, the (Whitey) Bulger trial, and the end of the school year, the special election has a lot of competition for attention.”

The biggest of these factors could be the “end of the school year, anyone with children is crazy busy with field days, fields trips, graduations and volunteer appreciation luncheons. Will that keep Obama soccer moms home or suburban Escalades from the voting booth? You tell me.

Hey and don’t forget this great weather were having too!

@edmarkey and @danwinslow have critical upper hand in GOTV effort #masen #mapoli










While high profile debates and low flying bi-planes grab our attention, the fate of each US Senate campaign now rests in a little known and rarely covered realm of politics, get out the vote or GOTV.

Getting out your vote, starts first with identifying your vote, a process that can easily take several weeks for a special election and in a regularly scheduled election it takes months of preparation and grunt work leading up to the big day.

So it was ominous sign for the Gomez camp Wednesday when a staffer sent out an email declaring that they had “just got in our first batch of phones and are looking to fill some call shifts…As you can imagine, in this shortened primary season, it is even more important to get calls done and ID voters to come out and vote for Gabriel.”

Campaigns often ignore GOTV tasks for more glorious pursuits that staffers [and reporters] no doubt find more intellectually stimulating, glamorous or just plain easier. Hard to see the fun in door knocking on a cold damp March day.

But ground game failure can often result in complete disaster, as Mitt Romney learned in 2012:

If they’ve been working the phones and doors, as Scott Brown did in 2010, camps should have identified by now a core base of voters highly committed to their candidate on April 30th.

Markey Press Secretary, Andrew Zucker, says the camp has “built the strongest grassroots operation in this state, recruiting more than 5,000 volunteers who have held more than 2,000 voter contact events.”

The Markey camp has staked everything on a boots on the ground GOTV model, highlighted by the camapign’s novel GOTV summit this Sunday to bring “together hundreds of Markey leaders from across the state to prepare for Get Out the Vote.

The Lynch camp is planning an olde fashioned “word of mouth” effort and declined to detail their GOTV strategy for this story.

Markey has also been significantly helped by the League of Conservation Voters which plans to spend $650,000 to knock 219,000 doors for Ed Markey.

It is a blueprint “local enforcer John Walsh” has used to get everyone from Deval Patrick (talented candidate) to Suzanne Bump (out classed candidate) elected.

Way back in February, WBUR explained the Lynch and Markey approaches:

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/80906111″ params=”show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

In a low turnout special election every volunteer hour wasted holding signs is an hour not spent on direct voter contact. Stand outs have a low rate of return, when the special election audience is so small.

On the GOP side, with even a smaller voter pool the race is tougher to read than a Nantucket fog, but one thing is clear the Winslow camp, like Markey, has invested significant resources on GOTV having knocked 6,000 doors and connected 50,000 calls to likely GOP voters.

According to Winslow Communications Director Charlie Pearce, Winslow is the only candidate “in the GOP primary to make a significant investment in a solid ground game. In a campaign that is likely to have only around 200,000 voters this is going to matter. By Election Day we will have personally contacted every likely voter in this state. That will be the difference in our margin of victory.”

Since GOP voters tend to live in suburban neighborhoods phone banking is a more practical direct voter contact tool.

And while the Gomez camp is just now installing phones to conduct voter identification, Alicia Preston of the Sullivan camp said they’ve “knocked on thousands of doors, made thousands of calls, and are very excited with the response we have received.”

Eighteen days to go.

Man up? Dial up!

@massgop files ethics claim against @edmarkey #mapoli #masen

The Mass GOP filed a complaint with the House ethics committee today against Ed Markey for using  public resources in his campaign ads, actions they claim to be a violation of House rules.

Full text of gop letter:

Mike Conaway, Chairman of the House Committee on Ethics:    Mike Conaway, ChairmanU.S. House of RepresentativesCommittee on Ethics1015 Longworth House Office Building (LHOB)Washington, DC  20515

This letter constitutes a formal complaint filed against Ed Markey, Democrat Congressman from Massachusetts and Mr. Markey’s principal political committee, ‘The Markey Committee.’ Based upon information and belief, set forth below and in the attached materials, the Republican Party of Massachusetts files this complaint seeking an immediate investigation to determine whether Representative Markey violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct for members of Congress. 

We demonstrate below that Mr. Markey likely violated the Code of Official Conduct in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities, with respect to improperly using prohibited video from House floor and committee proceedings for political campaign purposes in addition to using official resources for nonofficial and political campaign purposes.The public record makes and an investigation will no doubt confirm that there is reason to believe that Ed Markey and his campaign committee for U.S. Senate has used official resources and prohibited video content to benefit his campaign.

FACTUAL BACKGROUNDOn March 12, 2013, Mr. Markey and the Markey Committee released a television advertisement entitled “Keep Standing Up,” improperly using prohibited video from the House floor and committee hearings (Ex. A, and B).

On March 12, 2013, Mr. Markey and the Markey Committee released a television advertisement using prohibited video from what appears to be a law enforcement office, a public building. This ad also features what appear to be public safety officers (Ex. C).

On March 21, 2013, Mr. Markey and the Markey Committee release a television advertisement entitled “Pay,” improperly using prohibited video from the House floor and committee hearings (Ex. D).On March 26, 2013, The Boston Herald documented numerous instances where Mr. Markey’s official congressional office directed taxpayer funded resources to aid the Markey Committee. “Hillary Chabot, Joe Battenfeld, “Markey Lynch lean on office,” The Boston Herald, 3/26/13).

HOUSE RULES:According to the Committee on Ethics website, use of official resources for campaign or political purposes is strictly prohibited (see http://ethics.house.gov/general-prohibition-against-using-official-resources-campaign-or-political-purposes#campaign_floor_proceedings). House Rules state, as follows: “House Buildings, and House Rooms and Offices.  The House buildings, and House rooms and offices – including district offices – are supported with official funds and hence are considered official resources.  Accordingly, as a general rule, they may not be used for the conduct of campaign or political activities. Thus, for example, a Member may not film a campaign commercial or have campaign photos taken in a congressional office.  House rooms and offices are not to be used for events that are campaign or political in nature, such as a meeting on campaign strategy, or a reception for campaign contributors.”Coverage of House Floor and Committee Proceedings.  Broadcast coverage and recordings of House floor proceedings may not be used for any political purpose under House Rule 5, clause 2(c)(1).  In addition, under House Rule 11, clause 4(b), radio and television tapes and film of any coverage of House committee proceedings may not be used, or made available for use, as partisan political campaign material to promote or oppose the candidacy of any person for public office.     

“Internal Office Files.  Internal office files, such as research files on legislation, may not be used for campaign or political purposes.”Letters, News Releases, Other Printed Materials, and E-mails.  Under regulations issued by the Committee on House Administration, neither a letter nor any other kind of document (including a news release) may be printed on official House stationery unless the content of the document complies with the Franking Regulations.  House Administration Committee regulations further provide that any advertisement paid for by a congressional office, as well as any printed materials produced by an office, must be frankable in content. ”

REMEDY SOUGHT:Accordingly, the Massachusetts Republican Party respectfully requests that the Commission conduct an investigation on an expedited basis into the seeming violations outlined herin; and, enter into a prompt conciliation with any wrongdoers and to ensure that these violations immediately cease and do not reoccur.The above is correct and accurate to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief. 

Nate Little

Flight attendant union endorses @edmarkey #masen #mapoli

The union representing 428 American Airlines flight attendants at Logan Airport have endorsed Ed Markey for US Senate.

Association of Professional Flight Attendants President Laura Glading: “Congressman Markey is a great leader and a tremendous advocate for flight attendants everywhere. We deeply appreciate his commitment to keep the airplane cabin a safe environment for passengers and crew. Our members based at Logan and throughout the country will do everything we can to support Mr. Markey as he has supported us.”

The APFA represents over 16,000 American Airlines flight attendants nationwide. The union cited the No Knives Act of 2013 that Markey filed just a few weeks ago to ban knives on commercial flights as a reason for the decision.