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

  • he has an (R) next to his name and promises to knock on doors!

    Who cares if it appears his first instinct is to raise taxes rather than to hold the line of ridiculous waste and inefficiency that CLEARLY exists in Boston.

    A telephone pole tax in the platform of a Republican? Really?

  • A old friend of mine once said that no matter how hard you try you can’t put a shine on a sneaker.  Knocking on doors does not automatically translate to votes.  In fact in this particular effort it seems more likley to backfire!

  • Festus Garvey

    …don’t do math after 10 pm.

    But really, the general thrust of Doug’s comments (as described by Eabo) and Eabo’s unabashed enthusiasm for his election platform is laughable.

    As Howie Carr points out, the Boston City Council is the most powerless elective body in the state-except maybe County Commissioners.  Yet Bennet claims he’ll do all these great things-like making Boston a Green economic powerhouse.  That is rhetoric that Patrick has been using since 2006 and is old hat (and both Patrick and the Mayor have already made great strides in that direction.).  How is one (freshman) member of a powerless board (which still pays in the area of $85,000 a year) going to affect change like that?  It complete BS.

    As for his claim of knocking on 26,000 doors in his quest to knock on a total of 75,000 doors…obviously I’m skeptical.  But what really bothers me about this is Eabo’s-and others on this site-cheerleading.  I’ve heard the same stuff about Ogo, about the “farm team”, about the great strides you’ll be making in the 495 belt, about VE claiming that Lonnie Brennan was going to contact voters in his district 11 times.  

    And then you guys lose again and again and again and again.  So pardon me if I remain skeptical.

    As for Doug using Voter Vault…good for him, but again, this reminds me of the how excited the Indians may have felt after they acquired rifles in the 1870’s while the US Army was deploying gatling guns.  I laughed with amusement after the 2006 election when folks here were commenting that visibility stand-outs were a time waster when people could be back at the office making phone calls.  Eureka! What a concept.

    Good luck to Doug and frankly good luck to the Republican Party.  We need a strong two party system in this state if we want to get real reform.  But, despite all the empty rhetoric I read around here, what we have is an impotent opposition and that is not a good thing.

  • MrThom

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

    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.

    Is that 200 doors in 2 1/2 hours?  That’s less than 2 minutes per door! Must be a fast talker.

  • Festus Garvey

    …I’ll tell him the same thing I “told” Deval