Ask Me.

We are very proud to announce “Ask Me”, a site dedicated to asking candidate for Governor Robert Healey a question that may be on your mind.

If you have a question or concern you would like him to address, post your thoughts at the website, and a public response will usually be made within 24 hours.

Thank you for your amazing support, Rhode Island!

http://www.votehealey.com/ask/

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September 30, 2014

Today is basic housekeeping matters. Do not let a campaign get out of control. Make it as efficient as possible.

First, the best advice is to write a daily integrated list. You probably have several calendars for various projects. I have four that need a daily mix. For me, there are legal obligations of the practice, business matters requiring attention, the campaign, and personal commitments.

By consolidating calendars daily, you will do yourself a big favor. They have usually been checked prior to scheduling, thereby avoiding double booking, but the amalgamated listing will help with the day, especially since you will have a changing schedule.

Write must do matters in bold print. Always carry a pen and paper of some sort. Sounds simple, but it can be frustrating if you forget it. Have a phone list as well.

While it sounds funny, get into a counting routine. Think of the five or eight items you need with you and make sure you make your count before heading out. By doing this over and over, it becomes a routine and you will rarely find yourself without an important item.

For example, keys, wallet, eye glasses, pen, and cash. You will be surprised of the need for this procedure. Being in a rush during the campaign, you will change your clothes without thinking and suddenly find yourself without your wallet or cash.

Another tip is to think about the audience you will encounter and dress appropriately. This one too sounds like it doesn’t need to be said, and, if so, good, but for those who don’t think of this, start doing so. You need to feel at ease when you are speaking and it seems easier if you attempt to match the audience.

Having two pairs of glasses, both the same style, is a good campaign tip. Unless your considered a fashion person, try to keep your appearance constant. If you are getting earned media, make sure you attempt to look the same so that people eventually recognize you. You are not paying for ads so you need this recognition factor.

Finally, be on time. It is expected of you and I cannot over-emphasize this. People have other things to do and places to be. If you happen to have a delay, work the phone to get to the host of the event. Courtesy rules.

In 1998 I was on the way to a television debate and had a flat tire. The jack was missing from the trunk. In those days, there were pay phones. Dressed for the debate, I was scrambling along the side of the highway to get off and get to a phone.

I got to the debate about 30 minutes late. It disrupted the event and I lost a precious opportunity. Plan for early arrival and learn to compose in anticipation. Think through your travel options and, in today’s world, have your cell phone with the number of the place to which you are going.

Make sure you get directions before you leave, unless you are 100% certain as to where you are going. Getting lost is both time consuming and frustrating. Avoid it by thinking about it in advance.

September 23, 2014

Yesterday’s post shows the confusion that can surround any campaign. It’s the details that start to slip as you get more and more involved.

It is a simple matter, but it demonstrates the point. If you note yesterday’s post, it was misdated. The reason of such a slip could easily be hidden, changed or blamed on others, but it is a sign of overload on my own part.

I had written the entry for September 21 and then decided to write a new entry to address the fund raising issue (thus delaying the September 21 entry). When returning to the next entry for September 22, the title wasn’t changed.

Small potatoes, I agree, but it demonstrates the point of working at a hectic pace.

The recent surge in the campaign has clearly disrupted the internal schedule. Trying to personally answer emails, phone calls, draft and revise position papers, field media requests, think on issues, and organizing supporters, drives a person in several different directions.

This is where the opponents have a great advantage. They have staffers to write replies, set schedules, even write their homework. You do not have such luxury and need to determine strategies to handle it.

I prefer a micro-management style in that I feel that I, as the candidate, will ultimately be responsible for the campaign. This style is not error free in that overloading tasks makes the finer details less important (the date error and various typographical errors that lace these pages).

While the fast pace keeps you sharp, it also wears you down. Be aware of this.

It is for this reason that the campaign has embraced the independent contractor model. Functions that can be done completely outside the campaign can be taken up by others with their own operations.

For example, we will not be producing campaign trinkets. Instead, we have left that up to the supporters, several of which have decided to make campaign items, and, in free market style, have offered them for sale. Many of these are local businesses, selling the items at cost.

In doing this, we may lose control of the message, but the upside is that we are not bogged down in having to record and report these as campaign contributions. Additionally, if someone is a true supporter, they can directly engage in the campaign.

The idea is to eliminate the middleman. Instead of sending a campaign contribution to the cause, only to have me spend this on campaign signs and spend campaign time distributing them, the supporters can go directly to a merchant and purchase the sign. Not the best method for distribution, but it certainly demonstrates the person’s greater commitment to the cause.

Remember your roots. This is a people’s campaign. It is an attempt to demonstrate that the power is in the individual. As such, we will probably have less sign visibility, but we know that those who did make the effort are strong believers in the movement. They are the rock upon which you build your church.

Which is better? Five signs handed out by campaign staffers or one sign that has a personal investment into it? I want to believe the latter. Also, since in the past our creative signage has often fallen victim to theft, a person who directly purchased a sign will have a personal investment in it and will be slightly more protective of it.

On a different topic, it is getting to the point where some polling data may be made available. Everyone has a poll of some sort. The best practice here is to look at the pollster before believing in the data. The result of the poll is just one facet.

The information that went into the poll, usually referred to as the crosstabs, will give you great informational breakdown. Use the crosstabs, even if you disagree with the poll’s outcome. It will contain valuable information for interpretation.

Pollsters have a record of their work. Look at past polls by that person or group. Are they right more than they are wrong? Think of pollsters as weather people. They gather information and make a prediction (although they love to call it a snapshot in time).

Bad polling data is reported with as much frequency as good polling data. Unless you are certain of a clear error in the polling, take what it offers and move on. Don’t embrace it and don’t run from it. Take it for what it is worth.

In this campaign, if there is a credible poll that shows us at or above 10% in the early phase of the campaign, I would be happy. If there are large numbers of undecided, I would be even more elated. The key is always to look at the undecided.

A low, yet respectable poll number, with many undecided is a good sign. It will provide room to grow. A substantial growth in the following poll will demonstrate trending, and an upward trend obviously is a great sign.

Polling below 10% with a low percentage of undecided voters, given a respectable pollster, would be a hard blow to our effort. One clear exception to this would be a poll that you are under 10% but the pollster left your name off the selection of choices. There are other situations similar to this. Watch for them. That is why the crosstabs make all the difference.

In my experience, undecided voters have a tendency to break towards the underdog. People are less willing to tell pollsters that they are voting for an outside candidate and take refuge in stating they are undecided. Never forget this from an independent/third party standpoint.

LESSON THIRTEEN: LEARN THE VALUE OF POLLING DATA. DO NOT IGNORE A POLL THAT HAS YOU IN A BAD POSITION IN THAT THERE IS MUCH TO LEARN IN THE DATA. CHECK THE CORRECTNESS OF THE POLLSTER’S PREVIOUS POLLING SO THAT YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WEIGHT TO GIVE IT.

SINCE GENERAL POLLING DATA IS FREE TO THE CAMPAIGN, GET THE FULL POLL WITH THE CROSSTABS. MAKE A REASONABLE ANALYSIS AND ADJUST THE CAMPAIGN ACCORDINGLY.

Finally, remember that you are an underdog. This is a good position to be in during the campaign. The idea is to keep moving forward. Never give up but always look realistically at the probability of success.

September 20, 2014

When running for an office, look at election results for trends.

If you have never run before, look to the election results for your race. Find the breakdown based on communities. If you know the communities, you can get a feel for the people. Political party strength can be helpful, but there is much data available to cross.

You won’t have money for polling and so you have to devise your own. You need to look at the results, the demographics, the candidates in that race, and the percentage of the voting population that went to the polls. This can tell you where you need to be and how to adjust your campaign.

Notice trends that correlate with demographics. There are ethnic enclaves. There are populations of various groups. There are age demographics. There are educational achievement demographics. These tools are readily available. Use them.

Election folklore has it that the population tends to break in percentages based on age. There is a simple rule of thumb to use. 20% of people in their 20s vote. 30% in their 30s. 40% in their 40s. And so on. This is just a rule of thumb and use it in conjunction with your population statistics. Sure, 80% of 80 year olds may vote, but there are fewer 80 year olds than those in their 20s.

LESSON ELEVEN: UTILIZE FREE DATA TO GAUGE YOUR SUCCESS. GET AS MUCH FREE DATA AS POSSIBLE. RI BOARD OF ELECTION HAS RESULTS FROM PAST RACES BROKEN DOWN INTO A SOMEWHAT USEABLE FORMAT. GET A RHODE ISLAND ALMANAC OR SOME SIMILAR DOCUMENT THAT GIVE DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION FOR THE STATE. USE THE RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE LIBRARY IN THAT IT SERVES AS A DEPOSITORY FOR MANY STATE DOCUMENTS. TEST YOUR THEORIES BY CROSSING THE DATA. REMEMBER, THE PAST DOES NOT MEASURE THE FUTURE, BUT IT COULD GIVE YOU INSIGHTS AS TO WHAT GROUND WILL BEST SUPPORT YOUR BATTLES.

As for strategy today, it will be interesting to see if the Raimondo camp has succeeded in getting the public labor unions to join with her. She has announced a cumbaya meeting, but the real stuff is happening in the back rooms. Labor, to join her campaign, will demand a high price. They are in a good position to bargain. She needs them and their money/support in that she has spent much of her campaign war chest in the primary.

She could look to her pals on Wall Street to replenish it, but with such scrutiny related to her venture capitalist past, it is unlikely that she can do it without causing a public outcry. This puts her at the mercy of the unions, and they can smell blood. My candidacy only exacerbates her problem in that while I am not a darling of the public sector unions, they can use me as the threat, since Fung has taken a somewhat intractable right to work position to appease his money sources.

The unions will hold out until Gina comes around, i.e. sells out the pension reforms she had made headway with. In reality, Gina has little choice than to kiss the public sector unions’ ring. They know it and she knows it. It is just whether it will get done in a way that would seem plausible to the public, whether it is or not.

In short, much like Sundlun did with the state workers, she has extended to the furthest ground and is now where she must compromise to settle it far down the road. If she can convince the unions that it will be ‘adjusted’ after the election, and if they believe her, she will get a modicum of support from the unions.

Any compromise made by Raimondo will be at the expense of the taxpayers, but if winning is the concern, the can will be kicked down the road.

While Gina has a gun to her head, the situation could turn. The unions have no real place to go and as such, need her as much as she needs them. If the unions overplay their hand, Gina could take the course of trying to go it without them, not the best nor winning strategy, but one that could impress the public, if only they still believe her (a uncontestable lawsuit that suddenly was in need of compromising).

If she makes her move early enough, people will forget.

From a third party point of view, watch for the signs that the opponent is moving in a direction and capitalize on the period of unease during the transition. This is the easiest time to trip up an opponent in that there is no set position and maybe a slip-up can either occur or be created. Not everyone on the field will have been informed of the marching orders in that it is not being done publicly.

Also worth noting is whether or not Gina will fully embrace Clay Pell. The media is abuzz about his recent endorsement of her campaign, but the matter may grow serious when she is asked directly if she will ever give him a role in her administration. It is her bargaining chip with the teacher unions who supported Pell. Inside bet is that his being in the education department of state government is the payment to the union support (although I think that the still maligned teachers will not forgive her). This is the interesting play of the week to watch. Beware of the shifting sand.

As to the campaign, we have received a formal invitation to the debates. They are the State of the State, ABC6, and WPRI. Channel 10 has not addressed this formally, but there is all indication that we will be invited to that debate as well.

We are getting and accepting many invitations to various forums. Also, we are in the process of turning old signs into new ones, trying to get the old platforms and documents up on the site to demonstrate how consistent my platform has been for the last twenty years, and working up an issue based strategy.

As to media, check out the GoLocal Providence piece. Also, Channel 10 News Conference on Sunday morning at 11:30.

Board: Healey can be Moderate gov nominee

http://wpri.com/2014/09/17/board-healey-can-be-moderate-gov-nominee/

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Board of Elections voted Wednesday afternoon to allow Robert J. “Bob” Healey Jr. to appear on the November ballot as the Moderate Party nominee for governor, rejecting a challenge by the state’s Republican Party.

Healey surprised political observers last week by announcing that he planned to step in and replace James Spooner as the Moderate’s candidate for Rhode Island governor, saying Spooner was suffering from ill-health.

The Moderate Party was founded by Barrington businessman Ken Block after a long legal battle, but Block severed ties with the Moderates to run for governor this year as a Republican. However, the Moderate Party continued to exist as a legal entity, and its new leaders are running a number of candidates.

Block told WPRI.com on Tuesday that he had nothing to do with Healey entering the race.

The Rhode Island Republican Party had challenged the legality of having Healey replace Spooner as the Moderate nominee, noting among other things that Healey did not become a member of the Moderate Party until last week. But the board rejected the GOP arguments.

Healey is now set to appear on the ballot alongside Democratic nominee Gina Raimondo, Republican nominee Allan Fung, and independents Kate Fletcher and Leon Kayarian. It’s unclear which of the candidates’ campaigns will be most impacted by Healey’s presence on the ballot.

Healey’s long beard and cerebral style has become a familiar presence in Rhode Island politics after multiple candidacies for high office. Most recently, he won nearly 40% of the vote in the 2010 race for lieutenant governor by campaigning to abolish the office; the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor withdrew to help Healey.