One of 12's first clients was National Voice, a national coalition of non-partisan organizations - churches, unions, business groups, community groups - who set a goal of registering and getting out 5 million new voters for the 2004 election. Most believed that a large turnout would benefit the Democratic candidate, but because of National Voice's non-partisan status, the messaging couldn't advocate a candidate or party.
This was our non-partisan solution.
The campaign couldn't have been more successful in that National Voice accomplished its audacious goal, contributing to a then-record turnout of 122 million, though most/all of the people working on the effort were disappointed with the election results.
Looking at it again now, NOVEMBER 2 might have more accurately captured the spirit of what was to come in the 2008 election.
Our client for the campaign was Mark Ritchie, who took a year off from his job as president of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy to lead National Voice. Like a lot of people, Mark was disappointed with the 2004 results, particularly the voter fraud controversies in states like Ohio and Florida. Mark realized the only way to make sure this didn't happen again was to have someone working for fair and impartial elections in the Secretary of State's office in every state.
In 2006, having never run for public office in his life, Mark ran for Secretary of State in his home state of Minnesota. And guess what.
Mark has already had to oversee a recount of a State Supreme court race in this year's primary. He is currently dealing with the recount of Al Franken and Norm Coleman. Ironically and fittingly, Mark's commitment may end up serving the Republican candidate.