The general rule of thumb in politics is that the summer is supposed to be a slow time. After all, we’re all thinking about barbecues, pools and vacations. No one wants to focus on campaigns… except in the City of Albuquerque.
This summer is going to go down in the history books as one of the most bizarre in recent history. Today’s Albuquerque Journal Around the Metro (subscription) section has one City Councilor facing ethics complaint and the Mayor’s Transit Director in the hot seat:
Councilor Raises Campaign Concern
City Councilor Brad Winter has called on the mayor to ensure that Transit Director Greg Payne isn’t doing campaign work on city time.
He sent a letter to Mayor Martin Chávez this week. It stems from concern that Payne is helping Winter’s opponent in this year’s council race, Paulette de’Pascal.
Payne said Wednesday he has no role in de’Pascal’s campaign and isn’t doing campaign work for anyone on city time. He said supporters of de’Pascal had approached him about helping her, but he doesn’t have the “time or energy to get involved.”
De’Pascal said Payne “is not affiliated with my campaign in any way.”
She said an employee in the mayor’s office, Tony Pedroncelli, did help gather signatures— but not on city time.
Ok, probably not worth more than a head scratch. Or, at least that’s what I thought until I had this email forwarded to me:
From: “Sandra P. Richardson”
Date: July 14, 2007 7:39:55 AM MDT
Cc: “Sandra P. Richardson”
Subject: Paulette, THE PLAN and the structure
While you ask for structure, you resist it like a honey bee, flitting from person to person, seeking their advice and opinion…wearing yourself and us out. Not a winning strategy in any political campaign…especially this one. Hard to be the candidate and not the consultant, isn’t it?
Yesterday, I was talking with Greg. We worked out what HE needs YOU to do and I fully support because I trust Greg and know that if you follow this Plan, you WILL win. If you continue to avoid, you can cost yourself the election.
Here’s the structure we’re committed to:
1. Greg is THE Captain of the team. He’s the ONLY person to whom you seek political advice. He’s THE strategist…period. (He’s “gold” for this campaign.)
a. Do NOT undermine his efforts by being a “honey bee.” Frustrating for him, frustrating for me, frustrating for you.
b. Everyone else is just signature helpers…NOT strategists. If you indulge in the “honey bee,” you sacrifice winning…period.
c. “Loose lips sink ships.” In this case, being a “honey bee” compromises your campaign. You cannot discuss the elements with anyone else. Period. This is not a tea party, this is WAR. Period.
2. I agree with Greg. I have made a commitment to him and to you. My role is to work with Greg, find out what his game plan is for that period of time and then work with you to make sure you follow. Period.
a. If you have a concern, you tell me so that I can tell Greg. Period. No honey bee.
b. You have to follow this structure to protect Greg and me and yourself. Period.
c. Greg is held ethically to very strict guidelines…he cannot indulge your need to hear from him every day…that’s why we’ve worked out this plan.
d. I’m your coach ,as I committed mid May!! Period. As such, you MAKE time for me, first.
3. THE PLAN-structure:
a. Greg is the only Captain of this ship. He creates the strategy. He decides.
b. I am his First Mate. I report to the Captain. YOU report to ME. Period.
c. You are the candidate. You report to me….NOT “if you get time” between all the “flowers.” You MAKE time. I’m not your mother…I’m your coach. This is the PLAN. You want to win? You follow Greg’s Plan. Period.
d. Caleb is the manager of compliance and your schedule. He does NOT take a trip or day off to play without checking The Book first, assuring that nothing is due. He let’s me know if and when he leaves…and assures ME that nothing is due. Period. He earns the money funded by the pubic. period.
e. EVERYONE else is a helper ONLY for door-to-door.
4. . Everyone else,EVERYONE else is NOT for you to discuss any strategy…you cannot indulge or you will sink your candidacy and us along with it!
a. They help with going door to door. Period.
b. They are NOT the ones you turn to for “What should I do.”
1) Tony, et al, help you by walking door to door…period. He is NOT your strategist…he works for Greg in this campaign. He is not the “go-to” guy.
2) Eddie is NOT. You do NOT discuss stuff with him. He keeps you company on the door-to-door, Talk about other stuff. “Loose lips…”
3) Not your old buddies, relatives, especially girlfriends.
4) Not other candidates. This is not 8th grade.
5). NO one, nada, nil.
5. THE PLAN-Per Greg, this is what you focus on…and only this:
a. Keep walking getting signatures…lots and lots of signatures. that’s ALL.
b. You do not need to do anything else unless it falls under “compliance.”
6. Caleb, as the publically paid person, has the responsibility to organize the paperwork from the City Clerk’s Office and be responsible for your compliance with the rules.
a. As promised, I will coordinate with him…not you.
b. He will inform you when and what you need to do and you will comply with whatever the paperwork says.
c. He can always check with Kelli on your behalf…you. do NOT.
d. as the paid manager, he does not take off unless he let’s me know that all is okay, nothing is due. He tells me.
5. Caleb will maintain your calendar…you do NOT schedule without clearing with him…remember, “I have to check with my manager.”
a. Real easy to do.
b. You cannot “try,”
c. You have to make that commitment to the campaign.
d. You make that commitment to those of us who are working (Greg, Caleb, me) for your success.
You wanted structure…I’ve been trying for several months to bring you structure with a little success but there’s still too much frustration for all.
You owe your campaign the commitment to follow what Greg and I have the experience to know. YOU WOULD DEMAND THIS OF YOUR OWN CLIENTS!
The only way this campaign will fail is if you do not follow The Plan.. You absolutely must. Or, you’re wasting your time and ours.
You have a tendency to bring this to everyone you know, get their input and cherry-pick what you think will work for you. BUT YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN THE CANDIDATE.
You are not objective and the people you ask are not experts nor do they know the District 4 political scene nor will they have to “pick up the pieces” if this campaign “goes South.”
No more 8th grade stuff. This is serious…for Greg, for me and for you. We all have a great deal at stake. You absolutely need to put your candidacy in Greg’s hands. You have to trust him…
He’s won every campaign. He’s savvy and experienced and believes strongly in you…as do I. BUT, Paulette, you can be your own worse enemy. When you’re unsure, you indulge in the “honey bee” syndrome, trying to get a secure feeling inside.
Campaigning takes personal discipline. Do what you do best: get signatures.. Can you imagine if you had 5,000 signatu
res what the impact would be on your campaign???
So, focus on just one thing: getting signatures…get to know as many constituents as you possibly can. You do this so well. Capitalize on your strength. Only you can do this part well.
Make time, first, for me to coach you on the background for issues that you will need at debate and forum time.
I expect your compliance to Greg’s plan. Greg expects your compliance to his Plan.
And, if this wasn’t bizarre enough, it turns out that there is a Mayoral Appointee to the City of Albuquerque Ethics Board named Mr. Cliff Richardson. I wonder if there is any relationship between Ms. Sandra Richardson and Mr. Cliff Richardson.