Michael H. Wilson: A Plan for Libertarians Running for Office

Michael Wilson
Michael H Wilson posted this list in a comment on IPR. It’s excellent information, so here it is as an article.

Mr. Wilson is a long-time Libertarian activist, currently residing in Washington state.

Maybe this will help. It is a to do list I have put together for people who wish to run for office and a comment about the LP.

Candidate Support: the Libertarian Party needs to step up and provide more support to its candidates than it has done. This means helping to develop issues, providing volunteers to work with the candidates and fund raising for the candidate. Given the rules the LPWA may find it difficult to give to the candidate but at least it should work with the membership to fund campaigns. Campaigns need to be seen as win/win situations. The candidates are getting our message out so it is important that we help them. Take the lead and extend a helping hand.

Recruit candidates: Don’t hesitate to ask. That is the first step in recruiting candidates

1. Public Speaking: Most of us have some difficulty getting up in public and speaking so don’t feel like you are all alone. You’re not! To learn about public speaking look up your local Toastmaster Club. You’ll find them in the phone book and on the internet. You might also sign up for a course at your local community college and many times these courses won’t cost much at all.

2. Start planning a year or more in advance.

3. Read your community news paper and not just their web site. Get the dead tree version!

4. Find an organization such as meals on Wheels and volunteer. This will look good on your political resume but even more important it will expose you to some of the most desperate, people in your community, those who are shut in. And that is a learning experience that you will benefit from if you win office.

5. You should also look at volunteering for the community planning commission and joining the Rotary Club or something similar and trying to get elected to a position in that organization.

6. Know the responsibilities of the office you are seeking.

7. Select a geographically defined office if at all possible.

8. Ask for advice. There are plenty of people who have run for ffice and who have gained significant experience in doing so.

9. Develop a budget

10. Know the rules and regulations for reporting campaign donations and expenditures. This cannot be emphasized enough. Know the rules and don’t get fined.

11. Fund raising is a must. Ask for help and read some basic information on how to do this.

12. Printing/copy shops – shop around for the best price. Get at least three quotes if not five.

13. Yard sign printers or DIY info; same here get quotes and shop the job around.

14. Plan to walk the district; start early. Right after Memorial Day is a good time to get started, if not before.

15. Develop the issues; don’t overwhelm the voters just three to five issues will do. Three is best.

16. Design a web site, door hangers, brochures and yard signs. Yahoo has an inexpensive and easy to use web site feature.

17. Order business cards

18. Thank you cards for: Send thank you cards to all contributors, yard sign volunteers, reporters for interviews, and general volunteers.

19. Get names of volunteers

20. Get a map of the district

21. Get precinct map

22. Get a voter registration list

23. Get the names of the Super Voters; these are the ones who make a habit of voting all most every election

24. Get LP membership list

25. Get voter lists walking route; the post office used to have walking maps the route carriers used. Sometimes the local election office has these. ASK!

26. Get Direct mail information; you can send material cheaper by standard mail. Do not use the LP bulk mail permit. It is not permitted by the post office and the state party could be fined.

27. Develop a media list; news papers, even the weekly ones, radio stations, television stations local blogs, etc.

28. Learn how to write a media release. It is not a press release. It is a news release or media release.

29. Find out if there is a member of the media living in the district. If so make sure they get many more early morning literature drops and along with the surrounding block then the average voter. That generates interest.

30. And when it is all over if you have any funds left contribute them to a charity. I did this once with three dollars and change and it was mentioned in the local paper. Good P.R. for not much money.

2 thoughts on “Michael H. Wilson: A Plan for Libertarians Running for Office

  1. Michael H. Wilson

    For your information there are a few typos in here. This is about 15 to 20 years old and I haven’t worked on it for some time. I did use it in replying to another thread. If you can use it fine; just fix the typos.

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