Newt Gingrich Collects Over 100,000 Signatures for Domestic Oil Exploration in 48 Hours

Newt Gingrich's American Solutions is closing in on 140,000 signatures for its Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less petition. On Tuesday, this number was about 12,000. When refreshing the page this morning, the signature count appeared to be rising by about 100 a minute. Full disclosure: American Solutions is a client of my company, but we haven't worked on this initiative.

This is a proverbial hockey-stick moment, and for an issue -- energy -- which hasn't traditionally riled up a lot of activist passion even if it bites consumers. Perhaps $4 gas is changing that, with gas prices taking their place alongside the war, gay marriage, and immigration on the list of activist hot buttons.

It should be pointed out that the issue isn't just ANWR, but Outer Continental Shelf drilling and Colorado oil shale. The Athabasca oil sands in Alberta -- home to a Saudi-sized reserve -- also offer hope for de-facto energy independence with the Bush Administration's approval of the Transcanada pipeline.

But the great infrastructure aspect to this is the ability to build something lasting. Many groups have talked about building the "MoveOn of the right." What they don't get is that it starts not with a lot of money or with TV ads but with the ability to galvanize activists around a cause using viral marketing. MoveOn was started in Wes Boyd's and Joan Blades's living room with an online petition attracting 250,000 signatures against the Clinton impeachment.

More than a few conservative groups have collected this many signatures around an issue over the years. The problem is that there's never been any follow through. After the initial rush to collect names, the list lies fallow, or the organization (usually just a website) disbands. Had there been any sort of continuity of effort, with a series of hot-button petitions and compelling messages, we'd have easily had our MoveOn by now.

Below is a list of issues which could have garnered a similar six-figure response. Had all been pushed by a single organization -- one that just like our readers doesn't care much for defining itself by the social/fiscal divide -- they'd have over a million members by now and would be raising upwards of $200,000 in small dollars with each email sent. They are:

  • The California gay marriage decision
  • BitterCling
  • The Berkeley Marines controversy
  • The earmark moratorium

Am I missing anything?

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Oh please...I have followed

Oh please...I have followed Newt forever is nice he saw the light finally...for me the phony man can stick it...he has helped us lose congress in more ways than one over the years with his power back wanting moderates running in seats instead of supporting to conservatives because he is just another genius doncha' know.

Anyone see his so-called Global Warming debate with Kerry on C-SPAN about a year ago...oh cry me a river, I wasn't happy with Newt then, still I held out hope, alas he let me down for the last time that morning...nice to see he is on the drilling side of the issue now, has anybody asked him his stance on capntrade, or if he stands by McCain on GW? Or if he has got his tongue out of Kerry's rear yet?

I feel he is nothing but a convenient phony....he is a great history teacher, I watched his classes live on NET back when that was a conservative station and still on... he should stick to teaching, at least improve the future generations in a real way...instead of being another moderate know it all on Fox that they love to put out their as real conservatives...and we had better take heed.

Just my two cents.

Patrick: Don't get too Ginned Up!

  •  California Gay Marriage won't have the resonance Massachussetts did in '04. It's the Coast.
  • Bitter Cling will be handled  (or not, as the case may be) by the McCain Campaign. Watch it fade away....
  • Berkeley Marines? It's Berkeley. It's what they do.
  • Earmark Moratorium? I know a operative whose candidate ran a commercial on earmarks in her primary here in Florida last cycle. She came in last. That's a process issue that doesn't connect to average Jacks and Jills. 

All of this is my humble opinion,  but it appears that the Hairdo has hit on something big. People want relief and they don't want to pay the Saudis, who they consider the Enemy. The Political Class, clueless as ever, doesn't get this yet. 

Newt gets this. He's a smart guy after all. 


No end in sight

First off drilling in off the coast and in Alaska would be great and getting the government to buck to environmentalists that would be fantastic as well. But the problem is that we have no refineries and I know the petition mentions building refineries; but, this is not a quick fix. Even if we able to get the million barrels of oil a day we would have to ship it to another country to refine it.  So event though our supply would increase it still would be coming from forriegn sources. It is not as though we just wave the magic wand and poof an oil refinery is on line. This is an issue that will not go away over night and as far as I can see has no end in sight. 

The simple fact is that we have gotten ourselves into a real sticky situation because the people in Washington failed to make the tough decisions for the past 30 years. There was no action taken and now we are all paying for it. And, we will continue to pay for it for into the future. The politicians took job security over taking action on a problem that has been looming in the shadows.
So if you live in a Congressional District where you have had the same congressman for as long as you can remember call them and say thanks. Tell them thanks for not having the you know what to take a stand and do what is right.


Domestic Oil Exploration

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