Monday, October 24, 2016

2016 presidential race - 3rd party candidate analysis

Since I am #neverclinton and #nevertrump, I've decided to vote for a 3rd party candidate. I know the math - a vote for anyone else essentially helps the other. To me, my vote is more than math. Not only did people rally, fight and die for my right to vote, so many people (especially women) don't have the right to vote. So it's not only a privilege, it's a responsibility. Watch this video why you should vote for a third party candidate. This speaks to exactly why I am not voting for Trump or Clinton.

Before I start, you must understand my background that informs my analysis. I count myself a Republican. But not the Trump kind. The free-market, more-choices-please, freedom-loving, military-supporting, environmental-policies-that-work-not-just-fads, everyone-who-can-work-should-contribute,  government-must-protect-its-people, equal-opportunities-for-all kind. These are the principles my party was founded on that are at risk due to pompous jerks that think they are king.

Second, understand that I'm a social conservative. I don't think these issues have to divide Republicans, but often they do. For myself, I can't support candidates who make abortion "rights" a platform issue.

Third, what I believe is important for an executive position like president and governor:
*Do they know what they don't know and surround themselves with wise counsel?
*Do they have experience managing large budgets and directing large staffs?
*Do they believe in at least some higher power? (this indicates they don't see themselves as the end all by all and humble themselves)
*Do they play nice with others? The U.S. is not a monarchy - we have checks and balances of power derived from the people for a reason. The president doesn't sponsor laws - Congress does. If they can't work with others, they'll get nothing done.
*Have they proven they can handle stress and difficult situations? These positions are no good for training grounds. If you have your finger on the red button, I want to know you can handle it.

With that, here's my analysis of third party presidential candidates (that are on my ballot in Washington State as well as one popular write-in with colleagues I respect):

Alyson Kennedy
coal miner, union leader

*doesn't support capitalism
*supports abortion
*priority is to fight against cops who kill - no mention of unity
Focused on fringe issues, doesn't talk about her plan or how to improve our economy or standing globally. Mostly complains.
Gloria Estela La Riva
community organizer and activist for Cubans, anti-war, anti-racism, women's and LGBTQ issues

*doesn't support capitalism
Main agenda is to end capitalism and replace with socialism.
Jill Stein
physician, environmental health advocate
*has an economic plan
*blames billionaires for "throwing us under the bus" (I'm personally sick of the 99% false argument)
Would love to know how she achieves 100% renewable energy and public higher ed as a right - makes me leery of false promises.
Darrell Castle
Military, lawyer
*like his talk about American sovereignty
*property rights and anti-Agenda 21
*military experience (good when you're Commander in Chief)
*unconstitutional foreign aid? We don't live in the Dark Ages anymore - can't be isolationist. As they say, you can't un-ring that bell.
Wants to remove us from UN and NATO, and return to the gold standard to strengthen the dollar. Hmm...I see the points, but not sure that would reach intended goal.
former Governor of New Mexico (two terms), business owner
*Republican background
*cut taxes and balanced budget
*"government doesn't create jobs" - thank you!
*balanced and realistic environmental agenda - do what works, protect the environment, but not for the gain of high-powered lobbyists
*signed a bill banning late term abortions

*vetoed 750 bills - red flag for me that he doesn't work well with other people
*pro-choice for first and second trimester
I think this is the most popular 3rd party candidate. I'm tempted to vote for him simply to increase the odds of taking electoral votes from Trump and Clinton.
Evan McMullinCIA, businessman, Policy Director for Congressional House Republicans*limited spending
*religious freedom
*balanced and realistic assessment of economic problems and plan to fix it
*doesn't support abortion - but has a plan to prevent more unintended pregnancies and encourage more adoptions! love it!
*helping the poor is an agenda item
*no executive experience (only Johnson does of all the candidates)He's not on my ballot, so I'd have to write him in.
Other than my actual voter's pamphlet and the linked campaign sites above, I also used this website as a source of information.

With that, since I kept going back and forth on who I'm going to vote for, I'm not going to state it here. You decide. Even if you are disallusioned by this year's "presidential" "choices," there are a TON of other really important things on your ballot - not just the presidential election! So please get out and vote! As they say, you can't complain about your leaders/laws if you don't vote.

God Bless America!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

At the convention

I'm sitting in a workshop about how to run a successful campaign. Some good stuff in here:
* if you're in a heavy Democrat district, get more Republicans registered to vote
* if you want to beat an incumbent, you have to take risks
* the main job of the candidate is to raise money and convey their message
* contrast yourself from your component, but don't be negative
* recognize your and your opponents strengths and weaknesses right away

Lots of people here - hope to run into a lot of people I know. More later!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, June 7, 2010

Filing week

This week is filing week. It's the last chance for candidates to come out of the woodwork to challenge incumbents (someone who currently holds the office) or try for an open seat (when someone who held the seat is not running for re-election).
This week could bring some huge surprises out. Some incumbents will breathe a sigh of relief on Friday, seeing they have no challengers. Already declared candidates will have a clear picture of who is running against they can do opposition research.
This is a great (and very true) blog entry by Jim Camden at the Spokesman-Review:
Stay tuned as the excitement unfolds!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Last week I met up with Jason Hearn and his campaign manager. We discussed strategy, target voters, the calendar, goals, volunteers, and more. There's a lot to do in a campaign! Jason is very passionate about this race. He is driven to winning this race. He is a great candidate, he knows his issues, he's campaigned before and he's passionate about his community. Part of winning a race is the district. Part of it is the quality of the candidate. If the candidate proves they can work hard, and the timing is right, you can win a race. Again, this blog is called lessons in politics, so keep that in mind ;)
Anyway, I've committed myself to really helping Jason win this race. A lot of people think he can't do it. They said the same thing about Scott Brown! They also told Jason the same thing when he ran for city council. It's not going to be easy, but I believe in Jason. We're going to be very busy in the next two and a half months before the primary August 17. We're going to need a lot of help.
I'm going to help with messaging, planning and organizing. I'm currently working up some drafts for what we call "slim jims," brochures that you hand out or leave behind when doorbelling. Since I've done lots of newsletters for members in my day job, I have experience in this kind of thing. Campaigns are a lot different. Less words. And at work, we have a graphics department that does the layout. I've done layout before though, so it's not like I'm not familiar with the basic concepts.
Anyway, lots to do, so more later!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jason Hearn

Thursday night I got a call from the campaign manager for Jason Hearn, running in the 22nd District. We had written over Facebook about me helping with the campaign. Next week, I'm meeting with his campaign manager to talk about the strategy for the campaign.
If you're a novice to the Legislature, you may not know anything about the 22nd Legislative District. Here's a map: 


As you can imagine, this is a very Democratic district. As in, a Republican hasn’t served in that district since…well before I was born. Nevertheless, I’m excited about working on this campaign. From what I can tell, Jason is a great candidate. I’m grateful we have a Republican candidate for this open seat.

The constituents in this district (my district) are composed of many state government employees with the capital here. The public employee unions have a lot of influence in this area, and have already chosen their candidate for the position. Mark, Hearn’s campaign manager, says this campaign reminds him of the race in Massachusetts for the late Ted Kennedy’s seat. I can see that, on a smaller scale.

This is an opportunity not only to show voters they have another option from the status quo of bigger government, but also selfishly for me to get more experience on a campaign, and my own district.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dino Rossi is in for U.S. Senate

So, Dino Rossi announced this morning that he's running for the US Senate against incumbent Patty Murray. As a Republican, I am divided on how I feel about this. I know I'm not the only one, as I've talked to several about this.

On the one hand, Dino is exactly what our state and country need. A true leader, not afraid of making difficult decisions, knows what a balanced budget means and looks like. He knows the value the private market brings to citizens and that the vast majority of jobs created are done so by small businesses, and not by government.

On the other hand, this will be his third campaign. "Two-time loser" was bad enough. If he loses again, my heart will break. It's difficult to get jazzed and excited for him again. I'm also quite concerned what this could do to our Republican party in a year that we have so much to gain. See this article about how our candidates (and their supporters) are already dividing.

There's another side, and that is the strategy of the campaign. Here's what PubliCola (a Seattle-area blog) had to say about Rossi's announcement video. Though it's only been two years since Dino's second run at governor, this is a completely different race (national not just state), against a more ingrained incumbent. The message will need to change. His agenda will need to look different. Ironic -- in the midst of writing this blog I got a call from the Rossi campaign asking for a financial contribution. Because Dino waited so long to decide/announce, others have been campaigning for that seat and raising money. He’s lost those opportunities and that time. On the flip side, this Everett Herald column shows some strategic reasons why Rossi may have waited to announce as a candidate.

Only time will tell how Rossi will do, if waiting will help or not. Only time will tell if the Tea Party movement helps or harms the Republican party. The August primary and November election will be an interesting time indeed.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

doorbelling and JT Wilcox

First off, I just want to say my goal is not to make this blog a platform for promoting candidates (although a shameless link to more info never hurt anybody, right?), but I want to comment on what I learn as I get involved.
In the last few weeks I've been helping out with JT Wilcox's campaign in the Yelm/Roy/Spanaway area. So far I've been doorbelling a couple times. When I first started doorbelling for the Rossi campaign a couple years back, it was pretty daunting. You want me to go up and talk to strangers and bug them in their homes?? But as I just stuck my foot out and tried it, I found I actually enjoyed doorbelling. First, it's good exercise walking around neighborhoods, and that never hurt anyone. Second, half the people aren't even home (or don't answer, and I don't blame them with the society we live in), so often you end up just leaving behind a brochure with some info about the candidate. Third, you get to meet your neighbors and community members! Sometimes they want to talk, and you can talk about issues and leaders. Sometimes they don't want to talk, and you just reflect on how your house isn't that dirty after all, and thank the Lord I don't own any yappy dogs.
Anyway, back to JT Wilcox. Yesterday I joined his team for a weekly update meeting about strategies and tactics and stuff. I've never been in on one of these kinds of meetings, so I don't really have a frame of reference, but wow is this campaign organized! And being who I am, this made me very happy. Organization = harmony in the world. They had bullet points, agendas, plans, detailed maps, and they tracked everything they did and are going to do. I think I could grow to love this campaigning thing :)
On June 10 I'm taking a daylong workshop on how to run a campaign during the State Republican Party Convention. I'm really excited to learn about fundraising, strategies, tips and more. Plus these events are always a good chance to meet more people who know a whole lot more than I do.