Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What Role are the DPG & Democratic Caucus Playing in helping New & Former Candidates Seeking Office this year?

One question that crossed my mind was does the DPG Democratic party of Georgia or the Democratic Caucus in general, offer any help or assistance to our rural house & senate candidates for the General Assembly?

This year all over rural Georgia, (north, middle & south), we have planty of contested races for State Senate & State House.

But will or have any rural candidates have gotten assistance from the Party or the Democratic Caucus as a whole.

The party do not interfere with races withg more than one democrat running, so let's get that out of the way. Some candidates have ssid that they will get assistance from the party for his or her perspective races.

Two candidates in particular have said & their names will not be mentioned here said that the House Democratic Caucus have told them that they needed to raise $10,000 to as much as $12,000 for their races & do phone banking to raise money for their campaigns. I guess its to show them (DPG, Democratic Caucus) that they are serious about their perspective races & these areas are very hard to raise that kind of cash, especially for a democrat.

Another candidate said she was promised help for her race but have not seen anything from the DPG or the House Caucus in her bid to unseat an incumbent republican.

Going back a couple of years ago, I know some candidates didn't receive any help from Democrats at all, one even putting up $40,000 of her own money in a bid to win a seat to the Georgia Legislature. She did well, but had she had some assistance from the party, she might have won that seat.

One candidate in particular said something that hits the nail right on the head:

Its all about "Money"! And this person goes on to say part of it is that they want you to show them you're serious about it (the campaign) and can you raise money, but then too the question comes from potential donors, how much help have you gotten from the party? If the answer is none, then they don't want to help etther, figuring you must not be a very good bet. I agree with that statement 100% If any potential donors see that you're not getting any help from the State Party, that person will NOT give 10 cents to a person's campaign.

Its hard for newcomers to the political scene to get their feet off the ground if he or she are running for State Rep or State Senator. The Party should do everything it can to assist those candidates, even the ones who have ran before.

Some candidates have said that they were promised help but at the end of the day, didn't see SQUAT!!!

This has got to change if democrats expect to gain seats in the House & Senate as to just competing in districts that are either lean democrats that are represented by a republican or in districts that democrats rule. they have got to make a play for swing districts & districts that slightly lean republican if they ever want to close the Gap with the GOP.

Let me use Chuck Pardue for example: He wants to run for the State Senate 23 seat, but he missed the qualifying deadline so he is now trying to get on the ballot as a independent. (I Blame this on J.B. Powell who should have told perspective candidates like Pardue that he was going to run for Agriculture Commissioner, so they would have had time to make it to Atlanta to qualify instead of picking a guy who doesn't live in the district (L. Baxter Garvin), but at the end of the day I still like Powell.

But back to Pardue, he is getting "some" support from the DPG in paid cavassers to the district for one day of training & that's it. He got his son & daughter going out gathering signatures as well as other volunteers helping out up in SD 23. This is what I call dedication & committment. If the DPG were to send folks over there throughout the rest of the month, he'll have the signatures needed to get on the ballot. He needs 3,958 or 5% of voters signatures. I say right now Pardue will get those signatures. Let's step it up DPG.


The Chair said...

Hey Keith-

The DPG wants to do everything we can to help our candidates be successful. However, the DPG does NOT have money to put in individual races. The House and Senate Caucuses raise funds to financially help their candidates who are running in targeted districts (Districts where there is a chance that a Dem can win)The DPG is raising money now to help fund a Coordinated Campaign which will be focused on getting Democratic voters out to the polls in an election year when turnout is only half as good as in "Presidential" years. These efforts will help every Democratic candidate around the state.

What the DPG can offer every candidate is a modestly priced voterfile and training on how to use it effectively. We can help candidates learn how to raise funds most effectively. (It is hard work, but I raised $90k for my House race and almost $200k for my Senate race.) The DPG can help with communications, advising on press releases, events, Union printers, low cost website developers, direct mail vendors, etc. After the Primaries, the statewide candidates will travel the state and invite local candidates to join them when in their communities. We can help with scripts for canvassing and calling, but every campaign needs to recruit large numbers of volunteers who are willing to work. Voter contact is the key, and it is expensive and increases the more voters you need to reach. Every candidate needs to sit for several hours everyday and call family friends,friends of friends, business owners and everyone in their district (and out) and ask for funds to pay for voter contact. That's just the way politics works. Grassroots campaigning is not free or cheap, but volunteers help make it affordable and effective. After the Primaries, candidates can take advantage of reduced postage rates if they work through the DPG. The DPG operating funds are just enough to hire staff who can help candidates move though the campaign maze, but not enough to give every candidate money. We try real hard to keep expectations realistic with our candidates. Campaigns are hard work and expensive and all candidates are going to have to raise money. And yes, it is harder for all of us in these hard times.

I was not aware that Chuck Pardue had previously been considering a run for SD 23, but I greatly appreciate him stepping up when we needed a good candidate. The DPG promised that we would make sure he had the signatures necessary to get on the ballot as an Independent and we will. But we need more willing volunteers to train, too. You have to ask volunteers to help in a campaign and give them specific, meaningful work with training and the supplies to be successful. Then you have to call and remind them of the scheduled work and stay in touch to make sure they know they are appreciated.

Running for elected office is fulltime, stressful and demanding work. First-time candidates rarely win because it is so difficult. But the second campaign is smoother and the experienced candidate is more likely to win. That's why incumbents are so difficult to beat.

The Democrats have great candidates this year and the opportunity to win many races. We need to keep focused on winning and support our candidates as much as possible. If everyone keeps working hard and smart right up to 7pm on Election Day, we will have many winners and be proud of everyone's strong efforts!

Unknown said...

Why would a candidate want to be taught how to raise money from The DPG. You can't raise money.

Keith said...

That was a very long description, but I hear what you're saying The Chair.

Thanks for giving me a better understanding of the rules

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