Project Wonderful

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I Need Your Help! Please Become A CampaignSick Sponsor!

Sponsorship update! Please consider supporting CampaignSick. I need your help!

Once I reach 50 regular donors, I will do a little MTV style cribs video is which something a few people have been asking for. And since it’s GOTV I thought I would offer a limited time promotion. If you donate $20 through PayPal this week (or sign up for a recurring sponsorship of $10/month) I will call into your conference call and say hi! These are both donor generated ideas, so if you have something you’d like to see as a thank you gift, submit your idea to

Thank you to everyone who has become a sponsor so far and thank you for all that you do!

Happy GOTV!

Campaign Love and Mine,


Make a one time donation through PayPal

Or Click Here to become a CampaignSick Sponsor!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Just this. Now.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Carl DeMaio is a Human Garbage Slug Who Should Drown In His Own Diarrhea

From San Diego City Beat
"Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio wants voters to know that he's down with the whole women's rights thing: access to birth control, equal pay, etc. But, behind the scenes, if you're a woman he disagrees with, you could be the subject of ridicule.

On Jan. 22, DeMaio sent an email to two members of his staff, campaign spokesperson Dave McCulloch and then-policy director Todd Bosnich (Bosnich has accused DeMaio of sexually harassing him and trying to buy his silence). The email's subject line is "Kate Lyon" and includes a photo of an overweight woman wearing a bra and eating what looks to be a Twinkie. (The woman in the photo is not Lyon.) Based on the email's metadata, it appears to be authentic.

Kate Lyon is the deputy campaign manager for Scott Peters, the 52nd District congressional representative whom DeMaio's challenging in the upcoming election. Earlier in the day on Jan. 22, she's responded to a tweet from McCulloch and was critical of a new DeMaio TV ad that compared Congress to Lindsey Lohan and cockroaches. "U thought ur boss's cockroach ad was representative of new type of [Republican], someone trying to change Washington? Typical," Lyon tweeted at McCulloch.

We checked with Lyon and the Peters campaign before publishing this. Spokesperson Alex Roth provided a statement:

"Kate Lyon is one of the most experienced and respected members of our staff. She previously worked as an attorney, and for NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood. It is disgusting and despicable that this champion for women’s rights, or any woman, would be demeaned this way. I wish I could say it is shocking, but coming from Carl DeMaio, nothing is shocking.""

I can barely type about this because it is so putrid. I sat stunned at my desk for a full 2 minutes with full on rage about this. On what front am I most offended? As a campaign staffer? As a woman? As a person who has struggled with their weight? I DON'T EVEN FUCKING KNOW.

As one commentor on this article observes, "DeMaio presumes fat female bodies are a punchline rather than recognize the proud, lived experience of many who live with dignity in a world that would demean them." Not to mention how completely classless it is to go after campaign staff. Not to mention the long history of sexualizing women in politics in order to take their power away. I won't republish the picture because who knows if it was even put on the Internet consensually (certainly not for this purpose) but it is easy enough to find. Carl DeMaio is disgusting in a lot of ways, but for me this takes the cake.

Supreme Court Allows Texas to Go Ahead With Strict Voter ID Law

Story here. Don't talk to me right now, SCOTUS.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Well That's Subtle

Somebody obviously did some message testing. Talk about grasping at straws.

Friday, October 10, 2014

What I Wish I Had Known at 30 With Rachel Goodman

Rachel Goodman,34, Chief of Staff for New York City Councilmember Brad Lander

Rachel gave me my first job as a campaign manager (for the aforementioned Brad Lander.) For those of you interested in going from campaigns to running the show, Rachel is your girl. I am definitely in awe of her ability to balance her jobs plus baby!

1) Tell us a little about your career path.
I actually went to acting school for college, so I like to joke that I barely even have a college degree. But by the time I graduated I realized professional acting was not in my future, and I had always done a little bit of political activism growing up, so when my then-boyfriend, now-husband wanted to move Washington, DC I figured I would go along. I got a job with a political consulting firm, which exposed me to the whole world of campaigns. After a few years there, I “hit the road” and did a whole bunch of different campaigns. Then I ended up back in New York, with the Working Families Party, where I oversaw our efforts on a bunch of different NYC races. One of those races was Brad Lander’s race for a New York City Council seat in Brooklyn, and when he won, I came on as his chief of staff. And I’ve been with him for the last 5 years.

2) What are you most proud of?
Professionally, I am most proud of the effort that Brad and I coordinated in 2013 to elect a bunch of new progressive Councilmembers to the City Council, and elect a progressive Council Speaker. We helped double the Council’s progressive caucus from 10 to 20 members, and elect one of the Caucus co-chairs, Melissa Mark-Viverito, to be the first Latino Speaker. Personally, it is that I am raising a charming almost-two year old, while working full time, and managing (most days) to feel fairly on top of things. Plus, you now, the existence of the charming two year old.

3) What is the best advice you've received?
Enjoy your periods of unemployment. During my time campaigning, I had a lot of in-between-jobs time, and sometimes I was able to use those down periods to travel, read and hang out with friends. And sometimes I spent the whole time refreshing my inbox and freaking out about my next job. I know it is so hard to live with the uncertainty, but once you are back on the campaign trail you will really wish you had made better use of your

4) What is the worst advice you've received?
Even if you are miserable in a job stay at least a year so you don’t burn bridges. Life is way too short to hate what you do, and if you aren’t happy, you should get out, no matter how short a time you have been there. I had one job in my career that I truly hated, and I knew within 6 weeks that I was going to be miserable. But I stayed for 18 months because I didn’t want to burn the professional connection. In retrospect I really regret all the hateful time that I spent there.

5) What lesson are you still trying to learn?
How to stay in one place! I got off the campaign trail because I needed more stability in my life, but I really miss the variety of having a new job every 6 months. It’s been a real adjustment to settle in to one place, and find ways to create new challenges and opportunities for myself.

6) What was the best thing about being in your 20's?
Being responsible only for myself. Even if I wanted to run off and join a presidential campaign, or move to California, or back pack through Asia, I couldn’t because I have people who are counting on me to be home for dinner. When I was younger, I didn’t have that, and so had a lot more professional and personal freedom.

7) What one thing should I absolutely do before I turn 30?
Take a long trip by yourself. It’s not really an age thing, but 30 is as good an occasion as any. When I was younger I took a three week trip to Australia by myself, and it was the best thing I have ever done.

8) What's the best thing about being in your 30's?
I still remember when I was in college one of my teachers talking about turning 30 and saying “it’s such a relief not to be ‘a woman in her 20s anymore.’” That really stuck with me. It is hard to be taken seriously professional as a woman and it helps to not be such a “young woman” anymore. 22 year old men can be “wunderkinds,” but women in their 20s are just seen as flighty.

9) What are you looking forward to?
Oh man. Sleeping past 6am again at some point?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ask An Election Nerd: Lazy Incumbents

Hi Nancy,

First off, I have to say I am in love with your Tumblr. I die laughing at how applicable the things you post are to my own situations.

I just wanted to see if you had any advice for a first time campaign manager pretty much doing everything on their own? To give you some background, I am working for a long time incumbent. He is a beloved member of our statehouse and has years of experience. But he won't do anything! He tells me he goes out on walks, but from our database I can tell it's not true. And no one will volunteer because he's a "sure thing." HA! The problem is we only won 52% in the Primary, voter turn out was appalling, and we are in a killer swing district. But I am the only one doing work for our campaign; calls, doorbelling, signs, "recruitment." It's brutal. I am a highly driven and motivated person, but this has left me "campaignsick," and I'm not sure I'd ever do this work again even though it's all the things I love (interacting with people, politics, being organized, leading).

I'm sure he will win, but our party is always pressuring us for better numbers, more calls, more doors. Am I just failing or is this a common problem? I'm not sure I can make it until November... 36 days 6 hours 36 minutes 43 seconds...

Thanks again for all you do, and any advice you have to make it through!


Before I answer I want to point out, this is how you ask a question. I hate when people send me anonymous messages like, "any advice if I don't get along with my campaign manager?" I want to help, but how am I supposed to answer that? So kudos to you sir, for providing context and for writing in complete sentences.

On to your query! Look, you can only control what you can control. Beyond the occasional pep talk that every candidate needs, if your candidate is not motivated by external factors like building the party, being good at his job and keeping his seat, there's nothing you're going to be able to do as the campaign manager to light that fire. It sounds like you were hired by either the party or the candidate to look like they were doing something, without actually having to do something themselves.

Your candidate should not be lying to you; that's just disrespectful. If I were you, I would confront him about the discrepancies in your numbers and say something like "if you don't want to do the work, it's your candidacy, but I can't do my job at all if you're not truthful with me." Then I would come up with a new plan for exactly what he expects from you and you from him for the next 27 days (sorry it took me a while to get to this question.) When you have this discussion you need to accept that maybe he's just not going to knock or do other things you'd want him to in a Cadillac (or even like Corolla) campaign plan. In order for you to know what you're working with, you need your candidate to feel like he can be honest with you about what he's actually willing to do or you're back at square one. Then, you plan the best damn GOTV you can from there. Does he have even 5 friends and family members who can commit to helping out between now and the election? It's shitty and he's being shitty but you can only do the best with what you've got. For what it's worth, I think you'd be within your rights to quit, but that doesn't sound like something you want to do at this point, which is equally understandable.

Please don't let this turn you off from campaign work! It sounds like you have good instincts and the temperament to do this job. Every campaign is a disaster in it's own way. Learning how to deal with the particular foibles of each situation is part of what helps you learn and makes it interesting, but what you are describing is in no way par for the course. Now you know what to watch out for in a job so that you can have a more productive experience next time.

Thanks for writing! I hope I helped!

Campaign Love and Mine,