Sunday, September 26, 2021
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There’s More to the Ground Game Than Just GOTV

This is just a quick personal observation on the recent uproar over Governor Perry and Speaker Gingrich lacking the required petition signatures to appear on the Virginia primary ballot, which has resulted in much teeth-gnashing and hair-tearing. It didn’t surprise me.

As background, I enjoy grassroots politicking. I very recently spent the better part of a day with a friend, a lawyer (!), who is running in Illinois’s March primary for circuit judge. We hiked my precinct, knocking on doors, talking to voters, hanging doorknob literature and getting permission to deploy yard-signs. Very satisfying. When the petition deadline to get on the ballot arrived, this fellow had nearly twice the required signatures, everything was ducky.

Since I fall in with the current 79% of responders to our current UP poll, favoring Gov Perry, I decided to contact his campaign. This was inspired by one of my fellow Committeemen asking me to sign a petition for one of our members to become a Gingrich convention delegate. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a conduit into Perry’s campaign staff on his website, but lots of opportunities to donate, or Facebook, or support efforts in neighboring Iowa.

I realize everyone’s obsessed with Iowa, then New Hampshire and so on. But there are actually other primaries in other states to follow, momentum notwithstanding. I know our current jug-eared White House occupant has given organizing a bad name, but it still has it’s value, see Cold Warrior, Precinct Project, etc. TV/radio ads and web videos are not the be-all, end-all of a campaign; people are.

As of the moment, I don’t do Facebook. Donations are great, but I was thinking more in terms of shoe-leather than dollars.

Anyhow, I ‘joined’ the campaign and subscribed to Will Franklin’s Almanac; still no point of contact. Mostly out of desperation, I shot Will an email complimenting his efforts and requesting a pointer to whoever is running things for the Gov in Illinois.

He responded: nobody.

All efforts are concentrated on Iowa, although ‘we do anticipate expanding to a 50-state operation’.

Friends, this is no way to run a railroad (or a national campaign). Nobody!

When I saw this, I kind of quickly flashed back to my only real memory of the McCain/Palin campaign: when I went to the local GOP office to pick up their yard-sign, I found they were for sale! No money, no yard-sign. I know Illinois sucks all the way around for a national Republican ticket, but this kind of treatment is unreal.

As a parting thought, intrigued by Cold Warrior’s persistence, I recall doing my very early preliminary research on the Web for becoming a Precinct Committeeman. Back then, 3 years ago, nearly all the search results were from one organization: Ron Paul’s…

Did you notice that in Virginia, HE had enough signatures?

6 COMMENTS

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Let me add insult to injury here, mriggio. The head of Perry’s Va. campaign is Jerry Kilgore, former Va. Attorney General (2001-2005), and the GOP nominee for governor in 2005 (he lost to Tim Kaine, Democrat). So how does this person do such a poor job of steering Perry through the Virginia requirements?

    To be fair, there are other issues involved here, including that actual validating of signatures did not occur for the primaries in 2000, 2004 (no GOP primary for pres.), and 2008. A lawsuit filed by a state level candidate supposedly precipitated the sudden follow the rules. Now, there remains the possible issue of Romney and Paul’s votes not being verified because they submitted over 15,000 signatures, some kind of threshold that turns off the trigger. Still, Kilgore should have been well aware and on top of these issues.

    As far as I am concerned, Va. is irrelevant now and if the Establishment GOP think we’ll go for Romney…I think they will be surprised. Sadly, this glee and push for Romney may doom the election once again. I won’t stay home, but others, who are less aware and involved, won’t see it this way and they will stay home. IMHO.

    Blessings to you this Christmas Season, and in the New Year, mriggio.

    • The newest info coming out looks like it is more and more a black eye on the Va. GOP, in that related to the issue raised by the state legislator candidate in a lawsuit, which all of a sudden set off the “let’s validate” the sigs. the threshold was to raised to 15,000 for validating in Nov. 2011. This means, candidates were not concerned until way too late about the number of sigs they would have to have to clear the bar. While it rests on the campaigns to know the ins and outs, the time table and last minute changes in rules certainly would affect their ability to carry this out.

      IMO, in order for Va GOP not to leave people believing that “the fix was in” they need to do some immediate modification of rules and policy, and get these names on the primary ballot. They changed the rules midstream (Nov2011)for this cycle, they can change it back.

  2. Here is a discussion about the points I made regarding the signature validating situation in Virginia.

    But what has not been reported is that in the only other presidential primaries in which Virginia required 10,000 signatures (2000, 2004, and 2008) the signatures were not checked. Any candidate who submitted at least 10,000 raw signatures was put on the ballot. In 2000, five Republicans qualified: George Bush, John McCain, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, and Steve Forbes. In 2004 there was no Republican primary in Virginia. In 2008, seven Republicans qualified: John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Alan Keyes.

  3. This is really sad. In our county, we had a straw poll at a breakfast last spring before Perry was even in the race. He had several votes as a write in candidate (only declared candidates were on the card) and placed fairly high in the poll.

    He could easily win our county, but if he’s not on the ballot, Romney or Newt will win by default. Perhaps this type of thing is REALLY why we ended up with McCain last time. A national candidate has to have at least a SMALL team in every state.

    P.S. I signed the Newt petitions, not because I’m a huge Newt fan, but because one of the delegates and the man passing the petitions is a good friend and a good conservative. If Newt wins Illinois, but doesn’t make the first ballot at the convention, he’ll throw his vote for the conservative.

    p.p.s. Mark, since there isn’t any other organization, perhaps you’re it?

  4. Hi everyone and thank you for your responses!

    Lady P: I wasn’t aware of all the details regarding Virginia’s validation of signatures; it certainly seems there has been both some hankying and pankying going on there. Christmas & New Year’s blessings right back at you & yours!

    Brian: I signed the Newt petitions for the exact same reasons as you. When I emailed Will, I was only hoping for a name/email to begin with, but it wasn’t forthcoming. As TG points out, perhaps Illinois is just too far down the target list this early. As for me being ‘it’, they’ve got to be able to do better than that!

    Happy New Year!

  1. Let me add insult to injury here, mriggio. The head of Perry’s Va. campaign is Jerry Kilgore, former Va. Attorney General (2001-2005), and the GOP nominee for governor in 2005 (he lost to Tim Kaine, Democrat). So how does this person do such a poor job of steering Perry through the Virginia requirements?

    To be fair, there are other issues involved here, including that actual validating of signatures did not occur for the primaries in 2000, 2004 (no GOP primary for pres.), and 2008. A lawsuit filed by a state level candidate supposedly precipitated the sudden follow the rules. Now, there remains the possible issue of Romney and Paul’s votes not being verified because they submitted over 15,000 signatures, some kind of threshold that turns off the trigger. Still, Kilgore should have been well aware and on top of these issues.

    As far as I am concerned, Va. is irrelevant now and if the Establishment GOP think we’ll go for Romney…I think they will be surprised. Sadly, this glee and push for Romney may doom the election once again. I won’t stay home, but others, who are less aware and involved, won’t see it this way and they will stay home. IMHO.

    Blessings to you this Christmas Season, and in the New Year, mriggio.

    • The newest info coming out looks like it is more and more a black eye on the Va. GOP, in that related to the issue raised by the state legislator candidate in a lawsuit, which all of a sudden set off the “let’s validate” the sigs. the threshold was to raised to 15,000 for validating in Nov. 2011. This means, candidates were not concerned until way too late about the number of sigs they would have to have to clear the bar. While it rests on the campaigns to know the ins and outs, the time table and last minute changes in rules certainly would affect their ability to carry this out.

      IMO, in order for Va GOP not to leave people believing that “the fix was in” they need to do some immediate modification of rules and policy, and get these names on the primary ballot. They changed the rules midstream (Nov2011)for this cycle, they can change it back.

  2. Here is a discussion about the points I made regarding the signature validating situation in Virginia.

    But what has not been reported is that in the only other presidential primaries in which Virginia required 10,000 signatures (2000, 2004, and 2008) the signatures were not checked. Any candidate who submitted at least 10,000 raw signatures was put on the ballot. In 2000, five Republicans qualified: George Bush, John McCain, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, and Steve Forbes. In 2004 there was no Republican primary in Virginia. In 2008, seven Republicans qualified: John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Alan Keyes.

  3. This is really sad. In our county, we had a straw poll at a breakfast last spring before Perry was even in the race. He had several votes as a write in candidate (only declared candidates were on the card) and placed fairly high in the poll.

    He could easily win our county, but if he’s not on the ballot, Romney or Newt will win by default. Perhaps this type of thing is REALLY why we ended up with McCain last time. A national candidate has to have at least a SMALL team in every state.

    P.S. I signed the Newt petitions, not because I’m a huge Newt fan, but because one of the delegates and the man passing the petitions is a good friend and a good conservative. If Newt wins Illinois, but doesn’t make the first ballot at the convention, he’ll throw his vote for the conservative.

    p.p.s. Mark, since there isn’t any other organization, perhaps you’re it?

  4. Hi everyone and thank you for your responses!

    Lady P: I wasn’t aware of all the details regarding Virginia’s validation of signatures; it certainly seems there has been both some hankying and pankying going on there. Christmas & New Year’s blessings right back at you & yours!

    Brian: I signed the Newt petitions for the exact same reasons as you. When I emailed Will, I was only hoping for a name/email to begin with, but it wasn’t forthcoming. As TG points out, perhaps Illinois is just too far down the target list this early. As for me being ‘it’, they’ve got to be able to do better than that!

    Happy New Year!

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