Brogdon blitz, Saturday, July 10, 2010 -- and the bystander effect

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The Randy Brogdon for Governor campaign is calling on supporters to volunteer their time on Saturday morning, July 10, 2010, to get his message out to voters in Tulsa-area neighborhoods. There are only 17 days left until the July 27 primary election.

Where: Meet at 4444 E. 66th, Suite 100E, Tulsa OK
When: Saturday, July 10, 2010, 7:30 am to 1:00 pm

Stop in any time during the above hours to pick up the materials and information you need. Donuts, coffee, and yard signs will be available from opening until they run out. (Early bird gets the donut.)

There's the information; here's some motivation:

One of the sad realities of political fundraising is that biggest checks are almost always given out of direct financial self-interest. If an elected official has the power to make decisions that will either add or subtract millions from your company's bottom line, a $5,000 check is a worthwhile investment. If a candidate for that post has indicated a willingness to give you a special seat at the table in exchange (it is strongly implied) for campaign funds, writing that check is a no-brainer.

A CEO is not going to be as excited about writing a big check for a candidate who expressly promises to reduce government's power to shape the economy and who rules out making special deals that benefit a favored few at the expense of the general taxpayer. It's a classic case of concentrated benefit, diffuse cost: Those who will receive the concentrated benefit will invest resources to secure it; those who will bear a diffuse share of the cost won't be as strongly motivated to invest resources to oppose it.

In this year's election, that dynamic favors the kind of candidate who holds a special summit for "stakeholders" -- lobbyists and special interest groups -- and it works against a candidate like Randy Brogdon, who has a history of opposing special deals for special interests.

Now, there are more ordinary people who bear a share of the costs of these concentrated benefits than there are those who enjoy them. We can out-give them and out-work them. We can out-vote them, too, but most taxpayers are blissfully unaware of what's being done to them in the name of "economic development" and "public-private partnerships." Most voters don't understand this fundamental difference in philosophy between the two leading contenders for the Republican nomination for Governor.

There's another dynamic that has to be overcome: The bystander effect. When help is needed, the more people available who might help, the less likely it is that any of them (or enough of them) will:

[A] major obstacle to intervention is known as diffusion of responsibility. This occurs when observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so each individual feels less responsible and refrains from doing anything.

With the demands of work, home, and family, and the understandable desire to relax and enjoy the summer, it's easy to hope that other people will carry the burden of helping your favorite candidate win the election.

But it's not going to happen. That hope assumes that the campaign is near the point of having enough volunteers and enough money to get their message to the voters. A statewide, grassroots campaign is ALWAYS going to need more volunteers and more money.

If you want to see Randy Brogdon on the ballot in November, you need to give your money and your time now. No one else is going to make up for what you can give.

Randy Brogdon has been a resolute, uncompromising friend of Oklahoma's taxpayers. He's the primary sponsor and advocate for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. (We'd be so much better off during this tough economy if TABOR had passed, and we had restrained state spending during the good times.) He was one of the few politicians willing to take a stand in opposition to the 2007 Tulsa County sales tax increase for river projects.

Randy Brogdon has been standing up for our interests at the State Capitol. If you appreciate his work, if you want to him to be Oklahoma's Governor, now is the time to stand up for him.

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mark said:

Michael -

Brogdon will likely lose, despite the commendable populist traits you reference in this entry.

The reason is that he was defined early on as "whack job" due to his agenda and prescriptions on social and federal constitutional issues. Those controversial positions were a two-edged sword -- they garnered him widespread name recognition, but also scared the heck out of a lot of folks . . . including moderate Republicans.

You don't mention those issues, but they ARE the elephant in Randy's room.

They're also the reason that all my Democrat friends are rooting for a Brogdon victory on July 27.

He's been mischaracterized as a "whack job." His ideas on social and constitutional issues may be controversial to an Obama supporter like yourself, but they are well within the Oklahoma mainstream, however much that may grieve you.

route66news said:

Brogdon has no one but himself to blame for looking like a whackjob after that silly and ill-considered militia comment a few months ago. He had several chances on national television to clarify his comment, but instead looked confused or evasive.

His own lack of discipline on getting out a clear message hurt him. He may still win the GOP nomination, but he made it harder on himself.

mark said:

Michael -

Perhaps my comment could have been clearer. What I was trying to convey is my belief that a primary candidate CAN win if he has name recognition, attractive ideas and passionate supporters, even if he is outspent by his opponent.

Without question, Brogdon has more passionate supporters than Fallin. He also has name recognition. So my view is that he should win the primary unless his ideas are less attractive than Fallin's to the majority of the Republican electorate.

You may disagree with my premise, but history is filled with out-gunned challengers winning elections.

You may disagree that Brogdon's social and constitutional ideas are "controversial" with Oklahomans generally, but my belief is based on observation (friends across the political spectrum, Tulsa World comment section, etc.), not personal judgment. I suppose the primary election will be a referendum on that question -- i.e. do Republican voters think he is too "controversial" to win a general election.

Although my personal views on Brogdon, or the issues, were not the basis for my comment, you apparently thought they were. So for the record, I admire a citizen-candidate, like Brogdon, who has not been groomed by the "political class", and takes a decidedly anti-establishment tack. I appreciate the fact that he seems to believe sincerely that he is doing the Lord's work; and I agree with some of his agenda. However, at this point I'm not able to support him because I don't think he has a sufficient grasp of constitutional principles (such as federalism) and is a bit unpredictable.

Finally, I'm not sure what Obama has to do with any of this, and I’m a little dismayed that you’d “brand” my political philosophy on the basis of my support of a single candidate. I'll readily admit that I voted for Obama enthusiastically, but as you know I'm a registered Independent -- I've voted for Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader as well as Barack Obama. I also think you know that I’m not in agreement with Obama's policies across-the-board (he's too liberal on some, and too conservative on others) any more so than you are with say, Maria Barnes'.

Best of luck with the campaign work; it's not easy at this time of year. I hope you are successful in upsetting Fallin.

Jan Thomas said:

I think that I will tell any Democrats I know (right now - can't think of any) to please vote for Jeri Askins. Thanks for the idea Mark! Go Senator Brogdon.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 9, 2010 12:51 PM.

Voters' guide 2010: The Oklahoma Republican primary ballot was the previous entry in this blog.

Oklahoma! OK, but Discoveryland could use a spruce-up is the next entry in this blog.

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