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  1. #1
    NewHope is offline Senior Member
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    Floridians for All's other benefactors,

    What does "for" mean?


    Floridians for All's other benefactors,
    state records show, include Richard Foos, the founder of Rhino Records in Los Angeles, and several big unions, including the National Education Association, which gave $250,000. Mr. Levin gave $130,000 of his and his law firm's money.

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    Re: Floridians for All's other benefactors,

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHope
    What does "for" mean?


    Floridians for All's other benefactors,
    state records show, include Richard Foos, the founder of Rhino Records in Los Angeles, and several big unions, including the National Education Association, which gave $250,000. Mr. Levin gave $130,000 of his and his law firm's money.
    for prep. in favour, in support

    I don't get "All's", though. What does it mean?

  3. #3
    NewHope is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Casiopea,

    Context;

    Interest Groups Mounting Costly Push to Get Out Vote
    By MICHAEL MOSS and FORD FESSENDEN

    Published: October 20, 2004

    In a presidential race whose outcome is expected to hang on turnout at the polls, an army of interest groups is pumping at least $350 million into get-out-the-vote campaigns that are rewriting the tactics of elections.

    The efforts are part of the most expensive voter-drive ground war in history. It includes the major parties and their allies, the independent but partisan groups known as 527's, whose attack advertisements have played a big role in both President Bush's and Senator John Kerry's campaigns.

    And for the first time in a national campaign, it includes hundreds of civic organizations and deep-pocketed business interests.

    These groups, including the United States Chamber of Commerce and coalitions of charities, are using millions of dollars from donors that the groups are not required to identify. And though the groups are nonpartisan, some emphasize issues identified with one candidate or the other.

    The efforts include door-to-door drives, mass e-mailings and telephone campaigns intended for select groups of voters. And the onslaught has been heaviest in the states that are still up for grabs.

    In Florida, for example, unions and civil rights groups are coordinating their efforts, dividing up the state by precinct to reach as many voters as they can. But the fervor has even reached Baghdad, where a Republican lobbyist is trying to help an estimated 100,000 employees of American contractors in the Persian Gulf vote in time to be counted.

    Unlike the major parties and the 527's, the nonpartisan groups are not bound by federal election law that requires them to say where the money comes from.

    "We have no disclosure," said William C. Miller, the national political director of the Chamber of Commerce, which has been trying to reach potential voters with mass e-mailings.

    And unlike the major parties and the 527's, the nonpartisan groups cannot promote a candidate or make political statements without endangering their tax status. But they can have much the same effect by emphasizing "hot button" issues that may tend to help a particular candidate, or by simply turning out groups that tend to vote overwhelmingly for one party or the other.

    The members of a new coalition of charities called the National Voice, for example, are pumping $80 million into motivating voters who are more likely to help Mr. Kerry. In Highland, N.Y., Sister Adrian Hofstetter, an 85-year-old Dominican nun, is using National Voice's Internet program to call minorities and young residents in central Florida to encourage them to vote. "About half of them were very receptive," she said. "They thanked me for calling."

    The Chamber of Commerce's pro-business e-mailings appear to be more helpful to President Bush. One energy company was so excited by the appeal that it gave $250,000 this week, the group said.

    In eastern Iowa, Republican manufacturers have joined the Prosperity Project of a pro-business organization to appeal directly to workers through e-mail messages and fliers stuffed in paycheck envelopes. The literature links voting to job security.

    Voters have mixed reactions to the barrage. Many said in recent interviews that they enjoyed the opportunity for a bit of doorstep discourse with recruiters. But others said they were concerned about a loss of privacy and tired of being increasingly pushed to vote early by absentee ballot. Political operatives are even gathering completed absentee ballots in many swing states.

    "I didn't want to vote absentee; they talked me into it," said Janice Burgess, 72, a retired printer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, referring to two Democratic canvassers. As it happened, she failed to sign the ballot submission, meaning it cannot be counted. A county worker pointed out the error, so she will go to a polling place on Election Day after all to cast her vote for Mr. Kerry.

    Many of these tactics were used in 2000, but the scale and aggressiveness of this year's ground war has far surpassed even the expectations of the presidential campaigns.

    The nonpartisan groups and the 527's alone are spending at least $350 million this year to increase the turnout, which could exceed 121 million. That spending is several times what it was four years ago, when 105 million votes were cast, according to those who are raising the money.

    Each side is accusing the other of crossing the line into fraud, though election officials believe a handful of recent incidents were isolated. In one, Charles E. Coulson, the prosecutor in Lake County, Ohio, said an inquiry had found 65 voters who said political operatives had tricked them into signing requests for absentee ballots. The campaign workers, they said, misrepresented the forms as requests for sample ballots or permission to plant a yard sign.

    Each side is also watching the other for signs of advantage. When unions in Cedar Rapids took advantage of an Iowa law that let them set up voting booths at a Teamster's hall on Oct. 10 to collect early votes, a Republican monitor, Bill Vernon, was there taking notes. He said he was looking for a surge in Democratic registrants that would require an offsetting effort by the Republicans.

    The major parties and the political groups deny promoting overzealousness by their recruits but acknowledge that the voter-drives are vital.

    "Get-out-the-vote will decide the outcome of the election," said Karen Hicks, the national field director of the Democratic National Committee. "We knocked on over a million targeted doors last Saturday and are making record numbers of phone calls and visits every day."

    Republican operatives agree that the presidential race has come down to turnout and say they are matching Democrats step by step. "We have neighbors talking to neighbors, and that's the way to win a close race," said Terry Nelson, national political director of the Bush campaign.

    Win or lose the White House, the groups that are helping the campaigns vow to become fixtures on the political scene, and their most potent influence may not even be in national races. They are also getting involved in local campaigns, in which they could have a huge impact for years to come.

    In Florida, a national group called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn, set out to do just that this November by putting a proposal for a minimum-wage increase on the ballot. It formed an affiliate called Floridians for All and quickly collected the required signatures. The effort went on to register 90,000 new low-income and minority voters.

    "I believe in the minimum-wage effort," said one donor, Martin Levin, a trial lawyer who has also given money to Mr. Kerry. But he added: "I felt the need to do whatever I could to get George Bush not re-elected."

    Floridians for All is typical of dozens of groups that are playing a powerful role in the presidential race, even though their only connection to Mr. Bush or Mr. Kerry is through the voters they are trying to motivate.

    The groups' involvement in the presidential race is receiving mixed results. On one hand they are engaging people in the political process and supporting elections with money that does not carry the whiff of party contributions. But on the other, their funds are more difficult to trace, and many are operating outside the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance act, which sought to control election spending by banning unlimited contributions to the parties. Project Vote, the charitable arm of Acorn, will spend at least $16 million in crucial states this year; it spent $1 million in 2000.

    "How much money has been pumped into this, we don't have any idea," said Kent Cooper, co-founder of PoliticalMoneyLine.com, which tracks political spending.

    Like most of these groups, the Chamber of Commerce is not required to name its patrons, but Floridians for All is, because Florida law considers the group a political action committee.

    An examination of its finances shows that the group has gathered significant support from tax-exempt charities that have not traditionally been big givers to either party. The Solidago Foundation of Northampton, Mass., which supports social environmental causes, gave $40,000, while the Tides Foundation, of San Francisco, another backer of social causes, has donated $165,000.

    Floridians for All's other benefactors, state records show, include Richard Foos, the founder of Rhino Records in Los Angeles, and several big unions, including the National Education Association, which gave $250,000. Mr. Levin gave $130,000 of his and his law firm's money.

    The Pew Charitable Trusts is also a big player in the voter-turnout effort. It increased its grants six-fold over 2000, mainly through its $9 million support of an effort for young voters, the New Voters Project.

    "There was an enormous wealth created in the 90's," said Rebecca Rimel, the president of the Pew trusts. "A lot of these people are saying they want to, quote, make a difference, get a return. And they're worried about the health and happiness of American democracy."

    These donors are also attracted by the ground war campaigns being waged by the new nonpartisan groups, by the 527's (the name is taken from a section of the tax code) and by individual activists who are racing to reach voters who might be missed by the political parties.

    On a recent Sunday afternoon in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Christopher Curran loaded his Palm Pilot with the latest intelligence on Democratic voters and headed out for some ballot chasing, as it is called.

    In swing states like Iowa, few turnout drives are as sophisticated or as ambitious as that of Mr. Curran's employer, America Coming Together, or ACT, a 527 group with a $125 million budget and a force of paid workers that will swell to 45,000 on Election Day. But the tactics ACT uses are potentially as controversial as they are powerful.

    Mr. Curran tells prospective voters that he is taking a survey and gently asks how they feel about high-priced prescription drugs, or how Mr. Bush has dealt with economic issues. But Mr. Curran's true mission is to register voters and get them to vote absentee, which he does only if they indicate they might vote for Mr. Kerry.

    On porches and sidewalks, Mr. Curran then helps voters fill out forms and later delivers some of the forms to the county election office. An ACT spokeswoman, Sarah Leonard, said the group complied with election laws.

    The Republican Party and its allies are wielding another voter turnout tool: corporate communications. "This is a huge number of people," says Gregory S. Casey, chief executive of the Business Industry Political Action Committee, or Bipac, which increased its spending ten-fold this election, to $5 million. The group is helping 700 companies and associations in pivotal states to persuade their employees to vote for candidates who favor business interests.

    A recent Bipac message distributed by Al-jon, a solid-waste equipment manufacturer in Ottumwa, Iowa, to its 110 workers referred to job security in every paragraph. "Prosperity - and job security - don't just happen," the message said. "They are the result of our free enterprise system and reasonable government policies. So every vote counts."

    The turnout campaigns are concerned not just with voters in the United States. Timothy B. Mills, a lobbyist working on Iraq reconstruction issues for the law firm of Patton Boggs and a former vice president of the Republican National Lawyers Association, has organized the effort in Baghdad to help the estimated 100,000 contractor employees in the region cast their votes. One plan is to send the ballots en masse to an office in Washington, where they would be separated and redirected to the appropriate local election site.

    Both Republicans and Democrats are also using registration forms and other voting records to identify the voters they want to reach. Election officials say the law compels them to release the documents. But it is not just the names that the political operatives want; the records identify those who vote only sporadically, a priority group in this election.

    "Most voters are unaware that their data is a matter of public record and is being transferred and enhanced by political campaign to create elaborate voter profiles," says Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation.

    Some officials worry that the aggressive pursuit of voters could backfire. "People are just ticked off," said Denise Lamb, the director of elections in New Mexico. "I'm worried they're going to be so sick of this, they will put a pox on the election and decide to just not show up."

    Alexis Rehrmann contributed reporting for this article.

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    OK, thanks, but I still don't know what "All's" means. :?

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