Knock Knock Knockin’ on Festus’s Door

In my post from last night about Doug Bennett’s event last evening at the Hong Kong, Festus Garvey had the following comment.

How does Doug’s Nantucket Selectman experience translate into serving the citizens of Boston?

If Doug has knocked on 26,000 doors in 5 months, this translates into about 750 doors every day–seven days a week.  Therefore, I wonder if Doug has a day job, or a trust fund or is he just another lying politican?

I gave a spirited response to Mr(s). Garvey in the comment thread.  What struck me was Festus’s seemingly complete lack of elementary arithmetic skills.  The actual number of doors that are needed to knock on per day over 5 months is 173 doors to reach 26,000.  

Earlier this fall WBUR did a story on Doug, sending a reporter to spend the afternoon with him in Southie.  Part of the story answers at least two questions of Festus’s, and another gives a confirmation of what Rob Willington’s been telling us about how to campaign.

First to Festus’s questions.  

BENNETT: You know, I got elected on Nantucket, and I had one-tenth of the amount of money that my opponents did, and I beat eight other people.

Beat them by knocking on doors. By 8 p.m., Bennett has knocked on 200 doors. He does this five days a week.

By five days a week it’s what he does after work.  On the weekends he’s out there both days knocking from what he’s told me.

Finally Doug is using Voter Vault to it’s full potential.  It generates his targeted lists for him, and he then puts all the data into voter vault. It’s a fanatastic use of the technology.  Here’s Doug in his own words regarding Voter Vault.

More than a year before the election, we meet at 5:30 p.m., after his day job at the Suffolk County Criminal Trial Court. We meet at the corner of Broadway and Dorchester Street, in South Boston, where he shows me a map produced by the Republican National Committee.

BENNETT: So I use Voter Vault technology, right? What it does is it produces me a map of all the houses that we’ll be hittin’, OK?

The map shows the most frequent voters. Bennett has a huge packet of leaflets, and on each one, he’s put the name of the voter he wants to contact, and the address, plus a little hand-written note. He got the map for free from the state Republican party. He is a Republican, but candidates for city hall aren’t allowed to run under a party affiliation.

Doug is doing the things that we all tell candidates to do.  He’s building a volunteer network. I’ve met few organizer’s better than Doug in this state.  I’m looking forward to following and helping his campaign as 2009 shapes up.  In the next few weeks he will be launching a revamped campaign website that is being designed with social media technology, and will be at the level of Ron Paul’s technology from what I’ve heard.  Doug gets grassroots, he may be just what we need to learn from.

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno