Markos, the creator of Daily Kos and the most influential blog owner, announced a new ‘policy’ that dramatically changes fundraising at Daily Kos. He and others are frustrated by the amount of mail received after making a campaign contribution.
Here’s Marko’s demand: “So here’s what I’m going to do — starting in December, I will NOT FUNDRAISE for any candidate who does not pledge to stop direct mail to people who contribute via ActBlue.”
It’s true that contributors, small and large, are the focus of any campaign. They will get more email and letters than those that don’t contribute. They are the campaign’s most valuable assets. The reality is that direct mail remains the most effective method of raising money. It is the also the only method of guaranteeing campaign communication. America, as a whole, does not live online.
Yet Markos now wants to use the Dkos popularity to blackmail campaigns into compliance with his new ‘policy’. He uses, as his leverage, his ability to deny a free and effective fundraising resource. The popularity of Dkos, he believes, gives him the ability to singlehandedly demand a national systemic change of campaign tactics simply because he demands it. Yet if they agree it would effectively handtie their campaign communication.
In an update he notes:
I’ve asked ActBlue to include an “opt out” check box in the contribution form. That way, individual donors can decide for themselves whether they want to receive snail mail correspondence.
In one moment he demands national systemic change in campaigns and the next he tries to enlist ActBlue in this effort that would handtie campaign communication. It isn’t a deliberate effort to hobble campaigns. Yet that remains the ultimate impact.
The new policy smacks of the spoiled little boy syndrome. “Play the game my way or I’ll go home with my ball and pout.” Apparently, he simply didn’t think through the ultimate impact of his demand for change.
Direct mail, by far, remains the most effective campaign fundraising method. It is expensive, not because of the consultant fee’s for direct mail fundraising services, but because of production costs and postage. Campaigns would gladly give up the direct mail format and expense if it could be replaced with another equally effective method of fundraising.
The underlying premise of the Markos demand is that campaign communication can be limited to email without any USPS direct mail. This presupposes that the rest of the nation lives online like many Netizens. That’s simply untrue.
Most Americans do not ‘live’ online. Those who do are still the minority. Even if they were the majority at 60%, for example, what about the remaining 40%? How does the campaign communicate with them?
This is also a disturbing use of website popularity being equated with individual ‘power‘. If the progressive left actively opposes powerbrokers in politics then how can they support one of their own attempting to act as the ultimate powerbroker?
As a longtime Kossack as BigDog04 I wonder: What’s next on the Markos list of powerbroker issues ?