Although the margin of victory exceeds the margin that triggers a mandatory recount, Roy Brown is still considering whether or not to call for one anyway. Sixteen votes separate the candidates currently.
If Kendall Van Dyk wins this race, we are sending a clear message- dirty attack ads prove victorious. Never have I witnessed such a nasty race- Van Dyk’s mailers were nothing short of SLIMY, rife with distortions, false accusations, and blatant lies. In stark contrast, Roy Brown retained his dignity and campaigned like a gentleman.
The following are lessons we can learn from this election:
- A good tactic is one that your people enjoy so pay people like you to do your work- over and over. Van Dyk’s campaign paid at least 17 people WAGES. Roy Brown? One. Don’t bother knocking on doors yourself, use your employees. While Roy was seen several times at each door in SD25, most residents didn’t see Van Dyk once.
- Never waste a perfectly good crisis. Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose No matter how vague of a connection, make outrageous statements connecting your opponent to emotional issues. If he worked for an oil company three decades ago, connect him to the BP oil spill.
- Never go outside the experience of your people so utilize national figures and the state and national party to provide assistance. Have DC fundraisers for a state election in Montana. Use shadowy PACs. The Values Energy & Growth PAC is funded solely by the Democratic Legislators Alumni PAC which is solely funded by….. the Montana Democratic Party. Your constituents won’t know how to follow the money though, you’ll be alright.
- Whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy. If your opponent has maintained dignified campaigns in the past, step it up a notch. Always take the low road. It is difficult to flaunt your strengths when you don’t have any. In these cases, compensate by attacking your opponent. Name calling is a bonus.
- Ridicule is man’s most powerful weapon. Whine about how your opponent has gone too far. For instance, accuse him of “trying to tie you to Obama”. Never mention the several photos of you attending various events with Obama at your side- after all, that doesn’t tie you to him.
- Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules- I consider this projection: Exploit your own weaknesses by presenting them as your opponent’s. If you were raised out of your district, present your opponent as an outsider. Don’t mention he moved here as a toddler or that you lived most of your life on the opposite side of the state. If you were the local NORML chapter president, instead paint your opponent as “weak on medical marijuana laws”.
- If you do have ANY accomplishments, make sure your opponent appears to contrast you. For instance, if you authored a stream access bill (even though the your bill looked nothing like the final one), present yourself as a savior to sportsmen. Publicize photos of you hunting, fishing, being a MAN. Ignore the fact that your opponent was the one endorsed by all of the sportsmen and firearm rights interest groups. That is irrelevant. Most people are too stupid or apathetic to research these fine details, so don’t worry about it.
- It isn’t about what you have, it is about what they THINK you have. Use subliminal advertising. If you don’t have a wife and children- or even a girlfriend, take campaign photos with your sister and her children. Voters will simply assume you have a cute little family. Don’t mention that your entire family is republican either.
- If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside so NEVER actually address accusations lodged at you by your opponent. When he calls you “Tax Hike Van Dyk”, address his name-calling, not the name itself. Don’t mention that you LOVE taxes and big government and that you cannot wait to make your nickname a reality.
- Shake things up a bit. Use different tactics so it never becomes a drag. Attack from every angle. If you can get your opponent’s supporters angry with him, this is a bonus. If stock growers support your opponent, accuse him of being a vegetarian even if he eats meat regularly.
- The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. The ends always justifies the means so don’t worry about ethics. You will win in the end. Good luck!