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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, February 22, 2013

OFA Targets Republicans

In the early first term, Organizing for America had problems in spurring legislative advocacyThe Los Angeles Times reports that Organizing for Action -- a new iteration -- is in battle mode:
Four California Republican House members are among 16 GOP legislators being targeted by a pro-Obama advocacy group in a new online ad campaign urging them to back a more robust background check system for gun sales.
Reps. Jeff Denham, Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, Gary G. Miller and David Valadao are among those featured in the banner ads, which begin running Friday on the websites of local news outlets such as the Modesto Bee and Santa Clarita Valley Signal. The ads, tailored with the photos and Twitter handle of each member of Congress, call on them to support universal background checks.

The online ad buy, which cost close to six figures, is the first such campaign by Organizing for Action, the month-old advocacy group formed by top advisors to President Obama to build momentum for his legislative agenda. The ads are going live the same day as the group launches its first national mobilization, a so-called day of action featuring 100 events around the country aimed at demonstrating support for Obama’s gun violence reduction plan.

As a 501(c)4 nonprofit social welfare group, OFA has said it will not engage in partisan political activity, but it has wide latitude as an issue advocacy organization to pressure elected officials on specific policy matters.

Among the other targets of OFA’s first ad buy are Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Kelly Ayotteof New Hampshire. Those in the House include Reps. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, Jim Gerlach and Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, David Joyce of Ohio, John Kline and Erik Paulsen of Minnesota,Mike Coffman of Colorado, Daniel Webster and C.W. “Bill” Young of Florida and Robert Pittenger of North Carolina.
The Los Angeles Times also reports:
The nonprofit advocacy group that inherited President Obama's grass-roots campaign infrastructure faces the first real test of its political might Friday, when it holds a series of volunteer-driven events in support of the president's gun violence reduction plan.
With the so-called Day of Action, its first national mobilization since launching in January, Organizing for Action is adopting a tactic from Obama's reelection bid, which used such events to engage its 2.2 million volunteers.
The group's supporters plan more than 100 activities, including rallies, phone banks and candlelight vigils in 80 congressional districts, hoping to prove that an organization built to elect a candidate can be effectively refocused on legislative goals.
But there are already signs of challenges in activating supporters around a policy fight — especially one that is still wending its way through Congress.