Project Wonderful

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Just in time for 4th of July, VAN Easter Eggs!

Shout out to YDA Secretary, campaign grandbaby and FOCS, Shayna Daitch for alerting me to these!

"The first one is if you try to search for something multiple times in the Help Wiki, even it it tells you the article doesn't exist."

"The second is the last article after searching for 'administrator.'"

Thanks, Shayna!

Well....that's a new one.

Incumbent Congressman Frank Lucas' primary opponent (who lost with just over 5% of the vote) is contesting Tuesday's primary election on the grounds that Lucas is dead and has been replaced by a stunt double. I'm going to refrain from commentary because this guy is clearly mentally ill, but you can read his press release on the subject below, as well as on his website.

News Person,

The election for U.S. House for Oklahoma’s 3rd District will be contested by the Candidate, Timothy Ray Murray. I will be stating that his votes are switched with Rep. Lucas votes, because it is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displayed by a look alike. Rep. Lucas’ look alike was depicted as sentenced on a white stage in southern Ukraine on or about
Jan. 11, 2011.

This is a situation similar to the Senators’ from Kentucky situation in the 2012 election. I am contesting that this matter has happen since his election was blocked, because of the U.S. Defense Department’s use of Mr. Murray’s DNA. To my knowledge, the U.S. Defense Department has not released to the public that information, as it is their confidential information about many people. Congress is likely wanting me to state that all my DNA used will not result in benefits to people I have never had relations with of a family nature. I have been bound to protect that information unless it causes harm to The People.

The contest of election and or petition will be correctly filed with county election boards and with federal offices. I, Hon. Mr. Timothy Ray Murray, fully meet all Constitutional, Federal and Oklahoma requirements for election and for holding Office if the voters’ results show that is the case.

Thank You for your service in giving Oklahomans great current news and information.


Hon. Timothy Ray Murray

Murray has until Friday to file a formal petition. He was the Democratic nominee in 2012.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Great Ad from a Great Candidate

It's my policy not to comment on our candidates' campaigns, but let me just say this ad is different and adorable. Am I excited about Brett Smiley? Yes.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Free Advice for Potential Candidates: Don't Be A Gross Weirdo

I offer you guys a lot of free campaign advice, but here's one I never thought I'd have to share: When running for office don't pick your eye boogers and eat them on camera.

"What a strange thing to mention, Nancy" you might say. I bring it up because that's exactly what Oklahoma State Rep, marriage bigot, and Congressional hopeful Mike Turner did earlier this year. Or at least I assume so. I can't actually watch the video because the idea of watching someone eat their own eye crust makes feel the way Mike Turner feels about consensual, loving same-sex relationships. I did however listen to it and I can't help but wonder if the speaker thinks the word "mandate" means being forced to go on a date with a man. So to recap: Gay people getting married soooo disgusting that we should legally abolish all marriage. Treating your body like a booger buffet, totally legit.

Stay Classy, Oklahoma Republicans.

Today in Voter Suppression: Husted Ruling Made Permanent

You may remember one of my favorite cases from last election cycle was OFA v. Husted because of the clever legal angle and the fact that Husted was just so blatantly a jerk about it. This ruling simply says that the decision (in OFA's favor) remains in place for this November.

"The Obama Campaign sued Husted and the state of Ohio in 2012, alleging the change violated Ohioans rights to participate equally in elections. The courts sided with the plaintiffs, concluding it was wrong to treat some voters (non-military) different than others (military). The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a request for an emergency stay, and Husted released new hours including the weekend voting days.

The 2012 case remained open and Wednesday's summary judgment makes the ruling permanent. The decision does not change cuts made earlier this year on the front end of Ohio's early voting period."

So...yay! I just wanted to share some good voting news.

Advocate From Where You Stand: Equal Pay Edition

I have been meaning to post this video since I first saw it which was October of LAST year. At first I thought I would wait for Equal Pay Day 2014, (the day that marks how additionally far into the new year the average woman works to earn the same wages as the average man did in the previous year) but April 14th came and went and still no blog post. Bad job, Leeds.

So rather than deprive you of truly clever and thought provoking example of awareness raising, I decided to post it now.

Think about THAT!

Eric CANT-or Loses His Primary

In case you live under a rock (or just not in DC) Republican Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, lost his primary to a guy named after sausage on Tuesday. So on the one hand everyone is all, "Woo! Take that Eric Cantor" and on the other people are wondering what it means when the House Majority Leader is deemed not extreme enough to win his own primary. Meanwhile, something funny happened and it was this.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ask An Election Nerd: My Boss Is Dropping the Ball

I have experience managing state and local campaigns, and I was hired on as a deputy campaign manager for a state senate race. The campaign manager really talked herself up and I liked her style at first, but now it seems that she doesn't know what she's doing. How do I handle this situation? The candidate is awesome and has the foundation to win, but needs a good campaign to do it. How do you approach your boss when you think she's dropping the ball?
Oh that stinks! Sometime on campaigns the people who talk the best game act the most lame. I can also absolutely empathize with your situation and I know how frustrating it can be. You want the campaign to be the best it can be and also, it's hard not to resent your campaign manager.

Even when I love and respect my bosses, I have a tendency to "manage up." I proactively suggest that I take on responsibility and actively (some might say annoyingly) hold my managers accountable for the resources they are responsible for getting me to do my job. Managing up is not always a bad thing, but it does need to be done delicately. If you feel your boss might miss out on some of the basics, can you suggest that you take care of them? "Do we have a press list somewhere? Should I just throw one together in case?" Even if your CM feels this should be her responsibility, at least you've gotten it on her radar. You can also point-blank suggest that you take over some of her responsibilities. "Now that we're gearing up I've noticed you have to spend a lot more on your plate. You know my background is in field, so would it help if I sort of took over the volunteer stuff and just reported back to you?" It's important to make clear that you are not trying to challenge her authority, merely to make the best use of your skills to contribute to the team.

I would also suggest requesting regularly scheduled meetings or one on ones where you can discuss your goals and responsibilities for that week. That way, if you think of something the campaign should be doing that it currently isn't, you already have a structured venue in which to address it.

It's not always easy being the smartest person in the room! (But I hope that helps.)

Campaign Love and Mine,


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Job Applications 101

Guys, we need to talk. Nothing hurts me like reading a terrible job application from a qualified organizer. While I realize that being a stickler for proper application etiquette is in some ways perpetuating a system of privilege, there are still ways for EVERYONE to figure out how to send a professional application. When I am trying to put together the best team for one of my candidates, I am not in business of mentoring or giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. So I am spelling it out for you here. Basic rules and etiquette for applying to jobs:

1) Your resume should only be a page. Yes, even yours.
The rule that the Federal government uses, and the rule that most people go by, is one page per 10 years of professional experience. Professional experience includes full-time work, paid work and meaningful internships. It does not include work in a completely unrelated field and it certainly doesn't include varsity debate club. If you have only a job or two under your belt or you are a career changer and you include that you were a server at a restaurant or that you were the president of your fraternity to show a record of responsibility and leadership, then that's great. But, there is no reason you should be running onto a second page because of publication in Space and Time magazine or the time you worked at an after-school daycare. If you have enough experience that you don't need these things as filler, then you should cut them.

If you are applying to jobs in more than one field you should have more than one resume. A long resume that is all over the place tells me that you don't have an idea of what kind of experience is relevant to this job (not good) or that you didn't care enough to tailor your resume for this position (also not good).

*"But," you say, "It's different when you work on campaigns! I have so many different races to list!"
To which I would reply, if I am in a position to hire you, then I most likely have more experience than you and if I can fit my resume on a page so can you.

2) Send all of what is requested and ONLY what is requested.
You may think you are being helpful by providing references, or letters of recommendation, or a CV when I just asked for a resume, but what I hear is, "I can't follow directions." Next!

3) Use a professional email address.
Come on guys, really? Would you hire Your email should be some form of your name at a school, business or gmail address. Email addresses are free, so there is no reason you should still be using one from 7th grade. While we're at it, it's not like I'm going to throw away a resume from earthlink or aol, but I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't admit that this gives me pause. It's 2014, get with the program.

4) If my name is in the job posting, use it.
As a job applicant, it is one of my pet peeves when the poster makes it impossible for me to figure out to whom I should address my cover letters. So when you are emailing me at and you write "to whom it may concern" I am having none of it. Who do you think it concerns? Not doing basic research or applying critical thinking shows me that you are either lazy or don't really care about this job, neither of which are qualities that make me inclined to respond to your inquiry.

5) Grammar, format, and spell check your resume and cover letter.
Again if you can't be bothered to edit it, I can't be bothered to respond to it. If you don't edit your own emails when applying for the job, why would I have any confidence that you would put care into communications on behalf of a campaign?

Bonus Tip: Always send your resume as PDF since documents may look different on different computers and PDFs are in a standard format that every computer should be able to open.

6) Avoid flowery or qualifying language.
Good writing is very important in a cover letter and on campaigns, but "good" doesn't necessarily mean "wordy." Hiring managers have a lot of cover letters to get through and they want them to be concise and effective. Tell me in plain English who you are and why you are a good fit for this job. Adjectives, adverbs and idioms should be used very sparingly.

By qualifying language I mean phrases like, "I believe," "In my opinion," "I feel," before making a statement about why you are an appropriate candidate for the position. I know you think it, you're the one writing it. Just say so! Qualifiers like these only undercut your argument by taking up space and making you sound insecure.

7) Make a specific link between your experience and the job in question.
Two things a cover letter should NOT be: a reiteration of your resume or a manifesto about how I can help you. Your resume should already tell me what you've done. If you have chosen to applying for the job I assume that the position somehow fits with your personal goals and that is all the information I need about those at this time. You do not need to include an objective. Your cover letter should illustrate how your skills and experience match an organization's needs, not your own. Identify what the campaign is looking for and show how you're a match. For example, if I say I need a self starter who can hit the ground running, use your cover letter to let me know about a time when you single-handedly turned a campaign around.

I'm with you, writing cover letters is the worst! I just want to attach my resume and then write in all caps "BUT I'M NANCY!!!" However, the world doesn't work like that. My hope is that these tips will allow you to get your foot in the door so that your passion and experience and show through. Go forth my little CampaignSicles! Shine your light into the world!



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Ask An Election Nerd: Is it Better to Donate Time or Money?

Nancy! Totally theoretical question... which is better, time or money? Like, if I'm willing to give a campaign one but not both, which would you rather have?

Great question! Of course as a campaign person my first reaction is to say "do both," but I know that's not what you were asking.

The short answer is 1) It depends how much 2)It depends when and 3) It depends on the campaign.

If you are talking about $1,000 vs. 1 door knocking shift (I am guessing not),then money. If you are talking 3 shifts vs. $10, then time. A paid canvasser gets paid about $12/hr and obviously a motivated volunteer, especially one with a little bit of experience, is even more effective so you can consider it in those terms.

Another thing to consider, Early Money Is Like Yeast (ever wonder where the name EMILY's List came from?) it helps raise the dough. Fundraising reports are often the first places high dollar donors and endorsing organizations look in order to determine viability. As you go along in the campaign, the time/money tradeoff begins to shift. If you are donating to a campaign in the last week, they are likely to spend it on some type of field activity because paid calls and canvassers can be turned around more quickly than mail or media and it's usually too late to hire an additional staff member.

Of course this all depends on a campaign's size and specific needs. For most of my state leg candidates, all things being equal, I would say money until the last 2 weeks and then I would say time.

Or you could do both and host a fundraiser...with a phonebank at it! (I'm sorry I couldn't help myself, but I hope this helped you!)

Campaign Love and Mine,


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