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Rosen Reelect 2018, Campaign Plan

Reelect District Attorney Jeff Rosen, 2018 Campaign Plan

 

Strategic overview 

It is almost stunning, but YES, the second re-election campaign for district attorney is just around the corner. The past six years have certainly been dynamic and dramatic—and with agenda items ranging from Jeff establishing himself as one of the most forward-thinking district attorneys in the nation to his managing the theater of the Emily Doe case and being hit hard by the alt-right for his practical stance on immigration consequences—Jeff has been in the middle of some of the top criminal justice public policy debates in the nation.

It would be easy to assume that Jeff’s dynamic record would mean it is a given that he would not have a re-election opponent. However, politics is rarely that kind, and Jeff’s principled and risk-taking policies have come with some political costs. With that in mind, there are two possible political camps that are worrisome and could generate opponents.

First, and most obvious, there are some political camps in Santa Clara County and perhaps nationally that have become upset with Jeff’s endorsement of Judge Persky. These people are formidable because they are capable of raising large sums of money—and quickly. It’s a threat that needs to be taken seriously.

Additionally, it’s not beyond belief that Jeff could face a challenge from the hard right. After all, Jeff has caught the attention of everyone, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Alt-Right blogger and conspiracy theorist Mike Cenovich. As we know, these extremist are motivated to spend money on symbolic gestures even if they have no chance of electoral success. So, the threat is real.

With March 18 being the final campaign committee filing, there is quite a bit of time for people to organize and decide whether they want to take on Jeff. Yes, it may seem unlikely, but there is enough of a possibility that the better part of wisdom is that Jeff should be prepared. The following proposal lays out a strategy to enhance Jeff Rosen’s political brand, the coalition supporting Jeff, and the sense of political strength it will take for Jeff to avoid an opponent in 2018.

 

Rollout strategy

We suggest an eight-month “Rosen for DA” reelection program starting in August. The calendar would stipulate that we spend the first six weeks establishing updated branding, including:  

  • Reconstruction of the current website
  • Collateral development/video interviews and photo shoots
  • Building endorsements and a coalition
  • Establishing and orchestrating an aggressive fundraising strategy

Reconstruction of the website

Our current website is functional and can be easily modified. So, we won’t need to implement a major upgrade to the site’s template; we simply need to update its content. To construct the new site, we will bring the campaign team together and establish needed updates. Then we will provide a detailed flow chart of the changes for final review.

A foundation of the update will be expanding the elements of our modified menu to provide a video narrative for each item. So in essence, restructured menus of the website will have short videos that narrate the content of each individual theme. This will make for a more dynamic and personalized site and also provide powerful links for social media advertising or other political purposes such as fundraising. For instance, if Jeff is dialing for dollars to a universe of animal rights advocates, he can send a link to his prosecution of Robert Farmer, etc.

Collateral development/video interviews and photo shoots

We will spend two to three days videotaping various Rosen/policy-related individuals as well as Jeff himself. These sessions will coordinate with each new menu item and concentrate on developing real-life narratives that we will use for placing on the website but also as a tool for social media outreach.

Additionally, we will consider a collateral brochure for Jeff to pass out at events and to potential donors.

Building endorsements and a coalition

The DA’s office under Jeff has been very dynamic. The office has been in sync with progressive national trends such as criminal justice reform, officer-involved violence, enhanced sexual assault penalties, animal rights prosecutions, etc. However, these accomplishments mean little electorally unless voters know about them.

The best and most cost-effective way for voters to know more about the office’s many accomplishments is to have those positively affected by the DA office’s policies and successful criminal prosecutions provide third-party testimonials.

So we will work to help create a broad coalition of Santa Clara County residents and stakeholders. This effort will take a lot of phone calls from Jeff, but we will also establish an online outreach to expand this coalition.

As we gather endorsements, we will issue press releases and post the endorsements to social media.

Social media strategy

We have already established a strong Facebook page for Jeff. However, as you know, in order to maximize the value of the FB page, we will need to advertise. We propose a modest budget for both Facebook and Google advertising.

Research

We would like to propose a Santa Clara countywide poll to test Jeff’s name recognition; where county voters stand in relation to his position on criminal justice issues; and his prosecutorial effectiveness. While we do not expect any significant pushback over the Persky issue, it’s better to be informed than it is to be shocked.

Fundraising

Raising campaign money can be both time-consuming and emotionally taxing. However, no matter how creative our branding program is for Jeff, if he doesn’t pair political marketing with an impressive campaign war chest he can still be vulnerable to someone viable filing against him. We have several ideas about fundraising, including hiring fundraisers to raise money in the progressive Bay Area and perhaps another person or firm to raise money in Los Angeles County. Additionally, we have explored hiring someone to put a master campaign plan together and orchestrate that plan with volunteers or project workers who will not receive a commission on money raised. Additionally, we will add an aggressive online fundraising component to whichever effort we decide to implement.

The big launch

For the first six to eight weeks, our efforts will be dedicated to updating content, coalition building, and raising money. Those efforts will culminate in a very aggressive campaign launch in mid-September or early October. We envision a large event in front of the County Building on Hedding. The event will be much like Jeff’s first campaign event, but only on steroids—we will work for maximum media coverage and have the event videotaped. This launch will include several constituents with lawn signs but also stakeholder who will provide testimonial on such as criminal justice reformers, victims’ rights advocates, animal rights advocates, women’s groups, etc.

We will make it abundantly clear that District Attorney Jeff Rosen is widely popular and any effort to challenge him will be doomed from its inception. This effort will continue through the filing deadline.

We anticipate an aggressive pre-campaign will dissuade any opposition to Jeff. However, if someone does decide to challenge Jeff we will reevaluate our opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and provide an updated campaign needs assessment.

 

Calendar

August/September

  • Fundraising plan
  • Video and photo shoots (2 days)
  • Redo website
  • Establish FB creative and advertising calendar
  • Establish press release calendar for launch
  • Establish location and begin launch recruiting

October/November

  • Public opinion research/polling
  • Campaign launch/media outreach
  • Social media relaunch and advertising
  • Continue media outreach/endorsement press releases
  • Fundraising events

December

  • Manage social media
  • Jeff’s holiday statements
  • Public safety tips

January/February/March

  • Manage social media
  • Continued coalition building
  • Fundraising events  
  • Look for political opportunities (we’ll discuss)

Budget

  • Video shoot (includes campaign launch)                   $12,000                                                                   
  • Editing                                                                          $6,000
  • Photo shoot                                                                 $1,500                                                                               
  • Website upgrade                                                         N/A                                                                                
  • Polling                                                                          $20-25K                                                                            
  • Fundraising                                                                  TBD                                                                              
  • Lawn signs/banners                                                    $5,00
  • Collateral material/walk piece                                    $5,000                                                                              
  • Facebook advertising/                                                $5,000
  • Google advertising                                                    

Centaur North Fee

  • August-October                                                          $3,000 monthly
  • December-March                                                        $1,500 monthly
  • Misc. Travel                                                                  Reimbursement