Failure to Launch: Newt & Saul

Last Friday, Newt Gingrich rolled out a big anti-Employee Free Choice petition drive, at CPAC. His group, called, brought on former Michigan GOP chair and RNC chair finalist Saul Anuzis to manage the new media campaign. Key to their launch at CPAC was a bribe for joining up – they were giving away a free Nintendo Wii for getting people signed up against Employee Free Choice. After all, how can rights and a stronger economy measure against a free video game system?

Oddly the petition drive didn’t get off to a great start. By around midday on Friday, there were less than 40 signatories. I tweeted, somewhat ironically:

Anti-American Worker FAIL: @newtgingrich‘s anti-free choice petition tells how many have signed. Why do these 39 ppl hate the secret ballot?

The bigger point was that one of the GOP’s biggest figures was unveiling a petition drive at the biggest conservative conference, brought on a finalist for the RNC chair, and in the opening hours with major press attention had only garnered 39 signups (at least a few of whom were union organizers and progressive bloggers who want to know what Newt’s people are saying). It was a miserable turnout and one that was fairly funny in its meager scale.

Fast forward to Monday afternoon. Jefferson Morley of the Washington Independent has an article up on Gingrich and Anuzis’ efforts online against the Employee Free Choice Act. Morley writes:

So far, the Anuzis card check campaign on is based on one such question (When given the statement, “Every worker should continue to have the right to a federally supervised secret ballot election when deciding whether to organize a union,” 77 percent agreed.), with a video that clocks in at 49 seconds, and an online petition that, as of Monday afternoon, had  been signed by 555 people.

As I write this, the Anuzis/Gingrich petition is at 598 people. CPAC and its thousands of participants had gone on for two days in the interim, there was major blog and news coverage of the Anuzis/Gingrich new media effort against Free Choice, and yet this massive new media campaign can’t scrape together 600 dead enders to stand with Newt and Saul against America’s workers.

Maybe Newt and Saul need to up the ante and pony up for an XBox 360 or throw in a year’s supply of Cheetos and Mountain Dew Code Red?

Disclosure: I’m proud to work for the Service Employees International Union. This post was neither approved by nor written with the knowledge of SEIU. It represents my views alone.

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