LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL                                             A publication of                ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                                                 CANDIDATE RECRUITING MAN...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                              CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL                ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL                                                         5...................
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                  CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALchange the fact that suddenl...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALworked,” said State Chair (1997-’98) Chris       Vermont voters a real alt...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                      CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALa lot of candidates you ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALremembers it in future election cycles. We         “As a political party, ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                              CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL                ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY   CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL      raise at least some amount of money              candidates should pe...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                             CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL                 ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALitems to facilitate candidate recruiting.              Set this goal high ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                  CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL   b. Follow-up letter encou...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALanything else — we’ll handle it.” You may get      team. If you have teams...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                  CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALon you at the last minute. A...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                               CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL               ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALfor campaigns and was very effective.)                The one thing that h...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALwould like to recruit. If ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALLibertarian’s total vote. The most recent          information on who has ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                   CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL     3. Mail the 10,000 reg...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALassist in processing the prospects identified          Bad information fro...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL    No candidate screening. LP...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL                                                          5..................
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALLibertarian landslide! The...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY    CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALSome Additional                                      chairman, calling to ...
LIBERTARIAN PARTY                                                              CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL                ...
Candidate Recruitment Manual
Candidate Recruitment Manual
Candidate Recruitment Manual
Candidate Recruitment Manual
Candidate Recruitment Manual
Candidate Recruitment Manual
Candidate Recruitment Manual
Candidate Recruitment Manual
Candidate Recruitment Manual
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Candidate Recruitment Manual

  2. 2. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL A publication of THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY L i b e r t a r i a n N a t i o n a l C o m m i t t e e, I n c . 2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100 Washington, DC 20037 (202) 333-0008 5 Fax: (202) 333-0072 5 www.LP.org For information about the Libertarian Party call toll-free: ELECT-US Edition 3.0. All contents © 2001 This manual was compiled and edited by Noelle Stettner, from previous Libertarian Party materials. Thanks to Bob Waldrop for most of the previous work. Thanks also to Mike Tanner, Dan Beacan, an unknownLibertarian in Pennsylvania, Ron Crickenberger, Ted Brown, Sara Chambers, and Chris Costanzo for new material. Design & Production: Bill Winter
  3. 3. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL ................................... 5................................... TABLE OF CONTENTSs INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................ 1s SECTION 1The Critical Importance of Candidate Recruitment ............................................................................ 2s SECTION 2Finding the Perfect Candidate ................................................................................................................... 7 Requirements for a Successful Candidates SECTION 3Recruiting an Army of Candidates .......................................................................................................... 9 12 Steps to Recruiting Successs SECTION 4The 2000 Experience ................................................................................................................................. 15 In-Depth Case Studies from Ohio, Colorado, and Washington Hot Tips from Texas and North Carolina California’s Operation Breakthroughs SECTION 5The Art of Persuasion ................................................................................................................................ 22 Answering Their Objections to Runnings SECTION 6Key Points for Recruiting Candidates ................................................................................................... 25s SECTION 7Sample Recruiting Letters and Scripts .................................................................................................. 27
  5. 5. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL 5................................... ................................... INTRODUCTIONT he purpose of the Libertarian Party is to move public policy in a Libertar- ian direction by fielding and electingLibertarian Party candidates. It follows that the Remember: The only thing that will ensure that a Libertarian doesn’t win an election is for a Libertarian to not run in the race. Another strategy question is:more candidates we have and the better thosecandidates are, the further we will move 5 Should we run national level and state-policy along the path towards freedom. wide candidates for outreach, or . . . A debate has long raged in the LP as to 5 Run local candidates where we have awhich is the best strategy. Should we: chance to win? 5 Run as many candidates as we can, or ... Again, we should take yes for an answer. 5 Concentrate our resources on one or National level and statewide campaigns do two candidates? provide the most bang for the buck in terms of free media, outreach, and short-term The answer to both parts of the question membership growth for the party. But winningis yes. The media and the public pay attention local elections is crucial to our long-termwhen we run a full slate of candidates. Oppor- success. We must build a support base for ourtunities arise with full slates that we would be candidates by winning locally to set the stageshut out of if we had not filed a candidate. We for larger victories later. By having a strategyhave even had paper candidates go on to win which encourages lots of candidates at allelections under the right circumstances. And levels, our candidates will be able to run insince we can’t always tell in advance which races the races which are important to them, settingor candidates will perform the best, we need the stage for them to do the best job possible.full slates in order to be sure of having a fewraces that deserve concentration of resources. This manual is written from the standpoint of a state where ballot access and filing fees In order to eventually elect a lot of are relatively reasonable. There will be littleLibertarians; we have to first elect a few. We difference in recruiting techniques if yourhave to demonstrate that it can be done, and situation is more difficult — but your successwe have to demonstrate that our ideas will rate will naturally be somewhat less, and youwork once put into practice. So Libertarians do will have to concentrate your resources more.need to concentrate their efforts on the racesthat have the best shot at victory. Some aspects I hope this manual is helpful. Good luck inof the best races to target, such as swing recruiting your army of candidates.districts or open seats, can be determined farin advance. But such things as death of orscandal by the incumbent can arise late in acampaign, presenting opportunities for Ron Crickenbergervictory we can only capitalize on with full slates. Libertarian Party Political Director PAGE / 1
  6. 6. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL 5................................... ................................... SECTION ONEThe Critical Importance Hampshire followed a strategy of running as many candidates as possible, they gained andof Libertarian Recruitment retained their ballot status for several cycles. When they decided on the alternate strategy of concentrating on just a few candidates,T he purpose of a political party is to advance its political agenda by running candidates for office. Yet ina small, growing party where ballot status is they lost ballot status. In 2000, California ran three times as many candidates as any other state, and had three times as many wins.not automatic and the chances of losing the By running only a few candidates weelection are great, finding people willing to aren’t seen as much of a threat. With a lot ofrun as Libertarians is often a serious problem. candidates, the media takes us moreIt takes courage for a person to understand seriously. Even if not all of those candidatesthat his or her effort may bring little run active campaigns, Saul Alinsky’s Rules forimmediate reward, but is instead a stepping Radicals applies — “Power is not only whatstone toward long-term success. you have, it’s what your enemies think you have.” And when they take us seriously, they But, of course, it is a vitally important have to respond to our agenda.stepping stone. The party needs thousands ofcredible, energetic, articulate candidates each Here, then, is a guide to perhaps the mostyear, both to spread our message in a important Libertarian Party activity otherpolitical context, and to set the stage for than being a candidate: recruiting candidates.future electoral victories by convincing voters We’ll show you how to locate and convincethat the Libertarian alternative belongs in the the best men and women to run, and therebymainstream of political discussion. turn your state party into a political force to be reckoned with. Our past experience shows that the morecandidates a state runs, the higher the Why Run?average vote for all of their candidates, thehigher the top of the ticket scores, and themore wins they get. For example, in 1988, the A Libertarian Party that contests over half the seats up for election to a particular legislative body — Congress, a statethree states with the lowest number of votesfor Ron Paul were New York, Kentucky and legislature, a city council or countyTennessee with two, none and two candidates commission — has become, overnight, arespectively. California, Texas and Utah had threat to the Establishment. Maybe the partythe most candidates, and the highest doesn’t have a lot of money, but that doesn’tpercentages for Ron Paul. When NewPAGE / 2
  7. 7. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALchange the fact that suddenly, the potential is presidential candidate, but would thinkthere for a massive redistribution of power in nothing of spending $200 or $300 for his ownthe upcoming elections. It’s something that signs. Running lots of candidates creates aeven the most ignorant reporter can sense of momentum, and gives the state partyunderstand and explain in 30 seconds. “What leadership some bragging rights. The overallkind of a threat is the Libertarian Party this effect is to increase involvement in time,year? Well, if elected, they would control the effort and money.State Legislature.” Even if they disagree withour platform, a ballot packed withLibertarians forces the media to address The Party-Building BenefitsLibertarian ideas. of Candidate Recruiting It also exposes our opponents toLibertarian ideas, and often moves them, or atleast the debate, toward the side of freedom F or the most part, Libertarian candidates are made, not born. Few of the thousands of candidates the party has fielded wouldas they campaign. Ask almost anyexperienced Libertarian candidate, and they have run at all if left to themselves, and manywill tell you that at least one of their who were willing to have their names put onopponents began moving toward at least the ballot would never have run active campaigns.some Libertarian positions during the courseof the race. In some cases our candidates But when candidates are recruited,have caused the Republicans and Democrats developed, and supported by their fellowto argue over who was the most libertarian. Libertarians, this support can make theAt the very least, our opponents are forced to difference between mediocre and effectivedebate Libertarian positions. Win or lose, campaigns — and can bring vast benefits to aLibertarian campaigns do make a difference. state party. Here are a few examples of how state parties mobilized to recruit candidates, Another argument for a ballot packed and the benefits they received for their work.with freedom fighters is very practical. It’s aquestion of the huge amount already invested Vermont Runs One-In-Threeon ballot access. Gaining ballot status can Members for Officecost a state as much as $100,000 (by ballotaccess expert Richard Winger’s estimate.) In 1996, the Vermont Libertarian Party ranPutting individual candidates on the ballot is six candidates who received a total of aboutusually an inexpensive process, from $15 to 20,000 votes. Their highest vote was 3.2%. In$250 depending on the office, and the state. 1998 they ran 44 candidates and receivedThe big money has already been spent. Why more than 80,000 votes. They elected twowaste such a large investment? Libertarians, including state Representative Neil Randall, and set the stage for additional Finally, having more candidates naturally victories the next spring.generates more money and energy. Peoplewho run for office develop loyalty to the What was the secret to their success? Aparty. A candidate is more inclined to spend whole lot of elbow grease on the part of a fewtime and money on himself than some other party leaders, and a previous version of thiscandidate. For example, the candidate may be very Candidate Recruiting Manual. “I followedreluctant to donate more than $25 to a the plan and used all the arguments, and it PAGE / 3
  8. 8. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALworked,” said State Chair (1997-’98) Chris Vermont voters a real alternative, and wouldCostanzo. “Using the manual was in itself be a noble effort for liberty.instrumental in recruiting our record slate ofcandidates.” Fully one-in-three party members “Here too, party leadership did most of thein Vermont stood for office in 1998. tiresome bureaucratic paperwork for each and every candidate, and submitted it to the Secretary Costanzo explains the rest of their of State’s office by the required deadlines. Itremarkable improvement: was a big effort but it made it easy for the candidates. Originally, only a few of us planned “In 1994, the Vermont LP was moribund. to run active campaigns. But once officiallyIt had no more than a score of members, nominated, many who did not plan to be activemostly inactive. Revitalization efforts led to candidates got inspired and ran actively also.six candidates in 1996. Four of thesecandidates were for statewide office, so the “The need for party leadership to shouldername of our party showed up on all ballots. the burden, and maintain frequent contactMost did not run very active campaigns, yet with the rank and file on these projects, is anthe showing of about 20,000 votes indicated absolute must. If one acts on the principle thatthat electoral support for Libertarians is party leadership should merely outline whatpossible in Vermont. needs to be done and then step back and let the rank and file do it their own way, little or “In 1997, we reorganized ourselves as an nothing will happen. Leadership requires work,established party under Vermont law. This and cannot be achieved by personality alone.called for caucusing and forming towncommittees in at least 10 towns throughout “When I became State Chair of the Vermontthe state. We ended up caucusing in 20 towns, Libertarian Party shortly after we ran sixand got considerable publicity for doing so. candidates in 1996, most people treated ourTo achieve this required making it as easy as party with patronizing indifference. Afterpossible for the Libertarian caucusers. Party announcing a slate of 44 candidates in 1998,leadership did most of the paperwork for the change was almost palpable. If a partyeach caucus, and guided the caucusing runs a broad slate of candidates, their verycommittees every step of the way by periodic presence on the political landscape makes themailings, telephone calls, and visits. party hard to ignore, and draws attention on a continuous basis. The press began dealing “Buoyed up with success in caucusing in with our party with far greater respect. We1997, the party’s leadership was able to ride got many more opportunities for publicthe momentum and recruit a large number of appearances and there was an increase incandidates in 1998. The Vermont leadership press play. And, as State Chair, I wasnever asked anyone to run for office. Such a approached at least two or three times a weekrequest usually evokes a negative reaction in by some legislator or candidate from anotherterms of time, money, energy, public party who suddenly wanted to be my friendappearances, speeches and debates. Instead, and who wanted to persuade me that he, too,we asked party members for permission to was a libertarian albeit with a small ‘l.’put their names on the ballot as passivecandidates, pointing out that their mere “Running candidates is what parties do.presence on the ballot, with the word If you run a lot of candidates you become a‘Libertarian’ after their names, would offer factor. It’s as simple as that. If you do not runPAGE / 4
  9. 9. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALa lot of candidates you become a joke, and Libertarians were elected in contested,you are rendered pathetically silly on the partisan contests. In their target district ofpolitical landscape. If you run lots of candidates, Jefferson Township, top-of-the-ticketyour party membership grows, you gain Secretary of State candidate Steve Dilloninfluence, and you generate curiosity about received more votes than either the Democratyour message. If you do not run a lot of or Republican candidates.candidates, nobody gives a diddly-damn aboutyou. There is no getting around this truth.” State Executive Director Sara Cotham Chambers recounts their recruiting success:The Pennsylvania Experience: “Rob Shuford, State Chair, was the leaderBallot Driven Recruiting of the recruitment effort in 1998. He put a focus on running more candidates than ever,P ennsylvania’s long history of running many Libertarian candidates has beenfueled in part by their state’s ballot laws. especially since this was the year for our crucial Secretary of State (ballot access) race, and we needed to improve both our visibilityBallot status there requires considerable and credibility in the eyes of the media andpetitioning each election cycle, but candidates voters. He contacted county-level leaders andat different levels can combine petitions to called many candidates himself to ensure thatachieve both their individual status and we had key positions filled. Two counties —contribute to the status of other candidates Marion and Washington — really camewhere their districts overlap. Thus, candidate through for us by filling their ballots withrecruitment became a fundamental part of candidates. Most of them were simplytheir organizational efforts. lineholders/paper candidates, but several became serious and excited about the race, According to Pennsylvanians who thus garnering coverage and momentum fororganized their early candidate recruitment the LPI. Rob and I spent the week before thedrives, achieving the goal of recruiting as August filing deadline calling candidates,many candidates as possible had several proofing election forms, and answeringbenefits. Gaining ballot status was much questions. People are interested in running,easier, since so many had a personal stake in but the election code covering the LPI isthe effort. Local activists were more incomplete and sometimes inconclusive, soenthusiastic because they had their own they are discouraged from taking a stab at it.“favorite” to cheer for. And the news media Our tenacity and focus got the job done.”took note of the fact that so many candidateswere running, treating the party as a whole Asked about the importance of running aswith greater respect. full a slate as possible, Sara outlined the following benefits:The Indiana Experience: s Visibility: “Most newspapers run low-Increased Visibility, level coverage of all candidates. ActiveCredibility, Momentum candidates get more column inches and appearances in forums. Each voter seesI n 1998, one-in-five Libertarian Party members in Indiana put their principles onthe line by putting their names on the ballot ‘Libertarian’ on their ballot.” s Credibility: “More candidates equals— a record total of 89 candidates in all. Two real growth. The media recognizes this and PAGE / 5
  10. 10. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALremembers it in future election cycles. We “As a political party, the best way to comehad several hundred media hits between onto the voter’s radar screen is to runSeptember and November of 1998. Our candidates,” said Ted. “Most people aren’tcoverage is amazing this year since we made interested in politics and would not have asuch a showing in 1998! Voters remember the reason to look at us — except during electionnames and impressions of active candidates season.”and want to join or volunteer if they like whatthey saw.” Ted’s “secret” echoed our other champion recruiters: “Persistence,” he said. “I research s Internal momentum: “We feel better which of our members live in which districts,about ourselves because we know we worked then check to see if they are legally eligible tohard and succeeded on several levels. run, then I call through the membership list.Members have proven to become more Many people never thought of running until Iinvolved, donate more money, and be prouder ask them to do so. If there’s no phoneof their party affiliation this year.” number listed, I try to obtain it; if still no luck, I write a letter. I try to reach all eligible Asked the secret of recruiting so many Libertarians before giving up.”candidates Sara simply said, “The obvious:just ask. In the Marion County 1999 example, The bottom linethey divided the membership/prospect listsaccording to City/County Council district andasked five members to call everyone on thelist and ask them to run. It worked. I also sent F ielding as full a slate of candidates as possible brings more media, more manpower, more money, and more credibilityout a statewide press release asking for for your state or local party. Mostcandidates that received over 100 media hits. importantly, it moves us all a little further onIt is working. We are already discussing the the path to Liberty.formation of a statewide CandidateRecruitment committee to work closely withactive counties and intensely cover the lessactive ones in 2000. As a side note, activecandidates are including their non-Libertarianpals to help manage their campaigns, thusincreasing our membership and futurecandidate lists. Our secret was to successfullyco-opt the Nike slogan: Just Do It.”California’s Ted Browne:600 Candidates and CountingT ed Browne has not only run for office 10 times himself, he has headed upCalifornia’s recruiting efforts for more than adecade, personally recruiting more than 600candidates. 6PAGE / 4
  11. 11. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL 5................................... ................................... SECTION TWOFinding Mr. & Ms. Right bad, rather than have only one or two perfect candidates.B efore we get into the specifics of how to get candidates to agree to run, let’s take a moment to discusswho should run. The ideal candidate would That doesn’t mean that all potential candidates are equal, however, or that all are equally suited to run for the same offices. A candidate who is well-known but doesn’t planhave the money of Ross Perot, the name to run an active campaign may be able torecognition of Clint Eastwood, and be able to create a media buzz simply by running for acampaign full time for a year and a half higher office. A candidate who doesn’t have abefore the election. And if you develop a huge name but is well known in their owntheory that your minimum requirement for a community and plans an active campaign iscandidate is that they be a college professor, better suited to a smaller race, where there isable to explain the finer points of Austrian a chance of winning or bringing in aeconomics, and willing to invest a minimum substantial percentage of votes.of $10,000 and 20 hours a week oncampaigning, you probably won’t have manycandidates. Minimal Requirements A better theory holds that mostLibertarians are potentially good candidates, A s for the candidates, here are some minimal requirements that should leave you with a wide field of potential candidates.and that they should be solicited, recruited, Even strictly paper candidates should bedeveloped, and supported on a systematic willing to do all of the following:basis. Putting this theory in action, rather that 5 Answer any media calls promptly.waiting years for the “right” candidate, 5 Fill out and return all candidateresults in more Libertarian candidates to surveys.spread the Libertarian message and buildpolitical credibility and support. 5 Get a good head shot photo taken. 5 Fill out any required legal paperwork. It’s best to avoid complex screening 5 Attend any candidate forums forprocesses. In the previous examples, the which they receive invitations.individual judgment of those solicitingcandidates determined whether prospective When you move from paper to infor–candidates were good spokespersons for the mational level candidates, you may wish toparty. The attitude was that it was preferable add more minimums.to have many candidates, even if a few were 5 Most candidates should be able to PAGE / 7
  12. 12. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL raise at least some amount of money candidates should personify the to finance their campaign. For too demographic profile of the community. long, Libertarians have been satisfied 5 Candidates should be generally to make false “votes per dollar” articulate. They should have the comparisons. Too many say, “My ability to answer questions about the opponent spent $50,000. I only spent party’s positions in a clear, $200 and I got 5% of the vote.” As long knowledgeable fashion. as we are outspent by those margins, 5 Candidates should not have we will always get 5% of the vote. This embarrassing marks on their past. underscores the previous point, that a These would include actions involving candidate with less money should fraud or force. consider which race may be the best use of their resources. Factors such as One note: Successful Libertarian the candidate’s community ties and candidates do not always come from the whether it is a two- or three-way race party’s ranks. There are many people who fit should be factors in the decision. the Libertarian profile, yet aren’t party 5 Candidates should be mature, members. Often, they will be recommended responsible members of the to you by current party members. They should community. Ideally, they should have still meet the above qualifications, and once a history of community involvement. recruited, they should be encouraged to join To whatever extent possible, local the party and take part in its other activities.PAGE / 8
  13. 13. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL 5................................... ................................... SECTION THREEHow to Recruit socioeconomic status, ethnic groups, etc. You may discover weaknesses of your opponents,Libertarian Candidates or come across a race that would be perfect for a particular candidate.Y ou’re ready to turn your local LP into a credible political force by fielding a team of candidates. But OK, you know which races to target. Here, then, is a suggested strategy for preparation,before you begin recruiting, it pays to do your recruiting, and follow-up in puttinghomework to identify in which races a Lib– Libertarians in the race for our country’sertarian candidate can be the most effective. future. 1 Think about every elected position at every The state leadership must lead. It islevel of state and local government, including much easier to recruit candidates if youcounty commission and school board races. are already a candidate yourself (assuming, ofThis process is called “political mapping.” course, you meet whatever legal residence requirements prevail in your area). Focus on open seats. They offer the best 2opportunities for electoral victories. It can The state leadership must prepare. Thealso be a good strategy to run LP candidates preparation process includes:in races left unchallenged by the non-incumbent party. If the Democrats won’t a. Getting maps of all the appropriatebother to challenge the entrenched electoral districts.Republican candidate, the race needs aLibertarian. Two-way races against an b. Identifying which districts haveentrenched incumbent, while they may be possible candidates (subject to the guidelineseven more unwinnable for us than for the below).major party that has already given up on thatseat, provide avenues for extra exposure, and This is done by matching the addresses ofincreased vote totals over what we could your people with the appropriate spots onexpect for the same effort in a three-way race. election maps. In Utah, the party’s databaseThey also get people in the habit of voting has five informational fields that relate toLibertarian. candidate recruiting purposes. Each member’s information includes: district number, state Find out what’s important to voters in senate district, state representative district,the district. Research the area’s congressional district, and county. Thedemographics, including voting patterns, membership list can be sorted by any of these PAGE / 9
  14. 14. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALitems to facilitate candidate recruiting. Set this goal high — low enough to be within reach (at least theoretically) but high c. Selecting a first, second, and third enough to make you work. Publicize this goalchoice (if possible) for each office. and create a bandwagon effect. d. Plenty of lead time is required. If thecandidate filing period opens in March,potential candidates should get their first 5 Create an environment supportive of running a lot of candidates. The farmer plows before he plants. Every time yourecruiting letters by January. communicate with your party members, talk about this numerical goal and how important e. Putting together a candidate recruiting it is to run a lot of candidates. Run articles inteam. Depending on your circumstances, your newsletter — mention it in fundraisingthree or four people may be enough. If your letters — write about it in your “Chair’sstate is large and spread out, you may want to Column.” Build the bandwagon effect — andassemble local or county level recruiting when you think everyone has heard enoughteams. The definition of an effective county about it, keep on truckin’ and talk someparty includes their ability to recruit their more.own candidates, apart from the state effort.Any help you can get will allow you toconcentrate on weak areas. 6 Make a full slate part of your party strategy. Filling ballots with Libertarians should be part of a larger plan for victory. In3 Prepare a timetable and quantify your goals. For example: Preparation andhomework will be done by X, letter will be turn, more candidates will be attracted by an organized effort that supports their own efforts.written by X and mailed by X. Second letterwill be sent on X and a follow-up meeting ortelephone call will be completed by X. Theperson(s) responsible are X, X, and X. A total 7 Once you have finished your preparation, completed your homework, agitated the pot, plowed the field, run it up the flagpole,of $X will be required to complete this and counted the number of salutes,process. This money is already (a) in the party implement the recruiting process. Gettreasury, or (b) must be raised by X date. A everyone out of the frying pan and into therough draft of a candidate recruiting fire and see how things hop. Thetimetable is outlined later. implementation phase should look something like this:4 Quantifying your goal is a most important part of the recruitmentprocess. If people are going to put their a. Ninety days in advance of the candidate filing period opening, the first letter goes outnames on the line for us, we have to prove to from the state chairman, inviting the personthem that simply filing for an office will do to consider running for office. This letter willsomething useful for the party. Thus, “Your be two or three pages, to allow enough spacecommitment is important because we are to explain why the candidate is important totrying to field candidates for 100% of the the campaign and may include a one pagelegislative seats up for election this year. This “recruiting flyer” prepared by either thewill bring the party credibility and help us national HQ or your state party. The one pagebecome a threat to the special interest parties.” flyer is to address general questions of strategy.PAGE / 10
  15. 15. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL b. Follow-up letter encouraging the be very effective, as it is harder to saycandidate to run for office. “No” to a friend than it is to some faceless party official on the c. Personal follow-up. This phase is telephone.crucial. It’s a good idea to telephone the 5 Follow up a second time with apotential candidate to get a sense of his or telephone call. At this point, you’llher feelings. If they don’t say yes right away: find that about one-third sign up 5 Find out exactly what their objection immediately, having thought about it a is. Attached is a list of common second time. For those still holding objections and suggested responses. out, remember that “the third time is 5 Secure a commitment to “keep a charm.” Send them another letter of thinking about it.” Above all, on this thanks and explanation (these follow- first telephone call, avoid an outright up letters should never be more than “No.” As long as they are still on the one page) and a third call. If they are hook, you have a chance to get them still sitting on the fence — and in the boat. assuming you have a backup — ask if they mind if you fall back and talk with 5 Set up a time to meet with them your “second choice” for the office. personally. If they are resistant to “Understand, Mr. Smith, we want you this, don’t push it. Tell them you will to run — you are our first choice — call them back in “a few days.” At all but we do have some deadlines that times and at all costs, don’t let them are fast approaching, and since say “No” to more follow up. running a full slate is so important for Remember: As a major survival skill in us this year, we have to talk with a 20th Century America, we all have couple of other people to see if they strong and effective defenses against are interested.” people who are trying to talk us into doing something new, strange, unusual, Some will sign up at that point. Others and possibly risky. Included with the will be relieved that they are “off the hook” objection list are a couple of ideas for for the moment. Complete the recruiting breaking through those defenses. process with your second and third choices. If 5 Immediately, send them a letter you still don’t have success in filling that slot (same day!) thanking them for the on the ballot, return to the original candidate opportunity to speak with them and and try again. answer — again! — their main objections. Mention your progress to Once the candidate filing period has date (“of the 120 candidates we are opened, send another letter out to the “final trying to recruit, 35 have said yes”). holdouts” for races you still haven’t filled and Depending on the circumstances, you give them another phone call. If you have may want to contact someone else in time, call them on the last day of the filing your local party to follow up with period — give them the current statistics, and another telephone call or another turn on the emotion — “We really need you — letter. If they are acquainted on a you can be more help to the cause of liberty friendship or business basis with than ever before, and it’s for doing nothing, someone already committed to run, really, just going down and putting your have the friend contact them. This can name on the ballot. You won’t have to do PAGE /11
  16. 16. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALanything else — we’ll handle it.” You may get team. If you have teams in several areas, tryone or two more candidates that way. Never to bring them all in for a face-to-face meeting.give up until the filing period is closed. If this isn’t possible, call them on theFrankly, the success rate after three follow- telephone. Since all of you are running forups is not that great — but it has occasionally office (remember?), one good choice for aproven useful, particularly when you are just meeting location is a coffee shop close by theshort of a goal. candidate filing office. Every candidate recruiter should file for office on the very8 Once committed, send them a letter of thanks. Include with this letter any of thelegal information (such as candidate first day, unless strategic reasons dictate otherwise. Copies of the “Status Sheet” should be distributed to all concerned andreporting requirements) etc., and how the assignments checked.state organization is going to help thecandidate handle this requirement. For line c. During the first week of the filingcandidates, you should offer to file the period, contact everyone by telephone torequired reports for them. You may want to remind them of the deadline.offer a monthly class for active candidates. d. Someone should check with the9 All the preparation in the world does little good without follow up andfollow through. Candidates have been lost appropriate clerks every day and the status sheet should be updated.simply because they didn’t make it to the e. On the first day of the last week of thefiling office by 5 PM on the final day the filing period, everyone who has not filedperiod was open. should be personally contacted — with a sense of urgency — about filing. Offer to get a. The week before the candidate filing them a ride, etc., and make sure they haven’tperiod is to start, send a letter to each changed their mind and are trying to backconfirmed candidate noting the beginning of out. Schedule another “mass filing” for thisthe filing period. Give them the place and week.times that they can file. Schedule two or three“mass filings” where several candidates could f. For the final day, anyone who has notget together and go down in a block to file. filed should be called the night before AND inFor many of your people, this will be the first the morning. Clerks should be checked at 1time they have run for office — and they may, PM, following the lunch hour, and more callsunderstandably, be a little uncertain as to the made to those who still have not filed. Offeractual mechanics of finding their way through to go and pick them up — right then — ifa maze of bureaucrats in order to complete possible.the required paperwork. You can also offer tofind a volunteer to go with them, if such g. Determine the required travel time forsupport is available. Make sure that each each holdout, and contact the clerkscandidate has two phone numbers to call if appropriately to find out if they have filed. Ifhe or she has problems with the filing not, call them — immediately – and get thembureaucrats. on the road. b. On the first day of the candidate filing It is disheartening to work hard to recruitperiod, meet with your candidate recruiting candidates — and then have people flake outPAGE / 12
  17. 17. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALon you at the last minute. Avoid this bygetting everyone filed as early as possible. Wedo not have so many candidates that we can 11 Use candidates as a source for suggestions for other candidates. If they say yes, tell them what areas in whichafford to lose even one. you are still looking for candidates and ask if they know anyone who might be interested in10 Honor your candidates. Send them another “thanks” letter once theyhave filed. Print their names in your news– the area. If they say no; ask them if they can suggest someone. You may find a lot of apolitical libertarians that way — principledletter and tell everyone else to thank them. people who simply are not party people.Don’t recruit them, file them, and forget them.Keep in touch — preferably, with a regularparty candidate’s newsletter of some sort. PAGE / 13
  19. 19. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL 5................................... ................................... SECTION FOURThe 2000 Experience enough money to run a statewide TV ad campaign, something we had never done before, in addition to what our candidates n 2000, the LP ran over 1,400 candidates,I far more than its previous record of 840 in ’98. Several factors came into play tobring about this dramatic increase. raised for their campaigns. We had to put a lot of effort into recruiting candidates. Here’s what we did: s In consultation with state parties, a veryaggressive national goal was set. 1. Set a goal of 100 candidates — s With the national Libertarian Party’s reasonable but not outrageous.urging and assistance, some states that wouldhave gone for individual candidate status 2. Personalized the recruitmentpetitions, instead went for the more difficult materials by adding Ohio district maps, Ohiofull party route. petitioning requirements, candidate s Some innovative recruiting techniques requirements, blank petitions, etc.brought forth large numbers of new candidates. 3. Set up a campaign committee andOhio’s Full Party Factor designated them as the “head recruiters.” Their job was to study the recruitmentBY STATE CHAIR DENA BRUEDIGAM materials and then take them to the regions and teach the region leaders how to recruitO hio ran 70 candidates in 2000, which is more than the total number ofcandidates we ran between 1982 and 2000. candidates. 4. Call, call, and call some more . . . weThe most important recruitment tool was encouraged the region and county leaders tobeing on the ballot as a full party for the first get on the phone and CALL people and asktime in 18 years, and being able to take them to run for office. This was a very import-advantage of the reduced signature ant step and we found out that there are peoplerequirements for filing. out there who will run if they are asked. The major benefit of running lots of 5. We set up an LPO-Candidates e-mailcandidates was increased visibility of the list and included people (with theirparty; especially press coverage and general permission, of course) who were still unsureawareness of the Libertarian Party. Our if they wanted to run as well as people whophones rang off the hook and we received a were sure and kept them informed of filingrecord number of information requests. This dates, filing fees, petition requirements, etc.spurred increased fundraising. We raised (This later became a discussion/support list PAGE / 15
  20. 20. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALfor campaigns and was very effective.) The one thing that helped us most was the passage of the Minor Party Bill that one of 6. We set up a website for the our members worked to get passed into law.recruitment team to keep track of which This allowed us to nominate candidates to thecandidates had filed in which districts, and ballot without petitioning. The law went intowhere more work was still needed. effect in April 1998, but it was difficult to get enough candidates that year since we had less 7. We offered to pay filing fees for than 3 months to do it.anyone who could not afford it. In 2000, we had a new member — angry 8. In areas where there was no with our governor’s turn-around on the gunorganization or where the leaders could not/ bill — make phone calls to everyone we hadwould not recruit, the state chair (me) made phone numbers for, asking them to be part ofthe calls and I followed up with a personal our drive to run more candidates than eitherletter or note. of the major parties. He was able to fill every open seat with the exception of two districts. One thing I found out early on was that a One did not have any Libertarians in it andlot of people would say they wanted to run the other only had two current members. Sixand would then back out for various reasons. people failed to get the paperwork in to theAt one point it actually looked like we would SOS after agreeing to run.hit our 100 goal, but we lost about 25%.Lesson learned is to get commitments from The benefits that we got from all of this25% more candidates than you want/need. was much more press coverage, most of it very good; the Republicans opening a real dialogue It also helped that our national political with us; a better feeling among our members;director came out to assist in our efforts. many more volunteers and some excited activists; over 1000 NEW Libertarian regis- For 2002 we’ll use the same approach but, trations; and finally, 4 new county affiliates.should add a few things, such as having amore organized work force to help with the To repeat what we did, I would suggest:signature gathering, and making better use ofpast candidates as recruiters. 1) Setting a reachable goal that is attractive to your membership. In 1998 we set a goal of “Half a Slate in ’98” which wouldColorado 2000: More have been about 42 candidates. We managedCandidates Than the 27. In 2000, we set a goal of having moreDemocrats candidates than either of the other two majorBY STATE CHAIR BETTE ROSE SMITH parties for state level races. We managed to beat the Democrats and could have beaten the Republicans if we would have gotten allI n 2000 we ran 88 candidates for office, which was more than 3 times the number(27) we ran in 1998, and 14 times the number the paperwork in on time. In fact, 22 of these races would have gone unopposed if not forof candidates (6) we ran in 1996. We actually the Libertarians.ran more candidates for the state level officesthan the Democrats and were 3 short of 2) Have someone who is a goodrunning more than the Republicans. salesman make the calls to people youPAGE / 16
  21. 21. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALwould like to recruit. If you have a good, libertarian philosophy to be viable candidatesattractive, reachable goal, this part of the sale but most were good to excellent prospects.will be much easier. We typically promised that volunteer activists would do the heavy lifting of petitioning for 3) Have someone who is willing to drive ballot access, fundraising for filing fees, filingout and pick up paperwork at the last campaign disclosures, etc., if the memberminute, no matter how far way. I drove more would “ just lend us their name to go on thethan 8 hours in one day to pick up paperwork ballot.” A small group of activists and thefrom 3 candidates, and more than 12 hours Executive Director worked overtime and thenanother time to pick up paperwork from 2 some to deliver as promised.other candidates. A Voter’s Guide is mailed to all registered 4) Give good support in terms of how to voters in Washington State. Our interviewersdeal with paperwork, how to answer painted a mental picture of filling the Voter’squestionnaires, and how to create press kits. Guide with coordinated Libertarian candidateTraining classes are very helpful as well. statements — each like a different chapter inForming campaign teams would be especially the same book — to introduce voters to thehelpful. features and benefits of liberty. We emphasized how the Guide gave us incredible 5) If possible, get legislation passed to leverage because voters would be readingreduce or eliminate petitioning. about liberty “at the point of decision.” An amazing discovery was that recruitingWashington: In-Person got easier as the number of candidates grew.Interviews and the Once we had candidates for most of theBandwagon Effect statewide and congressional races membersBY BRETT WILHELM eagerly jumped on the bandwagon to help create a full slate. I think we could have utilized the bandwagon effect earlier if weI n 2000, the LP of Washington State recruited 3 times as many Libertarians forpartisan office as all the other third parties had known of its existence.combined. Our 69 candidates in 2000 were The LPWA won major party status inalso more than the LPWA fielded in the prior Washington state for the first time ever with10 even-numbered year elections combined. three statewide office candidates garnering over 5%. In the process we earned credibility The best recruiting results came from in- that resulted in our best news media coverageperson interviews. Our Executive Director set to date.appointments for a volunteer to meet withmembers who were willing, typically on a Our efforts also put the lower Washingtonweekend at a coffee shop near their home. state house and the U.S. Senate into a tie. AsAppointments were scheduled for 30 to 45 the March 19, 2001 National Review articleminutes but frequently lasted 60 to 90 pointed out, “. . . hardly anybody has noticedminutes as tends to happen when kindred how Libertarians have put Republicans on thefolks get to talking. brink of losing the Senate. In both 1998 and 2000, a Republican candidate for Senate lost Some members were too new to the to a Democrat by a margin much less than the PAGE / 17
  22. 22. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALLibertarian’s total vote. The most recent information on who has filed where, whatvictim was Slade Gorton of Washington. In a spots still need to be filled, and the progressfinal tally that took weeks to add up and of petitioning, if necessary. Frequent emailconfirm, he lost to Maria Cantwell by 2,228 updates to drive your membership to checkvotes. A Libertarian candidate, Jeff Jared, out the website can result in more full slates.hauled in 64,734 votes.” California: Operation There were some frustrations too. Onecandidate appeared at several forums dressed Breakthrough 2000 REPORT PREPARED BY LPC EXECUTIVEin a T-shirt and shorts. Two candidates DIRECTOR JUAN ROS AND LP POLITICALwithdrew after the primary and endorsed DIRECTOR RON CRICKENBERGERtheir Republican opponents. We areconsidering drafting a contract for futureLPWA nominees to prevent a reoccurrence ofthose problems. T he California LP’s Operation Break- through was an extremely innovative project. The project used standard recruiting techniques, but employed commercialOther 2000 Experiences contractors to do much of the work normallyT exas exceeded its goal of 100 candidates by 12, more than doubling its previousrecord. They mailed every member a letter done by volunteers. Expanding the recruiting labor to contractors led to the recruitment of 162 candidates in only one month. Fourteenoutlining the reasons for and obligations of went on to win their elections.running, along with the necessary forms forfiling as an official candidate. The forms were Although the cost per candidate wasalso posted on the party’s website. More than much higher than typical volunteer basedtwenty candidates filed just from the efforts, there were numerous side benefits ofrecruiting letter alone. The state chair, county the program. Candidates were recruitedchairs, and others made follow-up phone largely from registered Libertarians instead ofcalls. They also established a website for just LP members, creating scores of newrecruiting team members to keep track of activists. Some of the money for the projectwho had filed for what offices, and what came from new donors, as the recruitingraces still needed candidates. prospects were solicited for funds as a “backup” request if they did not agree to run. North Carolina reported good results And a large pool of recruiting prospects forusing personalized emails, followed up with future elections was also created.phone calls. Copies of the TX recruiting letterand NC email are included in the next section. s CONCEPT One recurring theme from state party The basics of the plan were as follows:recruiters was that recruiting a lot of 1. Identify all possible local races for thecandidates made it easier to recruit even Fall 2000 elections.more — the bandwagon effect. This is 2. Determine the 10,000 registeredparticularly true when you are close to filling Libertarians with the highest votinga slate. One of the best ways to utilize the propensity, and who had current phonebandwagon effect is with a website showing numbers available. Data match thethe recruiting campaigns progress, with Libertarians to the available races.PAGE / 18
  23. 23. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL 3. Mail the 10,000 registered Libertarians (eight candidates filed for two offices).a recruiting piece, tailored to the specificraces they were eligible to run for. Eight Libertarians won their races on 4. Hire a telemarketing company to phone November 7. Together with the 6 who wonall 10,000 Libertarians to do an initial uncontested races, and with Tom Tryon’s re-screening for interest, and solicit election bid in the spring, the total number ofcontributions as a backup request. California Libertarians elected in 2000 was 15. 5. Have LPC staff follow up with allprospects to confirm they will run and s HOW IT ALL HAPPENEDshepherd them through the filing process. Top Notch Data, the voter data firm we contracted with, dropped 9,707 letters on Julys COST 14, three days before the opening of Operation Breakthrough Expenses: candidate filing. Prospects for the mailing$22,647 were selected based on being high-voting- $4,359 for the project came through propensity registered libertarians with validcontributions solicited from the recruiting phone numbers who lived in one or moreprospects, plus another $1,100 for 44 new special districts. {Note: Special Districts arememberships. The rest of the project was local governing bodies designed to deal withfunded through targeted donations. issues such as fire control, water distribution, airports, and hospitals. Many have budgets ins RESULTS the many millions of dollars.} 162 candidates for non-partisan officewere recruited as a direct result of Operation Almost immediately the LPC office wasBreakthrough. That is a cost of $140 per flooded with calls from interested prospects.candidate recruited. 14 winning candidates 85 inquiries were initially generated from thewere recruited at a cost of $1,618 per win. mailing alone. 19 additional candidates qualified for On July 25, Action Marketing — thevarious non-partisan races in the Fall, telemarketing firm — began making therecruited earlier in the year. 181 total non- follow-up phone calls to all members of thepartisan candidates for the general election, list. Action Marketing callers were trained byplus 113 partisan candidates = 294 Libertarian staff on the LP, LP positions, organizationalcandidates for the general election. structure, and the goal of the campaign. The goal of callers was to filter out those Of these, six “won” their election — by Libertarians who expressed an interest inbeing appointed to office because not enough running for office from those who had nocandidates filed for those offices. interest at all. Those who had no interest were then solicited for a contribution. That leaves 288 candidates who were onthe fall ballot. 14 candidates ran for office in 393 hours of calling (at $28.00 per hour)the Spring, but four also filed for both produced 221 Hot Prospects and 290 Warmpartisan and non-partisan races. Prospects. Staff had to follow up with all these prospects. Staff estimated they spent That gave the LPC a year-end total of 294 480 person hours on the project.+ 14 - 4 duplicates = 304 Libertariancandidates in 2000 running for 312 offices On August 1, LPC hired temporary staff to PAGE / 19
  24. 24. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALassist in processing the prospects identified Bad information from the counties. Inby Action Marketing. The temp turned out to compiling data from the counties to forwardbe a quick learner and was very good at to Top Notch Data, errors were made as aclosing many “sales” to prospects who were result of bad information provided bynot sure about running for office. The temp counties. For example, San Diego County hadworked approximately 100 hours, for a total a typo in their list of special districts thatfee to the agency of $1,617.35. This was in read “County Water District.” Hundreds ofaddition to the staff time mentioned above. Libertarians received a letter telling them they are eligible to run for this office, when no Action Marketing completed phone calls such office exists. The information shouldon August 5 after saturating the list to 54.4%. have read “Cambridge County Water District.” Similarly, Santa Clara County’s list of offices Filing closed on August 11 for most up for election included “Santa Clara Wateroffices. Those offices where an incumbent did District,” which held elections in the Spring.not file by August 11 had their filing periodsextended to August 16. Not enough information. LPC had trouble obtaining district-specific information to It took staff an additional two weeks to provide to prospects, such as: when andverify that all the candidates who claimed to where the district meets, how often, howhave filed actually filed. In some cases much compensation board members receive,candidates who thought they had filed had if any, how much the candidate statementonly taken out papers without returning them costs, and who pays for the candidateto the Registrar’s office, resulting in the loss statement. Some districts thought to notof a few candidates. But other candidates require petition signatures ended uppreviously unknown to us came forward and requiring signatures. Staff was forced to giveannounced that they had qualified, mitigating only general district information to thethe attrition from other candidates. prospect and make the prospect responsible for uncovering the specific information In addition, LPC discovered about a half- relative to the district being considered.dozen elected Libertarian officeholderspreviously unknown to us. Further, 230 No control over recruitment. LPC hadprospects that could not run this time no control over how many candidates endedexpressed an interest in being contacted up filing for any one office. In fact this isagain for future elections. impossible to control given the procedures used. For instance, LPC cannot stop as PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED Libertarian who receives the mailing from Too many inquiries. LPC staff was filing for office without informing us (thisunprepared for the positive results of the happened). Similarly, LPC cannot control amailing and the follow-up phone calls. candidate who ends up filing for a differentIncoming and outgoing calls overwhelmed the office than the one originally committed tooffice. Staff (including temp) was working at (this also happened). Having too manypeak capacity for two weeks. Many prospects Libertarians in one race can jeopardize thedid not receive follow-up phone calls during chance for Libertarian victory in that raceappointed times set by Action Marketing. (votes are split, giving any incumbents anNext time LPC should have temp staff lined advantage).up and trained much sooner.PAGE / 20
  25. 25. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL No candidate screening. LPC had no Little opportunity for follow up orcontrol over the quality of candidates. Our support. Aside from receiving the standardgoal was quantity. While some small amount candidate package from the national office,of screening took place during follow-up recruited candidates received little supportphone calls, it is far from perfect. Some from the LPC. Many were first-timeprospects, for example, did not receive candidates.further follow up after telephoneconversations revealed that the prospect Poor fulfillment on contributions. Actiondisplayed behavior likely to embarrass the marketing obtained $20,623 in pledgedparty or was not in alignment with LPC contributions and memberships from theirpositions. But it is quite possible that some “backup” solicitation for funds. Only 26.5% ofcandidates slipped through this minimal this ($5,459.00) actually came in. This ratioscreening effort and don’t adhere to the could be greatly improved with betterLibertarian philosophy despite their voter oversight of the telemarketers, and moreregistration. follow-up fulfillment reminder letters. PAGE / 21
  26. 26. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL 5................................... ................................... SECTION FIVEThe Art of Persuasion 2. I wouldn’t feel right just filing for the office and thenY ou’ve got the plan, now it’s time to make the call. There is an art to persuading potential candidates to not running a real campaign. “Jane, I’m telling you right now that since we don’t have an active candidate for yourbe committed candidates. When recruiting, keepin mind that most people will not respond to race, you can really help us out by puttinggeneric appeals to “run for office.” The most your name on the ballot. Our top of the ticketproductive appeal is directed to a specific candidates are running really activeperson asking them to file for a specific office. campaigns — but if we only have two or threeThis lets the potential candidate know that other candidates on the ballot, we’re going tothere is some strategy behind the request. It hand the media an issue to attack us on. Noclearly defines the parameters of the request. one is going to notice that you aren’t running an active campaign. They will notice that we Remember, most people are flattered when have packed the ballot with libertarianasked to run for office. The worst they will say choices — making our top of ticketis no. Here are some arguments you’ll hear — campaigns that much more effective. Besides,and suggested ways of turning a no into a yes. if you file and then want to do something — but not everything — we’ll help you. You don’t have to do anything, remember, but if you1. I just don’t have the time or want to make yours a semi-active campaign,money to run for office. maybe go to a couple of candidate’s nights or fill out your own questionnaires, that’s fine. “John, no one ever has enough time or We’re easy, we can work with you.”money for running. But we aren’t asking youto spend a lot of time or a lot of money — thefiling fee is only $50.00, and we’ll guide you 3. What if I get elected?through everything else! We’ll prepare a guide I don’t have time to go toto filling out the questionnaires you’ll get, as the legislature.well as for the financial reportingrequirements. It will probably take you an (This objection is heard more often thanhour to go downtown to the County Clerk’s you may think.)office and file the papers. Painless and easy, “John, I promise you: You won’t getJohn, there is nothing that you could do that elected unless you decide to run a very activewould take so little time and as little money campaign. Besides, I think you’d make a greatthat would help us more than you filing for legislator. If that miracle happens and you dothat office, and that’s the truth.” get elected, it will probably be part of aPAGE / 22
  27. 27. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALLibertarian landslide! Then you get to be part it’s what our enemies think we have. And ifof the new Libertarian majority in the state we can field a full slate of candidates in 2004,senate. Give us two weeks, and being a we will have power with a capital ‘P.’legislator will be something you do part time— maybe one weekend a month — sort of like “And besides, do you think that everybeing in the National Guard. But really, you Republican or Democratic candidate on thewon’t get elected without a heavy duty ballot is an active candidate? They know thecampaign and spending lots of money. I importance of running a full ballot and theypromise you. I’m the state chairman, I know recruit a lot of people who don’t do muchthese things.” more than we’re asking of you.” (Point out that even if the candidate starts4. I don’t think it does us any as a paper candidate, there is always thegood to run candidates who option of getting more involved later, shoulddon’t to do any campaigning. they decide to do so.) “Jane, I agree, it would be better for us tohave active or at least semi-active candidates 5. I’m afraid my careerin every race. But look, we’re just getting this might suffer.started, we’re still learning — we’re still “Actually, your career may be enhanced.looking for people. We just don’t have the Most people admire those who dare to make apeople to run for every race in the way that difference. And you’ll likely meet plenty ofwe should. Since we can’t do everything, we people who turn out to be excellent businesshave to do something. contacts. You’ll certainly enhance your community visibility.” “No one will notice if most of our candidatesaren’t active. They will notice that theirelection ballot is full of Libertarians. Politics 6. Do you really thinkcan be real funny sometimes—things can add that I’ll do any good?up in unexpected ways. No one takes a party “Absolutely. Without a doubt. Our top ofseriously that runs only a few candidates — ticket candidates will get more votes becauseeven if those candidates are tremendous we have a full ballot than they would if theypeople spending a lot of money. People will are the only people on our ballot. We will gettake us seriously when they see us becoming more, and better, media attention. This is parta serious threat—and a ballot packed with of our long-range strategy to bring aboutlibertarian choices is a serious threat. freedom in our time. It’s not much that we’re asking, John. And I know you’re a Libertarian “Besides, we can’t leave our other — you’ve been supporting us faithfully forcandidates sitting out there on a limb by ten years. I think you’re under-rating yourselfthemselves, can we? If we can’t pack the here, telling yourself that you really can’t doballot behind them, we are letting them down. any good. You can — and you are our choice.The media will pay more attention to our I’m the state chairman — I know these things.candidates when they can stand up and say That’s why I got elected, so I could makethey have 5,000 Libertarian candidates behind crazy phone calls like this and harass youthem. I’m running, everyone on the State about running for office (humorously). InCentral Committee is running—and we need 1776, they weren’t sure of success either, butyou too. Political power isn’t what you have, look what they started!” PAGE / 23
  28. 28. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUALSome Additional chairman, calling to pester you about running for the state legislature.”Recruitment Strategies 5 Look for objections within objections —H umor is an excellent method for break- ing through barriers. When people arelaughing with you, it is harder for them to say and beware of someone who tells you “Yes” to get you off his her back with no intentions of following through. When it’s“no” and keep their defenses up. As time to get to the filing office, you can’timportant as humor is the image: Projected afford no-shows.confidence, positive expectation. You are, 5 I will also admit to appealing to theafter all, the state chair. Presumably, you vanity of the person recruited. “Jane, weknow something about politics, otherwise simply don’t have anyone else. You are ourhow did you get to be the “chief agitator” for last and best hope. The ball is in youryour state? Thus, when you, as the state chair, court and you have all the cards. You cantell the potential candidates that what they really make a difference this year.” Maybeare doing is important, it means something. you don’t have anyone else because no one If you don’t know what you are doing, at else was crazy enough to want the job, butleast sound like you do — which means doing don’t tell them that.your homework. Make sure they know that 5 Finally, don’t hesitate to use bribes. If youtheir race is part of a coherent national must, offer to help the candidate move,strategy for victory for the Libertarian Party. clean out his garage, put up storm windows,Their choice has not only local consequences, or whatever it takes. If it will put anotherit has national consequences. Libertarian on the ballot and move us one5 Use emotion. Don’t be afraid to wrap step closer to a Libertarian society, it’s yourself in the flag and stand on the worth it! platform of the American Revolution (“We 5 Use every means possible to ask people need to recruit Minutemen for the ’90s”). to run — newsletter, email, meetings, and It may sound hokey, but people expect a personalized mailing to every member politics to be hokey. Most do not do things outlining the overall strategy and asking for rational reasons — they do them for them to run. But recognize that almost all emotional reasons. If they have children, of your “closed sales” on candidates will appeal to their sense of duty as parents. come from one-on-one, personal requests.5 Consider using any argument or tactic, as 5 Create a “Bandwagon Effect” by constant long as it is not un-libertarian. Appeal to announcements of newly announced emotion, reason, religious values, business candidates. Create a website for party hopes. Point out that there are advantages members and recruiters to track the to being a candidate, such as name recruitment campaign’s progress. recognition, respect, media attention, and 5 Make sure every party member and advancement within the Libertarian every other prospect gets full informa- movement. Study your people, figure out tion on running, including filing forms, where the buttons are, and push them. If petitions, and other qualifying information. they have a favorite issue — persuade Make the forms and information readily them with the fact that they will be able to accessible on the Internet. promote that issue in the press. 5 Start Early! A few candidates on board5 Persistence is a virtue. “Hi, it’s me again, early will jumpstart the recruiting process. your friendly neighborhood libertarianPAGE / 24
  29. 29. LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE RECRUITING MANUAL 5................................... ................................... SECTION SIXKey Points onRecruiting & Developing 5 Hold training sessions for all of the candidates in the area. They’ll hone their skills, and they’ll feel like they’re part of aLibertarian Candidates dedicated team.P utting Libertarian candidates before the voters is such an important step on the road tofreedom that it’s worth reiterating these 6 Don’t reject “paper” candidates if a more serious candidate isn’t available. Lineholders often evolve into active candidates.central principles. Keep them in mind as youbuild a winning team of candidates. 7 Use every means possible to ask people to run — newsletter, e-mail, meetings,1 Develop a consensus among party activ- ists that running candidates is animportant and integral part of party activities. and a personalized mailing to every member outlining the overall strategy and asking them to run. But recognize that almost all of your “closed sales” on candidates will come from2 All potential candidates should be asked to run. Comparatively few will volunteer, one-on-one, personal requests.but many will agree if approached. 8 Create a “Bandwagon Effect” by constant announcements of newly announced3 Avoid complex screening procedures for candidates. It uses precious time and isusually unnecessary. It is better to have many candidates. Create a website for party members and recruiters to track the recruitment campaign’s progress.candidates — with a couple of bad candidates— than to end up with only one or two goodcandidates. 9 Make sure every party member and every other prospect gets full information on running, including filing forms, petitions, and4 Demonstrate to potential candidates that the party is willing to support theirefforts with volunteers, money, materials, or other qualifying information. Make the forms and information readily accessible on the Internet.advice. Prove your commitment — in writingif necessary. 10 Start Early! A few candidates on board early will jumpstart the recruiting process. PAGE / 25