Other Group

Florida Organizing Together 2020

Location:

FL

Type:

Democratic Party campaign organization

Chair:

Nikki Fried

Florida Organizing Together 2020 was a Democratic Party-aligned campaigning organization. The organization was intended to provide a head start on building a campaign structure for the eventual Democratic Party presidential nominee in 2020 in the important battleground state of Florida in 2020. Once the presidential nominee had been decided by Democratic Party voters, the campaign structure built by the organization was intended to be turned over to that nominee’s campaign.

The organization, which was funded by anonymous donors, was a coalition of left-wing organizations and unions. It also had the backing of numerous Florida state officials. [1]

Several officials involved with this organization were later appointed to positions in Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden’s Florida campaign structure in July 2020. [2]

Overview

Florida Organizing Together 2020 was a Democratic Party-aligned campaign infrastructure building organization based in the state of Florida. The purpose of the organization was to build an infrastructure for the eventual Democratic presidential nominee in the battleground state of Florida. [3]

Florida Organizing Together 2020 is an affiliate of Organizing Together 2020, an effort to build a campaign infrastructure for Democrats in six battleground states. Once the infrastructure was built and Democrats officially nominated a candidate for president in 2020, the infrastructure that was built was intended to be turned over to the campaign. [4]

The plan was to hire more than 100 paid staff in the state and place them in 30 out of Florida’s 67 counties. The group’s mission was to hire employees, register voters, conduct phone banking, and train volunteers. [5]

Coalition Members

The organization was backed by 23 left-of-center political organizations and labor unions. Among the organizations that were members of the coalition were: [6]

Affiliation With Field Team 6

The organization is listed as a partner of the Democratic Party-aligned voter registration operation Field Team 6. The goal of Field Team 6 was to register new Democratic voters in order to help Democrats keep control of Congress in 2022. [7]

Leadership

The chair of the organization was then-Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D). Fried at the time was the only statewide elected Democrat in Florida. [8]

The campaign director of the organization was Brandon Thompson. Previously, Thompson was the national campaigns director for Kamala Harris for President in 2020. He also worked in Central Florida for President Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign. He also worked as national field director for For Our Future, the national training director for the DCCC, and campaign manager for the Oregon Raise the Wage campaign. [9]

Karen Andre, an attorney, was also involved with the organization. She previously worked on Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum’s 2018 bid for Florida governor. [10]

Both Thompson and Andre would be hired by the Biden campaign in Florida in July 2020. Thompson would be the campaign’s coordinated director while Andre would become a senior advisor. [11]

Finances

In May 2021, an investigation of Organizing Together 2020’s finances revealed the organization spent more than one-third of the $14.8 million raised overall on “online volunteer recruitment.” The money was paid to a company called 2020 Campaign Services, Inc. The company was owned by Paul Tewes, who was the brainchild of Organizing Together 2020 and a former campaign staffer for President Barack Obama. [12]

References

  1. Caputo, Marc. “Democrats Launch Major Florida Organizing Effort.” POLITICO, March 9, 2020. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/09/democrats-florida-organizing-effort-124319. ^
  2. Dixon, Matt. “Biden Unveils Florida Leadership Team.” POLITICO, July 6, 2020. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/06/biden-unveils-florida-leadership-team-349369. ^
  3. Caputo, Marc. “Democrats Launch Major Florida Organizing Effort.” POLITICO, March 9, 2020. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/09/democrats-florida-organizing-effort-124319. ^
  4. Caputo, Marc. “Democrats Launch Major Florida Organizing Effort.” POLITICO, March 9, 2020. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/09/democrats-florida-organizing-effort-124319. ^
  5. Caputo, Marc. “Democrats Launch Major Florida Organizing Effort.” POLITICO, March 9, 2020. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/09/democrats-florida-organizing-effort-124319. ^
  6. Anderson, Patrick. “Raimondo Co-Chairs Group out to Beat Trump.” The Providence Journal. The Providence Journal, January 31, 2020. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.providencejournal.com/story/news/politics/2020/01/31/raimondo-to-co-chair-national-organization-dedicated-to-defeating-trump/1790812007/. ^
  7. “Field Team 6.” Field Team 6. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.fieldteam6.org/mission. ^
  8. Caputo, Marc. “Democrats Launch Major Florida Organizing Effort.” POLITICO, March 9, 2020. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/09/democrats-florida-organizing-effort-124319. ^
  9.  “Brandon Thompson.” Sandler Phillips Center. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.sandlerphillipscenter.com/brandon-thompson. ^
  10. Dixon, Matt. “Biden Unveils Florida Leadership Team.” POLITICO, July 6, 2020. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/06/biden-unveils-florida-leadership-team-349369. ^
  11. Dixon, Matt. “Biden Unveils Florida Leadership Team.” POLITICO, July 6, 2020. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/06/biden-unveils-florida-leadership-team-349369. ^
  12. Sifry, Micah L. “‘Big Flashy Numbers That Impress Funders.’” “Big Flashy Numbers That Impress Funders”. The Connector, May 25, 2021. Accessed January 1, 2023.  https://theconnector.substack.com/p/big-flashy-numbers-that-impress-funders. ^
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Florida Organizing Together 2020

FL