In “Congress: The Dating Game,” a 3/15/12 article in the North Coast Journal, my campaign was dismissed as a longshot and so unlike five other candidates, two of whom I’m substantially or overwhelmingly ahead of, I was excluded from being profiled:
“Whoever wins the election, he or she will almost certainly hail from either Marin or Sonoma County. Only three of the 13 candidates don’t — Earth First! veteran Andy Caffrey of Garberville, Mendocino seaweed farmer John Lewallen and Mendocino pot doctor William Courtney — and they’re distant longshots.”
Here is my response to that article.
“The New Math in California’s 2nd Congressional District”
It’s a shame when a writer lets an outdated overgeneralized presumption get in the way of facts. It’s said that when Columbus’ ships appeared on the horizon, the native American Arawak didn’t see them because they had never seen 3- and 4-masted sailing ships before.
Likewise, common political presumptions are rarely reconsidered by the punditry. Something new that will work but has never been seen before is presumed to be impossible because it hasn’t happened yet. However, beginning with the Howard Dean for President campaign and peaking with the successful election of the first black President, the internet has become a new and powerful X Factor for the precocious and inventive campaigner.
So everything is predictable until it is not.
However, in this 2012 2nd District Congressional campaign we have actual data that rocks many of those presumptions to their core and show that something very new and profound is happening here on the North Coast right now. There are evidentiary tests that can be evaluated. I have six months of polls conducted by consultants to the Caffrey for Congress campaign which show that I’m one of the four frontrunners in this race. In fact, until January, of all the candidates without public office experience I’ve been in first place (3rd place overall)! In November I was tied for 2nd place overall with Marin Supervisor Susan Adams. Norman, with his $300,000 is only now slipping ahead of me.
There is such an outdated presumption underlying your article “Congress: The Dating Game” that money always wins Congressional elections. If that is still so, then explain to me why my $10,000 campaign is crushing the Marin Millionaire’s half million dollar campaign. Our March 15 polI reveals that currently I have support from 6% of the district’s voters who say they will vote for me. Stacey Lawson has 1%. I have six times the votes as the millionaire! The Republican Dan Roberts has been completely abandoned by the Republican party and is at 4%. So I’m ahead of the Republican too.
Further, our March 15 poll shows that 73% of the 2nd District will vote for a Democrat for their Congressional representative. Only 10% for a Republican! Considering that the Top Two vote getters in the June primary will probably need to top 30%, and that now there are two Republicans in the race, the Republicans don’t have a chance in Hell of electing one of their own to this House seat.
So really, there are only four people in this race still advancing toward that victory threshold: Jared Huffman (23%), Susan Adams (11%), Norman Solomon (10%) and Andy Caffrey (6%). After Republican Dan Roberts (4%) the next highest Democrat is at 1%, a tie between Stacey Lawson and Petaluma Vice Mayor Tiffany Renée. So that’s the real gulf that separates the four frontrunners from the longshots.
The story you should be writing, especially as my TV commercials–the first of any candidate–are now hitting CBS, Fox, and KIEM, is “How is Earth First!er/Climate Crisis/anti-GMO/Green political organizer and medical cannabis patient Andy Caffrey running neck-and-neck with and beating millionaires in this race?”
For months now, at our debates Huffman, Lawson, and Solomon have been bragging about how much money they’ve raised, as if it were the only indicator of candidate viability (or a reason for you to vote for them!). But if you actually do the math and divide the total dollars raised by each candidate as of the end of 2011 with the percentage of the electorate who now say they will vote for each candidate you will find that for every percentage that says they will vote for Huffman it costs him $25,484. Solomon has to raise $31,182 for each percentage. Adams only has to raise $10,331 for each percentage so is three times more effective at winning votes with her money than either Huffman or Solomon. Dan Roberts, the Republican has to raise more than any of those Democrats by raising $32,963 for each percentage of his 4 percent. Astonishingly, rather than being a front runner, the Marin Milllionaire Lawson has to spend her entire whopping $455,959 for just one measly percentage! Hardly a front runner!
On the other hand, I only have to raise $1,225 for each percentage of my current 6 percent support! So Huffman must raise 20 times more than I have to raise for every percentage we jump in the polls. Solomon and Roberts 25 times more. Adams 8 times more. Lawson 372 times more than I do! So the amount of money raised is meaningless as an indicator of front-running status and candidate viability if candidates with much less money use it much more effectively.
So here’s the new math. If you presume that a candidate must win at least 30% of the vote to be in the Top Two, then each of the candidates will have to raise in total the following amounts if these ratios hold true (which they won’t!):
Lawson: $13,678,770!!! Over $13 million!!
Of course, in reality the higher the percentage you want to win the more it costs… at least in the old paradigm. It looks to me that of your five frontrunners, only Huffman and Adams are likely to raise the needed sum.
The true longshots then are: 1) Solomon who will have to raise three times more money in these last three months than he’s raised in his entire first year of campaigning! 2) The Republican party is providing no support to Roberts. He’ll have to raise eight times more than the 100 grand he’s put into the campaign himself already. 3) Lawson has to raise $13 million… There go three of your five frontrunners!
I only have to raise less than $30,000 more for the entire campaign! Welfare mother Lynn Woolsey pulled off her victory on $65,000 and I’m much more savvy with the Internet, social networking, and video than she was. So it looks to me that there are only three of us in the race, and I’m one of them!
You might also ask, “How is it that Andy Caffrey has been ahead of Norman Solomon almost the entire race?” After spending all that money and campaigning his butt off for a year Solomon finally passed me in the polls in February. But it’s cost him $300,000 to overtake my $8,000 campaign! FYI Norman’s activist and literary “fame” is only worth 1% in our district. That’s all the support he could muster during the first six of months of this campaign. You would think that all of the people who know his name and will vote for him would have let the pollsters know of their support during that first 6 months. On the other hand, I started out with 2%, twice as much support as he had. So much for progressive Democratic fame being a decisive factor in the 2nd District.
I also have a history of doing things no one else has done before, such as shutting down a GMO firm that wanted to release genetically-engineered microbes into your atmosphere! In fact, because of my pioneering strategic and obstreperous organizing work, that whole wing of the industry has been shut down since 1987 globally. The BBC considers me a World Historic Figure for this pioneering work, which, incidentally, involved pulling up strawberry plants to sabotage their test sites. You can see my website for more on my background and my strategy to victrory: CaffreyForCongress.org.
Lastly, some folks think that Republicans will vote for Assemblyman Huffman because he appears to be the most centrist and “establishment” candidate. I doubt it. He’s still a Progressive Democrat to Republicans. Cuts in the state budget passed with Huffman’s vote are killing poor people in Humboldt County with their elimination of dental and eye care and their radical reduction of mental health services. So look how great the state government is working! And Assemblyman Jared Huffman wants to bring more of the same to Congress! If he can’t provide the leadership to get the California state government together and working for the middle class and the least among us, then how can you expect him to do better in Congress?
Strong and bold leadership is exactly what’s needed now, from someone unaligned with either party and with a history of fighting like a wolverine against the status quo in both parties–not someone who, like Huffman and Solomon, will toe the line of the Democratic party leadership. I mean, really, when you watch the two of them bow and curtsy to get all those Democratic party officeholder endorsements with their not-so-corporate-clean PAC money, can we really expect them to sacrifice that support for their re-election in 2014 by taking on Pelosi next time she does something like take impeachment off the table?
In Marin County the press doesn’t consider me a longshot. Out of all the candidates, the NCJ-like weekly the Pacific Sun did a cover story on me, commissioned terrific artwork for it, and implied that I was the only candidate who could well represent the entire district. On the other hand, they characterized Huffman as the Tin Man, Susan Adams as the Scarecrow, and Norman Soloman as the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz!
They did the math.
Caffrey For Congress 2012
In order of current poll rankings:
Huffman: $586,131 − 23% = $25,484/my $1,225 = $20.80
Adams: $113,642 − 11% = $10,331/my $1,225 = $8.43
Solomon: $311,817 − 10% = $31,182/my $1,225 = $25.45
Caffrey: $7,352 − 6% = $1,225 = $1.00
Roberts: $131,851 − 4% = $32,963/my $1,225 = $26.91
Lawson: $455,959 − 1% = $455,959/my $1,225 = $372.21