WASHINGTON — Ralph Reed, the founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, the increasingly powerful grassroots conservative activist group, said his conservative group will turn itself into a national organization with a role in the Republican takeover of the American government in the 2012 election and beyond.
His goal is 5 million members, an annual budget of $100 million, and full-time lobbyists in all 50 state capitols. Republicans, he said, would reap the rewards:
“A president, a vice president, a majority of the U.S. House and not just a 228, 230 majority in the House, I believe it could be 260, 270, 275. Governors in 30 states, and control of both houses of the legislature in 25 states by the end of the next decade”
Central to the effort is a large data operation that will lead to over 200 million voter contacts before the November 6th.
“Number one, we’re going to build a database of 18.3 million social and fiscal conservative households in which reside 27.1 million voters,” Reed told members at the organization’s conference and strategy briefing. “We’re gonna contact each and every one of those voters 7-12 times by mail, by phone, by email, by text message, and in the case of 2 million of those households in the key battleground states, one of our volunteers — one of you probably — is gonna knock on their door and make sure they vote. And we are gonna make a specific push for early voting …Our goal is for 40 percent of those 27 million voters to cast their ballot before the polls open on Election Day.”
Reed added that the organization has already amass significant information on many of its target voters, including tens of millions of cell phone numbers.
“We now have the cell phone numbers of 44 million conservative and Republican voters — 44 million — 13 million of those cell phone numbers are the cell phone numbers of evangelicals,” he said.
Reed launched the organization in the aftermath of the 2008 presidential election, when he said he felt like he was hit by a truck. “We were embarrassed. They ran circles around us,” he said of Democratic efforts, saying the times have changed.
“We’re not just playing around. We’re not shadowboxing,” he said. “We are playing for keeps. We’re playing for the most valuable prize in the history of the human race and that’s the United States of America and we are not going to lose.”