Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Campaign Experiences

Results of the First Mailing

The first mailing effort was a bit disappointing. I mailed a letter and a flyer to every Federal Firearms Licensee in my district. If you don't know what an FFL is--this is a license issued by the federal government which is required to be either gun dealer, a gun manufacturer, or certain categories of serious gun collectors.

The letter explained who I was, and why it was in their interests to have a nationally prominent gun rights activist representing them in the state senate. My letter emphasized that more useful than contributions would be if they could:

1. Arrange an event where they could invite friends and neighbors over to meet the candidate.

2. Let me know that they would be willing to have some flyers up in their shop.

3. Put up a sign (once those are available).

Of the 28 FFLs in the district, exactly one (Ponderosa Sports, north of Horseshoe Bend) responded. I would think if there was any group that would respond enthusiastically, this would be the group.

Door To Door

Sunday afternoon, I went door to door along the old highway. A lot of people weren't home, it being a beautiful warm spring day, but of those who were, I was very pleased at how friendly the responses were--especially from other California refugees. One of them was overjoyed to hear what I had to say: "I don't want Idaho Californicated." At another home, I was able to introduce myself as the husband of the woman that their dog Lily follows home all the time. At another house, the wife has worked with homeless mentally ill before, and was pleased to hear my emphasis on improving mental health services.

I did meet a Democrat, however. He was friendly enough, and startled to hear me talking about the mental health issue--which he imagined was a Democrat issue. I explained that deinstitutionalization was originally a Democrat issue.

And in case you are wondering why I was spending time talking to a Democrat when I have to win the Republican primary, Idaho is an open primary state. You can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary. This guy was going to vote in the Democratic primary because there were several contested races there, so he wouldn't be of much help on May 27. And you never know: I might end up persuading a few Democrats to vote for me in the general election.

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