FREEMAN'S CAMPAIGN DIARY
After the March 13 primary, each Presidential candidate is allocated delegates
in accordance with the vote received in each Congressional District according
to a complicated formula. If a candidate gets one delegate it is the person
who ranked highest at the District caucus. If he is entitled to two, it
is the highest ranking woman and highest ranking man. And so on. At the
caucuses, those voting must vote for the total number of people to represent
each district (ranging from 5 to 8) and those votes must be sexually split.
No partial voting is allowed. Thus if the subcaucus is small--as ours certainly
will be in most CDs--every candidate may tie. This will also happen unless
there are more candidates than there are slots to fill and we will be lucky
to even have full slates statewide. According to the rules, ties are to
be broken by lot. However, if there is a multiple tie, caused by the rules,
then lot will be the sole determinant of ranking, and those who seriously
want to be delegates can do nothing to improve their chances.
I have been calling around Georgia looking for delegates since before Christmas. I deliberately avoided Atlanta which is mostly the 5th CD because I wanted to find out what promises Beisher had made before I filled the slots, and wanted to save one for him. As it turned out, Beisher lives in the 4th CD, which is largely Atlanta suburbs and which I may have filled. Also, Atlanta is three-fourths black. Ideally our slate should be proportionately black, but I doubt we'll achieve that. There are virtually no blacks on the supporters and contributors lists which are my primary source of names. The one black I had down as a definite supporter--Atlanta City Councilman John Lewis--is now fence sitting. I've called about 20 black state legislators, including my former boss Hosea Williams, and they have either been for someone else or not returned my calls. I get the impression that the establishment blacks are for Mondale, following Andrew Young, and the non-establishment blacks are for Jesse Jackson. That doesn't leave much for the other liberals.
For a week I have been unearthing delegates. Today I lost one, but I don't really understand why. One of the first people I phoned was a woman truck driver in a rural Northeastern county in the 9th CD who had contributed $25 to the campaign. She and her husband are the owner/operators of a big rig leased to a moving company and are usually on the road. However, I caught her home for Christmas and she readily agreed to file to be a delegate. Like others I told her to call the State Party for the forms, as I wasn't sure I would get them in time. When I spoke to the person monitoring the forms at Party HQ today she told me no one had as of yet filed as a Cranston delegate, and that my eager truck driver had filed uncommitted! Thinking it an error, I called her only to have her tell me it wasn't. Indeed, She was thinking of switching to Glenn because it was "more realistic" in Northeastern Georgia! And besides, she wasn't sure she could be around for the Jan. 28 caucus. This makes no sense. Why contribute money and agree so enthusiastically if she isn't a true supporter? Why file uncommitted if she wants to switch to Glenn? Why consider what's "realistic" in Northeastern Georgia unless you really want to be a delegate--which you can't be unless you mobilize troops to vote for you at the caucus? Anyway, better to lose her now than actually elect her (however unlikely that might be) and have her vote for someone else in a contested convention.
While talking to Beisher he got a call from John Studstill, whom I slated for the 4th CD. Studstill sounded so good that I asked him to be the 4th CD co-ordinator. He's trying to get on the Democratic County Committee and seemed to know a lot. We are short on support from professional pols and if he is one he could be of great help. Beisher relayed to me an offer through Studstill by the DeKalb Co. Dems. to speak to a morning breakfast meeting on Feb. 21 at 7:30 a.m. Studstill had previously asked me if we had received an invitation from the group--before which "all the other candidates have spoken" and I couldn't find any. However, the campaign scheduler told me that if an invitation were received to speak between March 3 and 13 (the Georgia primary) we would be receptive. I relayed back to Studstill the fact that Feb. 21 was the day of the Iowa caucuses and I knew AC would be there and not in Georgia. He later called Beisher again to say no other time was possible and "all the other candidates had spoken to the group". Maybe he's not as knowledgeable as I thought he was. You don't have to be a very smart politician to realize that on February 21 any Democratic Presidential candidate will be in Iowa or New Hampshire--not Georgia. He also seems to think I have some power over the candidate's schedule -- which I definitely don't. All I can do is relay information.
Baird Garrett went by slightly dazed this afternoon. He's another Desk Officer
like me in charge of a few states. Mark had sent him to Boston to deliver
some papers to be filed in order to get AC on the ballot for one of the
state primaries. It seems we came within a gnat's eyelash of missing the
deadline. Baird took an 11:00 flight to Boston, spent half an hour in the
airport and was back in the office by 4:00. It must have cost at least $200
to do this--enough to put in another phone. At a political staff meeting
that evening Mark admonished us to review how a candidate gets on the ballots
of our states and the delegate filing deadlines so this won't happen again.
Georgia is simple. The state party takes care of things. Indeed, if you
are an acknowledged candidate for the nomination it's impossible to get
off the Georgia ballot, even if you don't want to run in that particular
primary. But I need to review my other three states.
Called a friend in Poughkeepsie, New York this evening Cathy and I go back a long way. We both worked in Alabama for SCLC in 1965-66; I for sixteen months and her during school vacations. She's supporting Jackson, as I knew she would. While she's been a peace activist, (which I have never really been), she grew up outside Chicago and is enamored of Jesse. However, I thought she might be willing to find some Cranston delegates for us. Her dedication to Jesse is not exclusive. While in New York New Year's weekend the NYC campaign director, Jerry Goldfeder, had told me we needed people in the mid-Hudson area by the Jan. 7 filing date. Cathy knows all the peace activists in several counties up there. She readily agreed to make some calls and find the three people I told her we needed, but said most of the peace people she knew were supporting McGovern. Talk about dedication to lost causes!
Cathy told me that she was filing as a Jackson delegate, and that his campaign demanded that all those doing so pay the campaign $1,000 for the privilege. That's one way of getting donations but how do they find the people willing to do it? We just want to find people. We'll get donations from someone else. Jackson delegates are also responsible for getting the 1,000 signatures necessary for their filing petitions (I don't really understand how New York State's election process works). Cathy said she wouldn't pay the $1,000 until she knew she had the 1,000 signatures. She doesn't really expect to be elected a delegate as the population in that area is only 6 percent black, but said she wasn't sure how she could afford to go to San Francisco. I told her if she switched to Cranston she might get elected, and I'd find her housing at the convention. My partisanship didn't go over too well.
I gave her Jerry's name and phone numbers, the NYC office phone, as well as the name of the New York State co-ordinator, Dan Perry. Then I called New York expecting to give her phone number to Jerry, but found Dan Perry instead. Since I had been trying to reach him the previous week and he had not returned my calls I was caught off guard. He said we only needed two more people in Cathy's territory and was incredulous that she could support Jackson and make calls for us. I tried to explain that for people who are ideologically oriented, candidates like causes are not always mutually exclusive, but I don't think he understood. His life has been spent working for AC in Congress, where I guess partisanship and personal loyalty are paramount. However the fact that she was an old friend and might make calls for me did make sense to him. Nonetheless he wanted to talk to her himself.
1/4/84 Greeting me on arrival at the office today was a telephone message that one of my 4th CD delegates had dropped out. Lost another one. Didn't call her to find out why. She had only said maybe when I talked to her last week and I don't need her. Her departure opens up a slot for Beisher, assuming Studstill has not already filled it. When I recruited him, I told him he filled out the slate but that I had two reluctant delegates who could be replaced -- particularly if he could find minorities. The other one is an 88 year old woman who said she has no transportation to go to a caucus but would file if I needed her. She was my first "yes" in the 4th CD so of course I said I did. As of yesterday she obviously hadn't filed and we can probably find someone else.
Also got a call from RM who lives in the 7th CD but works in Atlanta for
the feds. He's Hatched and can't openly participate in partisan politics
but offered to find some people for me. He has done so. He recruited one
Common Cause member in Cobb Co. and today directed me toward Elaine Snyder,
head of the Cobb. Co. Women's Political Caucus. However, he said she didn't
think having her support would help us in this very conservative CD (John
Bircher Larry McDonald's former district). I knew I could assure her to
the contrary, but she didn't mention that when we talked. Instead she said
she had met Kim Cranston, AC's son, at the Georgia Jefferson/Jackson Day
dinner last March and filled out a card as a supporter. She was unhappy
that no one had contacted her. All I could say was that we screwed up. She
wasn't even on my lists. I offered to answer any questions she had about
filing but she wanted to leave to pick up a child and call me later. By
the end of the day she hadn't. I hope she goes with us. We need her. The
7th CD is a toughie and her WPC credentials will be good for us.
Actually we needed her when we were looking for women to sign the letter sent to the NOW Board in a futile effort to prevent their endorsement of Mondale. Out of the 184 signatories we got about four or five women from Georgia, one of whom I subsequently slated, but a WPC person would have been a nice addition. It wouldn't have affected the outcome. That was foreordained. Anyone who knows NOW could guess that it would follow labor's lead. NOW has spent years cultivating its relationship with the AFL. It would be unlikely to strain its relationship unless labor's preferred candidate was a real sexist, and Mondale certainly isn't. I'm not sure why we even bothered to try for the NOW endorsement. I know it was Monica McFadden's idea, but I don't know why the campaign bought it.
Monica had originally asked me to come to D.C. to work with her on organizing women. She persuaded me that a New York office would not open up for a while. When I showed up just in time for the NOW Convention, she put a lot of distance between us. Besides repeatedly blowing cigarette smoke in my face, and constantly speaking as though I was not there, she in effect made me the flunky to her assistant, who was a college sophomore. Monica conferred with Renee on what she wanted done and I received my assignments from her. Except for composing several letters, all these assignments were menial -- typing, filing, xeroxing, and mailing. Renee made the phone calls and prepared the reports for Monica. I was puzzled that I was even asked to write the follow-up letters to the NOW members Monica met at the convention, until I learned that Renee had a writing block.
Being made a flunky to a college sophomore who had only been with the campaign two weeks sent me up the wall. I certainly hadn't gone to the expense and trouble of moving from New York for that position. Indeed it was embarrassing to find myself superfluous at the NOW convention while the college students were asked to speak to the caucuses. I've been a NOW member since 1967 and I didn't know what to say to my fellow chapter members and friends. After this experience I spoke to both Tom Pazzi, the deputy campaign manager, and Mark Cohen, and managed to get myself transferred directly under Mark (nominally Monica's boss) as a state co-ordinator, or Associate Political Director as we were euphemistically called (if you can't pay in money, pay in titles).
Monica was transferred to the new New York office in October, but didn't leave. Initially she said she'd go when someone found housing for her. I knew that meant never as there are few vacancies in NYC and they can't be found from D.C. Subsequently it developed that she would stay until the NOW endorsement, trying to get it for us. The relevant Board meeting was December 10, 1983. I gather we got five votes out of the Board, even though AC called them all personally and said he would meet NOW's demand of selecting a woman VP. (I don't know if Mondale did that). I had nothing to do with any of this, as I wasn't asked to help. The final push occurred during my "leave of absence" (i.e. strike for better working conditions--namely a desk).
My one contribution to this effort was made purely by chance. I walked in one day and found that all the desk people were diverted to calling "key" women in their states to sign the NOW letter. I didn't bother with my states, where I frankly didn't know too many "key" women. Upon finding an available phone in the conference room, I pulled out my membership directory of the Women's Caucus for Political Science, which I conveniently carried in my ever present briefcase, and called authors of books on women in politics. I got eight, and was turned down by four. That was the best job I had had to date. I got to spend several hours calling my friends around the country. It also reminded me of the importance of contacts and personal friendships in mobilizing support for a candidate. I had spent weeks calling people I didn't know in North and South Dakota where finding supporters was like pulling teeth. Most of the eight authors I got weren't strong Cranston supporters. A couple were ambivalent, and the others merely liked him. But for me they would sign. If I thought he was the best candidate, that was good enough for them. Of those I called, only those definitely committed to another candidate turned me down. No wonder the best political operators are very social creatures. After the endorsement was lost Monica went to Buffalo. I got her desk.
David Carter called to tell me his aunt was not willing to help us in the 1st District which covers rural Southeastern Georgia. He is a gay leader in Wisconsin volunteering for us there. He had called before Christmas to say he would be in Georgia visiting his parents and could he help while there. His aunt was politically well connected and I asked him to make joint phone calls with her to potential supporters. I even talked Marked into subsidizing the phone bill up to $25, though Mark said he didn't know where the money would come from and David wouldn't get it for a month at least. Thus I was very disappointed to hear that his aunt would not lend a hand to her nephew's candidate. But David did give me the names of some other relatives he thought might agree to be delegates as a favor to him. I asked him to call his parents there and see if we could use their names on our delegate slate. He was concerned that they might appear on the ballot and thus possibly cause some embarrassment, but I assured him that only those attending the Cranston subcaucus in that district on Jan. 28 (and us) would know. He later called back to say his parents were willing, which I confirmed, and sent them the forms.
I also had to find five people to file from the 10th District. Mark has a friend there in the University of Georgia Law School who agreed to slate it for me a couple weeks ago, and I gave him my names. When I called back last week he said he had no one. Now I can't locate him, and he doesn't return the messages I left on his tape recorder. So I began calling the list myself. I talked to seven or eight people and found the requisite five. Only a couple of the ones I spoke to had heard from Kieth Riesman. They told him no, but I persuaded some that all I wanted was for them to fill out the form. They didn't have to do any work or contribute more money. I'll be curious to see how many actually come through (even Riesman hasn't filed for us yet!).
My other success for today was reaching Frank James. He is a black police officer in Atlanta who will file for us. After I discovered we had no blacks but Lewis on our lists, Mark directed me to call a black supporter in Tuskegee, Alabama. Jock Smith, a local lawyer who's on our staff part time, in turn directed me to a Tuskegee student (I think she's a student) who was a former cheerleader for the Atlanta Falcons, and now works for us. She made some calls and gave me three names in Atlanta. Told me she would get some others from Columbus (3rd CD) but hasn't yet. All her contacts are black, which is what we need. The first one was a young woman working as a security guard who was happy to file. The second turned out to be a stewardess who won't be back in Atlanta until after the filing deadline. Beisher is trying to track her down, but probably won't succeed. I've been calling James for a week and finally found him in. I gather he keeps erratic hours where he works, but didn't question him on exactly why. He said he had been active in campaigns before and his constituents were interested in AC. This prompted me to ask him if he had ever run for office, which he denied. Maybe he wants to some day. I asked him if he knew anyone in the 8th Cd, where we have no one, and he said he'd call his mother, who lives in Macon. If he's as good as he sounds, I hope we can make him State co-chair. I doubt that Beisher will mind.
Today was devoted to Minnesota. Sally Lou Todd, one of our four co-chairs,
was in town for the holidays, and I arranged for her to have a talk with
Sergio Bendixen, the campaign manager, today. I also took her to lunch at
Brookings beforehand, as Government Studies was having its monthly seminar
then and she took me to dinner later on. Earlier in the week we had gotten
notice that C-Span, a cable network, would film "A Day in the Life
of a Campaign" today so I also suggested that they interview Sally.
They did and she gave an excellent interview.
Minnesota is a unique situation in that they organized themselves and wrote us. The four co-chairs (Sally, Jim Youngdale, Dick Hansen, and Alpha Snaby) are long-time activists in the DFL and other progressive movements who met last summer to decide on an alternative to Mondale. As they explained it, because they were Minnesotans, they knew Mondale, but they never quite explained to me the basis of their opposition. After deciding that AC's stand on nuclear arms reduction made him the best candidate Sally wrote us a letter. She told us they had officially incorporated with the State as the Minnesota Cranston Coalition, had raised about $100 and would be calling a meeting shortly. The letter had been sitting on Mark's desk for about a month before I came on board, and after he spoke to Sally, I took over the state. Because they are so well organized I haven't had to do a great deal except facilitate their requests and get information for my weekly reports. On the other hand, those things have taken a fair amount of time to do as their requests have been many and Sally usually has a lot to report. I've also tried to get them to help me in North Dakota, but so far have only gotten promises.
We had a bit of a wait for Sergio. Although we were there early and he didn't appear busy, his assistant, Caroline Wickline, said he didn't want to see us before 3:30. About that time, while we were waiting outside his office, Roy Greenaway, AC's AA in the Whip's Office, walked in. Needless to say he pre-empted us. But I was able to point him out to Sally. Jim Youngdale had written him and me numerous letters about AC's need to say something about farm policy, particularly price. I had endeavored to find the right person to discuss this without much success. Our issues co-ordinator, Suzanne Farmer, doesn't write policy papers, and could only tell me that Greenaway was personally handling agriculture and that she would pass Youngdale's letters on to him. She had told me she would arrange a meeting for the three of us sometime when he was in the office, but it never came about. At the Senate staff Christmas party, to which we were invited, I asked to be introduced to Greenaway and told him about Youngdale. He denied any knowledge of the letters or other things sent him directly or through Farmer, but promised to look into it, and to meet with me when next in the campaign office.
A few days later, I caught him leaving the office and asked if he had read Jim's stuff. He said he had and didn't think much of it. I should say something to Youngdale to at least let him know we'd paid attention to his suggestions even though we didn't adopt them. I had not told Sally or Jim about this last conversation, but I had told her Greenaway was the key person on farm policy. Sally grabbed Greenaway when he came out of the office with Sergio, and within five minutes had persuaded him to meet with her the next day to talk about farm policy.
The meeting with Sergio lasted about half an hour (he had only promised five minutes). Sally spent most of it talking about the need for a farm policy statement, even though Greenaway is the person to do this with. She told him Dick Hansen, another co-chair and a member of the DNC, was thinking of switching to McGovern because of his farm statements. Sergio has a good poker face. You can't tell what he's thinking by looking at him. They also discussed the problem of getting authorized as a political committee.
Authorization is one of these little problems created by the federal election laws. Once a group of people spend or receive $1,000 they become a political committee. There are many kinds of political committees, but as a "single candidate committee" the MCC must be either authorized by the principal campaign committee or unauthorized (in which case it can't use the candidate's name in its name). I wrote a memo to Mark months ago on the consequences of being authorized versus not. I made it clear that authorization was preferable, as otherwise we can have nothing whatsoever to do with the MCC; they must act strictly independently. The sticking point has been that the campaign's policy is to have no authorized committees. Each state committee is supposed to send us all the funds they raise, and we will pay bills equaling half what they raise. The MCC wanted to put its funds in its bank account and pay its own bills. They understood that we didn't want them raising money for Minnesota that we needed elsewhere and are quite willing keep their in-state fundraising small so we can tap the big donors (they sent us a heavy donors list to work from) but want to keep their own money. Sally's main concern was that they be able to pay instantly for anything they purchase; the printer they use only works on a cash and carry basis. So far they've only raised $700 so authorization not yet an issue, but it will be.
The consequence of Sally's talk with Sergio is a compromise which I hope works out. They can keep their own bank account, but will send us the checks. We will then deposit them and write the MCC a check for the entire amount which they will deposit in their account for their use. The question of whether we would return dollar for dollar or two for one wasn't raised. At an earlier meeting Mark told his staff that we were much more flexible on that than previously announced. Although he didn't say why, I would guess they've gotten some flak from several other states about keeping what they raise. It's usually only a few hundred dollars and not worth alienating people over.
1/6/84 The Senate Whip's office where Sally and I met with Roy Greenaway this morning is quite lavish. In the outer room, as is typical of Congressional offices, three or four staff are crowded. The inner room is larger, lavishly furnished, and only occupied by the AA (or is this AC's office?). We sat amidst gifts of California pears and olives left by lobbyists, but weren't offered anything, even coffee. Since I hadn't eaten yet, I found the food distracting. Roy brought staff member Kathy Files with him, telling us she had been AC's agriculture expert for 12 years. After all of my inquiries, we finally found the policy person the MCC should have been dialoging with all along! Roy said that the agriculture position paper had not yet been written; the one I pulled from our files for the MCC was merely a collection of suggestions Kathy had made (so how did it end up on news release letterhead in the issues files?). They were preparing a major statement on agriculture for a debate in Iowa in February.
Sally freely admitted she wasn't an agriculture expert, merely the one
of the four who was in town. But she could respond to all of Roy's and
Kathy's questions even on topics that I didn't understand (such as marketing
orders). Kathy had a notepad, but didn't take any notes. That leads me
to believe that Sally won't have any influence on the final product. Her
primary suggestion was that Roy invite co-chair Dick Hansen and his colleague,
agriculture professor Bert Hemmings, to Iowa to meet with him or AC and
discuss wheat belt agriculture. She said I could supply their phone number,
but Kathy took no notes on this and no one asked me to call with the number.
Sally's substantive points were that AC should directly address the issue
of insufficient price and specifically use the terms corn, wheat and hogs.
When Kennedy had been in Iowa four years ago he had discussed leadership,
and that went over like a lead balloon.