Democrats are looking to build on the campaign victories which have been taking place since last November. NGP VAN helps political campaigns by providing the digital tools they need to effectively manage their campaigns, their volunteers, and raise money. They say they too often see political launches that are lackluster at best and lacking energy from the get-go. They have offered some tips for candidates and the campaign staff to follow in order to prevent this.
First, a candidate should know before launching what they campaign is all about and why they are running so they can articulate this in their announcement speech. They should also create a press kit which has their background material like what they have accomplished and what their biography is. Also, the website should be up on launch day so that people can find the correct source of information about your rather than just googling your name and clicking on the first thing that pops up.
NGP VAN has a tool called Digital 8 which helps campaign staff organize their CRM and getting people to sign up for email updates about the candidate. Candidates using Digital 8 raise more money than those who don’t. The tools that make Digital 8 up includes Online Actions and Targeted Email. In this vein, they say that political campaigns should also use tools to establish effective SMS and mobile programs which can be used to mobilize volunteers and get people to vote whether in a booth or by absentee ballot.
As a technology firm, NGP VAN has been helping progressive candidates for over a decade. They provide the technological tools that are necessary to run a modern day campaign. They help bring in campaign donations and tools to use volunteers most effectively. They also help candidates get out their message whether its on a website, through email, or through SMS.
It doesn’t matter whether someone is running a local campaign or a national one as NGP VAN provides it services to all sizes of campaigns. Their services start at just $45 a month and scale from there according to how big the campaign is.
This spring, Sean Penn released his new book “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” , it is a satirical novel that appears to take aim at the issues facing the U.S.. This month, Penn sat down with Trevor Noah and Vogue Magazine to talk about the book. Though Noah said that the book is hard to describe, it is a clear stab at the current political issues in the U.S. which Penn has never been shy of talking about. Penn told Noah that the book looks at the “dark side of human nature” and how humans can be easily fascinated with dark and fascist tendencies. The book is about Bob Honey, a very angry American who looks at the world through pessimistic eyes. Bob has a very unique side job, he goes on mallet wielding sprees, killing older citizens that he thinks stand in the way of progress.
Penn told Vogue, that the book sits on a parallel plane to the #METOO movement, and this seems apparent as Bob witnesses many current events in the U.S. For example, Bob experiences the presidential election of 2016, and later even writes an angry letter to the elected president, telling him how unfit he is for office. Penn tells Noah that the book looks into the desire many people have to serve their country, even if they are misguided or lack purpose. Bob seems to be this, and this could explain why he goes on these murder sprees for the name of “progress.”
Aside from just talking about the book, Penn fills in the listeners about what has happened in his life over the last few years, and what may have inspired his book. First off, Penn talks about his anger towards Trump’s comments about Haiti and other developing countries. He then goes into his friendship with the late Hugo Chavez, and the state of affairs in Venezuela at the moment. Penn wraps up the interview by criticizing the U.S.’s war on drugs, and how he felt that interviewing el Chapo was crucial for his understanding of it.
End Citizens United is a political action group that hopes to reform the campaign finance system. It came into being March 1, 2015 after the Supreme Courts decision to treat corporations as people, allowing billionaires and other special interest groups to make unlimited donations to the campaigns of politicians to support their agendas.
End Citizens United points out that the donations are untraceable and results in no accountability or transparency. The organization also points out how it makes it possible for foreign entities to influence US elections, including the Russian meddling investigation, Chinese nationals donation of $1.3 million to a Jeb Bush super PAC through American Pacific International Capital and donations to a super PAC by a wealthy Mexican Entrepreneur. According to Hi-Tech Chronicle, there was 15 cases being investigated by the FEC (Federal Election Commission) at the beginning of the year of illegal foreign campaign spending.
The Hi-Tech Chronicle article entitled, “Russians Weren’t the Only Meddlers in the 2016 Election According to End Citizens United,” dated October 31, 2017, told of many measures proposed by Democrats to combat the effect of the Supreme Court ruling, such as the Disclose Act and the By the People reform package. The End Citizens United PAC (political action committee) works to support those Democrats in their attempt to reform and fix the campaign finance system. To combat the big money influence in political campaigns, End Citizens United raised $4 million during the first three months of the year with its 1.8 million donors contributing on average just $12 each. Tiffany Muller, the Executive Director of End Citizens United, said that it will probably raise $35 million before the 2018 elections from individuals who believes that the system is rigged against them and this is their way of fighting back.
On their website, End Citizens United describes itself as Democrats fighting for reform and states that it is just getting warmed up. It also states that it is proud to be funded by thousands of grassroots supporters from around the country, siting its grassroots activist as its greatest strength. Its mission statement expresses the strategy of electing those who champion campaign finance reform, passing state ballot measures, and making these issues part of the national conversation as a national priority. End Citizens United hopes to have an effect on all three branches of government in the effort to enact campaign finance reform to combat the political influences of big money.
The Human Rights Foundation was founded by Thor Halvorssen to address issues of human rights around the world. Thor unfortunately brings personal experience to the field where he is often sought out by news sources around the world. His family has had their human rights violated by the Venezuelan government.
Thor started out as a student activist while studying in England. The issue that he chose to speak out on at that time was South African apartheid. Now, thoughts of people that have their rights violated around the globe are seldom far from his mind. One issue that greatly concerns Thor is child slavery.
Two the countries where child labor is most prevalent are Ghana and the Ivory Coast where children are used to harvest cocoa and manufacture chocolate candy bars. It is estimated that almost 500,000 children are employed in the fields and many more in factories. It is estimated that over 95,000 children are working in Ghana where children as young as five may cut grass with a machete. Many people believe that if they buy a candy bar that is marked for fair trade, then a child slave is not involved in its production. Unfortunately, children can still be used in its production after the cocoa has been harvested. Additionally, many girls are given into slavery in Ghana so that religious leaders will forgive their sins.
Another country where child slavery is a huge problem is in mining where children often have to work 24 hour shifts. This problem particularly exists in Ghana, Niger, Peru and Tanzania. In many areas, these workers are girls because they have no cultural value. Their work is seen as helping their family make a meager living. While international laws now exist making buying gemstones from mines against the law, many children work in small mining operations that governments choose to ignore.
Another area where child labor is a huge problem is in Middle Eastern countries where children are used as camel jockeys. One place where this exist is in the United Arab Emirates where children as young as two are often sold into slavery. The owners then take steps to stunt the baby’s growth. In order to escape international attention, press is always focused on the winning camels. Unlike horse racing, in camel racing each camel does not have to carry the same amount of weight. Therefore, the camel carrying the lightest weight has an advantage.