Anatomy of an (authentic) American political campaign

Follow the 96-day evolution of a grass roots political campaign as an All-American rural community fights back against the political manipulation of their town board's election.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Day Fifty Eight

What started out as a quiet Sunday turned into a very interesting political evening.

On the first Sunday of each month my husband and I open our home to family and friends for a potluck dinner. It’s a tradition we began four years ago after 9/11, and since then we have spent First Sundays with anywhere from 14 to 50 people gathered around our dining room table. So with a house full of guests due by mid afternoon, I temporarily put the campaign on the back burner.

However, at the end of the night, my friend who is now running as the Republican Candidate for Town Council came over to the house. He had just met with the Town Republican Chairman and he wanted to talk about what was going on.

Basically, it was pretty simple. He signed the papers that would allow him to become the endorsed Republican Candidate on the ballot, and the chairman told him what campaign expenses the party would help to finance and what he would be responsible for, himself.

What wasn’t so simple was the heave-ho that followed, as the chairman explained that other than paying for part of the campaign, my friend is on his own. It seems that the Town Republican Committee is tied up working on the previous incumbent’s campaign for State Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, they have absolutely no time to help him at all.

When my friend told me that, I couldn’t believe my ears. The audacity of this Republican Committee is beyond me. Here they have a person who is totally new to politics, who they completely snubbed two months earlier when he petitioned them to run as their endorsed candidate, and now when he has graciously agreed to represent them, their basic attitude is one of non-support.

The whole scenario infuriated me to the point that I told him not to worry, that I would help him with his campaign every step of the way.

And I began on the spot by enlisting my daughter and one of my friends, who were both still around following our First Sunday dinner, to take some “candidate” head shots with their digital cameras. Next, I volunteered to help him write his palm card and any other ads or campaign materials he needed. Finally I told him that I would share my walking lists with him and walk door to door with him any time.

I know that any political strategist would tell me that I’m nuts for doing all this. But at the point that politics interferes with the greater good of a community, such as the Town of Eden, then I really feel as if politics as usual needs to change.

The fact that the Republican Town Committee people have chosen to focus their time and attention on helping the current Republican Town Board Member try to win a State Supreme Court Judgeship, rather than working to support their own candidate for the Town Board election, is unacceptable.

And it is just one more indication to me that the true interests of this Republican Town Committee has much more to do with their own narrow goals than any larger commitment to making Eden a better place to live.
 
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