Tuesday, September 26, 2006

California Screaming: Who's My Candidate for Governor Again?

Almost everything I read about the Governor's race in California is about the Republican candidate, either for or against him. Granted it's tough to get some attention if your opponent is an over-exposed, vain, Hollywood movie star but it's not impossible.

Phil Angelides, Democratic Candidate for Governor of California, 2006
As linguist George Lakoff has often pointed out, "Negating a frame evokes the frame." In other words, you can't fight a candidate by naming him all the time. If you do, you're basically giving your opponent free publicity and that's exactly what Democrat Phil Angelides' campaign has been doing. That is why so many of my fellow progressives, when asked, have no idea what Angelides stands for or what his platform is. In fact some of them don't even know who he is!?! Therefore, so that you know what and who you're voting FOR I'm going to present your candidate for Governor to you:

Phil Angelides, Democratic Candidate
for Governor of California, 2006

If a politician doesn't define him/herself their opponent will, with glee. I won't repeat any of what the Republicans say about Angelides because that would, "evoke their frame". I won't show you images of their candidate with "poisonous" Republicans because that too will "evoke their frame". The only way Phil Angelides can win the governorship of the great state of California is by evoking his own frame of success and hope.

Phil Angelides, Democratic Candidate
for Governor of California, 2006

The images and words that Angelides needs to get out into the public realm, AND QUICK, are of him being effective, him being different than his opponent, and him being human and connecting with us through the TV screen. It's actually not too late for Angelides to do this, in fact it's just the right time but I don't know if his campaign consultants, and the Dem leaders in California even understand what's going wrong here.

1) When running a campaign against a well-established, popular movie star, don't give him free airtime. If anyone DOESN'T need more airtime it's Angelides' opponent.

2) SHOW, (not talk about) your executive experience, your fundamental differences from the Republican candidate, and your successes in ways that clearly explain to voters how they will benefit from you being governor. How did Angelides save Californians money while State Treasurer? How did he protect our hard-earned money? What will he do to expand these efforts? This must be SHOWN in clear visual terms, not explained by wonkish policy blather.

Phil Angelides receiving Statewide Community Development Affordable Housing Award from Mutual Housing

3) BE HUMAN! Howard Dean showed how quickly this honesty can endear a candidate to his/her supporters. Being human in the context of a political campaign means understanding the people who you want voting for you and connecting with them in a honest, social way. If voters find you aloof, unavailable, unoriginal, reserved, inauthentic in any way they'll reject you.

Phil Angelides, campaigning with his daughters, 2006

4) Express your policies in clear, succinct terms, not as being anti-the-other-guy policies but by showing how you will help ME, the voter, protect my home/family/job, and increase my prosperity/security/comfort. This is a very good start:
Friends, progressives, members of the labor movement, it is time for us to stand up and it is time for us to stand together. But, unfortunately, instead of leading the fight for our progressive values, I see too many in full retreat, bending to the politics of the moment rather than doing what is right for California. My friends, that's not what I'm going to do, that's not what we're going to do. We're going to stand up for our beliefs.

The belief in an economy and society that includes everybody, not just the privileged few; the belief in an education system that embodies excellence, that gives true meaning to the promise of expanding opportunity; the belief that all workers have a fundamental right to living wages and safe working conditions; the belief that every child and every family in California ought to be able to see a doctor when they are sick.

And the belief that our most sacred obligation as Californians, as Americans, is to build a better future for our children.

Now, sometimes the right is so much on the offensive, we forget to be proud of who we are. We should always be proud that progressives and labor have led this country's greatest economic expansions. From Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Bill Clinton we have consistently proven that when we invest in the future, when we expand opportunity, when we strengthen the middle class, our entire society prospers. And when we do these things, the people stand with us.

These basic values stand in stark contrast to the agenda now being advanced by Republican politicians from Sacramento to Washington. The constant din raised by Republican leaders about taxation, deregulation, worker demands, the labeling of this great and historic movement as a special interest has obscured the insidious threat that their policies pose to the working men and women of America. What has been lost in this din is a creeping corrosive change in the very fabric and culture of our state and nation.

This nation's success, California's success, has always been based on the fervent belief that if we reinvest back in the society, we will create sustained wealth for future generations.

-Phil Angelides speaking to the Building & Construction Trades Council

Phil Angelides, Democratic Candidate for Governor of California, (Espanol) 2006

But listen, don't just vote for Angelides because he's not-the-other-guy, (or because I advise it), vote for him because he's going to be a much better governor. Decide for yourself if that's true, watch and listen to his own words here:

Video of Phil Angelides environmental speech in San Francisco:
Part 1
Part 2

Video of Phil Angelides regarding energy problems:

Video of Phil Angelides on judicial diversity:


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