Make your last minute donations count
October 23, 2020 8:10 AM   Subscribe

The Panic Decision Matrix This is a page for anyone who still wants to do something, anything to help in the November election. Answer the questions below and follow the arrows to figure out the appropriate place to give money.

A nice alternative to throwing money at saturated senate races.
posted by mecran01 (42 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 


Should I be ashamed to admit that I clicked the button about 20 times
posted by bgribble at 8:18 AM on October 23 [9 favorites]


I've been very sold on the down-ballot giving strategy this cycle, and try to sell some others on it too! mecran01, can you explain what the spreadsheet you linked is supposed to illustrate?
posted by little onion at 8:20 AM on October 23


I đź’ś @pinboard
posted by macrael at 8:26 AM on October 23 [6 favorites]


Thanks. I just dropped some cash into Pennsylvania, as it strikes me as a very important EC state with a minimum of Republican fuckery afoot.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:26 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


Maciej's getting a little punchy in these last days. I really appreciate his new focus on state races though. I'd expected to see more of that this year, what with redistricting coming up.

I gave a medium amount of money through his state slate and got a bunch of really nice hand written thank you notes. But the best was this art postcard from Felicia French's campaign in Arizona.
posted by Nelson at 8:28 AM on October 23 [3 favorites]


can you explain what the spreadsheet you linked is supposed to illustrate?

The amount of money raised per voter is higher than the amount spent per voter, in some cases dramatically so. For example, McGrath has raised ~$35 per voter in Kentucky but spent only ~$14. It's unlikely that her campaign could usefully spend over half of its entire budget in the last two weeks of the election.

And even if these campaigns could spend the money, the marginal value of another $20 (or whatever your donation would be) is much lower for these cash-rich Senate campaign compared to cash-poor House and state campaigns.
posted by jedicus at 8:44 AM on October 23 [6 favorites]


I just threw a few bucks to Moe Davis, NC congressional candidate, who is in a competitive race withthis piece of work.
posted by mark k at 8:53 AM on October 23 [4 favorites]


H: I want socialism!

⇒ Get a job, hippie.


Awwww, c'mon.

We were doing so well up to that point.

A nice alternative to throwing money at saturated senate races.

True, and I totally support further downballot races in places that are seemingly 'lost', but I thought that the reason for the senate warchest expansion this season was for the inevitable court challenges afterwards, right?
posted by pseudophile at 8:56 AM on October 23 [4 favorites]


H: I want socialism!

⇒ Get a job, hippie.


Cool, thanks Gen-X Silicon Valley Web Developer Guy
posted by windbox at 9:12 AM on October 23 [21 favorites]


This is useful, thanks for posting it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:19 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


If we're going to dump on Maciej for taking a dig at socialists, let's at least remember that he's an immigrant from a soviet-bloc country. I remember a while ago he posted about how triggering it is to him that US leftists use the hammer and sickle as symbol today when it still means death and oppression to a lot of people from his part of the world.
posted by macrael at 9:21 AM on October 23 [22 favorites]


So that spreadsheet--if you're someone like Amy McGrath or Sara Gideon, why aren't you spending more money?
posted by box at 9:28 AM on October 23






Campaigns who can't spend all the money they've raised
I'm spending my lunch breaks doing fundraising text banking for Theresa Greenfield, and I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it. She has *so much* money. I've personally stopped giving to her and am giving to candidates for the Iowa legislature instead, not because I'm underestimating the importance of the Greenfield campaign, but because I'm not sure that having any more money is going to help her.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:47 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


Thanks, donated.
posted by Quietgal at 9:50 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


If we're going to dump on Maciej for taking a dig at socialists, let's at least remember that he's an immigrant from a soviet-bloc country.

And this justifies a gratuitous dig at socialists how, exactly?
posted by sinfony at 10:04 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


So that spreadsheet--if you're someone like Amy McGrath or Sara Gideon, why aren't you spending more money?
So I'm paying attention to Theresa Greenfield, because that's who I'm currently volunteering for. And I honestly have no idea how she could productively spend more money. Her ads are *everywhere*. I don't watch TV, but I'm seeing her ads literally on the solitaire game that I play on my iPad. One of my current volunteer things is ballot cure, where we contact voters whose ballots have been rejected and help them fix it. We've never, ever had the resources to do that before. My sense is that they've also got more volunteers than they know what to do with, especially since everything is virtual this year, and there are volunteers helping out from all over the country. I don't know if Greenfield is going to win, but if not, it's not going to be for want of cash or enthusiasm.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:18 AM on October 23 [5 favorites]


My family emigrated from Poland in the 1960s and to me socialism also used to mean death and oppression. But I didn't stay frozen in that mindset – I witnessed the Jaruzelski era but also the Lula era; realized the Soviet model isn't the only possible one, it isn't even what most socialists are aiming for. That's why tankies piss me off, their semi-ironic joking about Stalin and gulags keep us chained to strawmen from the past. The "get a job" response is classical Capitalist Realism™, fuck that. The whole point is that people have jobs, often more than one, and it still isn't enough.
posted by Tom-B at 10:41 AM on October 23 [15 favorites]


Gary Peters (D-MI) is the one Senate candidate who might need help. Michigan looks safe in terms of the Presidential race. Biden's had a substantial & consistent lead, but Peters is having trouble in the polls. He's underperforming Biden. On top of that, he's been overlooked in the fundraising tsunami.

If you're looking for a state legislature contest to support, and one which isn't making much noise nationwide, Kansas is a great target. There's no chance Democrats can get a majority in the legislature. But they're just one seat away from eliminating the GOP supermajority in the state House, and 3 away from doing the same in the state Senate.

Kansas has a popular Democratic governor. Getting rid of the supermajority would prevent a huge amount of damage here. In terms of COVID prevention, where the GOP has undermined the governor's power. In terms of congressional redistricting. Kansas at this point has one safe Democratic seat, but the GOP has made no secret of their desire to kill it with gerrymandering. And in terms of protecting choice. Kansas is lucky in that we had a state Supreme Court decision protecting abortion based on the state constitution. That's preventing Alabama style laws here. But of course Republicans are trying to crush that by any means possible.

Gaining a single house seat is very possible here. And Kansas is a place that I think will go purple-ish in the long term. The state GOP has decided to kill off the once strong moderate faction. The moderates still identify as Republicans, for the moment, but are increasingly voting for Democrats and endorsing Democrats. This isn't a process that will happen overnight, or even in the next year or two, but we're moving in that direction. I'm biased because I live here, but I think Kansas is a great opportunity for not a lot of money.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 11:23 AM on October 23 [9 favorites]


Kristy Gnibus in PA-16 Congressional District. Running against corrupt Trump toady Mike Kelly. https://www.kristyforcongress.com
posted by tommyD at 12:16 PM on October 23


Plopped down for Florida and Texas state house races. Hopefully even one of them might flip, and therefore possibly redistrict fairly. Possibly possibly.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 12:29 PM on October 23


I construed the "get a job, hippie" comment as a joke.

(As in: "remember this response to the idea of socialism? How silly and old-fashioned it sounds now").
posted by marlys at 12:41 PM on October 23 [7 favorites]


And this justifies a gratuitous dig at socialists how, exactly?

Are you saying that someone who lived under a socialist government cannot have a valid opinion about their own lived experience? Also, it's obviously a joke.
posted by sideshow at 12:48 PM on October 23 [6 favorites]


I want somebody to make a sort of meta-list of socialists and socialist-adjacent folks that have a shot at winning their election and where my last-minute contribution might make a meaningful difference.
posted by box at 12:49 PM on October 23 [1 favorite]


So that spreadsheet--if you're someone like Amy McGrath [ . . . ] why aren't you spending more money?

In addition to the "how?" question ArbitraryAndCapricious asked about their local candidate, another problem with self-described pro-Trump Democrat Amy McGrath is apparently she's running Trump-normalizing adds on TV that hit southern Ohio markets.

In the unlikely event she wins I expect her to become one of the frustrating Democratic senators really quickly.
posted by mark k at 12:51 PM on October 23 [1 favorite]


Laughing so hard I can't breathe—I can't find the clip online yet but MSNBC just showed Trump responding to a question from one of the Enemies of the People by saying that he's leading in states you haven't heard about...

And I thought pack the Union was our idea! Undoubtedly he is leading in these states we have never heard of by numbers no one has ever seen.

But stupid cretinous hilarity is par for the course (Trump golf joke!) and no reason for complacency or relenting on the pressure. Thanks for posting this resource.
posted by XMLicious at 1:55 PM on October 23 [1 favorite]


Are you saying that someone who lived under a socialist government cannot have a valid opinion about their own lived experience?

He immigrated to the US when he was six and is, in his own words, "as American as apple pie". Lived experience, my ass.

Also, it's obviously a joke.

A dumb and incredibly tired one.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:15 PM on October 23 [5 favorites]


I mean, we are talking about the same guy who’s just so put out about having to pay market wages, so I guess I think that comment is only quarter-joking at best.
posted by invitapriore at 3:21 PM on October 23 [3 favorites]


Are you saying that someone who lived under a socialist government cannot have a valid opinion about their own lived experience? Also, it's obviously a joke.

Very well, as an American currently allegedly living in a democracy, I suppose I am now licensed to gallivant around proclaiming that democracy is a shitty system used only by failed states, with unassailable authority because it is my lived experience.
posted by sinfony at 4:23 PM on October 23 [6 favorites]


> Are you saying that someone who lived under a socialist government cannot have a valid opinion about their own lived experience?

> He immigrated to the US when he was six and is, in his own words, "as American as apple pie". Lived experience, my ass.


I wasn't even born in Poland. I'm "as Brazilian as feijoada" – and yet we spoke Polish at home and had relatives back there. I remember censored letters and sending packages of food and clothes every month. I remember travelling to visit the grandparents, seeing the empty supermarkets and the endless lines we didn't have to stand in because we had hard currency. Poland in the 80s was an incredibly shitty place, and I believe his lived experience, it's the same as mine.

The problem is staying stuck in the 80s, in that Cold War worldview. No one wants 80s Poland back. It's not what we socialists are aiming for.
posted by Tom-B at 5:45 PM on October 23 [4 favorites]


:( I think I've donated to precisely the races where my donation has the least marginal value :(
posted by batter_my_heart at 11:01 PM on October 23


I am a candidate. I have spent $200 on other candidates, and $50 on my campaign, except for having to pay for Creative Suite for a year, I will just make that work. However, in the last 7 days, my opponent has put down $100,000 sending out postcards, mailers, and PAC sponsered mega postcards professionally done. I can't help but laugh. His goal in life is to make a giant pile of money and set it on fire. There are unseen benefits to his job, gotta be, you know. Anyway, I never even set up a route for money to flow in my direction. I used every free resource at my disposal, have appeared on all local TV channels, have been in the paper, and put my self up on Nextdoor.com to all my extended neighbors, for just a bit, they left it up for days, actually, because the mods are not too active in this neck of the woods. The first responses were, "I already voted for you." I know this is all about me, but so it is. I am the Maytag Repairman of candidates. Sitting here, like usual, the plague made this easy.
posted by Oyéah at 1:04 PM on October 24 [6 favorites]


So glad that this link is happening.

The pro-life movement/Weyrich/Conservative Digest gang began to network money to candidates this way beginning with Roe v. Wade. In my eyes, the end result is what is happening now. It would be wise if Demo-Progressives utilize this action in the future
posted by goalyeehah at 7:15 PM on October 24


Is there a way to donate through this process that doesn't put me on everybody's mailing lists? I did ActBlue several years back and I am still getting huge quantities of political begging letters, with the last 12 hours's coming from the Future Now Fund (14:01), Gil Cisneros (15:59), Debbie Stabenow (15:58), Lauren Underwood (15:38), MoveOn (15:32), the Democratic Attorney Generals Association (15:26), Cindy Axne (15:10), Josh Hicks (14:56), the Congressional Black Caucus PAC (14:18), Eric Swallwell (14:15), Cindy Axne again (13:45), Christy Smith (13:40), Abby Finkenauer (13:32), Debbie Stabenow again (13:03), Haley Stephens (12:38), Colin Allred (12:01), yet another Cindy Axne (11:30), the Democrats Win Seats PAC (10:55), Sharice Davids (10:48), the Congressional Black Caucus PAC again (10:08), MoveOn again (10:06), Kara Easman (10:01), the Democratic Attorney Generals Association again (9:29), and the Congressional Black Caucus PAC yet again (8:55).

I mean, I like all these causes, but the constant rain of shit in my inbox which results from supporting them makes me not want to. I killfile them, which keeps them off my back for about 3 months until they change the source e-mail addresses, but it would be nice to not have to.
posted by jackbishop at 1:15 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


The best solution I've been able to come up with is to make a throwaway address just for political donations. Because yeah, it gets a little overwhelming, even if you're pretty good about going through and unsubscribing.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:29 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


I did ActBlue several years back and I am still getting huge quantities of political begging letters

Oh gods yes—I donated a few bucks to an ActBlue composite "flip the South" list or something like that back in 2018 which was linked from here at MeFi, my donation amounted to something like 173¢ each to 30 donors (that doesn't work out evenly, so those numbers can't be right) and I was buried underneath a flood of email and postal mail.

The worst and cringiest part was the painstakingly hand-written paper thank-you notes from first-time candidates mailed to me at non-bulk-rates, probably consuming half my donation or more between fancy paper, envelope, and postage. Fortunately the secure email provider I'd used went bust at the beginning of the year so I was at least freed from the headache of the email onslaught—which constantly bled around mail filters as the mailing lists of the first 30 were cut and pasted to new candidates and new organizations.

Everyone involved operated in good faith (except perhaps those allowing their mailing lists to be copied or sold and the people doing the copying) but the experience was a complete clusterfuck. Since then I have used extreme discipline with email addresses attached to donations, at least, via aliases. As far as the postal mail, I live in a low-population and therefore high-marginal-vote-impact swing state, so while the uptick was noticable and would probably be abhorrent to people in less-targeted places, it was a relatively small incremental change for me.
posted by XMLicious at 2:04 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


Is there a way to donate through this process that doesn't put me on everybody's mailing lists?

I wrote a blog post about this. The advice boils down to use a fake phone number and a burner email address, maybe by using a GMail alias. ActBlue has recently made this easier in that you can have a separate email address for login than the one they give to campaigns.

I don't know of a way to stop postal mail. Unfortunately you are required by law to provide name, address, and employer and it's fraud to fake those. Also unfortunately there are big data operations that can take just that data and get your email address, cell phone number, and thousands of bits of other marketing data about you. (This is called "the voter file"). So they will still email you.

But I've been using the email alias this year and it's caught about 50% of the political spam. The other 50% I catch with a whole bunch of hand written Gmail filters; filter on addresses like *@johnspammerfordogcatcher.com. I've given to 60+ campaigns this year and only about 1 email a day sneaks through to my inbox now.
posted by Nelson at 2:39 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


I've said I'm "as American as gooseberry pie". If you're going to quote me, please get it right.
posted by idlewords at 2:29 PM on October 26 [3 favorites]


I'm as American as a shit sandwich.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:56 PM on October 26


I get that it's a joke, but considering how effective socialists have been at getting Democrats elected in the U.S. in the last election cycle, it's a counterproductive joke.

Considering that the U.S. electoral socialist agenda at this point is synonymous with Medicare for All and Green New Deal, it's a very, very counterproductive joke.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:07 AM on October 27 [1 favorite]


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