Howdy everybody, it is great to see you all again.
My name is Mikel Weisser, I am from the Left Coast of AZ & I am here to change the face of AZ politics. It is true I am running for US House of Representatives for Arizona’s 4th Congressional District.
I call it the Left Coast of Arizona. 712,000 people scattered from Yuma to Utah, Parker to Payson. Seven Counties, 9 LDs, Mohave-La Paz-Yuma-Yavapai- all the parts of Maricopa where the people aren’t; and then throw in major portions of Gila and Pinal County just for the sport of it. It’s about the size of Pennsylvania. I traveled 55,000 miles last round and that hardly touched it. CD 4 is as beautiful as it is immense, as varied in people and landscapes as any region of America and it is just about as red a district as you could find.
After the Republican rout last round, currently the handicappers have the district as an “R +19.” That basically means that even with generic candidates, it didn’t matter who, say, John Wayne Gacy versus Santa Claus, if Santa was the one with the D on his chest, Christmas might be in trouble.
So, if you watched the election last round you know that I lost in my primary race by 19 votes to a guy who would go on to lose by nearly 100,000 votes or about a 40% difference, w the Dem getting only 28% of the vote. If you go back to ’10, Trent Franks thrashed John Thrasher about 65% to 31%. In 2008, Thrasher’d had 37%. In 2006 Thrasher got 39%. Back in 2004 Randy Camacho also got 39%, Do you see the trend here?
That is the reality we face. I am not going to inspire anybody by acting like that reality isn’t part of our picture, here. And you know, here in America a lot of people would see those numbers as the party’s death knell in western AZ, because a lot of people do not believe that Democrats can ever win in western AZ & if we leave this battle up to their devices we never will.
Friends, Here in America we are taught that if you can’t win you should quit and if you can’t be perfect you shouldn’t even try and I KNOW that advice is exactly the opposite of the way I ever achieved anything worthwhile in my life. And it is not the way to approach changing the culture of AZ. And folks, there is a way. Look outside and you’ll see that it is happening already. The joke goes that little by little California sinks into the sea; but in reality it is sinking into Arizona. Tourists come from California and bring their dollars and their ideas with them. Priced out of the L.A. rat race, they pack up the whole family and move here in droves. Look at the big cities in Arizona these days. More and more the Valley of the Sun is looking like the San Fernando Valley and folks this trend is building.
We can see the demographic trends: America is becoming more multicultural, more progressive and less tolerant of intolerance. The old standard white majority has been in decline a good while now. You can ask Mitt Romney about the practicality of minority bashing to rally the base in an age where the minorities are now the majority. By 2050, Hispanics alone will be the dominant ethnic group, outnumbering traditional Caucasian “white people’s” culture and the world will be a greatly different place. Of course I will be 91 by then and that’s a long damn time to wait for justice. That’s a long damn time to wait for representation, to watch the AZ GOP continue to wreck our country. I want to make it happen sooner, just saying. I say let’s start working on that change now.
When I first started on this I figured this project would take about 5 years to turn CD4 blue. We are in year two and things are forming up. They are looking good, we are changing the world one smiling face at a time. I want to tell you about the progress we’re making. But first, I would like to take you guys to a place most campaign speeches never go.
I am going to tell you I don’t have a firm plan yet, have very little money and am not likely to win the 2014 election. And then I’m going to tell you in the very next breath that is not going to stop me at all. In fact, not worrying about winning, not worrying about being “safe,” is what it takes to be bold enough to make a difference here in a situation like this. This isn’t a normal competitive district, and the ten year trend looks abysmal. This isn’t a time when the same old normal safe approaches are going to make the difference. We don’t need safe we need bold, we don’t need prudent, it’s time for some crazy.
Friends, there is no “safe” way to turn this thing around. 2006, 2008, 2010, there was not a safer Democrat interested than John Thrasher, he couldn’t get 40% of the vote and things have gone rapidly downhill from there. There is no safe way to right this sinking ship.
That’s why I am here. I am still telling the Right they’re wrong, because they still are and ever more so, but this year I am trying to create a slogan & a new idea: The People Need a Party.
Have you ever tried to keep track of how many different groups of people don’t fit under the GOP’s “Supposedly Big Tent”? Latinos, Blacks, Browns, Gays, Rockers, Bikers, Low Riders, Poor people in general, sick people, pagans, school kids, teen runaways, cannabis users, immigrants of all sorts, former prisoners, low wage workers, single moms, women in general, the list is longer than the line at the ammo counter when Obama got elected. That fabled 47%, that turned out to actually be more like 52%. The GOP doesn’t have much time for folks like that. Those folks’re a problem for the GOP, they appear to cost money, might conflict w their preplanned agenda, they don’t donate money and don’t go to the right churches. The GOP are not going to reach out to those Americans because that is exactly the kind of people they’ve been saying they were better than their whole lives.
So that means they’re ours if we want them. It’s that simple. If we Democrats are willing to do the work to reach out to the minorities and the marginalized, to work to improve their lives and help them feel included in our vision of a beautiful America, we’ll have the electorate for as long as we want it.
The question is do we really want it?
Do you know what it takes to win a congressional race? Well, typically a field campaign will have 100-120 volunteers and a staff of 3-6 to marshal them and that’s only the field staff. Then there is the communications staff and office staff and the financial staff and since campaigns that size run on money the folks in the fundraising dept. run everything. A full size congressional campaign is simultaneously a public outreach project trying to communicate w an audience almost three quarters of a million people, & a 24/7 idea factory generating pins, slogans, blogs, banners, talking points, quips, quotes, press releases, press reports, press packets, souvenir thises and souvenir thats by the ton. It’s a logistics center coordinating the labors of those scores of individuals and more importantly devising a schedule wherein the candidate can constantly be everywhere and do everything at once and all the while consuming cash at the rate of an incinerator to pay for the energy to move all that giant mess around.
So, keeping that in mind I am again going to ask you a question many of you may’ve thought you already knew the answer to, but now might begin to see w fresh eyes: How many of you really want a Democrat to be elected in CD 4?
Keep in mind it will ultimately cost between one & two million minimum. Minimum. Folks say to even create a chance of winning, I better plan on generating three million, if I’m lucky. Last year in Connecticut, in the race between Democratic Rep. Christopher S. Murphy vs. Republican Linda McMahon, the race totaled $67,065,029 w the Candidates’ campaigns rounding up $58,320,208.
As precious as district as this is to the red state mythos, it is the reddest district in one of the reddest states in the nation, as central as it is to the story of why the GOP sells, they won’t let it go cheap. Where will those millions come from when AZ finally decides it is ready to do what it takes to mount a full-scale congressional challenge? Well, a bunch of it is going to come from you, some of it from your own pockets, some of it from contacting everyone you know and getting them to contact everyone they know.
It is going to be a mammoth undertaking. It is going to depend on local precinct committeemen and local association getting personal w the Dems in their areas and educating them to understand why getting out the vote matters. It is going to take county & LD parties.
It’s going to take each of us working our own campaign. To the hilt. It’s not a quick race or an easy one. If we don’t take the time to build we’ll never get there. I say the time to start is now then.
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4490 Sundown Dr
So-Hi, AZ 86413
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