Steve Parkhurst Interviewed by French Newspaper About Big Data

Steve Parkhurst was recently interviewed by Elisabeth Guédel of the conservative French newspaper l’Opinion. The two discussed Big Data in America in 2016 and in the French Presidential elections of 2017. The writer reached out because of Steve’s report on Big Data, free for download.

Note: The translation from French to English was done using Google Translate, so take that with a grain of salt.

In the US, the “profiling” of still further constituents

The strength of the digital teams Barack Obama contributed to the difference in 2008 and especially in 2012

In the US, everyone remembers “the victory of Big Data,” as the newspapers headlined at the re-election of Barack Obama in 2012. The US president had been able to target 15 million indecisive and broaden its base Election compared to 2008, particularly among young people. The digital campaign has become a model of its kind which today inspire presidential candidates next year.”The tools are not exactly new for 2016, but they are refined, said the political advisor big data expert, Steve Parkhurst, the Texas firm American Renaissance. The campaign teams develop a multitude of tablet and smartphone applications to better achieve and identifying potential voters. “64% of Americans today have a mobile phone, according to Pew Research, against 35% in spring 2011, when the presidential election campaign began.

. Swing states The “profiling” method evolved: there four years, voter identification was based on geolocation, defined from residential areas. Today, it is a “get people where they are, that is, anywhere,” said Steve Parkhurst yet. Although residents of “swing states” – those American States which can switch in the Democratic camp or the Republicans one election to another – are still targeted, research is no longer based on an address or postal code but on the tastes, preferences and conversations. It is crossed with the analysis of data available on social networks, the number of users in the US is expected to exceed 186 million in 2016 against 160 million in 2012, according to estimates. Seven US ten Internet users today have a Facebook account.

The strength of the digital teams Barack Obama was their ability to “track” the BarackObama.com website could leave up to 87 different cookies while browsing, MittRomney.com, website Republican rival candidate, not included as 48, revealed the Wall Street Journal in November 2012. The information collectors have informed accurately about the habits of Internet users – what read newspapers, or favorite foods charities supported by example and helped to customize the messages that whether in emails to solicit donations and volunteer hours or in political commercials.

“Massive data are not sufficient in themselves, Steve Parkhurst notes, however, you also have the right person asking the right questions.” Barack Obama had attracted a genius  cloud  as Harper Reed, key man of his campaign 2012. Not sure Hillary Clinton, despite the help of Groundwork, a start-up created by the Executive President of Alphabet (parent Google) Eric Schmidt to help the candidate to hire talent, also has an attractive candidate.

Paul Ryan: A New Direction in the War on Poverty

By Steve Parkhurst

It’s no secret, I’m a big fan and admirer of Paul Ryan. I’ve said for a while that his years of working with the late Jack Kemp, have helped mold him into a modern day Kemp. You don’t have to search our site long to find examples of this.

Congressman Ryan wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, outlining a few of his thoughts on the 50 years of the failed “war on poverty.” I wanted to take this time to highlight a few passages, though I’d encourage you to read the entire op-ed.

Yet for all its professed concern about families in need, Washington is more concerned with protecting the status quo than with pursuing what actually works.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. For years, politicians have pointed to the money they’ve spent or the programs they’ve created. But despite trillions of dollars in spending, 47 million Americans still live in poverty today. And the reason is simple: Poverty isn’t just a form of deprivation; it’s a form of isolation. Crime, drugs and broken families are dragging down millions of Americans. On every measure from education levels to marriage rates, poor families are drifting further away from the middle class.

Touche!

Poverty isn’t a rare disease from which the rest of us are immune. It’s the worst strain of a widespread scourge: economic insecurity. That’s why concern for the poor isn’t a policy niche; it goes to the heart of the American experiment. What the poor really need is to be reintegrated into our communities. But Washington is walling them up in a massive quarantine.

Absolutely true.

On this less-than-golden anniversary, we should renew the fight. The federal government needs to take a comprehensive view of the problem. It needs to dump decades-old programs and give poor families more flexibility. It needs to let communities like Pulaski High develop their own solutions. And it needs to remember that the best anti-poverty program is economic growth.

Ryan closes:

Other areas ripe for reform include health care, criminal justice and federal regulations. After all, the cultural antibodies that heal communities are already present and hard at work. For policy makers, the question is, how do we spread their influence? What barriers do we remove? What incentives do we put in place? And to whom do we look for guidance—government bureaucrats or community leaders?

For 50 years, we’ve been going in the wrong direction, and liberals want to march on. Some in Washington insist that you’re concerned for the poor only if you’re committed to a path that has failed the poor. But the question isn’t whether we should do more or less of the same. It is which new direction will work best.

That one line, “the cultural antibodies that heal communities are already present and hard at work,” that’s really strong. Think about it. These ideas are things that can lead to that American Renaissance that lies ahead, that we need.

Steve Parkhurst in Tampa Tribune About Special Elections

 the-tampa-tribune-amren-consulting

District 13 campaigns must work around the holidays

By Kate Bradshaw | Tribune Staff
Published: November 29, 2013

The special election to fill the late C.W. “Bill” Young’s seat in Congress is riddled with numerous challenges for the candidates, not the least of which is having to campaign during the holidays.

The time frame for the election is likely to prove a strong dynamic in the race. Three Republicans — lobbyist and former Young aide David Jolly, state representative and former South Pasadena Mayor Kathleen Peters, and retired Marine Gen. Mark Bircher, a political newcomer — will square off in the Jan. 14 primary for the District 13 seat. The winner will face former state chief financial officer and gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink in the March 11 special election.

Not that holiday campaigning is unprecedented. Scott Brown, the former Republican senator from Massachusetts, prevailed in a January special election in 2010 to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat after his death. And presidential hopefuls trudge out to Iowa in January for the early caucuses there.

Nevertheless, campaigning during the holidays is unusual and presents candidates with distinct challenges.

It’s a time when money is scarce, schedules are tight and negative campaigning doesn’t fly. People are supposed to set their grudges aside and find common ground this time of year — even in Washington.

“Everybody’s just cordial. It’s different,” said Steve Parkhurst, a consultant with GPH Consulting, a national political consulting firm that works with Republican candidates. “You’ve got good tidings and joy and all of that going on.”

Commercials smearing another candidate could come across as tacky when sandwiched between ads thick with messages of joy and peace.

“Everybody can find something nice to say to everyone else that time of year,” Parkhurst said. “You have to have a level of sensitivity.”

That’s why candidates might be better off highlighting their own strengths rather than tearing down opponents in December.

“People aren’t paying that much attention and, I think, people find it tacky,” Chris Akins, of Akins Campaign Strategy in Tallahassee, said in an email.

“It simply isn’t the time to campaign, outside [of] heartfelt and genuine wishes for happy holidays. … For the campaigning that does occur, I generally advise to dial back the rhetoric and focus on what’s been accomplished and how it helps the community at large — policies that benefit everyone.”

Come Jan. 2, the barbs can come out, said Abby Livingston, a writer for Washington political blog Roll Call, who is covering the District 13 race. By then, though, it may be too late for candidates in the primary.

“It would be a sprint to the finish,” she said.

Especially considering that early voting in the District 13 race starts on Jan. 4.

By then, mail ballots for the primary will also be trickling in. Pinellas County Elections Supervisor Deborah Clark has been encouraging absentee voting in recent years. Absentee ballots went out to overseas and military voters Wednesday, and they go out to local absentee voters on Dec. 10.

Candidates need to have their message out to voters by the start of the year, though, Parkhurst said.

“You have to have your radio ads done, your TV ads done, and your direct mail has to be pretty much out the door by that time,” he said.

Getting the message out could also prove more difficult in the District 13 special election than it would in a normal election cycle.

For one, advertising rates during the holidays can be exorbitant, given that campaigns are often competing with major retailers for pricey commercial slots over the holidays.

Raising money for those ads can also be tough.

“It’s notoriously difficult … to raise money during this time,” Livingston said. “That’s a time when people are tight with their budgets. They’d probably prefer to give their kids something nice for Christmas rather than give a candidate money for an ad for TV. It’s a harder sell.”

Organizing fundraisers to pay for that advertising can be tough as well, but not impossible, Akins said.

“An organized fundraiser might be hard to pull off, but calling your reliable donors and meeting with small groups is certainly doable,” he said. “Essentially, I might not organize a large public fundraiser, but I’d certainly consider using a week or two right after Thanksgiving and early December to get my regulars on board and meet with prospects and keep it low-key.”

As would be true of any truncated election cycle, top contenders in the District 13 race will have strong name recognition and fundraising ability. In the cases of Jolly and Peters — with Peters having the name recognition and Jolly having the financial resources — campaigning around the holidays means reaching out directly to the right voters — except on the major holidays, when most people don’t want to hear about politics.

“Special elections are always especially impacted by turnout, or sometimes lack thereof,” said Tallahassee GOP political consultant Sarah Bascom, who is serving as the Jolly campaign’s communications director. “With this race being around the holidays, you have to microtarget and be very strategic in your outreach. I know for the Jolly campaign, it has been and will continue to be a 24/7 campaign, and no stone will go unturned.”

The original story can be found here.

Paul Ryan’s Kemp-Inspired Crusade Against Poverty

By Steve Parkhurst

While I admit to being one of those people that thinks Washington D.C. is incapable of controlling and patrolling itself, and that something like The Liberty Amendments proposed by Mark Levin are in order for us to rein government back in, there is something to be said for the efforts of Congressman Paul Ryan.

This is an interesting story in the Washington Post, or as I prefer to call it, Pravda on the Potomac. Still, this article is pretty well done:

Paul Ryan is ready to move beyond last year’s failed presidential campaign and the budget committee chairmanship that has defined him to embark on an ambitious new project: Steering Republicans away from the angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party movement and toward the more inclusive vision of his mentor, the late Jack Kemp.

Since February, Ryan (R-Wis.) has been quietly visiting inner-city neighborhoods with another old Kemp ally, Bob Woodson, the 76-year-old civil rights activist and anti-poverty crusader, to talk to ex-convicts and recovering addicts about the means of their salvation.

Ryan’s staff, meanwhile, has been trolling center-right think tanks and intellectuals for ideas to replace the “bureaucratic, top-down anti-poverty programs” that Ryan blames for “wrecking families and communities” since Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty in 1964.

Next year, for the 50th anniversary of that crusade, Ryan hopes to roll out an anti-poverty plan to rival his budgetary Roadmap for America’s Future in scope and ambition. He is also writing a book about what’s next for the GOP, recalling the 1979 tome that detailed Kemp’s vision under the subtitle, “The Brilliant Young Congressman’s Plan for a Return to Prosperity.”

Of course, that “1979 tome” was Jack Kemp’s An American Renaissance. But I digress.

Ryan’s new emphasis on social ills doesn’t imply that he’s willing to compromise with Democrats on spending more government money. His idea of a war on poverty so far relies heavily on promoting volunteerism and encouraging work through existing federal programs, including the tax code. That’s a skewed version of Kempism, which recognizes that “millions of Americans look to government as a lifeline,” said Bruce Bartlett, a historian who worked for Kemp and has become an acerbic critic of the modern GOP.

“They want to care,” Bartlett said of Ryan and modern Republicans. “But they’re so imprisoned by their ideology that they can’t offer anything meaningful.” Ryan has explained the difference by noting that the national debt has grown enormously since Kemp ran for president in 1988, nearly doubling as a percentage of the economy.

Kempism. Stay tuned in future months for more on that.

In the mid-1990s, crime and poverty were hot national issues. Kemp was a font of innovative ideas for reviving inner-city commerce, rebuilding public housing and overhauling the welfare system. He was pro-immigration, pro-equal opportunity and, above all, pro-tax cuts, which he viewed as government’s primary tool for promoting growth.

Unlike other Republicans, Kemp also frequently visited black and Hispanic voters and asked them directly for their votes.

Two days after Ryan was introduced as Romney’s running mate, he pushed to do the same. Advisers recall Ryan in workout clothes in a Des Moines Marriott, telling campaign officials in Boston that he had two requests: First, to meet the staff in person. And second, to travel to urban areas and speak about poverty.

No one said no. But with Romney focused relentlessly on Obama’s failure to improve the economy for middle-class Americans, the idea always seemed off-message. “We struggled to find the right timing to dovetail it into our messaging schedule,” Romney strategist Ed Gillespie said via e-mail.

Ryan adviser Dan Senor said Ryan argued that “47 million people on food stamps is an economic failure.” But Ryan did not get clearance to deliver a speech on poverty, his sole policy address, until two weeks before the election.

Great point: “47 million people on food stamps is an economic failure.”

Ryan had sought Woodson’s help with his poverty speech. The two reconnected after the election and began traveling together in February — once a month, no reporters — to inner-city programs supported by Woodson’s Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. In Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Denver, Woodson said, Ryan asked questions about “the agents of transformation and how this differs from the professional approach” of government social workers.

Like Woodson, the programs share a disdain for handouts and a focus on helping people address their own problems. In Southeast Washington, Ryan met Bishop Shirley Holloway, who gave up a comfortable career in the U.S. Postal Service to minister to drug addicts, ex-offenders, the homeless — people for whom government benefits can serve only to hasten their downfall, Holloway said.

At City of Hope, they are given an apartment and taught life skills and encouraged to confront their psychological wounds. They can stay as long as they’re sober and working, often in a job Holloway has somehow created.

“Paul wants people to dream again,” Holloway said of Ryan. “You don’t dream when you’ve got food stamps.”

Trips to Newark and Texas are slated for later this month. Woodson said Ryan has also asked him to gather community leaders for an event next year, and to help him compare the results of their work with the 78 means-tested programs that have cost the federal government $15 trillion since 1964.

The takeaway for Ryan, a Catholic, has been explicitly religious. “You cure poverty eye to eye, soul to soul,” he said last week at the Heritage forum. “Spiritual redemption: That’s what saves people.”

How to translate spiritual redemption into public policy?

If you don’t have goosebumps at this point, what’s wrong with you?

“There’s definitely a feeling that conservatives need to get in this arena,” Winship said. Otherwise, “the voices on the left are going to have the entire conversation to themselves.”

A point Newt Gingrich has been making for many years now, and something we fight against here at GPH. To paraphrase Gingrich, you can’t get real solutions offered if you have two Leftists debating on stage, and Republicans standing off to the side yelling “no!” Conservatives and Republicans have to get into the less comfortable debates and have real discussions with people; start connecting with the community. As Jack Kemp used to say, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Also worth noting before closing, the swipe at the “angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party movement” is both senseless and pointless. It tells me that the Left is worried that Paul Ryan and those few like him may be on to something here. If they aren’t worried, then this was just another swipe at the tea party. You decide.

Mike Lee’s Anti-Poverty, Civil Society Speech

Senator Mike Lee

By Steve Parkhurst

United States Senator Mike Lee of Utah, yesterday delivered a very interesting speech at an anti-poverty forum hosted by the Heritage Foundation. The entire speech text can be found here, and it’s worth reading. Here are a few interesting takeaways for me.

We know that participation in civil society, volunteering, and religion are deteriorating in poor neighborhoods – compounding economic hardship with social isolation. And we know these trends cut across boundaries of race, ethnicity, and geography.

All of this might lead some to the depressing conclusion that – 50 years after Johnson’s speech – America’s war on poverty has failed. But the evidence proves nothing of the sort.  On the contrary, I believe the American people are poised to launch a new, bold, and heroic offensive in the war on poverty… if a renewed conservative movement has the courage to lead it.

Later:

Properly considered, then, the war on poverty is not so much about lifting people up. It’s about bringing people in. And so the challenge to conservatives today is to rethink the war on poverty along these lines, to bring into our economy and society the individuals, families, and communities that have for five decades been unfairly locked out.

Nineteen-sixty-four wasn’t the year Americans started fighting poverty; it was the year we started losing that fight. To start winning again, conservatives are going to have to lead the way – not simply by offering criticism, but alternatives. Our job is to identify the obstructions that impede Americans’ access to our market economy and civil society and clear them. And if we’re looking for impediments to mobility and opportunity, we’ve certainly come to the right place!

Finally:

Today, millions more of our neighbors are still out on the plains. They are not some government’s brothers and sisters – they are ours.

And the time has come to do something about it. As conservatives, as Americans, and as human beings, we have it in our power – individually, together, and where necessary through government… to bring them in:

  • to bring them into our free enterprise economy to earn a good living,
  • to bring them into our voluntary civil society to build a good life,
  • and to welcome them and their children home to an America that leaves no one behind.

Steve Parkhurst Interviewed On SoCal Radio

This morning, I was interviewed by Jerry Slusiewicz, host of Your Money Talks in Southern California on both KSPA and KFSD. We discussed the debt ceiling debate, the ongoing government shutdown and ObamaCare.