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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

FreedomWorks Is Sounding the Alarm and Sinking Nearly $8M into … Texas

In the midst of Texas state Senator Wendy Davis’ epic filibuster of SB 5 on Tuesday evening, GOP strategists apparently decided it was time to leak their plans to counter Democrats’ efforts to turn Texas back to blue (my emphasis):

Battleground Texas logo photo BattlegroundTexaslogo_zps8a701385.jpgThe conservative outside group FreedomWorks has drawn up plans to spend nearly $8 million mobilizing and expanding the GOP base in Texas, in a move to counter state and national Democratic efforts to make the state more electorally competitive, POLITICO has learned.

In a twelve-page internal strategy document obtained by POLITICO, FreedomWorks says that the Republican Party should be alarmed in particular by the Democratic group Battleground Texas, which several Obama campaign officials founded this year with the mission of organizing liberal-leaning constituencies that currently vote at below-average rates.

Several weeks ago, Steve Munisteri, Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, announced that they will receive help from the national GOP, which is an indication of how seriously the Republicans are taking the threat that BGTX poses to their continued control of Texas. It’s the equivalent of national Democrats’ spending large amounts in California, or even New York.  

Munisteri has also vowed to raise 10 times as much as Battleground Texas:

“They talk about they’re going to be putting tens of million into Battleground Texas,” said Munisteri. “If there ever were a significant threat because somebody put $20 million in, our business community would probably spend that on Republicans by a factor of several-fold; $75 million was raised just from Texas for Romney. None of that money was spent in the state. Over a six-year period, the RNC raised $41 million in Texas and spent about $400,000. Those dollars can easily flow back the other way if we need them, so if they spend $10 million, we can spend $100 million.”

If so, for a national Democratic donor that would mean for every dollar spent in Texas, Republicans would spend $10, money they wouldn’t be spending elsewhere. That’s not a bad return on investment.

The Republican Party of Texas is going to need all the help they can get from the Koch brothers via FreedomWorks as well as from their national party, but it still isn’t going to be enough. There are approximately 200 volunteers in the inaugural group of Battleground Texas Summer Fellows, and we have been organizing and registering voters all over our state. Every single day.  

So how does FreedomWorks plan to spend all that money? In addition to hiring field coordinators and opening offices in 4 major cities, they’re going to focus on research and outreach, as in paying big bucks for their GOTV and social media efforts:

The ambitious FreedomWorks budget […] outlines extensive research and outreach efforts, including $1.8 million to be spent collecting issue surveys from Texans, $1.6 million for online media advertising, $1 million for paid neighborhood canvassing and hundreds of thousands of dollars for Facebook, Twitter and email outreach.

Wonder whether FreedomWorks’ efforts will include more brilliant outreach along the lines of #SitDownWendy?

You can donate to signal your support for Wendy Davis at her campaign site.

And through the end of Battleground Texas’ first fundraising deadline this weekend, all grassroots donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000: BGTX June Deadline Match.

Game on.

Note: Earlier version of this diary posted in orange.


  1. nomandates

    I registered voters at the Houston Pride Festival and Parade yesterday, and am getting ready to register at the Tejano Freedom Fiesta today.

  2. nomandates

    I registered voters at the Houston Pride Festival and Parade yesterday, and am getting ready to register at the Tejano Freedom Fiesta today.

  3. princesspat

    Texas has a rich history of strong women making a difference and it’s very rewarding to know you are among them.

    Thank you!

  4. …constituencies that currently vote at below-average rates.

    The Republicans have to start with the uphill battle of convincing people that their bad policies are good policies. You have already won the battle of ideas and just need to convince people that their votes count. Wendy Davis is a great reminder of what one person can do …  tell people that their one vote is just as important.

    I love that the incredibly rude (and blatantly misogynistic) #SitDownWendy hashtag was turned against those who coined it. I would say “#SitDownWendy Talk a load off your feet … you done good.#BGTX has your back”.

    Thanks for posting, nomandates, and for the link to Senator Davis’ website. Direct contributions to candidates you support is a good way to say “We stand with you” without qualifications. And good luck to Battleground Texas!

  5. Mets102

    the Republicans are screwed because it will essentially create a Democratic lock on the White House.  It’ll be hard to win elections when the largest red state will be Georgia (assuming it stays red).  In the meantime, I love the fact that they’re taking out money from other places in a Democratic-leaning country to spend on their most important state.

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