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johndeal
05-07-2014, 01:06 PM
I've been thinking about this a lot. I spent a good bit of money (I nearly maxed out) on the Brannon Campaign and I didn't get the return I was looking for. Here are my thoughts for what they're worth:

1. Not enough money.
2. Greg did not come off well in the debates.
I spoke to Greg (I guess I gave enough money to warrant a phone call) and he seemed very easy to talk to - for me. I'm a physician as well and we talked a bit about why I didn't move my practice to NC. When I listened to the debates he just didn't come off as a guy most people could relate to. Which is unfortunate because he really can relate to most people. This would be the one key thing that I think he could work on.
3. ? - what do you guys think?

I hope we get some constructive criticism here that we can all use to help liberty candidates run more effective campaigns in the future.

I also hope Greg runs for a house seat in two years. He's got great grass roots infrastructure in place and it would be a shame for him not to use it for a congressional seat. If he commits to that I won't feel like my money was wasted at all.

RandallFan
05-07-2014, 03:40 PM
The only thing Brannon could have done is went back in history and not tried to start a risky company knowing that he was running for senate in the future. He couldn't control being set up.

Hagan will not be a slam dunk for any candidate. Obama won't sign a repeal of Obamacare.

If I was Obama I would be taunting Republicans with veto threats.

eleganz
05-07-2014, 04:39 PM
We had the army on the ground (people and enthusiasm) but didn't have the aerial back up (media and ads).


Not only that but we didn't have the focus of the liberty movement in one place. We were 5% from potentially having another Rand Paul in the Senate but let's ask how many people in the national liberty movement paid attention or knew how to get involved.

RonPaulMall
05-07-2014, 04:47 PM
Debate performance for sure. I know three Republicans in NC that didn't vote Brannon and all three cited the debates as the reason. Greg has to work on his presentation and learn how to tailor his message to a wider audience. He needs to study guys like Broun, Sanford, and Lee.

boneyard bill
05-07-2014, 04:58 PM
I don't live in North Carolina so I can't comment on the grass-roots organization, but it sounds to me like it was pretty good. Obviously, Brannon needed to raise more money, but that merely brings up the issue of why he couldn't.

However, I did watch the final debate that included Tillis, and I more or less concluded then that Brannon wasn't going to win. For one thing, the debate was entirely too polite. Furthermore, the debaters pretty much agreed on everything. You left the debate not feeling that there was much to choose from. Brannon needed to be more aggressive in that debate. He needed to bring up issues where Tillis was vulnerable. From what I gather there definitely were some. I think immigration reform is one of them.

But the other thing I noted was that Brannon kept referring to the constitution. Of course, that's not a bad thing, and it can be a very good thing to bring up in a speech. But in a debate, you don't want to be bringing it up time and time again because it makes you look one-dimensional. A debate is basically a job interview, and the public wants a candidate who appears to be thoughtful and not formulaic. To sum up, I thought Brannon came across as a lot more like Ron Paul than Rand Paul. And if anything, he was more Ron Paul than Ron because Ron Paul at least showed a lot of expertise in a number of areas. You didn't get the impression in the debate, however, that Brannon was any smarter or better informed than even Heather Grant, much less Tillis, who did come across as the best informed but not overwhelmingly so.

I hope Brannon runs again and maybe a Congressional opportunity will open up. But I think he should approach policy issues more from a pragmatic view than an ideological one. He should look at Rand Paul's approach more carefully, but he also might want to study Steve Lonegan's debate with Cory Booker. Lonegan didn't give an inch on his principles, but he still held his own against Booker very well. He came across a tough, principled, and informed.

green73
05-07-2014, 05:14 PM
I spent a good bit of money (I nearly maxed out) on the Brannon Campaign and I didn't get the return I was looking for. .

It's so sad to hear stories like this. Good intentioned people giving up their hard-earned dollars for a lost cause.

Perhaps spend your money buying copies of Economics in One Lesson. Give them to family and friends and strangers. Most won't read it but a few might. That's still a better return on your investment.

GunnyFreedom
05-07-2014, 05:20 PM
Debate performance for sure. I know three Republicans in NC that didn't vote Brannon and all three cited the debates as the reason. Greg has to work on his presentation and learn how to tailor his message to a wider audience. He needs to study guys like Broun, Sanford, and Lee.

This is a big thing. One of my strongest points is being able to articulate Constitutionalist points where pretty much anybody (excepting prejudicial shills) can get it. Brannon was not properly prepared for debates, nor was he properly coached on how to articulate the same message to different groups. This is indeed one of the larger reasons, but again it boils down to the campaign team, not Brannon himself. By now, after going on 7 years, Paul Inc should know how to articulate this platform to Republicans instead of just leaving it to the candidate. Rand won because he is good at that skill natively. A campaign team that recognizes this as an issue and works to correct it could have carried Brannon over the top.

Vanguard101
05-07-2014, 05:32 PM
The way he conveyed his message was awful for a lay/mass person. Don't get me wrong, I love Brannon. However, he really couldn't preach the message of liberty well. This is a serious problem for most liberty candidates. I honestly don't get what's so hard about conveying the message better. Most politicians have a problem with this.

GunnyFreedom
05-07-2014, 05:49 PM
In September of 2010 I was preparing a mailer for my House campaign, it was beautiful! Excellent photography laid over a barely visible Gadsden flag, laying out the strong points of my campaign articulated for the excitement Tea Party folks. A (native!) NCGOP operative took one look and said, "no way! If you don't already have the Tea Party people by now, you will never have them. You need to be targeting people you DON'T already have!" His words struck home. I retooled my mailer, and won my race.

This was another problem that the campaign organization had. While Tillis was out campaigning for Tea Party support (since that was the group he DIDN'T already have) Reilly Oneil kept targeting Tea and Liberty -- the people that Brannon DID already have. Bad strategy. By 6-10 week from the election we should be targeting people who are NOT already supporters.

Southron
05-07-2014, 06:04 PM
I sure got enough recorded phone calls from Brannon. I guess donating isnt enough to convince them he had my vote. Lol.

I wish i had been able to give more though.

jjdoyle
05-07-2014, 06:09 PM
This is a big thing. One of my strongest points is being able to articulate Constitutionalist points where pretty much anybody (excepting prejudicial shills) can get it. Brannon was not properly prepared for debates, nor was he properly coached on how to articulate the same message to different groups. This is indeed one of the larger reasons, but again it boils down to the campaign team, not Brannon himself. By now, after going on 7 years, Paul Inc should know how to articulate this platform to Republicans instead of just leaving it to the candidate. Rand won because he is good at that skill natively. A campaign team that recognizes this as an issue and works to correct it could have carried Brannon over the top.

I still am waiting on one person in Paul Inc. to address what kept many GOP voters wary of RP, and what will keep those same GOP voters wary of Rand. They ignored repeated requests to address it in 2012 in a meaningful way, and the vote totals should show us that it is a problem. I haven't seen anybody in Paul Inc., even now, address it in a way that will resonate with GOP voters. The ones that are needed to win the nomination.

BUT, on Brannon, and what could be done. One simple thing he could have done, was have staff return emails with actual responses. Not fundraising replies. When people are asking for yard signs to spread around the area(s), they aren't looking to PAY for those signs. They are volunteering their time to put the signs out in certain areas to help the name recognition issue. My area had TONS of Tillis and even HARRIS signs. Not one single Brannon sign.

On the trial he was in, that was a BIG issue that hurt him I believe. I still think him/his legal counsel make a completely STUPID decision on him NOT testifying. And by him not testifying, he was found guilty (or, liable). Sure, we can wait for the appeals process, but that was pretty much it for some voters.

AND, I think if Rand is going to do an endorsement in the future, I don't know that waiting so long in the process to show up and do a rally did much to help. Early voting was pretty much over by that point.

When a candidate that is endorsed by Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Rand Paul, and others loses by nearly 20% points and can't force a runoff, it really should show us that whatever progress we might have thought had been made in the GOP, isn't there. The majority of general, mundane, GOP voters are programmed. They will vote for whom they are told. Now. Or, in 2016.

GunnyFreedom
05-07-2014, 06:24 PM
There were tons of mistakes, but the only mistakes by Brannon were 1) not testifying, and 2) allowing himself to be (in my humble opinion) extorted by Rothfeld in the first place.

Brian4Liberty
05-07-2014, 06:25 PM
Not only that but we didn't have the focus of the liberty movement in one place. We were 5% from potentially having another Rand Paul in the Senate but let's ask how many people in the national liberty movement paid attention or knew how to get involved.

This forum was a good microcosm for the entire liberty movement. Response here was tepid. Moneybombs didn't generate any interest. Some people actively opposed Brannon.

Brian4Liberty
05-07-2014, 06:33 PM
In September of 2010 I was preparing a mailer for my House campaign, it was beautiful! Excellent photography laid over a barely visible Gadsden flag, laying out the strong points of my campaign articulated for the excitement Tea Party folks. A (native!) NCGOP operative took one look and said, "no way! If you don't already have the Tea Party people by now, you will never have them. You need to be targeting people you DON'T already have!" His words struck home. I retooled my mailer, and won my race.

This was another problem that the campaign organization had. While Tillis was out campaigning for Tea Party support (since that was the group he DIDN'T already have) Reilly Oneil kept targeting Tea and Liberty -- the people that Brannon DID already have. Bad strategy. By 6-10 week from the election we should be targeting people who are NOT already supporters.

Agree. You have to target the biggest groups first. Go for the generic citizen, then the generic GOP, then the people you have a chance of bringing over to your side. And of course, red meat for your base.

Twitter has a very limited audience, but here's my idea of a generic GOP targeted tweet:

463722471590334464

GunnyFreedom
05-07-2014, 06:37 PM
This forum was a good microcosm for the entire liberty movement. Response here was tepid. Moneybombs didn't generate any interest. Some people actively opposed Brannon.

Not really. Only about 0.1% of NC Liberty in NC ultimately didn't back Brannon. In fact, I can only cite one single 'liberty' individual in the entire State who opposed Brannon for nonpersonal issues that didn't involve the campaign staff. The balance of that one tenth of one percent of liberty who did not support Brannon, were really just knee-jerking against Reilly.

Brian4Liberty
05-07-2014, 06:40 PM
Not really. Only about 0.1% of NC Liberty in NC ultimately didn't back Brannon. In fact, I can only cite one single 'liberty' individual in the entire State who opposed Brannon for nonpersonal issues that didn't involve the campaign staff. The balance of that one tenth of one percent of liberty who did not support Brannon, were really just knee-jerking against Reilly.

I'd assume actual voters in NC would pay attention to the race, especially any liberty activists. I was talking about the entire liberty movement, outside of NC. The non-voters who could be donors or activists.

GunnyFreedom
05-07-2014, 06:49 PM
I'd assume actual voters in NC would pay attention to the race, especially any liberty activists. I was talking about the entire liberty movement, outside of NC. The non-voters who could be donors or activists.

There is a point, but I think this could have been resolved by targeting groups other than Liberty and Tea inside of NC and picking up his numbers, since liberty people tend to measure 'electability' when donating to candidates in other States, and the targeting strategy did not help that metric.

Another big issue was money. Brannon could not compete on the airwaves in part because he did not raise enough money, and in part because Oneill was taking $6k a month in salary from our donations.

HOLLYWOOD
05-07-2014, 06:58 PM
Amateur hour is over... education is needed for candidates. The education that the establishment go to and train for.

Public speaking classes/training
Debate training
Voice training


I really wanted Ron to go to them... because to zombied-up Boobus American want the image of an extemporaneous speaker with the clever knack to give the wholesome projections and quick witted snaps they want to hear.

I mean it's all political entertainment for votes today... Duck Dynasty & Fred Thompson validated American Idiocracy elections.

jjdoyle
05-07-2014, 07:05 PM
There is a point, but I think this could have been resolved by targeting groups other than Liberty and Tea inside of NC and picking up his numbers, since liberty people tend to measure 'electability' when donating to candidates in other States, and the targeting strategy did not help that metric.

Another big issue was money. Brannon could not compete on the airwaves in part because he did not raise enough money, and in part because Oneill was taking $6k a month in salary from our donations.

I thought Brannon raised a pretty good amount, especially considering the trial issue. And he probably had better "national" recognition by going on the Glenn Beck program, and even Levin endorsing him. Did Hannity or anybody else get behind Tillis?

I'm actually curious as to how much (if any) money is leftover.

GunnyFreedom
05-07-2014, 07:06 PM
I thought Brannon raised a pretty good amount, especially considering the trial issue. And he probably had better "national" recognition by going on the Glenn Beck program, and even Levin endorsing him. Did Hannity or anybody else get behind Tillis?

I'm actually curious as to how much (if any) money is leftover.
~$6k. 1 month salary for his campaign guy.

FSP-Rebel
05-07-2014, 07:07 PM
I'd assume actual voters in NC would pay attention to the race, especially any liberty activists. I was talking about the entire liberty movement, outside of NC. The non-voters who could be donors or activists.
Yep, this was one of the downfalls or perhaps the major one outside of Brannon's shtick. I'd talk to some of our C4L people around here about the Brannon race, including district and state cmte members, and they'd be like.. huh? As in, having no clue about the race nor the quality of the candidate. The fact is, unfortunately, is that the larger grassroots activist groups around the country are usually only focused on their own states unless there's a Prez race going on so our online activities are usually up to us: the all-around diehard, political liberty activists. Not sure what can be done to harness all hands on deck when people are busy with their own lives and only "tune in" at certain times.

eleganz
05-07-2014, 07:21 PM
Yep, this was one of the downfalls or perhaps the major one outside of Brannon's shtick. I'd talk to some of our C4L people around here about the Brannon race, including district and state cmte members, and they'd be like.. huh? As in, having no clue about the race nor the quality of the candidate. The fact is, unfortunately, is that the larger grassroots activist groups around the country are usually only focused on their own states unless there's a Prez race going on so our online activities are usually up to us: the all-around diehard, political liberty activists. Not sure what can be done to harness all hands on deck when people are busy with their own lives and only "tune in" at certain times.

This is true, the diehards are already all active in their own local races and party activity. I just wish there were more of us....there are way too many out there that have simply given up.

HOLLYWOOD
05-07-2014, 07:24 PM
I did like that he spoke at the NASCAR museum in Charlotte

jjdoyle
05-07-2014, 07:54 PM
~$6k. 1 month salary for his campaign guy.

$6K is the amount leftover?

GunnyFreedom
05-07-2014, 07:56 PM
$6K is the amount leftover?

and change. yes.

jjdoyle
05-07-2014, 08:05 PM
and change. yes.

Ah, well glad they spent it in the election cycle. At least it's not being sat on. I think seeing how they spent what they had, would be good for future campaigns. What worked well, and what didn't.

MichaelDavis
05-07-2014, 09:37 PM
I've been thinking about this a lot. I spent a good bit of money (I nearly maxed out) on the Brannon Campaign and I didn't get the return I was looking for. Here are my thoughts for what they're worth:

1. Not enough money.
2. Greg did not come off well in the debates.
I spoke to Greg (I guess I gave enough money to warrant a phone call) and he was seemed very easy to talk to - for me. I'm a physician as well and we talked a bit about why I didn't move to NC. When I listened to the debates and he just didn't come off as a guy most people could relate to. Which is unfortunate because he really can realte to most people. This would be the one key thing that he could work on.
3. ? - what do you guys think?

I hope we get some constructive criticism here that we can all use to help liberty candidates run more effective campaigns in the future.

I also hope Greg runs for a house seat in two years. He's got great grass roots infrastructure in place and it would be a shame for him not to use it for a congressional seat. If he commits to that I won't feel like my money was wasted at all.

9/11 trutherism for one. You would think that politicians would learn after Debra Medina's campaign blunder. Saying that the terrorist attacks "might" have been organized by the United States government probably turned off more people than anything else.

lib3rtarian
05-07-2014, 09:50 PM
1) Too much focus on the Constitution. Music to our ears, but gobbledygook to the layman. He needed to talk about jobs, economy, jobs, civil liberties, jobs etc.

2) Sloppy mistakes on the campaign trail - handling of the lawsuit, failure to pay taxes, failure to file ethics report etc. These sound like grave crimes in an opposition direct-mailer.

3) Not enough money. The candidate with the most money almost always wins.

jjdoyle
05-07-2014, 11:34 PM
9/11 trutherism for one. You would think that politicians would learn after Debra Medina's campaign blunder. Saying that the terrorist attacks "might" have been organized by the United States government probably turned off more people than anything else.

Based on Medina's numbers, it should be embraced. Unless you have numbers showing Medina went down after her comments? I posted the polls from her election a last week, and Medina received more votes in the Texas primary, basically being a nobody, than Ron Paul did against Mitt Romney.

nayjevin
05-08-2014, 12:21 AM
Based on Medina's numbers, it should be embraced. Unless you have numbers showing Medina went down after her comments? I posted the polls from her election a last week, and Medina received more votes in the Texas primary, basically being a nobody, than Ron Paul did against Mitt Romney.

It did seem to be a breaking point. But I don't think she blundered at all, her response was just blown out of proportion and Beck went on and on about it. The way I saw it at the time if it hadn't been that statement it would have been another.

DeMintConservative
05-08-2014, 06:36 AM
In my opinion, candidate recruitment.

Just way too many problems:

- first timer, without a track record of conservative vote at any level and no experience running campaigns (and this one is related to other points that follow)
- the fraud jury trial
- the 9/11 Truther episode
- the statements equating democracy to socialism, food stamps to slavery, etc (I personally understand his point and agree, but most voters simply don't have the time or disposition to get the nuance of that sort of analogies - if, for example, you really want to talk on the campaign trail how democracy can be no more than a tyranny of the majority, you need to do it in different terms).
- poor debater
- mediocre fund-raiser

These factors killed his electability, more than his likeability with primary voters.

Brannon should have dropped to take on Ellmers in NC-2 . If he sorts out the jury trial thing, I hope he does it in two years. But he isn't ready/fit to be a statewide candidate.

People need to do a better job vetting/picking candidates. As a rule of thumb, supporting rookies to federal offices should be done very sparingly and carefully. This is why it's so important to support candidates running for local offices, state legislature, statewide row offices, etc: to build a bench from where you can draw good candidates to higher offices.

Southron
05-08-2014, 07:03 AM
In my opinion, candidate recruitment.

Just way too many problems:

- first timer, without a track record of conservative vote at any level and no experience running campaigns (and this one is related to other points that follow)
- the fraud jury trial
- the 9/11 Truther episode
- the statements equating democracy to socialism, food stamps to slavery, etc (I personally understand his point and agree, but most voters simply don't have the time or disposition to get the nuance of that sort of analogies - if, for example, you really want to talk on the campaign trail how democracy can be no more than a tyranny of the majority, you need to do it in different terms).
- poor debater
- mediocre fund-raiser

These factors killed his electability, more than his likeability with primary voters.

Brannon should have dropped to take on Ellmers in NC-2 . If he sorts out the jury trial thing, I hope he does it in two years. But he isn't ready/fit to be a statewide candidate.

People need to do a better job vetting/picking candidates. As a rule of thumb, supporting rookies to federal offices should be done very sparingly and carefully. This is why it's so important to support candidates running for local offices, state legislature, statewide row offices, etc: to build a bench from where you can draw good candidates to higher offices.

Or maybe he was just greatly outspent and couldnt overcome that.

mosquitobite
05-08-2014, 07:30 AM
People need to do a better job vetting/picking candidates. As a rule of thumb, supporting rookies to federal offices should be done very sparingly and carefully. This is why it's so important to support candidates running for local offices, state legislature, statewide row offices, etc: to build a bench from where you can draw good candidates to higher offices.

This. This. This.

Like it or not, we don't have the bankers funding our candidates.

I do think we need to step back and focus on local and state legislatures. Build candidates up that have good records and if you can't find a good liberty candidate - BE that candidate!

GunnyFreedom
05-08-2014, 11:08 AM
This. This. This.

Like it or not, we don't have the bankers funding our candidates.

I do think we need to step back and focus on local and state legislatures. Build candidates up that have good records and if you can't find a good liberty candidate - BE that candidate!

I've been screaming this since 2007. I ran in 2010 to prove my point since nobody was listening to me. Fortunately a lot more people are listening now than were in 2009.

hated
05-09-2014, 12:13 PM
There were tons of mistakes, but the only mistakes by Brannon were 1) not testifying, and 2) allowing himself to be extorted by Rothfeld in the first place.

Extorted? Why do you say that?

GunnyFreedom
05-09-2014, 06:37 PM
Extorted? Why do you say that?

A asks B for help.

B says I will only help you if you meet my conditions

conditions = pay me too much money and dance like a monkey on my string.

The coercion part being 'nobody else will take you on, I am your only hope. Without me you can only ever lose. Therefore you will dance like my monkey or go back home and cry.

In my opinion, this is a form of extortion, because it is being used as leverage to provoke behavior that the person being levered does not want to engage.