Campaign Notes 16

26 May

The deadline for filing petitions to get on the Democrat Party primary ballot has been extended from May 31st to June 11th (which effectively means June 7th, to get the petition signature sheets checked and transmitted to Topeka in time), so most of the work now involves contacting petition circulators and doing a final push to get as many more people (registered Democrat voters in the 4th Kansas District) to sign petition forms as possible.

Meanwhile, a couple of people have made cash donations, one advising me to pay the filing fee as well as submitting the petition signature sheets, since there is no way of predicting how many signatures may be invalidated, sometimes for handwriting errors which may be trivial (a little like the hanging chads issue in Florida a few presidential elections ago). But starting to raise $1700 at this late date may not be practical.

So I am plugging along with calling registered Democrats and going to see those who are willing to sign my petition, attending events where Democrats are likely to be present and where having an opportunity to get petition signatures would not be disruptive, and possibly even getting a few more petition circulators at this late date.

And all of this is adding to my information about the issues and about what matters most to the Democrats of the 4th Kansas Congressional District.



14 May

The Sierra Club had a good meeting on Friday, May 11th, at the Great Plains Nature Center adjourning to Larksfield Place; the topic was the landlocked states’ reasons for being concerned about the health of the oceans and the Great Lakes. Several people I hadn’t met earlier signed my petition for being placed on the Democrat Party primary ballot. At the moment it seems likely that the deadline for submitting petitions will be extended beyond the end of May because the Kansas state legislature has been unable to determine the revised boundaries of the Kansas 4th U.S.  congressional district. If so, it gives me a few extra days in June to get enough petition signatures for me to be on the Democrat primary ballot in August (which may also have to be delayed beyond the August 7th scheduled date. More soon.

Campaign Notes 14

5 May

We changed telephone service providers, which put us out of telephone use for over a week and out of Internet access for a day or so. Everything is back to normal now.

Excellent contacts during the last two weeks have included the Haysville Library, the South Wichita Democrats Club, unions, the Sedgwick County Democrats office, the Sedgwick County Sustainability program, the Union League supporters, the Animal Rights state meeting, my own SCORE meetings, the SBA federal contracts meeting, and We the People Kansas. These contacts produced 5 new petition circulators, but I am still behind where I need to be with number of petition circulators, and I still lack a campaign manager to keep in touch with petition circulators and to keep me focused.

I anticipate good results from various meetings scheduled with unions during the next few days and with the Kansas 4th Congressional District convention later today. Programs by the Non-Profit Chamber of Service and the Sierra Club also look helpful.

Campaign Notes 13

19 Apr

The pace picked up a little the past few days. Saturday, April 14th, I chaired the Democrat presidential caucus for State Senatorial district 27 at the Service Employees International Union building, with 24 in attendance (7 of them helping run the caucus), and all who had not signed a petition earlier to get me on the Democrat primary ballot for Kansas U.S. Representative from the 4th District did so. Sunday the 15th there was a legislative reception at Jim Lawing’s house, with a good crowd, including State legislators, 4th District Democrat officials, and Sedgwick County Democrat officials, also Esau Freeman and myself. Monday the 16th the Letter Carriers Union had a fish fry with a good crowd there, several of whom signed petitions. Tuesday the 17th I was at 3 meetings, one on Social Media at the Wichita State University Center for Community Support and Research, a second on Wichita Downtown Develpment at the Boathouse, and a third for the Westlink Neighborhood Association at Park Plaza West.

On Thursday the 19th I plan to be at the Haysville Chamber brunch in the morning and at the AFL-CIO meeting in the evening. Saturday the 21st there is a legislative forum in the morning and a South Wichita Democrat Club meeting in the late afternoon, both of which I hope to attend.

I now have 14 people circulating petitions, and I am aiming to double that number by the end of April, also to get a campaign manager lined up. Things should be getting steadily busier, at least until the end of May.

Campaign Notes 12

8 Apr

Esau Freeman, Robert Hillman, and I were each given a chance to speak and then to answer questions at the 4th Congressional District Federation of Women’s Democrat Clubs annual convocation on March 24th in the Service Employees International Union headquarters. There was no mdeia coverage, but leaders of many parts of the 4th District were there to hear us.

I gave one more talk on the Middle East on March 28th. Robert Hillman and I were both present at the Sedgwick County Democrat Party monthly meeting at the Larkspur on March 30th, where Jason Perkey gave a rousing speech about the State Democrat Party’s focus on Education, Opportunity, and Responsibility.

Mel Kahn has invited Esau Freeman, Robert Hillman, and me to make brief presentations to his Polititcal Science class at Wichita State University, followed by rebuttals and maybe questions and answers. He is hoping that there will be some media coverage. There is still no word from the regional union leader as to whether or when we might be able to speak to a meeting of local leaders.

Meanwhile I am still looking for a campaign manager. My first volunteer for the position took a job out of town, a couple of others have turned me down, and a couple of other possibilities may be available in a few weeks, but not now. So I am proceeding slowly on my own, which is not a good way to get a few thousand petition signatures.

Campaign Notes 1

8 Apr

On Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 1 p.m., at Southwestern College’s Library (the Reference Room), I will be announcing my candidacy for the House of Representative seat in the 4th Kansas District.

My wife Joanne is my campaign treasurer. Maury Young is my senior advisor and will be coordinating other advisors, of whom I have some 60 now. Advisors may belong to any party, as complaints or negative responses can sometimes be more useful than positive ones. Some of the advisors may be choosing to help get signatures for nomination by petition to be placed on the Democratic Party primary ballot (these ones would have to be registered Democrats 18 years old or older), some may be assisting with communications or public relations or records management, some may be doing research, some may be helping with internet or print campaign materials, and some may be acting in a supervisory capacity on a geographic or function basis; but most will simply be following posts in this blog and making comments or suggestions when they feel like it. Some students will be acting as interns, choosing from among the various options open to any advisors who choose to volunteer; student interns will arrange their own time availability.


Campaign Notes 11

21 Mar

I finally got a Facebook page up and running yesterday, with a dozen or so people liking it. Previously Lee Ann Mulford put a Facebook page on her Facebook profile, so now there’s a “John Willoughby” on her Facebook page and a “Willoughby 4th KS” on mine. I still don’t have either one linked to this blog or either of my other two blogs, and, so those links need doing; and then I expect I’ll need to set up a Twitter account.

I’ve started contacting Democrats in my precinct, # 517, where I’m the newly appointed (or about to be appointed) committeeman and my wife Joanne is the new committeewoman. One of the new contacts is circulating a petition sheet for me. And I’ve started contacting precinct committeemen and committeewomen in other Sedgwick County, Butler County, Cowley County, Elk County, and Kingman County precincts (Kingman County may end up being removed from the 4th District). Brandon Whipple is pushing for division of labor in Sedgwick County so that all of the candidates for the 4th District seat won’t all be approaching all the registered Democrats (and, after the primary, all the winning candidates’ team members won’t be approaching all the unaffiliated and moderate Republican voters). Our expectation is that all the losing candidates and all their campaign team members will be available to the winning candidate after the primary.

The 4th District Democrat Women’s Clubs convention is this Saturday, March 24th, and at least Esau Freeman and I plan to be there; I hope the other candidates will be, too. Esau’s campaign manager and I were both at the rally for the Syrian people in Old Town last week. We’re still hoping there will be a chance to approach all the union leaders some time soon, and we’re still looking for chances to debate which might attract media coverage. Mel Kahn, Professor of Political Science at Wichita State University, is hoping to get us all together at one of his class sessions.

I spoke to the Downtown Lions Club on problems in the Middle East the week before last and will be speaking on the same subject tonight and next week. Foreign affairs is not at the top of my agenda and has not been a major source for Republican bickering so far, but rivalry among the Republican presidential candidates seems to be making it a source for irresponsible sabre-rattling recently (Iran and Syria), and I enjoy talking about the Middle East, where I grew up and in which I maintain a serious interest.