I’ve written several times about our candidate for the state legislature. To recap:
He’s a Steelworker. He’s been married 32 years and has 4 children. He spent 2 years in the military. He worked 2nd shift his whole life, and only became politically active with the Steelworkers in 2002
I spent part of the morning riding around with him yesterday. We filed his financial disclosure form with the state ethics committee (mail), set up his campaign finance account (on-line), opened a bank account and stopped by the local Board of Elections to make sure he was square with them.
John, the candidate, has been voting for Democrats since 2002, and doing “casual” organizing with the Steelworkers since his conversion from Republican to Democrat. After spending some time with him and listening to him, I realize what he really needs right now is a crash course in “Democrats”.
His whole focus has been on labor and economic issues and while those are really, really important here, and will be the center of his campaign, we actually have a fairly diverse group of committed Democrats and liberals, locally, and they will be his base. We have labor, sure, but we also have teachers and nurses and college administrators and county employees and musicians and stay at home mothers and people who work at Wal Mart. It’s a very conservative area, he’s a long shot going in, so he’s going to need every single one of them.
Listening to him, I realized that outside labor and “paycheck” issues, he’s really only thought about his position on gun rights and abortion, but education and the environment, to pick two, are important issues to some Democrats here, and the active people are really well-informed.
We’re having an organizing event on Saturday afternoon in a room at a local diner, where we invited 40 local women to meet the candidate for the US House. I’m hoping 25 will turn out. I’ll take pictures, unless no one shows up, then I won’t. I’ve been negotiating a “plate price” with the (grown) son of the man who owns the diner, and we’re not quite there yet. In our last conversation, I told him I wanted pie included for the per plate price, and he told me I’m getting rice pudding or bread pudding. I told him “everyone knows” those are cheap desserts, and he told me “everyone DOES NOT know that.” But they do know that. I told him to think about it, because he will have to live with his decision on this. How can he sleep at night?
I asked John and his wife to stop by about an hour into the Saturday event, after the US House candidate leaves, not to speak but instead to just meet the local women and hear what they talk about. I think he should go and find out what Democrats talk about, apart from the union thugs he pals around with.
Much luck to the good gent! Something tells me he’s gonna need all the help you can give him Kay. :)
Give him the BJ lexicon to read, teach him the difference between firebaggers and obots, give him a trigger word (like Glenn Greenwald) and have him watch the circular firing squad form.
That’s so funny, because I was thinking: “hmmm. this man clearly does not read blogs!”
He has a Facebook account. I think that’s a negative :)
On second thought, don’t teach him anything about Democrats. Some things are better left to the imagination.
first thing he has to learn to be a democrat: always offer 120 cents on the dollar as your opening negotiating position. After that, smooth sailing….
@kay – in the alternative you could have him practice herding cats. Oh, and tell him that there’s a cat named Tunch that’s waiting to eat him if he fails. Also.
Wouldn’t it be easier to seek the seat yourself? I’m probably talking out of school, as I’m sure the thought occurred to you that baby-sitting will take a lot of your time.
Kay, stop hating on rice pudding. Bread pudding yes, but not rice. Little nutmeg and shaved chocolate on top and you’ve got a winner.
I’d hold out for pie, but if you get a solid rice pudding you’ll be ok.
Fortune favors the bold.
He should read Ryan Lizza’s The Obama Memos: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/30/120130fa_fact_lizza?currentPage=1 . It will either be highly informative or so close to his own perception of the administration that he’ll decide he can’t trust a word of it. Either way, he’ll learn something.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen this statement in connection with rice pudding before. Which is good because, quite frankly, the connection is blowing my mind.
Also, congrats on the new spud!
Villago Delenda Est
Well, obviously, he needs to find some ex-Weathermen or a Rev. Wright type to consult for all the proper stock phrases of the “far-left liberal” to be used as random inserts in his stump speech somewhere. Toss in some “dialectical materialism” and “honkies are for hating” in order to pass the expectation of the wingtards test.
That’s sort of harsh. He’s fine. I have an office, he doesn’t, and for this sort of thing it’s just easier to work out of here.
I don’t do anything I don’t want to do :)
“How can he sleep at night?”
What if he offers rice pudding pie?
Did I read somewhere that butchers sleep like lambs.
I’m off him. Isn’t he the one who said we (liberals) were patronizing to Michele Bachmann because we didn’t understand her? Elitists! I’m so sick of that charge. Words to that effect.
I understand her completely, Ryan.
The mere existence of this man as a candidate is a symptom of the seismic shift in perceptions that has happened between Reagan’s “Let ne soothe you with my warm lies” and Bush the Younger’s “Now that we have your wallet in the vise, I’ll turn it up to ELEVEN!”
Bring him along slow and gentle, Kay. He’s about to take the pill that shows him how deep the rabbit hole goes.
I thought I was poor because I had no dessert, then I met a man who had only bread pudding.
@slag: He’s doing great!
And when it comes to rice pudding, I don’t mess around. There’s a little Mexican market by our place that has the best rice pudding ever.
I can epathize. I’m getting more and more involved with our local Democratic candidate for State Assembley. This is in SoCal, but our particular district has a 41/35 Republican registration edge. It is further complicated by the fact that it is spread out, dominated by the Santa Clarita Valley, but also includes most of Simi Valley and the very Northern most part of the San Fernando Valley, which is where I live, as does the candidate.
Our candidate, Ed, has political experience, having served as a staffer to several local Democratic politicians. He has a very sucessful media company, is married with one small child. He is picking up a lot of endorsements, and is already out canvassing key areas, but this is going to be a heavy lift, and I for one have no illusions.
We are hosting a meet and greet next month, and I’m hoping to draw 50 people (my poor little Spanish Bungalow will not hold more than that). We went to an event last Sunday, but it was bad timing, our local congressman was holding a Townhnall meeting at exactly the same time, and we had a lot of no shows.
Mrs. Feebog is in charge of the menu, but I am insisting on some very good wine and beer. My theory is that people show up when there is free booze and good food, and the Mrs. can cook.
Good luck with John, sounds like you have quite a project, and a long haul as well.
@kay: He probably did say that. It wouldn’t at all surprise me. But I found the article worth reading in spite of my own deep skepticism of its author. (Though it may be that skepticism that makes me lean toward the “not believing a word of it” category.)
He did some sort of organizing during the ’07/’08 primaries, and he was telling me about how the Obama people and the Edwards people were fighting. I was thinking, “oh, you have no idea how ‘fun’ this can get!”
I’ll go back to reading him. I just have to get over being miffed. Every time there’s a new “hot” Republican media people just fall all over themselves to insist he or she is “serious”. They should just stop. People can figure out if Bachmann is “serious”. It’s her freaking job to convince people she’s serious.
We don’t need these stern lectures, from them.
Glad you still like him! It speaks well of your sense of loyalty.
As for the rice pudding thing, better get the kid started on the stuff now to avoid his possible rejection of it down the road. Otherwise, you may just have to hope that blood is thicker than rice pudding. And that’s an unhappy prospect.
Is it good bread pudding? Good bread pudding is better than pie. Bad bread pudding is worse than rice pudding though.
Some general thoughts, Kay can either thank me or tell me where to shove them :)
Well, John’s got a lot of reading to do. Nothing is more devastating than being asked “what do you think about ‘x'” in a debate and he’s got no idea what you’re talking about. Sounds like it’s an urban district, so more about transit and less about agriculture. Any local or major ideas/proposals/projects/controversies that he’ll have to make a stand on?
Make sure John knows what is and isn’t a state responsibility. One thing that’s worked in the past while canvasing is to have a few of the city or congress reps business cards, so when someone complains about something that isn’t a state matter, you hand over the appropriate business card.
Know your enemy. What’s he done/said that people hate? Hit him where’s he weak.
Warn John that it will get messy. He can keep it clean, but if his opponent goes Newtular, he has to be ready to get his hands dirty.
Oh, but you’re gonna help someone else stand naked before a paintball firing squad?
Are you filming this for the next episode of ‘Jackass’? : > )
IIRC, one way you can get people who lean conservative on board with environmental and overdevelopment concerns is to talk about hunting, but I’m not sure if you candidate hunts or how many swing voters you have that you think would be persuadable.
They (not me) have had some success talking about the holy Property Rights re: environmental issues.
The fact is, w/out regulation, private property gets destroyed too, and it loses value. Libertarians can drone on all they want about “nuisance” laws protecting private property owners, but nuisance law has been gutted by lobbyist-written statute in Ohio. They don’t have any legal protection.
I love both bread pudding and rice pudding. I would take them over almost any fruit pie seven days a week.
Simple talking points from a former independent and now confirmed Democrat. The conservatives at the company lunch table don’t have a coherent response to these and admit I have a point:
1) Why should trust fund kids get a discount on their income tax rate? Why are working wages getting taxed at higher rate? I know the argument is that equity investors are “assuming more risk”, but aren’t lenders assuming risk when they lend money to the same companies?
2) Health care – I have saved well and invested well and have a decent nest egg to retire on. If I lose my insurability, I could lose everything with one catastrophic health incident to either me or my wife. Do you really want insurance companies to have the freedom to kick anyone off the insurance rolls because they got too much cancer or had too many kidney problems or got too much diabetes? Because the free market does not work for health care.
3) Keystone Pipeline – It’s not “our” oil, its Keystone’s oil. Do they plan on paying the American taxpayers a right of way to pipe the oil across our land, or are the crony capitalists just going to give this away?
4) Financial regulation – Claiming that too much regulation caused the financial meltdown makes as little sense as saying too much regulation is responsible for the 33,000 highway fatalities each year. Would eliminating blood alcohol limits and eliminating speed limits increase driver safety?
@Benjamin Franklin: I think you missed the other implication….tall, older steelworker, hands calloused from factory life. Workin’ til 2 am, a little wine…:D.
Kay, I’m really enjoying your updates about your candidate and the kind of work you are doing to bring him along. The anecdote about negotiating the dessert is funny, and yet sometimes it’s that kind of thing that makes a difference.
Your candidate sounds like a good guy.
Kay, thanks so much for these reports. It’s fascinating to hear about how much is involved even in running for smaller offices. It sounds like your candidate is in good hands.
these reports are very much appreciated, kay.
Kideni, I think he’s good to run.
He has a Tea Party SIL who is erratic and odd, and I’m sure she’s going to say horrible things.I think she’s some big local up and comer.
She writes letters to the editor that I find completely impenatrable, like “code”
Don’t worry about the pie. I’m an old Democratic lady, and as long as the eggs and hash-browns are good, I won’t eat the pie, or the rice or bread pudding. Back to basics!
Re: what everyone knows are cheap desserts.
We lived in Dayton for a while and the tradition at the synagogue we attended was that the entire congregation was invited to a sit-down lunch after every bar or bat mitzvah. It took exactly four such events for us to realize that the lone local kosher caterer had just three lunch menus, the economy version (baked potato bar with all the fixings), the high-end version (included big cut fruit display surrounding a huge chunk of halvah covered in chocolate), and the (apparently utterly forgettable) mid-price version. We made a game of it, sitting through each bar/bat mitzvah, how much money had the family on the bimah budgeted for our lunch and which of the three menus would be waiting for us?
For Kay’s new friend, I wonder if a little bed-time reading would help. I remember reading a Robert Reich book a while ago that I thought was a good primer on liberalism — sorry to admit that looking at the Amazon page of his books, I can’t remember which one it is but it might have been Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America.
Shut up about “union thugs”. Uncool! I mean, you want thugs, talk to a Republican.
Kay, you are awesome. That’s all.
The only way to stop them from using labels against you, is to take proud ownership and make fun of it.
Huh, I thought Ryan Lizza writes very good pieces on political figures. Like his Michele Bachmann profile. Seemed like a pretty solid piece to me.