Monday, October 13, 2008

Dem Lit Drop in Laramie County

I have nothing brilliant to say about our weekend literature drop in Cheyenne for Democratic Party candidates for U.S. Senate Chris Rothfuss and Nick Carter. We didn't have the snow that was forecast -- the storm kept to the north and west. Montana got socked, as did Lander in the west-central part of the state. Cheyenne will have its turn soo, probably on halloween.

The plan was to hit all the addresses in Cheyenne, Pine Bluffs, and Burns with flyers outlining the merits of the two candidates. Both are newbies to the political arena, which should never disqualify anyone from seeking public office. Both sitting senators, Mike Enzi and Doctor John Barrasso were newbies at one time. Now they are oldies and need to go home.

A literature drop is just what it sounds. You bundle your material and slip it into a neighbor's screen door or find some other appropriate spot. No mailboxes allowed, as those are strictly for bills, direct-mailing offers and paid political announcements. Every so often a letter finds its way into the letter box. As a literature dropper, I never violate the sanctity of the mailbox. The U.S. Postal Service is an important quasi-governmental entity, one that is charged with delivering the mail, even though it might be to a house featuring signs of a political candidate you might not like. That's the main thing right there. During the 1960s, when delivery services in the South refused to deliver to Civil Rights groups, the USPS got through. The government can do a great job of supplying essential services, as long as that government is in capable hands.

As always, I digress. But it's my blog and I'll digress if I want to.

In a literature drop, dedicated volunteers are doing the job of the mail carrier without the overhead. Sure, all candidates should spend money locally to reach local voters. But what if you don't have the funds? Democratic candidates, even those running for U.S. Congress, are notoriously short of money in this state. Some are doing better than others -- U.S. House candidate Gary Trauner, for instance -- but he began his campaign in 2006 and has had time to build a war chest with the help of the DNC's 50-state strategy.

Know how expensive it is to print 30,000 copies of a full-color flyer? If you don't send it to Hong Kong, which takes some time, it's about $1,300 from Next Day Flyers in Santa Dominguez, Calif. That takes $10 from 130 donors. That's tough when you're new at the game in a state where two-thirds of the electorate are Repubs or Libertarians.

On Saturday and Sunday, I distributed Carter & Rothfuss materials to about half of my assigned 359 addresses. Most of the time, all I had to do was slip the flyers into a screen door. If the screen door was locked, I slipped them between the latch and the door frame. Sometimes I had to roll up the flyers and slip them into small gaps in a porch's wrought-iron banisters. Often, as with some apartment complexes, there were no screen doors, no nooks or crannies, no metal banisters. I was totally stymied by one group of a dozen apartments. No screen doors, big wooden banisters -- nothing. So, I just had to wish those folks well and move on. I could have gone door-to-door, but no time. We lit droppers have to keep moving, especially on cold days.

I only had conversations with a few people. Most were friendly. I surprised a young mother coming out of her door with babe in arms and toddler in tow. I aged her a few years, so gave her a break on the lit drop. I hit friendly territory at one house with Gary Trauner (U.S. House) and Lori Millin (State House) signs in the yard. She was watching a toddler, too, but the two of them took time out to talk Dem.

So, now, I have several hundred more flyers to distribute before the weekend in Precinct 2-7. Have to get to those early voters before they head to the polls.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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