Thursday, March 3, 2011
By Kim Kohatsu
The protests in the Wisconsin state Capitol are now in their second week, and the political dialogue has gone beyond collective bargaining and the state budget. Now, there are calls for the recall of certain Wisconsin lawmakers. Two national liberal political groups, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and Democracy for America (DFA), used CallFire's Hosted IVR to send automated calls to 50,000 constituents in five Wisconsin state-senate districts. Aimee Auer, a New London, WI schoolteacher, recorded the message, and it was uploaded into the CallFire interface. The voter interest poll was then programmed using CallFire's drag-and-drop IVR Designer. Each keypad input is recorded for reporting, and listeners can be connected directly to their state senators office using a call transfer command. Listen to the result below: Adam Green, co-founder of PCCC, sums up the strategy in three words: "Offense, offense, offense." Green revealed to MSNBC that initial results of the calls show 59.7% of Republican voters would support recall efforts if the targeted state senators ultimately support Gov. Scott Walker's bill, S.B.11. Green was able to see these survey results in real-time through CallFire's campaign dashboard. Michael Snook, Director of Targeting and Analytics for PCCC, noted, "CallFire made it possible for us to produce and deploy this effective advocacy campaign—quickly, and on budget. With CallFire's simple, flexible XML environment, we were able to design a campaign that would connect with thousands of Wisconsin voters to voice their support for working families against Republican class warfare, and offer them the opportunity to connect directly with their elected officials." For a recall to be successful, petitioners must gather a number of signatures equal to 25% of the general electorate. If enough signatures are gathered, an election is held, and the official must run for his/her job again. A conservative group, the American Patriot Recall Coalition, is also testing the waters for recall—except they are hoping to recall seven of the 14 Democratic state senators who fled the capitol in protest of Walker's bill. There are currently labor disputes in Ohio, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and even the NFL. Any of these political groups could use CallFire's intuitive platform for voter outreach and education, volunteer phone banking, and text messaging campaigns. Watch CallFire's CEO, Dinesh Ravishanker, explain how political campaigns have benefitted from using CallFire.