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Archive for August, 2012

Hey, I Know This Guy!

Seriously, I do.

From this morning’s “Politico Playbook” email:

BEST GET: Steps away from Willie Geist’s “Way Too Early” set, Carl Toepel, a cheesehead attending his 10th convention, handed Playbook’s chief assistant a ‘Mittwurst Lover for Romney’ button. Turns out Mittwurst is German for “summer sausage,” a popular meat to pair with cheese and crackers.

Dr. Toepel — he’s a retired elementary school principal and administrator from Sheboygan — has one of the most impressive collections of campaign swag I have ever seen.  Think of a campaign, Republican or Democrat (mostly Republican) and chances are Carl has something — a button, a bumper sticker, a pin — from it.  Carl also makes his own campaign buttons, which he hands out to any willing to take one.

He’s a true student of history, a great guy to share a laugh with, and in 2006 was one of my county volunteers when I was with the Green Campaign.

Glad to see him get a moment in the national press while down in Tampa.

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GM Stops Production of Chevy Volt


They’re saying it’s for a month.  Of course, this has been anticipated for years since no one has been buying the damn car since its inception.

General Motors is halting, for a month, the manufacture of its well-known but seldom-sold Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car, according to trade publication Automotive News.

It would be the second interruption in production for the Volt, which can go 38 miles on battery power before needing a recharge from its gasoline engine or via a plug-in.

Automotive News, citing unnamed sources, reports the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will suspend production from Sept. 17 until Oct. 15. Leaders of the UAW told the plant’s 1,500 union workers about the scheduled downtime last week, the source said.

A GM spokesman declined to comment. “We don’t comment on production schedules,” the spokesman told the News. “We continue to match supply and demand.”

GM had previously halted production on the Volt in March of this year.  That lasted for five weeks.

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Both Presidential Campaigns Want You to Give on the Go

Meant to get to this on Friday, but life got in the way and then I got shanghaied into golfing 18 hours in 90 degree heat yesterday for a fund raiser for my high school’s football program.

As we become more mobile, thus political campaigns are trying to find the best way possible to tap into our “On the Go” lives — and get our money from it.

In the end, I think both Democrats and Republicans will incorporate either both of these systems or modifications of them.  Team Obama, is going the route of “Donation by Text Message.”

Nine years ago, then-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean broke new groundwhen his campaign used the Internet to help raise what were then record sums for his insurgent White House bid.

Now President Obama’s campaign – whose digital strategist hails from Dean’s Internet operation – is pouncing on another technological tool, announcing that it would be the first presidential campaign in history to accept donations via text message.

Obama campaign officials hope this new method of making donations will boost contributions from small donors – particularly young ones – as the 2012 race heads into its final stretch.

“Grass-roots giving is powering this campaign,” campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement.

“Accepting small donations by text message will help us engage even more grass-roots supporters who want to play a role by donating whatever they can afford to the campaign – and get the president reelected in November,” he added.

The program will be available this week for customers of Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular, who will be able to text “GIVE” to the campaign’s short code: 62262, which spells out O-B-A-M-A. AT&T and other carriers are expected to sign on in the near future.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s campaign also plans to begin accepting text donations soon.

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign is adding on the route of “Square,” the small-business solution which allows you to turn your iPhone or iPad into a credit card scanner.

Today the Romney for President campaign announced a convention-wide rollout of Square, the innovative device leading the mobile donation industry.  Square-enabled phones and devices will be used throughout the 2012 Republican National Convention providing a quick and easy way for delegates and visitors to make donations and buy souvenirs with a simple swipe of their credit card on a mobile device.

“We are excited to be the first Presidential campaign to make serious use of Square devices at a major event like a national convention.” said Zac Moffatt, Digital Director of the Romney for President campaign.  “More importantly, we are excited to empower a national grassroots movement by providing each attendee the ability to take their Square devices back to their home state and engage with their communities.”

The Square feature enables the Romney for President campaign to mobilize supporters of the campaign and empowers them to accept credit and debit card contributions on their mobile device on behalf of their organization.

Once a supporter signs up, they download the free Square Card Reader app and receive a free card reader. When supporters collect payments, funds are deposited in the campaign’s bank account the next business day. The campaign ensures FEC compliance by easily collecting the required information within the app during the contribution process.

Expect both of these options to be common place by 2014.

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White House Signals Baldwin Campaign Already D.O.A

In a word: OUCH.

At a press briefing on Thursday in Washington, D.C., Jay Carney, President Barack Obama’s press secretary, was asked if the president planned on campaigning for Tammy Baldwin.

Baldwin is a Democrat congresswoman now running for the U.S. Senate seat held by U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.). If elected, she would be the first openly gay person elected to the Senate.

Here was Carney’s answer:

“I have no campaign announcements, scheduling announcements to make on behalf of the president. The president himself has an election, as you know, in a few short months. But I have no campaign announcements to make.”

Carney was then asked if he had anything to say about the significance of Baldwin’s candidacy.

Said Carney: “Well, I think it is very significant. I think that what is most significant is that someone qualified, like Ms. Baldwin, is running for that office and would make an excellent senator if elected.”

TRANSLATION:  Um…we haven’t had the President visit Wisconsin in 190 days (and counting).  Do you really want us to go into a situation where the President is connected to a likely loser?  Hey, we know the gay groups and the gay money wants a Baldwin win, but look at the polling.  She’s done for.

Meanwhile, “Con Art Critic” over at Ace of Spades has already called it for Tommy.  It’s a tad early to do that in my opinion.

I would have waiting until the middle of September.

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Obama to EU: Don’t Kick Out Greece Until After November

Yeah, this is reassuring to the global economy.


The Obama administration will pressure European governments not to let Greece fall out of the eurozone before November’s Presidential elections, British Government sources have suggested.

Representatives from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission are due to arrive in Athens next month to assess Greece’s reform efforts.

They are expected to report in time for an 8 October meeting of eurozone finance ministers which will decide on whether to disburse Greece’s next €31bn aid tranche, promised under the terms of the bailout for the country.

American officials are understood to be worried that if they decide Greece has not done enough to meet its deficit targets and withhold the money, it would automatically trigger Greece’s exit from the eurozone weeks before the Presidential election on 6 November.

They are urging eurozone Governments to hold off from taking any drastic action before then – fearing that the resulting market destabilisation could damage President Obama’s re-election prospects. European leaders are thought to be sympathetic to the lobbying fearing that, under pressure from his party lin Congress, Mitt Romney would be a more isolationist president than Mr Obama.

The President discussed the eurozone crisis with David Cameron during a conference call on Wednesday and both welcomed statements by the European Central Bank that it was “standing firmly behind the euro”.

There is a certain irony to a eurozone crisis call with David Cameron on board since the United Kingdom isn’t technically in the eurozone.  The general British public loves their pounds and most bankers and financial analysts in London are grateful they didn’t make the switch to the Euro.

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CBSNews/NYT/QC Poll – Tommy over Tammy by 6

It’s on page 4, and the headline being generated in “Obama leads Romney by only 2 in Wisconsin, Welcome to Swing State Status,” but another day, another poll showing the former governor leading the Madison congresswoman.

Here’s a screen grab, shrunken to fit:

As you can see, this is post-primary bounce, but it fits into the zone of other Dem-leaning polling outfit numbers.  I’m told this poll has a +4 D tilt, which frankly isn’t the Wisconsin voting public anymore.

Pollsters really need to start basing their measurements on 2000 and 2004 again when doing Wisconsin.  2008 was the anomaly.

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