Saturday, December 03, 2005

Field of Running Mates

One of the state-wide political blogs was tipping the hand of a pending super-duper website, an 'online headquarters' by the Junior US Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum. The new, yet unopened site, for his re-election efforts in 2006, is slated to have a blog with open comments. The title, "Running with Rick" is sorta like "Mark Rauterkus and Running Mates." Rick's own words a promised to be there. I wonder if his site will feature Rick's own spelling errors, like my site does. The Santorum site is getting pages devoted to specific issues too. OMG!
OMH = Oh My Gosh.
Today, by the way, the is at 179 pages.

There were other elements of this web site that were so far advanced that it might harken the ghosts of 2001 and my run for mayor site. Even volunteer resources, and info specific to all PA communities.

fun poster looking tan with uncle sam Shiver my timbers! I can't wait.

I'll have another blog to visit so as to help shape the conversation of the region.

Meanwhile, in another state, a Pitt Law School Grad who ran a campaign in the past, is back, as well. I felt a certain kindship for her and her campaign. We traded a number of ideas and emails. She is on my radar and look at what's up with her now. As a bit of background, her last campaign was as a Republican. But, she didn't get the "endorsement" from the GOP party and ran as an outsider. The party did its best to sling mud her way and foil her efforts, if not rights as a candidate. She kept chugging. And, she even switched parties. Now she is gearing up again for another race.

In some ways, her history is a bit like Kathryn Hans-Greco, D, Allegheny County. KHG didn't get the help from the party. Ran before and then ran again, with more gusto, more relationships, more votes!

Judicial candidate to run Internet-based campaign

RALEIGH -- Rachel Lea Hunter wants to be chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

In 2004 Hunter, a lawyer with no experience on the bench, or in politics, spent about $24,000 and ran in an eight-person field for an opening on the high court. It was an astonishing third place finish.

She got nearly 452,300 votes -- 100,000 more than one of the state's best-known judges, Howard Manning. Manning spent about $132,000. Paul Newby, a Republican who won the seat, spent $171,200 and got 582,684 votes. Manning spent 42-cents per vote; Newby spent 30 cents and Hunter, a mere 5 cents per vote.
While the campaign is overtly non-partisan -- the 2004 campaign was very partisan with Newby anointed the Republican candidate. Hunter's candidacy was a source of friction in a party structure well-known for its unbending demand for uniformity. Some of the GOP leadership attacked Hunter for undermining Newby’s ultimately successful candidacy. Hunter has since switched her voter registration to Democrat.

One thing Hunter has going for her is name "I-D." She shares the same name as the famous super model from New Zealand who has, among other credits, graced the cover of Sports Illustrated’s famous swimsuit edition. While Rachel Lea Hunter has NOT done anything to promote such confusion, some analysts say that celebrity name recognition was one of the major factors in her 2004 vote-getting success.

Her 2006 campaign for the top judicial spot in the state is already up and running. She's not relying on any phantom name "I-D."

Hunter says she'll be a different kind of candidate and run a campaign that isn't out of the typical playbook of dashing around the state to campaign appearances, spending hours dialing for campaign dollars and putting the bulk of the campaign treasury into television advertising.

That doesn't mean she’s not going to be a media candidate -- just looking to some different media.

Visit one of North Carolina's newspaper Web site and you'll likely see a Hunter campaign banner ad: There’s a picture of Hunter and the declaration "RACHEL LEA HUNTER: A candidate for N.C. Chief Justice; She cannot be bought; A real leader and top candidate for Chief Justice."

The Internet ads, which link to her own campaign Web site, are running on 25 to 30 North Carolina newspaper site -- including the Asheville Citizen-Times; the Elizabeth City Daily Advance; New Bern Sun Journal; and ENCTODAY.Com. She’s also got her ads on selective blogs as well as some national publication, such as Mother Jones.

Hunter says she intends to spend less than $100,000 -- and much of it on the kinds of grassroots campaigning that only the Internet can provide. From the outset, she said she wants to be on the cutting edge.

"This was going to be a different kind of campaign. And it was going to be run, especially since it was statewide, mostly on the Internet," Hunter said. "I don't know if I can quantify it -- 60 or 75 percent -- something like that, because this is a big state. It's a huge state. I've driven from end, to end, north and south, too.

"It's a big state. It's hard to reach this many people. This (Internet-based campaigning) is a way of getting the message out to much more people. I could go around to all the Republican or Democratic clubs now, and I would see the same the same tired old faces I always see. But you really don't reach people all over the state. This is a way of reaching so many more people."

As Hunter seeks a new route for her campaign trail she'll also be discovering to what extent her 2004 success was beginner's luck, fortunate name identification or, in fact, a strong foundation upon which to build a new-style campaign.

No comments: