In keeping with IPR’s mission of “providing a forum for the intelligent discussion” of alternative parties and candidates in addition to providing news coverage, today I have a question for such candidates: How do you do it?
This is something I have often wondered while watching Libertarian Party national nomination races, as folks like Michael Jingozian, Christine Smith, Daniel Imperato, Michael Badnarik, Barry Hess, etc. etc., criss-crossed the country attending state conventions. Other parties’ candidates like Kat Swift have done the same. What I’m wondering: How do folks without a big organization behind them, without a big pile of money, and with the need to earn a living and hold a job, manage to find the time and resources for these long efforts?
I would love to hear from such candidates and those who were involved in, or closely followed, such campaigns.
Not a candidate, but I went to about 15 LP state conventions for Kubby (way more than he was able to go to unfortunately).
How I do it: Step one, I have a job where I make my own hours (gathering signatures) and I finance most of my own travel.
Step two, I usually pick conventions which are near where I am working. Since I travel for work anyway, that allows me to cover some ground.
Step three, I ask for money. I got several contributions for the Kubby campaign (I was also promoting the Radical Caucus, and some of them gave me money) but as I mentioned, my own contributions to myself were more than the rest combined. Probably by more than an order of magnitude.
Step four, I share resources. That means things like riding in a van with Chris Bennett, his wife and kids. It means things like sleeping on the floor in a motel room with several other people after I asked around at the convention who may be able to arrange something like that for me (Chuck Moulton, Jim Davidson, and others were helpful on many occassions). It even means getting help from other campaigns, like when George Phillies gave me a ride from MA to CT, or let me use his suite in Denver to store my bags and get cleaned up.
Step five, I get freebies. Most of the conventions let me in for free. A few also paid for my meals and/or motel rooms. Some of the rides didn’t charge me anything.
Step six, I economize. When I can’t get a ride, I usually go greyhound. The only convention I flew to was Denver.
Step seven, I help out. For example, I helped Julie Fox with setup at Wisconsin, and she helped me out by comping my convention fee, motel room and lunch. She also gave me a ride from Illinois to Wisconsin.
Using these methods I was able to attend
2007 AL, GA, TN, NC, FL, MA, NH, Pittsburgh LNC meeting
2008 CA, NV, NY, CT, KS/MO, WI, MN, AL, local and state exec comm meetings in AZ, IL, MA, UT, and Denver.
By the way, anyone want to share a room for the Green convention in Chicago (or put me up if you live there)? I’d ask for a ride, but I don’t know where I’ll be coming from – maybe Alabama. Contributions would also be appreciated.