Sunday, August 23, 2015

DemoFest brings on the best and worst of the Democratic Party

By Otto

Banquets, strategy meetings and political information tables were all part of DemoFest, Friday and Saturday. I went to this event on Saturday afternoon.
One speaker I was impressed with was Thomas Witt, who spoke at the Progressive Caucus. He has managed and helped manage the campaigns of Kansas Democrats, such as Kansas Representative John Carmichael.
"We need more aggressive campaigning," Witt told the audience. "You need to take a stand on issues. And not; "I'm for family—we're all for family. Tell us what you're going to do for the family. You need to have details."
Witt made it clear he leaves nothing to chance. He goes after every vote. He keeps all the data he collects and never throws it away. He focuses on the marginal votes. That is where he said elections can be won. He makes sure all those who agree to vote for his candidate actually do vote.
"I don't just hand them a pamphlet and walk away," Witt said on the subject of canvassing.  "I talk to them. They will throw a leaflet or letter away, but they will talk to you about issues they are concerned about."
When asked by an audience member how to make use of the less aggressive canvassing Witt said; "I don't do that. I either run an aggressive campaign or I don't run one at all."   
Another important point Witt made was to be honest and not try to hide things. He said he worked on the campaign of Michael Puppo, who was gay. He came right out and admitted he was gay and it didn't seem to matter to the voters.
Another event I took part of at DemoFest was a group discussing business & labor. The people in there discussed the damage Sam Brownback is doing to the work ethic. With the destruction of unions, lack of wages and benefits most people in that session said the incentive to get a job and work hard at it are just not there. That also includes the attitude that working people should pay more taxes than business people.
"People work better when they are happy," a man said. "The economy is not going to pick up if most people hate their jobs."
The also discussed the need for Democrats to work with the Republicans and for unions to work with businesses.
The problem with the last discussion is that Republicans and many business people just don't want to work with Democrats and unions. A lot of us know we are in a dog vs. dog fight with the right-wingers.
We have to fight hard and for keeps.
A lot of people discussed polls that show support for Gov. Brownback as low as 19% among Republicans. This is an opportunity to go after those unpopular politicians who's popularity is low because of their association with Brownback.

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