Thursday, March 29, 2007

Amarillo Power goes Nuclear

Amarillo Power steps up to be the first American utility to apply for a construction and operating license for a brand spankin' new nuclear power plant in decades.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

GNEP discussion (cont.)

One of the most interesting things to me in the GNEP meeting the other night was the comments made by Mike Corinco, past VP of Westinghouse-Hanford. At the time our reprocessing research was shut down there were a number of promising technologies that had been demonstrated in experimental settings but never saw the light of day. GNEP would get them back into the pipeline.

The following information comes from a gleaning of Wiki material. The basic reprocessing statistics from today’s technology are these: (from CNIC - Citizens' Nuclear Information Center)
1) The lethality of the waste that remains after reprocessing is 1/8th of that of unreprocessed fuel after 1000 years.
2) The volume of the waste is reduced by 30-40% under that of unreprocessed fuel.

Just by itself this is a step forward, less lethal waste and less volume. But it’s not a clear slam-dunk. The promise of further research and development is new and better ways of reprocessing that reduce the lethality and volume of the remaining waste much more by transmuting the dangerous isotopes in it. It is quite possible that the transmutation process can be combined with additional power production from the recycled fuel. Known technology like Integral Fast Reactors can do this. With the IFR, in theory, you could fuel the reactor once and it would use that fuel (reprocessing it securely on-site along the way) for the full 30-year life of the installation. The minimal remaining waste could be consumed in another similar reactor.

The key trick to selling this I think is to keep the plutonium involved in the process in a form that is usable for power production but useless as a nuclear weapon. The other essential is to keep all the potentially lethal waste under strict control until it is in a form that is benign or is sufficiently safe-guarded for generations to come.

The question we must consider is whether the pursuit of these solutions is better than doing nothing as we are now. Existing reactors are making new waste. Future reactors that we can not stop from being built are going to make more.

GNEP discussion

We have to get it out of our heads that this is an American issue. This issue is already out of our hands.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of what is happening internationally. China and to a lesser extent other countries are power hungry. If nuclear power didn’t exist, China would be building coal-fired plants on a massive scale. What do you think would be the appropriate international response to that? The most constructive thing to do would be to provide China with as much carbon emission mitigation technology as humanly possible. But I’m afraid in that scenario our best efforts would fall far short of what would be needed.

Instead China is building fewer coal plants and looking at as many nuclear plants as possible. Again I ask, “What should our response be?” It seems to me that the best way to mitigate the harm is to get into nuclear waste mitigation in a big way. At one time the US was the leader in that technology. That lead has lapsed.

A disturbing fact is that the United States is no longer the world leader in nuclear energy development. Most of the commercial nuclear power concerns in the States except for the utilities themselves are already owned by British, French, and German companies.

So whether we like it or not, we must either do something about commercial nuclear power waste, let it pile up around the world, or just let other countries do their own thing with it (whatever that may be). When you consider the fact that the US will remain the primary target for terrorism as far as we can see into the future, it would border on the criminal to ignore the dangerous potential of accumulated spent fuel scattered around the world.

This is the case for action. More about what might be done in the next post.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pissing off their supporters

Former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins was a good Republican soldier. He wasn't going to complain when he was ousted to make room for Karl Rove's former aide, Timothy Griffin. He was told that he was different than all the others. They were to be fired for "performance related" issues. As he heard those reasons it became clear to him that they were all trumped up.

These guys just don't get it. What's killing the White House isn't that they do bad things. It's all the lying about it that has lost them the protection they needed from their now-former friends.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Martin Binski, a statement in support GNEP, sees supporters of other alternative energies and down-playiing as hypocritical. but mostly a wingnut attacking the anti-nukes. not very appealing.

Joel Williams, Hanford worker, confesses he has few new points. improvement of higher education and a growth of better nuclear engineers. FFTF the cheapest alternative. GNEP would be a welcome addition.

Jerry Peltier, past West Richland mayor I think. The world is embracing the direction of GNEP and we need to get back on the horse. All industries have waste. The PEIS needs to address the GNEP waste stream. Can that waste stream got to the vit plant. GNEP can reduce the existing Hanford wastes. First time the waste envelope in the nuke industry is actually reduced. This has to be in the EIS to sell it to the rest of the state.

Tom Burke, already been said.

Gina Thrift, from Alaska, horrified by acceptance of pollution. believes that there are other choices. sees conspiracy and scare stories. doesn't like making money. more scare stories. sees recycling as production of war material. A string of pointless rhetorical questions. wants to spend the money on non-nuclear alternative energies. 5 people applaud loudly.

Vickie Carwine, chancellor of WSU-tricities, higher education. 4-year across the street from PNNL. mostly a plug for WSU and PNNL cooperation. In EIS wants to see what ed is needed for GNEP and consider what it will take to provide it. Would like to see a preference for locations close

Peter Gier, not here

Charles Holden, from a San Francisco, touts the computational power resident in PNNL. We have the ability to transmute elements much more than ever before. We can make the nuclear waste footprint miniscule. (Sounds good but I wonder if this guy is a LaRouchee, It sounds too pat)

(all the Eugenites have finished speaking so they are noisily packing up. No more of their own people to film)

Robert Cook. technical scope of EIS. Sodium reactors may not be necessary to recycle fuel. Mixed oxide and Thorium paths are possible. Thorium is proliferation-proof at the cost of dealing with U233. Reprocessing should take a look at isotopes potentially released in gaseous exhaust. There should be a credible scheme for the disposal of whatever is left over. Suggest they look at real proliferation concerns all to the end. Look at ways of making GNEP a commercial entity.

Don Segner, floored that other countries want to work us. need to get Pu out of power reactors

Jean Daling, it makes sense to burn as much waste as we can. We also need to look at the original reactor 93 million miles away. So we should look for a balance. Doesn't like the political decisions of the past.

Donna Kirk, the impact is whether US will be competitive at all in the future. FFTF is needed now.

Jim Pegliari, retired FFTF Nuke E. GNEP should be pursued. will extend nuclear fuel supply, etc. a nice summary of previous statements. existing facilities are a good fit and already there. GNEP helps cleanup, Infrastructure, work force etc.

End of list. big applause.

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

David Mulna, president of HAMTEC, all the requirement DOE needs for GNEP are already here. The money is already spent. Touts the Hanford safety record. strong labor and management partnership. GNEP would really be important for the work force and the economy.

Chris Johnson, tri-city regional Chamber of Commerce, a supporter of GNEP, more of the previous points. I-297, has legal problems, supremacy clause and Atomic Energy Act. a win-win solution for DOE and the community.

Warren Zesiger, Benton County Farm Bureau, supports GNEP and restart of FFTF, other higher orgs support FFTF. Farmers are affected by cancer. basically on the basis of medical isotopes. there are lots of dangers that dwarf the dangers of nuclear power. Why concentrate wastes at yet another site in the country?

Robert Gillette, not here

Robert Beech, an ex-Navy submariner. Nuclear programs have increased the standards of living around the world. We threw away the closed-cycle foolishly. We should be developing energy instead of destroying capacity if we intend to be a world leader. Destroying FFTF to build another one elsewhere does not make sense. GNEP must be a national program. place a moratorium on decomm FFTF. We should consider the shipping among the GNEP facilities.

Mike Corinco, past VP of Westinghouse Hanford, helped with a precursor to GNEP. some things done not commonly known. There are many other processing technologies that could really reduce waste. Had a test of clean use of reactor energy. able to transmute Technicium-99 to non-radioactive material. sees nuke waste as an asset. recommends an accelerator with GNEP for better isotope production. Could be used to transmute existing Hanford waste. recommends dividing program into 2 phases. a demo facility using local wastes, then scale up to a regional facility.
Rick Gold, Eugenite, waste would have to travel here, his authority is "they say". They say people would die on the road from waste shipments. thinks GNEP is a jobs program. thinks the stall in court of I-297 his because of DOE instead of being just a bad law. broad, inaccurate characterization.


Bridget Smith

Martin Binski

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Jack Dresser, a veteran for peace from Eugene, another anti-DU guy. thinks DU goes through reactors (it doesn't). Credibility is shot. makes a connection to agent orange. acknowledges need to get off fossil fuels. thinks all the other alternatives are better. takes the GNEP document to task about its word-smithing. same scattered applause as before.

David Smith, TRIDEC supporter, site advantages, work force, all repeats of points made before. must be using the same script.

Bob Brom, not here

Laurel Piipo, medical isotope mission, a cancer survivor. the American method of treating cancer is backward. we really need FFTF for the isotopes. denounces fear mongering to big applause. there are not enough isotopes available for either research or prescription. we shouldn't have to buy them from Russia and Canada. Would help our medical costs and healthcare. big applause on several points.

Gene Kinsey, retire Hanford worker, an emotional appeal. did some of the welds on FFTF. a Westinghouse retiree. the people of Benton, Franklin, and Yakima counties are really good. plugs the work force. Sees reactors as real potential for hydrogen production.

Nancy Cowen, another Eugenite, she says she knows the "truth" about the nuclear industry. talks from her alternative reality and generally off-topic. she sees feeling as more important to thinking.

David Mulna

Chris Johnson

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

with the expanded seating capacity I think we could be over 400 people now. Not really, many have gone home now.

Newspaper guy is hovering over my shoulder. I wonder what that's all abou

Carl Holder, new site license in US issued last week. Our infrastructure has deteriorated and our global influence is declining. A Hanford 400 area and FFTF booster. Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy supports GNEP. Fast neutrons are essential for new material testing for advance reactor development. There IS a mission for an FFTF startup. Nuke power is essential for continued civilization.

Linda Alexander, sees GNEP as turning straw into gold.

Ralph Johnson. indep consultant on complex systems, GNEP as a great step to energy independence, new road for managing waste, medical isotopes, and a chance to recover technical leadership in the world. Byproducts of GNEP, adequate energy, less foreign oil, medical isotopes, reduced carbon emissions. Need to rebuild our infrastructure both in WA and nationally. Get US competitive in global nuclear energy. Averting proliferation is a must.

Dennis Fitzgerald, cancer survivor, government has done a poor job on educating on nuclear energy. has allowed fear-mongering by the anti-nukes. FFTF was DOE's safest reactor. the loss of medical isotopes has hurt our ability to treat cancers. quoted some cancer stats trying to make the isotope case. Stats did not directly address how many lives were lost due to lack of isotopes. that would be a good number. mostly rhetoric.

Gordon Sturrock, a Eugene person, support reducing nuke waste, support medical isotopes, support energy independence, but not GNEP. do not trust the Bush administration. equated depleted U as nuclear waste. goes on and on about DU contamination in lungs. blames DU for mysterious injuries in Desert Storm. Sees GNEP as a bait-and-switch for new nuclear weapons. proposes greater increases in efficiencies. proposes rapid reduction in energy use

Alexandra Ammonette, more for alternative power. opposes GNEP because they see it as a proliferation threat. thinks GNEP will produce more plutonium for prolif. lots of questionable statistics. toss in a few scary scenarios. plugged her books.

Louisa Hammercik, from Eugene, 7% of her electricity comes from CGS. has heard some strange things from questionabl sources. thinks that GNEP is connected to new nuclear weapons. and goes on from there.

Jack Dresser

David Smith

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Judith Cosby, Walla Walla. does not want more waste here. rhetoric disguised as statistics. Lumps all wastes together, again. Does not like corporations. Takes issue with the Price-Anderson Act. As long as it is in place the industry is suspect. Creates scare stories. Does not understand redundant safety systems. Confuses nuclear power with nuclear weapons. Considers supporters to essentially be liars. a rhetorical flourish. Overtime and out of control. people applaud her finishing at last.

Court reporter is taking a break so the rest of us will, too.

Carl Holder,

Linda Alexander

Ralph Johnson.

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Bob Shinter, an FFTF guy. can produce Gd 153 of which there is now a world shortage. all the while it produced U238 for space program. These scientists are still here. Lots of community support. Never give up. emotional appeal. big applause.

Marlene Oliver, takes HOAN people to task. asks DOE to follow the Federal Quality Act, sound science. DOE is required by Atomic Energy Act to supply isotopes. Lots of plants are going online around the world. The nuclear industry needs FFTF. National Lab people can come here. But also things can be done well remotely than ever before. Time is running out to reduce and elimnate the nuclear waste stream.

Jerry Strilson, a fast reactor tech guy currently retired, w/o GNEP we will no influence on the course of nuclear expansion worldwide. it will pass the US by.

Gerald Woodcock, , EW ANS. American Nuclear Society. GNEP makes sense. Also makes sense to use existing facilities. Will get it done quicker. Power can help eliminate world poverty. We must also destroy waste to reduce the threat of terrorism with it. Good economic sense. Saves both time and money. We can continue cleanup and do GNEP. They compliment each other. It's an enhancement to the cleanup effort, not a detraction from it.

Judith Cosby

Carl Holder

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Pam Larsen, exec director of Hanford communities. support DOE on cleanup efforts. future of Hanford after cleanup. global warming, fossil fuels, recycling, has visited La Hague reprocessing. visited with the French farmers nearby. Yucca Mountain may not open anytime soon. Nuclear material shipping is common with Hanford. Our work force needs to be revitalized to support the continued cleanup. Otherwise employment here is dead end. We need to have an ongoing industrial use of Hanford to keep its memory alive so the world does not forget about the waste that can't be removed.

John Darrington, Richland city council, supports GNEP. more on established infrastructure, meets or exceeds GNEP requirements. linkage to the grid, transportation. experienced work force. a nuclear-friendly environment. etc.

Alan Walter, an aggie. Either do the testing at Hanford or take it to Russia at an even older facility. We already have the right facility here, FFTF. Technically feasible to restart and budgetarily attractive. Recommends: fund a formal plan to restart FFTF, immediately halt decomm of FFTF.

(the local LaRouchee tried to get me to distribute some lit, I testily declined

Bob Shinter

Marlene Oliver

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Gary Peterson, must be a TRIDEC guy, disputes HOAN conspiracy theory of hidden plans. feels GNEP will reduce waste and help Hanford cleanup. hit the energy self-reliance point as well as waste reduction. holds up the nuke experienced work force. Cost benefits. Buildings are already there and still usable. Much infrastructure is already there. big applause.

Sid Morrison, past congressman, passionate about what Hanford has to offer. Frustrated by our unwillingness to apply modern technology to our nuclear program. Some advantages of our site. Columbia Generation Station offers existing infrastructure. Site has already been licensed for additional plants. Good connections already exist to the power grid, both incoming and outgoing. Rail and highways are good plus barge access. Idle cooling towers, lots of water is here. We already have waste. And we have AREVA, a leading recycler already. This is the place. big applause.

Pam Larsen

John Darrington

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Continuing with Saul Gutenberg. Initial studies show some real cost savings. FFTF could really be useful to GNEP in a research role. also big applause.

Phil MacGinnis: France and Britain have an advantage that needs to be challenged. another FFTF booster. best DOE hot cell. Really doesn't like what Jimmy Carter did.

Natalie Troyer, Heart of America Northwest. doesn't want more waste at Hanford. doesn't understand the difference between power waste and defense waste. conspiracy theory - thinks there is more waste coming. scatter applause

Jerry Pollett, HOAN, blah blah. rhetorical stuff. doesn't understand the recycling process. no legitimate substance here. equates power waste to historical liquid defence waste. Doesn't like TRIDEC. thinks the old process with the new process. tries to use the vit plant overrun as a whipping stick. tries to say that more waste will be at Hanford. tries to say that more waste will lay around Hanford than ever before. a true believer with a distorted set of facts. big on hyperbole. but short on real science. way over time. crowd is unruly.

Gary Peterson

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Public comments begin.

Court reporter taking the notes.
I'm at 58% power now. I may have to bum a connection a power strip.

Richard Black is the DOE rep. So he's the one to talk at if you need that sort of thing.

First speaker is Claude Oliver. brief history of FFTF medical isotope effort. then a stats tirade. the price of nuclear fuel is way up because there are lots of countries building plants and buying the fuel. nice applause.

Ken Dobbin, councilman from West Richland. WR city council supports GNEP. a laundry list of what is already hear to support ABR and the research facility. FFTF and the FMEF. could be a money saver. included a plug for medical isotopes. ask DOE to challenge opponents to come up with something better. big applause.

(found a nearby plug. whoo-hoo)

Bob Parks, closet racist and Kennewick city councilman. speaking for the council. read the resolution passed by the council in support. blah, blah. has a frog in his throat. also has trouble reading the big words. (of course I'm snarky. I lost an election to him)

Saul Gutenberg, retired FFTF worker.

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Two alternatives: do nothing, or do GNEP

13 sites are considered, 8 DOE and 5 non-DOE.

Hanford is a possibility for all three elements of GNEP. TRIDEC wants it.

Looking at other nations to refrain enr and repr programs. Some nations may not want the electricity but may want nuke for things like desalination.

Link: DOE - Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

break to rearrange the room for comments. They really want commenters to limit to 3 minutes.

smart people are giving their written comments to the reporters. They will probably get some good press as a result.

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Ray Furstenau, from DOE Idaho.

His slides are in the packet so he's going to try to move through it quickly.
20% electricity generated by nuclear. basic power plant stuff.
Fuel last 18-24 months in the reactor. GNEP is proposing a closing of the cycle.

Demand is growing here and in the world. It's called a global partnership because China, Japan, Russia, and France are big players. US could lose its influence in the whole process if we don't get on board.

We need to allow the world to generate nuke power without forcing them to get into the enrichment and reprocessing business. Limiting it is more proliferation resistant.

3 things are being considered. a recycling center, an advanced recycling reactor, and a research center. The reactor's mission is to destroy the transuranics.

CFTC - recycling center, ABR - reactor, AFCF - research facility

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

Barry Larson is facilitating.
NEPA - Natl Envir Policy Act
This is a public scoping meeting for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). the act requires and exhaustive review of the proposed GNEP program.
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).
GNEP will be a recycling project for spent nuclear fuel as well as a method of reducing the amount and toxicity of the waste products.

About 400 people are present. They just opened up a seating overflow area.

An introductory video starts us off.

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

It's 20 minutes away from the official start and folks are assembling. It's easy to tell the official guys because of the suits. It's also easy to spot the anti-nuke westsiders because of the long hair and personal hygiene standards. The news talent are the ones with really nice makeup, both male and female. I also see lots of local friends who are hear to speak to the medical isotopes issue. Hi, Laurel! A blinding light in the back corner indicates that television pre-interviews are underway. The sign language interpreter is getting her fingers warmed up at the front of the room.

From the agenda it looks like the time for public comment will be in the last half of the hearing. I'll try to conserve as much power for that as possible.

Live Blogging the GNEP Hearing

This is an attempt to do a live-blog of an extended local hearing of administration's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership project. I'll hang in here as long as my batteries can handle it.

Please be aware that in live-blogging the later entries will appear first. To read them in order you will have to scroll down to the first and read up.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Why is it?

Why is it that every time there is a hint of suspicion about the hidden dealings of this administrations and the agencies it controls, the suspicion turns out to be true? Not once do the higher ups say, "No, that's a bad idea. It would be illegal, unethical, or unconstitutional." Despite their sociopathic noises to the contrary, they simply have no moral compass or even a good idea of what it is.

Or as Joe Conanson puts it:
"Bolstered by political impunity, especially in a time of war, perhaps any group of politicians would be tempted to abuse power. But this party and these politicians, unchecked by normal democratic constraints, proved to be particularly dangerous. The name for what is wrong with them -- the threat embedded within the Bush administration, the Republican congressional leadership, and the current leaders of the Republican Party -- is authoritarianism.

The most obvious symptoms can be observed in the regime's style, which features an almost casual contempt for democratic and lawful norms; an expanding appetite for executive control at the expense of constitutional balances; a reckless impulse to corrupt national institutions with partisan ideology; and an ugly tendency to smear dissent as disloyalty. The most troubling effects are matters of substance, including the suspension of traditional legal rights for certain citizens; the imposition of secrecy and the inhibition of the free flow of information; the extension of domestic spying without legal sanction or warrant; the promotion of torture and other barbaric practices, in defiance of American and international law; and the collusion of government and party with corporate interests and religious fundamentalists."

Sunday, March 04, 2007

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Event Planning Stuff

DNC is looking at national events from which can be piggybacked on.

In July DNC will sponsor a community service event plus picnic., Do Not Patronize List. Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees

Try to use a union facility first.

Two kinds of events: fundraisers and friend-raisers

Work the contract: it is as starting point for negotiation. Food discount, if block of guest rooms get meeting room discount. Block rate must be better than online rate. Have facilities compete with each other.

Keep a good list for the event. Get from other orgs. Friends and family list

Build and maintain the list. Look at who the donors are on pdc.. But you must have a second source for address before you use a PDC address. uses FEC list from 04, is more recent

Use email if possible.

Use union print shop (build a steady relationship. Capitol City Press ships state-wide) If you print yourself put “printed in house, labor donated” so you don’t displease the union people who receive the invite. Try to support unions as much as possible.

Must go out at least 3 weeks in advance

If fundraiser, include a remit in the invite. People can support without actually attending and can book attendance right away.

Press Craft in Pasco is a union shop

Sponsorships help make more money, give them good publicity, logos on stuff, in a slide show, make it worth it to them.

Get sponsors and attendees to come by following up with phone calls and remind, remind, remind. Make it as convenient as possible to contribute.

RSVP list is critical. If you muck it up it will be a nightmare. Can drive mailmerge to created name-tags, etc.

Print it with multiple sorts and/or have a laptop at registrations.

Print individual envelopes with all the critical stuff on cover and documents inside.

Make sure the facility knows what your needs are. Must be on contract. As much detail as possible, lists, diagrams, maps, etc. Have a panic box, (tape, extension cords, spare name tags, etc, etc) Contact the site day before and have an onsite contact for the day of the event.

Day of event, walk-through early, signs etc. Have some floater volunteers.

Stay calm. Attitudes are contagious.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Challenge from the Chair followup:

Power is the ability to set goals and get things done.

A major strength of the party are those stalwarts who have been doing the work for years. A major weakness of the party are those stalwarts who have been doing the work for years.

Idea: Use PCO’s to survey neighborhood for unregistered addresses. Next pass do registrations and sort them.

Then you have prelim ID list and then use phones to clearly ID them.

Use the list to look for new blood.

A sample caucus briefing, need to reelect G with larger margin, up and down the ticket.

First list to call for caucus boost is previous caucus attendees. Ask them to bring someone.

One group to target are new registrees and recent move-ins. 0/1 and 1/1.

We should really pursue good matchbacks during the voting process. The recent registree are good matchback folks. It will let them know that we care.

Consider keeping the contact with the people you register.

On immigrant population: a leaning Dem population. Good immigration issues will bring them into the fold.

With voter registration, have the felon recovery procedure down pat (excellent task for a lawyer volunteer)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Suburban Red breakout (cont)

a reverse-reception line at the caucus, Thank them for their participation and invite them to participate further.

have an "I caucused as a democrat" mag sticker.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Suburban Red breakout (cont)
be ready to assign voter ID and voter reg tasks at the caucus. make the task assignment part of the caucus agenda.
provide a printed calendar of events.
but the real job is follow-up. call them all, make contact with each one.
invite them to regular party stuff and make that party stuff interesting.
consider having a special program at the next CC mtg to bring people out.

make your invitation attractive to the indep rather than the YD dem. invite based upon the issues and their desire to change things.

start running activities of "progressive" documentaries and movies, as a community event work the discussion sessions after.

survey addresses of observable school-bond supporters. Easily done at the pct level.

an interesting approach is to ask people who voice progressive interests who they think are the democrats they know. when you contact the second party you can use the recommendation of the first party as an introduction.

use college campuses and high traffic area to collect new registrants.
get with the HS civics teachers to get them to run registrations in their classes.
furthermore, get some civics 101 material developed to help increase registration
it's the registration follow-up that makes the difference.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Suburban Red breakout (cont.)
there is a state party insurance issue yet to be decided.

do what you can to make the location really local.

ask for the lists

add a door prize option.

use yard signs and such to publicize the caucuses.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Suburban Red breakout (cont.)
idea for PCO's, Use the A-list from state file to recruit from a potential PCO short list.

caucus prep list- flexible entry lines, clear signage, clear processes

how to get better caucus attendance:
pre-call the A's and B's to alert them of the caucus.
or other means of contacts.
use advertisements, use an email list with frequent reminders.
invite, invite, invite.

first list would be the 2004 caucus attendees.

encourage supporters of minor candidates to attend because they will have a bigger voice there.

during the caucus, work with the media. get them what they need to do their jobs. caucus results and other interesting stories.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

really need much better database followup from the caucus gathering.
need to watch out for caucus explosion.
that means more people, more money,
and we need better data capture and quicker processing at the caucus.
the challenge for candidates in our area is to negotiate the religious-right block.
good fund-raising makes it possible.
good sites are schools, the price in generally nominal.
expect people to not know what their pct is. have a program available so people can query for their pct. remind people ahead of time that pct. ID is necessary.

in the training process be sure to do a dry run.
have a good PA sound system.
Be ready to run multiple lines if the numbers require it.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Suburban Red breakout:
what will be our tactics?
some initial thoughts:
worried about state-level emphasis, wanted help in finding local candidates but is not hearing that.
at the LD chair level, the key job is to get candidates to run for their LD.
fielding the local candidates helps the state-level goals.
there also a trickle-down effect that can work as well. calls for state candidate helped the CD candidate.
work the ticket both ways.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Tina Shamfeldon:
a story. 33rd LD, 149 pcts, 66% with PCO's, 125 blue pcts.
some teams stuff.
older PCO's can mentor the newbies.
doorbelling is more fun with teams.
in pcts that tend indep need activities that make contact without locking party loyalty
really need to keep people connected post-caucus
teams can leverage more coverage in unPCO'd pcts.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Cathy Humphrey:
the Douglas County plan-started with US Census Bureau, quick facts to get good demographics for your county.
calculated growth rate, calculated projected population of new voters, developed a specific registration goal. was 8500 under-registered.
NCEC has numbers of eligible voters vs. registered voter estimates
in Douglas County 67% of voters are in unincorporated areas or small towns. but candidates all focussed on towns.
need to recruit PCOs, then put them to work getting registrations done. target demographic groups that vote Dem high.
issues haven't been mentioned today but it's issues that will get incumbents out. sometimes the candidates have platforms that don't fly with the voters.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

More open mike:
Having Dems in local races increases Dem performance up and down the slate.

Different LDs have different tactics but we are better off totally when we respect each other's differences.

Now some planning stuff:
get planning, get active, get tasks set out, assigned and done. produce work programs in each LD.
be prepared to run a caucus as smooth as silk.
have enough sites, have enough volunteers, have a well-designed process ready-to-go.
Each LD should have a caucus-planning cmte.

leverage the names the come out of the caucus stuff and turn them into more votes.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

more open mike:
would like to see some media help from the state party to boost caucus attendance.
DP: suggests that it be a more focused contacts on a personal basis than broad meda stuff.

suggest that more party meetings be announced to public so independents can be aware of democratic goings-on.

Dave Chassins: need better data for the file
suggest a single email with sections instead of multiple emails
need feedbacks from task progress as we go along so we can see how good we are doing.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

More open mike:
Q: a state project for voters of color? A: affirm action cmte is meeting next door to develop plan to send to DNC for approval.

An appeal for a realistic caucus agenda. Pelz: we will provide a training DVD for caucus attendees as well as caucus leaders.

Q: worried about national events sucking oxygen from caucuses if Pres candidate is selected too early. DNC is really trying to level the field.

EW voter data from state party is lousy. A: it may be bad but nationally may be worse.

would like to marry up local files to state files and pct lists.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Open Mike:
We need to also have a protect the vote strategy to watch how the mail-in ballots are counted.

We should allow some caucus time set aside for the team-building instead of all the resolution stuff.
Have a good agenda.
Volunteer work should be done early in agenda
Platform discussion should be pushed to end or just collected rather than burn time discussing them.
Have a committee receive planks to consolidate them and pass them up to next level.

Protecting the vote can be expensive in hours, up to hundreds of ours.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

First phase of program is pre-caucus. Activities to get people to the caucus. And raise funds to run the caucus. Need to get pct chairs trained.

Pct Chair training will be in Jan 08.

An activity calendar was handed out. Looks like a nice working plan.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

The goal for Suburban Red is 1000 Gregoire votes per LD. 20% increase in caucus attendance in each LD. After Caucus task is voter regis plus voter ID.

In even redder areas the tactic is to not do heavy registration work since you are more likely to increase R ranks instead of D ranks.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Every LD has a category. The 8th LD is Surburban Red. Every class has been assigned a goal by Pelz.

All kinds of statistics can be used to target campaign efforts and dollars.

Voter Reg is a good tactic. But focus registration efforts in high-Dem pcts.

In general register all you can. After registration check preference. Later just go back to the Dems for GOTV.

More WA Dem Live-Blogging

Looks like we are about to do some real work.

Pelz's challenge:
Use the caucuses to build the party, thousands new attend, hundreds work on the campaign, dozens do party work, and a handful stay active after election.
We could get up to 100000 new email addresses.
We need to invite people to volunteer to do concrete, effective tasks that are a part of a larger strategy.
Goals, strategies, tactics.

Goal: produce 100,000 addl votes for Gregoire
Strategy: Recruit volunteers, and ask them to perform effective tasks.
Tactics: will include voter reg, voter ID, boosting caucus attendance,
Create teams of volunteers. Organize teams for the precincts. Stop sending people out all by themselves.


George Fearing is running for the 4th CD seat now occupied by the lapdog 'Doc' Hastings.

Possible candidates for the 8th LD Rep seat held by Shirley Hankins includes Carol Mosier and maybe Richard Wright.

Central Washington Politics Link

The Other Side - Online

Open Mike

Dave Chassin: Relationship with media. Point out to the press that they are a business and they need to pay attention to who their consumers are. When Dems get more votes it's good business for them to pay attention to demcratic issues.

Another person: Look into public access television to put on programs.

Bob Esvelt

Stevens County chair, small county in a single LD.
District has been firebombed by Rpub propaganda and people tend to blindly vote R.
Doesn't charge dues like other places but do have a suggested donation. An annual fundraising dinner and a picnic. Prizes tend to be things like a shotgun.
Runs a set of committees. Routine.
Caucuses can be one of the best party-building tools. It's a reason to get people out and engaged and self-identified with the party.
Public relations: All parades, fair booths.
Community Services:
Scholarship Contest
Candidate Committee: Invites new people by telling them that if they choose to run the party will support them. Eventually someone will take up the offer.
Suggestion from the floor: In EW, the major press outlets are R-controlled. Party org should mount an assault on lack of of fairness.

Continuing with Mark

Also have low-cost events like picnics and fair booths.
Another issue was about to how to manage internal activity. Suggestion from the floor was: take the E-board on a retreat or a long meeting. Produce a document with tasks clearly documented. It becomes a strategy document against which you can monitor and track progress.
Mark wound it up.

Evergreen Politics Link

Evergreen Politics

Live Blogging

Going to a new provider for voter database, Voter Activation Network. Look for changes ahead.

I met David Chassin, Franklin County Chair. He had a recent article in TCH that was really good. It laid done a clear Eastern Washington Democratic agenda. It was good about letting people know what democrats in the area all about.

A Best Practices Panel coming up now.
Becky ___, advice is to have a good relationship with former chair. Suggests getting a good E-board together. Office of treasurer is critical. Screw it up and you pay fines. Delegate as many tasks as possible to board members. More people gets more done with better ideas.
In conventions and caucuses, post-session credentialling is always a headache. Can be time-consuming to the max.

Mark Hintz- Snohomish County.
Need to get the electeds involved in the party activities. (Assuming you have some)
Mark has been able to get them to help with good county fundraising.
Use email and paypal to communicate and fund-raise.
His organization collects dues. This gives you a good membership list and a good sense of affiliaton. The amount can be nominal with categories for strong contributors.
High categories go with fancy paraphernalia and free tickets to the big fundraiser projects. Have major speakers state-wide and nationally known.

Fundraising and more open mike

Thurston County has a cooking trailer from which they sell Demo-burgers. They gave $60,000 to candidates last year.

Caucus fundraising is good. Just invite people to donate as they come through the door. You can turn an expense into fundraising opportunity. Let people know that running the caucuses costs money.

You can break into a conservative paper buying ads:
"You might want to vote for a demcrat if..."
Cost is low and can create lots of buzz in a conservative area.

Create a counter-media organ by triggering off the main local organ.

A permanent office can pay off.

Break for lunch.

Blogging the Wa State Dem Chairs Meeting

Dwight Pelz gets everyone to introduce themselves. It's a big room. Evergreen Politics is also live blogging. I'll get a link.
Maybe as many as 50 chairs and hangers-on.

Pelz introduces Tania Rosario who has done lots of good work with the Latino project.