This one is mainly for my mates over here who are considering standing in the various campaigns over the next couple of years.
Those of you who listen to my occasional rants and waffles, or have somehow found yourself over at my site, will be aware that I have become involved in the William Russell V Murtha campaign for the 12th district PA in the US.
There are two main reasons for this. The first is that Jack Murtha is a corrupt slimeball who needs getting rid of. The second is that Lt. Col. William T. Russell is running a shoestring budgeted campaign against a well known incumbent, who is extremely well funded by donations sourced mainly from the beneficiaries of his earmarks.
This allows me to pick up a few good pointers to pass on, as last time I looked we seemed to be in a similar position. Anyway I have a few, and I think its time to get them up and let you have a chew over them, (Most of it is pinched off the site of Stephen R Maloney and in order to keep it in context I have left most of it in his words, including the relationship to the Russell campaign.) So here goes: -
First he is forming a Bloggers for Russell effort and says, “Please give whatever assistance you can. And be sure to sign up as a Blogger 4 Russell! They now have more than 40 such bloggers, and we're aiming for 500.”
He believes in the theory that former presidential candidate Gary Hart called "concentric" circles. It means that you don't win big races like Russell vs. Murtha by drawing large crowds of anonymous people. Instead, you find a lot of individuals bloggers and other activists who drop a pebble in the pool.
Then, it goes in concentric circles including other people in the campaign. Then, those "others" drop their own pebbles. People in the Blog world are great at dropping pebbles.
Since William is going to have a lot less money than Murtha, to win the 12th District, he needs to identify at least 100 very influential individuals. He has to rely heavily “influentials” that are real residents of the 12th District and are keys to victory. Here's how Internet guru Joe Trippi describes such people:
"In a place like Jones County, Iowa, you get Jimmy Hogan [a well-liked family farmer and local Democratic official] and you were halfway to delivering the whole [darn] county."
Trippi continues, "This is something not everyone realizes about our political system. Not all voters are created equal. Some people carry more influence.”
"In his book on consumer 'epidemics,' The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell writes, . . the success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.' Gladwell calls these influential people, people like Jimmy Hogan, 'connectors.’
One of the four connectorsWilliams campaign has found so far is Melanie, a greeter at a restaurant. Another is Rhonda, the outspoken sister-in-law of a soldier killed in Iraq. Yet another is the head of a local Republican Party. A fourth is an obvious choice, Diana Lynn Irey who ran against Murtha in 2006 -- and garnered nearly 80,000 votes.
Think about this, in the previous election the Republicans didn’t take it seriously as defeat was so likely they used their resources elsewhere so these 80,000 voters are probably hard line supporters of the party, and will probably do a great deal to support a dedicated candidate. (Lets see, 80,000 by $10 is……)
Connectors are people like ministers, priests, and rabbis, as well as barbers/hair stylists, local officials, police personnel, heads of organizations like the RSL, and many others. They spend a lot of time talking about events of local significance, especially political campaigns.
Well that’s about it for now, when I get a few new pointers I will pass them on.
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