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Advertise on the Tentacle

June 21, 2010

Campaign Diary Big Fundraiser

Michael Kurtianyk

Saturday, June 12, 2010 – On the fundraiser…


Something that was weeks in planning finally came to fruition. A friend had agreed to hold a fundraiser for me at his house. We used online social media, personal communications, and phone calls to invite people to our event.


I was surprised by how many people arrived who didn’t respond to their invitation. This is not a criticism, but rather, it provided opportunities for many surprises. We certainly had enough food and beverages for the event for everyone.


I was happy with this fundraiser. We had a great turnout and everyone who was there had a great time. The site was a farm, and preserving our agricultural heritage while accommodating the inevitable and predicted growth was a common topic of conversation. We can do both, and do it effectively.


We brought in musicians to provide the entertainment. Todd Walker and his band did a great job providing that. One drawback was that some of us (yes, me included), wanted to watch the USA soccer game against England. So, to accommodate everyone, I spoke during halftime.


Now I know that some people just don’t get soccer (or football, as it’s known in Europe). Some of these people I regard highly. I am not sure why they keep knocking the sport. I mean, I don’t think they’re unsophisticated or anything….


But I digress. Getting back to the event, the first two-and-a-half hours were spent meeting everyone, and welcoming them. For some, it was their first chance to talk to me in-depth about their issues, and where I stand on them. For others, it was a reunion of sorts, wherein we were able to catch up on our families and work issues.


So, when it came time to speak, I was able to decide on what the issues were for everyone, and I was able to mention them. To date, when I speak, I don’t use notes or index cards. At events like these, I listen really closely to the people, and then formulate a speech based on those conversations. Even on the radio, I bring my issues binder, but have yet to refer to it when speaking live. I find that I have increased confidence in my abilities to articulate the issues, and have them received well by the audience.


The best thing about the event was that I was able to bring my daughters with me. Any chance I get to be with family, and mix a political event with my family, is a great thing. Of course, they stayed in the pool all day, and, boy, were they tired. They went to bed early.


Wednesday, June 16 – On things online….


I had a great coffee meeting this morning with someone I’ve known for years, but through others, and from a distance. I think that sometimes we meet people through work, friends, etc., and think we know them, but we never really know what is important until we sit down and have a serious discussion. It’s tough to meet, and re-meet people at social and work events, because typically, those conversations are dominated by small-talk, with little time for more in-depth conversations.


And so it was with this morning’s meeting. I don’t usually focus on one-on-one conversations, but one of the items we discussed was how people communicate online. When it comes to online forums and blogs, how do we say things to communicate effectively to the readers? Should a political candidate, locally or nationally, respond to everything, some things, or not get involved at all?


There are some who do not enter into the realm of online forums. That’s fine. But once you do, you should keep doing it as you see fit. Some respond all the time, while others pick and choose. Once you start, you shouldn’t stop. When you do stop, the online writers and readers think that something is wrong, and the person wants to avoid the issue. The worst thing someone can do is ignore a direct request of information, or a question. This shows a lack of responsiveness at best, and at worst, an avoidance of the issue. Not answering doesn’t play well in Peoria....


Tone is the most difficult thing to discern when reading what somebody wrote. What might be tongue-in-cheek by the writer could easily be interpreted as insulting by the reader. Once something is published, it gets very hard to explain intent. The simplest thing for the writer to do is be direct, honest, and place himself/herself in the seat of the reader.


Random Thoughts….


USA was robbed of a third goal in their game against Slovenia….


I’m thinking of adding vuvuzelas to my campaign. The constant buzzing would be great background during my campaign speeches, don’t you think?


I still think Rick Weldon should be writing for The Tentacle….


Nice pickup by Del Charles Jenkins (R., Frederick/Washington) to tap Joan McIntyre to be his legislative aide….


Listening to Bob Dylan this week….


Eager to start reading Stieg Larsson’s new book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest….


I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day weekend….


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