Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ask Not What the CA GOP . . .

Speaking with a political candidate in another part of the state, I lamented the lack of money which the California GOP had invested in state senate district 35, for James Spencer, who had $3,000 to spend on a sudden special election following the conviction and sentencing of Roderick Wright.

When I explained my frustration, he responded abruptly.

As Republicans, we are supposed to support individual initiative as opposed to this welfare mentality. We have so many candidates saying to the state party: "Give me money".

He then related that candidates needed to work their ground game strong, connecting with local officials, reaching out to elected representatives, and prepping a strong ground game.

Instead of complaining that the state party apparatus is not helping, local candidates need to show their efforts to do everything necessary to win.

Walnut Creek attorney Mark Meuser ran for state senate in 2012, lost, but established strong rapport with the local press and name ID with voters. Catharine Baker worked tirelessly with a deep rolodex of contacts in the Bay Area, then raised large sums of money from these donors. Charles Munger noticed the insistent efforts of the Baker campaign, and helped her with independent expenditures to follow.

In the 66th Assembly District, nestled in the Southwestern section of Los Angeles County, Manhattan Beach small business owner David Hadley formed a powerful compact called the South Bay One Hundred, which tied together local leaders, businessmen, investors, and other conservative professionals to form an endorsing caucus to counterbalance the public sector unions and provide a ready stream of funding. This process prevented a costly primary and allowed local Republicans to focusing on defeating an already-weakened one-term Democratic incumbent.

Let us also recognize that Hadley "worked like hell" and "let his business" die so that he could win this race.

Another candidate fresh off a loss told me that if he had presented 3,000 voters with a simple request: donate $15 to the campaign, he could have amassed $45,000 with breaking a sweat. Imagine if he could have coordinated that simple effort on a weekly basis, he surmised with me, and his campaign would have accrue $2.5 million easy:

"Who needs Charlie Munger when you can get a lot by asking for a little from a lot of people."

This attitude needs to be  more prevalent among local candidates running for office. Why force the state apparatus to sacrifice large sums of money, when the candidate has expounded no sweat-equity in the seat? Strong fundraising operations from individual donors would donate further that the voting bloc supporting the candidate is already in place. Let us not forget that there are many well-moneyed individuals with no local connections or records of service, who outspend their opponents, and still lose.

Instead of Republican legislative candidates demanding that the CA GOP leadership throw money at then, they must be prepared to do the footwork to show that they have the volunteer base, the media attention, the endorsement package, and the ready work ethic to win.

In other words. . .

Ask not what the California Republican Party can do for you, but ask what you can do for the party, your community, and the state of California.

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