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A Successful Political Campaign

It is no secret that most political candidates, especially those who are new to the political arena, have no realistic idea of all the requirements involved in the execution of a successful political campaign.

A successful political campaign includes unquestionable dedication, effort, discipline, sacrifice, logistics and a good message, besides other unforseen requirements.

Fortunately, with adequate timing and planning, all these requirements can be met.  Thousands of candidates of both parties do this every election cycle.   Unfortunately, some candidates sometimes win because of their opponent's inadequacy and lack of preparedness.

Irrespective of a candidate's intelligence, education, previous occupation, experience, oratorical skills et cetera, a new candidate is likely to encounter countless roadblocks standing in the way of his or her execution of a succesful political campaign.

In addition to the aforesaid, executing a succesful political campaign requires an element which, more often than not, is absent from the attitude of most new political candidates: humility!

A successful candidate should have an honest willingness to learn from others who have had real experience with political campaigns and could provide invaluable, sound, unemotional advice.

Of course, a candidate must be able to discern a valuable adviser from an opportunist or a charlatan.

Click the following sections to access an outline of elements indispensable to a successful political-campaign structure:

DHCLC

Running for office is a time-consuming, intense and emotional undertaking.  It is also extraordinarily important, as it can lead not only to a sea-change in policy, but also to the development of new, progressive leaders ─ win or lose!

Successful progressive candates and their compaigns must be smart and strategic from the very beginning.  So, if you are planning on making the leap to run for office yourself, this worksheet will help you assess your skills and personal circumstances, your connection with the community you will represent and, and the political environment in which you will run.  Be honest, write down your answers and review with a trusted friend or advisor.

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    1. Candidate
    2. Secretary
    3. Treasurer
    4. Campaign Manager
    5. Dedicated contact and message-response assistant
    6. Campaign Advisors
    7. Volunteer Recruiter and Coordinator
    8. Associated Support Groups (local political clubs, online groups and organizations)

Before Declaring Candidacy

  • Learn what state requirements are.
  • Seek advice from experienced person(s)
  • Ensure campaign start-up funds are available
  • Research and learn opponent's weaknesses
  • Evaluate geographic-area campaign requirements (accessibility difficulties)
  • Consider available voter-target recommendations
  • Ensure no investigation (of any kind), can render the candidate too controversial or "unfit" to serve

After Declaring Candidacy

  • Assemble a competent staff (Manager, Secretary, Treasurer)
  • Develop a volunteer recruiting team
  • Register with Department of Elections
  • Get EIC Identification Number from IRS
  • Open campaign bank account
  • Confirm that your campaign meets state requirements.
  • Provide trusted online campaign-donations link e.g., ActBlue, Paypal, etc.
  • Recruit effective fundraiser
  • Recruit speech writer

Platform Development

  • Develop message appropriate to target constituency
  • Don't allow emotions to control candidate message
  • Connect with local like-minded organizations and activists
  • Develop clusters with other candidates
  • Create serious, solutions-based campaign website
  • Create Media presence in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Respect constituents — do not ignore calls or messages — always have staff member available
  • Remember that a candidate's campaign is part of a biggger whole

Ways And Means

  • Door-to-door canvassing (with brief candidate-message video if possible)
  • Petition-signing activities (with brief candidate-message video if possible)
  • Email and phone solicitation
  • Media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
    1. posting and sharing on relevant groups
    2. adding supporters to candidate's group page
  • Letters to the editor
  • Blogging
  • Podcasts
  • Supportive broadcast outlets and personalities

Fundraising

  • Message-driven, Fundraising event-hosting (including small, private events)
  • Message-driven, ZOOM virtual fundraising events

Scheduling Director

  • Manage candidate's Calendar wisely
  • Keep track of all appointments and appearances
  • Must have ability to discern appointments by level of importance
  • Must acknowledge — not ignore — all appointments
  • Must keep candidate updated.
  • Must ensure that candidate does not miss appointments

Logistical Support

  • Transportation for unable supporters
  • Electronic equipment (e.g., audio, video)
  • Access to tables and/or chairs when necessary

Literature

  • Posters, cards, etc.
  • Pre-approved letters to the editor
  • Pre-approved press releases
  • Pre-approved magazine articles

Avoid Divisive Issues

  • Whenever possible, candidate must avoid divisive, so-called, "wedge issues" such as defund the police, abortion, immigration, etc.  These issues are divisive and strongly opposed by non-Democrats.
  • Do not disparage your opponent!  Although disaffected, their supporters resent this.
  • Candidates should concentrate on issues which appeal across party lines.  For example, candidates should talk about Clean water and air, safe bridges, safe roads, the jobs these would create, fair taxation, etc.
  • Candidate must not allow opponent to put him or her in a defensive position.
  • Be prepared before any debate or presentation!  Don't "wing it"!

Motivation - Florida

  • People are dying in Florida because of Gov. DeSantis's anti-science views and lies
  • Gov. DeSantis is telling anti-vaxxers what they want to hear even though it's killing them
  • Gov. DeSantis is putting school children's lives at risk.  Counties are pushing back.
  • Candidate's opponent is complicit in Gov. DeSantis's lies to Floridians
  • Gov. DeSantis sneakily raised sales taxes on Floridians to benefit his donor-corporations
  • Gov. DeSantis is doing nothing to protect the quality of Floridians' air and water.
  • Gov. DeSantis actions are jeopardizing the livelihood of Floridians who depend on tourism to make a living.

Motivation - U.S.

  • Preventing FASCIST in America is a strong motivating factor!
  • The January 6th, 2021 INSURRECTION at the U.S. Capitol is a strong motivating factor!
  • The endurance of our Constitutional Democratic Republic is a strong motivating factor!
  • The security of our nation is a strong motivating factor!
  • The protection of the U.S. Constitution is a strong motivating factor!
  • The Right To Vote for all Americans is a strong motivating factor!
  • Respect for Law and order and the welfare of every American are strong motivating factors.

The 2021 Florida Statutes — Title IX — ELECTORS AND ELECTIONS

Chapter 106 — CAMPAIGN FINANCING

106.147 Text message and telephone solicitation; disclosure requirements; prohibitions; exemptions; penalties.

  • (1)
    • (a) Any text message or telephone call supporting or opposing a candidate, an elected public official, or a ballot measure, and any electioneering text message or telephone call, must include the phrase “Paid for by,” followed by the name of the persons or organizations sponsoring the message or call or, in the case of a text message, a working hyperlink or a uniform resource locator (URL) to a website containing the required disclosure.
    • (b) A candidate’s text message or telephone call must include the phrase “Paid for by,” followed by the name of the candidate, then followed by the word “For,” and the name of the elective office sought.

    • (c) A website that is hyperlinked, or identified by URL, in a text message must remain online and available to the public for at least 30 days after the date of the election in which the candidate or ballot measure that the advertisement supported or opposed was voted on.

    • (d)1. If an exchange consists of a sequence of multiple text messages sent on the same day, the sponsorship disclaimer is only required to be included with the first text message.

        2. A person or an organization is deemed to be in compliance with this subsection if the sponsorship disclaimer required by this subsection is included in the text message in the form in which the person or organization intended it to be sent, regardless of the form the carrier relayed it to the recipient.

        3. If a person or an organization includes a working hyperlink or URL in the text message as part of the required disclaimer, the person or organization is deemed to be in compliance with this subsection even if the recipient’s device is incapable of accessing the referenced website.

    • This subsection does not apply to any:
    1. Telephone call:
      a. In which both the individual making the call is not being paid and the individuals participating in the call know each other before the call; or

      b. That is a part of a series of like telephone calls consisting of fewer than 1,000 completed calls averaging more than 2 minutes in duration which are conducted for the purpose of polling respondents regarding a candidate or an elected public official.

    2. Text message:
      a. In which both the individual sending the text message is not being paid and the text is individually sent without the assistance of mass distribution technology, including a text messaging platform; or

      b. That requires the recipient to sign up or opt in to receive it.

  • (2) A text message or a telephone call may not state or imply that the caller:

    • (a) Represents any person or organization unless the person or organization so represented has given specific approval in writing to make such representation; or
    • (b) Represents a nonexistent person or organization.

  • (3)

    • Any text message or telephone call, not conducted by independent expenditure, which expressly advocates for or against a candidate or ballot measure requires prior written authorization by the candidate or sponsor of the ballot measure that the text message or telephone call supports. A copy of such written authorization must be placed on file with the qualifying officer by the candidate or sponsor of the ballot measure before the time the text messages or telephone calls commence.
  • (4)

    • (a) Any person who willfully violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
    • (b) For purposes of paragraph (a), the term “person” includes any individual or organization making an independent expenditure; any candidate; any officer of any political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party executive committee; any officer, partner, attorney, or other representative of a corporation, partnership, or other business entity; and any agent or other person acting on behalf of any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, political party executive committee, or corporation, partnership, or other business entity.

View Entire Chapter

Democratic Reality In Florida

What the numbers tell us:

  1. In Florida, there are more registered Democrats (36.7%) than Republicans (35.8%); NPA (27.5%)
  2. These totals mean that, taking the January 6th, 2021 Insurrection in consideration, a well-crafted message might well serve to "convert" enough disgruntled Republicans and NPAs to win Florida.
  3. The message must not be confrontational; it must never go beyond the listening threshhold!
  4. Also, Democrats must run for office aware of the fact that Democrats must first be in power before our agenda can become a reality.

The Message
  1. The same old Democratic message, as usual, will bring us the same catastrophic result: Defeat!
  2. We need to learn — and use — the Republican playbook: Repeat!  Repeat!  Repeat!
  3. We must — incessantly — ─ repeat the reality about the January 6th, 2021 Insurrection that took place at the U.S. Capitol.
  4. We must — incessantly — repeat that to support what happened on January 6th, 2021, is to unwittingly support FASCISMTyranny!
Florida Strategy

Avoid
  • polarizing wedge issues or words (e.g., infrastructure, environment, global warming);
  • red-flag issues, identity politics or any known issues that turn REPUBLICANS or NPAs off (e.g., guns, higher taxes for middle class, defunding the police, immigration and other important and necessary agenda issues).

Repeat
  • what we have in common with all Floridians;
  • not what makes some “party-first” voters stop listening!

Show Empathy
  • empathy, understanding, communality ─ irrespective of speaker’s own personal feelings.

Emphasize
  • that we might see the world differently but, ultimately, “we’re all in this together”;
  • what all Floridians have in common and care for (clean water and air, American jobs, national security, world-class airports, corporate support of American workers, American wealth in American banks, etc.);
  • how the Chinese are leaving America behind technologically, and soon, economically;
  • Europe’s doubts about America’s role as World Leader for the last few years;
  • American’s respect and revere our United States Constitution;
  • that the overthrow of our government is not acceptable to Americans ─ neither is what occurred on January 6th, 2021;
  • that FASCISM is not acceptable to Americans!
Examples

When "Deniers" express Opposition to:

Infrastructure — most likely equated to higher taxes for the deniers: If necessary, change the subject as follows: "We all need fresh air and water.  But we can’t wait.  If the government has to raise revenue (income) to pay for this, the pollutants should be billed for the costs ─ not citizens like you and me."

Emphasize that private interests and corporations which pay no taxes, which pollute our drinking water and the air we breathe by dumping toxins into our rivers and air, should be responsible for the clean-up.  Salient examples are: General Electric, the Sugar Cane Industry and others.  (This shifts the blame away from the government, because it’s the government that is expected to take care of this, not us.)

Infrastructure — demonstrate understanding of the fear of many Americans who feel that so many immigrants are trying to get into our country to work, study and reap other benefits that our democracy provides to its own citizens.  Nonetheless, an immigration policy that separates children from their mothers is cruel, immoral and unacceptable to all decent human beings everywhere.

Of course, many American citizens whose families came to this country as immigrants do not understand the role that immigrants have played, and continue to play, in American society.

For example, as the U.S. population ages, many immigrants tend to come to the United States at an average age which is younger than the native-born American population.  Being younger, immigrants are most likely to join the workforce and directly contribute to the ever-growing list of Social Security

beneficiaries ─ without immediately adding more new beneficiaries.

Older Americans, no matter their race or culture, actually benefit from immigration!  Those older Americans who depend on Social Security can certainly appreciate it.

Debt — Emphasize that no rational, responsible American can be OK with the size of the national debt.  No rational, responsible American can be OK with paying way over $1 Trillion in debt-interest ─ funds that could be better spent by the tax-payers on the needs of our nation.

No rational, responsible American can be OK with the self-serving 2017 tax cuts, designed to benefit the wealthy and the corporations while increasing the national debt ─ tax cuts that the corporations used to buy back their own stocks, instead of reinvesting in their corporations in a manner that would create higher-paying jobs.

Higher Taxes — Should be referred to as “revenue”: Emphasize that nobody wants to pay higher taxes!  However, since the Grand Recession of 2008, Trillions of dollars had to be spent to prevent a 1929-type Depression and save our economy, which actually happened and GM is now leading in automobile sales.

Once again, in 2020-21, justifiably so, the COVID-19 Pandemic has instilled fear in a great number of American workers.  In fact, as of June 6th, 2021, there have been 34,113,146 COVID-19 cases, of which 609,767 not-so-lucky Americans have died.  Like the Grand Recession of 2008, to save our economy, increases in revenue and government spending are imperative.

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