Dude! More petition stuff.

Ok, another post on petitions for a statewide ballot initiative is ripe. This time, it's the Democrat's own Ron Volesky in a bid for pre-gubernatorial glory.

The Black Hils Pioneer is reporting that Ron is going to push to raise the minimum wage by $1 an hour.
Ron Volesky of Huron, a former legislator, said he's helping organize the petition campaign. It requires the signatures of 16,728 registered voters to qualify such a measure for the general election ballot. The state minimum wage is $5.15 an hour, which is identical to the federal minimum wage. A coalition of various interests is being formed to organize the petition drive, Volesky said. Labor unions are expected to be among supporters, he said. A formal announcement of the campaign will be made in the next month ortwo, Volesky said.
I thought he was running for Governor? Or is this multitasking? I'm sure we'll see more to come on this.

I also had a very nice note from one of the gentleman promoting the Medical Marijuana initiative (and he did use "Dude" in the e-mail). He was asking if I would consider reviewing their website and consider joining the effort, linking to ther site, etc. A very nice and professional request.

I have to confess, that the wacky weed isn't my thing. Haven't tried it, have no desire to. I'm not a doctor, either. So both ways, I'm ill qualified to discuss the merits of medical marijuana. Off the cuff, I'm opposed to it.

But from experience, what I CAN comment on is campaigning.

My take on the MM measure? I'm reluctant to characterize it at this point, because I can't tell there's been a campaign yet. But, I'm not bullish on it.

Many years ago, in an early issue of Campaigns and Elections magazine, there was a phenomenal story on how to generally be successful, campaigns had to relate to one of about ten basic values. Things such as "safety of our family," "saving for the future", and "owning your own home" etc. The thesis was that if a campaign didn't relate to one of those values, it was sunk. I lost my copy in a basement flood, and I kick myself to this day. I'd love to find another copy.

Anyway, legalizing marijuana in any way, shape, or form would almost completely contravene many of those basic values. That's strike one against you.

How much advertising are you planning on doing? What do you have budgeted? With nearly every elected official in the state against it, unless you are going to go on TV and advertise the heck out of it (think $100-$200k over the election) taking a message directly to the people, you'd best already be preparing for strike two.

How extensive is your grassroots network? Are you set up to recruit people and then to give them a job to do? Or has the only effort to collect signatures at this point been the bike trip? I sense strike three coming up fast.

My advice? (and not just the MM advocates, but the other ballot initiative people too) Take a few days off and read The Campaign Manager by Catherine Shaw. Then take two weeks off, write a plan and strategize. Then go out and take a serious stab at it.

Ballot initiatives can win, but you can't go about it half cocked. You need to be organized. You need to advertise (just like any candidate). And you need to have a winning message.

Now, dude, if we could talk some of the candidates into following this advice.


Anonymous said…
I'm a leftist. From South Dakota. Let me tell you: I am sickened by Ron Volesky and his annual campaign crap. It's like the flu season. You get some soup and sprite and then wait for the few weeks of coughing, fever, muscle aches. That's your typical Volesky campaign. I wish that knucklehead would can it and stick to whatever it is that failed candidates do when they live in Huron.

He gives the SDDP such a bad name. There's so many jackass Democrats in the state in the public view that it's no wonder to me how the DP gets fisted in every election. Who ever runs the state party needs to resign and start waiting in line at Labor Ready. That seems to be about the only type of work they could be successful at.

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