Sunday, June 25, 2006

Steve Thomas Speaks Redux

The morning after the primary election, Matt made the following request: “And if you supported Steve Thomas, please in God’s name tell us how he did so well.” Well, here is the response, straight from Steve Thomas himself:
How in God's name did Steve Thomas do so well?

Anybody who followed my campaign, starting with the Lamorinda Club meeting last February knows that I came out strongly on big issues that matter to all of us. What I found was that many people were dying to hear someone stand up and say what I was saying. I meant it and I think I connected with people in the audience.

In all the candidate forums, televised and otherwise, other people consistently told me "you won the debate." Word of this does get around.

I did several rounds of emails to voters that actually had a lot of information in them. As a voter, I always found that the tripe that showed up in the mailbox (including the official voter guide) was remarkably useless when it came to making an informed decision. Out of respect for voter's intelligence, I took the risk of sending them "too much information" by ordinary standards. There were a small number of people who told me to stop "spamming" them (sorry, use your delete button or the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the emails), but the vast majority of them made the full cycle without being self unsubscribed.

Despite being marginalized by pretty much all the newspapers (the Lodi Sentinel paid me a back handed compliment saying I was "to the left of Ted Kennedy," without defining what that means) I had the strongest message on the most issues of all three candidates. Issues that really affect all of us and cut across party lines. To say that my votes were the result of confusion between Steve Thomas and Steve Filson, is hogwash. I'm certain I got some votes because of my ballot designation "Union Electrician." Other than that I did a lot of person to person canvassing. I handed out a lot of flyers, buttons and bumper stickers. I told everyone to spread the word and that I was "Steve the electrician" not "Steve the pilot."

What really counts is that when you talk to people, they can tell you're passionate, you really mean it and you connect with them. I can't tell you how many times, after my little spiel about how we are losing the middle class, people responded by saying they could tell I meant it and I was different. Caring is something you can't fake.

Pete McCloskey and I had a joint speaking engagement at one of the District Democratic Clubs. It was the first time we'd met and afterwards, he twice said to me "if there was a Democratic Presidential candidate saying what you are saying, the Democratic Party would be in better shape."

That's the message. All I had was that, an ability to deliver the message and the sense (or lack of it) to get out there and deliver it.

I brought a lot of different, important issues to the race and caused the other candidates to work on their public speaking. We are the people we've been waiting for. I could no longer look in the mirror, pretend everything was going to be ok, and just go to work. I couldn't do it, I had to get involved, I ran for office and my sense of commitment came through to people. I connected.


Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo babaloo.

Rocky here. Dis is a real inciteful post, and once again Rocky salute youse guys for cummin up wit duh good stuff which is why I guess duh Inner Inner Circle made babaloo a dealer. babaloo: is you a guy or a goil or ain't you allowed to tell us and should babaloo start wit a capitol letter?

Rocky been wunnerin about duh answer to dis question hisself ever since it foist appeared on duh stage of dis here blot, but Rocky thought dat wunna duh rules of blottin wuz dat you don't answer no questions directly put in play on duh deal unner sum kinda penalty. Did I miss sumtin? Is dis a rule violation? Or is it Ok if you like wait fer 5-6 deals when duh answer is no longer relevant cuz most everyone fergot duh original question? Can sumbody clarify dis fer me?

Dis Steve Thomas guy, if youse would all recall, wuz Rocky's original favrit in dis race butt den youse all tawked Rocky outta supportin him on account dat he couldn't even raise the friggin $.02 put in by Duh Cheapskate, who's still wunna our leadin ineffectuals despite duh fact dat he's got cobwebs on his wallet and seems to have dropped off a friggin cliff on account of duh fact dat we ain't hoid from him in like duh last 5 or 6 friggin deals.

Anyways babaloo, you should be honored Steve Thomas writ you dat message as you won't never hear from ButtaPombO one-on-one unless its to try and pick your wallet. Similacly, Rocky felt honored to talk wit Mr BeanO duh udder day by way of dis here blot, even though I still ain't sure it really WUZ BeanO and not one of dem friggin Republican SPIES.

Rocky tink Mr Thomas should start out runnin fer anudder office at a lower level, so he can loin duh ropes and not be up against duh ropes, like in duh ring cuz when yer dere it ain't no friggin good. I'm tellin ya, duh more I loin about politics duh more I see it as anudder form of boxin. I tink I might be able to get pretty good at dis game if I make like a friggin blotter and blot up all duh good stuff youse guys are all teachin me on dis blot.

Mebbe sum day one of youse will explain duh dealin ting to me cuz dis is duh part I still ain't quite figgered out. Mebbe sum day I'll get access to summa dis top secret information and be able to becum a dealer. And mebbe sum day I can becum a champion at politics like youse guys, or even run fer office myself. And unlike ButtaPombO, I promise not to take any money from Jack-offs of any kind. Heh heh heh.

But I know I still have alot to loin.

Rocky out.

5:34 PM, June 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and it's been a while, I agree)

I've been waiting for weeks for this topic to come up, since I see it quite differently than others...

1) "SteVanMan" clearly thinks that he is going to just burn barns next time around, since he's already declared he's the overwhelming favorite for 2008

2) Note that his campaign fundraising mechanism is currently hand-written, with himself as his own treasurer, despite his earlier claims that he would raise "2 million or more, easily" for the 2006 election cycle -- he must have figured to do a LOT of handwritten entries at that pace, given his underwhelming groundswell of volunteer support

3) Even Tommy Bananas got someone else to be his treasurer, and TB was able to get 2,946 votes in exchange for $5,009.12 spent -- $1.70 per vote; while SteVanMan got 7,633 votes for a mere $11,376.53 or a paltry $1.49 -- Thomas beats Benigno! (Not that I would want to be in the same comparative sentence with Tommy Bananas from a political career standpoint, unless I thought that denial was only a river in Egypt -- perhaps folks thought they were voting for Thomas the SteVan instead of Thomas the BaNaNas)

4) But wait -- here's the kicker! $15,700 of SteVanMan's $22,498.28 total raised (must be some checks still waiting to clear to get him to that $2MM mark...) came from just one family -- the Kabakows of the East Coast -- for ~ 70% of his whole take during his six month (Jonny) Quest.

Sorry, SteVanMan -- but as Reagan said, "facts are stubborn things -- they refuse to go away."

Try not to pay yourself over 35% of your total campaign expenditures ($4,000 out of $11,376.53) in salary for yourself "next time", if there is a next time.

$.02 out.

9:09 PM, June 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a Buck again (with an anticipated rejoinder...)

How did Jerry do in 2004, efficiency-wise?

1) McNerney spent $130,424.13 in the 2004 election cycle.

2) McNerney got 103,587 votes in the November general election of 2004.

3) McNerney achieved an efficency of an astonishing $1.26 per vote captured in his 2004 election quest.

4) McNerney lost every vote other than the 39% of the folks registered as Democrats in CD11.

Read 'em and weep. Efficiency (i.e., $ spent per vote) means absolutely nothing.

$.02 out.

9:55 PM, June 25, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Mr $.02.

Rocky here. Good to hear from you old buddy and tanks fer puttin in yer 2 cents on dis hole subject.

Now you should be a dealer on accounta yer brains and duh top secret info you bring to dis here blot, yet you ain't. Were you asked by duh Inner Inner Circle but fer sum reason you refused? Cuz you is clearly qualified to be a dealer but Rocky notice you don't never deal. Whats up wit dat?

Could sumbody pleeze explain duh friggin dealin ting to Rocky, and I don't care if it takes 5 or 6 blots to get an answer if those are duh rules. Yo Ricky! Can you help me out here on accounta we're both good Dems and we should be all friendly-like now?

Anyways Mr $.02, wit dis new info you jest provided to us blotters, Rocky no longer so sure he even likes dis guy Thomas, and I don't mean duh BeanO one. I mean dis guy cums across as pretty arrogant in dat click-on ting you created, like he's better den everybody else which is kinda offputtin to say duh least. Almost like ButtaPombO to say duh most. No friggin good to say in duh middle. Youse all know what I mean?

But duh woist of it all about dis guy Thomas wuz loinin from you dat he paid hisself $4000 smackers of his own limited funds as if he wuz entitled to it fer runnin - Jeezus! Dat ain't very ethical, is it? Dat sucks Bananas, and Rocky don't mean duh Tommy kind.

I mean, if Thomas had jest bought more votes at the same $3.24 price for dat udder $4,000, insted of payin hisself, he coulda got anudder 1235 votes. So not only ain't it not very ethical, it ain't very smart neither.

Yo Mr BeanO. You didn't pay yerself fer runnin, did you? Did Rocky's new guy McNoiney pay hisself? What about duh Fightin One? We alreddy know duh answer fer ButtaPombO - he pays his friggin wife, his brudder, probably ten of his cousins, Wayne Johnson and probably ten of his cousins, Ding Dong and his ants and uncles and all duh little Avon Ladies he wants to send around, and probably dey are all intermarried cuz dey shure are dumB (with duh capitol B dis time) in duh way you can only get when you are all inbred.

Rocky out. Good to hear from you Mr $.02 cuz you always give Rocky a new prospectus.

10:34 PM, June 25, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

The best bet for Thomas is to run for local office. He is making the right move running for the Democratic County Central Committee seat. Maybe he can get on a local government board and from there to Danville City Council, then to the State Assembly or to County Supervisor.

I think you have to work your way up the ranks like that and build a base, unless you have lots and lots of money, or are some famous celebrity.

If he turns out to be popular in city and county or even state politics, and wins races, then he can run for Congress.

I am not saying a political newcomer can't win a Congressional seat, but I have not found a case where that has happened in California recently. Every current Congressperson I researched was in the State Assembly or State Senate, or was a County Supervisor, or was at least a City Councilor. If not that, they were prominent lawyers or law professors who had advised and worked with governors or US Senators. Some were from political families and that helped also. Some were very rich.

In our District, the only Dems I saw that met this criteria were Machado or former state Senator Pat Johnston. There was also a former mayor of Lodi. And then Margee Ensign, a Dean of the UoP with political experience. There are probably a few others, such as on the SJ County Board of Supervisors, but not really that many who were qualified to run, whether they actually wanted to or not.

Jerry McNerney does not have this kind of political experience, but he did run in the previous race and is earning his stripes. He may be carving a new path here, with a message that resonates and connects with voters. But there is no question that he would not be where he is now if he had not run in 2004.

Both of the Steves were way out of their league running for Congress before winning any other office. I don't see a viable Thomas candidacy for Congress in 2008 or 2010, but I think he can add a lot to the Dem Party and has potential, if he can win local and county seats and work from that base.

8:20 PM, June 26, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

Hello everyone. Tommy BeanO here. I have missed you folks where have you been? riding on the rivers, wasting gas and poluting the water ways. Not of mention the wakes on the levees causing them to get weaker. Keep up the good work maybe they will break and we can send 2 million of the people to Canada to live. And then we can send the guard to the delta to guard our rivers against boaters. As Pombo says guard the levees but the hell with the borders. Just trying to make conversation. Someones question about campaign money,yes I spent my own money. I have done it in all my races. I just can't think of a more insulting thing to ask people for money, to run for office. The signature thing is bad enough. I have been trying to send a message to Washington D.C. take the money out of theses races. there must be a better way to reach people. It serves only to special interest. Especially now? Look at the abramoff deal. My opponet Pombo can raise millions of illegal dollars and be the best candidate what does that say?

thanks Tom Benigno not a spy.

7:25 AM, July 06, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

The forcast was correct only 17.3% voted in the primary in San Joaquin county, and 24% in other counties. Registered Republicans in the 11th district was 134,700.
Pombo 28,468 he spent $840,000
McCloskey 18,328 he spent $495,000
Benigno 2,945 he spent $5,050.00

total votes 49,741 out of 134,000 what do you think happen.
Mc Nerney
Democrats 124,000 not much better.
Many of my friends said screw it.

This is a dismal indication of things to come.

Tommy Bananas

10:14 AM, July 06, 2006  

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