Cooking up a campaign? Need a new recipe? You've come to the right place! The Campaign Cookbook offers tips to season your campaign, make the dough rise, and be prepared for when it gets hot in the electoral kitchen. Recipes tried and true, and innovative too, presented by GreenDog Campaigns. www.greendogcampaigns.com
As I've said ad infinitum on this blog, it's never too soon to start your campaign. Going to Holiday parties? Have something to hand out; even a business card with your name and what your running for on it. A remit envelope is handy too. And get those first fundraising letters to friends and family in the mail. Yes, your holiday card list is a good place to start. Why not? Send Aunt Rose a card and tuck a note with a remit into it. She probably doesn't know what to get you for Christmas/Hanukkah anyway.
You're doing her a favor.
Don't be shy. Even at the office party, the neighborhood block part, your union's big do; tell people you're running. They'll be thrilled. And it gives you a chance to practice your elevator speech with a friendly crowd. If you get business cards in return, dash a note on the back to remind yourself how you met and any other pertinent facts about the person, then enter it in your data base as soon as you get home.
Follow up. Your fund appeal letter can go to them; a friendly phone call, or maybe even a lunch scheduled after the holidays, if they seem open to helping out. You never know when you'll meet that next big donor or stellar volunteer.
Above all, have fun, keep it a little bit light in keeping with the season, and know you are getting launched on your next big endeavor.
Today is Election Day. You have voted or, more likely, not. They expect a low turnout as usual in an off or odd-year election, that is one with no major races on the ballot to stir emotions and partisan zeal. Races for Governor, Senator, Statewide offices. That's why the legislature in this state - California - decided to do away with them altogether and move all elections to even years.. There are only a few City council and special District elections today. I have one of them, in a small northern California town.
My candidate has never run for elective office before. But she has a long history of public service and community volunteerism, including positions on important local boards, the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Planning Commission. She will probably lose, because she is too qualified. We live in the era of the unqualified. Look at our so-called President, Commander in Chief, Leader of the Free World.
Just look at him and talk to me about qualifications to serve. And look at his cabinet. Or what's left of it; what's to come; they are dropping like flies, folding their wings and spiraling to earth; don't even need a swatter
What if he too spiraled out of the sky he imagines himself inhabiting; on top of; on top of his own world where he is the greatest.
He is the Muhammed Ali of his imagination, such as it is.
What if he tumbled like a giant baby with a diaper full of doo doo down the stairs, and oh oh, cracked his baby noggin on the cellar floor.
Oozing blood and bone and wads of putrid waste; we would dance in the streets, wouldn't we. We'd hold all night celebrations and drink ourselves silly with relief.
We'd hug our neighbors and their neighbors and the guy down the block, homeless and afraid; we'd take them all home and feed him like stray dogs rescued from the pound, that's how grateful we would be.
But I digress. It is now two days after the election. Alas, my candidate lost, she ran hard, two good mailers, that we did, and she walked a lot, but was just a little too shy and unwilling to ask for volunteers to help her walk and make calls. To schmooze at every event. And we needed to coach her better for endorsement interviews. She should have won based on her grasp of the issues and community service. One more mailer maybe? Phone calls for sure. And helpers. There were two incumbents and one associated with the incumbents. They won.
And that's hard to overcome. Without big issues, easily understood where you resonate with the voters and they don't. Next time, as I always say. Next time.
Why, you are wondering should you not listen to your closest friends? Aren't the ones who have your best interest at heart? Yes, but they are also usually the ones who know the lest about what works n campaigns. You will hear thing like "I never vote for candidates who send a bunch for mail!" or "if they call at dinner time, I just hang up."
Sometimes, it's the people with a little bit of campaign experience who have the worst advice. "Why don't you have more signs up?" You'll never win without the most signs." or "In this town, people don't like slick campaign pieces. They won't vote for anyone who uses consultants to design fancy mailers."
Those statements are all toxic to a good campaign. well-meaning maybe; heartfelt. They may feel this way, but they are not running your campaign. At least I hope they aren't. Let's take these statements apart:
"I never vote for candidates who send a bunch for mail!" These people wouldn't have voted for that heavy mail candidate anyway. If their candidate sent "a bunch of mail," do you honestly think they'd turn around and vote for the other guy, the one with little mail who has views they don't agree with? No. Mail works. It gets your message across to voters in the most visceral, physical way. Even if they toss it upon receipt they have to handle it and to glance at it enough to see, and register, your name, maybe even your three priorities listed below. Not mention your nicely designed logo and professional, but friendly, photo. Do it two or three more times, and you cement the relationship you started with that person. If they don't vote for you, they were never going to vote for you anyway. But if they don't know you, you've introduced yourself and told them why you would make the best choice.
"If they call at dinner time, I just hang up." Sure, but not before hearing your name. Or if they let it go to voice mail, they may hear your whole 30 second spiel. They'll be getting other calls at dinnertime too. And since everyone's dinnertime is slightly different, you can't always miss the dinner hour, without running into kid's bedtime, their favorite TV show, or even their own bedtime. Call when it works for you and your volunteers, so long s you keep it short and on point, they'll get the message.
"Why don't you have more signs up?" There's a famous poster used by the Obama campaign. "I'm a Yard Sign; I can't vote. Go knock doors." It's apropos to all campaigns. Sure, it's nice to see your name all over town on signs in windows and on lawns, but the people with the signs are those most committed to you. You'll likely see just as many or more for the other guy. The people without signs are the ones you need to reach. And spending time and precious money on "sign wars" isn't getting your message out to the voters. Hitting them at the door, on the phone and in the mail are the things that count.
"In this town, people don't like slick campaign pieces. They won't vote
for anyone who uses consultants to design fancy mailers." This may be my favorite one. It's heard in small towns across America. It may have at one time been true. Maybe when your friend ran for school board in 1987, she could do it with homemade signs and postcards printed at the local mom and pop shop. Today, all campaigns must be more sophisticated to win votes. Your mail must be sharp and well designed. It must catch the attention of the voters. And the competition at the mailbox isn't just with the other guy; it's with all the slick advertising you get every single day from a myriad of companies. So don't look at it as slick, but professional. Make your mail stand out. No, don't send one piece every day. hat wil get old and turn people off. Send three or four well designed punchy mailers that stick to issues. If you need to point out the difference between you and the other guy, do it in a clever comparison piece. You don't have to get nasty to make your point.
If there are several people running, it's even more important that you step away from the crowd and get seen and heard. All of these techniques are necessary to a winning campaign. The rule of thumb is you "touch" the voter 7 times, in small campaigns and large. In the mailbox, on the phone, at the door. If they come to a debate, that's great too, but most won't. You have to meet them where they live. Everyone has a mailbox, or a post Office box they check every day. Use it to your advantage.
Perhaps not incidentally, McCain himself is suffering from a serious condition, a brain tumor, which, under this plan, he may well have lost his insurance over. I hope that is not what it takes for other Senators to gain some compassion and humanity.
Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, won't you join McCain once more and make this thing go away?
I have written about the sign wars before. Now, I have seen everything. Along with the candidates' signs in a public location, commercial messages are popping up to compete with space; same size as the "real" signs.
A lot as it turns out. Now, I have run plenty of campaigns for underdog candidates who did not have the best endorsements in terms of elected officials or well-known opinion leaders, or major organizations, but they did have endorsements from their friends and neighbors, the people who cared about the issues they cared about. The people who could introduce them to other voters, donors, volunteers and provide locations for signs.
Here are a few things endorsements are good for:
1. Helping raise name recognition. So and so supports you. I know so and so, I'll support you too.
2. Finding other contacts. Ask your endorsers to provide the names of five others who might endorse or help out in some way.
3. Finding volunteers. The endorsers, their family, friends and colleagues who care about your issues can all be part of your network.
4. Money - Yes, ask those endorsers for a campaign contribution and to help you find others to ask as well.
4. Ask them to hold a house party. They invite their neighbors, you come and speak to a few interested folks, leave with sign locations, donations (usually small, but everything counts, right?) and even eager volunteers.
6. And it spirals. Go viral with the spiral of your growing contact list. Invite them to your website, your Facebook page and to invite their friends to "like" your page as well.
7. Now you have a campaign. These people believe in you. they are the ones to call for phone banking, walking, helping in a myriad of ways. They are invested. Use them. Remember, if they donated once, they'll donate again. If they walked one precinct they'll walk another. And so on.
Caveat - You have to ask. You have to pick up the phone and make the call, make the ask. Your new endorsers are waiting.
Database Maintenance: 4 Ways to Streamline Your Process
Aug 30, 2017
By Ken Christensen
(from Campaigns and Elections magazine)
(Interested in more? This is a great resource!) click here.
A communications database needs to be a part of the overall
infrastructure from launch. After the crowd leaves, have a plan in place
to constantly add and update individual contact information on a daily
basis. Given the day-to-day demands of a competitive race, that’s not
Here’s my best advice for streamlining database maintenance.
Draft initial lists ahead of time.
Democratic congressional campaigns, which are my specialty, should
gather lists like the follow: The candidate’s family, friends,
supporters, volunteers, donors, colleagues, Facebook friends, targeted
likely voters; national, state, regional and local labor union leaders.
Include Democratic County, township and ward chairs; local Democratic
precinct committeemen and first-time Democratic local, state and federal
candidates. I could go on, but you get the picture.
Itemize contacts by position and include at least an address, phone
number and an email address. Research will need to be done to gather and
verify contact information on each individual accordingly.
It’s a massive data-entry project, plan accordingly.
Management should recognize that the development of the campaign
communications database is a time-consuming project. Ideally significant
staff and volunteer resources should be assigned to the project during
the campaign infrastructure set up.
Entering and coding all the individuals and lists into the campaign communications database is the next step.
All the individuals and lists to be entered into the campaign
communications database must coded accordingly. For example, if an
individual is added that contact must be coded into an appropriate
category that the campaign determines. If an excel file list is
uploaded, it will need to coded accordingly. For example if it is an
excel file list of Democratic County Chairs it would be simply coded
“Democratic County Chairs.”
Coding individuals and lists makes it easy for a campaign to target
email messages when necessary to a specific group of individuals — a
press release to the “News Media” list, for instance. Naturally the
campaign will be able to send an email to the entire list with the good
news and progress of the campaign accordingly.
Trust but verify information.
Since the campaign will be gathering various lists of individuals, we
cannot count on the information on each individual in those lists to be
up to date.
The campaign will need to verify the contact information especially
email addresses on all the individuals in the campaign communications
database. Some information will simply need to be tracked down the old
fashioned way by calling an individual to get their email address for
example. If a phone number is needed, then research will need to be done
to get a phone number.
Initially volunteers could be used to reach out to individuals to
verify and update contact information. At the same time the volunteer is
on the phone verifying and updating contact information they could also
ask the individual to follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter and
to sign up for text messages.
Hire someone to update information on a daily basis.
The campaign should develop a plan to constantly add and update
individual’s contact information on a daily basis. The best way to do
this is to hire a database manager or appoint a volunteer with excellent
computer and organizational skills to manage the database.
Ken Christensen, who works in U.S. Congressional Democratic
politics, is the CEO of Christensen & Associates Inc., a Washington,
D.C.–based Democratic national fundraising and political consulting
Admittedly this is a crazy time in American politics. Never
before have we seen so many presidential appointments come and go so
You can almost hear President Donald Trump saying to
each one, “Welcome to the White House; don’t let the door hit you on the
way out,” as he ushers them in one door and out the other.
are rough all over, as people prepare for the 2018 elections, praying
there will be a 2018 at all, with a wary eye on North Korea, Iran and
Not to mention the man behind the White House curtains.
The popularity of politicians is at an all-time low. Whether you
don’t trust this government, the previous government or government in
general, a lack of trust in elected officials is rampant.
So why would anyone want to run for local office?
LOCAL POLITICS STILL A GOOD BET
question. The answer is that the only way to counter the negativity in
national politics is to start electing good, ethical people to local
Some of them will go on to higher office and some won’t.
Either way, they have the opportunity to make a difference in their
towns and cities, their counties and special district areas, like water
board, sewer board and of course school boards.
In Marin, most of the city councils have been holding their
elections in odd-numbered years. While the state and national elections
have all been in even-numbered years, leading to a lopsided voting
pattern, with many voters ignoring local elections altogether.
in 2018, local Marin County, (and all of local Califonria), offices will now be elected in even-numbered years, to
encourage higher voter turnout. But this year offers a unique final
chance to run in an off-year election in these communities: Fairfax,
Novato, San Rafael, San Anselmo and Larkspur all have regular elections
this year, while Tiburon and Sausalito have special elections to fill a
Some of the terms will be for three years and others for five
(except for Tiburon, which is only for one year), until all communities
have moved their elections in even numbered years.
If you live in
one of these towns, you might consider a run. Maybe you’ve served on a
board or commission and have been thinking about running before.
Maybe you’ve been a community volunteer and want to do more. Maybe you just see a need that you are uniquely qualified to fill.
For those jurisdictions where all the incumbents are running to keep their seats, filing closes on Aug. 11.
But if any incumbent decides not to run, filing will remain open until Aug. 16 for any non-incumbent to run.
The time to make that decision is now. And if not this year, maybe next year, when other seats will be up.
RUN TO WIN!
if you haven’t decided what you are running for or when, or even if you
want to run, but are curious to learn more about the process, you might
want to attend an election training to learn more.
Women’s Political Action Committee (MWPAC), a nonpartisan group
dedicated to helping pro-choice women and men run for office, is holding
a campaign training session on Aug. 23, at the McInnis Park Club
restaurant in San Rafael.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the program will feature campaign
professionals, as well as elected officers and editorial page editors,
to discuss such things as the nuts and bolts of campaigning, raising
funds, managing your time as a candidate and as an elected official and
how to get those important newspaper endorsements.
The cost is $30 and includes a buffet dinner and handouts that offer tips for would-be candidates.
MWPAC is a membership organization and welcomes all pro-choice women and men to join.
In September, there will be an endorsement meeting to choose who the organization will support in the coming election.
vote in that endorsement process, held on Sept. 13, you must be a
dues-paying member by Aug. 13, or 30 days before the endorsement night.
A new report from the Sacramento Bee confirms what we have known for a while; the number of female elected officials in California falls far below the goal of fifty/fifty by 2020, the goal of the many women's political groups, both nationally and internationally. It's 31% (or 149) of the City Council seats in 482 California Cities, 69 more than two years ago, but still not parity. In the Legislature, the numbers have actually been going down: 26 as opposed to the 31 in the 2015-2016 session. or 22%. 25% of Supervisors in the 58 Counties are women, and about 42% (or 137) of Mayors are women. Of those only Libby Schaaf of Oakland is the Mayor of one of the ten major cities.
Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland
We do have 2 U.S. Senators, Dianne Feinstein and newly elected Kamala Harris, but only one Statewide officeholder, Controller Betty T. Yee. Now Fiona Ma is vying to become State Treasurer and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin is running for Governor. And Green Party member, and former Mayor of Richmond Gayle McLaughlin is running for Lt. Governor.
It's a start. Now it's your turn. Think about what you might run for, on the local level, first. City Council, School Board, Water Board, Hospital Board and on and on. The positions are there. Don't let them go begging.
Run to Win!
Need help figuring it all out? If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, or even if not and you can get here, the Marin Women's Political Action Committee is having a mini-seminar in Running for Office, the basic nuts and bolts, how to get endorsements and raise money for your campaign. August 23, in San Rafael. It's only $30, including a buffet dinner and helpful handouts from experts in the local campaign world, yours truly and others in GreenDog Campaigns, my consulting firm among them. Go to www.mwpac.org and sign up today.
Here is a post lifted from today's London Guardian on the stunning Parliamentary wins in France of the new Party of Emmanuel Macron, elected President last month. This win seems to solidify the power of his new centrist Party, La République en Marche, to the chagrin of the Socialists and Labor. At least the ultra-Right National Front of Marine Le Pen suffered a solid defeat. Where this all leads I don't know. But here is the Guardian's take on it so far. Next round of voting soon.
France has given its new president an impressive extra mandate. The contrast with the political chaos in Britain is painful
Fortunate car drivers may be familiar with the “green wave”,
in which a sequence of traffic lights are coordinated so that each
conveniently turns to “go” just as the vehicle approaches. To judge by
the first round of France’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, Emmanuel Macron seems to have invented the green wave’s political equivalent.
In the 10 months since he launched his meteoric political career,
Mr Macron’s radical centrist project has found every traffic light of
the many that might have blocked his path on green. If next week’s
second round confirms Sunday’s results, the French president and his new
party will have secured an overwhelming parliamentary mandate
for his reform agenda. Theresa May, who will sit next to Mr Macron at the Stade de France on Tuesday evening for a football match, can only look on with drooling envy.
At the start of this year, Mr Macron’s fledgling party La République
en Marche did not even exist. Now it is projected to win between 400 and
450 seats out of the 577 in France’s national assembly. In Sunday’s
first round, La REM finished first in the majority of seats and came far
ahead of its nearest rival in terms of national share of the vote.
This sweeping success is one of the largest in the history of the Fifth
Republic. Yet it has been achieved not by one of the well established
parties or blocs but by a new movement, half of whose candidates had
never stood for public office before. In some respects this is an even
more formidable achievement of mobilisation than Mr Macron’s success a
It is significant that more than half of French voters failed to go
to the polls on Sunday. Turnout was a mere 49%, compared with 78% for
the first round of the presidential election at the end of April. Yet
this high rate of abstention needs to be interpreted with care. The
Fifth Republic’s constitution has always elevated the president above
the parliament. National wariness about political “cohabitation” – a
president and parliament of competing parties – tends to be reflected in
higher abstention on the opposition side, as on Sunday. And the French
electorate may be suffering voter fatigue
after a succession of primaries and presidential votes in recent
months. To that extent, low turnout may not be as damaging in practice
to Mr Macron and La REM as the numbers may imply.
For the moment, however, it is Mr Macron’s political opponents who are in disarray. France seems to be witnessing a process of dégagisme
– of clearing out old parties and leaders. The left is deflated after
the worst Socialist result in parliamentary elections since François
Mitterrand refounded the party at the Épinay congress in 1971.
The centre-right is deeply divided. Meanwhile the hard right Front
National, which lost 4 million votes on Sunday compared with Marine Le
Pen’s showing in the first round in April, now faces a gruelling
internal conflict over its political direction, a battle that is likely
to come to a head at its party conference in 2018.
Mr Macron is on course to win a decisive mandate. This is important
not just for France itself but for the European Union. Germany’s
willingness to help loosen the eurozone’s fiscal strictness will
inevitably have to await the Bundestag elections in September.
Yet Berlin will be under little pressure to act unless Mr Macron is seen
to be credible as a reformer of France’s high-spending,
high-unemployment economy. That depended upon the results in these
elections. Signs of improving economic growth are yet another well-timed green light for Mr Macron.
The fact remains that three out of four French voters did not vote
for Mr Macron in the first round in the presidential contest, while two
out of three of those voting on Sunday did not support La REM either.
This will certainly not prevent Mr Macron from getting his public
spending plans and his labour market liberalisation proposals through
parliament later this year. He will face challenges, perhaps including
demonstrations and strikes, from the unions (with whom he has promised
to consult over the summer) which will test the resolve and discipline
of his tyro legislators. Plans to incorporate emergency anti-terror powers
into the criminal code after the welcome ending of France’s 14-month
state of emergency provide a further point of conflict. One day, Mr
Macron will be faced with a red light. Seen from across the Channel,
however, France’s quiet revolution of the centre appears an
extraordinary and, in many ways enviable, contrast to the snarl-up in
Wow, California! We just stepped up to the plate legislatively and passed single payer health care (in the Senate; it still has to be passed in the Assembly and signed by unpredictable Governor Brown). And that same Governor just stood up to Trump and said, "Do what you will, little man, California (along with Washington State and New York) are fighting climate change anyway." California is the world's 6th largest economy, and the US largest state. And it's a (mostly) solidly blue.
So why is our Democratic Party race for Chair such a conundrum? Almost two weeks after the election, we still don't know who the Chair is. The vote count showed Eric Bauman with 62 more votes than Kimberly Ellis. Then Kimberly asked to review the votes cast. Out of 2900 votes, a 62 vote difference is about 2%, slim enough to warrant checking. And close enough to show serious differences in our Party.
Bauman represents the mainstream, long time, inside politician. He's chair of the LA Democratic Party, works with the political committee of the Assembly, and heads a campaign consulting firm who last year got people in a tizzy over siding with big Pharma (and big bucks) over lower drug prices for consumers.
Kimberly Ellis is the long time executive director of Emerge California, a group that trains Democratic women to run for office. More progressive voters (some say "Berniecrats) tended to vote for Ellis, while more mainline Party oriented Dems went with Bauman. (Bot supported Hillary Clinton in the June primary last year and several Progressive Caucus members voted for Bauman).
Today, we learn that the review has shown "alarming
discrepancies and an amassing of ineligible voters to change the outcome of the
election" and the Ellis campaign team is calling for an independent audit. Bauman is resisting. If all is on the up and up, why not have an independent outside source prove it? If not, there will be suspicions and hard feelings for years to come. If we want transparency and any chance at unity, how can this hurt?
OK, this will sound like shameless self-promotion, and so what? I run a female owned campaign consulting company. We don't work exclusively for women, but we do work for and with a lot of women and issues that women care about, like education. We can be as tough as the guys, but we understand how o tell a story effectively. Women are good at that. If you are a woman candidate running in 2017 or 2018, check us out; check out other female owned firms too. There aren't that many. For some insight into this subject, see Why Female Consultants Matter Right Now by Kate Maeder in Campaigns and Elections Magazine.
In this era of social media, snapchat, instagram, flash messaging, even Facebook is passe. Everyone's plugged in, turned on. Instant communications every minute of every day. But wait. How much of this grab and gone connections you never even think to ask, let alone get answers to.
Who's running for what seat and why? What are their issues? Why vote for this one instead of that one, and when is this election anyway??
Don't be someone to add to the clamor and confusion. Yes, use the tools available in social media, you'd be a fool not to and you might spark interest in potential donors, volunteers and voters. But, do more. If possible, and the budget allows, mail is still the best way to get into every voter's home. Even if you mail, meeting voters in person and having a good-looking, bullet-pointed handout to take to people's doors and to leave whether they are home or not, is imperative.
You can't see every single voter though. Which is why you need something to leave at the door. It's a tangible reminder you're running, you care enough to knock on their door and what your issues are.
According to Campaign and Elections Magazine the shorter election time and limited spending in European elections make reliance on more digital communications a necessity. But take note, even in this recent French Presidential election, both candidates walked door to door. This is going to be a new trend. We've been doing it for years. If your coffers are not big enough for TV ads, or much mailing, walk as much as you can, and make sure you have plenty of volunteers to help you.
And when you're walking, a good breakfast is important to keep you going all day. Here's a new/old recipe that is fast and protein filled to get you off to a good start: CLOUD EGGS:
Thank Instagram for bringing back this old food fad: yolks surrounded in egg whites so fluffy, they resemble clouds.
named cloud eggs, the weather-themed breakfast food has surged in
popularity recently because they look so good in social media pictures.
For weather geeks, it's an opportunity to enjoy a weather-themed meal,
and we'll always be fine with that.
It turns out, cloud eggs aren't too difficult to prepare.
Here's what your cloud eggs should look like when they're done.
First, separate the yolks from the egg whites and whip the whites until there's a foam, as if you're making a meringue, Framed Cooks said. That should take 2 to 3 minutes.
arrange the egg whites in rounded cloud shapes on a baking sheet and
form a hole in the middle. Bake the whites for three minutes, then add
the yolks to the middle and bake for another 3 minutes.
Finally, scoop them onto a plate and enjoy, but be sure to get that perfect photo for Instagram first.
Cloud eggs aren't a phenomenon – an old French recipe that translates to "eggs in snow" dates back to 1651, Serious Eats culinary director Daniel Gritzer told NPR.
And if you need one more reason to try out this new method of egg preparation, the Coventry Telegraph says it's a fairly healthy option. Cloud eggs have just 160 calories and require no fat to prepare.
been in France for the second round of Presidential election, and
reading accounts of the two main campaigners, Le Pen of the right, and
Macron of the "center," I think this about the Hillary vs. Drumpf
campaign. She needed to go where he went, speak out about his lies about
bringing back jobs; talk to the workers face to face; show him up for
the phony blowhard he is. "No, he is not bringing back and mines, the
steel industry, the manufacturing plants." He wants you for his suckers.
Don't do it. I won't lie to you." It might have worked.
interesting to learn from New Yorker article: door to door campaigning a
new thing in France. Macron did it, and I hear Le Pen did too.
Something to watch in the Parliamentary elections in June.
Theresa May is feuding with EU over the terms of Brexit. They want Britain to pay what it owes. Only after the trade deal is done says Terri.
No dice say the EUY 27. Standoff.
Thursday England's elections called for the charming Tory Terri. Apparently, most of the country agrees with her, as she holds popularity in the polls, even though Brexit was a squeaker, and lots of people have said, oh that's what it means. Hmmm. But Labour is unpopular and the delightfully mis-named Lib Dems are headed up by a gay-bashing Christian wanker. What to do?
Meanwhile, across the Channel, the French prepare for their polls on the 7th. No talk over here what they might be thinking, except today's Times says Macron leads in the French polls.
everyone is afraid of the Russians, except the Russian tourists who abound in the theatre district, where we are staying in a 6th floor walk up, because the lift keeps breaking down. No, I won't be back anytime soon to this establishment anyway.
I have heard no talk about politics in any of the pubs or restaurants, or museum cafes, or queues anywhere.
The Moliere we saw had more current political palaver than in all of London that we've witnessed. But of course, we are the American tourists, who have the Drumpf as our leader, so we have nothing to say, except don't blame us, and save yourselves!
If you've been watching the news lately, you know that things in France are heating up, campaign wise. Marine LePen, the ultra right Trumpist candidate is squaring off against the centrist (but also right-leaning from what I understand) Emmanuel Macron on May 7th in a Presidential run-off. And I will be there.
Hopefully, blogging from there. Stay tuned. It ought to be a lively battle will Europe still be Europe if Le Pen wins or even if she doesn't? Partisans are everywhere.
It's not a nuclear war, yet. But it is the "nuclear option" deployed by Mitch McConnell and the republican Senate. This means taking away the 60 % majority needed to confirm a Supreme Court justice. I'm surprised at how easy it was. Two votes, and that's it. Hello Neil Gorsuch. Goodbye Constitution. Or so it looks.
Hang in there Notorious RBG!
Being a Democrat is tough these days. Not only because of these kinds of machinations by the Republicans and worse by the Orange One. But the divisiveness among my own Party is embarrassing. Time to get over the last election. Time stop petty bickering and time to strategize. For reals. It's only a little more than a year until June 2018 and the midterm primaries when we have a crack at the entire House of Representatives. Can we not fight about how pure someone is? And just try to get some more Democrats elected? Or will we always be the circular firing squad that can't shoot straight.
At least the Republicans seem to be even crazier, but a scary dangerous kind of crazy. One that might go nuclear for real.
Anyone thinking of running for a State or National office (Assembly, State Senate, Congress) needs to think what seats will likely be opening up in their district in the next few years. If you've never run for office before, starting with a higher office can be daunting unless you've got some experience under your belt. So start small. Think of Barbara Boxer, first a local school board activist, then a County Supervisor, next on to Congress and then U.S. Senator. She got some chops under her belt on the local level before making that big leap.
And along the way came the skills and the contacts necessary for running a major campaign. Of course, we all know stories of people who come out of nowhere and have a big upset in a congressional or Senate race. But those are the exceptions rather than the rule. A corrupt incumbent, a very disgruntled voter base and, more often than not, a candidate who's already developed connections and savvy that can be translated into a poltiical campaign.
Think Al Franken, well known comedian and on air personality, won with no political experience for U.S. Senate; or Ro Khanna in California, young entrepreneur beat a long time Democratic incumbent in the Primary, on his second try. (And don't get me started on Donald Trump!)
For most of us, the road is longer and harder. Got an opening on a local school board or City Council? Think about going for that one. If you don't win the first time, consider running again. You will have gained a base and made contacts that will help you the next time, if they believe you are serious, hardworking and represent their values.
Consider applying for a position on a Commission or Board in your town or County. There are often openings and these help pave the way for a political run. Again, it's all about making connections, as well as having knowledge and passion, to get the job done.
And here's the best tip of all, start early. For whatever seat you are running for, get started well before the filing deadline by gathering friends and colleagues to help and make monetary pledges to the campaign. Ask others who've run for their advice. Check financial filing reports (which should all be online with your local elections office or the Secretary of State), to see how much people typically spend running for the seat you are interested in.
Do your homework, whether it's getting up to speed on the issues (attending lots of meets of the board you want to join is a must!), raising money, and just knowing how the political game is played, will put you in a good position to make a strong showing in your race.
And because you must eat, here's a brain food recipe to keep you sharp:
Spinach, Goat Cheese & Chorizo Omelette
Recipe type: Breakfast
4 ounces chorizo sausage
½ Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp water
2 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese
2 cups baby spinach leaves
sliced avocado (optional)
¼ cup salsa verde (optional)
Remove chorizo from the casing and fry in a medium saute pan until fully cooked.
Meanwhile beat the eggs and water in a small bowl.*
the chorizo out of the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Wipe the
pan of the remaining grease with a clean paper towel.
the butter in the same pan over low heat. Add the beaten eggs to the
pan, then put the Chorizo, spinach, and crumbled goat cheese on half the
egg mixture. Cook on low heat for 3 minutes until slightly firm, then
fold the empty side over the side with the filling on it. Cover the pan
with foil or a pot cover and leave on low heat for another few minutes
until the eggs are cooked through. If your bottom is browning too
quickly, turn the stove off and leave the pan covered for up to 10
minutes and the residual heat should "bake" it until the center is fully
Serve with avocado slices and salsa verde. So good you won't even miss the toast or hash browns!
Call it a rally against the Orange scourge, or against tyranny, or misogyny or racism or for women's rights, human rights, the environment. Everyone had their own cause, and they all go together.
I wore my resistance button from 1969.
The omega for the ohm, the symbol of electrical resistance that symbolized the Resistance in those days, to the War in Vietnam, to the war at home. I did not wear a pink pussy hat. But there were plenty of those in evidence.
Here are some pictures. Were you there?
Our Marin Women's PAC group
What to eat on a march in the rain: energy bars, chocolate with berries, nuts, and apres march? A quick stop at the pub for some pinot noir and potstickers. Yum!
Campaigns are about issues. Not about personalities. At least most of them. Even this nasty last Presidential race. Issues. Mr. Orange hair with the foul mouth and grabby little hands won because he tapped into the core of middle America's pain. What he does with it is another question altogether.
Even on the local level, candidates and their consultants need to look for the issues that differentiate them from the competition and that tap into what the people care about. One of my first campaigns was won on the single issue of whether or not to bring a new pipeline from the Russian River in Sonoma County to Marin County (California) to increase the water supply.
My candidate was an environmentalist, a fervent one.He wanted to protect the fish upstream, whose habitat would be damaged if not decimated by removing more water. Other environmentalists agreed with him. But there's more to it than that.
Building the pipeline would be costly. Our job was to take those realities - pipeline kills fish and costs taxpayers money, and craft them into a message that both environmentalists and more conservative taxpayers could get behind.
Our opponent had all the endorsements of the establishment. She had the money. She had TV ads. She was for the pipeline.
Logically, she would have been able to leverage that support into votes and win handily. But our client had a solution to the problem, need for more water, that didn't cost a dime and didn't kill a fish - Conservation.
It turned out to be an easy sell, once people heard the message, and realized it did not involve any great sacrifice, just a few adjustments to water usage on a personal level, and stopping waste on an institutional level. Getting this message out took both good mail, attractive, dynamic (if small) postcards sent to a carefully selected universe of frequent voters, and old fashioned shoe leather and telephone calls.
The week before the election our team was calling into a very conservative part of the district. I was talking to older Republican men, when I had a revelation. I turned to the candidate and said "We're going to win!"
We won. Big. Because we had the right issue, the right message and the right delivery. How you say what you have to say and who you say it to are key.
A lesson our Democratic Party needs to learn before the next midterm election if we want to take back the Congress.
never too soon to start planning for that City Council, College Board or
special district campaign coming up in November. You'll want to get
endorsements and donation pledges from community members and thought
leaders soon so when you file you'll hit the ground running, with a head
start on the competition. Are there big issues coming up? Write an
op-ed or two in the local paper on the subject. Differentiate yourself
from the incumbent or other opinions that will be represented. And face
it, you feel differently, or you wouldn't be running. If everything is
hunky dory, just let the incumbents do their job.
If there's an empty seat, get an idea who the early competition is
likely to be. They may start coming out of the woodwork as the August
filing deadline nears. Make sure your friends and family are on board
early. No surprises for the spouse! And assess how much you can
personally contribute to the campaign effort in terms of money and time.
If you invest in yourself, others will be more likely to take your
seriously and invest as well. Can you take time off work as the crucial
fall time for walking precincts, making phone calls, filling out
questionnaires and attending coffees and debates approaches? Plan for it
Look at past election results for how the vote tends to break down,
and check the past online filings for how much others have spent in your
race. Are there people who gave to others who you know and can approach
for your campaign? Do it now. All they can say is no, right? And you'll
have some good practice "asks" under your belt when fundraising gets
hot and heavy.
Find out who the local consultants are who have done races like yours
and interview a few. Lock up the one you feel most comfortable with
early. Getting advice now from a seasoned professional is invaluable.
Good luck with your campaign! You are well on the way to a successful