Archive | politics RSS feed for this section

Saving Campaign Dollars with Good Data Hygiene

2 Apr

Data hygiene will save your large-scale campaigns hundreds if not thousands of dollars per month.

In one of AHG’s current campaigns, we’ve focused on line-typing, an inexpensive data quality process that’s cheap and easy with our marketing client Accurate Append. We use Accurate Append’s data append service and a private FTP service (with monthly volume-based billing) to review the self-submitted data from targeted groups of voters and get back a label for landlines or cell phones. The line type will determine outreach method – for example, one-to-one calls to cell phones, a recorded call to a landline, and a GOTV reminder text to a young voter’s cell.

Data quality is essential not only for compliance but for stretching your campaign budget. At scale, a $0.005-per number charge for line-typing is much cheaper than paying several cents to waste a text message on a landline. (Note that cell phone directories are very expensive, and sending to a dead cell phone may still be the most efficient alternative.)

For continuous small jobs, such as adding donor flags to new email signups, a data append API may be the right solution – however, if you’re regularly cutting data for targets and don’t mind running those into your outreach software, batches by FTP can be a clean option. Drop one, five, or a dozen files into the FTP folder and get them back within minutes with your additional columns and hygiene taggings.

Beyond line typing, other data quality needs may be even more critical – you’ll want changes of address for your voters, for example. Be sure that you’re not paying for hundreds or thousands of returned postcards or larger mail pieces – don’t be afraid to talk to your vendor about their practices!

Be sure to budget data hygiene (and the alternative!) into your per-voter contact calculations. It’s not how many phone calls your team makes, texts you send, or homes you mail to, it’s how many of those reach the right party.


Access Voter Data for Your Political Campaign with NationBuilder

6 Feb

NationBuilder’s killer app is data – free voter data for political campaigns. With a basic subscription of just $19 a month, you get a website, advocacy tools, contact management, and up to 500,000 voter records – enough to run a U.S. Congressional race.

Get started with a free trial of NationBuilder now.

Social Media Integration: The Difference Between NationBuilder and NGP VAN

28 Oct

NGP VAN and NationBuilder both offer voter files and software technology platforms for activist nonprofits and political campaigns.

But when it comes to social media integration, NationBuilder pulls way ahead.

NationBuilder is deeply social, with Twitter, Facebook, Meetup, Klout and Topsy woven into its websites and databases.

And NationBuilder includes a website builder – TechCrunch calls NationBuilder a one-stop for political campaigns.



California Game Changers: Prop. 19 and DADT

14 Oct

Last year, I ran for an open seat in the U.S. Congress. It was a tough, tough race against four great Democrats; most of us had similar views and my rivals were more well-known and better funded. I am a progressive, and I tried to highlight two important issues where the time has come for change: legalization of marijuana and the end of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

I’m kind of a square. Married for more than a decade, two children and not a toke since college and the turn of the millennium. But it’s time for Americans to stand up for what’s smart, and what’s right. California this year is a game changer on both these issues I care about. Proposition 19 would legalize marijuana in California, beginning to reduce crime in our urban areas and around our borders and ending a bootleg trade that rapes our public lands. And a clear-thinking California judge has ordered the military to stop kicking out soldiers over their sexual orientation.

It’s time. Please vote for Prop. 19 and tell your representatives that’s it time that the legislature finally ends DADT.

California Ballot Recommendations

8 Oct

I’ve just posted my absentee ballot, and I’d like to share with you my recommendations on measures and candidates I feel strongly about this cycle:

  • NOOOO on Prop. 26! Big Oil is a major stinker this election cycle.
  • Yes on Prop. 25. This important measure ensures a simple majority can pass a budget for the state, the first step in ending our perpetual cycle of fiscal gridlock. Read the LA Times editorial in support.
  • Yes on Prop 24.
  • NOOOO on Prop 23, Big Oil’s attempt to push California back into the energy dark ages.
  • YES on Prop. 21, $18 vehicle licensing fee for parks and wildlife, free admission to all state parks.
  • YES on Prop 19. End prohibition, reduce crime, create jobs and tax revenues, legalize marijuana in California.
  • Tom Torlakson, the best choice for Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • Re-elect Barbara Boxer to the Senate.
  • Kamala Harris Attorney General.
  • Vote for my favorite politician on social media, the awesome Debra Bowen, Secretary of State.
  • Gavin Newsom for Lt. Governor.
  • Jerry Brown for Governor.
  • In Alameda County: Yes on F,  a $10 vehicle licencing fee to support roads and transit.

California Democrats Daily Twitter Newspaper

26 Sep

Want a quick look at the Democratic candidates for the November election? I’ve collected a list of California officials, candidates and initiatives and created a daily Twitter newspaper using

Read the CA-Democrats Daily here.

The paper updates automatically each day with the latest links and photos shared by our Democrats. You can log in to with your Twitter account and share daily updates automatically as well. If you have a Party-endorsed candidate or initiative, let me know by sending a tweet to @adrielhamptonp2 and I’ll add the account to the list and the paper. Be sure to promote out candidates and the paper across your social networks.

Fairfield, CA social media training for progressive activists

9 Sep

From building your own daily Internet newspaper with Twitter, to micro-targeting Facebook ads, it’s never been easier to reach both niche and mass audiences with activist messages. On September 19, 2-4 p.m., I’ll be leading a free “Citizen 2.0” training at the Solano Democratic Party headquarters in Fairfield, 2500 N. Texas Street.

Learn effective use of Twitter, Facebook and blogging platforms, with a focus on progressive outreach and volunteer recruitment and retention. This presentation will cover the basics on to advanced techniques suitable for social media campaign managers.

Join us in Fairfield, and on the “Citizen 2.0” Facebook group.

Adriel Hampton is a passionate advocate for harnessing emerging technologies to make government more effective, collaborative and transparent. He is an early Gov 2.0 adopter and co-founded the popular public interest podcast Gov 2.0 Radio. In addition to producing the weekly show, Adriel is a community leader at, the social network for government, and group manager for the LinkedIn Gov 2.0 group and its more than 4,000 members. Since 2003, Adriel has worked as an investigator for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, and he began his career as an editor, designer and writer for several San Francisco Bay Area daily newspapers. In 2009, he ran a grassroots campaign for U.S. Congress.