Tom Joad's Place

Welcome to Tom Joad's Place! Join me for political discussion and banter on important national subjects and VA politics. I've also noticed that there are a lot of people looking for information on "Grapes of Wrath". Look for the sidebar and we'll discuss. Contact Kevin, at

Location: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Monday, July 11, 2005

Promotions and consumerism

I noticed a couple of things over the weekend.

1. There are an awful lot of car companies that are doing "Pay What Our Employees Pay" promotions. I must have seen 3-4 car companies that are doing these type of come-ons. Now I don't have a problem with them doing this. I'm just wondering why did this start all of a sudden? Was there a federal law that said they couldn't give employee prices before? Or is this just another "Monkey See, Monkey Do" phenomenon?

2. There are some BRILLIANT advertising schemes going on that focuses on people buying mass quantities of a product and not really getting anything for it. The internet(s) put a whole new spin on "Instant Win" games offered by companies looking for people to buy their candy, soda, fast food, etc.

Before you would literally win under the cap or in the wrapper. But today the little waltz that the consumers and companies play goes something like this. Open the package...look for a "special code"...go to the internet(s)...register at their website...type in the or possibly lose.

The beauty of this is that you normally get to only step two of that scenario...people rarely go to the internet(s) to punch in their code. The companies are taking into consideration the laziness of the American public and it's working.

I've seen it in action at school. Kids will buy the product excited at their chance to win but they quickly forget and toss the bottle or wrapper away. I just shake my head in disbelief at the attention span of my students but they're still cool with me.

I wonder what the percentage of people actually using their codes and actually winning are? It's probably very where's that Coke cap?

Volunteering today!

Took some time to do some data entry for a local delegate campaign today. I do not want to reveal who it is yet but they have a very good strategy for getting people to vote for their candidate and people to volunteer for them.

Just a note to some other campaigns that might look at this post...I'm a teacher that is off for the summer. I am a former Canvass Director. I've been a Field Director for three campaigns...Call me if you have my number. If you don't have my number, email me at and we can talk. Otherwise, I will continue to work for the candidate that I put some time in today and actually made an effort to get me in there.

If you want to help make change, you have to jump in the mix. If you're a Democrat, Republican, Green, or Libertarian, take some time to put your elbow grease on a campaign. I can't say it enough but a little time on your part can bring votes to get your candidate elected or your initiative passed. Nothing changes unless YOU make it happen!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Debate!! Debate!! Debate!!!

There will be debates that much can be said. The only problem is Independent candidate Russ Potts will not be included.

Why won't Jerry Kilgore debate Potts? Why is so afraid to take on multiple candidates? Kaine has accepted, I believe, all invitations that have been given to him. Kaine should ask that they all include Potts.

The argument has been put forth that Potts does not deserve a spot in the debates because he is not "big enough". It's irresponsible in a democracy to say that just because someone is a minority candidate that they should be not allowed to debate. It's not like we're talking about someone who is a "crackpot". This man is a four term State Senator that represents a fairly conservative area of the state (Winchester). To say that he's only polling at 5% is dishonest because it's a Catch-22. He can't gain any real "credibility or traction" without debating and he can't get into a debate without "credibility or traction".

I guess it's the fear of the Ross Perot factor. Give people a choice and sometimes they will go with the third candidate especially after they see them debate and don't find the Democrat or the Republican all that palatable.

Russ Potts should be allowed to debate. End of story.

Campaign kickoff!!!

I might be a day late and a buck short on this one but here is a compact list of blogs done on Tim Kaine's blow up. You can find the links at Waldo, VaConservative,Raising Kaine, and Commonsense.

There are positives and negatives to this story.

We are only four months from the election and Kaine is down 6-10 points. It's time to shake things up. If this is the quality of help that we are getting within the campaign with "seasoned staff", then it's time for another "Campaign Kickoff"! This is not the time in a campaign to forget signs to bring to an event. If we do not have enough organization to do that, then we should save the money we are going to spend for the rest of the campaign because IT WON'T MATTER!!!

The good news is that the incompetence was found maybe in time to save face and make it a competitive and perhaps a race that can be won. There are still people out there who know what to do that can take over and replace the people that Waldo calls "resume padding monkeys."

The bad news IS that we are only four months out and this type of slip ups might have already defined the campaign. The polls since March have been trending in reverse. From this to this. In all of the polls I've seen Kaine cracks 40% once.

Editorial: I'm optimistic that Kaine can turn it around. If he makes good on this and takes off some of the deadweight, the better for his campaign. The clock is ticking. If something isn't done today, we will be saying "Hello, Gov. Kilgore" in January.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sports and Politics do not mix!

I really dislike this article .

I know Washington is a political town and in time anything becomes partisan but for crying out loud baseball has only been here for FIVE MONTHS!!!!! Five months and we're already making baseball a political issue.

"W", should stand for "Washington" and nothing else. Sports are non-partisan and should always be treated as such. It brings people together from all walks of life. I might disagree with someone politically off the field or outside the stadium but I know that when we are inside we are together as a city! In Washington, Republicans and Democrats can both cheer against the Braves in baseball and root like hell against the Eagles if we're watching football.

This by way doesn't mean that I don't support anyone who is partisan in the ownership process. It can be Colin Powell or George Soros and I would be happy with either one. Just as long as politics are kept off the playing field, I will be satisfied.

By the way, there is no escaping the initial issue even if you switch to "DC"...It's going to be construed as your support for Dick Cheney! Ahhhhhhh!

Governor's Race- The money trail...

Sorry for the long time between posts...I had a couple rounds of golf to get out of my system after a long school year.

From the Richmond-Times Dispatch:

"Of the nearly $10 million raised by Kaine as of June 1, more than $1.3 million came from those who donated either to Hager or to Virginians for Warner or to both, according to a Times-Dispatch analysis of a database of gubernatorial campaign donations compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project.


The donations to Kaine, a former Richmond mayor, from supporters of Hager, a former lieutenant governor from Richmond who serves in the Bush administration, suggests how closely contested the race will be."

That's a really good total of support from Republicans for Tim Kaine. I'm just wondering but how much money has Jerry Kilgore received from Democrats and Independents?

"Kilgore, who resigned as attorney general in February, has drawn more than $1.2 million from Hager supporters and about $160,000 from donors to Virginians for Warner, The Times-Dispatch analysis shows.

About half the total money raised by Kaine came from donors who also gave to Warner. About one-fifth of the money collected by Kilgore came from contributors -- largely businesses and political action committees -- who also gave to Warner and, in many cases, to Kaine as well."

No doubt Kilgore has some strengths and he is raising money from the same sources that Mark Warner did in 2001, but Kilgore has raised a little over 1.5 million dollars less than Kaine. This could be a huge problem especially in the latter stages of this race. I know that the polls have Kilgore leading anywhere from 5 to 10 points but consistently raising less money than your opponent will be a detriment to you in the final outcome.

Quoting Larry Sabato:

"Kaine, like Warner, is attracting money from some moderate Republicans," said Larry J. Sabato of the University of Virginia. "At the same time, Kilgore is clearly doing better financially than Mark Earley was at this point in 2001. So once again, it suggests a close race."

I still like Kaine's chances!

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