Cheap and effective tools that you can implement now!
One of the greatest failures on the part of conservative activists is that we shoot blanks at election time!
When the legislature attacks the unborn during the legislative session, pro-life groups get mad and threaten all kinds of pain during the election season.
It’s the same for gun groups, fiscal responsibility groups, liberty type groups — everyone gets mad and promises pain during the election season, scaring some newbie politicians for a time.
Then what happens?
That’s right, most of the time our side delivers absolutely no follow through at election time to those politicians who’ve attacked our freedoms over the past two or four years.
Why Aren’t You Running an Election Program?
Maybe you accepted a compromise on your bill during session -– something you should never do — and now you can’t attack anyone during the election season because you backed their bad votes.
Maybe you failed to prepare money and lists over the last two years and now you don’t have the resources to run an election program.
Maybe you failed to prepare people (you thought you could do this all on your own, didn’t you) to help you over the last two-year cycle and you’re burnt out and don’t have the energy to fight back during the election.
If you find yourself not running an election program or not planning to do so, then you need to seriously consider what you’re doing in politics in the first place.
After all, every time you and your organization BARKS during the legislative session and then has no follow through at election time, you’re conditioning the legislature to discount your barking next year.
Their attacks on our freedoms will only increase as they see you as nothing but a paper tiger.
And that’s on you.
Not them, you.
But if you’ve prepared for this and have your targets on the record with a vote — and the money/lists you need to run an election program — we’re here to help.
One of the organizations I work for, Iowa Gun Owners, loves election season!
This is OUR time, this is where WE get to call the shots and make gun-grabbing politicians pay a price for what they’ve done to us.
The 34 incumbents that our members have booted out of office over the last 4 election cycles (2010-2016) is a constant reminder that this training works — if you follow it.
Where to Start?
There are many tools you can use to run an effective election program, where you expose the bad votes of the incumbents on your target list.
A word of caution: don’t forget that if you are a non-profit you can educate people about a politician’s record, but you can not endorse, oppose, or advocate for or against any candidate!
When laying out your election program, use the tools below (listed in order of cheapest to most expensive) in this order:
- Emails; you should always be working on building your email list, and now is the time to hammer on the bad votes your targeted politicians have cast. Email is relatively cheap, fast, allows for rapid rebuttal if the target lies, and you can find out who’s reading your emails and continue messaging them until they read it.
- Robo calls; while not legal in all states, most states allow them and you should be using this cheap technology any chance you can. Obviously you can communicate the incumbent’s voting record through robo calls, but you can also tell the recipient to watch their mail box for your about-to-land direct mail package too.
- Social media; if you are smart enough to avoid becoming a ‘keyboard warrior,’ Facebook can be a very powerful medium for your election program. You can broadcast your message by zip code, ensuring you’re only spending money on people who can actually vote in this specific district. More, you can target people based on their “Likes.” This way you’re sending your message only to people who support your issue.
- Direct mail; while more expensive than the previous options, it is a devastatingly powerful media to go after bad politicians with! With a 2 page letter you have tons of space to drop in all the nitty gritty details about the bad votes your target has cast. You can even drop in a roster of survey results, if you’re running a survey program. More, you can ask for money through the mail, and some people will donate to your organization to help you run this program.
- Radio/TV ads; while one of the most expensive options, radio ads are very good at hammering bad politicians, especially in the last couple of days prior to an election. In some rural areas during a midterm election cycle you can run 60 second ads on effective stations for as low as $20!
Don’t Forget to Involve Your Members!
The steps above are what your organization does internally — and it’s the backbone of your election program.
It’s the backbone of your program, so 90% of your time should be spent in that area during the election season.
But your members can be used for other methods of exposing bad legislators, and believe me, they want in on the action too!
Here are some ideas to consider when getting your members involved:
>>> Lit Drops; Iowa Gun Owners utilizes ‘Lit Drops’ every Saturday in October on election years, and we draw between 20-65 volunteers per weekend.
We’ll hit literally every house in a district in a 5 hour span. While certainly not a targeted hit, it’s a lot of fun for the members and it absolutely terrifies the gun-grabber that we’re going after!
>>> Attend your target’s rally/public meeting; we like to call it ‘open mic night.’ If it’s a public meeting and they are taking questions from the floor, you can blister the politician in front of his voters for his bad votes.
Sure, many will be his friends, but it sends a message that everywhere he goes he’ll be held accountable for his bad votes. And hey, let’s be honest, it’s fun!
>>> Mail the legislator’s donors; few things scare a politician more than when his donors learn the truth about his record during his time in office.
You need to carefully observe the law here (you can’t ask his donors for money) but it’s certainly within your member’s prerogative to give these donors the facts!
Do All That You Can…
I listed off the order of attack for a reason. Follow it! If you can’t get beyond emails and robo calls this year, that’s ok.
There are going to be elections in the future!
So do all that you can next election and then — when doing your written evaluations when the election is over — make a detailed plan to expand the size of your election program for the next election.
Remember Why We Fail!
Don’t forget, the number one reason we fail is that we refuse to plan.
You can’t run an election program without money!
You can’t run an election program without lists!
You can’t run an election program without help, whether paid staff or volunteers!
If you don’t have a plan to deal with these three things, then don’t waste your time dreaming about an election program that simply can’t possibly be implemented.
Deal with the basics first.
There are no shortcuts to running an effective election program.
Start small. Choose a handful of vulnerable targets and run your program, however big or small it is.
Learn from your mistakes, and do a better job next time.
Then rinse and repeat –- it’s that simple!
Our movement is full of big-talking wanna-be ‘politicos’ who are too lazy and self-absorbed to get their hands dirty and do the hard work of holding politicians accountable at election time.
But by using the tactics laid out above, you’ll be able to lead your group in fighting for your freedoms directly.
Few people ever have that chance.
Don’t waste it!
And remember, if you need more specific help for an upcoming election fight feel free to contact me or schedule a 1-day training seminar in your area.