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Obama Democratic $ Power Broker

Obama’s `Gigantic’ Database May Make Him Party’s Power Broker

By Christopher Stern

April 28 (Bloomberg) — Barack Obama‘s supporters are giving him more than just record amounts of cash. They also are providing personal information that may make his donor list the most powerful tool in U.S. politics.

Even if the Democratic presidential candidate doesn’t succeed in his White House bid, this data will make Obama a power broker in the party for years to come. For the interest groups or Democratic candidates he chooses to sell it to, it would provide a gold mine of information and access to potential donors.

Almost 2 million people have entered personal information on Obama pages on social-networking Web sites such as Facebook, MySpace and his campaign’s mybarackobama.com, offering home addresses, phone numbers, their views on specific issues and the names of friends. The data have allowed Obama, 46, to raise more than $200 million, fill sports arenas with supporters across the nation and motivate millions more with custom-tailored messages.

“It’s gigantic,” said Laura Quinn, chief executive officer of Catalist, a company that maintains a database of 280 million Americans. The list is as “transformational” as the advent of political advertising, she said.

Volunteering Information

The Illinois senator’s biggest innovation is in persuading people to enter personal information directly on his campaign’s Web site, according to Bill McIntyre, executive vice president of Grassroots Enterprise Inc., a Washington-based Internet marketing firm that advises campaigns.

McIntyre, a Republican and former chief national spokesman for the National Rifle Association, said the data entered by 800,000 names on mybarakobama.com may be worth as much as $200 million.  Link to full Bloomberg Article>>


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  1. Wow, this is eye opening! I will assume the Obama campaign will use the information with integrity!

    Posted by BryAnn B | April 30, 2008, 12:30 am
  2. Obama has been big into information technology and government, as exhibited by his governmental transparency initiatives. And the fact that he’s received a thumbs up from both Lawrence Lessig and Tech Crunch also speaks well of him. I expect he’s well aware of the need for sensitivity when it comes to the treasured commodity of information.

    Posted by slag | April 30, 2008, 1:36 am
  3. Okay John, you’re kind of scaring me! Not that I don’t trust Obama and his campaign, it’s just this whole, big government information technology issue, that I have a problem with.

    There is definitely more than one side to the issue of modern technological advances, in the era of fast pace type and hype. Then there is the media!

    Posted by Cami | April 30, 2008, 12:15 pm