A campaign attacking Florida Governor Rick Scott is serving as the template for a new online effort with Mitt Romney in its crosshairs. The year-long Pink Slip Rick initiative inspired Pink Slip Mitt, a campaign launched Wednesday by Florida Watch Action. So far the group has focused most of its campaign budget on online media, spending around $13,000 on anti-Romney websites and Facebook ads promoting them.
The anti-Romney campaign is the first the group has run in conjunction with the 2012 presidential race. "It's an outgrowth of our Pink Slip Rick campaign," said Susannah Randolph, executive director of Florida Watch Action. The progressive group has painted Scott, a Republican, as a job killer, and has now extended that message to attack Romney as "the job killing candidate" who "likes to fire people."
"The Internet is a great leveraging tool these days," said Randolph. "We pair it with on the ground action."
The group is promoting a "Pink Slip Mitt protest" to be held today at an Orlando paint store on its Defeating Mitt Romney Facebook page. "Mitt Romney is a job-killer who cannibalized American companies and middle class jobs while making investors wealthy during his years at Bain Capital," states the event page. "Let's give Mitt HIS pink slip on behalf of the middle class on Friday!"
Florida Watch spent $5,000 on Facebook ads targeting Florida Democrats and people who oppose Romney. "We're trying to utilize Facebook advertising and email outreach and video production that we hope goes viral," she said. In a video featured on PinkSlipMitt.com, Florida Watch Action captured an attempt by one of its supporters to hand Romney a pink slip after an event in Orlando. He ignored the activist.
In addition to raising awareness about Romney and what Florida Watch Action believes to be his history of "vulture capitalism," the group hopes the online campaign helps to "strengthen our strategies in reaching out to people...and get as many people on our list as possible," said Randolph.
Florida Watch plans to run more Facebook ads to promote the site and video, according to Randolph, who said the Defeat Mitt Romney Facebook page has been viewed by around 3,000 people.
Another new site from the group, HowMuchHasRomneyMadeSoFar.com, presents a dynamic national debt-style display of the estimated amount of money Romney has earned since he began running for president. The idea is to contrast Romney's earnings - now under increased scrutiny since he revealed his tax documents - with that of the typical middle-income family.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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