It is rare for a an outside group that is campaigning independently of and for a particular candidate to campaign better than the candidate than that they are supporting but that is exactly the case with with a newly organized outfit called the 9-9-9 Fund and which has launched what it calls Americans for Herman Cain. The new committee amounts to what is commonly called a super-committee
In the groups first mass email which was sent out while the CNN Republican presidential debate was taking place, its campaign director, Jordan Gehrke, penned a missive that presented a case for Herman Cain that Herman Cain’s own campaign has not effectively laid out for voters.
In what is a very succinct and articulate fundraising email, Gehrke demonstrates superior strategic political skills with a succinct but articulate letter that demonstrates how effective direct messaging can be when done right and provides Herman Cain’s campaign with a sample of how they should be communicating to voters.
In his email, Jordan Gehrke combines Herman Cain’s positives with the negatives of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in a way that makes the combination of the two, one of the most powerful cases for why Herman Cain should be the nominee that I have seen yet. Up to now, Herman Cain seems to be too much of a gentleman to go after his Republican opponents too harshly. But this is not an ad war between Dominos and pizza Hut, this is presidential politics and pretty soon Mr. Cain is going to have to do what Mr. Gehrke is willing to do …. land some meaningful, hard hitting punches. So far, Mr. Cain has criticized his opponents with light jabs distinguishing them as politicians and himself as a problem solving outsider. That will not seal the deal. However; by showing that he has a powerful uppercut and a lethal left hook, Herman cain can do exactly what he needs to do right now, while the iron is hot. He must not only gain some ground, he must also cause his opponents to lose some ground.
So far the race for the Republican presidential nomination has seen candidates burn quite bright but quickly fade out and be outshined by the steady little flame that is Mitt Romney’s dull glow. If Herman Cain does not want to be the next Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry, he must take advantage of the newfound popularity that he saw since the Florida Straw Poll and establish himself as a truly viable alternative to Mitt Romney. If he fails to take advantage of this surge now, it may be too late and he will likely find himself being a flash in the pan that will easily be written off as another “also ran”.
In order to avoid that, Cain must take two steps forward while simultaneously pushing his opponents two steps back.
Together, we will take our country back.
Personally, I’m impressed.
In my opinion, this solicitation is a perfect example of what Herman Cain and his campaign needs to be articulating and driving home. However, as is often the case, when it comes to negative campaigning, like most successful criminals know, it is best not to leave your own fingerprints on the weapon used in committing your crime. That is why surrogates are often called upon to do the attacking for them.
But Gehrke is not associated with Herman Cain. You will note the disclaimer at the bottom of his email which states that AFHC and the 9-9-9 Fund is not authorized by any candidate or committee.
Mr. Gehrke is an experienced political operative who once led the Internet activism division at Eberle Communications Group and was the Director of Business Development for BMW Direct, a national direct mail fundraising firm, where he also led their voter contact mail division. Some of his past clients include Sen. David Vitter and Reps. Jim Ryun, Geoff Davis, and Robin Hayes, Sharon Angle, and also involved in some controversial dealings with the campaigns of Tim Cahill who ran a primary for the Republican gubernatorial campaign of also Nevada’s Sharon Angle.
In the case of Cahill, during the 2010 primary, Cahill sued Gehrke who beiefly served as Cahil’s political director, and he tried to insure that Gehrke did not from hand any confidential information and documents over to Cahil’s chief opponent for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, Charlie Baker. Gehrke and three other cahill campaign official had suddenly resigned from Cahill’s campaign.
But the most questionable involvement of Gehrke comes from his positions with Base Connect, which was formerly known as BMW Direct. The company described itself as “a full-service creative agency for conservative candidates running at the national level.” But it was noted that for several election cycles, the political consulting firm would go out and find longshot conservative candidates that were running against a well funded Democrat incumbents and then launch a national fundraising campaign by sending direct mail to a list of loyal but small pocketed conservative donors around the country.
The real problem though was that as much as 95% t of the money Base Connect raises is funneled backt o Base Connect and partner companies that are based in the same suite in the same building off K Street. According to one report, GOP consultant Bill Pascoe called the Base Connect process “subprime fundraising.” And Erick Erickson once said that” candidates who use the firm are in danger of losing Red State’s endorsement, presumably because conservative donors’ money is going to a fundraising agency rather than actually helping the cause. Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) dropped all ties with Base Connect after Talking Points Memo reported in March he was paying the firm 75 percent in fundraising ”
So while I am impressed by the effectiveness of Mr. Gehrke’s work, I am forced to question the sincerity of his involvement in a so-called super PAC that is designed to promote the candidacy of a not so well connected political candidate who s running for the highest office in the land.
When White House 2012 approached Mr. Gehrke for an interview and asked some basic questions, he offered an email response that went as follows:
“There is zero relationship with Americans for Herman Cain and the Cain campaign. We are simply a SuperPAC that exists to put together an experienced team in early primary states for Cain that can win in IA, NH, SC, NV, FL, MI, AZ, etc.
I think Herman and his team have done a great job turning him into a tier one candidate despite the media and the establishment telling us he can’t win.
Now, it’s our job to provide reinforcements. That’s what we intend to do. We’ll be announcing the team in the coming days.
Thanks for your interest.
To be clear, neither Mr. Gehrke or his former employers at Base Connect have been officially charged with any wrongdoing and in America one is innocent until proven guilty. So we give Jordan Gehrke the benefit of the doubt and for Herman Cain’s sake, we hope that Mr. Gehrke’s obvious abilities raise the money that will allow his talents to deliver plenty of votes to Herman Cain.
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