May 12th Election Thoughts

I have received a lot of e-mails and calls congratulating us on Dwaine Caraway’s victory. We appreciate it! There are a lot of unsung heroes that did a super job in our campaign.

I hope this Mayor’s race settles once and for all that the same old political consultants don’t know everything.

(I want to take you behind the scenes with respect to the inner workings of a big-budget campaign in this month’s election.)

Unbeknownst to many of you, last fall I began to work on a Mayoral candidate’s campaign. I believed in what the candidate was trying to say and in his vision for Dallas. I’ll keep his name anonymous because I like the guy and feel he got a raw deal from many of the people he hired.

I met personally with the candidate and the deal was basically closed at that point. Because of that fact, the “lead consultants” in the campaign had a problem with me from the gate.

You see, I’ve been in this situation before. This is just like the times I have been involved in corporate America where you’re resented from the jump because you weren’t around during the “days of old.” I’ve been the youngest person in every corporate position I’ve ever held, usually by 15 years of age or more. I’m sure my younger readers can relate.

I knew I was done with the campaign when they wanted me to present my budget. When I did, the people nearly had a heart attack. They used the tired tactic of attacking every line item, claiming “this wouldn’t work” or “we’re already doing this.” Like I’ve never seen that before.

I’ve been involved in politics all of my life. Love every minute of it. Pops was a ward leader in my hometown. My family still works in campaigns back home (including tonight, since it’s election day in Philly). This is nothing new.

For starters (with respect to Dallas), I spoke at City Hall when Vote No (anti-strong Mayor #1) was kicked off. I was probably the only person under 50. I get out thousands of voters all over this city in every election, and have been since I became involved in Dallas politics. I rarely mention it publicly because there’s so much work to be done in this City other than beating our chests. But I want you all to get a feel about how it really goes down.

From reading Rufus Shaw to Jim Schutze to The Progressive to Campaigns & Elections, I eat sleep and breathe this stuff. But you couldn’t convince these people of anything. I think these “consultants” were offended that I had the temerity to ask for a price that was right in line with their own salaries.

I never had as much of the problem with the candidate as with the people running the campaign. The arrogance of these people was unbelievable. After I left, the two people in the campaign that I respected most left as well. I knew I had made the right decision.

The candidate didn’t finish in the Top 4. For the thousands per month that the candidate spent on consultants, he got killed in almost every precinct. I’m not saying that I would have pushed him over the top, but his showing would have been much better.

It’s what I’ve always said. A lot of so-called consultants promise a candidate the world and tell them they can win, just so they can get paid. I promised myself I would never operate in that manner. The candidates want to know the truth, but it must be hard getting someone to tell them the truth.

Remember what I said two months ago:

The job of a political consultant is more than overlooking marketing materials and taking people to high-priced dinners. Part of their responsibility is to minimize heat by TELLING their candidate when they’re WRONG, and when they’re being stupid. If you don’t do that, you are what is known as a flack, not a consultant.

and

Several candidates with high-paid consultants are watching their campaign go up in flames. Such truths will become evident after May 12th. Remember, only two candidates can make the runoff.

Difference #1: Dwaine was willing to mix new ideas along with the other talented people who may or may not possess a political resume, but executed the living daylights out of their part of the overall plan.

Difference #2: No one was scared to tell Dwaine when he was right and when he was wrong. He welcomed the give and take. You can’t get that type of honesty in a lot of campaigns. The candidate always pays the price when the consultants are too scared to tell the truth.

Not to gloat, but the team I was involved with generated the most votes of the Black council districts and the margin speaks for itself. We had more early votes (1,100+) than any other person in our race had total votes. The establishment candidate only beat us by 3 votes in his own neighborhood. Dwaine had just under 3,200 votes; the 2nd place person had 928.

One day, people will realize that the younger set has much to offer. Maybe these candidates will learn, maybe they won’t. They paid good money; they deserved better. I appreciate the many mentors that give me good advice. When I’m in their position, I hope to do the same.

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