Conservative Grassroots Group To Arm Tea Party Activists With Mobile Canvassing Tool
BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 29 2012
American Majority Action, a conservative "social welfare" group, is unveiling a new initiative on Thursday that it hopes will help Republicans catch up with Democrats in the political technology arms race in the 2012 election.
The group is unveiling a partnership with the tech company Political Gravity, in which American Majority Action will provide conservative activists with a free mobile voter canvassing tool that sounds a lot like Organizing for America's mobile canvassing tool, which was first unveiled in 2010.
“Gravity will rocket conservatives past the high-tech approaches of the DNC and other progressive political groups,” said Drew Ryun, president of American Majority Action in a press statement. “This is the fusion of old- school grassroots tactics with the state-of-the-art technology. In recent years, conservatives have been out-gunned by their more liberal counterparts in utilizing technology as a means of promoting their message and mobilizing voters.”
The new mobile app promises to provide activists with voter databases, walk lists, information that will enable easy phone-banking, and an ability to use mobile devices to store and transmit back into a central file conversations with voters during canvassing drives.
While all this might sound old hat to Democrats, what's interesting about this initiative is that it's coming from an outside "issues" based group and not the official Republican party apparatus itself. American Majority Action is a 501c4 organization as designated by the Internal Revenue Service, meaning that the group can campaign around issues, and not disclose who its donors are. In practice, many of these groups' activities are indistinguishable from any of the activities of traditional political action committees.
And though Tea Party activists appear divided this year over who they want to support for president, the usage of a tool designed for campaigns up and down the ballot by American Majority Action and its supporters bears watching.