Sweat equity and supporting local candidates

Sweat equity and supporting local candidates

As one who has been directly involved in campaign politics for nearly a decade now, I have spent my fair share of time manning phone banks.  I can empathize with those who call total strangers on behalf of political candidates to ask for things they normally would not ever ask anyone for like votes or money. Particularly money.  I know all about the awful feelings that churn up inside your stomach when someone slams the phone down in your ear or tells you to go to hell or worse before doing so.  Being one who at this point has received more calls from phone bankers and other fundraisers than I have made as such, I need to speak up on this matter.  I understand the nature of the job of political fundraising and its mission but there needs to be some checks imposed on those manning the phones.  Allow me to explain.  A mere two days after the 2014 General Election where the Oklahoma Democratic Party took a shellacking up and down the ballot like none in its history, I received a call from the Democratic National Committee wanting a donation.  I remember asking the caller something along the lines of “Son, couldn’t you at least wait until the body gets cold?”  Although they did not receive a donation from Yours Truly that day, we at least did have a cordial chat.

DNC

I fully understand that money and raising it via solicited donations is what makes the political machine go at the federal and even the state level.  The problem I have is for all the donations I have ponied up over the years, I have seen scant if any amounts of money coming from national organizations back into my local party community.  I really don’t think I would be talking about this now if the appearance a one-way pipeline from the grass roots to the black hole in the Nation’s Capitol was not so matter of fact.

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I remember talking to Joe Dorman, the 2014 Oklahoma Democratic gubernatorial candidate a few weeks ago and asked him how much help he received from the Democratic Governors Association during his campaign.  His answer:  “$0.00.”

Joe Dorman

Joe Dorman

As I stated above, there needs to be some checks imposed on those manning the phone banks.  Rather than petition national organizations for training their people on additional lessons in telephone etiquette, it would be more effective if we, those who are the targets of the fundraising, imposed our own checks on the soliciting organizations.

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I personally have started informing all callers from the DNC, DSCC, DCCC, DGA and all national political candidates that all my donations must stay local during this election cycle.  They usually attempt to negotiate to which I reply “All money must stay local this election cycle.”  Repeat:

“ALL MONEY MUST STAY LOCAL THIS ELECTION CYCLE.” 

If change in governance is to occur it must begin with us and this is something we have to do ourselves.  The chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, Mark Hammons, has issued a directive that no Republican is to run unopposed and with very few exceptions there are Democratic candidates in nearly every single legislative district.  Although there are only a few primary races on the Democratic side, all candidates are worthy of our support.  I myself am in for sweat equity for the Democrats running for my state house and senate districts and I am also in for financial equity for them and several others in neighboring districts.  I highly encourage all others who are passionately seeking change in our state government to follow suit in keeping all money local this election cycle.  At the end of the day we are the grass roots and change begins with us.  If you truly seek to earn your right to bitch, grouse or otherwise complain, this is how we do it.  Confine all financial donations to local candidates this election cycle and it is my hope the folks at the top end of the aforementioned organizations will get the message.

Sweat Equity and supporting local candidates.