Monday, March 27, 2006

Wes Rolley on the Democratic Primary

Wes of Pombo Watch just posted a comment in the previous thread that includes a message he sent to the Vote Pombo Out Yahoo Group. I think the message deserves greater visibility so I’m treating it as a guest post and reposting it on the main page. I am reposting it with minor typographical corrections. Besides those minor edits, everything after the dashed line is Wes’.

-Matt
-----------------------------------
As you might be able to tell from my posts to this list, I have some partiality to several of the opponents of Richard Pombo. Maybe it is time that I follow Scott's lead and make my thinking clear.

It is very important that we take both opportunities to Vote Pombo Out. The primary choice is clear. In the Republican Primary, it must be Pete McCloskey. I enthusiastically endorse his candidacy and will providewhatever support I can to aid it.

If the primary follows normal patterns, there will be a low turn out affair and that means even relatively small numbers mean a lot. Matt and I have both called attention to the comparisons between the Illinois 6th CD primary and the ones in California. What neither of us stressed strongly enough is that even with all of the national attention and the strong infighting between Duckworth and Cegelis, the total turnout was low.

In the June 6 election, there are very few local contests in San Joaquin County that will draw out people. The most interesting one is the Republican Primary between Gerry Machado and Susan Tucker in Tracy (17th AD). This underscores that importance of getting everyone possible out to vote. If anyone is currently registered as Decline to State (DTS), we need to get them to the polls to vote for McCloskey.

I also agree with Scott that, if McCloskey can not knock Pombo out of the race, people will work for whoever wins the Democratic Primary. Still I think that it is extremely important that the right person win that primary. The right person will have to be someone who will motivate the Latino Community to get out and vote. I think that they will be more enthusiastic about McNerney than Filson or Thomas.

I do not believe that it is possible to ensure a victory against Pombo without a large turnout of Latino voters. In the past, they have not voted in relationship to their percentage of the population. The work has to be to register Latino's and to make sure that they are at the polls. Pete McCloskey recognized this. That is why he was at the head of the rally in Stockton this week. Jerry McNerney recognizes this, even though I personally think that he should have been at the March and had A.J. represent him at the endorsement meeting in Morgan Hill.

I have seen no evidence that Filson understand the importance of this group to his chances. He has ignored the issue from what I seen. I truly believe that the time to make that up passed when there was no evidence of his presence in Stockton this weekend.

I believe that McNerney has developed the rapport with a number of different communities, including the Latinos, but he has reached out to many others. I believe that this ability to reach out, to care, and to bring more people into the mix clearly separates McNerney from Filson as a candidate. I even understand the McNerney has talked with the California Farm Bureau, just to let them know that he is concerned, even though they have always backed Pombo.

If you follow this, it will give some people a problem, because there are very good reasons to register as DTS and vote for McCloskey in the Republican Primary and also very good reasons to make sure that McNerney wins the Democratic Primary. I won't tell you how to act. It is your choice.

However, at the beginning of this race I heard a lot of talk about the fact that Filson could raise so much money that there would be pressure for McNerney to drop out. Maybe the time has come for the powers that be in Democratic circles to realize that McNerney can bring more voters from more constituencies into the fight and that just maybe it is time for Filson, whose campaign seems to be sputtering, to drop out and save you all a little angst.

11 Comments:

Blogger VPO said...

Filson's campaign is sputtering on the "connect with voters" level, that is for sure. He did not make it to the Latino march last Saturday, a major mistake, and also has not been gaining any additional labor or club endorsements.

His events calendar shows that he has 4 fundraisers scheduled for this last week of the first quarter (two with Rep. George Miller). Obviously, Filson is trying to raise his fundraising numbers in time for the Q1 report. It seems his goal is showing more money than McNerney as proof of his viability, and he may well accomplish that. But McNerney is getting the "boots on the ground" endorsements and support.

There is an argument as to which matters more. I think in a primary, having the boots on the ground support is better, as it is quite expensive to advertise on radio and TV to reach your fellow party members. And the ones that turn out for a primary tend to be the more involved ones, such as going to club meetings or protests.

But there is a deeper factor, I think. And that is that Filson is not connecting with the people he will need for support if he does win the primary. Take the Latinos. They noticed who was marching with them last Saturday and who was not. If McNerney wins the primary, it is likely the Latinos will willingly back him in the general election. But with Filson, he will seem like a carpetbagger, someone who won the primary, but did not make a connection with them. So the Latinos would be less enthusiastic and likely suspicious of Filson. That is not the way to "energize the base".

So, maybe money will top all else in the primary. But to beat Pombo, an energized, active, highly supportive base is needed, and that is done by the work of making connections with the right groups. In that respect, despite his less than stellar public speaking skills, McNerney is coming out ahead with his labor and club endorsements, as well as connecting to groups like the Latinos.

7:09 AM, March 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (sorry to be a pest, but too many great posts and comments to ignore amp'ing them):

Filson's primary claim to this nomination is "I'm the money man", since it's agreed that unseating an entrenched incumbent and sitting Committee Chairman with a 7% advantage in party registration will normally take lots of loot, however:

1) It takes more than loot, it takes boot(s) on the ground, and lots and lots of them as well, and have you seen the HUGE success Filson has had at getting folks to join his Meetup groups in Tracy, Pleasanton and Morgan Hill since January, to site one public example?

2) Filson shrugged off an anemic Q4 fund raising result by claiming that "we'll have at least $200K in cash" by the end of Q1 -- well,

3) Q1 is just around the rainy corner (ends Friday at midnight), and at Filson's current cash (or deferred debt -- there's something to watch for) burn rate:

a) Three full-time (and expensive) staffers
b) One full-time (and expensive) office in Tracy
c) One high-end (and expensive) campaign treasurer
d) One new, high-end (and sure to be expensive to maintain) web site
e) Lots of very high end, slick (and expensive) hand out lit...

...he'd better be raising a veritable YACHT-load of loot to get himself another $100K of left-over cash to get his facts lined up with his story

4) In poker, we might call that a bluff, or we might call that a good hand held close to the vest, so let's issue a little challenge:

Hey, "some other guy", "rick" and the rest of you reading the above and not feeling all smiley...have your guy post exactly what he raised in Q1 on this blog the moment he and his crew knows, which is going to be a LOT closer to April 1 than April 30, which is the official FEC filing deadline if I'm not mistaken for regular Q1 filings. Be proud of what you accomplished in your fund raising -- don't hide it 'til the last possible second. McNerneyites -- you might want to consider doing the same kind of "early disclosure" to further amp the pressure to "put up or shut down" with all this "only $$$$$ = viability" talk.

Let's see what you got -- check or fold?

$.02 out.

9:24 AM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Right, I agree, the time until the primary is too short to wait until the end of April for the fundraising results. McCloskey has already announced (on the radio) that he has raised $200K. Where is Filson's announcement? If he waits until the last moment, there will be a month of speculation that he took a nosedive and is reluctant to let the bad news out any earlier than he absolutely has to. Also, this last minute scrambling for donations to pump up the numbers looks pretty desperate.

What are good numbers? Well, Pombo raised $350K in 4Q 2005 and has over a million. He has certainly raised more this quarter, at least that much if not more. And he is not spending too much on the primary as of yet. (His latest fliers were paid for "with taxpayers dollars". Gotta love it.)

To even be in the running, as a self-proclaimed money man, I think Filson has to break the $250K mark at a minimum. That is, he needs to have raised at least that much in Q1, with all the endorsements and fund-raisers going on, and have at least $200K on hand, otherwise he should consider packing it in.

What do others think on the numbers? What should we expect of Filson in the fundraising department for Q1?

10:11 AM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

FYI, the FEC reports will be due Friday April 14. April 15 is the official due date, but since 4/15 is a Saturday this year and since the FEC does not extend the deadline in such cases, the reports are due on Friday the 14th.

Also, from what I hear Filson has brought on another staffer part-time.

10:26 AM, March 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

folks, filson is following the astroturf campaign 101 textbook drilled into his brain by high-paid consultants who have a record of winning. the result is that he is spending all of his time raising and spending money instead of spending time connecting with various democratic constituencies.

latinos? if saturday's march doesn't net him cash, it's not worth his time. after all, he's got fundraisers to attend.

to date, that strategy has actually been quite effective. astroturf campaigns generally beat grassroots campaigns. the difference here, one might theorize, is that the grassroots candidate has boots on the ground, and not just loot in the bank.

dead-wrong-in-public predictions:

1) filson will not raise $200K, as he said he would. he may raise close to it. more importantly, however, his burn rate will be significant resulting in mediocre cash-on-hand numbers.

2) mcnerney will not raise anywhere near as much money as filson. why? his base of support is mostly small donors.

the real goldmine is in the grassroots -- the people and groups who have lined up behind mcnerney and are willing to go to war for him. that may more than make up for the cash differential.

history shows us that the astroturf campaign textbook is a winner. of course, this election may be the exception. for the sake of the future of the democratic party (and all the constituencies it represents) let's hope so.

5:48 PM, March 28, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

A couple of comments:

McNerney ran in 2004 and previously picked up most of the labor and Democratic Club endorsements he has currently received. That he would have an advantage vis-à-vis Filson for the endorsements of such groups seems obvious. As previously mentioned, there are many more endorsements still up for grabs, including business, environmental, women's, civil rights, and community groups.

In regards to "boots on the ground," I have yet to see any McNerney (or for that matter Filson) campaigners in my neck of the woods. Moreover, aside from myself, I haven't yet encountered anyone in my neighborhood or community who has even mentioned the CA-11 Democratic Primary. I would imagine this would be fairly common sentiment throughout the district. The campaigns will really begin with the paid advertisements, which I presume will be arriving in the next few weeks in advance of the absentee ballots that will arrive in May.

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

Mr. 2% of a buck one more time tonight (I'm so tired, and I'm sure you're tired of me, so I'll make it brief):

"Rick" -- so glad you could join us and share some thoughts, here are some of mine:

1) Nice of you to ignore the earlier challenge to post Filson's Q1 fund-raising results as soon as possible (say, April 1?) -- that alone says volumes

2) So convenient for Filson's campaign of Thomas to show up seemingly out of nowhere, with no prior political experience, no community connections, and no self-financing and, as you eloquently stated in another post, "take at least 5%" of the vote just for paying his $1,000 (or perhaps someone else's $1,000) to qualify for a vanity campaign even though he has no real traction to speak of

3) Thanks for telegraphing something very few outside the professional political biz would know -- that "The campaigns will really begin with the paid advertisements, which I ("Rick") presume will be arriving in the next few weeks in advance of the absentee ballots that will arrive in May"

4) Why do I find it odd that your name ("Rick") shares a similarity to one Robert Keller, Filson's campaign manager?

I'm sure it's, as the song says, "just my imagination..."

$.02 out.

10:42 PM, March 28, 2006  
Anonymous nicholas said...

duckworth was able to secure labor although cegalis ran and had built relationships previously..

and hey keller!!! :WAVE:

6:09 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  
Anonymous Rick said...

Well "Mr 2% of a buck," I must say your logic for deducing that I am Robert Kellar is quite damning. Let's review your indictment:

-The first damning piece of evidence is that I did not mention Filson's recent fundraising

-Even more damning, I provided some reasons for why Thomas would not drop out, including easily verifiable facts about California's filing requirements

-Most damning, I mentioned that mailers are essential parts of Congressional campaigns and suggested that they are timed to arrive before absentee ballots are received (which you characterize as "something very few outside the professional political biz" know)

- But the smoking gun is that "Rick" and "Robert" both start with the letter "R" (gasp!)

Damn, you are good. With such critical thinking skills such as those, I can only hope you aren't affiliated with a rival campaign.

8:56 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4/13/06 in the lodi sentinel was a blurb about pombo getting an award from by the annapolis center for science based public policy. is anyone going to tell people exactly what this organization really is? I mean it sounds really forthright and scientific, unbiased. But who are they really?

10:05 AM, April 13, 2006  

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