(Matt’s message to his Facebook friends):
Here’s the big reveal: Allen Fuller and I started a company- a couple, actually. But the first one is www.caucusroom.com, a new social networking site for conservatives to gather, encourage, learn and organize at the local level.
A caucus is a place where people meet and get organized around a set of political goals. In legislative chambers, there are many caucuses- the “Sportsmen’s caucus” or the “House Democratic Caucus”, as an example. In Colorado, every neighborhood holds a caucus meeting based on party affiliation in the first week of March.
When I ran for office, I started by going to my Neighborhood Caucus. I was 29 years old, and new to Lakewood. I had no money and my Christmas card list was mostly Democrats. The neighborhood caucus became my campaign lifeline, where I met nearly all of my volunteers and most of my early donors. Those lists lived on a Spreadsheet- and as best as I can tell, they still do. But they are actually great people- many lifelong friends- who should be able to get organized all the time rather than just biennially in March.
Campaign finance reform may sound nice, but when Political Parties are limited in their contributions, and interest groups can received unlimited money, one of the many negative results is that the traditional neighborhood activists are left on the sidelines. Interest groups hire paid door-knockers and phone-bankers. Some political campaigns do not even make space for phone banks or mail-stamping anymore- it’s all mercenary. Believe me, I know that world very well and did quite a bit to fuel it. We didn’t make the rules but we tried to play by them. I’m tired of those rules, and my side is not good at that game anyway. CaucusRoom is my penance- a hope that political leadership comes back to the neighborhoods and away from Denver and Washington.
At this point, my liberal friends (and probably some of my conservative friends) are saying, “yeah, but grassroots conservatives are nuts! Why would you help them talk to each other!” I remember when a liberal family member walked precincts for me with some activists, he remarked to me, “You know, these guys are actually nice. We had a lot in common.” Yup-we don’t bite. That’s the thing— We aren’t that different. You have dozens of conservatives living within 1/4 mile of you. If you don’t believe me, I can easily prove it by sending you your precinct information. Their kids are on your kids sports team. They smile at the mailbox and live a very similar life to yours, except on social media they are likely to see celebrities, neighbors, and friends they admire say that conservatives like them are hateful, they are stupid, etc… This makes it extremely difficult to navigate relationships, and also to scratch the itch we all have to make a meaningful difference somewhere. CaucusRoom is for them.
Friends on the left, please don’t take offense- you’ve got Act Blue or Care2, etc… plenty of tools in that tool box. Our side was missing this tool. I’ve got some other companies in mind in the coming years that hopefully you will like.
Allen and our development team have done an amazing job building the site, but we are just getting started. If you are part of a local GOP club, we are ready for you and your club members to sign up and create a group. Soon we will have more features and functions to help those who just want to keep an eye on what’s happening locally.
So much more to tell you about! But I’ll wrap up for now.
You can read more about all of this on about.caucusroom.com.
Thanks for listening!!