National DVDs for Delegates Project Progress & Needs Report And Warning by Project Organizer, Evan Cutler
In late March, a week or so after the Alaska State GOP Convention, I proposed that the Ron Paul movement build on the success of the Alaska DVDs for Delegates Project (see [link edited for length]), by replicating it on a national level.
My plan called for sending a series of DVDs, one DVD per month, for four months, to all the identifiable delegates and alternates to the National GOP Convention.
To that end, I presented the idea for a National DVDs for Delegates Project, to the Ron Paul Delegates National Alliance ([link edited for length] ), and the National Ron Paul Grassroots Campaign (http://ronpaul.meetup.com/560/).
Soon, Heather Saarela, of Nolan Chart contacted me and asked to share the project with her readership, so I polished my explanation; it was published on the Nolan Chart website, March 31, under the headline Alaska Converts McCain Delegates to Ron Paul: Hope for St. Paul Convention – A successful plan proven by Alaska meetup group for converting delegates to Ron Paul nationwide. ([link edited for length])
Well, that article became the most popular article that week on Nolan Chart! It was quickly reposted and quoted on r3OVLution sights around the world. In the first two days alone, I received over 100 emails from potential supporters, and that number quickly grew to several hundred in the coming weeks.
Many were asking how to donate money or skills, and still others just wanted to share suggestions for video content. At first I wrote to people one by one, saying to hold your donations and skills until we are set up, I will let you know soon when we are ready to meet, et cetera.
On April 7th I created the National DVDs for Delegates Project meetup group at [link edited for length].
Between now and mid-August, we will create, manufacture, and distribute a series of four DVDs to the mailing addresses of all identified Delegates and Alternates to the 2008 GOP Convention in Saint Paul. This project will utilize the best of existing redistributable video content, and may require the creation of select new content.
Our goal is to use this opportunity to communicate important information to GOP Delegates. We will share media containing perspectives new to most delegates, media blacked out by the 5 mega-corporations who currently ignore the Ron Paul Constitutional Message from their news and other media coverage.
As of today we have over 120 members in our group! Many of them have been working hard to make our products shine!
Volunteer Skills We Need:
We have scoped the work into ten project teams, including 1) Technology, 2) Legal, 3) Content Discovery, 4) New Content Development, 5) Writing/Graphics/Video Production, 6) Video Editing, 7) Delegate List Collection, 8) Manufacturing, 9) Distribution, and 10) Project Organizers.
We still need a variety of people – especially:
1. Organizers in every state to help get the delegate lists for their states.
2. Organizes in every state to address and mail DVDs to their states national Delegates.
3. A larger legal team to help ensure state GOPs share Delegates contact info in a timely manner, and to help defend or guide the defense of delegate credentials challenges.
4. A larger Technology Team to help make group website workflow as efficient as possible.
5. New Video Content from Around the Country especially conducting Delegate Interviews, and documenting instances of state GOP rules violations. We need high quality, stable, light-balanced footage in a variety of areas.
6. Video Planning and Editing: It's time and skill intensive. We need the best of the best to help put our pieces together on tight timelinessharing that burden will improve quality.
We have most of our first DVD's content planned, and intend to provide a DVD similar to the Alaska DVD just for other states to use prior to their own State Conventions.
We have been outgrowing the tools available on Meetup.com and our Technology Team is close to opening our new web site at www.DVDs4Delegates.com ; it should be ready for use by May 8, in about 1 week. We will enjoy improved communication tools including the ability to review videos, vote on them, and discuss them each in their own threads.
We still need more help though and hope to recruit those who can help as described above!
How to Donate to this Project
After May 7th, go to [link edited for length] . We will either accept donations beginning then, or explain exactly why we can not.
I've held off on accepting donations until we could retain skilled counsel in federal elections law to help us file as a Political or Delegate Action Committee which is legally required to collect funds to be expended on this project. Legal counsel is important to help us plan our actions and content in a way congruent with FEC (Federal Election Commission) requirements, as well as copyright and liability law.
We are sure to make enemies if we are successful, and it is crucial we are above board in everything. While the FEC may not enforce the law with McCain and Clinton, you can be sure they will scrutinize our actions quite closely.
To this end, it took us a few weeks to establish contact with Lew Moore, Ron Paul's Official Campaign Director, only to find they can't work with us because we are on the grassroots and there are laws prohibiting “coordination,” or joint strategy planning. He referred us to the campaign's lawyer, who has referred us to others who could represent us without conflict. It looks like we may have found the right law firm and we will know in another day.
Once we have filed our FEC paperwork (which I'm told can take just a few days), we can start collecting the funds needed for this project. Our budget planning and allocation will be open to inspection by all donors and group members to inspect, and we will provide regular updates of expenditures to both.
Avoid Confusion: Don't Give to the Wrong Project and Think It's Ours
Meanwhile another man, William (Bill) Greene, a professional fundraiser for various causes has started advertising to the Ron Paul movement and collecting funds for a books and DVDs to Delegates project not associated with us. In fact, we are not sure what DVDs he wants to send. We knew he wanted to send books to delegates, but were surprised when we saw his announcement requested money for DVDs to Delegates, as he was already on our team. We accepted him as a volunteer in our project, but had expressly prohibited him from making any sort of financial representation on our effort.
Well, Mr. Greene had offered to let us use his PAC from the beginning, but my Google research on his past fundraising indicated a number of others have found him to be of dubious credibility; several felt strongly and went to lengths to write and post detailed articles about it. (My search terms were: Dr. “William Greene” reputation republican fundraising.)
I acknowledge this sort of commentary I found is only hearsay, and Mr. Greene is free to charge these people with slander if he wants. I can not attest to his honesty, nor do I know what portion of funds he's collected in his various campaigns are applied to the final cause. Further, the man is clearly an articulate gentleman with some very good ideas about sending books to delegates and funding delegate travel expenses. Still, I was uncomfortable linking this project to someone with a challenged reputation in fundraising. I'm an admitted newbie to national organizing and want our effort to be as unimpeachable as possible.
Accordingly, I told Mr. Greene directly, and in writing, that that I didn't want a financial association with his name, but he was free to join our group as a volunteer to help plan content and the project. He did join us, attended one of our 12 scheduled meetings so far, and yesterday, to my dismay, another member pointed me to his advertisement to collect funds for a different DVDs to Delegates Project at [link edited for length] . If you look at it, you will note that as of this writing, he has not identified himself or given contact information or budgetary disclosure on his donation page. To prevent confusion, we hope he will change that accordingly.
I hope that those who want to support our National DVDs for Delegates Project the one that spun off of our successful Alaska DVDs for Delegates Project (see [link edited for length] )–won't confuse Mr. Greene's fundraising with our own.
If you wish to contribute to our project, please just wait a little longer so we can do it right. You can also send me an email at EvanAlaska@aol.com with the words “I Want to Donate,” in the subject, and I will make sure to send you an invitation when we are set up properly.
When we are ready, you will be directed to the donation page for [link edited for length] where you will be able to see our project budget estimates breakdown. I'm confident you will be impressed that we are not wasting your money, and will do everything I can, start to finish, to ensure an economical approach.
Everything we post publicly for our effort will include links to our project group, and people who join us or wish to donate will always be able to access organizer contact information and see progress reports.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who has been supportive of this idea. Admittedly, our project scope is ambitious, and we have a LOT of work left to do. But I am confident that with the high caliber of people over all in this project and movement, we have the beginnings of a most successful project.
Thank you for your time!
Organizer, National DVDs for Delegates Project and Meetup,
see http://ronpaul.meetup.com/1873 and soon www.DVDs4Delegates.com
Organizer, Alaska’s DVD’s for State Delegates Project,
see [link edited for length]
Organizer, Alaska Ron Paul Delegates Meetup,
see [link edited for length]
Girdwood, Alaska, District 32 Delegate
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