Technology and Media Have Changed Modern Protesting Forever

 Let’s take a look at the current “How To” guides that modern protest groups from, DNC, GOP and University groups provide to their organizations. In the old days, you just showed up in front of a building and walked down the street, today, it is a very organized affair. Here are a few of the guide sheets:



There are many people now going to protests for the first time in their life, it is important to have a tab on the front page of the movement website to give those people helpful tips.

The How To Protest tab on a website should include:

How to make a 2 sided sign:

When you arrive at a protest, where to go, how to get oriented:

How to use your cell phone as a PA system when there are no permits:

A great packing list of things to bring:

How to make your cell phone last longer and become a tool:

How to social network from within the protest:

How to, and who should, talk to the media:

What is the common single sentence phrase to say when anybody asks “What is this about”?

What are our colors and visible icons:






Things you can do right now:

1. Tell everybody you know about this site: Email everybody in your email address book. Everybody!You can cut and paste this and send it to them. Do not spam!

“I just found this great web-based resource. Have you ever been really steamed about a consumer or political issue and felt like there was nothing you could do about it? Well, you can! Here is the place to start doing it.”

2. Send us your ideas for reform action to everyone you know.

3. Write a one page outline of your issue. Get a manila file folder and write the name of the issue on it. Put common information about the issue in the file folder. Put the folder where you can find it. It may sound dumb but the main reason for failure in most consumer action programs in disorganization.

4. Get the names of your closest reporters. Have you heard of six-degress-of-separation? Its down to 3-degrees with today’s communication resources. Find the 20 closest reporters to you and get ready to write them. First look in the yellow pages under Television Stations. Call each of the TV stations listed there and ask who the News Director is and his mailing address. Do the same after looking under Radio Stations and the same after looking under Newspapers. Put this in your file folder.

5. Book mark and go visit this other site at:  (there are about 100 action items for you there). Make sure there are links like this for your state or community. Work to set one up if there is not.

6. Write down your action and mail it to the reporters. Send no more than one single side piece of paper or they will think you are a “kook” or ignore it because they are VERY BUSY! We suggest using this format.

“There is an important consumer action issue you should be aware of . It affects many of your readers and viewers. It is….”

“The consumers affected by this are this many people in these locations….”

“My personal experience with this problem is…”

“To help you with your story you can find articles about this problem on the internet at….”

“Contacts and leads that may be helpful to you in this story are…”

Thank you for helping…”

7. Research your issue on the internet or in the library and print out or write down the resources you find. Put them in your file. Inform yourself.

8. You next need to make yourself privacy-hardened to prevent the “bad guys:” from using your information, selling your information or doing things you don’t approve of. In the digital world, your password is your first line of defense. Always use a password. Make it up from as many nonsense characters as possible so it will be hard for others to figure out. Change it often. Never write it down or give it to ANYONE, not even your girlfriend or husband. Never leave your computer logged in if you are not at the computer. Never let anybody watch you type your password. Make sure you read the privacy policy of any system that asks you to log in.  Assume anybody can read your email, chat postings or other data unless you use encryption like PGP for email. Know that anything posted on any network can be read and tracked for up to 20 years. Always use an alter ego when posting online.

9. Know the “bad guys”. They are never just a big corporate name or a political organization. They are people and you are in conflict with individuals. Find out who the CEO, CFO, Chief Legal Counsel, Each member of the Board of Directors and other top management are in the organization. You can look on Hoovers or other business or organization databases to find this out. You can email current and former employees or put postings on bulletin boards (Electronic or actual) asking the employees to contact you at your alias email. Then type each of the names of upper management into the top search engines and search the categories to find out their likes, dislikes, political involvement’s, etc. These INDIVIDUALS will make the decisions to help or hurt the consumer, they are accountable and they can be directed towards positive action. The “corporate shell” cannot be directed.

10. Make an organization chart of the bad guys organization. Put it in your file for future reference.

11. Check the accuracy of all questionable information you acquire in your research. Just like a reporter, try to get at least two separate confirmations of any information you uncover which could expose anti-consumer activities of the bad guys.

12. Share the information. Know who will care and who will help you. In other words: reform works best when increasingly larger groups of people gain access to the information. Look around your community and write down lists of all of the locations where large groups of people gather or go to and fro from, IE: Malls, schools, Universities, Museums, Bus stops, Train depots, Grocery Stores, Concerts, Special Events, etc. also list all of the things that people already interact with in large numbers, IE: TV, Radio, The Internet, Newspapers, Bulletin boards, Highways, Public Parks, City Streets, Highly visible structures, Freeways, Buses, etc. Keep this information in your file folder. You will learn to use it later.

13. Understand investigative journalism. Get a copy of: “Raising Hell, How the Center For Investigative Reporting Gets the Story” by David Weir & Dan Noyes, ISBN # 0-201-10858-5. The suggested readings appendix in this book is invaluable.

14. Write your Representative.    Type their name into Google or Yahoo and read their website.

15. Write your Senator.    Type their name into Google or Yahoo and read their website.

16. Seek out everybody else who has a common-interest in achieving the same result as you. Create a mailing list so you can all keep in touch or find a bulletin board where you can all share ideas. Post your search for these people on all sites and locations where these people might frequent.

17. Create a website about your cause. You can get a free website and web creation kit at or type FREE WEBSITES into any search engine.

18. Ask 10 people around you to do something specific to support your action. Ask them to ask 10 people to do the same thing and so on. This Consumer Action Tree is one of the most powerful systems for reform.You need to keep checking on the tree, though, incrementally, to make sure it is still realying outwards.

Campaign Plan Example

This is the campaign plan used in Steve Grubbs’ first race for the Iowa State House.  The voter registration was 38% Democrat, 24% Republican and 28% No Party voters.  Jim Lykam was a Democrat incumbent.   Steve was a 25-year-old Republican law student.  Generally, the district is more blue-collar with a significant voting bloc of retirees.

Steve’s challenge was to develop a plan that would win the Republican base, gain 60% of the No Party voters and pull in 20% of the Democrats.

On election night, Steve won with 50.3% of the vote. 


  1. District Background
    1. Past Elections
    2. The Incumbent
  2. Candidate Background
  3. Race Analysis
    1. Candidates Strengths’
    2. Candidates Weaknesses
    3. Analysis
  4. Strategy
  5. Voter Persuasion
    1. Pure Name ID Establishment
    2. Earned Media
    3. Paid Media
    4. Personal Voter Contact
    5. Republicans
    6. Independents
    7. Democrats
    8. Coalitions
  6. Organization
    1. Off-Year
      1. Working Group
      2. Finance Committee
      3. Steering Committee
    2. Election Year
      1. Precinct Working Group
      2. Issue Working Group
  7. Opposition Research
  8. Polling
  9. Mailings 
  10. Volunteer Recruitment
  11. Campaign Finance
    1. Individual Fundraising
      1. Direct Mail
        1. Family and Friends
        2. Republican Regulars – Scott County
          – State Wide
        3. Republican Party Members
        4. Democrats and Independents
        5. Fraternity Affiliation
      2. Events
        1. Large Donors
        2. Small Donors
        3. Other

B.  PAC Fundraising

C.  Republican Affiliated Organizations


          1. Absentee Ballots
          2. Election Day




Iowa State House District 58 encompasses western Davenport, rural Blue Grass and rural Walcott. While largely a middle class district, it is still diverse with farmers in rural Blue Grass and Walcott, blue-collar, working men and women in the southern end of the district, and some professional neighborhoods in the northern end.

The district can be considered a “conservative Democrat” district. Republicans have historically done well despite being at a big advantage to the Democrats with registration figures.

Registration figures as of 8/11/88.







1988 Statistics

Jim Lykam (D) – 6,448 (56.51%)
Mike VanCamp (R) – 4,995 (43.5%)


1986 Statistics

Pat Holmes (D)= 3,049 (42%)
Mike VanCamp (R) = 4,205 (58%)


1984 Statistics

Roland Caldwell (D) – 5,511 (44.7%)
Mike VanCamp (R) = 6,838 (55.3%)


1982 Statistics

Grant Davis (D) = 4,027 (47.9%)
Mike VanCamp (R) = 4,369 (52.1%)


Past Republican Strengths and Weaknesses

Bush ’88 = 44.2%
Leach ’88 = 58.7%
Grassley ’86 = 66.3%
Leach ’86 = 69.4%
Branstad ’86 = 52.8%
Roberts ’86 = 47.5%
Reagan ’84 = 52.0%
Jepsen ’84 = 43.8%
Leach ’84 = 65.7%
Branstad ’82 = 50.2%
Johnson ’82 = 51.0%
Baringer ’82 = 42.0%



Jim Lykam (D)

Representative Lykam is currently serving his first term in the Iowa House. He has been assigned to the Economic Development, Labor and Industrial Relations, Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Committees, and the Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Claims. Jim grew up in Davenport and graduated from West High School.  He attended Palmer Junior College and graduated with an Associate Degree in business. He is currently Sales Manager for Action Glass, Incorporated. In the early ’80’s he owned a need car lot. It subsequently went out of business. Jim holds membership in the Moose Lodge, Scottish Rite Masons, Masonic Lodge, and the Eagles. He and his wife, Barb, have one son and live at 2906 W. 35th St., Davenport. (52806).



Steve Grubbs (R)

Born In 1964 and raised on Ricker Hill in West, Davenport, Attended H.M. Perry Elementary School, Frank L. Smart Junior High School and graduated with honors from Davenport West High School.

Graduated with a degree in finance from the University of Iowa, and served as President of the University of Iowa Student Senate.

Formerly Research Director for Congressman Tauke.

Law student at the University of Iowa during the campaign.

Married to the former Kelli Jacque of Denver, Iowa on May 21, 1988.  She is a graduate of the University of Iowa Law School.

Steve’s Father has been a teacher at Frank L. Smart Junior High in west Davenport since 1970.

Steve’s Mother is a nurse by profession, but now works in property management and actively works with the challenges of the homeless.


Republican Activities

Research Director, Tauke for Senate

Research and Polling, Tauke for Congress
Organization Staff, Dole for President

Campaign Manager, Joyce Grubbs for City Council
University of Iowa Campus Coordinator, Dole for President

Volunteer, McIntee for Congress

Delegate, 1984 Republican State Convention
Caucus chair, 1984 Republican caucus
Vice President, University of Iowa College Republicans
Chairman, Scott County Youth For Jepsen



A. Candidates Strengths’

1. Strong speaking and debating skills.

2. Grew up and went to school in the most Democratic end of the district.

3. Enthusiastic and willing to work hard.

4. Will have six months, free from any other responsibilities, to campaign.

5. An intelligent and articulate wife.

6. Socioeconomic background fits the district well.

7. Extensive campaign experience.

8. Good grasp of the issues.

9. No record to attack.

B. Candidates weaknesses

1. Could be perceived as too young.

2. No established Davenport career.

3. Lack of civic involvement in the area.

4. Lived in Iowa City for the last five years.

5. No record to run on.

While Democrats have a registration edge over Republicans, the district is still fairly favorable to Republican candidates.  My strength lies in the fact that my background and views are those that should have some appeal for the conservative Democrat.  My father, Herman Grubbs, has been a teacher in the west end of Davenport for twenty years and, therefore, has established a strong presence in the area.  My mother, Joyce Grubbs, is well known for her work with the homeless and in the mental health field.  This combination of a teacher and a nurse for parents as a middle class family reflects the working class values of the southwest end of Davenport (which is the most Democratic end).

Jim Lykam may also reflect that simple background but does not have the type of personality to carry a campaign on his own. He seems to be a quiet person who is satisfied playing second fiddle to Bob Arnold and Tom Fey.  While he won the seat by convincing voters to vote against Mike VanCamp, he will find it more difficult to give voters a reason to vote for him.

1990 will be an off-year election with lower voter turnout. This makes organization and voter participation crucial aspects of this particular election; however, the lower voter turnout will help a Republican candidate in a Democratic-leaning district. This theory has proven itself repeatedly in this district, and this is where no commitments for six months and campaign experience will pay off.



The strategy of the campaign will be:

  1. Increase the number of Republicans voting by expanding the base through voter registration

2.    Turnout a high number of Republicans through an aggressive absentee ballot and GOTV program.

3.    Persuade, then ID, independents and targeted Democrats,


There are enough votes to form a majority among Republicans and conservative I’s and D’s. We obviously need to turn out as many Republicans as possible- that can be done through effective registration and turnout. In addition, we must mobilize the independents behind this candidacy through personal contact and targeting the right issues. Finally, there are some Democrats that can be peeled away. Those Democrats that we choose to target should receive the same attention that independents receive.



A. Pure name i.d.
B. Earned Media.
C. Paid Media
D. Personal Contact
E. Republican Specific
F. Independent Specific
G. Democrat Specific
H. Coalitions



Assuming the candidate begins with near zero name identification, it is important to first establish name l.D. There is a distinction within this campaign between method B that exclusively establish name i.d. (pure name i.d. techniques) and those that establish name i.d. while educating voters about the candidate. Pure name i.d. will be discussed first.



a. Yard Signs. These should be used during the primary. Yard signs should seem to spring up almost over night, like mushrooms in a field, instead of setting them up over an extended period of time. This does a better job of catching the attention of people and it also creates a feeling of momentum.

Finally, while yard sign lists of past campaigns will be used, those streets that are particularly advantageous will be canvassed by asking everyone on the street if their yard might be tied. In doing this, we can have a list ready by the weekend that yard again should go up create momentum through yard signs.


b. Notepads. Shortly before the primary, a district-wide literature drop will leave campaign notepads and the appropriate educational pamphlets at the doors of all voters, including Democrats and Independents. Notepads are particularly effective since they will sit by the voter phone and establish name i.d. during the summer months.



a. Football Programs.   West High School and North High School will have several home games a week during September and October. The thousands of fans on the home side should be handed a football program, complete with team pictures, team history and other positive and enjoyable reading; however, on the back, will be a profile of the candidate with picture, biographical data, and some brief quotes.

b. Notepads. These will be based again in a similar fashion during September to keep the name by the phone and in the mind.

c. Yard Signs. Should “spring” up “everywhere” on opening weekend.



Press releases to the QC Times and all broadcast media should be used for:

1) All campaign events, including the announcement.

2) Explanation of the three issue areas that the campaign will concentrate on, similar to the Bush campaign’s “issue of the week”.

3) In August, a challenge for a series of debates.

For radio stations, the candidate should call all stations, after they have received the press release in the mail, to offer comments and a recorded actuality.



The paid media techniques that will be used are:  Radio, newspaper tabloids, literature, direct mail and audio tapes. While most of these will be used to convey general themes to the public, direct mail and audio tapes will be used to target specific party members and interest groups.

1. Radio. Since this medium is easily used in targeting, the general campaign themes will be modified to appeal to the target audience.

To preempt the October and November campaign clutter, radio will be used extensively during the month of September. It should be maintained as much as is financially possible through November.

It should also be used extensively in the last five days with the final message push.

2. Tabloids. Three tabloids will be distributed during the campaign. The first will be an introduction piece on the candidate and the themes of the campaign. This literature will be distributed during the primary and again in September in door-to-door efforts by volunteers.

The second piece will be a comparison piece between the two candidates. It compares biographical data and issues and should be distributed the weekend before the election.

3. Literature. Literature should be kept simple and appealing to the eye. It should not be bogged down with too much writing, etc. Preferably, literature should be developed for the targets-interest groups. An effort should also be made to get the union bug.



Despite the fact that that this is the “D” subpoint, I believe that the campaign will be won or lost an personal contact between the voter and the candidate. This will be done largely through door knocking, postcards and phone calls.

1. Primary. It is likely that the candidate will have about four weeks between the time school lets out and the primary. This creates a challenge in contacting each Republican. This is the most important time in organization building, and it must be used well. Therefore, the strategy will be to take a walking list of Republicans each day and begin knocking on doors around 10 A.M. For those that are not home, a piece of literature will be left on their door. The piece of literature will have a short note written on it. For those that are home, they will get the brief spiel, and then be asked if they would like to help with the campaign. If they say “yes,” then they will be asked if they would allow a yard sign in their yard. If they say “no” to volunteering, then they will be asked if they would at least allow a yard sign for the campaign.

Assuming that most voters will not be home during the day, the night will be used to phone those people and make the personal contacts. After nine P.M., post cards will be written to those that I spoke with during the day or on the phone at night.


2. General. Shortly after the primary, door knocking, phone calling and post carding will begin on the district over all. While this may be ambitious, the entire district should be knocked during the summer and then again in the fall using the same strategy as in the spring. However, after the primary, all homes should be targeted for the election. This includes Democrats and unregistered homes.

During the second time during the fall, it would be preferable to schedule surrogates to knock on one side of the street while the candidate knocks on the other side of the street.



Outside of door knocking, Republicans will receive one mailing during the spring from the candidate or from a notable Republican with an endorsement. If there is a primary more mailings may be necessary.

In September, Republicans will receive a mailing encouraging registration, absentee voting, and participation in the campaign. This group will receive a second mailing in October, which will be designed to draw contrasts between the incumbent and the challenger. These contrasts should be used to shore up the traditional Republican base. Finally, one week before the election, they will receive a letter pounding home an issue that will motivate voters to go to the polls on the following Tuesday This direct mail piece should be coordinated with the other mailings and the radio spots.




Precinct targeting was ranked by determining the number of potential persuadables, or ticket-splitters, and the total number of votes possible in each precinct. Therefore, for purpose of resource allocation, the house district precincts are ordered with those that have the greatest vote potential first and those with the least vote potential last.

DV21 1 6
DV71 1 6
DV23 3 16
DV14 4 21
DV12 5 22
DV83 6 25
DV82 7 28
HGHG 8 31
BGBG 9 33

While each precinct is important and will receive equal attention from the campaign, if a situation arises where there is a limited amount of resources, be they mail or candidate time, then this precinct targeting information may be used as a guide in decision making.


Two types of opposition research will occur. First, 911 news clips from the Des Moines Register, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and the QC Times will be read and filed into hanging files. This will give an easy system with which to access articles and quotes.

Secondly, Republicans in the legislature will keep track of Lykam’s committee votes. These can be read and filed. Finally, the state party tries to produce a book each year with every public vote cast, and what that vote means.


1. 1988 Campaign Finance.

Jim Lykam received the preponderance of his campaign funds from five sources: PAC’s, Democrats and the Democratic Party, individuals, and businesses.

PACS 4,975 36.7%
Dems 4,582 33.8%
Individuals 1,740 12.8%
Businesses 290 2.1%
Miscellaneous 1,966 14.5%
Total 13,553



PAC’s: His special interest money comes largely from labor and union groups. He either did not make the effort or was unable to expand his base much past a narrow group of PAC’s.

Allied Brick and Glass Workers #105 300.00
Bridge and Ornamental Iron Workers 300.00
Construction Industry of PAC 250.00
DRIVE 1200.00
Electrical Workers 300.00
Great River Uni-Serv Unit 350.00
H.E.L.P. 500.00
Iowa COPE AFL-CIO 150.00
Iowa Nurses Association 25.00
Iowa State Council of Machinists 50.00
Iowa State Education Association 400.00
Iowa State IBEW 50.00
Iowa State UAW 500.00
Manufacturing Housing 100.00
Mil Right Local 100.00
Painters Local Union 300.00




DEMOCRAT RELATED: Mike VanCamp was obviously targeted for defeat. The Democrats were very generous in helping a campaign that, otherwise, had fairly poor fundraising abilities,

Committee to Reelect Bob Arnould 1750.00
Committee for Tom Fey 862.00
Other Democratic Candidates 720.00
Iowa Democratic Party 1250.00


INDIVIDUALS: Perhaps the best news is that Jim Lykam had relatively few contributors. This tells me that he does not necessarily have a strong foothold in the district. In other words, there are only 71 contributors. Of that, number fourteen lived out of the district.

BUSINESSES: Jim Lykam received several checks from used car Businessman that he apparently became acquainted with while he was in the business.

MISCELLANEOUS: This includes in-kind donations, fish bowls, etc.

VIII. Polling:

One poll will be taken in the campaign for which we will be able to determine two things. First, it will be helpful to know which issues are most important and where the citizens of the district fall on those issues. Hopefully we will be able to do cross-tabs so that we can determine some differences between age groups and socioeconomic groups.


1) Direct mail should be as personalized as possible. For a state representative campaign that means, in most cases, hand addressed envelopes.

2) Direct mail should stand out. This may mean colored envelopes, extra large envelopes, or letters that resemble “rush” packages. The key is to get people to open their mail and read the letter or literature.

3) The targeted audience should receive many mailings in a short period of time. This is to penetrate the clatter of information that people receive. For our campaign, that means reaching the swayable Democrats and Independents five times and the Republicans three times. We may want to target those Republicans that voted in 1988, but didn’t vote in 1986 with an extra mailing and added emphasis.


Volunteers are key to a successful campaign for three reasons:

1) The work they do reduces the amount of money a campaign must spend.

2) People that are involved in a campaign feel they have something personal at stake. Thus, it follows that they will do more to see that the candidate wins.

3) Finally, this campaign plan is ambitious and will require a lot of human work hours to poll it off.

Recruiting quality volunteers is never as easy as it seems, and therefore, a plan must be laid out to attract volunteers. The second key is to have them recruited and involved before the fall so that valuable campaign time is not wasted finding volunteers. With that in mind, here are some ideas to recruit.

1) Have volunteer signup cards available at every Republican event and in mailings done to Republicans.

2) Take out small ads in high school newspapers within the district.

3) Oftentimes, the Republican Women’s’ organization have women that are willing to invest their time.

4) Encourage committee members to invite friends,

5) Recruit volunteers on a door-to-door basis.

6) Senior groups are a good resource for this, particularly if two mornings are set aside a week for campaign volunteering. Many seniors enjoy a place to socialize and they like something that is regular.


The philosophy behind raising funds for this campaign will be to get contributions from as many people in the district as possible, no matter how small.  Secondly to raise enough money to meet the budget, and finally, to do it in a way that will not be detrimental to a re-election effort.



1. Direct Mail

All direct mail appeals should have the usual BRE, reply piece and pitch. In addition, it should also be hand addressed in all cases, and should be done creatively and in ways that will get noticed.

Campaign should consider using LC as a mail house.


a. Family and Friends

January, 1990

Goal = $1,000

b. Republican Regulars

– Scott County
Hay and September 1990
Goal = $2,000 and $3,000 respectively

– Statewide
August, 1990
Goal $1,000

c. Republican Party Members

September, 1990 (small dollar)
Goal = $800

d. Democratic and Independent Supporters

Late October, 1990 ($10 dollar club after ID’d as supporter)
Goal – $500

e. Fraternity

– University of Iowa
March 1990
Goal – $800

– Nationally
September 1990
Goal = $1,000


2. Events

a. Large Donors

We should strive to have three breakfasts in the spring for large donors. Three convenient dates would be chosen, and a pool of individuals would be encouraged by a host committee, or other influential individuals, to attend one of the three breakfasts. The breakfast should be Dutch treat (?) and one of our hosts should give a pitch for a $100 donation.

Republican businessmen in Linn County raised money this way and were able to bring in $42,000 for Legislative candidates in the 1988 races.  In fact, this small group of businessmen, created the 10th largest PAC in the state.

Goal = $6,000

b. Small Donors

A barbecue in the city and in the rural area would be helpful for the volunteer and small donor base. These can be done in the summer months preceding the election.

Goal = $1,000

c. “Taste of India”

An event with my grandfather, Paones, and the Reddy’s as the principal hosts and organizers.

Goal = $1,500

d. Cedar Rapids

A $25/couple event can be held with Audrey Hosford, Leta Shepard and Mary Lundby helping.

Goal = $500

e. Des Moines

The State Party has set up DM events for some candidates.

Goal = $500

f. Iowa City

Gary Reed and the Danes might help out with this event.

Goal =- $500


B. PACS…..GOAL = $4,000

PAC fundraising is never easy for a challenger, but $4,000 is a reasonable goal. During this off year, research should be done on the PACs that are major contributors. Issues of concern and local members should be documented if possible. In the spring, an introductory letter should be sent, followed up by a visit. A pitch for help should be made either during the visit or through a follow-up letter. Additionally, supporters that are members of groups that have PAC should be asked to make recommendations to the PAC representative. At the very least this may dampen enthusiasm for the opposition, or keep the PAC out of it altogether. At the very best, we may be able to get joint or solo support from many of the PACs.



While it may appear that the CM has few specific responsibilities, it should be clear that this position requires a good manager of people. This position will probably take two to three hours a day once the campaign season opens in the fall. The CM will be responsible for the following:

Scheduling of the candidate. Any requests far the appearance of the candidate should go through the campaign manager. The CM will then try to fit it into the schedule.

Coordination of campaign divisions. The CM should coordinate those individuals that are in charge of a portion of the campaign.

Finally, the CM may speak for the campaign to the media when it is advantageous and/or when the candidate is not available.



FD is also a position that will require significant members, we should be able to hold a fundraiser in Des Moines and raise a good amount of money in the spring. 

Additionally, Jim Lightfoot is raising money for legislative candidates around the state. Scott Matter is the director of this PAC and will be helpful to our campaign. 

The FD will not be expected to do any of the financial disclosure report. That will be done by the treasurer. The FD is simply required to see that any fundraising is done within the rules.



The OD will also require a significant time commitment. The OD is largely in charge of three areas: (1) Volunteer recruitment, coordination and organization building, (2) Yard signs and (3) district wide literature drops. 

Volunteer recruitment will be done by the methods outlined in the section earlier in the plan. The candidate has a great deal of this burden as he goes door to door, but there are some ads and mailings that will also contribute; however, recruitment is only the first step since volunteers must then be called and coordinated when an activity is coming up. Much of this will consist of giving the division coordinator the list of people that want to volunteer and letting him or her make the calls. Organization building consists of taking those volunteers that want to get involved on a day-to-day basis, and plugging them in as precinct chairs, block chairs, or in another area of the campaign that seems to be lacking at the time. The OD will have to make many decisions on how to allocate our scarce human resources. The OD should make a war chart to track the progress of organization building.

Yard signs will be invaluable in the spring when the candidate is still in school. This job should be done specifically to the plan described earlier.   Yard signs are key in establishing name identification and creating momentum. 

Finally, district wide literature drops should be coordinated. These are the activities the organization at the block and precinct level should do. In the spring OD may not have an organization in place. In that case, we will simply pull together thirty volunteers and do a district sweep. 

As you can see, the OD has yard signs and literature drops because they coordinate very smoothly with the organization that should be built. Even more than this, the OD has the responsibility to get as many people involved in the campaign as possible, no matter how trivial the task. I firmly believe that campaigns can be won by word of mouth by people that have done a small thing for a campaign and now have at least a small stake in the outcome of the election. Congressman Tauke has always built extensive campaign organizations and has been successful, in part, because of them.



The PR has three areas under her (this will probably be Kelli, since she has been trained in this area). They are press and media activities, radio production and buys, and football game fliers. 


The MC has a large job. There will be tens of thousands of letters sent to voters in the campaign and the MC is responsible for seeing that most of it is hand addressed and sent out on time, 

The MC will work closely with the FD to get out fundraising letters and will work closely with the OD to get the volunteers to do the mailings. In addition, the MC will become familiar with the computer database that will have the voter lists, volunteer lists and contributor lists on it. 

This position will require the greatest commitment in September and the first three weeks of October. Most of the big mailings will be sent out in that time period. However, addressing can begin in July and run straight through to September and October.

Finally, the MC will also work with the state party since they can mail to Republicans at a lesser rate than the campaign can.



The TC will be coordinating a program that has never (to my knowledge) been done before. It is a highly targeted program toward undecided Independents and Democrats in the closing days of the campaign. The reason for the different program is to penetrate the clutter, which will be created by the Senate and Gubernatorial races.

If the candidates for those two offices raise and spend what they say they are going to, it will be virtually impossible to break through the media barrage in the last few days.  Radio, television and mail will be flooded with millions of dollars worth of propaganda. It becomes almost impossible for the small candidate to break through in the last few days of a political climate like that. However door-to-door will always break through, and hopefully, this audio tape cassette will also. 

The idea is to identify undecided Independents and Democrats and then target them with a tape from the campaign. The tape would probably be wrapped in a piece of paper that says a “Don’t walk into that voting booth until you listen to this 7-minute tape.” Seven minutes will be emphasized to encourage voters to listen.  The tape might contain a speech from the candidate and perhaps an endorsement from Congressman Leach or Senator Grassley.

The PC is responsible to see that the tape is produced, mass copied, and hand delivered to every undecided voter. 



The PC does exactly what the name indicates – coordinates campaign phoning. There are four times when phoning will be important.

During the primary the PC will organize people to call Republicans and encourage them to vote for Steve Grubbs.

In June, the PC will organize phones for two nights to conduct a phone survey in the district. 

In early October is the most challenging task. The campaign will attempt to coordinate the calling of every independent and targeted Democrat household in the district. The undecideds will be given to the TC and MC for their targeting programs. The supporters will be given to the Turnout coordinator to see that they vote and the non-supporters will be purged from the database.

Finally, the PC should organize phoners for the weekend before and the night before the election to encourage undecideds. 



The TC has three times of importance. They are obviously the times right before the primary and general election.  In addition to those times, the TC mast also see that the Absentee voters are turned out and voting for the right candidate. 

Since the only success the state party had in the last election was with absentee ballots we can assume they will again do a mailing to Republicans to see if they want an absentee ballot. Our campaign must follow this up to senior voters and, perhaps, younger voters with a phone call to remind them and offer assistance in absentee voting. The TC must also, on a semi-daily basis, get a list from the auditor of those people that have requested absentee ballots. That list should go to the candidate so that he can visit with these people over the phone or in person before they vote. They should then be taken off the turnout lists for the general election.

The TO will also be in charge of the personal post-carding program. This has proved successful in other Scott County races.

It consists of having campaign volunteers identify those on the undecided or supporter list and send them a postcard encouraging them to vote for the candidate.

Turnout for the general election will consist of seeing that supporters are called the week before, offered a ride, and reminded to vote. Therefore a ride program will also root with the TC. On Election day we will count on the county party to call Republicans while our campaign will do two things. First, we will see that absolutely all ten polling places have sitters every minute of the day. Second, we will call the independent support era and remind them to get out and vote.



The candidate should spend most of his time on personal voter contact like door knocking, phone calling and writing post cards.

At the same time the CD will also be speaking at campaign events and raising money. 

Finally, the candidate will spend a significant portion of time helping to coordinate the campaign. 



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Writing your Campaign Plan
and Determining the Strategy
That Will Guide Your Campaign.



One of the most difficult challenges for first time candidates is writing the campaign plan and trying to envision the big picture for what has to happen in a campaign. A campaign plan is critical because it helps you to formulate a strategy and decide what you will need to be successful. Choose key people, create a timeline, and, perhaps, most importantly, create a budget so you don’t spend your money too soon. One other benefit is that you are more likely to gain a contribution from a large giver if you sit down with them and give them a campaign plan that is well thought out. As an underdog, my campaign plan helped me raise about $6,000 from large givers and political action committees by showing them that I was a legitimate candidate.

One thing that may help you in creating a campaign plan is to look at it as a series of questions. Conclusively, I have written some questions and comments on the following pages to assist in writing and/or revising your campaign plan. Please read through the questions and see if you are adequately prepared to tackle your upcoming campaign.



1. What are the voter registration numbers for your district?

2, How many Democrats, Republicans and Independents vote in a Presidential election?

3. What is the past voting history of your district?

–  You won’t be able to get an accurate voting history for legislative races since redistricting most probably means that your current district probably was part of two or more previous districts. However, you should know how high profile races (Presidential, U.S. Senator, Governor) and low profile races (State Treasurer, State Auditor) have done in your district

 4. What are the age demographics in your district?

-Knowing how many people are registered to vote in certain age categories will help you a great deal with strategy and issues. How many registered voters are 18-24 (environment, tuition), 25-44 (education, family issues, crime, tax increases) 45-55 (Property taxes. College tuition, retirement issues, welfare abuse), 60 + (Property taxes, property taxes property taxes and traditional values).

5. What are the social demographics of the respective precincts in your district?

– You should try and classify each precinct as a certain type of person. This can be a difficult thing to do with some precincts, but is relatively easy with most. This, too, is very important for issue and strategy development. Think among some of these categories: rural/agricultural (property taxes, farm Issues), blue collar/working families (crime, property taxes, welfare abuse, little more pro-life, job creation), country club/business (income taxes, property taxes, economic development, little more pro-choice, education) middle class/ young families (education, crime, some environment and taxes), small town (health of small towns and its institutions, education, school consolidation)



  1. What is the background of your opponent (education, jobs, place of birth, places lived)?
  2. If incumbent, what are the committees served on?
  3. If incumbent, what are the key votes cast?

– The state Party and I will be helping you with this.

  1. What are the stands of your opponent on key issues?

– This is different than key votes since we don’t have clear votes on most of the key issues

  1. If incumbent, how high is the absentee rate for voting?
  2. If incumbent, do they have a home in the District, or a home in the capitol?



  1. What are your political and personal strengths in light of the district and the upcoming election race?

-It’s a very good idea to list these and to know them so you can emphasize them throughout your campaign.


  1. What are your political and personal weaknesses in light of the district and the upcoming election race?

– This is sometimes an uncomfortable thing to do, but it is important to be honest with yourself and your close advisors. I guarantee that people will probably find out your weakness anyway from your opponent. If you deal with it early you can prepare for any attacks, or if necessary, cast a favorable light on it.

  1. What is your background (include political campaigns, education, jobs, awards won, other recognition, memberships, etc)?


  1. What is your plan to raise name identification?
  2. How many yard signs will be necessary to blanket your district?
  3. Will you use large wooden signs, small paper signs, or a combination of both?
  4. Will you put up signs in the primary (whether or not you have a primary opponent)?
  5. When will you put up your signs during the primary and general election?

– This is a trickier question than one might at first think.  4×4 wooden signs driven into the ground by metal stakes should probably go up as early as possible in the campaign, which is about 45 days out. The smaller paper signs are not usually durable enough to endure 45 days of weather, and in addition, get stolen by kids and opponents (more frequently depending on where you live).

  1. What information is absolutely necessary to put on your yard sign?–   Too often, candidates try to put too much information on their yard signs. Generally, people only look at yard signs for a split second as they are driving and don’t see much more than the name. Unfortunately, I have known many starting candidates who believed that the yard sign was the appropriate place to educate voters as to first name, middle initial, last name, nickname, office being sought, district number, party affiliation, and who knows what else. The key is to have your last name as big as possible, use upper and lower case letters and keep other information to a minimum.
  2. How are you going to develop your yard sign lists?

– This can be done in several ways. First, contact all friends and relatives that live in your district or near your district on main roads. Second, check with other candidates in the area for their yard sign lists. Third, distribute volunteer cards at all of your events, and Republican events, to gain yard sign locations. Fourth, do a mailing with a volunteer card, to all Republicans that voted in the ’90 election, or the last school board election.

  1. What other mediums will you use to establish your name identification?– Some other mediums may be notepads, football programs, billboards, newspaper ads, radio ads, literature, tabloids, etc*
  2. Should you use bumper stickers?-Most candidates assume that if they’re running for public office then they have to order 500 bumper stickers. I would caution you to consider this very carefully. Weigh the cost of bumper stickers against how you could use that money in radio, an additional mailing, etc. The reason is because it is very difficult to get enough people to put your bumper sticker on their car to make much of an impact. I know. I’ve worked with a least ten different campaigns that wasted $200 on bumper stickers that eventually were left sitting in some guy’s drawer waiting to be thrown away someday; I have also worked with some campaigns that have used them successfully. It all depends on how well you can distribute them, how much time you have before the election, and how willing your supporters are to put them on their cars (There appears to be a strong correlation between the high value of a car and an unwillingness to put a bumper sticker on).

    However, it you do decide to use bumper stickers, consider these rules of thumb: 1) don’t spend over 25 cents a piece on your bumper stickers, 2) follow the 15 foot rule: It your last name can’t be read clearly from 15 feet away, your bumper stickers are a waste, 2) The larger the bumper sticker, the more resistance there will be to putting it on a car (so order a sticker large enough for your last name, but leave off most of the other Information). 4 ) Order the vinyl type that come off easy if you want to encourage people to put it on their car. 5) Whenever possible, have your volunteers place the sticker on the bumper themselves and don’t trust it to the owner of the car.

  3. Should you use campaign buttons?–  Most campaign consultants would tell a small campaign to spend money on other things.



  1. What are the addresses, phone numbers, fax machine numbers, and news contacts at your local newspaper, radio stations and television stations.
  2. How is a proper press release written?

-The state party should be able to send you information on how to do this.

  1. What are the deadlines for your newspapers, radio stations, and television stations?
  2. When is a press release adequate and when is a press conference necessary?



  1. How many households are there in your district?  

I generally figure this by taking the number of registered voters (15,000) and multiply it by .67 to get the number of actual doors that will have to be knocked on to hit the home of each registered voter. Example: 15,000 x .67 = 10,000.

  1. How many doors can you knock in an hour?

– This varies widely. Depending on what yon say to people, whether you survey them, etc. will impact how many doors you can hit in an hour. In addition, the time of day also has a major impact because if people aren’t hone, you can hit a great many more homes. This isn’t necessarily effective, but it will increase the number of homes you hit. You can generally figure around 15 to 25 homes per hour. If you hit less than 15, then you may be spending too much time with each household, if you are hitting more than 30 or 40, then you may not be knocking when enough people are home.

  1. How many hours a week can you realistically spend knocking on doors? 
  2. How many weeks is it going to take to knock on all the doors in your district? 

-Figure this by dividing the number of households in your district by the product of the number of doors knocked in an hour multiplied by the number of hours you can knock in a week. Example: 10,000 households divided by (20 homes/hr. x 12 hrs/week) – 42 weeks to knock every registered household in the district. Now, if you don’t have 42 weeks, then you will have to increase the number of homes per hour, the number of hours per week or both.

  1. What are you going to do with each household that you knock so that they will remember you after you leave?

– Door-knocking is the most important aspect of campaigning; it helps the most if they remember what your name is after you’ve left. Frequently people don’t. Literature is fine to leave at each household, but it is generally thrown away within 24 hours of your visit. One very effective way to extend your name identification is to follow up your visit with a postcard thanking them for the visit. This requires keeping close track of the names you actually visit and constantly updating your voter-walking list. Second, consider leaving a notepad or refrigerator magnet with your home. They may throw away your literature, but few people throw away the notepad. In fact, many people will leave your pad sitting by the phone for months.

  1. Do you intend to use a registered voter-walking list and knock on only those homes with registered voters, or forego a list and hit every home registering those people who are not currently registered? 
  2. When the voter answers the door, do you plan to simply give your literature with a quick spiel about yourself or your issues, or do you plan to administer a survey when they answer the door?
  3. What order are you going to door knock your district?

– you should door-knock your precincts in a systematic, planned way precisely maximizing voter impact. These decisions should be made through the use of voter information that can be provided to you by the State Party or you can simply rank your precincts yourself through a prioritization system. If you would like to see the system that I used, please feel free to call or write me. Generally, I believe that you should knock your most important precincts between September 15th and October 31st.



  1. When are petitions available to get signatures for your candidacy?
  2. When do you need to file a formation of candidacy form with the Campaign finance disclosure commission?
  3. When are signature petitions due for your candidacy? 

Don’t miss this date! My primary opponent mailed his papers in a week early through certified mail two years ago and the U.S. Postal service lost them. He wasn’t allowed to run and I was uncontested in the primary. Hand deliver your papers, or federal express them early enough to get more signed if something happens. Also, call to confirm your candidacy.

  1. When are the primary and general elections?
  2. When can yard signs go up for the primary and general?
  3. When do yard signs have to be down after the primary and general?
  4. When are your precinct caucus, county convention, district convention and the Republican State convention?
  5. When are the parades and fairs in or near your district?


  1.  How do you plan to recruit volunteers?

-See yard sign list development for ideas. In addition, consider taking out a small ad in a high school newspaper-

  1. What areas of the campaign do you need specific volunteers to fill?

– You should consider having people help with these positions: overall coordinator or manager, fundraising, Get-out-The-Vote, events coordinator, yard signs, mailing coordinator, absentee ballot coordinator, media (press release, conference) coordinator, etc.

  1. What type of people do you need at the top of your campaign as chairs?

– You should try to find people who appeal to different constituencies. In my campaign, I have a leader from the only small town in the district, a leading Ag person, and a well respected, elected official known county-wide. For my fundraising chairs, I have the best-known doctor in the county and a leading lawyer who represents any big business clients.

  1. Will you have one person organize each precinct?


  1. How much do you intend to spend on yard signs?
    – I had 120 4×4 yard signs of which I was able to get half the wood donated. If you check with former candidates, many will have plywood sitting in a barn somewhere that you can use for free. Otherwise paint and wood are about the only costs. For small yard signs, you should try to pay not more than $1.20 for a normal size sign (I paid .90 for mine, $450 for 500 signs from Browns printing in Clinton, Iowa). Be careful because many candidates believe they are getting the whole paper sign for $1.00 and it turns out that they have to take two signs and staple them together to make a full sign on both sides at a cost of $2.00 per sign.
  2. How much do you intend to spend on paid media like radio, television, newspaper, tabloids or direct mail?
  3. How much do you intend to spend on other campaign items like volunteer cards, notepads, parade accessories, event supplies, literature, etc?It’s a good idea to figure your budget and then add ten percent of your total budget to it as a contingency for unexpected costs.
  4. How much will your fundraising plan cost?

– This will depend heavily on where your funds come from. Clearly, PAC money has virtually no cost. For direct mail or events, there are some simple rules of thumb to estimate your costs and income. First, figure that your costs per mailing are going to be about 30 to 35 cents per package. This should include postage, printing, addressing, stuffing, stamping, etc. Second, figure that in a normal fundraising mailing to a large group of potential contributors you should receive a 5% to 10% return on contributions.  Naturally this depends on who you mail to, but if it’s not a list of close family or friends, then 5-l0% is a good number to work with. Third, figure an average contribution of $17 to $30. This depends on how much you ask for and whom you mail to, but it probably will land within these numbers. I had close to a $29 average contribution rate when l mailed to regular givers. When I mailed to irregular givers it dropped to about $12.

Example: 1,500 letters mailed to contributors at .35 per package. Also assume a 5% return at a $25 average contribution.

1,500 x .35 = $525 cost for mailing.

1,500 x .05 x $25 = $1,875 Income from mailing

$1,875 – $525 = $1,350 profit for campaign.



1. Who do I intend to turn out on Election day to vote for you?

-It is my opinion that too many legislative campaigns turn out voters that are already intending to vote.  Let me explain.  We know that certain voters vote in every election.  Come rain or shine, they never miss.  So why use your phone bank or postcard to remind these people to vote?  Clearly, these regular voters need a contact before the election explaining why they should support you and not a GOTV contact. Take this for what it’s worth, but I would only concentrate on turning out those Republican voters, or identified supporters among independents, that have a history of missing elections. The State of Iowa keeps records of who votes in what elections so it is easy to determine which voters are regular voters and which need a little reminder.

2. What methods do you intend to use to turnout your target groups?

Consider using a first-class postcard, mailed on Saturday so that it arrives Monday. Also see that you have turnout phoning organized for Monday night before the election and that the local party has phone banks for Election Day. Another idea that we have used in Davenport is to rise early on election day and place a large “VOTE TODAY” sign on every 4×4 yard sign before people leave for work. Other mediums such as radio, newspaper or T.V. work fine for part of your GOTV program.



1. Do you plan to have your registered voters on a computer database?

– The benefits of this are tremendous and can also save you money.  Every time you need a list you have two choices: you can call it up on a computer or you can call your auditor, have them order it, pick it up a few days later and pay $20. With a computer your cost is one time for the disks (about $20) and you can have whatever you need immediately without the local auditor or the state knowing who you are going to target or to whom you plan to mail.

2. What is necessary for a computer database?



1. Should you spend your money on radio, T.V., direct mail, door-to-door news, tabloid drops, newspaper ads, billboards, etc.?

– I believe that candidates should use a mix of audio and visual mediums to establish name identification and to penetrate with a message. This is because some people have better memory recall from audio than visual and vice-versa. Visual would include: direct mail, literature, tabloids, newspaper ads, yard signs, billboards and television. Audio would include radio, television, speeches, and word of mouth conversation.

I personally believe (and this view isn’t shared by everyone) that too many candidates concentrate on visual education and ignore audio education. Behavioral learning abilities dictate that they both be used if you actually want to penetrate to the voter.

The combination that you use depends on the media in your district, in a rural district, radio, newspaper and direct mail will probably be the best choices. In an urban district cable television, local television, news commercials, and newspaper tabloids can also be added to the list to be bought for radio or television to penetrate. Please feel free to call me.

2. When will you run your ads, mail your literature, and drop your newspaper tabloids?

-Clearly you will want to be out with your name on yard signs for parades, etc., as early and as often as you can, but when should you spend your money on paid mediums? Well consider some polling research?  Non party line voters can’t begin making up their minds who they are going to vote for until about ten to fourteen days out from the election. Breaking this out in age groups, many senior citizens make their minds up seven to ten days out, while 18-24 year olds decide the day before the election or at the polls. All other are somewhere in between.

Therefore, if you are mailing your “lower the property tax” message to seniors, start about two weeks out, while you may want to save your pro-environment mailings to 18-24 year olds until three to five days out.

No matter what else, you will want to spend the great preponderance of your money when people are making up their minds, and that is close to the election. Think of it as holding your fire until you see the whites of their eyes. If you fire too early you’re wasting your ammunition.

3. How do you intend to design your media and your literature?

-It takes a special talent to create great literature or commercials, but let me make a couple of suggestions that might help you. First, collect examples from other successful candidates and try to emulate those.  Second, Don’t overburden your reader with too much information in literature or commercials.  Keep it simple and repeat your main point over and over.  Third, make sure you have your name in the literature or commercial repeatedly.  Fourth, use visuals and pictures liberally.  Fifth, don’t be afraid to be different.

4. How do you plan to target your message through your media?

– Keep in mind that it requires six contacts with a voter to penetrate a message. That’s why you hear the suggestion to use three or four issues and keep pounding away at them. With that in mind, there are some very easy ways to target your voter with your message. Using voter information from state voter registration files, you can target in three ways: party, precinct, age.  Clearly, you can tell a lot by whether a person is a Republican, Democrat or Independent.  I also know that the people in rural precincts are concerned about different things than those in my blue-collar precincts. Other targeting information that might be helpful is demographic information available from radio stations about their target markets. The same information is available with television.

Example: What if I wanted to target a message to Republicans, in precinct DV12 over the age of 60 with a message about property taxes. Well, I would do three things. First I would pull from my computer the names of everybody in my district that fits those three criteria. I would use this list for a mailing to these people. Second, I would buy time on the local radio station whose demographics most target that group of people.  Finally, I might put an ad on the local cable television station (cost is $5 for 30 sec.) that best targets this group, preferably CNN or the financial news station.


I’ve decided not to provide questions for this area since I addressed fund raising in a separate essay titled, “How to Raise $35,000 in Twelve Months.”


In writing your campaign plan, your strategy will depend heavily on the type of race you have If you are the only Republican in a greatly Republican open district, then your race is going to be significantly different than most challengers. Please keep in mind that 95% of incumbents get re-elected. Therefore, if you are a challenger that intends to be a part of the 5%, you must 1) be aggressive, 2) door knock every door (at least once), 3) start early, 4) raise a lot of money, 5) use “voting” issues to take voters away from your opponent, and 6) take some risks. Too many challengers are afraid to take risks. Challengers are frequently so afraid of offending anyone that they run bland campaigns that don’t make a case for kicking the incumbent out of office.




Get 1000 FREE lapel stickers with any purchase of 250 yard signs or more.  Visit or call toll free at 888-968-2688.