Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010
Scott Galvin's myopic FL-17 campaign never did the things it needed most to win: a persuasive/strategic outreach to Broward voters early this year
Though it may look like it's rural Alabama or Georgia as you zoom past it on AMTRAK, that sign actually says "Welcome to Broward County." Above, August 20, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier of northbound W. Dixie Highway as it approaches the Broward and Miami-Dade county line, with unincorporated M-D to the south and Hallandale Beach to the north. This is part of the Florida 17th congressional district that has its primary on Tuesday.
"Know your universe" is the number-one rule of politics that I learned over many years of working on and being a high-ranking official of a successful national political campaign, after years of working on state and local campaigns and seeing what works and what doesn't work -and why- including in Dade County, as I've previously written here.
Trust me, all the hard work and faith of your volunteers and friends is completely wasted if you as a candidate don't have the heart to stick to a demanding strategy that puts real expectations on you to get out of your 'comfort zone,' and thereby force your opponent(s) to have to work much harder than they ever imagined.
Going the unconventional route, which, counter-intuitively in South Florida, means a campaign plan that emphasizes you projecting internal logic and common sense reasoning in your answers to questions, while you draw a contrast with your opponents continuing to make expensive empty promises, is one way to break out of the pack and draw attention.
When I first heard that North Miami city council member Scott Galvin was planning on running for the FL-17 congressional seat being vacated by Kendrick Meek due to what I saw as Meek's nonsensical long-shot effort to be elected to the U.S. Senate, I must admit that I was intrigued.
More accurately, I was intrigued at the prospect that someone whom I'd generally heard pretty good things about when I asked some usually well-informed people, might actually be that rare South Florida candidate with the smarts to know that in order to win in a congressional district of its peculiar shape and all-over-the-map voter demographics, with him very much in the middle of a pack of nearly a dozen candidates, he'd have to throw the traditional cookie-cutter political campaign out and go unconventional.
Not Robert Redford's Bill McKay unconventional in Michael Ritchie's 1972 The Candidate, obviously, but whatever it's 21st-Century South Florida lower-key congressional equivalent might be.
Especially when running against so many candidates of middling-to-little accomplishment or talent, none of whom physically looked like him, as he has been constantly been reminded of, over-and-over again by the South Florida news media, on those rare occasions this summer when they deigned to leave the cocoon of their air-conditioned offices and mix it up with the vox populi in the sweltering heat.
(Was there ever a summer in South Florida where so many political stories were written while never leaving an air-conditioned office, and done almost entirely by telephone? Discuss.)
No, in order to win in this environment, Galvin would have to run a campaign that was by turns compelling to voters and the news media, based on his unconventional campaign that took more than the average number of calculated chances, since the alternative was to simply play-by-the-book and lose.
He would also have to be entirely comfortable taking the attack to them, which in this race, would mean telling the entire truth about his opponents while waging an offensive campaign as the only White candidate in a majority minority CD, spelling out the specifics of what would make him the best representative of this crazy-quilt district, which will hopefully be changed a lot after re-districting so that NE Miami-Dade is part of it and Broward is not.
How many times have we heard that the best defense is a good offense?
But it's true for a reason and if you can recognize the organizational and structural weaknesses of your opponents -i.e. they're being completely unknowns in Broward County- and carve-out spheres of influence for yourself in Broward, bulwarks if you will, that force the other candidates to expend a disproportionate amount of time and resources battling for those areas, your initial investment of time and energy can pay dividends later in the race while you work on the undecideds.
After all, it's not a two-way race, it's a ten-way race, and you aren't going to go from unknown to 50.1% overnight.
Know your universe.
One of the ways you do that now, of course, is to take the initiative and try to find out what non-elected officials are looked upon by the community as straight-shooters whose advice people generally listen to.
What you don't do is talk to the area's sorry collection of poverty pimps and the usual suspects with connection to the Steve Clark M-D Building in downtown Miami or at Dinner Key Auditorium, but real civic activists who don't personally profit financially from their work in the community. (The better to insulate yourself from future revelations.)
Frankly, the sort of serious high-minded people whom you don't have to waste time and resources on later reminding them to vote because they are, in fact, so busy being your shock troops at getting their own large circle of friends and acquaintances to the polls, you can instead concentrate on whether you need to devote time and energy on some areas that are under-performing or simply cut the cord and write-off some neighborhoods as un-winnable when you are running against so many opponents.
But in order to get those trusted community people on your side, you have to reach out to them.
Back in early January, I sent out an email to a few dozen friends and acquaintances throughout the Broward portion of FL-17 asking them to let me know if they ever heard about any
appearances by Galvin or any of the other FL-17 candidates, so I could arrange to be there and see them in action for myself.
Then I decided to set up separate Google Alerts for Galvin and certain of the other FL-17 candidates, so that I would have a good working intelligence base for following the various words and moves of the candidates, whether in print on TV or in blog posts.
I still have all of them in my computer, accessible in just seconds, and it has proven invaluable, but not for the reasons that I'd have originally imagined.
Now given how things have gone the last few months, where Galvin has seemingly done none of the things I think he ought to have done, has a website that is average at best, etc., I suppose I could mention some of the names of the dozens of such community people in the Broward portion of FL-17 whom I respect in Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and over in Pembroke Pines.
Folks that clearly should've been contacted by Scott Galvin and his team back in January and February if they wanted to be taken seriously NOW.
People who are persuasive as a result of their own hard work and ethics, dedication to their community's betterment and genuine honesty, even if you disagree with them on individual issues from time-to-time.
But they never received a phone call to arrange a personal meeting, never received an email saying that Galvin would be at so-and-so's and would like to speak with them alone after wards.
That's how you do it, especially when you don't have a lot of money to invest in sizable TV ad buys to keep your name recognition high in areas where you are otherwise a complete unknown, despite only living a few miles away.
So what was the Scott Galvin campaign strategy, exactly?
Nobody I sent that head's-up email to all those months ago ever heard from him, and they remain as flummoxed as I am now knowing that he had to run an upbeat, issues-oriented campaign that was decidedly different than his blah opponents, and has instead run a poor mishmash of a campaign that continually emphasized issues that have nothing to do with the job he is seeking: U.S. Representative.
That's why I titled my post about him on Friday the way that I did, FL-17's Scott Galvin isn't running for Class President, he's running for Congress. Different rules and standards apply.
after having previously taken him to task here on May 20th,
The FL-17 race that Scott Galvin ought to be hitting his stride in, is actually showing his immaturity. Has Galvin ALREADY blown it? http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/fl-17-race-that-scott-galvin-ought-to.html
"I'll do things differently."
Actually, that's what you needed to do in order to get the nomination.
News flash: You didn't do it.
That Galvin is so much more liberal than me I understood, this area being what it is, but just because you are liberal doesn't mean that you don't have to make any effort to reach moderate Dems like myself. And what did you talk about in your campaign literature?
Beach renourishment, traffic congestion, libraries, parks...?
Those are not issues to get you elected to Congress, they're issues to get you in line to replace Sally Heyman on the Miami-Dade County Commission, which perhaps would be best for all concerned.
What's his opinion of ending the tyranny of congressional earmarks?
It's my educated guess that his calendar since January 1st is littered with lots of wasted opportunities that he can likely not recover from, which is why perhaps what this race really proved about Galvin was that he's not ready to be a national prime-time player.
Maybe setting his sights on the Miami-Dade County Board is the thing for him to do.
But if he wants to do that, he and his supporters need to learn a few lessons.
First, don't put campaign signs on school property.
Above and below, July 31, 2010 photos by South Beach Hoosier of Scott Galvin campaign posters on school property in Hallandale Beach. They were there for weeks. Learn the rules of where you can place campaign signs.
And that goes for supporters of FL-17 candidate Phillip Brutus and U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek, who for months have had their signs in all sorts of places that are forbidden.
Is that on church property or the public right-of-way?
In any case, it's been there for a while.
July 21, 2010 photos by South Beach Hoosier.
Yes, that's definitely a cross on the top of that building.
Second, don't approve photos or material for your campaign literature without knowing that you came by them honestly and legally.
In the case of the photos of Hallandale Beach City Hall and Hollywood City Hall on the cover of the material I received in my mailbox last week, I know that's not the case because they are MY photos, ones I took and have used on this blog.
When you do a Google search for Hollywood City Hall and then click Images, what is the first photo that comes up of all the possible photos in the world?
August 20, 2010 screen shot by South Beach Hoosier
Yes, it's MY photo, as the URL is listed on the description.
In fact, the shape of the clouds in the sky and the composition of the parked bicycles prove it.
It's less than a 20-minute drive from North Miami City Hall to Hallandale Beach City Hall, and another 15 minutes up to Hollywood if you don't catch red lights all the way up.
If you and your campaign saw the photos on my blog and liked the idea of using photos of the city halls in the 17th district in your campaign ads, since I can't patent an idea, per se, you and your campaign could've sent someone to take shots for your ads and that would be that.
Instead, though, in the laziest and most egregiously obvious way possible, you took something that didn't belong to you, did so without asking me or notifying me, without any credit on the material itself and on and on.
And now everyone knows it.
But your campaign made damn sure that your mailer had a little Union Bug on it for the benefit of those who find that important?
So, I give up, which is it, attention to detail or no attention at all?
That sort of oblivious, half-assed behavior with respect to the use of my photos in these campaign ads is symptomatic of the larger problems of the 2010 Galvin campaign that looks likely to come to an end on Tuesday night -bad communications.
My vote against Galvin on Tuesday will be with that in mind.
Above, August 20, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier in Hollywood, FL for early voting.
FYI: Due to a problem with the scanner, I decided to take shots of the Scott Galvin campaign literature while I was at the Panera Bread, below, located on East Hallandale Beach Blvd., which is why the photos aren't as good as they'd ordinarily be, and why you can see part of the table in the shots or ceiling lights reflecting on the material.
Above, the Panera Bread in Hallandale Beach with The Duo condominium towers overlooking it on the south side and the Diplomat Golf Course on the north side.
My coffee of choice there is hazelnut with a bit of honey and cinnamon.
Topflight Photography view of Hollywood, Hallandale Beach at Ocean Drive/A1A
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