Monday, October 29, 2012

Romney campaign ups its game, imitates Tea Party

For months, Bay Area tea partiers, grassroots conservatives and republican activists had been planning to precinct walk in Reno for Romney-Ryan.  Dubbed NobamaNevada, the San Francisco Tea Party and MyLiberty San Mateo had been slowly registering participants for this massive get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort for months and had been coordinating with the Romney HQ in Reno--NobamaNevada would supply the people, the campaign would coordinate the actual precinct walking--supplying maps, addresses, etc.  But as the number of volunteers who registered for NobamaNevada  rose to 70, then 90, then 115…the campaign stood up and took notice, realizing the potential of having helpful hands from neighboring states come into Nevada to GOTV. Turned out, California is a veritable gold mine of activists who wanted to make a difference in the presidential election. Nevada was the place to do it.  These 115 people were offering to pay their own way to go to swing-state Nevada--just across the border from California--and precinct walk in Reno on September 29th for the Romney-Ryan ticket.  Up until then, Reno only had a handful of volunteer walkers on a given weekend.  By Thursday, September 27th,  the campaign hired its own full-time coordinator to arrange and pay for bus trips, food, and lodging for blue-state Californians to travel to Nevada to volunteer.

The first of the campaign's sponsored trips, on the weekend of Oct. 6, did not go as well as the first NobamaNevada trip.  The Romney campaign learned that, if one offers people an all-expense paid trip to Reno, many don't show up or prefer gambling to precinct walking.   After asking the San Francisco Tea Party for help finding quality volunteers and enlisting the aid of the Romney County Chairs in California, subsequent trips worked extremely well, with two to three bus loads of volunteers from Northern California arriving in Reno each weekend.

The project expanded well beyond the San Francisco Bay Area.   The Romney campaign also coordinated bus trips for volunteers from Southern California to Las Vegas.  And, the independent group, Americans For Prosperity, started offering LA to Vegas bus trips for volunteers with the first trip arriving in Vegas on October 13.  The idea has since expanded even beyond Nevada: starting October 18, the Romney campaign has had buses taking volunteers from Idaho to swing-state Colorado.  On October 26, there was a campaign bus trip from pure-red Utah to Colorado.

As a side benefit, NobamaNevada inspired Nevada residents to volunteer.  Dave Buell, chairman of the Washoe County NV GOP, increased his volunteer force by telling local Republicans that, if Californians are willing to drive to Nevada to volunteer, the locals owe it to the country to do more also.  To emphasize the point, he took pictures of the hundred+ SF Bay Area tea partiers lining up at the Reno campaign office and emailed them to potential local volunteers.

The second of the NobamaNevada  trips took place October 26th-27th.   The photo below shows some of the 110 tea party volunteers picking up the precinct packets Saturday morning:

NobamaNevada, which has been in the works since April, was made possible by its tireless leader, Sally Zelikovsky.  It was a joint project of Sally's Bay Area Patriots and of MyLiberty of San Mateo County.  Co-sponsors include Novato Republican Women Federated, the Conservative forum of Silicon Valley, Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots, and Marin Republican Women Federated

There is still time to help.  If you live in California, the Romney campaign is organizing a one last long-weekend effort to get out the vote in Nevada.  Wherever you live, you can phone bank from your local campaign office or from your own home.  If you are an Easterner, consider helping Volunteers for Virginia.

[Last revision: 10/30/2012]

ALSO on NobamaNevada:
NobamaNevada: second weekend in Nevada
NobamaNevada: first weekend in Nevada
2012: the year of innovative tea party projects


jelly andrews said...

Great post! I think volunteering for this kind of work is a good idea. I wish many will participate in this activity.

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