Russo for President: Building a Serious Campaign Organization
by George Phillies (firstname.lastname@example.org), Senior Campaign Advisor, Russo for President
Running for President effectively requires a large, effective campaign organization. Russo for President is on its way to developing the organization that our Party deserves, and that the Russo Campaign needs.
The Russo Campaign has some of the best people in our Party as volunteers. More than 200 of them, in fact, as of yesterday. Steve Gordon, Russo’s campaign manager, is Alabama State Vice Chair; and, he has a long string of real world political wins under my belt. Adam Chamberlain is Volunteer Coordinator. Adam is tasked with getting Russo volunteer organizations up and running in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, by finding good State Coordinators and getting them support. We now have nearly 30 (the number keeps growing) State Coordinators.
Outreach is fundamental. The Senior Communications Manager is long-time Libertarian Activist Lance Brown. The Communications Director is William Mangieri, while Steve McAndrew is Communications Consultant. Internet Outreach is being expanded. Today the campaign has one web site http://www.russoforpresident.com. It expects soon to have another four, targeting different audiences and needs. Those of you who watched the Dean Campaign have seen what can be done with the net. Libertarians can do it better! State volunteers are already targeting regional libertarian email lists with news about our campaign. Usenet News Groups Coordinator Jerry Wilson is handling outreach to Libertarian News Groups. A crew of speechwriters, including Andreas Saint-Laurent and Joshua Buckman, are preparing news releases and press reports.
Internal communications are running at three levels. A Russo Volunteers site has moderated email, chat, file-handling, calendar, and other data facilities. Johnny Crawford of North Carolina is managing our Staff, State Coordinator, and Volunteer email lists. When the campaign grows, a single email list will be unworkable. Lance Brown has set up a multilayer web folders facility, so that persons working on each group activity can hear each other over all of the other active groups. Internal databases are handled by the indispensable Joe Furcinite.
Russo is traveling from convention to convention and event to event, speaking to Libertarians and urging them to support the Russo team. Commitment collection and fundraising is ably supported by our new General Consultant (and former candidate for Governor of Arizona, running the most successful Libertarian Campaign for Governor in Arizona history) Barry Hess. Campaign scheduling has just been transferred to a new Campaign Scheduler, Chris Bennet. You would all like to have the candidate in your hometown, but there is one candidate and a lot of hometowns. The candidate is ably supported at his home base by his Personal Assistant Max Hirshman press@RussoForPresident.com.
Money is the lifeblood of politics. The donation page on the web site is now up and stably running. The first campaign mailing, to 2400 long-time Libertarian activists spread across the country, went to the mailing house on February 27.The Campaign Treasurer is Nick Dunbar, who worked for years with our National Party.
The campaign has begun developing a staff of campaign advisors. The Senior Campaign Strategist is libertarian economist Bill Woolsey. John Slevin is Senior Campaign Advisor. Philip Heath is Student Outreach Coordinator. Libertarian Loretta Nall, founder of the USMJ Party and Pot-TV reporter, agreed to be Drug Policy Coordinator. She currently serves the same role in the Kucinich campaign. Science fiction author and gun rights advocate L. Neil Smith will be heading up the gun rights activities. Russo is in personal discussions with members of the von Mises Institute to strengthen the campaign position on economic policies.
The campaign is not ignoring issues. For example, George Bush has announced that he wants a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage, as what his church says it is. Log Cabin Republicans are being sent a message–their opinions are not welcome in the Party of Lincoln. Libertarians have a different perspective. The Russo Campaign and its friends have now registered the logcabinlibertarians.org/com/net URLs as outreach to liberty-leaning ex-Republicans, who are no longer welcome in their former Party.
This is a good beginning, but it’s only a beginning. Aaron Russo is dedicated to moving our Party to a new level. To do that, we need a strong party organization in every state, in every county, in every city and town, in every ward and precinct across America. To read more about the Libertarian campaign for President of Aaron Russo, go to http://www.russoforpresident.com.