Richard Grayson (1951) stelde zich in 2004 kandidaat voor het Amerikaanse House of Congress. Hij hield over die periode een dagboek bij: Diary of a congressional candidate in Florida's fourth congressional district
Tuesday, July 13
Every day now I get mail from companies that make money off political candidates. Some examples:
1. A video titled Reach the People and Win, from Duplication Factory, CD/video marketing specialists, that tells me, “Many politicians are still making the mistake of giving only ‘the facts’ and missing the emotional element that video can provide.”
2. A postcard from Mid State Screen Graphics, trying to sell me a sign printed on Colorplast™ corrugated plastic, “the most weatherproof and durable sign material you can use in Florida’s sunny/windy/rainy/hot/humid environment.”
3. A packet from Magnet Street, with samples showing me how I can increase my name recognition as a candidate by placing magnets with my name on them inside voters’ homes.
4. A letter from Imprint Promotions that begins, “Dear Richard, I know you are busy, I will make this quick. First, I wanted to thank you for your commitment to making our nation a better place,” before going on to tell me about the bumper stickers, buttons, and banners I can purchase from them.
5. A leaflet from The Almanac of Federal PACs: 2004-05, a volume that contains contacts for every political action committee that contributed at least $25,000 to candidates in the 2002 election. (“When you’re hunting for PAC money, it helps to have a map!”)
6. A brochure from Outdoor Mobile Media touting their billboards as the best way of “maximizing those 2.3 seconds you’ve got to reach those undecided voters!”
7. A letter from Fiberhaus Consulting (“Value. Empathy. Passion. Interaction.”) telling me about PoliticalAssist, a line of software that will reduce time spent on such activities as volunteer training, data entry, and voter outreach by 40 percent. Its CodeFleet program enables campaign workers to “immediately record results from volunteers who make personal contact with voters who make personal contact with voters using bar codes and scanners.”
Wednesday, July 14
Last night I threw out all my candidate junk mail but couldn’t bear to give up my favorite: the glossy catalog from Donahue Campaign & Election Products, featuring a cornucopia of useful merchandise.
They offer items like a 7-foot-by-10-foot hot-air balloon with my slogan on it for $650 and a fan printed in red and blue on white six-ply cardboard, coated on one side. The illustration fan says, “I’m a Fan of Shelly Kelb Price for Webster County Clerk.”
Donahue’s biggest seller is “The Winningest Sign,” available “in brilliant colors and featuring a no-show-thru material, totally weatherproof, printed both sides with non-fading ink.” A thousand of these Winningest signs in two colors, 26 feet by 16 feet, would set me back $1942. Eager for bipartisan sales, Donahue illustrates this item with samples that say “Bush/Cheney” and “Tom Daschle for South Dakota.”
I can also buy custom-design litterbags (1000 for $155); book matches with my logo ($90 for one case); rulers and yardsticks; “fun flyers” (Frisbee must be a trademark); suede coasters; super-soaker sponges (“Rise Up and Elect McLin State Senator”); seed packets (“Sow the Seeds of Victory for Keith for Circuit Judge”); golf tees; wooden nickels; sewing kits; unbreakable plasti-clip ad-combs; emery boards; fly swatters; magic-grip jar openers; doorknob hangers; and fortune cookies.
Another item on sale is a bookmark featuring my campaign slogan and my choice of a calendar, a list of the Presidents, or the Serenity Prayer, 500 for $135.
God grant me the PAC contributions to pay for all this stuff.