Moneyball and D.C. politics

Moneyball is one of my favorite movies. For those who haven't seen it or read the book, it's about how the general manager of the Oakland A's, Billy Beane, changed the culture of baseball by using data to inform decision-making about how he composed and played his team. He challenged the conventional wisdom about what stats were important, and though many doubted what he was doing initially, he proved them wrong.

To translate this into our campaign, most local D.C. political commentators and observers look at only one number--total money raised, the home run of politics--but don't consider other stats like how many contributors are from D.C. or how money is spent and on what, which I think are important for a winning team. Keith Ivey has created--once again--an awesome spreadsheet detailing some of these stats here. You can see that 87 percent of my contributors are from D.C.

Monday night, our campaign along with about a dozen other at-large hopefuls handed in reports to the Office of Campaign Finance. Here's what we reported:

  • 181 contributions from June 11 to Aug. 10, all from individuals 
  • $29,721.01 raised from June 11 through Aug. 10, $56,323.83 total through Aug. 10
  • $36,102.54 spent through Aug. 10

Given the deadline fell on a Sunday, the turn in date was Monday. However, the Office of Campaign Finance's software did not allow us to count in those who contributed through our website Monday. That increases our numbers:

  • 34 contributions were made Aug. 11/12, totaling $4,621
  • that means we have raised a total of $60,944.83

What's most striking about our report compared to the rest of the at-large field: Our list is filled with people--not LLCs or out of town contributors with no connection to D.C.--who live, work, and raise their families in our city. That's the Billy Beane equivalent of looking at on-base percentage and runs scored.

I want you to keep that in mind as we move into the true heart of the campaign. Displaying your yard sign, sharing our campaign information on Facebook and Twitter, hosting and attending meet and greets, talking to your friends, colleagues, and family about our campaign--that is how we will win this election. I'm excited to be part of this people-powered campaign, and even more pumped to show our city that a people-powered candidate can turn into an elected official accountable to the people. 

Thanks so much.
Elissa.