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I wrote this post on my personal blog about Virginia 4th Congressional District Candidate Elliott Fausz, but a similar point can be made for other grassroots candidates fighting uphill battles against well financed Republican opponents.  Jack Trammel in the 7th, for instance.

Anyway, my OP is below.

Elliott Fausz, the Democratic candidate for Virginia's 4th District of U.S. Congress, was at the July meeting of the Suffolk Democratic Committee, and he said that he'd be a supporter of education initiatives, immigration reform, and the minimum wage.  Then he took some questions.  

 Elliott Fausz at Meeting

A good portion of the questions, including one from me, were about his campaign.  Elliott and his campaign manager Chika Anyadike, emphasized the need for a grass roots effort on the part of Democrats to get the word out.  Someone asked how he's going to get enough money to combat Randy Forbes.  Again, they answered "Grassroots effort."  Someone asked what he was going to do if he doesn't get all that money.  It reminded me of the scene from Armageddon where Stamper asks Truman, "What's your contingency plan?"

TRUMAN: Contingency plan?
STAMPER:  Your backup plan.  You gotta have some sort of back up plan, right?
TRUMAN: No.  We don’t have a backup plan.  This is it.

Folks -- We are the plan.  I say this especially to Democrats who live in Virginia's 4th Congressional District but also to Democrats anywhere.  There is no pot of money that Elliott Fausz can tap into to make up for anything less than a surprisingly enthusiastic grassroots movement.  There will be no financial match to the heavy corporate funding that Randy Forbes will receive.  There will be no comparable spending of air time to counter Randy Forbes's misleading attacks.  Randy Forbes has the support of the wealthiest corporations in Virginia.  Defense contractors have already given Forbes well over $100,000.00 for this election cycle alone.  Fifteen thousand already from Huntington Ingalls  ( And since corporations are people, how many people at Huntington Ingalls are happy to have the corporation they are a part of supporting Randy Forbes?  A lot, I'm sure, but I bet not nearly all of them.  Probably not most. ).  

Virginia's fourth is a gerrymandered district that connects the rural and once rural regions between Richmond and Norfolk, and includes much of South Hampton roads which is heavily dependent on military contracts.  But even  those not in Virginia's 4th are effected by our politics.  As the leader of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, Randy Forbes has been one of the most outspoken critics of one of the most important principles of the U.S. Constitution, which is the separation of church and state.  Forbes has been a proponent of military spending and he says jobs depend on it, but opposes government spending on green initiatives, education, and infrastructure because government needs to get out of the way in order to create jobs.  Forbes supports Jesus in federal government, tax cuts for the wealthy, unchecked military spending, and not much else.  

In Armageddon, Truman eventually says to Stamper, "We're a little short on time.  Will you help us?"

We're a little short on time, folks.  Will you help?  Whatever you can contribute to his campaign (or to the Suffolk Democratic Committee) will be a huge benefit.  But I don't expect Fausz to raise even half as much as Forbes.  Money will help, but canvassing and talking to your friends and neighbors will help more.  Remind them that every year is an election year in Virginia and every election is important.  

Elliott Grayson Fausz is a real leader and a true grassroots candidate who will support education, infrastructure, the minimum wage, and our military members without pandering to the huge military and financial firms that spend obscene amounts of money on Randy Forbes.

We are the plan.  Elliott Fausz for U.S. Congress, Virginia's 4th Congressional District.  fausz4congress.com

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Comment Preferences

  •  Unfortunately the Dems couldn't (0+ / 0-)

    recruit someone prominent to run in this district that barely went for Romney. It may have been an opportunity, but Fausz is an unknown newby to politics and this race is on nobody's radar screen. If you live in the CD, I understand wanting to help the guy, but for the rest of us, we need to focus our donations on those CD's in which we actually have a reasonable chance. That's the only way for us to pick up seats.

    •  I can't argue with that (4+ / 0-)

      and I certainly don't want to pull important funds and efforts from other important races where those funds and efforts might make a difference.  But I want to reach as many Democrats as possible who are in a position to help, especially those in VA04 and any who feel their own district is so etched in stone that it might be a good idea to make a contribution elsewhere.

  •  Coordinated Campaign? (0+ / 0-)

    What state legislative districts overlap with this US House district?

    Do all of those races also have Democratic challengers?

    Virginia has no early voting.  Is there a push to get absentee ballots to people who can vote that way?

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 06:11:22 PM PDT

    •  No state races in VA in 2014 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      The next State Senate and House of Delegates races will be next year.  But there is a coordinated effort with Senator Mark Warner, who's up for reelection to U.S. Senate this year.  

      I haven't heard anybody mention a push for absentee ballots.  It's a good topic to bring up.  Thank you.

  •  What's the plan for getting the organization to... (0+ / 0-)

    What's the plan for getting the organization together? It takes an army to win a congressional district. At least 1,000 phone bankers and canvassers (yes, I sort of picked a number there, but it's in the right ballpark). Not to mention the staff that's needed to support an effort that populous.

    My advice would be calling Democrats who vote a lot and trying to get them in to volunteer. If there's a few retired people who'd be willing to spend all day calling these voters, that could pick up a few dozen at least. Ask them to volunteer once, nice and easy. Pull them in slowly.

    Paid canvasses are great too. You have to be careful when it comes to hiring, and it's only worth it during and just before GOTV, but it's the most efficient use of money there is. Take advantage of the fact that this will be a low turnout election; pull out the Democrats while no one is watching.

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