The War Room
West Texas Tour, Stop One: Abilene
As part of our Take America Back 2012 campaign, FreedomWorks for America began an extensive West Texas Tour today with a grassroots training workshop at the Prime Time Family Center in Abilene.
The event began at 2 p.m. with Campaigns Coordinator David Spielman greeting the 25 activists in attendance and leading a discussion of our long term grassroots strategy: “Build to win, win to build.”
“Our philosophy is simple,” Spielman explained. “We come here to support your work and supply you with the tools to become better activists for the issues and candidates you care about. That’s our FreedomWorks service-center model.”
Spielman stressed the importance of building coalitions in grassroots battles so that—win or lose—we emerge with stronger, larger, and more committed networks of freedom-loving activists.
Abilene activist and event organizer Renee Higgins shared a story about how she rallied support amongst Tea Party groups to defeat a local bond issue.
"We went door-to-door, we educated people about the real cost to taxpayers," said Higgins proudly. "And we crushed it."
But how do these successful grassroots coalitions transition into winning elections?
Campaigns Assistant and native Texan Amanda Shell answered that question with an in-depth seminar on grassroots get-out-the-vote (GOTV) tactics. Activists also learned about how they could mobilize online, using FreedomWorks’ grassroots networking platform FreedomConnector.
Activists learned about the importance of using our FLS online phone banking system, yard sign blitzes, and literature drops during neighborhood walks.
“We’re here to provide you with the tools you need, but it’s up to you to talk to your neighbors and share this training,” Shell advised. “That face-to-face interaction on the ground is a key component to our strategy of winning over more Texans to our cause. And that makes us different than most political groups.”
And that strategy informs the overall plan of FreedomWorks for America: Flip the United States Senate not just for Republicans—but for grassroots-backed fiscal conservatives—the type of candidates like Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz.
Communications Manager Michael Duncan expounded on that strategy, giving the Abilene activists a peek into the FreedomWorks for America plan across the country.
“We’re targeting unreliable incumbent Republicans like Senator Orrin Hatch (UT) and Senator Dick Lugar (IN), we’re standing behind strong fiscal conservatives like Ted Cruz in open seats like here in Texas, and we’re planning to send some vulnerable Democrats like Ben Nelson (NE), Bill Nelson (FL), and Sherrod Brown (OH) to retirement in November.”
Duncan also pointed to a secret ballot vote for Vice Chairman conducted by the Republican Senate Caucus back in December; where Tea Party-backed Senator Ron Johnson (WI) lost by just three votes in a race against establishment pick Senator Roy Blunt (MO).
“Three votes separate fiscal conservatives from controlling the agenda in a new Republican Senate majority after November,” Duncan encouraged the attendees. “Controlling an agenda based not on party—but on limited government, free markets, and individual liberty."
"In 2012, the Senate is the prize," Duncan continued. "We want the majority of the majority.”
The event was scheduled to end at 5pm, but attendees hung around afterwards to gather signs supporting Ted Cruz and other materials to spread among their local groups.
Next up in our West Texas Tour: Midland-Odessa.