Tuesday, 8-13-2002

Cranking myself up

Dear Political Diary,

I got up at three this morning and looked out the window to see if the sky was clear. It wasn't so I looked at a map of cloud cover on the Internet. I decided to drive up towards Two Harbors to see if I could find some sky and watch the persid meteors. I didn't see a single shooting star. I did drive by an old political ally and found an Al Johnson lawnsign in his yard. It was a good kick in the pants.

Losing the endorsement to Al but a burr under my saddle but it was quickly removed once I realized I had misrepresented his views on abortion. I called him up and we had a cordial conversation agreeing that Tom Huntley was the chief target of both our campaigns. For my part I wasn't really worried about losing to Alan but I refuse to take things for granted. In many ways the primary is a boon focusing a spot light on my campaign earlier and brighter than Tom Huntley who is unopposed. Its the first Republican primary up here anyone can remember.

Seeing the sign in an old allies yard was a much needed goad. I've gotten lots done so far but every thing has been invisible to the public, even the web page which very few people visit. But, the secret to the success in any big project is preparation. That's been my principle preoccupation. I've got my lawnsigns planned. There won't be many for the primary but they will be a vast improvement over Al's. My wife had forgotten his name and saw the star on them.  She thought that meant he was one of the candidates for sheriff.

I've been trying to calculate my fund raising. I'll need a minimum of $15,000 most of it for my secret weapon at the end of the campaign. I received a totally unexpected $500 check yesterday from my first small fundraising letter to 150 previous contributors. I've raised about $4,000 up to now. If I win the primary I'll be able to add 3,700 more from the state check off. If I'm forced to loan my campaign $5,000 I'll be close to the magic number. Fortunately, I've just started fundraising.

It was good to see the Johnson signs along London Road early this morning because it reminds me not to become complacent. Another friend gave me some grief a few days ago because my signs haven't gone up yet and because I only have a few weeks left before the primary. Actually its almost four weeks exactly. I replied that you don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes. Its August and people still aren't thinking about the fall elections. If I put the signs up now they'd get knocked down and worse yet they would fade from people's sight as they got used to them. If I put them up two weeks before the campaign they'll still be on people's mind when the primary rolls around. Its my challenger who has the challenge of getting his name out. His lawnsigns don't do him justice. Mine will be noticed and I've already got a familiar name.

When I looked at the election results from two years ago I was delighted to realize that I had almost ran even with Doug Johnson in three of the biggest precincts in my new district. his augurs well for me so long as I get past the primary. I can't imagine that Tom Huntley, who has been so quiescent over the last decade will quite so formidable. I can't help but think about the dud of a speech he gave at the Unity graduation a few years ago. For a man of the party of the little people he was remarkably ill at ease in front of the audience that night. It was so other side of the tracks.

Tim Grover reminded me recently my summary of Tom's speech. It was something like :Congratulations on graduating from Unity and good luck. You'll need it. You can't get by without a good education today. Too bad you didn't go to a real school." I'm sure this isn't what he wanted to convey but he was so ill at ease. I'm sure the audience looked like a zoo, little children walking in the aisles, non traditional looking graduates and an audience that was half dressed for a graduation and half for a tailgating party.

Today I'll have to figure out the Finance software the state gave me. I've entered my contributors but haven't figured out how to print out the forms that will let them get their refunds. I'll also have to send back the questionnaire from the state chamber of commerce. It was due Friday but I called yesterday and they said I could get it in today. Because I don't want to jeopardize the Duluth Chamber endorsement I'll want to make sure I attend to the state's.

Now I'll just have to ask my friend on London Road to let me put a lawnsign by Al's.