How many of you remember Prince Potemkin’s deception of Catherine the Great? The prince knew his fiefdom was a disaster. He set up an elaborate ruse to fool the Czar in to thinking everything was ok.
Potemkin staged a series of displays (think 1700’s here) in order to give the appearance that his fiefdom was the best in the Russian Empire.
Facebook allows people to do similar things – used effectively, it can project an image. However, in the world of politics, observers are used to being deceived, lied to, snowed, fed straw-men and otherwise spun.
This means then that smart political operatives are cynical and observant. The really smart operatives also understand that most people want to avoid conflict and would rather do nothing than act – especially in the face of controversy.
The combination of the two mean that effective political operatives who are personally corrupt, or are clinical are extremely deadly because few if anyone will stand up to them.
This is why scams are common in politics.
Some screenshots that made their way to me included some nuggets about the voracity of the SB277 campaign.
I also know that the proponents are responding to this blog in real time.
I also know that they have little or no resources and are counting on a naive volunteer base to continue to solicit more funds.
Witness, “We have 100,000 petitions” in one comment. (psst, you need 380,000 valid signatures to qualify)
“We have had a number of questions about the number of petitions we are allowed to give out to individuals…”
There is no legal limit on the number of petitions that can be handed out. Donnelly knows this. Lauren Stephens knows this. This means that they are out of money and are having to ration petitions.
Every initiative / referendum campaign I have been involved in gives out petitions liberally to anyone that wants them… so seeing comments about the campaign needing to monitor all the petitions in real time suggests that they are indeed short of resources.
“Our goal is to turn in 400,000” – this is what you say when you know your effort is lackluster in order to lower expectations. This is similar behavior to past referendum campaigns that have failed spectacularly. Any seasoned campaign operative would understand that you need 1.5 times at least turned in to get the job done. If you are completely dependent upon volunteers, you should shoot for 1.8 times as the error rate amongst non-professionals is extremely high.
I believe the reasons why they are short of resources are that they are completely dependent upon the tea party for their support. Witness the banter on their campaign pages on social media.
Where are the democrats? There were several that voted against the bill. Where are the independents? Why is there no effort to broaden the base?
I believe another reason why they are short of money is that Tim Donnelly is reputed to be receiving advertising revenue for his fledgling radio show from the campaign. This is also alleged to be the reason why Mr. Donnelly was prevented from touring the USA with Donald Trump vis-a-vis, the Trump anti-illegal-immigration tour. (Trump did indeed invite Donnelly to participate)
I learned when investigating Tim Donnelly in 2014 that he is severely in debt. He is also reputed to be in debt to several former constituents of his assembly district. This suggests why he is pushing this ruse as far as he is – even the most attention starved would-be radio stars have limits.
Related to the referendum effort itself, it gets better – if you peruse the “official” SB277 referendum pages… besides seeing that a majority of the support is from out of state, you will see chatter about visiting the DMV, the Social Security Offices, Welfare Offices, etc.
Anyone that knows how to run an effort would tell you that doing any of the above could land you in hot water as the government workers would likely call the cops on you. Why is Lauren Stephens suggesting this? Was this some sort of a post in order to look legitimate?
So then, ask yourself is this thing real? If it is not real, then what other nexus is there for Tim Donnelly and Lauren Stephens other than personal aggrandizement and financial gain?
Meantime, other people that really care about the issue are finding out the brutal reality of the situation:
1. Donnelly is toxic, no one wants to be a part of anything he is headlining.
2. Donnelly is mistreating people that do not do 100% of what he wants them to
3. Lauren Stephens has been scorching the earth behind herself. (the sad fact is that she may be completely unaware of it)
4. Many would-be Donors are using Tim Donnelly as a Judas goat in order to not participate.
5. The supporters of the effort are continuing their paranoid conspiracies against Republican legislators.
No amount of pictures of the same boxes of petitions are going to change the reality. The SB277 referendum appears to be a scam and little more than a way for Tim Donnelly and Lauren Stephens to pay their bills. They need to come clean about what is being done with whatever money they have raised.
When I wrote that they could not afford to print petitions, I meant it. Printing 100,000 petitions (if indeed that assertion is the truth) in order to cover themselves publicly does not cut it. You need 380,000 signatures, you need 3-5 times that many petitions. With 60 days to go and with Mr. Donnelly and Ms. Stephens scorching the earth – the breaking point where it becomes impossible is coming quickly.
Will this charade be worth it to them? Or, worse do they really believe they can win given what they are doing?