"DOWN GOES FRAZIER! DOWN GOES FRAZIER" (From a famous boxing match between "Smokin' Joe Frazier and Muhammed Ali.) Lt. Col. Russell will play the role of Ali.)
I sent the following to Chris at http://thehotjoints.com/, the most recent person to join “Bloggers for Russell”
Chris, Thanks very much for joining the Bloggers for Russell. On William's web site there will be a steady stream of releases and comments over the next 11 months (yikes! that's a long time). It's critically important at this early stage of the campaign that everyone who supports Russell make at least a small contribution.
I'll have everybody up on The Bloggers for Russell-- there are about 40 now -- within the next week. Much appreciate the support. As is happening with Huckabee in Iowa, the bloggers are going to be William Russell's secret weapon in defeating Murtha.
Chris, you’re right that Murtha’s comments on Haditha were outrageous. For political gain, he damaged our soldiers and provided propaganda for our enemies in Iraq.
My suggestion -- and I'm working on the "outside" and NOT a member of the Russell Campaign Staff -- would be with Issue #1 to rub Murtha's nose in Haditha on every possible opportunity. His comments were totally self-serving, designed to get support for him as Majority Leader among far-left, anti-military Democrats. Supporting our troops does not mean making statements that put their lives in danger.
Another big issue is that he's done nothing for 90% of the 12th congressional district (outside his home county of Cambria). As I’ve pointed out in previous columns, the Median Household Income in the 12th is one of the lowest in Pennsylvania.
A major reason for this is that Murtha has relied almost exclusively on government handouts – “earmarks” – and has done nothing to stimulate the growth of private business. Even in his favored place, Johnstown, Murtha’s actions have led to a steady population decline. The area is beautiful and the souls there are hard-working, good people, and I’m happy to live among them, but Murtha has done little for them.
On October 30, 2007, The Wall Street Journal had an article about how Murtha's earmarks had "rebuilt" home town. However, the Journal is wrong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources show that Murtha's "rebuilding' is an illusion -- a case of self-promotion.
In this century, the population of Johnstown, PA, has gone down by more than 7%. That's NOT the sign of an economy and a community that growing and thriving. Yes, unemployment in Cambria County has gone down, but that's because so many people who couldn't find jobs left the area.
The third issue is that he’s done everything possible to advance the power of Nancy Pelosi and others just as bad, which totally conflicts with his bogus image of being a "conservative" Democrat. Pelosi and her main supporters in Congress stand for everything that's detestible to voters in the 12t District. Murtha managed Pelosi’s campaign for the majority leadership and was one of the Democrats who voted for her as Speaker of the House. When the voters of the District figure out that Murtha and Pelosi are joined at the hip, they will react with revulsion.
A congressman can't be a complete backer of Pelosi and a supporter of things that matter to voters of the 12th District. He says one thing to his constituents and something else in Pelosi's quarters.
Pelosi believes that Murtha is “a good man.” Well, he might be a good something but he’s not a good MAN.
Is the approach I suggest “too negative?” Actually, it’s important for a congressional candidate – William T. Russell in this instance – to indicate both why he should be elected – and why his opponent should not. It's NOT negativity to tell the truth about Jack Murtha’s many failings, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. (Scroll down to see fact-based criticisms of Murtha.
One thing Democratic guru Joe Trippi says that I agree with is that the essence of a campaign should be on a single three-by-five card. The three issues I highlight will fit on that card. I hope the Russell Campaign focuses on basic points that emphasize exactly WHY Murtha must go.
Haditha, the Economy, and Pelosi: if Russell gets these three points across we all stay up very late on Election Night.
HOW TO WIN A CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION: ADVICE FOR WILLIAM RUSSELL
People keep asking me: "But how William Russell win against a powerful incumbent congressman (John Murtha) who's sold out to everyone with a huge handful of cash (lobbyists, basically)? And I keep telling them exactly how William Rusell can win -- and, I believe, will win. Russell symbolizes everything that's good and wholesome about American society -- being a soldier, a husband, a father of young children, and a thoroughly principled man.
In the 12th District, there are approximately 650,000 people and roughly 320,000 registered voters -- most of them, admitedly, Democrats. But they don't invariably vote for Democrats. George Bush, not the most popular guy in Pennsylvania, carried Murtha's home county (Cambria) in 2004. And Bush came close to carrying the entire 12th District (getting 49%-plus of the vote). p
To win the 12th District, William needs to identify at least 100 very influential individuals. Only a few of these people will be affluent people who will make large donations to his campaign. Trust me, most of the rich people in the 12th will support John Murtha, because he's the person who's played a major role in making them rich. Basically, he's helped funnel your tax money to them, and they reciprocate by giving him hefty campaign "contributions." In reality, they're giving him a cut of YOUR tax money. In contrast, the influential people making small donations to William realize that he's not for sale.
(Go to http://opensecrets.org/, plug in the name "John Murtha" and you can see how much money he's raised -- a year before the election! You'll also see exactly who's given it. They're mainly lobbyists and influence-peddlers, people described by John Brady (author of "Bad Boy") as "overpaid people who made their oversized livings with retainer fees based on influence rather than ability, people who could not explain what they did for a living in less than a paragraph.")
If you track Murtha's "contributions" carefully, and I hope you will, you'll find that most of his contributions are coming from DC, VA, and MD. That's where the lobbyists ply their questinable trades. Many of the Murtha contributions that appear to come from Johnstown actually have their origins in companies solidly embedded in the Washington Beltway.
So, since William is going to have a lot less money than Murtha, he has to rely heavily influentials that are real residents of the 12th District and are keys to victory. Here's how Internet guru Joe Trippi describes such people:
"In a place like Jones County, Iowa, you get Jimmy Hogan [a well-liked family farmer and local Democratic official] and you were halfway to delivering the whole [darn] county."
Trippi continues, "This is something not everyone realizes about our political system. Not all voters are created equal. Some people carry more influence."
"In his book on consumer 'epidemics,' The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell writes, '. . . the success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.' Gladwell calls these influential people, people like Jimmy Hogan, 'connectors.'"
Trippi adds, "In the [Howard] Dean campaign, we called them bloggers."
As I've explained in my discussion of Bloggers 4 Rusell -- now up to 40 and eventually to reach 400 -- the blogs will be a key NATIONAL factor in building support for William. Dozens of bloggers are making contributions to William's campaign -- and hundreds of bloggers will do so in the future. Many of the tens of thousands of people who will visit such blogs will do the same.
In terms of connectors -- people who are very social and seem to "know everybody," I've only been in the 12th District for about a day, but I've found four "connectors" -- and will find many more.
One of the connectors is Melanie, a greeter at a restaurant. Another is Rhonda, the outspoken sister-in-law of a soldier killed in Iraq. Yet another is the head of a local Republican Party. A fourth is an obvious choice, Diana Lynn Irey, who ran against Murtha in 2006 -- and garnered nearly 80,000 votes.
A tremendous blog effort is going to be an important factor, but by itself, it's not enough. There also must be an intense effort to find "connectors" and commit them to the Russell cause.
Connectors are people like ministers, priests, and rabbis, as well as barbers/hair stylists, local officials, police personnel, heads of organizations like the American Legion, and many others. They spend a lot of time talking about events of local significance, especially political campaigns.
Get the bloggers and the connectors -- and then you win the election. And you've struck a major blow for good government.
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