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rVotes announces integrated RoboCalling

For Immediate Release: September 5, 2012
Contact: Tom Zawistowski, 330-592-1848, TomZ@TRZ.cc
Steve Adler, 401-751-1999, steve@rVotes.com

rVotes Introduces Integrated Robo Calling Capabilities

rVotes integrated Robocalling!

Call up to 100,000 voters per hour.

Providence, RI – rVotes, LLC announce today that it will integrate broadcast voice capabilities, commonly called “robo calling”, into its web based “conservative only” campaign management technology called rVotes. This enhancement to the rVotes system will give rVotes users the ability to easily create call list based on hundreds of different selection criteria and then send a targeted voice message to those voters by using the new Robo Calling module. The service is being offered in partnership with TRZ Business Services of Kent, Ohio which is providing the back end calling technology and credit card processing. rVotes users will pay competitive rates for the service using a credit card.

Steve Adler, the founder of rVotes, said in making the announcement, “We are extremely excited about this new module as it does two very important things for our clients. First it gives them an easy, cost effective method to communicate timely and important messages to voters and constituents. Second, it allows them a way to manage voter contacts by getting reports back after they make their call. This will give rVotes, for instance, the ability to automatically removed bad phone numbers which makes the entire system better. Plus, we were able to keep the cost very reasonable even for our smallest clients. I believe integrating robo calling into our campaign management software is a first for our industry and we are pleased to be able to bring this technology to our clients.”

Tom Zawistowski, the founder of TRZ Business Services, added “To us, this was just a logical next step. The voters are in rVotes, their phone numbers are in rVotes, so you should be able to call those voters without having to leave rVotes. Plus, you should be able to call them at competitive rates. We think this module is going to greatly increase the benefits of the rVotes system to its clients. Our next step will be to integrate automated phone polling into rVotes and our goal will be to have that available late this year.”
rVotes is currently in use in seven (7) states and is rapidly increasing its national foot print. It is only available for use by “conservative” political candidates and organizations. More information is available at www.rvotes.com or by calling customer service at 401-751-1999. With its “Freemium” model, rVotes is provided to virtually every fiscally conservative campaign, PAC, 501(c) or political organization for close to free. Only the largest, statewide campaigns and organizations will be billed a modest fee for its use.

Posted in Press

RI GOP Builds rVotes Center


Press Information

For Immediate Release                                 Date: July 6th, 2012

Contact: Ann Clanton

Tel:         401.732.8282

E:            aclanton@rigop.org


RI GOP Phone Bank Operational

Warwick: Ann Clanton, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Republican Party, today announced that the state’s GOP Telephone Bank is fully operational.  Located at party headquarters in the city, the facility consists of ten separate workstations.  Each is capable of Voice over Internet Protocol telephone service as well as access to web based software to manage a voter data base as well as multiple campaigns to contact and inform important segments of the Ocean State Electorate.

“The facility was designed with rVotes in mind.”  Clanton said in her prepared statement.  “That’s a locally designed and maintained voter management system that is our recommended platform.”

At full operation the facility is expected to generate as many as 400 calls per hour.  It is expected to be staffed by a mixture of volunteers from the various individual campaigns that will make use of the capability as well as members of the Rhode Island Republican Strike Force.  The state party is making the facility available, free of charge, to all Republican candidates in the state.  Candidates for the General Assembly will be given priority both for developing and running telephone campaigns.

“Our objective is to run Voter Identification campaigns for virtually all of our legislative candidates.” Said Mark Zaccaria, Chair of the State GOP.  “That means keeping track of voters who have indicated to us that they intend to vote Republican.”  The ultimate use of this information will be to monitor voter turnout on Election Day.  Other uses of the phone capabilities will be to introduce candidates in need of increased Name ID as well as to prepare neighborhoods for the Door-to-Door efforts of Republicans on the campaign trail before they actually arrive.  “In my 2010 Congressional Campaign I used rVotes to great effect.”  Zaccaria continued.  “It is a force multiplier that lets any campaign operate just like the national campaigns.”  The projected total call volume for the cycle is over 120,000 voter contacts.

The Rhode Island Republican Party sponsors and supports Republican candidates for seats in the state and federal legislatures.  As with all state GOP organizations the Rhode Island Republican Party has three seats on the Republican National Committee.  Please visit the state party’s web site www.rigop.org.

# # #

Paid for by the Rhode Island State Central Committee of the Republican Party

1800 Post Road, #17-I, Warwick, RI   02886
Tel: 401.732.8282      E: contact@rigop.org


Posted in Press

A unified database needed for The Right

Originally published by Carol Greenberg in “Conservative Outlooks
April 23, 2012 By Carol Greenberg

This article was written by guest blogger John Fowler.

A Unified Database for the Right or Defeat by a Networked Democratic Party?

It’s been a good week for Republicans. First we find out that Obama’s secretary paid a higher percentage in tax than he did (However, Axelrod was quick to point out that Obama would not make an additional donation to the Treasury to correct this egregious unfairness.); next we find out that while Mitt Romney may have put his dog on top of his car, Obama had actually eaten a dog! (So much for DogsAgainstRomney.com); and finally we see Gallup polls with Romney actually leading Obama among registered voters. It’s almost enough to make a Conservative lean back and rest on his laurels, remembering the heady feeling of victory that swept Republicans into office in the 2010, midterm elections. Almost enough.

6 Months to Go; Where’s The Ground Game

With 6 months to go until the General Election, Republican precinct chairs and activists are sitting on the sidelines. The Tea Party movement, the energized Conservative base, is also effectively idle with no connection to the Party or to the Romney Campaign. The highly touted Republican Database, VoterVault, has fallen into disuse and disrepair and is viewed by Party Members and Activists as a clunky resource that most would rather not even use. Talk to a precinct chair in the Republican Party and ask them how they have been ignored, sidelined and under-equipped. There may be a plan to involve the Conservative Grassroots in this campaign, but if there is, it must be very closely held. In a close election, the party with the better “Ground Game” will win every time. If the Republican Primary is indicative of the General Campaign, we can look forward to a highly centralized, “Air War” with negative campaign ads dominating. This may not deter the loyal base, but moderate, independent and undecided voters will be turned off by such campaigning, and the base may even tire of the repeated requests for nothing other than contributions to fund more negative campaigning. In 2008, Obama and the Democrats had an overpowering Ground Game. If they are able to replicate most of that in 2012, they will be able to turn out a larger percentage of their voters than the Republicans. In a close election, Ground Game wins.

Key to the Ground Game: An Accessible Unified Database

The key to a Ground Game is a database of voters that has the voters’ position on the issues, their voting history, their current contact information, and that is accessible to the activists who are willing to use this information to contact their neighbors and get them out to vote. The Democrats have such a database—Catalist, which is accessed through VoteBuilder or Voter Activation Network (VAN). This is a networked, distributed, unified database that improves with usage and time. It is accessible to Democratic Precinct Chairs, Community Activists, and Unions such as SEIU and NEA. This was the tool that swept Obama to the Democratic Nomination and ultimately, the White House. When each of the tens of thousands of users of Voter Activation Network, contribute information to the Database through a phone call or a personal door knock, that information can be shared across the network. Even in a losing election, Democrats can gain potential political power by refining their knowledge of the electorate.

The Republican Dilemma

In the late 90’s the Republicans developed VoterVault, which was at the time the most powerful political database in existence. The party was able to use the information in VoterVault to conduct Voter-ID and Get Out The Vote efforts. In the absence of a better tool on the Democratic side, VoterVault was highly successful during the early George W. Bush Presidential years. The rise of Voter Activation Network (VAN) however, marked a “Revolution in Political Affairs”. The architecture of VAN enabled local activists to take control of the voter-contact features of the database and enhance the information they collected through personal contact while enriching the information available to all other campaigns that included the voters contacted. Put simply, a door-knock and survey conducted by any Democrat activist improved every Democrat’s knowledge of the electorate.

VoterVault continued to coast while maintaining its top-down, centrally controlled, activist unfriendly architecture. VAN took advantage of the concept of Social Capital and Social Networking and used technology to empower the Activists on the Left by giving them a state-of-the-art organizing tool and trusting them to use it to contribute to the now Progressive cause of the Left. Increasingly on the Right, if a campaign wants to collect data on the electorate, a unique database must be built for each campaign. This results in a disjointed, stove-piped, architecture where each individual door-knock and survey can only benefit the specific campaign that collects and enters the data.

A Unified, Distributed Database for the Right?

With the withering of VoterVault, and the diminished power of the Republican Party in the wake of McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform,(thanks John) the Republican Party is seeking to outsource the Republican Database. There are several competing, highly classified, database projects underway, but the view from the Grassroots is that they are not going to be available in time to empower the activists who need this information to organize their communities. Another explanation could be that the Databases like Themis or Data Trust are not intended to be made available to the Grassroots; that they are merely a new and improved version of the top-down, centrally-controlled model that Voter Vault represented. The result is the same for Precinct Chairs or Tea Party Activists—there is no unified database and voter-contact-management tool for you to use in the 2012 election.

rVotes: The Conservative Solution to VAN

If Conservatives are to harness the immense anti-Progressive, anti-Obama energy of the engaged Grassroots, Conservative Activists must be given the tools to get in the game. The same tool that Obama is using is available to the Right under the name rVotes. Unfortunately, the powers on the Right, including the Party, Incumbents, Candidates, and most importantly Consultants are not ready to embrace the distributed model that the Left is using and that is now available to the right in the form of a fully field-tested voter-contact-management system: rVotes. The software is online and available to be used in seven states (FLA, OH, VA, MI, AZ, IA, and RI) but it is only being adopted by small organizations and campaigns. This is not a new software development; this system is field tested by over a million users and is identical to that being used by the Democrats.

A distributed but unified database for Conservatives is essential to compete with Democrats in the 21st century. Already, 2011 has shown the power of a unified minority on the Left in wreaking havoc in Wisconsin and Ohio and NY CD-26. This theme will be repeated in the future as Democrats are able to turn out their supporters using VAN in order to gain electoral success.

If Republicans continue to deprive the Grassroots organizers of the technological tools like rVotes, Democrats will continue to win elections and build power by gaining a more complete knowledge of the electorate and empowering their activists to use that information to win elections.

Related articles: rVotes now a reality for Ohio

OFA/DNC database system now available for Republicans

U.S. Senate candidate Jamie Radtke licenses rVotes

Posted in Press

OFA/DNC database system now available to Republicans

Originally published by Carol Greenberg in “Conservative Outlooks
May 30, 2011 By Carol Greenberg


All your enemies are doing it.

The Dems don’t sleep or party during holidays, (except for Obama whom I am sure is playing golf)  that is when they do their plotting. Conservatives should be no different.

Yes, you heard that correctly. The nuke-bomb database interface system built by VAN (Voter Activation Network) is now for sale to Republicans.

Capitalism at its finest, brought to you by the good ole US of A.

Yea, most of you probably know I got an invite to an OFA  on-line webinar about 18 months ago and got screen shots of their mega-database system. And yes, OFA I still have the invite so can’t cry “foul.” Anita Moncrief and I wrote about the system and you can get a snapshot of what the database can do. My article is here and Moncrief follows up with another.

Steve Adler and Mark Sullivan were the founders of Voter Activation Network. They were hired by Howard Dean when he was DNC chair to create the massive database interface system VoteBuilder which was used, and is still used by the DNC and what has reverted back from OFA to “Obama for America.”

For a better understanding of the VoteBuilder system and the players involved, please see this article and pay special attention to the for-profit company Catalist. Catalist holds we believe, almost 100% of the voter records in the country and also names of volunteers, metrics of every precinct in the country and names and emails addresses of anyone who has ever signed up with OFA or the DNC. For all we know they also know what you had for dinner last night. All that data is then loaded into VoteBuilder and the pendulum swings both ways, i.e. VoteBuilder also sends the data they have received back to Catalist.

The two founders of VAN parted and after a five-year non-compete clause Adler went his own way and is offering the same technology and database nuke-bomb that gave Obama the election and got him Obamacare to Republicans.

Stunning news.

I have spent many hours on the phone with Steve Adler and I am convinced he is NOT a Dem  operative as your first thoughts might be. He is a capitalist. Ain’t that what we as conservatives have been touting all this time? Not socialism and spreading the wealth around as we have been told lately we need to do.

Adler lives in Rhode Island and built the database system which is a mirror image of OFA/DNC’s VoteBuilder for the Rhode Island Republican Party. And yes, I have seen the database system in operation twice and can give testimony it is almost an exact replica of VoteBuilder. And yes, I have spoken with Ken McKay who is Rhode Island’s GOP chair and he stated he is very happy with the system and Mr. Adler’s expertise.

The name of Adler’s sytem is Rvotes. The system can and does do the following:

  • Complete, web based Campaign Managment
  • Voter Contact Systems
  • Voter Registration Drive
  • Early /Absentee Vote by Mail
  • Real-time, GOTV
  • iPhone, BlackBerry and Android compatible
  • Event Management
  • Volunteer Management
  • Web Based, Virtual Phone Banking
  • Blast Email / Phone
  • Fully Coordinated and Cooperative Campaigning
  • Bar-Coded, Web enabled walking and calling lists
  • Precision Data
  • Palm Pilot, iPhone & SmartPhone Canvassing / GOTV
  • Unified Database
  • Data Warehousing
  • Open Data Architecture
  • “Macronano” Targeting™
  • Facebook friendly
  • Data Import and Export
  • Case Management
  • Unified database design
  • Constituency Management

On voting day the system also allows poll watchers to download info into a smartphone of voters registered at that polling place. Names of those who have shown up to vote can be recorded in the smartphone, and those names go back into the database. If John Doe shows up to vote again later in the day, the poll watcher via his smartphone will get a warning that “John Doe has already voted.”  The smartphone will also alert the poll watcher to those who have said they would vote, but haven’t shown up to vote. The poll watcher can then ask a volunteer to call those people who haven’t voted and offer them a ride to the polling station.

Pretty neat.

Adler tells me his initial goal is to get 12 battleground states up and running. He already has all the voter information ready and available for Ohio and can build the Ohio system in 2-3 weeks.  To get Ohio up and running fairly quickly would be huge, as Ohio went blue in 2008 for the first time in many years. Also if you recall Ohio was heavily in the news in 2008 because of the mess with ACORN.

These 12 battleground states have not been fully determined as of yet, however, any state, Tea Party or candidate can get involved with the system. Data can be shared back and forth between systems as long as both parties agree.

The biggest threat of the DNC/OFA database interface is that info is shared nationwide, depending on the permissions of the user one can access data of any state or individual.

So in the same words of the man who now occupies the Oval Office: Let me be perfectly clear.

This system if implemented can assist in taking back the White House for Conservatives and Republicans and other Republican offices as well. The lefties can lose big and the righties can win big. We just need to come up with the financing.

Contact info for Steve Adler: yes, it’s on his website.



Mr. Adler is awaiting your call and will gladly arranged a demo.

The enemy of your enemy is your friend.

Posted in Press

The plan to turn Rhode Island red

Originally posted here
GOP strategist Ken McKay is quietly plotting a data-driven explosion of the state’s one-party rule

By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 12, 2011


The Rhode Island Republican Party’s reputation for ineptitude is, by any reasonable measure, richly deserved.

Sure, the party held the governor’s office for much of the last two decades. But no longer. Indeed, it doesn’t claim a single statewide post at the moment.

Its presence in the General Assembly has long been tiny. Its fundraising is anemic. And the GOP’s hapless image only compounds the problem — making it difficult to attract the money and solid candidates that could resurrect the brand.

“People don’t trust in the ability of the Republican Party to succeed,” says former Rhode Island Republican Party chairman Giovanni Cicione, “and that’s that.”

But listen closely and you’ll hear some hope, in conservative circles, for a more professional operation. Hope, even, for a revolution.

Kenneth McKay IV, the charismatic political strategist who ran Donald Carcieri’s successful gubernatorial campaigns and later served as chief of staff at the Republican National Committee, has come home to revive Rhode Island’s moribund GOP. And he’s got a plan.

It’s one part truth-telling; McKay, just a few months into his tenure as state party chairman, has developed a reputation for hyper-partisan bomb-throwing that makes even some in the local GOP blanche.

But the other part — the more consequential part — isn’t getting headlines; the chairman, with help from a wise-cracking computer geek holed up in the South County woods, is quietly plotting a data-driven explosion of Rhode Island’s one-party rule.

And if Republicans can pull it off — if they can turn one of the bluest states in the country red, or at least a deep shade of purple — the impact could be seismic, McKay suggests.

“I think we have the opportunity to do something really creative and shock people,” he says, sitting in the party’s modest basement headquarters at a Warwick strip mall.

“I think we are, in Rhode Island right now, involved in the future of conservative politics in America.”

That sort of grandiose pronouncement is typical for McKay. Indeed, his audacity is part of his appeal.

But it is offset by a blunt appreciation for reality; a self-deprecating, easy charm; an isn’t-this-fun appreciation for even the most lopsided of challenges.

We may not, in the end, win a single new seat in the General Assembly next fall, he says with a broad grin, but we’re sure as hell going to try.

The chairman, 44, was born in Providence, where his father managed the family business, McKay’s Furniture, founded in 1900.

When the store closed, the McKays moved south to help launch a new shop in North Kingstown, which had served as home base for much of the clan since the 1940s when Ken’s grandfather Kenneth McKay, Jr. converted the family’s fishing cottage into a permanent residence.

Ken’s dad soon left McKay’s Furniture to take a job as a sales representative for a furniture manufacturer, though. And the family moved around as his sales terrain shifted. Upstate New York. Massachusetts.

The McKays weren’t all that political, Ken says. But he counts long conversations with his grandfather and his grandfather’s best friend Les Flood, who recently died, as formative.

They talked about running the family business, he says, and how “you act as a man” — opening doors for people, smiling, working hard.

“From those guys, I picked up certain beliefs,” he says. “People are who they are; you’re not going to make things better by telling people how they should behave; you’re not going to make things better by giving people stuff for free.”

After high school, McKay served in the Army for three years and graduated from High Point University in North Carolina, returning to Rhode Island in 1991. He worked at the furniture store for a time before enrolling in Roger Williams University School of Law and taking a job at Taft & McSalley in Cranston.

In 2002, the firm’s owner Jim Taft introduced him to retired businessman Carcieri and the pair — political novices both — ran an out-of-nowhere gubernatorial campaign that scored an upset in the Republican primary and toppled a relatively weak Democratic nominee in Myrth York.

Curt Anderson, a political strategist with Alexandria, Virginia-based OnMessage, was the chief consultant on the Carcieri campaigns. He says McKay’s gift was for focusing on the big picture and the nuts and bolts at the same time — no small challenge in a Carcieri camp of political novices proferring “some really nutty ideas.”

The campaign manager, he adds, brought a sort of blue-collar, anti-elitist perspective to the job that works well in this state. “People come from outside Rhode Island and they think, ‘Oh, it’s Massachusetts,’ ” Anderson says. “Well, not really.”

A couple of years after McKay left the Carcieri Administration, where he served as chief of staff, Anderson asked if he would be interested in working with ascendant Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele.

When he took the job as Steele’s chief of staff just after President Obama’s inauguration, says McKay, the Republicans “were never going to win another election.

“One year later, we made the Democrats pay the ultimate price for their health care plan,” he says, scoring gubernatorial victories in New Jersey and Virginia and taking Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat in stunning fashion.

But McKay, who flew back to Rhode Island on the weekends to see his wife and three sons, is the first to say the local campaigns deserve more credit than Washington-based advisers for those victories. And the RNC’s record, during his tenure, was mixed.

The committee stumbled on fundraising. And Steele nearly unraveled amid a series of foot-in-mouth public statements and a too-heavy reliance on advisers from his native Maryland.

McKay won’t talk about his former boss, but friends say he had to spend an inordinate amount of time soothing party leaders and Republican donors worried about Steele’s leadership.

When an RNC staffer expensed a night out with young donors at a bondage-themed club in West Hollywood, creating a media storm, Steele sacrificed McKay — who, by all accounts, had no involvement with the matter. He was in North Kingstown pumping out his flooded house when he learned he had resigned.

It was a difficult moment. But McKay emerged with his reputation intact. And he seems genuinely fond of his time in Washington. “It was the best job I ever had,” he says. “It’s campaigning, and I love campaigning.”

But McKay’s campaign record, if strong, is not unblemished. During the governor’s first term, he took a leave from his chief of staff post to oversee the GOP’s midterm election operation. And the results were less than satisfactory.

The party took a few seats — not a failure by Rhode Island Republican Party standards, but hardly the General Assembly makeover that Carcieri needed to become a real force on Smith Hill.

The chief lesson of the campaign, McKay says: he relied too much on message, and not enough on grassroots organizing.

Now, as he gears up for another crack at Rhode Island’s Democratic power structure, he is focused squarely on the ground game. And that means sharpening the single most important organizing tool for any party: its voter file.

The file is a sprawling database of registered voters: their political leanings, voting histories — do they turn out for every Town Council election or just the quadrennial presidential contest? — and increasingly, their tastes in magazines and coffee shops.

Indeed, the data-mining explosion of the last decade or so has made the voter file an exponentially more sophisticated tool, allowing for specifically tailored messages for, say, mothers with sons in the military or voters who score seven or higher on a 1-to-10 scale of environmental consciousness.

George W. Bush’s file was considered the holy grail of American politics for years; a microtargeting monster. But Barack Obama and the Democrats surged ahead in the 2008 election.

Among the key figures in that surge: Steve Adler, a sharp-tongued Providence native, with no particular allegiance to the Democrats, who co-founded the Voter Activation Network (VAN) company in 2001 — running it out of his East Side basement until the electric bills for his 37 servers grew too large.

The strength of VAN’s signature product, VoteBuilder, is its open-source, bottom-up orientation: political candidates from City Council to Congress feed voter information gleaned from door-knocking and telephone surveys into an ever-expanding and constantly updated Democratic National Committee database that can be diced and deployed in all manner of clever ways.

Catalist, a private company headed by former Clinton aide Harold Ickes, has taken this decentralized approach to its logical conclusion: building its own voter file, layering on commercial data on magazine subscriptions and the like, and opening it up to a wide range of Democratic-friendly labor unions, environmental advocates, and pro-choice organizations — including some in Rhode Island — that keep buttressing it with new information.

One distinct advantage for Catalist: it is, as a private entity, not subject to the campaign finance restrictions that weigh on the Democratic National Committee and other official party organs.

Republicans, frantic to catch up, are weighing a Catalist-like entity of their own, Data Trust, which would take the Republican National Committee’s voter file, pile on commercial data, and swap voter information with increasingly powerful independent political committees like Karl Rove’s Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, better known as Crossroads GPS.

But Data Trust is hardly the only effort of its kind on the right. Billionaire conservative brothers David and Charles Koch are building their own list, known as Themis. And Adler, who sold his half of VAN in 2005 and retreated to his solar- and vegetable-oil-powered compound deep in the woods of Saunderstown (“I don’t play well with other children,” he says), is pushing a new, VoteBuilder-like product — rVotes — in conservative circles.

His slogan, playing on his history with VoteBuilder: “The best Campaign and Grass Roots software in the world for conservatives. Don’t believe us? Ask your opponent.

Among rVotes’ features: a tool that allows phone bank volunteers to log in from home and call a list of targeted voters similar to them in age or geography; a route-optimizer, available on handheld devices, that maps the most efficient walking path for door-knockers; and a patent-pending system that allows canvassers to jot down voter information on bar coded lists that can be instantly uploaded by scanner at campaign headquarters.

Adler approached the Republican National Committee in 2009 about adopting rVotes. But McKay, still in place as chief of staff, was “the only one smart enough to get it,” he says. Republican state party chairmen around the country turned him down, too. But he isn’t discouraged.

“They’re wrong, I’m right,” says Adler, who plans to build the system from the ground up in battleground states Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin — providing rVotes for free to lower-rung candidates, charging higher-profile candidates, and eventually forcing the Republican party apparatus to accept a system that, he insists, is far better than anything Data Trust or the Koch brothers will come up with.

That aggressive posture, though, will not be required in Adler’s home state; Rhode Island’s party chairman, unlike any of his colleagues nationwide, has bought into the new technology without reservation.



END GAMEMcKay, sitting before an elephant print in his small, stripped-down office, says he wants to “implement the first [conservative] open voter file” in the nation.

His goal: to identify 275,000 fiscally conservative voters by the 2012 election and get them to the polls.

The hurdles to this effort are many: the GOP does not have the army of union activists and progressive canvassers that Rhode Island Democrats can draw upon. And raising money remains a struggle. But it is not merely a question of money and manpower.

Undergirding McKay’s project is a true-believer’s conviction that the GOP is offering a better product than the Democrats — a vision for smaller government and lower taxes that will ultimately resonate with a majority of voters, even in a blue state like Rhode Island.

“This is about a conservative way of life for America versus a liberal way of life for America,” McKay says. “And if you boil it down to those arguments, we represent scores more voters than they do.”

But this, Democratic operatives say, is where McKay’s grand plan breaks down.

Rhode Islanders simply don’t buy into Republican positions on the core economic or social issues, they argue. And no amount of computer wizardry can erase that. “When you get right down to it,” says former Rhode Island Democratic Party chairman Bill Lynch, “there are some things you can’t disguise.”

Last year’s election seems a case in point: amid an historic Republican wave nationwide, the GOP made only modest gains in the General Assembly and failed to win a single Congressional or statewide office.

And that failure came with rVotes, McKay’s secret weapon, already partially deployed; Adler says roughly 70 Rhode Island GOP candidates, including all of those running for the top-tier offices, used the program last fall — even as the state party, itself, dithered.

But McKay says the voter file effort has only just begun. And Democrats, he argues, shouldn’t be so certain they have the voters on their side anymore.

Just look at the headlines, he says. Providence and Central Falls are in dire fiscal shape. And the pension system’s inadequacies are a source of considerable agita.

“I don’t know where they shop,” he says, of Democratic operatives, “but wherever I go, people are furious.”

Still, Bob Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association-Rhode Island teachers union and longtime political player, says he just doesn’t see some epochal shift in Rhode Island politics.

“Tough times bring folks together,” he says, recalling the conservative paroxysm that followed the state’s banking crisis in the early 1990s, “but it’s temporary.”

Rhode Island, he suggests, is still Rhode Island. And it’s not just the state’s values or ideology at issue here. As McKay himself acknowledges, breaking the bond between voter and Democratic incumbent in a state this small is a real challenge.

“In Rhode Island it’s tough,” he says. “We have these tiny districts and so people think, ‘Well, I know the guy.’ My position is if you know a person who is caucusing with [Senate President] Teresa Paiva Weed or [Speaker of the House] Gordon Fox, then they are not for you, no matter how close they are to you, no matter how many years you spent in grammar school together.”

That’s a tough sell — especially with Fox and Paiva Weed playing against the Democratic caricature, this year, and forgoing the large sales tax expansion that Governor Lincoln Chafee proposed.

But if a full-scale revolution seems unlikely next year, particularly with President Obama atop the ticket and Democrats expected to go to the polls in large numbers, tough times could mean real moments of opportunity — here and there — for a well-organized GOP.

Freshman Democratic Congressman David Cicilline, former mayor of Providence, is reeling in the face of that city’s fiscal meltdown and will be vulnerable when he seeks re-election next fall. And Governor Chafee, an independent, won a rather narrow victory in a four-way race last year and could hardly be considered a shoe-in come 2014.

If those races are close, as expected, route-optimized walking lists and a few hundred newly identified voters in the East Bay could make a difference.

Ken McKay’s voter file may not bag the General Assembly and turn Rhode Island politics upside down. But a Congressional seat and the governor’s office would be a nice little haul.

David Scharfenberg can be reached at dscharfenberg@phx.com.

Posted in Press

Rvotes, the rival to OFA/DNC VoteBuilder will be coming to Ohio

Originally published by Carol Greenberg in “Conservative Outlooks

June 10th, 2011


As I mentioned previously the nuke-bomb database interface system built by VAN (Voter Activation Network) is now for sale to Republicans. Steve Adler was one of two people who designed VoteBuilder which the DNC and OFA use for GOTV and all their other efforts and now he is making the same system available to Republicans and Conservatives.

It’s called Rvotes. Please read my previous article describing the system and the background.

And it will be coming to Ohio in a few short weeks. Virtually FREE for 99% of users in the state. And trust me. I have seen both the OFA and Rvotes database in operation and they are mirror images of each other and are stunning to behold.

And let me be perfectly clear. VoterVault and NationBuilder don’t hold a candle to this sytem.

In this huge battleground state which holds over 500,000 races every two years only the higher level candidates would be charged a nominal monthly fee to use the system. Tea Parties, candidates from mayor on down and other grass roots groups would be able to use the system at no charge.

However we have our work cut out for us. The success of the system depends on promoting it, getting trusted individuals in a core group trained (which can be done by Mr. Adler online) training others, getting volunteers and then using the system.

If this system eventually is put in place in at least the battleground states this can make or break the 2012 election for Republicans and Conservatives. At the initial roll-out for Ohio the only information the site will be populated with is the voter registration files. It will be up to the rest of us to populate it with email addresses and phone numbers.

Ideally it would go into every state in the country.

Mr. Adler will be working out details over the next few weeks however the two of us decided the sooner the word gets out and we get a “buzz” going about the system the better.

Anyone with suggestions as far as assistance on getting the word out, radio programs, blogging, groups whose email lists are not privileged, Tea Party groups,  would be most welcome and helpful.

With everyone’s help we can ensure an Obama defeat in 2012 and other Democrats across the country as well. Please tweet this and post on your FaceBook pages.



Related articles: Tough Love Time for Election 2012 and it ain’t pretty.

For the time being anyone with suggestions or please post them as a comment here. Thank you.

Crossposted at Unified Patriots


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