The Democratic National Committee today is launching a new effort to allow citizens on their side “keep track” of Republican candidates on every ballot nationwide, in hopes of a voter capturing a so-called “macaca moment.” The DNC’s latest effort to influence the midterm elections, called the Accountability Project, will act as a database of campaign events and, Democrats hope, every gaffe, goof and outlandish policy position.
The task: take a camera to a political event and “hold Republicans accountable for misleading claims, lies, and unseemly behavior,” the DNC says. The site will allow for uploads but also provide clips for download so voters can make their own mashups or ads.
It’s the brainchild of DNC Research Director Shauna Daly, who will announce the supporters in an email today obtained in advance by TPMDC. The email cites Sen. Geogre Allen’s (R-VA) defeat in 2006 thanks to a camera catching him calling an Indian American man “macaca.”
Daly, who worked in the White House general counsel’s office, now helps dig up dirt on the GOP and spread the word.
The Democrats say they have created a first-of-its kind site that will fill in gaps nationwide. The site doesn’t feel much like any of the DNC’s others such as BarackObama.com. It’s designed to look like a grassroots effort.
“We can’t afford to depend on the media or campaign trackers to be present and capture every extreme position taken, every untruth told or every unseemly thing said by Republicans - so this site and the work we are doing to inform voters and activists about it will increase the number of people out there who with nothing more than a smart phone at hand can hold Republicans accountable for what they say on the campaign trail,” said DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse.
A Democratic source said it’s not just for 2010, but that they also will ask voters to keep tabs on the GOP’s 2012 presidential candidates who are being relatively ignored with most of the focus on the hotly contested midterms.
Here’s Daly’s email:
Subject: The Accountability Project: Hold Republicans accountable
In 2006, at a campaign event in Breaks, a small town in southwest Virginia, then-Senator George Allen used an offensive slur, “Macaca,” to refer to an employee of his opponent. Luckily, it was caught on camera.
The incident sparked a large swing in the polls, helped Democrat Jim Webb get elected, and, ultimately, played a crucial role in Democrats taking back the senate in 2006.
It was just one moment. Who knows what else is being said when the cameras aren’t running?
We don’t — but I sure wish we did.
That’s where the new “Accountability Project” comes in. It’s a platform for citizens to document Republican candidates and their public statements at local events, as well as their campaign tactics. The Accountability Project allows you to submit videos, recordings, and other items for publication online, so that candidates see that there’s a cost to their dishonesty — and so that everyday citizens can see what their Republican candidates for office are saying.
Interested in being a part of it? Check out The Accountability Project here: www.accountabilityproject.com
The American people deserve an honest debate — and far too often, candidates try to make misleading attacks and false claims under the radar.
This project seeks to shine a light on those practices, and you have a crucial role to play in making it happen.
There are several ways in which folks can participate:
— If you have anything that can record video — from a cell phone to a video camera — you can go to public events and record what candidates say.
— If you receive any sort of mailings or literature from candidates, you can post them online for all to see.
— And if you hear of any upcoming public events for Republican candidates in your area, you can let everyone know, so that other concerned citizens can get out there.
This project will enable folks to keep track of Republican candidates running for every office, up and down the ballot.
Please help fight back against Republicans’ shadowy tactics — participate in The Accountability Project: