The Dem Party of Wisconsin has annunced a new program, Red to Blue Badgers, to suppoprt Democrats who might be willing to run a candidate in traditionally Republican territory. Here is a description of the Red to Blue Badger initiative from the DPW website.
As part of our commitment to a 72 County Strategy and our goal of re-taking the state legislature, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is proud to announce our latest effort to support and empower Democratic candidates who run for office in traditionally red districts.
The Red to Blue Badgers program is designed to give Democratic candidates the resources they need to run successful campaigns in historically Republican districts. As candidates achieve benchmarks for doors knocked, phone calls made, and dollars raised, this initiative will assist them in an escalating fashion as part of our long-term investment to compete in every part of the state and turn Wisconsin’s most conservative counties from red to blue.
How to Qualify
Qualified applicants to the Party’s Red to Blue Badgers program will be expected to meet the following benchmarks:
● Participate in Training – Qualified candidates will be expected to have participated in a candidate or campaign training program. This includes, but is not limited to, the Advanced Democratic Leadership Institute, CampWellstone or Emerge.
● Form a Kitchen Cabinet of Advisors – In order to demonstrate buy-in from local leaders and grassroots activists, candidates for the Red to Blue Badgers program will be expected to form a small group of campaign advisors known as a “kitchen cabinet.” The kitchen cabinet will work to hold both the candidates accountable to their goals and the state Party to their obligations to Red to Blue Badgers candidates.
● Demonstrate a Commitment to Voter Contact – Prior to being named a Red to Blue candidate, applicants must produce a voter contact plan that includes a robust commitment to door-to-door conversations with voters about how to strengthen the middle class.
● Build a Network of Grassroots Donors – In order to qualify for the Red to Blue Badgers program, candidates must also demonstrate financial buy-in from a network of grassroots donors. Whether grassroots supporters give $5 or $500 at a time, the success of this program requires building a network of people invested in legislative campaigns. Candidates will also be asked to produce a finance plan outlining how much they hope to raise and what their spending priorities will be.
Candidates who qualify for the Red to Blue Badgers program will be ensured access to the voter file from the state party. The voter file, or VAN, is a critical component in the efficient use of scarce campaign resources.
Campaign Plans and Templates
Red to Blue Badgers candidates will also receive a series of draft campaign plans and templates from the state Party.
● Campaign Plan – Sample campaign plans will be provided to Red to Blue Badgers kitchen cabinet advisory groups in order to help craft plans to compete in their districts.
● Mail Plan – Direct mail is among the most effective forms of paid communication in legislative campaigns. The state Party will provide sample mail plans for candidates to tailor to their districts and individual races.
● Sample Budgets – Draft budgets will be provided to the campaigns.
Along with draft budgets, the state Party will commit to helping raise money for Red to Blue Badgers candidates. Money raised online with a Red to Blue email will be distributed directly to Red to Blue candidates. A stand-alone Red to Blue Badgers fundraising event will also be held to showcase both the candidates and the program, again with the money raised going directly to candidates.
Red to Blue Badgers Coordinator
A dedicated Red to Blue Badgers Coordinator will work with the candidates and serve as the main point of contact to candidates and campaign managers. The coordinator will be responsible for assisting candidates and campaign managers on a daily basis with messaging, literature, mail, and earned media. The coordinator will also work with candidates and kitchen cabinets to turn narrative finance plans into realistic budgets and to hold the campaigns accountable to their fundraising goals.