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I hope y’all are doing well and had a great Easter and Passover. I got to spend some time down with my family at the ranch polishing my shooting skills, catching some fish and eating plenty of my mom’s fine cooking. Plus my little man Stoney just hit six months old and we had plenty of grandparents and great-grandparents at the ranch to spoil him. It was great!
It’s good to be back with y’all and a new interview though! This week we’re talking to Steve Beren, owner of One Spark Marketing of Washington State. He’s been working in the political consulting field for a number of years, has run for office himself and is a long time activist in the Washington State GOP. The really interesting part though is that through the first several decades of his life, Steve was a radical leftist activist. He was a union activist, leftist infiltrator, socialist and antiwar radical. That’s hardly the avatar of someone you’d figure would become a conservative, let alone a successful Republican consultant later in his life.
Steve’s conversion story and his advice on what he calls “the Holy Trinity of Political Campaigns” is fantastic and I think y’all will enjoy our conversation.
This quote comes from Winston Churchill, one of the 20th Century’s greatest statesmen and a personal hero of mine. He made an art of turning phrases and this is among my favorites.
In describing one of his contemporaries, Churchill made a caricature of him. A combination of absurdity, violence and discomfort that comes to mind. It’s an apt representation of what happens to a person when they allow these facets of themselves to lose harmony.
Examine yourself regularly to see whether your conscience and career motives are working together or if you’re nearing squirrel fight territory. You should subordinate your political and career motivations to your conscience. Do what you know is right, even when you may not see how it can help your career.
Never allow yourself to embody this caricature. Only you can ensure that you don’t.
I’m sorry for the week off last week. I’ve been travelling a lot for my work and I’ve fallen a bit behind on interviews. So I’m catching up but wanted to give y’all a taste of something new while I do!
We’re back this week with a unique episode that features 25 Campaign Tips and why they matter to your campaign. It’s a compilation from the My Campaign Coach Minute Podcast and I hope y’all will subscribe to get daily campaign tips.
Each episode features me unpacking and expounding for a couple minutes on important tips that every campaign staffer and candidate needs to know. Today I’ve mashed up the first 25 episodes from the new podcast so y’all can listen to them straight through.
I love this quote from James Freeman Clarke. Whether you are Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Alien, I imagine that you are nodding your head in agreement with Mr. Clarke. Too many politicians of all stripes fall into this trap.
There may be times when you have to take hard votes, but when you find yourself justifying a vote against principle by saying, “Well, I’ve got to get re-elected if I’m going to really change things…” then you’re doing something wrong. A strong accountability system is key to staying on the right side of this line.
As an elected official, you have a moral and fiduciary responsibility to your constituents. You need to be examining the long and short game in government. This frequently means looking beyond the immediate passions of voters, to what is going to serve them best down the line. When voters are nearsighted, you need to focus further out.
This is the purpose of a representative democracy like ours. We elect people who are supposed to give the decisions they make more thought than we can and consider them carefully.