The TNDP Wrote Me Back!

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You may remember last week when I wrote a post about an incident that had happened the week before, when some Democrats came knocking on Mike Byrd's door, looking for money.

You may recall how I emailed them to verify and they declined to email me back and then Frank in the comments spent all day trying to convince everyone that this was a non-story.

No, I know. You don't remember. It was a week ago, describing something that happened the week before that. In internet time, that's like two months. Who can be be bothered with stuff that happened that long ago?

But the TNDP wants to drag this out yet another week apparently. So Devin Brady sent me an email with a comment from Chip Forrester, which they want stuck on the original post. Now. As if anyone will ever read it stuck back there. And as if neither of them knows how to leave a comment on a post.

You know, sometimes folks accuse me of being the David Oatney of the left. But I see David Oatney gets cushy seating on the floor of the House when he wants it. And the only time Democrats contact me is when they want me to take pointless dictation.

If I'm the David Oatney of the left, I'm getting cheated.

Anyway, here's Forrester's comment. I give him points for using footnotes. It's nerdy, but I find it kind of endearing. I then have to take away those points for him not being able to refrain from giving free publicity to Republicans.

I want to clarify the recent post on Pith in the Wind regarding a new and exciting program we have launched at the Tennessee Democratic Party: the Grassroots Initiative.

The Grassroots Initiative involves sending teams of canvassers to neighborhoods around Nashville and asking people face-to-face for their support, either through a donation or by volunteering for a campaign.

The Grassroots Initiative has been active for several months and is based on a successful, long-running program at the Democratic Party of Georgia. The canvassers are TNDP staff, wear TNDP clothing, and identify themselves as "from the Tennessee Democratic Party." The canvassers go through extensive training before they begin, and always go out in teams — never alone. The canvassing is focused on neighborhoods with high concentrations of Democrats and complement our existing voter mobilization efforts.

Any donations are kept secure and reported in compliance with state and federal campaign finance laws. This effort does not interfere with existing fundraising by candidates. In fact, we find that many of the people we speak to have never been asked to donate or volunteer by any campaign before.

In just a few short months, our Grassroots Initiative has contacted thousands of people here in Davidson County. In addition to those who have generously contributed, hundreds more have signed up to become active volunteers — a vital asset for the Party.

You may think it's "tacky" for us to talk to fellow Democrats and ask them for their support. But I find it far less tacky than the Republican candidates who benefit from anonymous corporate attack ads (1), hide mysterious loans in violation of finance laws (2), and accept hundreds of thousands of dollars from a donor accused of "massive fraud." (3)

While Republicans fight for unlimited corporate influence over our democracy, here at the Tennessee Democratic Party, we are engaging new people in the political process. We are extremely proud of our Grassroots Initiative team and their success in engaging voters, telling our story, and building our base.

Chip Forrester
Chair
Tennessee Democratic Party

1. Donor Names Remain Secret as Rules Shift: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/us/politics/21money.html
2. Herron Campaign Files FEC Complaint Against Fincher: http://blogs.knoxnews.com/humphrey/2010/09/herron-campaign-files-fec-comp.html
3. Tennessee Republicans Refuse To Return Blood Money: http://tndp.org/blog/2010/09/29/tennessee-republicans-refuse-to-return-blood-money/

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