Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Catholic Church 2 - People of California 0

Once again, the Catholic Church prevailed upon legislators not to pass the End of Life Options bill, introduced by Senators Lois Wolk and Bill Monning and passed easily by the Senate. This time the bill was killed (no pun intended) in the Assembly Health Committee. More disappointing as many of those good Catholic members are Democrats. Democrats who don't read their own Party platform which supports this bill. (Incidentally, I serve on the Platform Committee and on the sub-committee that got that plank passed just a few years ago.)

This is the second time, the Church played a role in squashing this bill, last time in 2006, in a Senate  Committee, when chair Joe Dunn, after a rambling speech about a talk with his Bishop cast the tie breaking vote against the bill. Interestingly enough, soon after this, Joe Dunn landed a plum position with the California Medical Association, another stanch opponent of the Bill. Ironically, the CMA has stayed neutral on this year's bill.

One of the "no" voters is a NARAL pro-choice champion Lorena Gonzales, from the 80th Assembly disrict. How does she square being pro-choice with her Church? But not helping terminally ill people have a voice in when and how to end their suffering? Others, see article below, identify as pro-choice and use that as a rationale for claiming the Church did not influence their decision.

I say Shame on you all, and shame on the Church.

California assisted death bill finished for the year

Senate Bill 128 stalls in Assembly Health Committee

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article26660032.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Class Act. Can your Campaign do this?

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. And did not eat too many hot dogs. Remember, you are always in campaign mode, even if filing has not opened. People are watching you. Here is a great campaign story about a classy candidate who really walked, er, rode, the talk. Lifted from the pages of Down Ticket Dems, via The Campaign Workshop:

Posted: 04 Jul 2015 06:30 AM PDT
Joe Fuld

Every Fourth of July, I think about my former boss, Congressman Jim Jontz. Jim taught me the importance of grassroots campaigns, real conversations, and knocking on doors. Jim was a congressman from Indiana’s 5th district and a progressive legend. In his first campaign, he won a state representative seat by 4 votes. He went on to win a state Senate seat by less than 100 hundred votes and three congressional elections by less than four thousand votes total.

I, along with many future campaign operatives, got my start in politics by doing field work for Jim Jontz in a rural Indiana district. There, I spent six months of my life organizing volunteers and knocking on doors.

On the Fourth of July in 1990, Jim set what I believe to be the world record for the most Fourth of July parades attended in one congressional district by a candidate. Jim went to nine different parades that day, with six of them all beginning at 2 p.m. In addition to his door-to-door canvassing, Jim was famous for riding a bike in parades. I remember that he was lectured at a parade in Rochester, Indiana one year about staying in parade formation. He had started the parade as float number 24, but by time he was done, he was float number 5, right between the Ladies Auxiliary and some overly enthusiastic Shriners.

For the Fourth of July in 1990, we had four bikes strapped to different cars in preparation for the nine parades. Jim would fly to each parade on a prop plane and land at “airports”, which were often just strips of grass. He would then then drive or walk to the parade route and hop on the bike to be in the parade. There, we would have volunteers handing out literature and trying and keep up with Jim, but they never could.

At each parade, Jim would meet with everyone, shake hands, and leave the bike at the end of the route. After each parade, I would strap his abandoned bike to my car and take it to the next parade. The parades in Logansport, Peru, Chili, Twelve Mile, and Rochester were all in my area that day, but the second to last parade of the day was in Crown Point. I drove to that parade even though it was not in my area. It was a haul and the parade was spread out over a really long route, mostly uphill. During the parade, the chain on the bike broke and I convinced someone to lend Jim his bike to finish the parade. He was rewarded with shirts. It was a very cool day.

Although the parades were fun and there were a ton of other parades and county fairs, door-to-door canvassing was my primary job.

The door-to-door program was less sophisticated than today’s programs but it was way ahead of its time. Real, unscripted conversations happened with voters on a daily basis. Canvassers were trained to talk about a wide rage of topics, and engagement happened in a genuine and real way.

Jim’s campaign utilized this door-to-door strategy across a massive district that went from Kokomo to Gary, with four full-time organizers and a dedicated group of volunteers. Television and direct mail were important, but the real relationships Jim had built at the door were what kept him ahead of the competition.

What I learned from Jim’s door-to-door strategy, and from his campaign style in general, is that real relationships matter and no matter how hard the fight, genuine interactions will pay off. Jim was a master at connecting with people. He had a way of knowing how to reach someone and what to say.

Jim also never took himself too seriously. The first time I met him he was raising money by letting folks throw sponges at him. He was open to any conversation, a bbq, a photo, a handshake, or a joke. Regardless of where it was, Jim could make a connection with you. Party did not matter. Democrat, Independent, Republican, he was there for you.

Jim died of colon cancer in 2003. But his legacy lives on in the lives he touched, the legislation he championed, and the people he taught. We miss you Jim.

Joe Fuld is President of The Campaign Workshop, a political and advocacy advertising agency in Washington D.C. that provides strategy, digital advertising, direct mail and training services to non­profit and political clients. Joe also writes about politics, advocacy and engagement strategies on the The Campaign Workshop Blog.

The Campaign Workshop 1660 L Street, NW Suite 506 Washington, DC 20036 (202)223-8884  info@thecampaignworkshop.com