Friday, June 12, 2015

"We've done this experiment successfully in Canada"

We don't often get to see into the minds of cross border American conservative political operatives working in Canada. Here is one such snapshot, but first ...

CBC reported today on "CIMS-to-Go" or C2G, a new mobile app for the Cons Constituent Information Management System that allows party canvassers to collect and sort voter information faster than ever before - smiley face, frowny face - while keeping close tabs on candidates' and canvassers' efficiency.

Someone in the Cons IT dept, who is presumably right now clearing out their desk, blabbed to CBC that some Con ridings are "approved" to use it while others have to pay $2500. 

"The app comes with a script to follow, to make sure canvassers know what to say at the door."
CBC then went to Georganne Burke, who they describe as "a former regional organizer and community relations manager for the Conservatives", for more info. Ms. Burke has been using the newly released C2G app in her work for an unnamed "local Conservative campaign for the upcoming election". 
Hopefully this campaign does not involve menorahs.

Last September, The Daily Caller, a conservative Washington DC news and opinion website founded by Tucker Carlson and former adviser to Dick Cheney Neil Patel, explained what Burke was doing in Washington :

"Burke, a 45 year veteran of grassroots campaigning, was in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 3 [2014]  to help train conservatives on effective efforts to expand the reach for their ideas. Her credentials include being part of the team that eventually brought about a conservative majority government in Canada by effective outreach to minorities, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper."
Dual citizen Burke, who has worked as a special assistant to Tony Clement and Tim Hudak and "as a political organizer for the Conservatives starting in 2004", describes herself in the interview :
"In my heart I will probably always be an American first and foremost. I'm a Yankee at heart and will be my while life. I'm truly an American."
She is very concerned about the "politics of division that is practiced on the left" in Canada - dividing people into various ethnic groups - and offers this advice about "connecting with the various cultural communities in the US" : 
"Why I actually came down here is because we've done this experiment successfully in Canada. It took us eleven years of hard work and I came down to tell people that this is a long game we have to play here, that this is not something that happens overnight ... It's about marketing ... You have to get out and create relationships with people that you want to be your customers."

"Getting more votes from Jews and specific ethnic groups ..."
"Conservative community relations manager Georganne Burke told Conservatives that outreach calls on them to work beyond their traditional base, even if it means "to look outside your normal comfort zone."
Ms. Burke urged Conservative candidates and organizers to break down each riding's ethnic and religious composition, and directly target potential voters.
She said that Conservatives should use all available opportunities to "build the database" of ethnic voters, by renting or buying lists of names from third parties and by attending events where they can gather business cards and guest lists."
That's just so friggin' Conthink - inveigh against the dividing of people into ethnic minority groups and then do it.  

Update : Georganne Burke is senior VP at Pathway Group, recently in the news for ousting a pair of their lobbyists over their involvement with a company under investigation with the Ontario Securities Commission
One of those ousted, Pathway Group co-founder Kelly Mitchell, founded the voter contact firm Picea Partners in March 2010 with former CIMS Direct Voter Contact manager Andrew Harris. Picea handled Fantino's by-election teleconference with Mike Duffy in November 2010 - the one that didn't show up in Fantino's campaign expenses.

Which brings me back to CBC's CIMS-to-Go article :
"The app comes with a script to follow, to make sure canvassers know what to say at the door."
Are the smiley/frowny faces ethnic colour-coded now?


zoombats Hong Kong said...

The more I read about this great con canvassing tool the more I prescribe to the simple conclusion that the app is less inclined to be used as a guide for talking points but more to guide the user to a friendly door.I'll bet that I never have the pleasure of engaging a con canvasser on my doorstep.

Anonymous said...

Is C2G the same as ProxiVote?

"MPs Bruinooge and Clarke are the co-creators of ProxiVote, a smartphone-based voter-tracking app that is being marketed to right-leaning candidates by Proximity Mobile, a company headed by Bruinooge's wife, Chantal"

Alison said...

Zoombats: I agree. Work that 22% majority! Alternatively, everyone could get on C2G list as Lib/NDP/Green supporter and record polling station change robocalls as they arrive ;-)

Anon: Don't know. Here's October 2014 Manning Centre Webinar: ProxiVote, What It is and How to Use It
Excerpted: "ProxiVote is being used now in Canada by a couple of political parties and we're also doing some work in the US with the RNC. It is only available to rightwing conservative ideology groups or parties as of yet.
We actually can track whoever is using ProxiVote on a map right down to the doorstep that they're standing on so we always know where people are.
I can say it will be working in conjunction with CIMS
Price? $5000 per riding"

Anonymous said...

like the "by renting or buying lists of names from third parties" as though Chopra hasn't been selling our mailing information, violating our privacy, and then claiming they have to privatize the national mail carrier because it isn't economically viable. I spoke with one of the union reps from canada post and the corporation is quite viable. They've just been cherry picking info.

It's big brother 24/7/365 these days.

I remember prior to the 2011 campaign I was living on vancouver island, I wrote to the local MP (now retired James Lunney) on the Kairos issue prior to the whole ^Not boondoggle and received a reply from someone from his office. Some time later, my folks in Ontario started getting calls from CPC representatives wanting to talk to me even though I didn't live there, nor had I resided there for some time. I wonder on a regular basis how detailed their database really is. I mean the robocall affair would've been a slam dunk if not for the timely deletion of a keyed access time log from the CIMS database, and what ever happened to their political operatives visiting the call center in Thunder Bay prior to Elections Canada?

Everything stinks and it's all over-cooked for my taste.

thwap said...

Something about these psychopaths hurts my feelings.

Anonymous said...

Thwap - yeah.

MT said...

So here is the question - what is the distinction between this and ProxiVote, which appear to have the same features. ProxiVote was going to cost $5,000 per riding paid to Rob Bruinooge's company which of course would have to be considered part of election expenses (the data usage on mobile devices, new phones and tablets, etc, that's another question).

But the Conservative Party considers CIMS to be a fixed asset now (one that does not have to be costed from scratch for a new election campaign).

So is taking the ProxiVote features and integrating them into CIMS software directly (rather than using the third party ProxiVote software and costing it) a way to avoid racking up $5,000 per riding in election expenses? (Which is not that much, but when you are going to use every penny to gain advantage...)

Alison said...

MT : I don't know the answer to that.
There's also integrating CIMS with NationBuilder which all the new CPC candidates are on.
From NationBuilder at Manning Centre conference March 2014
"You create a data capture system that grabs their cell phones. It's not that hard to do. ... So the question is whether or not CIMS and NationBuilder can integrate and once the Party starts working with the Manning Centre, and we're working with them to do that, Manning Centre is working with NationBuilder to do training and we can start training on how CIMS and NationBuilder work in a legal way regarding the privacy thing.
We just need to figure out how the NationBuilder and CIMS systems, which currently the CIMS system is kind of closed, but you can export data out of CIMS, load it into NationBuilder, interact with people, and then load that data back into CIMS."

NationBuilder - And you thought CIMS alone was scary

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