Journal Sentinel Goes Inside the Campaigns

Last Thursday, a reporter from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spent almost an entire day following our campaign. It would have been nice if he could have written an entire article about each side, but he had to split one article with coverage of Vote Yes for Marriage.

Here's an excerpt:

On Thursday, before dawn, Tate and 13 students stand shivering in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln at UW-Madison's campus. They place 5,000 leaflets in lecture halls.

"Everyone likes to say that young people don't vote," he says. "Well, young people don't vote because ad campaigns don't target them. We've proven in Wisconsin that if you speak to students about things they care about, they vote."

Gay marriage appears to be one of those issues.

Tate is first in the office. Others trickle in before 8 a.m. It looks a little bit like graduate school, with 52 full-timers on staff, hunched over computers, working phones, checking data. Some worked with Tate on past campaigns. Others were drawn to this one. Half the staff is straight, and half is gay, Tate reckons.

The campaign exists in the real world and the virtual world - 10 brick-and-mortar offices and what Web producer Ingrid Ankerson calls a "virtual field office" on the Internet, which enables the campaign to map all its events and spin its side of the issue.

The campaign has added other wrinkles: fund raising through house parties; training 1,800 speakers to tell their stories so the issue becomes personal; and, perhaps most important, outreach to churches, not just for organizing but for outright support.

But the campaign also is serious about putting boots on the ground, knocking on doors and, ultimately, turning out votes.

And here's the complete article.


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