Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Time for Thomas to consider dropping out?

I have met Steve Thomas. He is smart, likable, a good public speaker, and well-informed. I respect his efforts and applaud his courage in running. He has put himself out and presented his ideas and concerns to those who would listen.

However, his campaign has little to no traction. It will only serve as the "Nader effect", pulling votes from McNerney, who now has a real chance of winning this primary. As a "grassroots" participant with no position of power in the Dem party -- in other words, as a fellow citizen, I am hereby asking Steve to graciously drop out of the race and support McNerney. This will be the best way for him to continue to promote his progressive values and concerns in the primary and general election. Now he can show real character by recognizing the reality of the situation. We all know just how difficult it is to mount an effective and substantial campaign. Steve has tried and I think we all respect him for that effort.

But there is no advantage at this point to pull votes off McNerney. I think the contest should be squarely between Filson and McNerney, as they are the most organized and funded operations, yet offer two distinct points of view for the Dems to choose.

"You have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them."

I agree with what Anonymous 2 cents said in an earlier post:

Mr. 2% of a buck again -- great post and comments; I just have one concern:

Someone said in an earlier post on this blog that Stevan Thomas would be lucky to get even 10% of the primary vote, OK, let's get real conservative and give him only 5%.

1) Those 5% are going to come out of McNerney's basket, not Filson's

2) In a real close race, we could have a result of:
Filson........48% (Winner!)
McNerney......47%
Thomas.........5%

...instead of:
McNerney......52% (Winner!)
Filson........48%

3) This is why it's not real good practice to have more than a two way primary race, since there will usually be two political "camps of viewpoint", and adding a third person to that mix will generally mean two people splitting the same "camp of supporters" (which is exactly what happened in IL-06 -- if a mere 2/3 of Lindy Scott's votes had gone for Christine Cegelis, she would be the nominee today)...

4) If it indeed appears that Thomas (nice guy, speaks well, means well, I think) can't get any traction at all in fund raising and/or organizing in the next 30-60 days, one of you progressives might want to "have a chat with him about how he doesn't want to be the reason...." You can fill in the words.

Sometimes, three IS a crowd.

$.02 out.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Just wondering said...

I heard Thomas say in a speech somewhere that he was going to be able to raise a million dollars.

If he's on track for doing that, should he pack it in?

It WOULD be a dayum shame to see a progressive candidate lose the primary by such a small percentage because another progressive couldn't bring himself to do the right thing.

5:29 PM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

If Thomas can raise $1 million dollars, that will be a shock to just about everyone involved in this race. If he is able to do that, then he certainly will have the ability to mount a campaign. But I don't think that is realistic or even attainable, unless he has that much himself, or some very wealthy dot com friends (which is a possibility).

This race is sure full of surprises, so "you never know". Or should I say "show me the money"?

7:32 PM, March 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (I know, I'm getting annoying...):

"just wondering" is a new character to the fun house we've been occuping these last few months, so I guess I should say "welcome", but:

1) In less than 65 words (I counted) "it" (I can't tell gender and won't try) manages to support (he's gonna raise $1MM -- leave'm alone!) and denigrate (can't he bring himself ta do da righ ding and kwit?) Thomas at the same time

2) This is verrrrrrrrrry interesting, as Artie Johnson from Laugh-In would say (I know, I'm dating myself) --

3) Which candidate stands to benefit from Thomas continuing to stay in the race, as encouraged by such seemingly outlandish claims of fund-raising prowess from folks we haven't heard from before? Hmmmmmmmmmmm...

4) Let us pose the same challenge to "just wondering"'s favorite candidate (Stevan Thomas) -- show us with a post immediately after April 1 what amount has been raised, regardless of whether it's from other pockets or your own deep ones, and if it's less than $250K for Q1 (needed to get the $1MM per annum run-rate) -- then as Spike Lee would say...

Do the right dayum thing.

$.02 out.

7:56 PM, March 28, 2006  
Anonymous just wondering said...

Hey Mr 2%. You assume much and you know what they say about that. Ass, U, me...etc.

Sooo...let's set the record straight so neither one of us will be seen as an ass.

Thomas...as everyone has said...nice guy. I haven't been able to figure out what he's trying to accomplish by being in this race. There is already a pretty good progressive (in spite of speaking deficiencies that have been talked about before) in the race that brings ALOT to the table.

Seems he would jump at the chance to get on board with McNerney, just to keep hackism at bay, if nothing else.

Maybe the McNerney team needs to ask him???

It is a curious race...that's fer dayum sure

...from she who wonders

9:21 PM, March 28, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

The glaring flaw with asking Thomas to drop out is that he has already qualified for the ballot.

This in mind,Thomas will stay in the race for the following reasons:

First, his name ID is much lower than either Filson's or McNerney's, so throwing his support behind one of the other candidates won't switch any significant amount of votes. Second, he has publicly stated that his speaking skills will propel him to victory, which seems to indicate that he does not consider the two other candidates to be as vocal or articulate as he is. Finally, he (presumably) forked out $1,000 of his own money (or close relatives' or associates') to pay the filing fee to get on the ballot. Pride would suggest that he would see the primary through.

In a nutshell, Thomas has nothing to lose by staying in the race. The reality is that because his name will appear on the June primary ballot, he will pick up at least 5% of the vote, if not more depending if his name appears first. For a vanity campaign with no money, this isn't a bad showing.

9:48 PM, March 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

of course thomas has something to lose by staying in the race. he would "lose" by 1) inadvertently helping filson win, and 2) scuttling his own future ambitions for elective office by angering future potential allies.

thomas is a smart guy. the only reason he would drop out is if he felt that the progressive vote might be split and elect filson (say 48 filson, 47 mcnerney, 5 thomas). otherwise, he's in it to win it, as unlikely as that may be.

being a pretty passionate progressive, thomas probably knows it would not be wise to piss off voters who like him but are loyal to mcnerney. if he knew that his participation in the campaign was actually helping filson/tauscher/dlc win, i think thomas would drop out and do the right thing.

dropping out would be a good move if thomas wants to run again for political office (if he's got ambition, he must be thinking beyond 2006). lots of progressives would support him in a down-ballot race, i'm sure (and this race has given thomas the exposure needed to run again -- that's the benefit of running a vanity campaign).

10:55 PM, March 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone in the previous thread accused "rick" of being filson campaign manager robert kellar. i'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, but a cursory glance at "rick's" comments would seem to validate such a claim. at best, it's probably just a coincidence.

nevertheless, the news that filson's campaign manager might actually encourage thomas NOT to drop out is quite a shock! :)

/snark

11:08 PM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Rick seems to be saying that even if Thomas dropped out in some official manner, his name would still be on the June ballot. The implication is that his name cannot be removed from the ballot, no matter what he does or what papers he files, etc.

Is that true? I don't know the intricacies of election law enough to say.

Let's assume it is true. Then, I think Thomas would get some votes, just because his name is there. If he announced he was leaving before the election, then he could tell his supporters to vote for someone else even if his name is there. So by making an announcement and ending his campaign, he would get much fewer votes even if his name must stay on the ballot. If he did this, the only people voting for him would do so because they like his name or want to vote for anybody but Filson or McNerney. But in that case, it would likely be an equal loss of votes between Filson and McNerney, whereas as if Thomas stays on and active, he would pull more progressive votes from McNerney than from Filson.

So, even if his name must stay on ballot (and I don't know if this is really true or not), then it is still better for Thomas' progressive causes to announce he is ending his campaign and supporting McNerney.

7:15 AM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger CF said...

FYI, Rick is posting from neither Tracy (campaign headquarters) nor Stockton (Kellar's home).

Also, this comment by Rick doesn't sound like something a campaign manager would say (where he refers to a part of his speech as "awful" and misspells McNerney's name). Sounds like there is someone who likes what Filson is saying, and is throwing his support behind him, and defending him in an articulate and well thought out way (as opposed to ad hominem attacks).

10:05 AM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

I think it is funny to consider Rick may be Filson's campaign manager and that he wants Thomas in the race to pull of the 5% from McNerney that could make the difference for Filson. That is a great conspiracy theory! Plus there is all the intrigue about who encouraged Thomas to run? Odd that he ALSO is from Danville, home of Filson (wink, wink). Why is he running as a far left progressive (and not as a middle of the roader who would impact Filson)? And who actually paid the $1,000 filing fee? Heck, $1,000 to pull off 5% of the vote from your competitor is cheap!

Ha, ha -- I love a good conspiracy as much as the next person, but this seems more for entertainment than reality. I just have to add, being cynical and snarky: "maybe, since you never know". In any case, it sure is entertaining!

But I really think the best definition of Thomas' campaign comes from the word "vanity":

1. something that is vain, useless, or empty; 2. the quality of fact of being useless or futile; 3. undue pride in one's self or appearance; 4. a small case of cosmetics.

Now, definitions #3 & 4 don't apply, but #1 & 2 sure seem to!

11:29 AM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

VPO --
In the same spirit of fun, here's something I've been scratching my head about for a while now.

If I were Steve Thomas, a card-carrying, active member of the IBEW who lives in Danville, and the Contra Costa Central Labor Council endorsed Filson without ever allowing me to meet with them, I'd be squawking like a plucked chicken.

Instead... there's just silence. Hmm.

12:23 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Steve Thomas doesn't believe in whining...

By the way, there can be a fine line between a "just-for-fun conspiracy theory" (e.g., http://www.chappelletheory.com) and a "whispering campaign" (e.g., Karl Rove, South Carolina 2000), especially when your comments are going out all over the internet.

2:26 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. I didn't mean to accuse anyone on this blog of doing anything even in the same universe as what Karl Rove gets up to -- I just meant that some prudence is called for.

2:29 PM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Nah, no one is trying to create whisper campaign here, though I do have to admit that I noticed something else suspicious: both first names are "Steve" and both their last names have 6 letters. There is definitely something fishy going on here, that's for sure.

And the above comment that Thomas does not believe "in winning". That is very telling. Oh wait, that was "whining". Well, whining, winning, what's the difference, they are just words, and they sure sound an awful lot a like.

Yes, "something strange, in the neighborhood." I'm putting on my tinfoil hat.

2:45 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not worried about you, VPO, you seem to have your head screwed on straight. :)

2:53 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous jbmendel said...

2 points to VPO for the 6 lettered Steves observation. That brightened my rainy day a little bit.

5:10 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

Since some have questioned who I am, let's put it this way:

If indeed it came out that I am Robert Kellar and it was established that I was posting on this blog under the name "Rick," this would not be advantageous to my continued employment with the Filson campaign. Moreover, it would probably bring some negative attention to my employer and diminish my future employment prospects.

So, who would benefit if this in fact was exposed? Certainly not Filson. Some food for thought for the conspiracy minded.

8:25 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

Rick seems to be saying that even if Thomas dropped out in some official manner, his name would still be on the June ballot. The implication is that his name cannot be removed from the ballot, no matter what he does or what papers he files, etc.

Once the Secretary of State certifies you have submitted an adequate number of signatures and verified that you paid the filing fee, you can't drop out. The filing deadline was three weeks ago, so to the best of my knowledge, Thomas is on the June ballot.

8:37 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous just wondering said...

The 2 Steves from Danville. Isn't that interesting?

9:10 PM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Ok, Rick, thanks for pointing that out about the Sec'y of State. Looks like, no matter what I say, it will be a Thomas/Filson/McNerney race. May the best man win!

Now, where is the $1 million that Thomas said he would raise (according to "just wondering"'s post above)?

Or is that like Napoleon Dynamite, where he says he "could do that in 2 seconds"? (you have to see that movie for the line to be funny)

Note: I tried to talk Thomas out of running when he first announced, but he was pretty convinced. Here are his comments:

"When I decided to run, the only candidate was Jerry. I'm going to take a shot at raising the money, and I think I can out raise the others. We will see."

"I made my mind up about this last March and have been figuring out how to do it, while working full time, since then. I'm in this, and trying to talk me out of it is not productive. If I can raise the money, I can win."

9:20 PM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger Paramendra Bhagat said...

Bridge Activists

6:43 PM, April 02, 2006  

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