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Today’s the day when I make a critical decision about my campaign for District Attorney. (That link is to my still-spare website. The only things that really matter there for now are the graphic you see reproduced above and the contribution button below it.)
Comments to this item, by the way, will be closed. The time for discussion is over. The time for action has come. (Use this previous item for discussion if you really must.)
1. A real campaign, a token campaign, or less than even that?
I want to run for District Attorney to (1) give people someone to rally around, (2) raise some important issues that need to be raised, and (3) do, if I win, a excellent job in the position. (People who have been saying that I don’t have relevant experience don’t know what they’re talking about, but that’s a discussion for next week or later.) The question is: what sort of campaign can I afford to run? We’ll know most of that by this evening; the rest by tomorrow afternoon.
If I raise enough money today, I will have an aggressive 400-word ballot statement addressing issues such as the problems with corruption in the county, abuses of the constitutional rights of residents, and what I would do about them.
If I raise less money, but still enough, I will still file my fee, but will have to run without a ballot statement. That would be unfortunate. While $29,500 is a lot of money, it’s by far the cheapest way to reach 1.4 million voters.
If I don’t raise enough money to make it onto the ballot — then I’ll file, later on, to run as a write-in candidate.
So take heart! If that happens, you’ll still be able to vote against Tony Rackauckas and they’ll still count the ballots. It just won’t do any real good — other than to let some of us say, proudly, that “we voted for someone else.” And, frankly, our problems in OC are too great to get much satisfaction from purely symbolic secret resistance.
2. Now This Would Be a Clever Trick
Unfortunately, if I dropped down to write-in status, it would also allow for some clever trickiness at the Registrar’s office between now and tomorrow afternoon. Let’s say that Tony Rackauckas isn’t really interested in running this time — and is just doing so because he has to run to keep Todd Spitzer and some others off the ballot. Friday morning, his own Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder could waltz into the office Friday morning, take out papers, get petititons signed, and file them by 5:00.
Then, Rackauckas could say that he has rethought his desire to serve a fifth term. He’d stay on the ballot — but nothing says that he has to campaign, or even spend another dime of the $419,000 he raised at the Balboa Bay Club in one day. Word would go out for people to support Kang Schroeder — and with only two of them on the ballot (and the virtual impossibility of a countywide write-in campaign against someone with institutional support) that would be the end of the race.
History would show that Susan Kang Schroeder was duly elected as DA, in her own right, and the fact that it was really a matter of Rackauckas handing her the baton and pulling up lame would be mostly forgotten and not mentioned aloud. (After all, as several people have told me over the past couple of weeks, not many people have the guts to cross the District Attorney.)
Only one thing stands in the way of this sort of clever maneuver right now: the prospect that I will be on the ballot rather than a write-in. (If I’m on the ballot, people have an alternative, and Rackauckas could not in effect withdraw in favor of a crony.) So the question is whether you will stand with me. And that question pretty much needs to be answered today.
3. A Money-Back (Almost) Guarantee
A potential contributor, thinking about digging deep, may be wondering: what if Diamond raises enough money to get on ballot, but not enough money to buy the candidate statement — does he get to keep the money?
I’d like to keep it — I’d like to use it to reach voters in areas that have been most hurt by the District Attorney’s neglect and hostility — but I can understand the concern. So I will make you a deal. If I raise enough money to get onto the ballot, but not enough money to get a ballot statement, then any or all money you donate above $99 will be refunded if you ask for it by March 14. If I’ve bought a ballot statement, of course, then that money is committed.
I’m “dialing for dollars” today — so the ball is in your court. Do you want me to be on the ballot? Do you want me to send a desperately needed message to 1.4 million voters in their native languages? Then you’ll need to do your part as well. If you don’t have the money — then I don’t want your money, I will simply take your blessings and good wishes. If you do have money available, and you think that I should take on this man, then you have a few hours to decide whether to help.
Again, here’s the website: http://democracy.com/DiamondForDA.