Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Obama Juice on sale to local councillors

April 15th, 2009 · 6 Comments · Elections, Irish Politics, US Election 2008

On Friday night next in the City North Hotel more Obama juice arrives to be sold to Irish politicians. This appears to be a very watered down version being sold at an expensive price.

Recently local authority councillors received leaflets from a company based in Antrim called Performance Enhancement.

The company announced that it was hosting a seminar entitled ‘How to run a Campaign – The Democratic Party Way. ‘

The leaflet proclaimed that delegates would learn

• 5 rules of Effective Political Organizing

• How to target voters using Low Intensity and High Intensity voter Contact Strategies.

• Successful Strategies for targeting Women , Younger and Older Voters

• Canvassing ; Learn the ‘Cushion, Position, Close’ approach to dealing with voters. Setting and achieving canvassing goals

• Developing and implementing a Media Plan. Using Earned Media and Op Eds and letters columns.

• Phone banking. Does it work?

• How to run a Focus group on a shoestring budget

• Managing political volunteers

• Get Out The Vote. The 3 Rules of a GOTV strategy.

The person imparting the wisdom is ‘top’ Democratic Activist Marty Dunleavy.

Marty we are told is a veteran Campaign Consultant and Manager of many campaigns in over 40 States at local and national level and is a SuperDelegate to the Democratic National Convention by virtue of membership of the DNC’s  “ethnic coordinating committee. Marty may also have been in the White House on March 17 last.

He’s also been involved in the Northern Ireland Peace and Reconciliation work so that’s how he knows the ‘Irish Political System’. Marty was a former member of the New Haven board of Aldermen and thus he understands that ‘all politics is local’.

The seminar costs €210 and for that you get attendance on Friday evening and Saturday morning (finishes at 1 pm.) and a copy of  the Democratic Party Warbook ‘Campaign Strategy and Tactics’.

Mystery texts were also received last week by candidates and councillors asking them if they wanted to

‘Maximise your vote in election. Top Obama Consultant and US Democratic Party Strategist running Seminar Saturday 18th April’.

and giving an Irish mobile number. Ringing the number one is encouraged to leave a message and Michael Hanna from Performance Enhancement returns all calls from his Antrim office.  (I called and left a message and received a message to my voicemail but have not had contact since.)

I have not been able to find any record of Michael Hanna’s involvement in political strategy training before. There is no endorsement or co-operation advertised from any political party or academic institution.  Proceeds go to Concern Tanzania – now it does not say how much goes to Concern and how much to Marty and Performance Enhancement. PE seems to have experience in project management, lean manufacturing and collaborative networking whatever that may be. PE also have a Monaghan address according to the leaflet sent to councillors but there is no record of the company being currently registered with the Companies Registration Office.

So there we are, more rubbish about Obama being hawked around to Irish Politicians – at the lowest rank in the ladder of Irish politics who don’t need to know about phone banking or cushioning, positioning and closing. They are looking for Number Ones!

Their election depends on the actions of their party leader if they have one, whether they fixed a back door or got a medical card for someone, and if they have actually knocked on doors and made themselves known and got a bin waiver organised for Aunty Mary. How the political party you represent is viewed at moment of election is vital and if an independent the size of pot holes or imminent closure of hospital will of course direct the number of first preferences cast.

The election of a candidate in local elections is also influenced by the actions of the others on their ticket from the same party and if they get their vote in and if votes transfer down the ballot to candidates.  Getting your image with Party Leader into local paper (not Brian Cowen at moment) is important and making sure that press release on traffic lights being fixed is published is also of use – but funeral attendance may be more important still.  Membership of local soccer club/GAA/Church choir is of course an added bonus. And making sure there are cars and mini buses available on day to get the vote out is something which has happened in elections in Ireland for years. This includes runs to polling station for the secluded order of nuns in local convent.

So if you are a local councillor wishing to be re-elected I would think next Saturday morning would be more use canvassing at your local supermarket than attending this seminar on how the Democrats won the election. Only 51 days to go to election day – it’s a bit late (and probably completely irrelevant) to be going to this sort of thing!  You’ll also save yourself €210 to use for a whole load of leaflets and posters!

Now if you are a councillor attending this weekend and want to tell us about it and why you went please feel free to leave a comment!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tags: ··

6 Comments so far