Here are my responses to a survey for a UBI candidate co-operative a campaign manager for a Republican U.S. senatorial candidate from Montana is trying to set up, about my campaign. He is building a coalition of candidates across the country who support a universal basic income, such as myself.
(The candidate is anti-Trump and pro-UBI and is trying to “primary” an incumbent Republican senator. I will support Montana’s Democratic governor in his senatorial bid.)
1. What hurdles do you need to clear in order to win your election?
Florida’s 6th is a difficult district and I’m not well-known or funded, but I think there is a chance to win with a smaller budget than you’d expect. Really, it depends on a team effort in the Democratic party. Everyone is working hard to get people voting by mail. Another wildcard is coronavirus, which has been very much mishandled by the president and could lead to a blue wave this November.
The district is an R+7 although Trump won 57% to 40% here. It’s centered around Daytona Beach, and the incumbent is Lt. Col. Green Beret Michael Waltz, a shill for Trump who wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. He’s in his first term. The prior Congressman is now governor. The prior Democratic nominee, Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, was a tremendous fundraiser and well-qualified but lost by 13 percentage points. I think this might be winnable in 2020 with far less money due to changing sentiments, and I am a different type of candidate—progressive instead of centrist, young, a teacher educator, husband, and father, and lifelong resident.
I have only one primary challenger and I will defeat him.
2. What strategic advantages does your campaign have?
My connection to and knowledge of the district, having been born and raised here, as well as the support of Bernie Sanders supporters who are donating and volunteering here. At the same time, I appeal to all Democrats and have been closely involved with Democratic meetings and events since becoming politically active in January 2020. Another advantage is that I’m a former Republican with Trump-supporting parents. I have rejected Trumpism and the Republican party and know their playbook and arguments from the inside out.
3. The benefits of your victory are apparent. Help us understand what you feel can be gained in your campaign if you should lose?
No matter what, this is a groundbreaking and important campaign. I think winning the August 2020 primary alone will be a big deal, advancing the progressive cause and raising the profile of universal basic income, universal healthcare, and an economy that works for 100% of Americans rather than giveaways and corporate welfare for the 1%. In this area we are very dependent on tourism, retail/service, and healthcare, which will be especially hard hit with the coronavirus depression. Many of the lower-wage jobs won’t come back. This presents a strong argument for UBI.
4. How many volunteers do you currently have? How many volunteers do you currently need? (need, not want) What would you have those volunteers work on?
I have about 10 people interested in volunteering so far, with my volunteer campaign manager, Emily Humphrey, having done the most thus far. We just got the list of voters from the state and could use help with contacting for phone and text banking. I think the most important role would be a volunteer coordinator at this point. I’m doing most everything myself at this point. I have set up a volunteer communication platform using Slack. My district has about 800,000 residents with 550,000 being in Volusia County, and the total number of voters in the district is about 550,000. Volusia is about to send out vote-by-mail applications at the end of April 2020 to all households. We could use help, with the party, to call Democrats and encourage them to register to vote by mail (it is also possible to do this online). Getting out the vote and setting us up for victory in October 2020, where much of the vote by mail and early voting happens, is so important for my victory and for Joe Biden to win Florida.
5. What is your current campaign budget? What has your campaign spent money on so far? i.e. is there anything upcoming for the campaign? Such as radio, newspaper, tv, Facebook, other social media ads. Has any textbanking/phonebanking been set up?
This is a scrappy campaign and we are doing what we can with a minimum of money. The main expense was a $10,000 loan from me to get on the ballot, and I’ve spent another $1,000 to attend Democratic galas and join Democratic clubs, and to print business cards and stickers. We do intend to get started with digital ads quite soon, to funnel people to donate, and to work more on free media coverage via newspapers. I have been applying for various endorsements such as 314 PAC, Win the Era, Moms for Gun Sense, and Local Berniecrats. We have not done text or phone banking yet but are working on setting that up.
Trump’s supporters say “JOBS JOBS JOBS.”
It’s true—you need 3 jobs just to get by in the Trump economy.
We need an economy that works for 100% of Americans—Not massive giveaways and 0% loans to top corporations and real estate moguls while you struggle to file for unemployment.