Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The New Republic ^ | 11/10/03 | Noam Scheiber

Posted on 11/10/2003 8:31:37 PM PST by jeannineinsd

Everyone tells their own version of how Walter Mondale won the straw poll at Iowa's Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in 1983, but they all go something like this: In early October, a young Mondale aide named Joe Trippi shows up in Des Moines to check on Mondale's Iowa field operation. What he finds there horrifies him. Somehow the Iowa team has allowed the rival campaign of California Senator Alan Cranston to nearly corner the market on tickets to the JJ dinner, an annual affair designed to raise money for the Iowa state Democratic Party. This is, to colossally understate things, a problem. The dinner's traditional straw poll is an important barometer of public opinion in the state that hosts the nation's first caucuses. Mondale is a former vice president from neighboring Minnesota. Not only is he expected to win the straw poll; he is expected to win big. But the way you win is by packing the convention hall full of your own supporters. And the way you do that is by selling them tickets or buying tickets for them.

Trippi is nearly hysterical when he calls Campaign Manager Bob Beckel and Deputy Manager Mike Ford in Washington. "He speaks so fast, it was hard to keep up," Beckel recalls. "I said, 'Joe, What's the bottom line? What do you need?' He said, 'I just need permission to do whatever I need to do.' ... I just said OK." But there isn't a lot Trippi can do. He can try to get the Iowa Democratic Party to sell him more tickets. But there's no way they're going to sell him $275,000 worth, which is what Trippi estimates Cranston has bought. And, even if they would, there's no way he can afford to drop that kind of cash on an off-year event. When it comes down to it, Trippi is going to have to get his hands on tickets that have already been sold. Cranston tickets. Lots of them. And yet, once he accepts that proposition, the solution is almost elegant in its simplicity: What's to stop him from just marching right up to Cranston's people and asking for them?

"We started really early in the day," Trippi remembers, reflecting on how he and an Iowa colleague named Tom Cosgrove solved their JJ problem. "They stopped about three miles out [from] the staging area--the Mondale buses coming from Minnesota or wherever they were coming from." What follows is one of the most ambitious political makeovers in history. A team of Mondale aides, led by Cosgrove, plasters the bus with Cranston paraphernalia--stickers, posters, buttons, everything. Three miles down the road, the bus pulls up to the Cranston tent, where a Mondale/Cranston supporter gets out and tells a real Cranston aide he has 52 people on the bus. The aide looks up at the bus, surely admiring the military-like discipline that has brought a busload of Cranston supporters from "Los Angeles or wherever" out to the middle of Iowa this early in the day, and quietly congratulates himself. He promptly hands over 52 tickets.

And it continues like this, through bus after bus of Mondale supporters: Stop three miles up the highway, lather the bus in Cranston paraphernalia, drive on to the Cranston tent, claim your tickets. And the Cranston campaign just keeps forking them over. Happily. Hell, the more buses that show up, the more impressed the Cranston people are by their own handiwork. Never does it occur to them that these busloads of supporters aren't the genuine article. At least not until the real Cranston buses start showing up. "Twenty buses pull up, and they're out of tickets," Trippi says, still amused at the spectacle almost 20 years later. "More Cranston buses keep pulling up, and they don't have the tickets anymore." Score one for Walter Mondale.

Joe Trippi has been called a lot of things during the eight months he has been managing Howard Dean's campaign for president. To rival campaigns, he's an overgrown computer geek, playing around on blogs and chat rooms until all hours of the night. To the most die-hard Dean supporters, he's an almost messianic figure, the man who helped catapult an obscure Vermont governor to the front of the Democratic pack. And, to the press, Trippi is the kind of uninhibited quote machine most reporters drool over--tossing off quips that are part campaign insider, part pundit, and part pure bravado.

There's some truth to all these claims. But Trippi is first and foremost an organizer--a man who has spent much of his career making sure the right number of bodies turn up on Election Day. "That's the way [organizers] think," says Beckel. "They think about moving votes. In his case, where do you find [the votes]? Who are they? Where do they stand? If they're with us, get them; if they're not with us, forget about them. If they're undecided, badger the hell out of them." And for good reason: In the Democratic primaries, where turnout is extremely low, the better-organized campaign almost always wins.

Of course, Dean's rivals realize this as well. Their campaigns are all staffed by seasoned veterans who collectively have been through dozens of primary contests. What these rivals didn't realize at the onset of the 2004 campaign is that the Internet is the ultimate organizing tool. In fact, the reason they're all now staring up at the bottom of Dean's shoes is that no political operative had ever realized it before Joe Trippi came along.

Trippi was 24 when he joined his first presidential campaign, as an organizer for Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy in the 1980 Arizona precinct caucuses. The challenge facing Kennedy in Arizona was that the Democratic establishment in the state--as in most states--was behind the incumbent, Jimmy Carter. And, while there were large pockets of Kennedy support, primarily in the state's poorer Hispanic communities and on its Indian reservations, the Carter-friendly establishment had arrayed the polling places so that they would be nearly impossible for Kennedy-backers to get to. "What they had done is they had only nineteen polling places," Trippi recalls. "And they were put as far away from the minority community and [Indian] reservations as they could put them."

Trippi was already a veteran of multiple organizing efforts in his native California. That experience paid dividends when California Governor Jerry Brown decided not to challenge Carter for the Democratic nomination. Brown, a longtime supporter of Cesar Chavez's farm-workers union, would have instantly had the farm workers' backing in Arizona had he entered the race. His decision not to run created an opening for Trippi who, on the strength of his relationship with Cesar's son Fernando, helped convince the farm workers to mobilize their shock troops for Kennedy. "They came in like a swat team in Arizona," says one Kennedy campaign official. "In the [Latino] community, the farm workers are tremendous heroes. They had enormous credibility." On Election Day, Trippi and the farm workers went up and down the so-called Phoenix-Tucson corridor, a population hub in the southcentral part of the state, piling voters into rented vans and shuttling them to polling places. "These nineteen polling places had lines for hours," Trippi remembers. Kennedy won Arizona by ten points.

After Arizona, Trippi loaded his most loyal lieutenants into his ailing, gold Pinto and drove nonstop for nearly 1,000 miles to Austin, where Bill Carrick was running Kennedy's Texas operation. Texas was the next major Southwestern primary state on the calendar, and Carrick was adamant that he already had it fully staffed. But Trippi, undeterred, pointed to a splotch on the map in the northeastern part of the state and asked if it was available. "Well, we're still working on that," Carrick shot back, trying to suppress a guffaw. Trippi had stumbled onto the single most conservative, pro-Carter area in the state: Dallas- Fort Worth.

At the time, Texas had one of the more convoluted methods of allocating its delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Once every four years, voters would show up for what looked like a typical primary--the wrinkle being that the primary didn't count for anything. To actually win delegates, you had to make sure your supporters turned out for the state's caucuses, which took place at eight o'clock the same evening. The catch was that you couldn't attend the caucuses without having voted in the primary, since it was your primary stub that got you in the door. It was, in short, a nightmare for political organizers.

Trippi figured Carter supporters outnumbered Kennedy supporters in the Dallas area by something like four to one. At that rate, there probably weren't enough Kennedy partisans in all of East Texas to make a Dallas win likely. But, in principle, it didn't really matter. Because all you really had to do to win delegates was to get enough of your voters to attend the caucuses. Of course, to this point, no one had quite figured out how to do that. "Headquarters had us doing this weird thing where you call people up and say, 'Who are you [supporting] for president?'" Trippi recalls. "If they say, 'I'm for Ted Kennedy,' you say, 'Great, make sure you vote.' Then, after they said OK, you said, 'Now, you're going to get this sticker, you're going to have to wear it, you're going to have to go to Charlie's house ... .' And we weren't getting through. People were just hanging up on us."

A couple of hundred phone calls in, it occurred to Trippi that it would save everybody a lot of time and aggravation if there were some way to get your supporters to come to you rather than seeking them out yourself. Trippi thought about it a little more, and pretty soon he had an idea: What if, come Election Day, you set up a little lemonade stand with a sign that read kennedy supporters: free lemonade here outside every Dallas-area polling station? On the one hand, no one in his right mind was going to pass up free, cold lemonade in 100-degree heat. On the other hand, Carter supporters weren't exactly in their right minds. They were, in fact, exactly the kind of people who'd deprive themselves just to spite Kennedy, even if it was 100 degrees out. Which was exactly the idea. Because, once you were sure you had your own people throwing back free glasses of lemonade, you could make your case. As Trippi explains it, "You'd say, 'See that stub you got? Let me tell you what's going on. They've been hoodwinkin' you, dude. This thing that you just went through? It's bullshit. It's a beauty contest. Eight o'clock tonight is where [the real event is].'" It was that easy.

Carrick, needless to say, wasn't pleased to learn that the fate of his Dallas operation lay in the hands of a couple-dozen hastily assembled lemonade stands. And, when Trippi tried to circumvent him by calling national political director Karl Wagner in Washington, Wagner cut him off before he could get a word out: "Joe, you're not doing the lemonade stands." So, according to Trippi, "I hung up the phone and walked into my staff and said, 'OK, don't tell anybody, but we're doing lemonade stands.'" The results spoke for themselves. The Kennedy campaign won most of the national delegates in the Dallas area and got wiped out just about everywhere else in the state. "It was very effective," Carrick concedes.

It's not much of an overstatement to say that political organizing didn't change a whole lot between the mid-nineteenth century and the 1960s. As early as 1840, according to Daniel Shea, a professor of political science at Allegheny College and author of Campaign Craft: The Strategies, Tactics, and Art of Political Campaign Management, voters were organized in two phases: The weekend before an election, party activists would go door-to-door or drop leaflets in supporters' neighborhoods, reminding them of the upcoming vote. Then, on Election Day, the party would place a representative at each polling site to record the name of every voter who showed up. Every so often throughout the day, a runner would grab the list and take it back to the local headquarters, where the names would be checked off a master registration list maintained by the party. The people whose names remained on the master list by the middle of the afternoon would receive a visit from an activist or, in later years, a phone call urging them to get to the polls.

Partisan affiliation began to decline in the '60s, creating a new class of swing voters and a new problem for political parties. When the universe of a candidate's supporters overlapped almost entirely with the universe of party members, as it had for the previous hundred years, winning elections was mostly a function of turning out the vote. Now the parties had to spend time and resources winning over unaligned voters--even members inclined to vote for the other side. Demographic characteristics that correlated with voting behavior--such as age, income level, and gender--suddenly became important.

Still, up until the late '90s, parties and campaigns tried to determine who would vote for them by looking primarily at who had shown up for the previous election. As a first cut, this was a reasonable way to go about things. The problem was that the method didn't account for important nuances--such as newly registered voters, people who usually vote but just happened to miss the previous election, people who are registered one way but tend to vote the other--which would make the get-out-the- vote effort even more efficient.

That's where information technology (I.T.) has had a significant impact in the past few years. Using ever more detailed data, a computer can tell you exactly how much certain demographic characteristics increase a person's likelihood of voting--and of voting a certain way. Suppose, completely arbitrarily, that affluent, middle-aged, white females only show up for every other election, but they favor Democrats 90 percent of the time when they do vote. If you're a Democratic candidate, you probably want to make a special effort to get this group to the polls.

Of course, focusing your efforts in this way may only get you a couple of percentage points on Election Day. (Hal Malchow, a direct-mail specialist who worked for Al Gore's presidential campaign in 2000, estimates that a similar kind of targeting improves the efficiency of a campaign mailing by between 10 and 30 percent.) But, in a close race, a couple of percentage points may be the difference between winning and losing.

It's helpful to think about these developments in terms of what you might call "cost per body"--that is, the total amount you end up spending to bring a single supporter to the polls. If resources were unlimited, no one would care about the cost per body. You could just send a campaign worker to every house in, say, Iowa, identify your supporters, and drag them to the voting booth. But resources are limited. Which means that, among candidates with similarly appealing platforms and equal amounts of money, the one with the lowest cost per body wins. I.T. is a way for campaigns to lower that cost, if only marginally.

And yet, even though campaigns are organizing supporters more efficiently than ever before, they're still using the same basic techniques they've been using for 35--and in many cases 150--years. Donna Brazile, who managed the Gore campaign, recalls that her single most important concern at this point in 1999 was the campaign's Iowa hard count--i.e., the number of people who have committed to supporting your candidate in the upcoming election. "It's a standard recipe," Brazile explains: The campaign buys a list of registered voters and past caucusgoers from the state party just before it opens for business. At that point, you start making phone calls. The people who say they're definitely supporting your candidate are assigned a "one." The people who say they're leaning your way get a "two." And the people who say they're for the other guy get a "three." Your job is to convert all your twos to ones and to keep your ones from sliding. The number of ones you have at any given time is your hard count. Let it fall too low, and you can kiss the election goodbye.

Which is to say, with the possible exception of Trippi's lemonade stands, no innovation introduced in the 160 years between 1840 and 2000 had changed the basic economics of organizing: As long as you still had to go out and identify your supporters and drag them to the polls, it still cost you a ton of money for every vote you won.

Trippi has always been a self-described technophile. He spent three years at San Jose State University majoring in aerospace engineering. Beckel remembers doing a panel discussion with him not long after the 1984 campaign, when Trippi was already talking about an early version of the Internet and how it could change politics. "I said, 'Joe, I don't have any idea what you're talking about,'" Beckel recalls. Meanwhile, though Trippi's profile in the small world of political operatives continued to grow with each successive presidential campaign-- Mondale in the 1984 election cycle, Gary Hart and then Dick Gephardt in the 1988 cycle--he'd begun to sour on the life of the political operative. The constant plotting and scheming of a presidential campaign had started to wear on him, as had the growing importance of money in politics and the implosion of the Hart campaign over something as seemingly irrelevant as Donna Rice. So it wasn't entirely surprising that the late '90s found Trippi entrenched in Silicon Valley instead--investing in tech start-ups, sitting on boards of directors, and doing corporate consulting on the side.

One of those start-ups was a little-known firm called Wave Systems, whose products secure information--like credit card numbers--used in online transactions. But more important than the technology was the investor community Wave created. Starting in about 1997, the company set up a chat board for Wave investors interested in exchanging ideas with one another. Pretty soon the site was attracting hundreds of posts per day from so-called "Wavoids"--at all hours of the night. What kept them coming back was the fact that Wave executives were actually reading what the investors wrote. "They had this constituency," says Jason Barkeloo, a Ph.D. student living in Ohio who invested in the company early on and remains a frequent poster on the company's message board. "The people involved in this community were doctors, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, professors. ... I'd come home at four, five in afternoon, and I'd be online doing research 'til two in the morning."

Joe Trippi--username "random1"--was also a Wavoid. "Snackman, Bigtim, EcommerceMan--I can tell you everything about that community," he says. Trippi had begun investing in Wave and posting on its chat board in 1999. Although he was intrigued by the kind of community Wave had built, within a couple months it became obvious that the company wasn't doing as good a job as it could of interacting with investors. "They had a really tough time communicating in English what it is they do," Trippi recalls. So Trippi sent an e-mail directly to Wave CEO Steven Sprague and his father, Peter, the company's chairman. "I said, 'I think you guys are screwing up. You're not communicating things right. ... Here's why and how and everything.'"

A month later, Trippi was on the company payroll--a move that, according to Barkeloo, was like catnip to the Wavoids. "When Joe came on board, through the community there was an air of, 'One of us now is on the inside.' Joe, as far as I know, was the bridge between the community and the company." Sprague estimates that, before long, Wave's investors were generating 1,000 and 1,500 posts per day, something basically unheard of in the corporate world. "I don't think there's anyone that will tell you there's anything like it," Trippi says.

Beyond its size, two things stood out about the Wave community. The first was the emotional investment the shareholders were making thanks to their interaction with each other and the company's management--an investment that produced incredible loyalty. "I think that the individual retail investor, no doubt about it, kept Wave afloat," says Barkeloo. "The loyal following kept the stock price up. The company should have gone away [when the tech bubble burst], but it didn't because of the retail base." The second thing was the way the investment community expanded. "It was word of mouth, grassroots," Sprague explains. "A buddy calls you up and says, 'Ah, I have a great stock.' You say, 'Where can I learn more?' He says, 'Join the chat board.'"

Trippi is often credited with bringing the Dean campaign into the information age. In fact, it's the other way around: It was Dean's rapidly growing Internet support that made it necessary to bring Trippi into the campaign. The turning point was the winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in February, where Dean offered a full-throated denunciation of the drive to war in Iraq and accused his party of failing to stand up to the president. Dean had been receiving a healthy 50 e-mails per day prior to the speech, but suddenly the messages were pouring in. "After the DNC speech, [the e- mails] went up geometrically," says Rick Ridder, Trippi's immediate predecessor as campaign manager. "It was close to five hundred a day."

One of Trippi's first acts on behalf of the Dean campaign (he was a consultant at the time) was to negotiate a contract with online service that helps people with common interests find one another and plan local gatherings. In early January, according to The Wall Street Journal, Meetup decided to test the market for political gatherings by inviting users to sign up for a "Meetup" with John Edwards, John Kerry, or Howard Dean. Four hundred people signed up for the Dean Meetup on the first day alone, leading a young Meetup employee named William Finkel to suggest to his boss, CEO Scott Heiferman, that the two seek out Trippi and establish a formal business relationship. "I was going to D.C. for a business meeting at AOL," says Heiferman. "William said, 'Hey, let's go see this guy Joe Trippi.' I said, 'Who the hell's Joe Trippi?' He said, 'He's working on the Dean campaign.' I said, 'Who the hell's Howard Dean?'"

But Heiferman met Trippi, and 40 minutes later the future Dean campaign manager had seen something he hadn't seen for almost 25 years. The beauty of the Meetups, like the beauty of the lemonade stands he'd set up for Ted Kennedy in 1980, was that your supporters came to you. And that meant that the cost per body fell dramatically. Or, more precisely, to some fraction of $2,500. That's the price Trippi agreed to pay Meetup for the information Dean supporters entered when they signed up for Dean gatherings.

Meetup figured perfectly into Trippi's grand campaign strategy. He reasoned that Dean's antiwar, anti-Bush message would resonate at the grassroots, meaning Dean could raise impressive amounts of money from a large base of small donors. That's what had happened in 1992, when Trippi's client, Jerry Brown, promised not to accept donations larger than $100 for his presidential campaign. "I had the same concern everyone else did," Trippi recalls. "'A hundred dollars? Do you know how many hundred-dollar checks you've got to raise to compete with Bill Clinton and these other guys?'" But the response among contributors was quick--and overwhelming. The campaign raised $5 million, helping Brown win the Connecticut and Colorado primaries and come within a hair's breadth of winning New York. But the way the campaign came to collect so much money in such small amounts was even more significant: the first known use of an 800 number to solicit feedback from supporters, making the campaign interactive.

Trippi believed he could repeat that success using a twenty- first-century update of his earlier methods--not only to raise money but to build the kind of community he'd seen evolve at Wave Systems, which could do a lot of the heavy organizational lifting for him. In addition to the Meetups, he created a Web log, where supporters could post their thoughts and get feedback from the campaign. The hope was that each person who attended a Dean Meetup or who wrote regularly on the Dean blog would turn around and involve several more people--siblings, parents, friends, business associates--all of whom could be put to work for the campaign. (On July 2, for example, Dean Meetup-goers wrote letters to every undecided voter in Iowa.) Trippi would eventually hire a Web staff of some ten people to write everything from computer code to blog content.

Before long, Trippi puts together a PowerPoint presentation explaining how he's going to use the Internet to attract cash and sign up supporters--which he dutifully takes around to meetings with labor leaders, congressmen, fund-raisers, and other members of the Democratic establishment. But, of course, at the time the campaign has a measly 8,000 people signed up on its website. To say, as Trippi does, that Dean is going to have 150,000 people signed up by June and 450,000 by September, and that it's going to lap the field in fund-raising--well, the average Democratic suit just has no idea what to do with that. "You have one hundred fifty-seven thousand bucks in the bank, and everyone just saw your FEC report," Trippi says. "Everybody I gave the presentation to looked at me like I was from Mars and probably on massive quantities of hallucinogenic drugs."

That's February. In March, something happens. According to Heiferman, the average pre-Dean Meetup size was between eight and 16 people--"a dozen knitters here, fifteen Harry Potter fans there." But, as Dean's March Meetup rolls around, Heiferman notices that there are 250 people signed up for a single location in New York--just one of hundreds of Dean Meetups set to take place across the country on the same day. Heiferman decides to check it out for himself and can barely believe his eyes. "There's that moment of seeing what turned out to be five hundred people packed into this place," he remembers, still not entirely convinced he saw what he thinks he saw. Then, in late March, something else happens. Trippi looks at his website and sees that he's now got 22,000 e-mail addresses. He thinks to himself, why not ask people to help make one big fund-raising push in the last week of the quarter? The results blow him away: 10,000 individual contributors; nearly $500,000 in six days.

A month passes, and it's more of the same: More e-mail addresses, more people at the Meetups, more money rolling in. Another month, and another, and it just keeps growing. Now it's late June, and Trippi is sure he's not on massive quantities of hallucinogenic drugs--or, if he is, the rest of the world is, too. He packs up the PowerPoint presentation and goes back to see the Democratic suits. "You saw me talk to you before," Trippi would say. "Let me explain this to you." And Trippi lays out the numbers. Back in February, he'd promised that 150,000 people would sign up on the website by the end of June. There are actually 159,000. Ears perk up. And then Trippi starts speaking the suits' language. "I just hand them a slip of paper that says 2.6 million dollars on it, or whatever it was that day. I'd say, 'That's how much money we've raised this quarter. We're ten days away from the end of quarter.'" And then he'd close the deal. "You know how you're going to know this [campaign] is true? Keep this. Whatever you read in the newspaper about what we do in this quarter, remember that it happened after this amount." And the suits just stare blankly at their slips of paper--$2.6 million, or $2.4 million, or $3.1 million--whatever it happens to be that day. And now they're not so sure. What if this guy is for real?

Come early July, the suits are sitting down to read those newspapers Trippi told them to read, and the newspapers all say that Dean has raised $7.6 million. The suits look at their slips of paper--with $2.6 million, or 2.4, or 3.1, or whatever--and they look back at the newspaper, and it just doesn't make any sense. That's when Trippi's phone starts ringing. All at once the suits are calling. They want another look at that PowerPoint presentation. "Now, no one was doing 'Geez, you're crazy,' anymore," Trippi says. "They were just going like, 'Oh shit.'" Suddenly, it's dawning on the suits that, if you can go from $2.6 to $7.6 million in ten days, and if you can go from 22,000 to 159,000 people in three months, then those 450,000 people Trippi promised by the end of September just might materialize. And, if those 450,000 people Trippi promised materialized, who knew how much money they might bring with them?

But, in truth, the suits are only grasping the tip of the iceberg. Because the money is incidental--a by-product, really. Far more important is that Trippi is racking up a hard count most campaign operatives could only dream of--and without having to make a single phone call, knock on a single door, or send a single piece of direct mail. Every time the suits have heard about the Internet changing politics over the last ten years, their eyes have glazed over. And for good reason. Up until Howard Dean and Joe Trippi came along, the only thing I.T. had done was marginally lower the cost of doing the same things they'd always done. And it wasn't even clear it did that. But Trippi is doing something radically different. Like all those fanatical Wave Systems investors, the Dean supporters are doing the hard work of organizing for him, which means the cost per body is falling like mad. Come to think of it, the campaign is even making money in the process.

Trippi is an olive-skinned man with large, bulbous features- -bulging eyes, prominent lips, meaty ears--a middle-aged paunch, and a slightly balding, salt-and-pepper pate. When he's not out roaming among aides, he's usually leaning back deep in his chair, feet propped up on the edge of the folding table that serves as his desk, grasping at a can of Diet Pepsi or one of the handful of gadgets that litter his office. Halfway through our conversation I ask how big a deal it is to have stumbled onto a way to get supporters to do part of your job for you. Trippi waves me around to his side of the table and directs me to a portion of the Dean website called "Deanlink," which tracks the number of additional supporters each current Dean-backer is bringing in. "Here's Jonathan Kreiss Tompkins," Trippi says, pointing to a picture on the screen of his laptop. Jonathan Kreiss Tompkins lives in Alaska and, it turns out, has single- handedly signed up 463 other Dean supporters--their names go on for screen after screen down the left side of Jonathan's Deanlink page. "What I'm trying to say is ... all these people have linked themselves to this guy--and it keeps going, dude." Trippi pauses and looks up. "Now here's the really cool thing: Jonathan Kreiss Tompkins is fourteen years old."

What Trippi doesn't say is that, if you find yourself enough Jonathan Kreiss Tompkinses, pretty soon you've won yourself the nomination. (This is something even the supposedly Internet- savvy campaign of General Wesley Clark doesn't seem to understand.) After all, there are about 100,000 Democrats who typically vote in the Iowa caucuses out of about 500,000 registered in the state. In the average presidential year, you can assure yourself of a win if you get your hard count up to about 30,000. In a year when there are nine candidates, the hard count you need to ensure victory is even lower. Now extend the logic: If, as the DNC assumes, there are about 50 million registered Democrats in the country, and the same percentage of Democrats show up at the polls on primary day around the country as they do in Iowa, then no more than ten million people are likely to vote in all. Which means that, assuming your supporters are distributed the right way, you probably don't need a national hard count of more than one or two million to assure yourself the nomination.

Mention this theory to Trippi, and he cites Washington state- -a place, it's probably safe to say, that none of the other campaigns are even thinking about at this point. "In Washington state, God help any of the other candidates," he says. "We have such an organization up there." According to Trippi, somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 people have historically turned out for the state's presidential caucuses. This past August, 15,000 people turned out to see Dean stop by a Seattle Meetup during his "Sleepless Summer Tour." "I'm standing there going like, 'Shit, we'd win the caucus today,'" Trippi recalls. "'We'd win the statewide caucus with how many people are standing here.'" And even that probably understates Dean's grassroots support: Seattle was just one of more than 20 Meetups across Washington state that day.

Of course, a skeptic might say that, just because you have 15,000 people show up for a Meetup, or 250,000 people giving you money, or 500,000 people giving you their e-mail addresses and reading your blog, doesn't necessarily mean that all 15,000 or 250,000 or 500,000 are going to show up on Election Day. And, if that's the case, the skeptic would probably continue, then the two million e-mail addresses Trippi says he's building toward don't mean a whole lot. But, then, this skeptic has probably never worked for Wave Systems or, for that matter, the presidential campaign of Jerry Brown. If he had, he probably would have learned that, when you're raising money from people in small increments, and when those same people think they're being listened to, then those people start to feel like they own the campaign. And, once they start to feel they own the campaign, it's almost impossible to pry them away. In the language of political organizing, you never have to worry about your ones backsliding into twos.

Trippi gets a perfect test of this proposition in late June, right in the middle of the $7.6 million push. Dean goes on NBC's "Meet the Press" and, according to just about every pundit in Washington, falls flat on his face. But the average Dean supporter doesn't quite see it that way. He sees the same candor and forthrightness that won him over in the first place. And, truth be told, he thinks Tim Russert is a bit of an asshole-- constantly trying to trap Dean in contradictions and hypocrisies. Furthermore, he's annoyed at how dismissive the media is when it comes to a campaign that, after all, he partly owns. Pretty soon, he's writing e-mails and ponying up more cash, trying to send a message to the people who would tread on his investment.

"Well, let's see," Trippi says when I suggest that his supporters might not show up when it counts. "They can go to a frickin' meeting once a month, but they aren't going to make it to a caucus, which is--what's that--a meeting once every four years?"

The bad news if you happen to be a Democratic partisan intent on beating George W. Bush is that there's no obvious way to organize yourself to a general-election victory. Unlike the primary, where the goal is to win over one or two million hard- core partisans, winning a general election requires something on the order of 50 million votes--many from the vast political center. Take the most successful Internet operation in history, raise it an order of magnitude, and still you don't come anywhere near the number of votes you need.

And that's under ordinary circumstances. The problem grows considerably worse when you consider that your opponent is a president who plans to raise some $200 million and who has spent four years courting his own conservative base. The combination of the two means Bush is likely to have both the money and the political latitude to woo the millions of swing voters he needs to cement his reelection.

Still, there is hope. Trippi and Dean are now hard at work locking up the more traditional elements of the Democratic base. (Dean is widely expected to receive the endorsement of the 1.6 million-member Service Employees International Union this week.) Between Dean's Internet operation and the manpower of big labor and various women's and civil rights groups, a nominee Dean might even surpass the turnout operation that put Gore over the top in several states--Delaware, Washington, Wisconsin, Michigan- -where he was running even with Bush or trailing in the final days of the 2000 campaign. "It's not like I just fell off the turnip truck, and I'm an Internet guy, and all I know how to do is the Internet," Trippi says. "Trust me. We're going to reach African Americans. We know how to do that."

And, of course, there is the money. If Dean becomes the Democratic nominee, his Internet fund-raising ability will once again be a crucial factor in his chances of success. "This is like in January, and we're sitting there, and we finally realize it's going to take two million Americans each giving us one hundred dollars online" to raise as much money as Bush, Trippi says. "There's only one medium ... that can change things enough that, if two million people tomorrow morning just woke up and thought, here's your one hundred dollars, it could happen in a day." Surely someone somewhere in the White House has had the exact same thought.

Noam Scheiber is an associate editor at TNR.

TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: democrats; howarddean
Joe Trippi has in the past worked for campaigns for loosing Democrat candidates (Kennedy in 80, Mondale in 84, Gary Hart in 1987, and Jerry Brown in 1992). Per the article, Joe Trippi will be successful the 2004 primaries because he has managed to use the internet to identify and communicate with supporters of his candidate, and has identified people who will likely contribute money to the campaign, all at a much lower cost per body than the other Democratic primary candidates.

Per the New Republic, this practically guarantees him the nomination, they aren't too sure yet about November results.

1 posted on 11/10/2003 8:31:37 PM PST by jeannineinsd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: jeannineinsd
I've managed campaigns, including a county-level presidential primary, and found this long article fascinating. I agree that Dean has the Democratic nomination locked up (unless, borrowing the phrase, he's found with a dead girl or a live boy), but this is the first time such a campaign has taken off. General elections are different and the 2008 primary season will be too.

But this is great stuff for a campaign politics junkie.

2 posted on 11/10/2003 9:31:49 PM PST by Thud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jeannineinsd
Thank you very much for posting this. It was long, technical, and fascinating. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion -- but a planned train wreck like the one early on in The Fugitive.

Still, there were a few factual points about the science of small numbers that I can apply in my own efforts in Western Carolina. Without lying, cheating and stealing, which this guy is obviously capable of. That leaves about 10% of the tactics which might be useful. But that 10% could be essential.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, "The 2004 Election is Over, Now," discussion thread. IF YOU WANT A FREEPER IN CONGRESS, CLICK HERE.

3 posted on 11/10/2003 9:54:54 PM PST by Congressman Billybob ( Visit. Join. Help. Please.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob
My husband was telling me Dean is internet illiterate. He can't even figure out the e-mail system. Others do his net working for him. He could never get past 'Log in.'
I asked him if he was kidding, and he said no. It was on the car radio, and he thinks it was NPR. It was during the solar flair, and it was the only station that would come in. (It was 91.1 on the dial in NY, what ever that is).
Dean isn't quite the 'metro-tech-up to date guy' he tries to appear to be. He's sort of a backwords small state leftie. He doesn't really have much to offer.
If he can't even check his own e-mail, how the heck does he plan on running a whole country?
I'll guess he throws up every morning out of pure terror. I don't think he's any where near qualified for the presidency. He's like Bill Clinton. He'll be totally lost being in charge. He'll hide from everything the same way Clinton the coward did.
4 posted on 11/11/2003 7:38:05 AM PST by concerned about politics ( As a rightous man declarith a thing, so shall it be.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob
Hey, remember my theory on how Dean is raising this money? The guy in charge of his campaign is shown in this article to be both technically savvy and capable of ruthless cheating.

I think I am right about all that isn't coming from small donors.

5 posted on 11/11/2003 7:46:40 AM PST by Miss Marple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
I think I am right about all that isn't coming from small donors.

The majority of the Democrat base lives off social programs. They have no money.
That's how the Buddist Monks came into the picture.
Dean is pro-homo, pro-death. He probably gets a lot of his cash through pro-misery groups / communist-socialist organizations overseas.

6 posted on 11/11/2003 8:01:02 AM PST by concerned about politics ( As a rightous man declarith a thing, so shall it be.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: concerned about politics
This my theory:

Most of Dean's donations come from on-line credit card donations. These are under the amount necessary to require reporting to the FEC.

I think that big bucks are coming in from overseas and from a few leftists here in this country.

If said big-bucks donors deposit money in a compliant bank (say...Citibank) and a bunch of dummy credit card accounts are created, all with limits under the FEC threshold, then donations can be sent to his campaign at pre-determined times (say when he announces a fund drive) with a simple computer program. The credit card accounts are paid from the big-bucks donors.

No people to track down, no records, and he flouts the campaign laws without detection.

I absolutely do not believe that there are people donating to his campaign in the numbers he claims.

7 posted on 11/11/2003 8:14:06 AM PST by Miss Marple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
No people to track down, no records, and he flouts the campaign laws without detection.

That means any right wing organizations can put billions in a bank account, spread it out to smaller ones, and just pass out charge cards to right wing voters. It's then untraceable.

8 posted on 11/11/2003 8:27:28 AM PST by concerned about politics ( As a rightous man declarith a thing, so shall it be.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
Uh...sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory to me.
9 posted on 11/11/2003 10:31:30 AM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: huck von finn
10 posted on 11/11/2003 10:46:16 AM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Thud
One thing we can safely draw from this article is that politics have changed, yes.
11 posted on 11/11/2003 10:47:17 AM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: concerned about politics
How do we know that Republicans aren't donating to his campaign because he's a weak candidate?
12 posted on 11/11/2003 10:50:48 AM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: huck von finn
Really? Are you aware of the practice of money-laundering, which Demnodrats have been caught doing on numerous occasions? Are you aware that Democrats have lots of supporters who do not donate? Are you aware that most Democrat candidates counted on soft money to run their campaigns? How about all those illegal donations in the 92 and 96 Clinton campaigns?

I know quite a few democrats, and most do not donate until they get to the general election. None donate over the nternet...they don't even order books from Amazon. College students do not have enough money to account for the size of Dean's donations. Neither do university professors.

Large scale donors from the past, both from Hollywood and Wall Street, as well as foreign dnors, would be more than happy to help with a scheme such as this.

Yes, it is a theory. I do not think it is a tin-foil type fantasy, though.

I am ALWAYS thnking of the past behavior of the criminal party in order to think what else they will try.

13 posted on 11/11/2003 11:06:57 AM PST by Miss Marple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
Have a look at this:

14 posted on 11/11/2003 11:26:27 AM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: huck von finn
So, 56% of Dean's donors gave $200 or less, which therefore are not required to give names or addresses or even country of origin. How interesting, and bolters my point.
15 posted on 11/11/2003 11:29:31 AM PST by Miss Marple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
My point only is that they do donate, but they seem to donate in smaller amounts.

I don't know anything about any information they have to include.
16 posted on 11/11/2003 11:40:06 AM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
On second glance, it looks as if the small donations do indeed have to be reported. Check this out:

Click on the "last page" button for a sample.
17 posted on 11/11/2003 11:44:02 AM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: huck von finn
It's an FEC rule. Donations under a certain amount (I believe it is $250) are not required to be reported. That is the whole point of my theory.

Having seen some unusual things show up on my credit card account, I pay attention to how credit cards are used for a variety of purposes.

Well, it is a theory, after all, and I have no proof. If someone were doing this, it would be illegal. I thought that this article on Mr. Trippi indicated that it is at least a possibility.

18 posted on 11/11/2003 11:46:04 AM PST by Miss Marple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: huck von finn
Your name is only reported when your TOTAL contributions exceed $250.
19 posted on 11/11/2003 11:49:18 AM PST by Miss Marple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
Well, it is a theory, after all, and I have no proof.


If someone were doing this, it would be illegal.

Oh, no doubt! The banks, the fake accounts, the credit cards, the non-reporting of funds--all would be illegal. You're sure right about that.

I thought that this article on Mr. Trippi indicated that it is at least a possibility.

This is where you lose me. Where? How?

20 posted on 11/11/2003 11:53:45 AM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
By the way, in case you are interested, I found another link to fundraising for 2004. I haven't looked closely at it and don't know how reliable it is, but here:

21 posted on 11/11/2003 12:02:56 PM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
That makes sense and accounts for the initial confusion. $250 isn't much in the grand scheme of things.
22 posted on 11/11/2003 12:07:08 PM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: jeannineinsd
for later
23 posted on 11/11/2003 12:09:18 PM PST by jern
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: concerned about politics
The majority of the Democrat base lives off social programs. They have no money.

I've often wondered about where all their money comes from.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the Patriot Act that they all despise so much actually enabled our intelligence folks to trace the source of all those "donations."

Maybe even a few coming in from some folks otherwise hiding out in the Middle East?

24 posted on 11/11/2003 12:45:44 PM PST by SuenTsn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: All
Found this
25 posted on 11/11/2003 1:44:31 PM PST by anglian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: ProudCon1776
I think Dean gets money from political "turtles" who break the hearts of young writers. Sometimes those writers even start to feel a little burned out..

What's a political turtle, and how does it break the hearts of young writers? Do middle-aged writers get hurt as well?

27 posted on 11/11/2003 2:57:08 PM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: ProudCon1776 must be the turtles!
29 posted on 11/11/2003 3:12:22 PM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: ProudCon1776
But what do they do to writers? Do they only harm the hearts of political writers, or do they attack literary fiction writers and poetry writers as well?
30 posted on 11/11/2003 3:22:40 PM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: concerned about politics
Howard Dean reminds me of the candidate Martin Sheen played in "The Dead Zone."
31 posted on 11/11/2003 3:36:36 PM PST by macrahanish #1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: ProudCon1776
Why didn't you mention the Slickerwink turtle earlier? That explains everything!

Now that I know there is a connection between Joe Trippi and Hillary, I will keep an eye out for fast-moving turtles who are attempting to evade the light of truth!

In the meantime, I have to go and teach some college kids how to...write!

33 posted on 11/11/2003 3:58:52 PM PST by huck von finn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: huck von finn
diet coke (aspartame toxicity) use by candidates: Murray 1.30.4 Dean sips Diet Coke: Bush, Gore, Clinton, Edwards, Clark, Dean, Trippi: diet soda (aspartame) toxicity issue: Lyons: Murray 1.16.4 Dean regales Democrats at fund-raiser in Barre November 9, 2003 By CLAUDE R. MARX Vermont Press Bureau; BARRE - Less than a year before election day and about two months before the first delegates are picked, former Gov. Howard Dean brought his presidential campaign here Saturday to reminisce about his early political career and ask for help in getting a new job.... Even as he sipped a Diet Coke while waiting to be introduced by state Chairman Scudder Parker, he signed name tags and campaign literature.... From: "Rich Murray" To: Cc: ; ; Subject: Dean, Trippi, diet soda toxicity issue Date: Sunday, January 11, 2004 10:51 PM 01.07.04 diet coke (aspartame toxicity) use by candidates: Murray 1.30.4 Peter Freyne Also on the food and beverage front, Sen. Ginny Lyons has introduced S.241. It proposes to "help prevent childhood obesity by directing the state board of education to adopt nutrition standards for public schools; and by defining physical education as a daily program of moderate to vigorous physical activity." The bite in Skinny Ginny's bill comes in the last sentence: "Only food and beverages which meet the nutritional standards adopted by the state board may be sold on school grounds between one half hour before the start of the school day and one half hour after the end of the school day." Can you say bye-bye, Coca-Cola? *************************************************************************** Bush, Gore, Clinton, Edwards, Clark, Dean, Trippi: diet soda (aspartame) toxicity issue: Lyons: Murray 1.13.4 Jan 11 2004 Hello Senator Virginia "Ginny" Lyons, About a dozen activists on the world Net competently alert people about aspartame toxicity. Famous users include Bush, Clinton, Gore, John Edwards, Clark, Dean, and Dean's campaign manager, Joe Trippi (widely noted as a very heavy user of Diet Pepsi). Can you help me find contact people who can in turn alert these key players to the personal and public hazards? Surely, this deserves to be put in the limelight as a political issue. Thanks, Rich Murray Rich Murray, MA Room For All 1943 Otowi Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-986-9103 Joe Trippi, heavy user of Diet Pepsi (aspartame toxicity), Dean's campaign manager: Murray 11.16.3 rmforall President Bush & formaldehyde (aspartame) toxicity: Ramazzini Foundation carcinogenicity results Dec 2002: Soffritti: Murray 8.3.3 rmforall Rumsfeld, 1977 head of Searle Corp., got aspartame FDA approval: Turner: Murray 12.23.2 rmforall three-page review: aspartame (methanol, formaldehyde) toxicity: Murray 1.11.4 rmforall for 1047 posts in a public searchable archive, with 125 members brief aspartame review: formaldehyde toxicity: Murray 9.11.3 rmforall gives 221,000 websites for "aspartame", with the top 9 of 10 listings being anti-aspartame, while finds on 700 MB of posts from 20 years of Usenet groups, 83,800 posts, the top 10 being anti-aspartame. 28 recent aspartame items from 4500 sources. gives 291,700, the top 7 of 10 being leading and very well informed volunteer anti-aspartame sites. lists 745 aspartame items. On April 10 2003, the European Union Parliament voted 440 to 20 to approve sucralose, limit cyclamates & reevaluate aspartame & stevia: Murray 4.12.3 rmforall aspartame & formaldehyde toxicity: Murray 9.9.3 756 members 16,381 posts aspartame review: methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid toxicity: Murray 9.5.3 rmforall formaldehyde & formic acid from methanol in aspartame: Murray: 12.9.2 rmforall It is certain that high levels of aspartame use, above 2 liters daily for months and years, must lead to chronic formaldehyde-formic acid toxicity, since 11% of aspartame (1,120 mg in 2L diet soda, 5.6 12-oz cans) is 123 mg methanol (wood alcohol), immediately released into the body after drinking (unlike the large levels of methanol locked up in molecules inside many fruits), then quickly transformed into formaldehyde, which in turn becomes formic acid, both of which in time are partially eliminated as carbon dioxide and water. However, about 30% of the methanol remains in the body as cumulative durable toxic metabolites of formaldehyde and formic acid-- 37 mg daily, a gram every month. [Oppermann JA, Muldoon E, Ranney RE. Metabolism of aspartame in monkeys. J. Nutrition. 1973 Oct; 103(10): 1454-1459.] If 10% of the methanol is retained as formaldehyde, that would give 12 mg daily formaldehyde accumulation, about 60 times more than the 0.2 mg from 10% retention of the 2 mg EPA daily limit for formaldehyde in water. This long-term low-level chronic toxic exposure leads to typical patterns of increasingly severe complex symptoms, starting with headache, fatigue, joint pain, irritability, memory loss, and leading to vision and eye problems, and even seizures. In many cases there is addiction. Probably there are immune system disorders, with a hypersensitivity to these toxins and other chemicals. immune system reactions due to formaldehyde from the 11% methanol in aspartame: Thrasher: Tephly: Monte: Murray 9.27.2 rmforall Many scientific studies and case histories report: * headaches * many body and joint pains (or burning, tingling, tremors, twitching, spasms, cramps, stiffness, numbness, difficulty swallowing) * fever, fatigue, swollen glands * "mind fog", "feel unreal", poor memory, confusion, anxiety, irritability, depression, mania, insomnia, dizziness, slurred speech, sexual problems, poor vision, hearing (deafness, tinnitus), or taste * red face, itching, rashes, hair loss, burning eyes or throat, dry eyes or mouth, mouth sores, burning tongue * obesity, bloating, edema, anorexia, poor appetite or excessive hunger or thirst * breathing problems, shortness of breath * nausea, diarrhea or constipation * coldness * sweating * racing heart, low or high blood pressure, erratic blood sugar levels *hypothryroidism or hyperthyroidism * seizures * birth defects * brain cancers * addiction * aggrivates diabetes, autism, allergies, lupus, ADHD, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, multiple sclerosis, and interstitial cystitis (bladder pain). Smith, Terpening, Schmidt, Gums: full text: aspartame, MSG, fibromyalgia 1.17.2 rmforall Jerry D Smith, Chris M Terpening, Siegfried OF Schmidt, and John G Gums. Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2001; 35(6): 702-706. Malcolm Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Gainesville, FL, USA. "Four patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome for two to 17 years are described. All had undergone multiple treatment modalities with limited success. All had complete, or nearly complete, resolution of their symptoms within months after eliminating monosodium glutamate (MSG) or MSG plus aspartame from their diet. All patients were women with multiple comorbidities prior to elimination of MSG. All have had recurrence of symptoms whenever MSG is ingested." Siegfried O. Schmidt, MD Asst. Clinical Prof. 352-376-5071 Community Health and Family Medicine, U. Florida, Gainesville, FL Shands Hospital West Oak Clinic Gainesville, FL 32608-3629 testable theory of MCS type diseases, vicious cycle of nitric oxide & peroxynitrite: MSG: formaldehyde-methanol-aspartame: Martin L. Pall: Murray: 12.9.2 rmforall Pall ML. NMDA sensitization and stimulation by peroxynitrite, nitric oxide, and organic solvents as the mechanism of chemical sensitivity in multiple chemical sensitivity. FASEB J. 2002 Sep; 16(11): 1407-17. [162 references] School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4660 509-335-1246 full text Thrasher JD, Kilburn KH. Embryo toxicity and teratogenicity of formaldehyde. Arch Environ Health. 2001 Jul-Aug; 56(4): 300-11. [100 references] Sam-1 Trust, Alto 88312, New Mexico, USA. (505) 336-8317 full text Jack Dwayne Thrasher, Alan Broughton, Roberta Madison. Immune activation and autoantibodies in humans with long-term inhalation exposure to formaldehyde. Archives of Environmental Health. 1990; 45: 217-223. "Immune activation, autoantibodies, and anti-HCHO-HSA antibodies are associated with long-term formaldehyde inhalation." PMID: 2400243 aspartame puts formaldehyde adducts into tissues, Part 1/2 full text, Trocho & Alemany 6.26.98: Murray 12.22.2 Trocho C, Pardo R, Rafecas I, Virgili J, Remesar X, Fernandez-Lopez JA, Alemany M ["Trok-ho"]. Formaldehyde derived from dietary aspartame binds to tissue components in vivo. Life Sci 1998 Jun 26; 63(5): 337-49. Departament de Bioquimica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain. Maria Alemany, PhD (male) Murray: Gold: Koehler: Walton: Van Den Eeden: Leon: aspartame toxicity 6.4.1 rmforall four double-blind studies Murray: Simmons: Gold: Schiffman: Spiers: aspartame toxicity 6.4.1 rmforall two double-blind studies Mark Gold exhaustively critiques European Commission Scientific Committee on Food re aspartame (12.4.2): 59 pages, 230 references safety of aspartame Part 1/2 12.4.2: EC HCPD-G SCF: Murray 1.12.3 rmforall EU Scientific Committee on Food, a whitewash President Bush & formaldehyde (aspartame) toxicity: Ramazzini Foundation carcinogenicity results Dec 2002: Soffritti: Murray 8.3.3 rmforall p. 88 "The sweetening agent aspartame hydrolyzes in the gastrointestinal tract to become free methyl alcohol, which is metabolized in the liver to formaldehyde, formic acid, and CO2. (11)" Soffritti M, Belpoggi F, Lambertin L, Lauriola M, Padovani M, Maltoni C. Results of long-term experimental studies on the carcinogenicity of formaldehyde and acetaldehyde in rats. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Dec; 982: 87-105. Cancer Research Center, European Ramazzini Foundation for Oncology and Environmental Sciences, Bologna, Italy. "Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde were found to produce an increase in total malignant tumors in the treated groups and showed specific carcinogenic effects on various organs and tissues." 24 recent formaldehyde toxicity [Comet assay] reports: Murray 12.31.2 rmforall Comet assay finds DNA damage from sucralose, cyclamate, saccharin in mice: Sasaki YF & Tsuda S Aug 2002: Murray 1.1.3 rmforall [Also borderline evidence, in this pilot study of 39 food additives, using test groups of 4 mice, for DNA damage from for stomach, colon, liver, bladder, and lung 3 hr after oral dose of 2000 mg/kg aspartame-- a very high dose.] genotoxins, Comet assay in mice: Ace-K, stevia fine; aspartame poor; sucralose, cyclamate, saccharin bad: Y.F. Sasaki Aug 2002: Murray 1.27.3 rmforall Sasaki YF, Kawaguchi S, Kamaya A, Ohshita M, Kabasawa K, Iwama K, Taniguchi K, Tsuda S. The comet assay with 8 mouse organs: results with 39 currently used food additives. Mutat Res. 2002 Aug 26; 519(1-2): 103-19. PMID: 12160896 5-page review Roberts HJ Aspartame (NutraSweet) addiction. Townsend Letter 2000 Jan; Sunshine Sentinel Press P.O.Box 17799 West Palm Beach, FL 33416 800-814-9800 561-588-7628 Roberts' 1038-page medical text "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic" published May 30 2001 $ 60.00 postpaid data from 1200 cases, over 600 references from standard medical research, also available at Aspartame Toxicity Information Center Mark D. Gold 603-225-2100 12 East Side Drive #2-18 Concord, NH 03301 "Scientific Abuse in Aspartame Research" over 12,000 print pages Mission-Possible-USA Betty Martini 770-242-2599 What many informed doctors are saying/have said about aspartame Aspartame: Methanol and the Public Health 1984: Monte: Murray 9.23.2 rmforall Dr. Woodrow C. Monte. Aspartame: methanol, and the public health. Journal of Applied Nutrition. 1984; 36 (1): 42-54. (62 references). Professsor of Food Science [retired 1992] Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 The methanol from 2 L of diet soda, 5.6 12-oz cans, 20 mg/can, is 112 mg, 10% of the aspartame. The EPA limit for water is 7.8 mg daily for methanol (wood alcohol), a deadly cumulative poison. Many users drink 1-2 L daily. The reported symptoms are entirely consistent with chronic methanol toxicity. (Fresh orange juice has 34 mg/L, but, like all juices, has 16 times more ethanol, which strongly protects against methanol.) RTM: original documents and long reviews of flaws in aspartame toxicity research 7.31.2 rmforall aspartame expose 96K Oct 1987 Part 1/3: Gregory Gordon, UPI reporter: Murray 7.10.0 rmforall aspartame history Part 1/4 1964-1976: Gold: Murray 11.6.9: rmforall Rumsfeld, 1977 head of Searle Corp., got aspartame FDA approval: Turner: Murray 12.23.2 rmforall revolving door, Monsanto, FDA, EPA: NGIN: Murray 12.23.2 rmforall *************************************************************** [ 101 North 6th St. Allentown, PA 18101 (610) 820-6500 610-778-2235 ] From The Morning Call Mainlining Diet Coke By Frank Devlin of The Morning Call January 9, 2004 Believe it or not — drinking Diet Coke makes dreams come true. Don't believe it? Then how do you explain the way Diet Coke keeps popping up as the celebrity soda of choice? Surely there's some link between success and this caffeinated, chemically sweetened serum. Take Harvey Weinstein, head of the Miramax Pictures movie studio. U.S. News and World Report reports Weinstein has a limousine ''outfitted with video screens and seat pockets stocked with Diet Coke.'' Or presidential candidate John Edwards, who would ''chain-drink Diet Cokes'' when he was a hotshot personal injury lawyer, according to the Charlotte Observer, and who's drinking about 10 cans a day now on the campaign trail. Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig are also reported to be devoted Diet Coke drinkers. Why, Mankind himself drinks Diet Coke — that's Mankind the retired professional wrestler, not all of humanity, of course. And it did wonders for him. Once upon a time, Mankind, aka Mick Foley, was just your average 310-pound brute missing front teeth and pining for a post-wrestling career. Naturally, he decided to try his hand at writing serious fiction. So, according to Entertainment Weekly, he pumped himself full of Diet Coke and, voila, cranked out a fine novel. If Foley's ''Tietam Brown'' still doesn't convince you of Diet Coke's powers, then consider Bill James. James was a baseball fan who wrote books of statistical analysis that, despite their brilliance, for some reason failed to influence the way Major League Baseball teams made personnel decisions. But now, more and more baseball bigwigs heed his theories. The Boston Red Sox even hired him as an adviser. James drinks Diet Coke, too. Lots of it. In a recent New Yorker profile, he was quoted as saying — tellingly, if not profoundly — ''Would you get us a Diet Coke from the refrigerator over there?'' But if you really want insight into the Diet Coke equation, consider Columbia University physicist Janet Conrad, a leader in the field of neutrino studies. . This scientist, when not teaching at an Ivy League school, conducts experiments at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois that could change our very understanding of the universe's building blocks. She says further study of neutrinos — subatomic particles that require tremendous effort to track — could even ''open the door to the idea of extra dimensions.'' Her Diet Coke connection? ''It's certainly made me a more effective person,'' says Conrad, who starts each day with two 12-ounce cans of the caffeinated drink (45 milligrams per can, about one-fourth the caffeine, per ounce, in coffee) and goes on to drink about six more cans before she turns in. That's on a day that's not particularly challenging, she says. On challenging days she drinks much, much more. ''Part of what helps me keep my momentum going is the Diet Coke. I mean that quite seriously,'' she says. ''I need to be very sharp to help me get things done. When I give a talk and I am excited about something, the audience gets excited. If I'm sort of flat, then the audience will be flat.'' Conrad, 39, says her diet-soda habit dates to high school, when she was stuck on saccharine-sweetened Tab. Why Tab? ''It was probably what was in the machine at the hardware store where I worked'' in Wooster, Ohio, she says. Conrad says she lamented the replacement of saccharine — thought to cause cancer — with aspartame, marketed as Nutrasweet and Equal, in the 1980s. Without the saccharine, she didn't like Tab's taste anymore. In college, she and a friend searched for aspartame soda they could stomach. They eventually decided on Diet Coke. Conrad was such a devotee of saccharine-sweetened Tab that she honors its memory by rotating possession of a single, unopened bottle with the same college friend. ''We actually have this bottle of Tab, which is the last bottle of non-Nutrasweet Tab in the world. We give it back and forth to each other. She gave it to me for my wedding. She has it now. I think I gave her the bottle when she bought her house.'' Nevertheless, Conrad grew to love Diet Coke. ''I'm very much addicted,'' she says. Conrad prefers it from a can. ''What's really sad is I prefer it warm,'' she says. ''It sort of evolved out of laziness, out of not bothering to put it in the refrigerator.'' Dave DeCecco, spokesman for Pepsi-Cola North America, says his company doesn't keep track of which soft drinks celebrities and other notables are reportedly drinking. ''It's nice'' if someone publicly consumes your product for free, the way Edwards, et al., are doing for Diet Coke, DeCecco says. But when it comes to the diet soda war, he says, sales are what matters, and Diet Pepsi's have been growing faster than Diet Coke's since 2000. Diet Coke is still a bigger seller, though, with about 71/2 percent of the soft-drink market, compared to 51/2 percent for Diet Pepsi, according to Beverage Digest magazine. Sounding unconcerned with the notion that Diet Coke has a higher media profile than his brand, DeCecco even questions the premise, which, he says, seems to be a ''a pretty unscientific survey.'' But it's all there on the computer screen when you search the LexisNexis media database ( A recent Nexis power search for news pieces containing the words Diet Coke over a recent 60-day period produced 527 hits, including: An interview with Jimmy Carter, who was talking about his new book and ''sipping on a Diet Coke'' (Newsday, Dec. 1). An article about a North Carolina death row inmate whose last meal included, curiously, a non-fattening Diet Coke (Associated Press, Nov. 7). A basketball column pointing out that Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy ''drinks Diet Coke as if it's water'' (The Seattle Times, Oct. 9). The same search parameters for Diet Pepsi produced only 137 hits, including one article that includes a celebrity dis of Diet Pepsi. An Oct. 30, 2003, Phoenix New Times profile of ''Legally Blonde'' author Amanda Brown has Brown's assistant seeking a Diet Coke for Brown before a TV interview. But only Diet Pepsi is available. Brown's assistant says no thanks, Brown will settle for water. Conrad says Diet Pepsi is too sweet. Diet Coke drinker Ericka Kirkpatrick of Coopersburg, spotted in Bethlehem recently holding a 20-ounce bottle, says it's hard to explain why she doesn't like Diet Pepsi's taste. ''It's got a bite,'' she says. All she knows is ''if I send someone out to get me a Diet Coke and they come back with a Diet Pepsi I will not drink it. I'll go back out myself and get a Diet Coke.'' ''I'm very picky,'' the 29-year-old real estate agent says. Diet Coke fan and pop culture pundit Michael Musto of the Village Voice refrained from dissing Diet Pepsi. However, he says in an e-mail, he can ''personally vouch for and in fact have mentioned it a few times myself'' in Village Voice columns. ''It just seems to be the sensible thing to drink'' at the entertainment industry parties he covers, he says. ''It's tasty, gives you a rush, and keeps the pounds off. No, it's not exactly a healthy treat, but at least it's not booze.'' Musto says he doesn't know why Diet Coke seems to hold sway with celebrities. But Coca-Cola spokesman Mart Martin says Diet Coke's cache is something Coca-Cola, which introduced the drink in 1982 with a gala party at Radio City Music hall, has been aware of for years. ''It has achieved sort of an icon status,'' he says. ''You see Diet Coke popping up a lot in photo spreads in magazines'' that feature celebrities, he says. ''Those are not product placements'' paid for by Coca-Cola, he says. ''That is, in fact, what they are drinking.'' ''There's a certain stylishness'' to Diet Coke, Martin claims, crediting the ''clean look'' of the silver can. Conrad says she drinks soda instead of coffee because, with less caffeine, ''it gives you a lower and steadier dose of the thing that keeps you going.'' Kirkpatrick says she switched from caffe mochas to Diet Coke after graduating from Penn State — where ''they had a great cafe that made the best mochas'' — and returning home to the Lehigh Valley. ''Around here,'' she laments, ''they don't make great mochas.'' She drinks four or five 20-ounce bottles of Diet Coke a day. Anita Hirsch, nutritionist at the Lehigh Valley Racquet and Fitness Centers, says the caffeine from four 20-ounce Diet Coke bottles —300 milligrams — shouldn't cause health problems for healthy people who aren't pregnant. Tina Amato, a registered dietitian at the Allentown Health Bureau, agrees. But both say there are concerns other than caffeine content about drinking massive cola quantities. Hirsch says research indicates aspartame, used throughout the diet soft drink industry, ''could be a migraine trigger'' in some people. Amato says diet soda may be replacing healthy beverage choices such as low-fat milk and water. And the phosphoric acid in diet soda ''causes calcium depletion,'' Amato says. ''We all need more calcium.'' Diet soda ''has no nutritional value whatsoever,'' she notes, advising that people drink no more than two a day. Kirkpatrick says she's aware of the calcium problem and isn't happy about drinking so much Diet Coke. But she stopped making New Year's resolutions to kick it a couple of years ago, she says. ''Some people have a gambling problem,'' she says. ''I have a Diet Coke problem.'' She gets cranky if she stops drinking Diet Coke, she says. She figures she'll finally give it up if she gets pregnant some day. Conrad says she doesn't worry much about Diet Coke's possible health risks. She does believe that ''feeding yourself one thing for long periods of time isn't good. The human body is made for a varied diet.'' But she makes an exception for Diet Coke. 610-778-2235 Copyright © 2004, The Morning Call ***********************************************************
34 posted on 01/30/2004 9:06:33 AM PST by rmforall (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: rmforall; Admin Moderator
35 posted on 01/30/2004 9:15:20 AM PST by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Petronski
FR is secretly controlled by Big Aspartame. ;)
36 posted on 01/30/2004 9:23:29 AM PST by Admin Moderator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Admin Moderator
I KNEW it! Why just last week, Wes Clark was saying the same thing!!
37 posted on 01/30/2004 9:28:48 AM PST by macrahanish #1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Admin Moderator; BlueLancer; Poohbah; general_re; Constitution Day; hellinahandcart
FR is secretly controlled by Big Aspartame. ;)

And who controls Big Aspartame? Could it be . . . . . a Nasty Little Clique?

38 posted on 01/30/2004 9:49:21 AM PST by dighton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: dighton
No, Big Aspartame is a joint endeavor by the Neo-Conservative Power Vortex and the Kosher Nostra.
39 posted on 01/30/2004 9:53:54 AM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Maj. Vic Deakins, USAF)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah; dighton
"And who controls Big Aspartame? Could it be . . . . . a Nasty Little Clique?"

"No, Big Aspartame is a joint endeavor by the Neo-Conservative Power Vortex and the Kosher Nostra."

Poohbah is correct ... the Nasty Little Clique lost control of this operation because they weren't "sweet" enough on Big Aspartame.

40 posted on 01/30/2004 10:07:02 AM PST by BlueLancer (Der Elite Møøsënspåånkængrüppen ØberKømmååndø (EMØØK))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: dighton; Poohbah; BlueLancer
Wait, I thought we were the Saccharine Underground...

41 posted on 01/30/2004 10:10:20 AM PST by general_re ("Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: general_re
Latest org chart says that Saccharine Underground is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Vulgar Horde.
42 posted on 01/30/2004 10:11:54 AM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Maj. Vic Deakins, USAF)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah
Stupid interoffice mail - we're always the last to know these things...
43 posted on 01/30/2004 10:15:04 AM PST by general_re (Remember that what's inside of you doesn't matter because nobody can see it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: general_re
I think The Vulgar Horde did a stock flip with the Zeta Reiculan Grays, and the aliens got Halliburton.
44 posted on 01/30/2004 10:17:29 AM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Maj. Vic Deakins, USAF)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah
LOL... Kosher Nostra...
45 posted on 01/30/2004 12:49:10 PM PST by hellinahandcart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson