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05 October 2008

I Would Like Some Advice On Running For Political Office... [More:]

In the light of what's going on in this psychotic election season, I'm finding that I am not entirely satisfied with my volunteering for Obama.

I want to be more involved in making sure what I believe in (all the good, mushy librul elite stuff) doesn't get wrecked by the Dumbing Down of America(tm).

Any bunnies out there that have ever taken this step and ran for an elected office? Even at the most local level?

I'd love to hear from you, your experiences, and learn from you as I distill my thinking along these lines.
I have friends and acquaintances running for alderman, mayor and even House of Representatives. The guy running for the Representative spot is doing so only because no one has opposed the Republican candidate for a long time. He's a political science grad student with his bachelor's in horticulture. It's his way of making a statement. The thing is, though, he's got support. Folks are happy that anyone is running against the other guy for a change.

The folks running for local offices have been involved with local government for a while. The guy running for mayor has been an alderman. The guy running for alderman has been on the school district board, I think.

They're all involved with politics on campus. Also, they're all good people.

It's a big step and a huge commitment of time and effort. If you have those to spare and aren't afraid of mudslinging, disappointment, personal attacks, probes into your background, etc., then go for it!

I'm lilywing13 and I support this message. ;)
posted by lilywing13 06 October | 00:13
I would stop using phrases like "Dumbing Down of America". First, you could alienate undecideds and independents, and second, America hasn't been all that smart to begin with.
posted by Ardiril 06 October | 00:15
Boy, you got Public Service Fever
and you got it bad.

Start with joining a local action association, attending local council meetings (city, school, etc.) on issues that address an interest, getting familiar without coming off as a crank or a threat, and see if you can or want to deal.

The go go go may be oh so slow. It all depends on what your local politics are like. If you live in a community you care about, it's worth it, and they might even be fun people who can hang, but it's not all like Weeds.
Check your cable access channels.

i haven't run but i have helped some. The pay per day rate kinda rocks if you get a seat.
posted by ethylene 06 October | 00:26
I worked on a congressional campaign two years ago and it's a hell of a lot of work for the candidate. The guy that I worked for put in hundred-hour work weeks from early spring until the election. He didn't have the budget for too many ads until late in the cycle when the Democratic party realized that he might have a chance to win and started throwing him some money. So to get his name out, he put 200 miles a day on the road every day going to every single place in his district where more than three people gathered: Union halls, church breakfasts, ethnic clubs, bowling alleys, community picnics, even just outside supermarkets.

He ended up beating a heavily favored incumbent who was Rick Santorum's protege so it was probably worth it but it seems like a surreal amount of work.
posted by octothorpe 06 October | 06:59
My husband has run for office before.

Take two advil and lie down.

Seriously, the first step is to really get to know the folks in your local party organization. You'll need 'em.
posted by bunnyfire 06 October | 07:08
what bunnyfire said. help out other candidates and they will help you when it is your turn.
posted by By the Grace of God 06 October | 07:37
don't run for a socialist party unless you really like having people send you death threats.

get out there in person when you campaign. If I meet someone at a street fair or whatever I'll remember their name come election day, even if it wasn't a race I was really following.
posted by kellydamnit 06 October | 14:19
Please enjoy this Rick Astley video from the 80s. || Catch the Thief./ When a Portland Oregon family...