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BackgroundEdit

  • Libertarian from Texas and 2006 candidate for US Congress.
  • Running to fill the seat formerly held by Tom DeLay.
  • Wanting to be first Libertarian in US House / Congress

InsightsEdit

Letter from campaign manager to Libertarians on October 2006, just 2 weeks before the electionEdit

This is the most important Libertarian Party e-mail message I've ever written. Because of a very strange series of events combined with a well respected Libertarian candidate with strong community ties, we are close to sending our first LP candidate to Congress. I don't like sending out long campaign e-mail messages, but time is of the essence and you will need as much information possible in order to make a very important decision at the end of this message.

The Bob Smither campaign in Tom DeLay's old congressional district is becoming more and more exciting with each passing day. As you probably recall, this is a 65 percent Republican district which was gerrymandered by DeLay specifically to ensure a GOP victory. The only problem for the GOP (again, because of DeLay) is that they have no Republican candidate on the ballot in this hotly contested race.

Liberal Nick Lampson is running as the Democrat in this race. His polling numbers seem to have peaked in the low 40 percent range, which is consistent with the historical Democratic base in this district. Without switching parties, it's unlikely that he can bring his numbers up high enough to win a majority of votes in the district.

Most of you have already heard of Bob Smither through the mainstream media or Internet sources. A quick overview provides that he is a fifth generation Texan who works both as an adjunct professor and private consultant in electrical engineering. More importantly, Smither serves on several important local boards and has received quite a few honors and awards for his community work.

While there are multiple Republican write-in candidates in the race, one of them seems to have been anointed by the party machine to bear the GOP standard. As we all know, write-in campaigns have an extraordinarily high failure rate. This candidate has a very cumbersome name, making any write-in campaign even less likely to succeed. She seems to be spending all of her money simply teaching people how to spell her awkward name!

Since Lampson's numbers are expected to remain fairly stable, the key question for this race seems to be how the roughly 60 to 65 percent conservative portion of vote total is to be divided. An average of the last three published polls published on the race indicates:

  • Nick Lampson, 39% (D)
  • Bob Smither, 20% (L)
  • Key Write-in Candidate, 12% (R)
  • Undecided/Other, 29%

The undecided group is very conservative and has voted Republican in recent elections. If he picks up the remaining undecided votes, Smither will not only beat Lampson, but will be within one point of a majority vote total.

While the key Republican write-in is currently polling at 12%, many of those votes won't actually surface on Election Day because:

  • Quite a few of the votes won't be counted due to spelling errors and the complexity of the electronic thumb dial voting equipment.
  • Straight party ticket voters won't be able to vote for a GOP candidate in this race.
  • Republicans are disillusioned nationwide and aren't expected to have a high turnout on Election Day.
  • A lot of conservatives are not happy with the write-in candidate because of her abysmal voting record on the Houston City Council pertaining to property rights and that she keeps suggesting new federal programs with huge price tags.

In what will sound very ironic to a Libertarian audience, we've got to convince enough Republican voters that a write-in vote is nothing but a wasted vote. A vote for Libertarian Bob Smither is the only hope for their district to be represented by someone with traditional Texas conservative values. Keep in mind that a good portion of this district was represented by Congressman Ron Paul before redistricting, so local voters are already well aware of the common ties between Libertarians and true fiscal conservatives.

Many pundits and senior Republican leaders have already said that a write-in campaign can't work. In order to ensure a Libertarian victory, we've got two weeks to convince the conservative voters of Texas CD-22 that the only way not to waste their vote is by supporting Bob Smither. Because the amount of undecided voters is high even this late in the race, we can win with your help!

"Republicans for Smither" signs are popping up all over the district. Here's some of what we've accomplished so far:

  • Attended many candidate forums and community events
  • Have received significant local and national mainstream media coverage
  • Have already placed over 120,000 telephone calls to local voters
  • Are running an aggressive sign campaign
  • Have organized block walking activities several days a week
  • Produced our first two radio commercials

Here's what we intend to do over the next two weeks:

  • Hold a campaign rally with former Republican Bob Barr
  • Pursue more national media and announce more endorsements
  • Continue knocking on doors and placing lawn signs
  • Launch a 100 hour GOTV effort using BallotBase
  • Aggressively work polling places on Election Day
  • Launch a specially targeted telephone and mail campaign
  • Spend every dollar possible on radio advertising

These ads will be finalized with "I'm Bob Smither and I approve this message." Long List of Media Mentions

These radio advertisements are incredibly important. The campaign has already committed an amount in the five-digit range to air these spots on local conservative talk radio stations.

The Republicans just sent Dick Cheney to the district to raise $200,000 to teach conservatives how to spell the name of their anointed write-in candidate. Our job is significantly easier; all we have to do is convince them not to waste their vote.

If you have ever wanted to see a Libertarian Party member in Congress, this is quite simply our best opportunity of the last 35 years. But it can't happen without your support. If there ever was a time to dig deep, really deep, and contribute every last dollar you can to support a Libertarian campaign, this is it!

To the best of my knowledge, Libertarians have never pulled off a six-digit e-mail fundraising letter. However, we've only got two weeks left and each radio ad we run brings us one step closer to an electoral victory, not just a moral one.

In order for this to happen, we've got to beat LP online fundraising records. If Smither wins this seat in Congress, just think of how very proud you will feel knowing how vital a role you played in his victory. There has never been a more important time for you to click here to be part of sending Mr. Smither to Washington.

It gets even better! In addition to the General Election, there will also be a Special Election to fill Tom DeLay's seat until the new Congress convenes. Both elections will take place at the same time. The Republican vote will be split four ways and there will be no Democrat in the Special Election. Just think about the possibilities: no Democrats, one Libertarian, and a Republican vote split four ways.

This provides voters two chances to vote for Libertarian Bob Smither and it gives you two opportunities to donate to his campaign. Your contribution to the General Election campaign as well as donations to the Special Election can be made here.

Donate Now!

Republican corruption has provided this unique opportunity for the Libertarian Party in November. Our success in this race will help set the stage for additional Libertarian victories in 2008. Thanks so much for your important role on the Bob Smither Libertarian Victory Team!

In Liberty, Kevin Tunstall, Campaign Manager

P.S. It is critical that we raise over a hundred thousand dollars on the Internet over the next few days and there is no time to generate a snail mail letter to accomplish this goal. After you have contributed what you can to the Smither campaign, please forward this e-mail to your friends, family and especially your e-mail lists. Again, thanks!

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