The Influence Hierarchy

Countertop was kind enough to give us a rank ordered list of types of people important to politicians:

Based on my considerable experience in this area, here’s how – generally speaking – a candidate will prioritize the interests of stakeholders – all in the name of winning elections and diminishing the effort they need to undertake to win.

  1. Ability to organize and deliver large numbers of constituents
  2. Ability to organize large numbers of campaign volunteers
  3. Ability to raise money from large numbers of donors
  4. Constituent who donated money and worked on campaign
  5. Constituent who donated money
  6. Constituent who worked on campaign
  7. Non-constituent who worked on campaign
  8. Non-constituent who donated money
  9. Constituent who is known to member and is a member of same party
  10. Constituent who is member of same party
  11. Constituent who actually votes (and voted for member)
  12. Constituent who actually votes
  13. Constituent

As you can see, a little effort and organization on our side can have a huge impact on Gillibrand.

If even 1/10th of the gun owners in New York donated 25 dollars, and called to tell her to vote against a new gun control law, she’d be hard pressed not to listen.  That would be serious money she’d be putting at risk by going against you, and her natural inclination as a politician seems to be pro-gun.

There are limits to this, of course, you’re not going to turn Chuck Schumer pro-gun no matter how much you donate, because he’s a true believer, and he can make up that money elsewhere.  But Kirsten Gillibrand has a record, and it’s good.  Those pooh poohing her because she’s not good enough, or because she frames gun rights in the language of hunting are forgetting that a) this is New York we’re talking about, and she has to win a Dem primary in two years and b) it’s sometimes necessary to take a gamble on someone new and promising in order to build influence early.  If you support her, either through donations, organizing or volunteering, and she screws you over, you can always withdraw that support, and make sure she knows why.  This is a prime opportunity for gun owners, but will enough capitalize on it in a smart way?

7 thoughts on “The Influence Hierarchy”

  1. A calm and reasoned argument stands little chance in today’s America. There is definitely an urge towards absolutism on our side, which while understandable is quite dangerous to our avowed goals. I myself fight a daily battle with emotion-based rage at the profound stupidity by which I am assailed daily. If we gun owners fail it will be because the other side baited us into committing ourselves to a position or course of action that they can point to and say, “these crazy bastards are the ones who think they should have guns”. I’d say it’s 50/50 whether or not we blow it.

  2. Schumer isn’t a true believer. He voted to scrap the Sullivan Act back when he was in the NYS Assembly and make NYC shall issue.

  3. See Jacobs comment.

    True believers are few and far between. Rather, Schumers simply a.politician. If he thought opposing gun control would get him more votes in NY City and more favorable coverage in the NY Times he’d become Ron Paul.

    Remember, the first rule of politics is to win. In fact, that’s the only rule.

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