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.

Live from my Blackberry

So I found a way to write blog posts from my cell phone. Hoping to get this blog going again, especially since I'll be busy with campaigns this year!