The San Francisco Chronicle has an article out today on last Wednesday's Meetup and the importance of Internet organizing in the current election cycle. Carla Marinucci writes:

"Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean was 3,000 miles away when a crowd of his supporters jammed Kelly's Mission Rock, a San Francisco waterfront bar, on a rainy night this week to celebrate his candidacy and write him campaign checks. The twist: Most of the 150 enthusiastic Dean fans gathered on Wednesday had never met one another before, had never been involved with politics and were there because of an increasingly influential organizer -- the Internet.....

"I just got on the Internet nine months ago . . . and I saw the links to Meetup.com," said [Avery] McGinn, [a small business owner and Dean fan] who has posted Dean for President signs in the window of Klein's Deli, her business. "I'm thrilled with how it's politicized my life."

Marinucci quotes Phil Noble, the South Carolina political consultant who founded Politics Online, as saying 2004 could be "the next big step in the Internet and politics revolution."

Could be? We believe it already is. Just look at the current Dean Meetup numbers-- over 13,000 people are signed up in support of Howard Dean today, compared to less than 800 for Senator John F. Kerry. Of all the candidates for the Democratic nomination, Howard Dean raised the most amount of money over the Internet. On March 15th, the Dean campaign launched the first official weblog in presidential campaign history, six days after Dean himself first stumped in the blogosphere. This election is the next big step for the Internet and politics, and we've been taking that step with you.

But we've only just begun. As Howard has said, we're building a movement. Those of you who came to the Call to Action blog during the early days of its ugly infancy were pounded over the head with calls to donate. We know that's not the most exciting thing in the world, and the movement is about far more than just financial contributions-- though you did deliver for Howard Dean in a way that none of us would have imagined just a few short months ago.

Money's important to the campaign, of course, but that's not what Howard Dean's message is about. Howard Dean is about changing politics as usual. Howard Dean is about bringing people together-- over the Internet as well as in local cities and towns-- to end the divisive foreign and domestic policies of the Bush administration, to bring health care to all Americans, to work with Americans instead of against them.

How can you help Howard Dean win this nomination and beat Bush in 2004? Well, you can continue to build the movement over the Internet. The easiest thing to do is to get your friends to join Meetup. If you've already joined Meetup, please note that you were not automatically signed up to receive Dean emails. (Meetup's privacy policy, which the Dean campaign supports and respects, prohibits the sharing of email addresses with outside entities.) Help us stay in touch with you by signing up at Dean for America today. Let your friends who have joined Meetup know, too.

Also, continue to check back at this site. Dean Call to Action is your direct link to the latest news from the Dean campaign. Bookmark this page by pressing Control-D. When a press release goes out, you'll be able to read it here the moment it is released to journalists across the country. When Dean makes the headlines, we'll post links to those news stories so you can read about Howard Dean in the press. In the coming weeks, the Call to Action blog will be undergoing a face-lift, and we'll be providing you with the ability to comment on recent posts and the ability (for all you news aggregators) to syndicate this site and show our latest news headlines on your own webpage or blog. The press is noticing the online movement for Howard Dean. You started it, we're joining it, and we've only just begun.



Writing in yesterday’s Boston Globe, columnist Glen Johnson reviews the first-quarter fundraising figures released this week by the candidates for the Democratic nomination. Johnson deconstructs the press releases of the various campaigns:

“With each release, the candidates highlighted different facets of their total to argue that they have wide support. Edwards highlighted the total raised… nearly the same as the $7.6 million Republican George W. Bush had banked by that time. …The Kerry campaign highlighted the breadth of its donor base.”

According to the National Journal (paid registration required), Kerry’s $7 million raised in the 1st quarter came from “approximately 15,000” people. But does that demonstrate “wide,” grassroots support? Pull out your trusty calculator and you’ll discover that Kerry’s average donation (according to the preliminary numbers) is $466. That’s high by any standard.

The question is whether Kerry can sustain the numbers. Howard Dean raised $2.6 million in the first quarter from more than 12,000 supporters, and topped every other candidate in on-line fundraising. The average donation to Dean was $180, and many of the donations were $10.01 as part of the Meetup Challenge, the ongoing netroots effort to raise an additional $1 million for Howard Dean. Given the exponential growth of Dean Meetups in the past month (from 4,300 on March 5th to 12,800 at the time of this posting), compared to Meetups for other candidates (a sad amount not even worth repeating), it’s clear that much of Dean’s support is coming from grassroots, small-amount donors. Many pockets, not deep pockets.

That grassroots support continues to grow. You can help Howard Dean now by bringing more people into the fold. Invite your friends to join Meetup and to take the Meetup Challenge. Sign up to receive email from the campaign. In the second quarter, our goal is to have more donors than any other candidate, whether those donors contribute $10 or $1,000. We’ve shown that netroots involvement can transform the political landscape. Now, let’s make that transformation happen.

More than 300 New Hampshire leaders and activists endorsed former Vermont Governor Howard Dean for President today. The list included 15 State Representatives, 14 former legislators, numerous city officials, state government leaders, students and physicians from across New Hampshire.

“Howard Dean has the vision and courage to get this country back on track,” said Keene Mayor Michael E.J. Blastos. “Of all the candidates running for President, he has the best shot of unseating President George Bush. New Hampshire voters will respond to Governor Dean’s straight talk on the issues that touch their families – the need for a rational foreign policy, getting our economy moving again, and making sure that every American has health care.”

In addition to garnering widespread support among New Hampshire notables, Dean is attracting the support of newcomers to the political process. Dartmouth student Sarah Ayres said she is supporting Dean because of his courage to speak his mind. “Governor Dean stands up for what he believes in. He is no typical politician -- there’s no hemming and hawing with Howard Dean. He calls them like he sees them and I like that.”

“I’m thrilled to have the support of so many New Hampshire leaders and activists. Each and every one of these supporters has been active in their schools, communities and at the state level. They have strong grassroots connections and the respect of many other Democrats and Independents. It’s people like these who energize my campaign,” said Governor Howard Dean.

Governor Howard Dean today announced the Dean for Oregon Campaign. Co-chairs are former Governor Barbara Roberts, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, Terry Bean and Cheryl Perrin.

In addition, Mr. Bean and Ms. Perrin will be serving on the National Finance Committee.

“I am so pleased that these four Oregonians have agreed to head Dean for America’s efforts in their state,” said Governor Dean. “They each have a long record of public service to their communities and state. They have strong grassroots connections in Oregon. And they have the respect of Democrats.”

“I look forward to working with them to bring the Dean for America message to Oregon,” he added. “It’s time for a rational foreign policy, health care for every American, and a stronger U.S. economy. With Oregon’s help, I can make these goals a reality for our nation.”



A Franklin Pierce College poll out today shows Howard Dean tied with John Kerry for first place at 21%. Joe Lieberman trails a distant third at 9%. The raw numbers:

Democratic Primary Matchup

                  All   NH01  NH 02  Men  Women

Kerry       21%   22%    19%      26%  15%

Dean         21    16        26         21     20

Lieberman    9      8        10           9       8

Gephardt      6      7          5           7       6

Hart              3      3         2           3       2

Edwards       2      3         1            3      -

Clark            2      2         1            2       1

Graham        1      -          1            1        -

Kucinich        -      -          -             -       -

Braun            -      -          -             -       -

Sharpton       -      -          -             -       -

Undec.       38     39         36        30     45

Favor U.S. Military Action Against Iraq?
Support 34%
Oppose 55

The poll, conducted 3/30-31, surveyed 606 likely Democratic primary voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4%

This is the second poll in two weeks to show Dean tied with Kerry in New Hampshire. The American Research Group's March 21 poll showed similar results.

This is great news, following yesterday's announcement of Howard Dean's incredible first quarter fundraising. But it's important to keep the momentum going. Join Meetup. Take the Meetup Challenge and raise a million for Dean. Contribute online. Remember that March 31st was but a mile post in very long race.


Last night, thousands of people across the country attended Meetups for Howard Dean. Yes, there were intellectual debates about policy and deep thinking about strategy and plans made for organizing locally for Dean-- but for some, the most important event of the night was more visceral. KaraCohen attended the Boston Meetup last night and posted this on the Boston mini-board:

KaraCohen (04/3): Last night's meet up was the best manifestation of hope that I have ever participated in. Hope that we can take back the White House, hope that we turn the awful tide that is taking so much away from the people of our country. Victory!

Over 12,400 people have signed up for Dean Meetups-- very close to the number of individual contributors in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the ongoing Dean Meetup Challenge-- a grassroots effort to raise a million dollars for Dean-- has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars to date.



For all you net folks, I can't thank you enough for all you did!!! You raised over three quarters of a million dollars for the campaign on the net, which I'm pretty sure is a record for this stage of any campaign. Thank you all! We can and will take our country back!! Howard Dean

April 2, 2003

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Dean for America today announced that first-quarter fundraising totals are expected to exceed $2.6 million, with more than $2 million cash-on-hand. Contributions came from more than 12,000 individual donors. More than $2 million of the contributions will qualify for federal matching funds under campaign law.

“I send my genuine thanks to all those supporters who agree that this country needs a more thoughtful foreign policy, who believe that every American deserves health insurance, and who are deeply concerned about the borrow-and-spend fiscal policy of this administration,” Gov. Dean said.

“I appreciate your support,” he added. “With your help, we will take this country back to a time when we work together and acknowledge that we are one community, dependent on and responsible for each other.”

“I’m pleased with all the new supporters who were inspired to get involved in presidential politics for the first time, many through the internet,” Gov. Dean said. “But I also appreciate the level of support that I’ve received from the Democratic faithful who agree this country needs a change.”

The big surprise was Internet contributions, which exceeded three-quarters of a million dollars -- about $400,000 coming in the last week of the filing period.

A successful internet push was spearheaded by Dean Meetup, an Internet site that encouraged Dean supporters to “meet up” in cities across the U.S. Those supporters crafted a Meetup Challenge: If every member gave $10 to Dean, and encouraged ten friends to do the same, then Meetup members could raise $500,000 for Dean -- $1 million with FEC matching funds.

“We were pleased at the incredible number of Americans who logged onto the internet, attended fundraisers, or mailed us a check,” said Campaign Director Joe Trippi, noting that the average contribution was about $180. “They gave what they could afford to give because they believe in the positions Howard Dean stands for.”

Final fundraising figures will not be available until April 15, when the campaign files its report with the Federal Election Commission.


Netroot activists have raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars (with FEC matching funds) for Howard Dean in the last month.

Late in the evening on March 5th, after Governor Dean addressed nearly 600 people at the New York City Meetup, one of the attendees posted a comment on the Dean 2004 blog. At the time, approximately 4,500 people had signed up for Dean Meetups nationwide. Posting in the comments section at 2 am, the attendee threw out an idea: if every one of those Meetup members gave $10 to Dean and encouraged ten friends to do the same, then Meetup members could raise $500,000 for Dean-- a cool million with FEC matching funds.

In the days following the March 5th Meetup, the "Meetup Challenge" began to appear on listserves and weblogs. Spreading virally, the details changed-- some urged contributors to "add a penny for the Internet," others hoped to reach the million dollar mark by March 31st. But whatever the details, Internet contributions began to increase. People started adding a penny to their contributions. Responding to this incredible grassroots effort, DFA staff added a dropdown on the Dean web page that enabled people to indicate that their donation was part of what had become known as the "Meetup Challenge."

The growth was noticeable and, eventually, exponential. Less than two weeks after Dean spoke at the Essex restaurant in Manhattan, over $30,000 had been donated to Howard Dean by Meetup members and their friends. That amount quickly increased, and on March 31st alone, $12,000 came in through the Meetup Challenge.

Today, Dean Meetup members have raised $112,000 for Howard Dean. With FEC matching funds, that's nearly a quarter of a million dollars raised through The Meetup Challenge in exactly a month. It's been an amazing demonstration of Howard Dean's grassroots support and the power of Internet activism. But the Challenge is not over. Tonight at 7 pm, many of the nearly 12,000 Dean Meetup members will gather in venues across the country to discuss ways to help Howard Dean win the White House. If you're going, spread the news about the Meetup Challenge's success so far. Make it a goal tonight to keep the Meetup Challenge going. The million dollar goal was suggested when there were less than 5,000 Dean Meetup members; today, with nearly 12,000 members, the goal is even closer.



Howard Dean has picked up the endorsement of Judith Hope, who served as chairwoman of the New York Democratic Party from 1995-2001.

"I think that Howard Dean has the ability to excite young people and women and all the people we need to elect a Democratic president," Hope said.

Mark Humbert from the Associated Press reports:

Hope, credited with helping rebuild the New York party in the wake of Democratic incumbent Mario Cuomo's loss to Republican George Pataki in the 1994 governor's race, becomes Dean's most prominent Democratic supporter in New York.

Calling Dean "one of the most capable people I've ever met," Hope said the physician-politician is "a person of enormous political courage."

Hope's endorsement of Dean marks the one of the few thus far by the major Democratic Party players in New York.


This thank you from Governor Dean will be going up on the Dean for America site shortly. Here's a preview:

"Thanks to the contributions of thousands of dedicated friends and supporters, at midnight last night we not only met our fundraising goal for the first quarter—we raced past it. Over the next few days, my staff will be compiling the final figures. I’ve been amazed by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm shown across the country, and I’m grateful for it. Thank you for all you’ve done. Keep it up. With your help, we’ll win this election and take our country back."

As you know, the Net has been a major part of our fundraising-- both through this blog and through other, independently-run Dean blogs and websites. Thanks for supporting Howard Dean!


Thanks for all your help. We have raised an amazing $500,000 and still going on the net in the first quarter. We are almost at our quarterly goal. I really appreciate all your help. Keep the ball rolling, contact your friends and widen the circle. Many, many thanks, Howard Dean
In just a few hours, Howard Dean's presidential campaign will file his first quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission.

The campaign is only $45,000 away from its goal. We need to help Governor Howard Dean now. Howard Dean is the only candidate with the courage to stand up to President Bush and to speak out for what he believes in.

This is important. Please contribute before midnight tonight. Then pass this message on to everyone you know.

A few hours—together we can take our country back!


Thank you
Howard Dean will be posting directly to the Dean Call to Action Blog in the coming hours. Messages authored by "Howard Dean" are not written by campaign staff.


Governor Howard Dean will be speaking at the Georgia JJ Dinner on Thursday, April 3rd at the Georgia International Convention Center. If you live in the area, the campaign will be sending signs that you can use, or you can bring handmade signs. Please arrive between 5:00 and 5:15 PM. Directions are at http://www.gicc.com/directions.htm.