Did my clean up calling to Georgia to find out how many people
have actually filed. So far only eight including Beisher. I reached two
the forms in and urged them to do so. One was our sole supporter in the
2nd District, who claims to be a former journalist and is on the
Co. Committee. He said he had lost the form and couldn't reach me by
phone. I said I'd dictate the form to him and he could write it out
and get it
in the mail by tomorrow. (The forms are supposed to be in by tomorrow,
but I think the Party will be lenient if they are postmarked and
them the names). Initially he declined to do this, saying he'd "ride
this one out." But I told him that I had just given his name and
phone number to a reporter from the Atlanta Constitution and it'd would
be very embarrassing if he had to tell him he hadn't filed. I dictated
an abbreviated version of the words on the form which he took down.
can I persuade the Party to accept this?
volunteer from the Senate staff has been culling the mail for supporters
and found one for me from the Southwestern corner of South Dakota. I phoned
and he was eager to be a delegate. He suggested that the easiest, cheap
way to get publicity in SD was for AC to write letters to the editors of
the SD newspapers. I tried it out on Mark and he was dubious, but said to
go ahead. Paul del Ponte, another press person, said he'd write a condensed
version of AC's stump speech for this, but I'll probably end up writing
it myself. I just hope we can get it published in time to raise some more
delegates--especially women as I only have two.
At the political staff meeting that night, Mark said our presence at Gertrude Stein had been beneficial. He was told we had much more support than represented by the vote, and felt that many of those votes would switch to us. I'm dubious. Why should they? Jackson's not going to falter in this city, and Mondale won't falter by the D.C. primary May 1. "Private" information on the outcome of the vote by the ADA Board in Minnesota gave us 54 percent, Mondale 38 and 8 percent. There are only on the Board, one of them Jim Youngdale, our Minnesota co-chair. The national ADA is expected to endorse Mondale. We were also told that the networks look like they will be covering four of the campaigns in February; Mondale, Glenn, Jackson and US! Maybe the press is finally learning how to count past two. If so, I give Jackson credit. The press has to cover him because he's black, charismatic, and just triumphed in Syria. Thus having been robbed of their two-man race, they probably decided to add one more. Our staff meeting took place while everyone else was partying in commemoration of the Senate staff who were going to Iowa. Then everyone walked into the conference room to sing happy birthday to John Russonello. Betty Rainwater called me during this, and was somewhat incredulous when I explained what the noise was all about. Mark is having his staff over Saturday night to view some video tapes from his film collection. Hardly all work and no play....
1/12/84 Today is the deadline for filing delegate slates in Georgia. Beisher and I conferred at 1:00 to discover that we were very short. Only two people had shown at the meeting he called last night, and they brought very few filled out forms. Studstill, Frank James, and Sonya Lampkin said they'd deliver theirs at Party HQ today, but Beisher was dubious. He's less dubious about Clayton delivering his, even though he has to drive the farthest to come in. While Beisher was enroute to party HQ I spoke to Scheuren and he told me that a story in the newspaper said delegate applications would be accepted if postmarked by midnight that night. Previously the party had held that all forms were supposed to be in their hands by 5:00 today. We agreed to divide up my lists of Atlanta people and see whom we could persuade to file at this late date. Scheuren said they had to call the party first. I hadn't called these people when I thought one had to reside in the district from which one was filing. After the reinterpretation last week, I assumed Beisher would call if he needed them, but he seemed confident that we had enough. If everyone had produced what they said they would, we would have. But of course people usually anticipate that they can do more than they actually can.
I only reached three people that afternoon. Actually I only reached one, and left messages for the other two with their secretaries. The latter were supposed to be strong supporters but they didn't call me back. The third was a retired couple who was happy to help until I said they had to call the State Party and have them dictate language over the phone. Obviously that was too much to ask. Subsequently I called Party HQ to leave a message for Beisher to phone me when he arrived. Betty Rainwater told me late filers didn't have to notify the Party first. The only reason to call was to get the exact language. I went over with her the abbreviated language I had dictated to Dozier of the 2nd CD the night before, and she said it was satisfactory. Then I decided that it was silly for me to phone people, dictate language over the phone and ask them to mail a handwritten form. If Beisher or Frank Scheuren's roommate was available they should go to people's houses, have them sign the forms they already have and then mail them. A basic rule of organizing is that if you want someone to do something for you, make it as easy as possible. We needed these people too badly to make them do any work. When Beisher called me near 5:00 from Party HQ he was agreeable to this; he said he had reserved the night for us. Also said neither James nor Lampkin had filed. He then called them both. James said he had delivered five forms; and he had, it just took the Party personnel time to find them in the pile. Lampkin wouldn't come to the phone. I told Beisher to find someplace to have dinner where he could call me collect and have me call him back after I located sufficient people to fill our slate; perhaps Scheuren would let him stay at his place so he wouldn't have to make the hour's drive home.
I then called Scheuren; he didn't have anyone yet and was expecting company, so couldn't do much more. I reached Lampkin and she was most apologetic. She had lain down for a nap and overslept the deadline. I reassured her that everything wasn't over yet and told her to deposit the three forms she had collected in the main Atlanta post office. I made a point of telling her not to put them in the box; but to take the envelope to the window and make sure it was timely postmarked. I said if that was too much trouble, I could have someone pick them up from her. She said she would deliver them to the post office. Then I began running through the contributor's list. I had located ten people who said they'd file by the time Beisher called me back at 7:30 (he'd decided to go home for dinner after all). I gave him the phone numbers, and left him to get as many forms filled out and mailed by the deadline as possible.
In our general discussion of the campaign Beisher told me he puts out a coupon book for local businesses, and that he'd add a page for Cranston in the next one, which comes out in March. I asked if he was incorporated, and when he said yes, told him his company couldn't help us. Corporate contributions to federal campaigns are illegal. He was quite surprised. That made me wonder if the other desk officers know that. I only know it because I studied election law. None of us have been briefed on what our state campaigns can and cannot do. And none of us have been instructed to check everything out with a higher up. A couple of the desk officers are in or fresh out of college. We could easily be violating a few laws in total innocence.
Ginny Montaz also called me during this furor. She had left a message earlier, and I then left one for her to call Beisher. Ginny is the State Vice Chair for NOW, and a friend of Sergio's. She had told him she wouldn't support us because NOW didn't but she would keep us informed and find people for us. I had called her two weeks ago on Mark's suggestion to tell her we were ready to move. Subsequent calls had gone unreturned. Ginny gave Beisher the name of one person in the 4th CD and said that was all she could find. She didn't have a form from him but instructed Beisher to just sign his name. Beisher had told me this earlier, and I vetoed it. Filling one more hole in our slate didn't justify forgery. Ginny thought I was silly; the State Party wouldn't even check to see if filers were registered and didn't care, she said. I care.
However, Ginny did give me some good political intelligence. Blacks are pretty much split between Mondale and Jackson, depending on whom they think they can gain the most politically by supporting. Whites are split between Mondale and Glenn. Even the nuclear freeze people are supporting Mondale because they want to be delegates to the Convention and feel being on his slate is the way to get elected. I actually found that heartening. In Georgia delegates have to pledge their support to their named candidate for two ballots, though I don't know whether or not it is legally binding. Should the Convention go to a third ballot, with us contending against Mondale, his support may well shift to us because they are not truly committed to him.
1/13/84 Nothing more can be done with Georgia today, so it's back
to South Dakota. Called the State Party to find out how to get AC on the
ballot and was told to just file a statement of candidacy with the Secretary
of State's office. Spoke to their elections office and we agreed on some
language, which I wrote up in a letter to be signed by Sergio and left on
Mark's desk. Sharon told me she was ready to run the South Dakota letter
on the computer but had it on good authority that there wasn't any postage
and wouldn't be any until Tuesday, if then. I decided to put my backup plan
into effect. I'd had dinner with Barbara Bergman, a University of Maryland
economist, Christmas eve and she had expressed interest in Cranston, but
wasn't ready to make a commitment. She had given $100 to Sonia Johnson but
since she was running for the Citizen's Party nomination didn't see any
contradiction in supporting a Democratic candidate as well. I gave her name
to the fundraisers, but a check back disclosed no one had contacted her.
So I told the fundraiser I wanted her back.
I proposed to Barbara that she become the patron (patroness if she preferred) of the Cranston campaign in South Dakota. I even offered to throw in North Dakota if she wanted it. I described my mailing, and the competition for postage and other resources within the campaign. At an earlier staff meeting, before we were totally out of postage, I had appealed to the other Desk Officers to let me have enough postage for my mailing on the grounds that it was urgent that I get it out now to benefit from it for slating, and that I had used very little postage in the last few weeks. I didn't get a positive response. The only response at all was from Barry, who said he also needed postage for Pennsylvania as its delegate filing deadline is next week. It's times like this in which I wish there was some centralized decision making. Someone should decide which states get priority rather than forcing us to compete against each other.
Barbara really wasn't interested in my spiel or my proposition; she just wanted to know how much I needed. I said $50 and she said to whom should she make out the check? I told her to make it out to Cranston for President but send it to me with a note attached that it was for South Dakota postage. I would then take it to Mark for confirmation. Remembering that federal election law requires certain information from donors of $50 or over, I told her to put her occupation, employer, work and home phones on the note. I then went to Mark and told him a check to cover the South Dakota mailing was in the mail and would he let me have money for postage? He pulled $50 out of his wallet and said to be sure and get a receipt so he could get reimbursed.
Cranston sent Mondale a letter telling him to make "clear exactly where you stand with Mr. Vrdolyak." Vrdolyak is the Cook County (Illinois) Democratic Party Chairman who's at odds with Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. AC was the only Democratic contender to endorse Washington in the primary. Washington reciprocated by helping us in the Wisconsin straw poll, but hasn't endorsed. He's actually expected to endorse Mondale, who gave him a lot of money in his race against the GOP candidate. However, he seems to be negotiating some arrangement with Jackson, so maybe he won't. Vrdolyak was reported by the press to have met with Reagan advisors to ask whom they felt would be the easiest to beat. Mondale, they said. Vrdolyak endorsed him, but many felt he would have done so anyway. Cranston wrote Mondale that he should repudiate Vrdolyak's endorsement because his "activities with top Republican officials, and the manner in which they were revealed," have made him "unfit to hold ...any position in the Democratic Party." We were all given copies of the letter, but its political purpose was not explained. I don't think it got any press coverage.
1/14/84 At the staff meeting today we got some basic statistics on staffing in Iowa. We have 214 staff there. Sixty-six came by bus from California. Seventy-four are on the phone banks, and the rest are in Iowa's 99 counties. As a caucus state, Iowa requires lots of personnel. Although caucuses bring out fewer people than primaries, they require greater grassroots organization and hence a greater involvement of people. An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on the replacement of Mondale's Iowa campaign manager quoted the new one as saying the Cranston organization is the best equipped to turn out the vote. We have more staff than anyone, including Mondale. However, he also has the AFL and NEA people even though they aren't on his payroll. But he doesn't have as many of them as expected. It seems they just aren't turning out.
We only have 50 people in New Hampshire, but it's a smaller state, and has a primary. Primaries require media, and our media buy there is double that in Iowa. Ironically, although the primary is the form of nomination which is more democratic in that it requires the participation of more people, it is also more elitist in that it requires the specialized skills of a few (media experts) rather than the commitment of many. Money is more important than supporters in a primary state.
It was also announced that we have declined Secret Service protection, available to us after Jan 1. We told the Secret Service that we didn't want it because Cranston doesn't feel threatened, and because it inhibits a grass roots campaign. Tom Pazzi, the deputy campaign manager, who told us this, also said it requires more professional advancing than we can manage right now. We have reserved the right to ask for it should we feel the need. Pazzi said that the time would come when the press contingent gets out of hand. Before Christmas, he said, the press hardly noticed us. At the last Iowa pit-stop there were 18. When we have to add a bus, or two, for the press, we will need the Secret Service.
The South Dakota letter still has not been run off. This time it's because the xerox is broken. Sharon doesn't want to run the letter until the xerox is available to do the 2nd and 3rd pages. The computer and printer are used solely for personalized letters and pages after the first one don't need to be personalized. The xerox should be fixed by Monday, however I'm going to New York tomorrow. Since I want it out as quickly as possible, I left it in the hands of our intern, Marlene, to stuff and mail as soon as it gets off the computer. Sharon put Tuesday's date (Jan 17) on it just in case it didn't get done by Monday. I gave her my 250 stamps and told her to keep them under lock and key.
1/17/84 Just got back from New York. Sunday night I went to a birthday celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. Cathy had arranged this. She told me about her invitation when I called about the Cranston delegates. We met while both of us were working for SCLC in 1966. She worked during the summer and Christmas vacation, while I was there for 16 months. At the event I saw a few Jackson buttons, but I wore the only button for another candidate. I brought Cathy the Jackson button I picked up for her at the Gertrude Stein meeting, but she already had a larger one--for me. So we traded. I had arrived in New York early that day in order to see the debate between the eight candidates on PBS that afternoon. I had to admit to Cathy that Jesse's performance was exemplary. He came across quite knowledgeable and his usual flair for expression stood him in good stead. I didn't think Cranston stood out among the pack. Apart from Jesse, the ones that made the most impression on me were Askew and Hollings, for sheer presence, not for what they said. Perhaps an event like this will be their taking off point as a similar one was for Anderson in 1980. However, the next day's New York Times gave the laurels to Hart and Jesse. It's the press' perceptions, not mine, that count.
At the celebration I went up to pay my respects to Coretta Scott King and
was gratified that she recognized me after all these years. (For six weeks
of my 16 months I worked as her assistant). She asked me what I was doing,
and didn't seem to notice the Cranston button, even after I pointed it out
to her. Perhaps she never received the letter I wrote her Christmas week
asking her to head our Georgia delegation, or at least help me slate blacks.
She never answered, though that didn't surprise me.
Most of the people I ran into while walking around New York for two days hadn't given much thought to the election. It was very remote for them. They also hadn't heard much about Cranston, but were receptive to what I had to say. I could probably get a lot of votes by just carrying around some literature and visiting my friends and neighbors. One such friend is now a Cranston delegate. Nedda's been politically active over the years, though right now most of her energies are concentrated on writing her dissertation. I've talked to her about Cranston when in Brooklyn. Initially she said she'd arrange for someone from the campaign to speak to the Democratic club she is a member of, if someone would call her. I gave her name to both Dan Perry and Jerry Goldfeder, but no one called. Nonetheless, when in town over Christmas, she said she'd file as a Cranston delegate. This time I gave her name to Bernie Hirschorn, a local Brooklyn activist who had initially convinced me that Cranston was a viable candidate, and he arranged for her to get the form signed in time. Fortunately she lives in a CD where we need delegates. Having people file in their own districts is desirable, but not crucial. In New York, you merely have to be registered someplace in the state.
I also wanted to file, and left a signed sheet of paper with Jerry Goldfeder, but was told I wasn't needed in my own district. Perhaps they could use me in Syracuse. (We were later told that all the delegate candidates filed in New York were from their own districts, so I assume I wasn't one of them). I would have thought I would have a priority claim on a delegate spot since I work for the campaign full time, but.... it seems that goes to those physically present who can get petitions signed. A minimum of 1,000 signatures per CD is necessary for each delegate slate. The signatures for a given district have to be collected by district residents, even though you don't have to reside there to run as a delegate! I know Nedda and many others won't get too many signed, and since the collecting is done collectively (i.e. for the whole slate not just individuals) I'm not thrilled about this. But it's out of my control.
1/18/84 The Georgia party released the delegate filing results today, but only the names, not the forms with the addresses on them. We didn't do as well as I had hoped as only 53 filed. We needed 48 delegates and 15 alternates for a total of 63 people. Anticipating we'd be short, I had told Mark that I was redefining "fully slated" to mean filling all the delegate slots, not the alternates as well. Thus we could make good our boast to the Atlanta Journal report here the other day that we'd be fully slated.
Several people hadn't come through. Sonya Lampkin never got to the Post Office. Steve was right about her. The person that Jeffrey Clayton recruited in his 3rd CD didn't file; neither did Dozier's wife (though he did, thank goodness). Riesman didn't find an extra person in the 10th, but I had overcompensated there and ended up with six, when we only needed five. I had also overcompensated in the 1st when Beryl Rubnitz, the first person I recruited, didn't answer the phone for two weeks. He didn't file, but I had found a woman in Atlanta who did file, and we really needed a woman to complete our slate. As things stand now we are short one delegate in the 9th, 8th and 3rd CDs and the one in the 8th must be female. One of our people who filed in the 7th lives in the 9th, so we can probably get her switched on the grounds that she intended to file in her own district. Next we need to talk the party into letting us switch two people filling alternate slots into the 3rd and 8th so we at least have all the delegate slots covered. Steve can probably claim he made an error since the party knows we assigned the districts for many of these people and his handwriting will be on their forms. In fact the error was mine, since I told him where to put them. I counted on Clayton's person coming through in the 3rd and Sonya in the 8th. The Party won't give us the addresses or talk to us about filing until Monday, so Georgia is on hold until then.
The press called us wanting numbers and names. I gave our press person the numbers but wouldn't give out any names since none are prominent, and some I want to check out. Beisher said all the local press were calling him as well. Mark was pleased with the results, even though I wasn't. He obviously didn't expect us do so much in three weeks, though I told him we would be fully slated (including alternates) when the party changed its residency requirement and I thought he would expect that. My mistake was in not immediately calling all the Atlanta people once I knew they were eligible to file in other districts. I left that up to Beisher and he thought he had enough. I should have overcompensated there as well as in the 10th. I don't fault Beisher. He did an awful lot of work and had no basis for disbelieving the people who said they'd file for him or get others to do so. I fault myself because it's my job to think out the contingencies.
Treasury told me my name had come up that day, as a result of being written on one of the fundraising envelopes. Elaine Synder actually sent in the contribution she offered to make when she decided not to file as one of our delegates. It was only $10, but $10 is $10. She had checked "no" after the question on whether she wanted someone from the campaign to contact her, saying I had already done so. So I took a copy of the envelope into Mark and asked him to give me a $10 credit on the Georgia account. (Every nontargeted state has to raise the money spent in it). The other staff have collectively bought some buttons which should be here in a few days. I want to buy into the buttons with my $10 credit as Beisher can put them to good use. I also told Mark I was going to start a "Dakota Fund" to raise money for mailings to North and South Dakota since we didn't have enough people there to raise money in-state. However, I made a point of stating that only people not already on the campaign contributors' list would be solicited for it so I wouldn't be diverting funds from someplace else, but would be raising new funds. He laughed.
Dan Perry called to check out my address. I've been filed as an alternate in Buffalo. How ironic. I don't even want to be an alternate. I was one at the 1972 Convention and found not being able to vote very frustrating. Perry said he'd love to have me come up to New York to petition. I said he'd have to pay my transportation. They could pay someone to petition for what the train fare is.
South Dakota continues to be frustrating. I had hoped that the letter would be mailed by the time I returned, but wasn't surprised that it wasn't. Not only is the xerox not fixed, and thus the 2nd and 3rd pages haven't been run, but there is a hold on the campaign stationery. Sharon told me that Alex had ordered that it only be used for direct mail. There's not going to be any more stationary so that basically means there won't be any more letters. Sharon pointed out that the peace letter had already been run and stuffed, but couldn't be mailed because there was no postage. I had bought postage with Mark's $50 on Saturday, but now had no stationery. (Barbara's check was waiting for me. I gave it to Mark). If there were centralized decision making someone would probably have confiscated my stamps and put them on the peace letter. On the other hand, if there were centralized decision making, my South Dakota letter would have been sent or canceled weeks ago.
I waited until late that evening to talk to Mark about South Dakota. By
waiting so late we were only interrupted by phone calls three times. One
was from Stuart Mott who was trying to locate Sergio, who was on a plane
to Iowa. Mark ran around getting him the flight numbers of the originating
and connecting flights so he could page Sergio in National or O'Hare airports
or at his hotel. In between all this Mark initially confirmed Alex's monopoly
on the stationary, telling me to construct some on a typewriter. I said
that would be so tacky that it wouldn't be worth sending out the letter.
So Mark went hunting for some "homemade" stationery that had been
made previously with presstype and the xerox. He found the original in the
Issues Department and in the process discovered that Paul Leonard, another
Desk Officer, had been using Alex's stationery for his letters. He knows
enough about running the computer not to have to go through Sharon so had
just taken and used what he needed. Alex's complaint that his stationery
was being stolen had prompted the hold which thwarted my letter. Sharon
told Mark that Alex had said there were about 5,000 sheets missing, and
in light of this my need for a little over 200 seemed like an absurd restriction.
Mark then told Sharon to take care of me and not tell him how she did it.
Alex had left for the day. Sharon then located some form feed stationery
in a box that Alex hadn't put his stamp on because it couldn't be used on
the laser printer. She began running off the letter.
In the meantime I called my people in South Dakota to tell them I was sending them the delegate forms. I've still got only seven people, and some of them may be shaky. Jay Davis and his wife Kathy Garrett are the most supportive, but don't want to take a public role. Jay said he was balled out by his boss after he organized a Martin Luther King demonstration over the weekend. He only got 43 people, but said that was large for Aberdeen. He sells radio advertising and didn't say anything at the demonstration; he merely showed up in the picture. He gave me a few more names for my letter (most of the others had come from him) but I didn't really want them because I didn't want to create any problems that might hinder getting this letter out.
Three of our Desk Officers are being sent to Iowa. More are supposed to be hired, but from whence comes the money? Mark said checks will be bouncing today, and higher paid staff won't get their pay checks at all. These people received $3,000 to over $4,000 a month, so I figure they can afford to miss a check or two. The Desk Officers, and most of the other staff are paid $400 a month plus free housing in a group house if they want it (not all do). They are called 400 club members, which they don't like as it implies they aren't full staff. Sometimes they get their checks late, but so far haven't missed any.
1/19/84 Spent the day organizing my files. I've accumulated this pile of stuff, files, books, pencils etc. which were still in my box. I finally decided it was time to put it into desk drawers. I acquired the box when I was transitory or absent, and needed to have a portable desk. I left it behind Mark's chair every evening and picked it up in the morning after I found a place to sit. It was hard to work out of the box as things were just piled into it and I had to spend time finding anything I might need. Sometimes I just avoided doing things because looking for the relevant document or phone number was such a hassle. Thus my productivity was lowered considerably. When I went on strike I told Mark what was in the box in case someone had to access it, but it was so disorganized I didn't think anyone would be able to use it easily.
I pulled North and South Dakota out of the box a couple weeks ago. Georgia was never in it as I acquired that state at the same time as my desk. But I left in Minnesota and miscellaneous because I could function without them. After cleaning out the box my desk looked so clean Emily Thurber asked if I were moving. I said I hoped not, but this may precipitate something. Sharon wants my desk because it has a typewriter arm which she wants for her computer terminal. Under pressure, I agreed to trade, but only the desks, not my space. Her space is next to the computer room and I find it hard to hear a phone conversation over the roar. Also, I've given out my phone number and would like to avoid switching. Sharon agreed to move the desks, but there's no one available to do it, and I'm not making a big effort to find someone. But I delayed unpacking in anticipation that she would. Now Monica has returned from Buffalo, and Sharon has said Monica is going to take her desk, she mine, and I will have to go someplace else. Mark says the desk is mine, so I don't know what is going to happen.
In my files and state files I found elsewhere I found a lot of old correspondence from a year ago. We seemed to be much better organized then. There were copies of letters from Kim Cranston (son of) to people he had met at events. Letters from Dan Perry and AC to various supporters, and vice versa. I found one from a guy in Minnesota who said he was moving to Ohio State in the fall. I gave it to Barry, who is looking for delegates in Ohio. There was a letter from Helen Rafshoon, the 80 year old mother of Jimmy Carter's media person stating that she liked AC. I wish I had found it before the Georgia slating deadline. She would have been a good one to have on the slate. I found a letter from a self-declared conservative Republican in Georgia congratulating AC on his stand on gay rights.
I also found the correspondence from William Keenan, the Albany Georgia attorney I had phoned when I started slating. He was an enthusiastic supporter a year ago. When I called him Christmas to ask him to file as our delegate in the 2nd CD he was fence sitting. He said he was a Max Cleland Democrat and since Max hadn't declared for AC, he didn't think he should. Cleland is currently Secretary of State for Georgia, and as I learned later, had decided that his position required neutrality. He had been appointed head of the VA by Carter on the recommendation of AC (who chairs the Veterans Committee) and was known to be positive toward AC's campaign. I told Keenan I would try to call Cleland, and asked if he would phone him later that week. He said he would and that if Cleland did not object he would consider filing for us.
A few hours later I decided that Cleland would never accept my call and I should get someone he would talk to to call him. I asked Mark if AC would call Keenen or call Cleland and ask him to tell Keenan that he wouldn't be upset if he filed for us, but Mark didn't think that was a good use of AC's time. Since I knew he had called members of the NOW board and delegates to the NDC convention personally I couldn't understand why this was less important. However, Mark suggested that I ask Jon Steinberg, a staff member on the VA Committee, to call Cleland. I tracked him down at home, and after convincing him that I didn't want Cleland to tell Keenan to file but merely to say he wouldn't object if he did file, Steinberg agreed. He later called Mark to tell him that the mission had been accomplished and Cleland was quite supportive of us, even if he wouldn't be public about it. I waited for a week to see if Keenan would get back to me, but he didn't. Then I began to call him. I called him everyday at his law office or home until a few days before the slating deadline, but he was never in. I didn't leave my name or a message. By then I thought we had enough people anyway and concluded that a reluctant delegate might be a fickle one. It would have been good to have him, but I didn't realize until I read the correspondence just how supportive he had been last year. There has to be something behind the fence sitting besides Max Cleland's neutrality. Is Keenan another upcoming pol like Wilking in North Dakota, who doesn't want to lead unless assured of followers? Or is Cleland less supportive than he has led us to believe?
I gave Mark a copy of the fundraising letter the MCC has sent out and he was not pleased. He objected to the references in it to the Iowa 800 number drawing 20,000 responses (which he said is 100 times overblown) and to the fact that some observers think AC will come in second, blasting Glenn out of the race. He had corrected these points with more general language in the draft copy I had given him while Sally Todd was here. I gave the corrections to Sally without paying much attention to them. Mark told me to call and rap their knuckles, which I did, but gently. Sally said she had just given the corrections to Jim Youngdale and that he had ignored them along with the other suggestions she had made. Jim said he had made some editorial corrections, but hadn't realized that those specifics were objectionable. Besides, he said, it's important to convince people that AC is moving up, not just one of the pack. I agree with Jim. Manipulating the expectations of the press is not the same as manipulating the expectations of potential supporters. The latter have to be convinced that the candidate is a viable one in order to persuade them to support him. Achieving a strong third is not much encouragement. If a candidate can't to better than that why not just support McGovern or Jackson as a protest candidate? Sally thinks Jim is going to switch to McGovern anyway because he is making speeches urging that the government give farmers 90 percent parity for their crops and cut the defense budget by 25 percent. Cranston won't be that blunt. She told me the same about Dick Hansen.
1/20/84 The South Dakota letter is almost out. Sharon dated it today to allow for further delays, and they happened. She got the second page run off on the xerox right before it broke down. Unfortunately, it looks like a xerox copy. The computer was also out so she spent the rest of the day stuffing envelopes. We found several duplicates, even though the computer should have caught this when the names were put into it. Most of the duplicate names had different addresses, usually home and work, but a couple didn't. Afterwards, I phoned Jay Davis, and went over the mailing with him. I wanted to know which people had specialized interests or affiliations in order to enclose leaflets on topics not covered by the blue brochure. E.g. Native Americans, Jews (there aren't many in SD, only two in the mailing that Jay could spot), environment, etc. Needless to say the most common special interest is farmers but we don't have a good ag leaflet yet. I don't want to send the one we do have because Jim Youngdale criticized it so thoroughly and Roy Greenaway said it wasn't really a position paper anyway.
The Southeastern edge of South Dakota borders with Iowa and I gather it has the same kind of agriculture. Given the importance of farming in Iowa and the importance of Iowa to winning the Democratic nomination, I'm surprised the midwest farmers don't have a stronger impact on farm policy. They are the ones promises have to be made to to get their vote in Iowa, not the farmers of California or the South whose states have later primaries.
I phoned Don Stevens in SD with a proposed letter to the editor. It was actually an op ed piece written to be distributed to papers on request. As I suspected Stevens said it was too long. He had sent me his version of a good letter which arrived later. I didn't like it too much, so just shortened the op ed piece. Stevens sent a list of 10 SD papers which should get the letter; he discouraged us from sending it to every small paper in the state. Paul del Ponte said he'd get it out by Monday. Stevens had also urged me to put in something on farm policy, but I can't just yet. AC will be participating in a debate in Ames, Iowa on agriculture policy but we won't be able to hear it and any papers that result from it probably won't trickle down for a long time.
Before going in today I sat in on the weekly Friday lunch at Brookings where major events of the past week are discussed by scholars, staff and guests. I've learned a lot by going to those lunches, though sometimes they are tedious discussions of the latest changes in the Federal Reserve discount rate. Those who wish to pay for their lunch sit around the table. Brown baggers sit on the outside. I sit on the outer ring, or the floor when I can't get a seat. I don't eat and never say anything. I try to be as inconspicuous as possible, though since I'm usually not wearing a suit and my coat is a bit disreputable I may not succeed.
Today there was a brief discussion of last Sunday's debates. Everyone agreed Mondale "won" by not saying anything stupid. The nomination is his to lose was the consensus; therefore caution is the best policy. Hart received a few commendations, as did Jesse. Here the consensus was that Glenn has faded, and the press' proclivity for only discussing two candidates has resulted in Jackson's replacing him in the public consciousness. Cranston's name wasn't mentioned. However, Jim Sundquist did say that if one of the dark horses was a strong third, the press might elevate him to a major contender. Afterwards I told him that was our game plan and commended him on his perspicacity. Daniel Schor said he had breakfast with Jesse that morning and he had said that all the others in that debate were mere amateurs, children, compared to him. After years of dealing with Baptists and civil rights marches, he could best them all in a talking competition. "When Jesse Jackson has to tell the others to be serious, we've come a long way." Schor quoted him as saying.
1/21/84 The South Dakota letter was finally mailed, except for about
20 pieces in which I want to stick inserts. I had a sample weighed on the
way to the office and discovered I needed an extra 17 cents. I only have
20 cent stamps and the post office won't trade. There weren't any 17 cent
stamps in the office so I couldn't trade with anyone else. Mark told me
to go ahead and put an extra 20 cent stamp on, but I pointed out that they
weren't his stamps and he wasn't proposing to replace the 60 cents I would
lose that way. That's another three letters I can mail out. Sara Jane said
she'd have some 17 cent stamps on Monday, so I'll wait until then. A couple
of the staff members just refuse to deal with these inconveniences and buy
their own stamps and office supplies. I'm not sure if they ever expect to
get reimbursed. I have never been told that if I spent my own money I would
be reimbursed so I don't. Mark has sometimes times paid for my postage out
of his own pocket in expectation that he would be reimbursed, but he clearly
has the authority to decide what is reimbursable, and I don't. On the other
hand, my original letter was only one page, which left adequate weight for
the blue brochure and an insert before the 1 ounce limit was reached. Mark
had insisted on expanding it to two pages, saying that that made it more
presentable. But he's not offering to pay for the extra postage now, and
at the time we didn't anticipate this problem.
This campaign regularly juxtaposes affluence and poverty, waste and scrimping, in ways that are quite irritating. At the same time that I was scrambling around for 200 sheets of stationary, Sergio was flying to Iowa for one day, and spending the night in a hotel rather than in someone's home. This morning I was sent to National Airport to pick up an envelope of payroll forms from Iowa, along with a $42 check to pay for them. It wasn't there, and a call to Iowa did not result in the necessary waybill number to track it down. The best guess of the United employee was that it would be on a later flight. Ignoring the fact that Express Mail would have been cheaper and only one day longer, a phone call to United would have saved the trip and $1.50 in metro fare, almost enough to pay for my inserts. Of course, if I had insisted that someone call beforehand, I wouldn't have been able to keep that $1.50, though I would have saved an hour and half of my time.
The Washington Post printed some poll results for Iowa and New Hampshire which were not good. We were not told these beforehand, even though they were obviously released earlier in the week, and a couple people knew of them. I wouldn't even have known to look for them if Sally Todd hadn't told me when I called her to do my weekly report. She had read them in the Minneapolis paper. The Boston Globe poll showed Mondale with 46 percent; Glenn, 16; Hart, 8 percent; Jackson, 6; McGovern, 5; Cranston, 4; Askew, 2; Hollings, 1. The Des Moines Register poll released last Sunday gave Mondale 49 percent; Glenn, 20; Cranston, Hart and McGovern at 6 percent. Since I got these figures from a secondary source I can't see what the margin of error was. Our drop of 2 percent in New Hampshire and 4 points in Iowa is probably within the margin of error, so these results may not mean that there's been an actual loss, merely a statistical variation. But they don't confirm the previous Iowa results that we were breaking out of the pack either.
Sally also told me that the farm debate was going on in Iowa today and that she had unsuccessfully tried to pick it up on short wave and on her radio. I tried to ask Sergio or Pazzi if we would get a tape of the debate to send them, but they were in conference all afternoon, and Mark was gone. When I got home my neighbor told me the debate had been on PBS in Washington this afternoon! If I had known, I could have watched and taped it myself on the office system. That's what I get for not studying the TV guide every week. The nightly news only mentioned Hart, McGovern and Mondale. McGovern was lauded as the favorite of the largely farm audience with his statements on price. An NPR broadcast that evening quoted a farmer as saying that price was what farmers wanted to hear about. That's exactly what Jim Youngdale and Sally Todd had told Roy Greenaway. I don't think they got through. The only replay of Cranston's remarks on NPR had him saying that farmers didn't want to hear about parity because it was an antiquated concept. He was booed.
1/28/84 I haven't been able to write in a week, partially because there hasn't been much to write about and partially because I'm tired. Today is the day of the CD caucuses in Georgia. Steve Beister finally got the names and addresses of our delegates from the Georgia State Party, but we haven't been able to reach everyone. The Party is not notifying all those who filed of the time and place of the CD caucuses, apart from press notices and responding to phone calls, therefore we have to do it. Actually we don't have tell everyone, just make sure that there is someone at all the CD caucuses. But we feel obligated to tell everyone who filed for us unless we know they don't want to go. However, the WATS lines and the lower level staff have been co-opted for polling this week, so I've been unable to use the phones after 5:30, and there are an awful lot of people for whom I don't have daytime phones.
My biggest problem has been the 2nd CD in Southwest Georgia. Our one local filer, Ted Dozier, initially said he would go, then backed out on the grounds he had to go to Florida. (He also said he didn't want to be a delegate because he would be with his family in North Carolina during July). He gave me the name of a local lawyer and Party activist who was going and whom he said would "do him a favor" by caucusing for us, but when I called him, he said no. I finally asked Keenan, our errant supporter, if he would find someone. His office called back later in the week to say he had not been able to do so. I wonder how hard he tried. During our brief conversation he had made a disapproving comment about a newspaper article he'd seen saying our major support was in the gay community. I asked Beisher later about this article, and he knew of none. As far as I am concerned, Keenan's now off our supporters list. He's never given any money or done anything else for us. If he can't even scare up a warm body to spend a couple hours in a meeting on Saturday when we are desperate, what good is he?
Frank Scheuren said he try to find someone. He also said he'd take care of the 8th CD, in which his lover and another gay are slated. However, I haven't been able to talk to him all week. He offered to send a fundraising letter to 1,000 gay businessmen, if we could get Harry Britt, a well known gay San Francisco City Councilman, to author it. Mark told us to write the letter and he'd read it to Britt for approval. Every time I call Scheuren to discuss the caucuses or the letter he is either out or on his way out. He doesn't call me back and he's not there at the times he tells me to call him back.
The 5th CD, in which Scheuren is filed, is one of the four districts in which we have competition for the first delegate spot. Our 5th CD co-ordinator, Frank James, is also filed there, as are his wife and friends. I wanted to tell Frank Scheuren this, so he'd know he had to organize support for himself to get the top spot, but I haven't been able to talk to him. Another of his friends, Ernie Giramonti, is filed in the 6th, in which two of Steve Beisher's friends also want the top spot. I couldn't reach him either. In the 10th CD I was able to tell the two people who want top spot that they would have to compete for it. In the 1st, I never reached Steve Harris, the graduate student I hope will be our CD co-ordinator. However, Andrew Edwards, a professor at Steve's school in another department, said he'd contact him. Edwards is the competition, but expressed a preference for working things out with Steve rather than trying to turn out bodies. Steve may not want the top spot as he may not have the money to go to San Francisco if elected. I thought there'd be competition in the 4th CD between Beisher and John Studstill, but Steve said John can't afford to go. However, John will go to the 4th CD caucus to elect Steve, while Steve goes to the 9th CD to elect his wife, who doesn't want to drive 60 miles by herself. Ironically, the 9th CD caucus is in Gainesville, where the truck driver I lost last month lived. I wonder if she will be there going to the uncommitted caucus?
Once I knew disaster loomed in the 2nd and possibly the 8th CDs, I called
Betty Rainwater of the State Party to see if there was some way to get our
people slated there. I had warned her three weeks ago that there might be
a CD in which we wouldn't have anyone to go to the caucus, and once I learned
the out-of-the-way location of most of them and the lack of publicity, I
warned her again. She said wait until it happened. After leaving unreturned
messages for hours I finally spoke to Betty at 8:00 pm and she wasn't much
help. I had thought she could ask the CD Chair, or the person appointed
as Subcaucus Chair to vote our slate as I asked, but she wouldn't. We went
back and forth on this. I would have called the CD chairs myself if it weren't
too late. I asked her what would happen if we were entitled to a delegate
from a CD in which there hadn't been a caucus, and she said we would still
get it, but couldn't tell me how the delegate would be selected. Our final
compromise, if you can call it that, was that she would give the office
phone to the CD chair to give to anyone who showed up to caucus for Cranston
with instructions to call me collect. I could then tell such a person how
to vote, though she doubted they would follow my instructions. I said I
doubted anyone not notified by us would show up, since they had few other
ways of finding out about the caucuses. Needless to say, no one phoned,
but since no one was on switchboard today, a call could have come without
The one interesting thing Betty told me was that John Amos had come out for Cranston, and that he would turn out a lot of people in the 3rd CD. I told her the 3rd CD was taken care of and I didn't want a large turnout. John Amos is an insurance executive in Columbus who has given a lot of money to the campaign. I phoned him several times to ask if he wanted to file as a delegate for us, but never reached him. The first time I told his secretary I was calling from the Cranston for President campaign she asked if Senator Cranston was waiting to speak to John Amos. When I said no, I was, she said he'd have to return my call. He didn't, nor did he respond to the other calls I made. Mark told me to forget about him, he didn't want his support to be public, so I did. When I told Betty I thought he would only speak to Cranston himself, not mere State co-ordinators, she told me he would never speak to any of them either, only Jimmy Carter. I later asked Beisher if he'd seen any publicity on Amos' support, but he hadn't.
The office was almost deserted today as many people were shipped to Pennsylvania to help in the petitioning necessary to get on the ballot. I was going to go for one day, but was told I have to go to New York next week to help with the petitioning there and can't afford to miss two weekends. I acquired responsibility for New Jersey Thursday, and should start working on it. I was going to spend today calling South Dakota, but a dozen calls disclosed that no one has received the letter I mailed a week ago. I hope it's merely late and not lost, after all I went through to get it out.
Instead of a staff meeting today we had a political staff meeting Thursday, before the troops disappeared. Sergio told us that support had fallen after the New Hampshire debate, though he had no word on the Iowa one. He relies on the responses to the in-state phone banks to judge how we are doing rather than the polls. He dismissed the results of the Boston Globe poll taken prior to the debate as due to statistical error since the phone banks showed no falloff, but said there was a fall off after the debate. He said we were now a weak third, rather than the strong third we are aiming at. However, I found some poll results from WBZ-TV in Boston which were much more dismal. The survey was done January 16 and 17 of 511 registered Democrats and independents in New Hampshire with a margin of error of plus or minus 6 %. When asked for whom they would vote, the interviewees said: Mondale 32.5 percent; Glenn, 18.2; Jackson, 8.6; Hart, 7.2%; Cranston, 3.1; McGovern, 2.9; Askew, 2.0; Hollings, 1.2; others, 3.3; don't know, 18.8; refused, 1.2. When asked who has the best chance to beat Ronald Reagan they replied: Mondale, 54.2%; Glenn, 15.9; Hart, 2.3; Jackson, 2.3; McGovern, 2.3; Cranston, 0.6; Askew, 0.4; Hollings, - ; others, 2.9; don't know, 17.8; refused, 1.2%. However, when asked to choose between Reagan and a Democratic Candidate, Mondale got only 54.6 percent, and none of the others got that much. (Cranston got 31.7 percent). Since this was a survey that was 61.6 percent registered Democrats and 38.4 percent independents, it does not bode well for Democratic chances next fall.
More interesting to me was the fact that when asked to name the most important issue, 40% said nuclear war, and 12.7 % said the economy. The people do not identify Cranston with the issue he identifies himself with. Also quite interesting was a question about whether selection of a female running mate would "make you more likely to vote for the ticket?" 20.2 % said definitely; 21.3 probably; 41.5 undecided; 10.0 unlikely; 6.3 definitely not; .8 refused.
1/29/84 Sally had asked me get her a copy of a tape of the Iowa farm debate, and I asked Sergio if that was possible. He told me to call Iowa. Armed with this reference, I did. The young woman I spoke to said she would do her best, but didn't think PBS would let me copy the tape; they had not taped it themselves because they had no machine on which to do it. However, she would send me the press release on farm policy they had issued, and the four page introductory statement which she said had been heavily applauded. If I hadn't said "Sergio told me to call" I probably wouldn't have gotten this much of a response. The Iowa staff don't think any requests are important but Iowa's.
The statements came a few days later, but not the tape. I made five copies of the farm statement and sent them out to Sally and others. It did seem to have everything in it. The press release disappeared off my desk the next day. It's not the first thing to disappear, but the others have been supplies like file folders, staplers, wastebaskets and scotch tape dispensers. It was on bright canary paper and thus didn't fade into the mess on my desk. People seem to feel that anything left on the top of a desk is public property. But when I clean my desk off, they think it's empty and available for them to use.
Sally liked the farm statement. She said Jim criticized it for not using the word "parity" even though it had everything in it he had wanted. But Sally still thinks she needs at least an audio tape of the farm debate to play to relevant groups before whom an MCC representative (usually her) is asked to speak. When I told her Cranston had been booed at one point, she said maybe she couldn't use the tape after all.