This article about Rep Gablinski being beaten in the Democratic primary by the unions has some interesting lessons.
Firstly,the public sector unions know that the most important thing during a campaign is having boots on the ground – and they can provide those boots (which is another reason Chaffee so strongly needed union support).
But note how one side of the campaign (lets call this the “left” side) worked together and coordinated their attack. Those with money appeared to have planned their efforts so they would not be competing against each other. And groups without money provided volunteers.
But the other side of the campaign (lets call this the “right” side) was disjointed. As George Nee said when assessing his competition, the RI Statewide Coalition, “where were they?”
RISC has asked businesses to contribute to their endorsed candidates, which Galbinske was #1 on their list, but that effort wasn’t coordinated with any other groups (like the social advocates, Tea Party or People’s PAC, or any other of the dozens of groups that meet monthly at TTM). Sadly, the “statewide coalition’s” effort was anything but a coalition.
Additionally, the local grassroot group in Gablinske’s area that should have been used as the boots on the ground, the Tea Party Patriots, were not supportive of him for local reasons. Would the NEA and their assorted pals with money coordinate support for a candidate that didn’t have local grassroot support? Methinks not (although, it can be said that the NEA makes their own grassroot support so it never happens, but that’s a discussion for another day).
We have seen what happens when groups on the “right” work together – they win. During both the binding arbitration and Deepwater Wind press conferences, between 6 and 10 different groups were present and more were represented. Not only did this present a united effort to the general assembly, but the network of supporters also pummeled them with calls and emails (the boots on the ground).
Both bills were defeated (the Deepwater issue has since come back and is being battled in court right now).
The moral of this story is that if you want to win, join the team. We have enough parochialism and elitism in the state – we don’t need it in our political movements. And the second lesson is to learn from the Left.