All posts by Richard Thripp

Ph.D. graduate of UCF studying financial education, husband, father, Age 28.

Letter of Recommendation for Emily Humphrey, Campaign Manager for Richard Thripp for Congress

Although my campaign for Congress was unsuccessful, we aren’t finished. In fact, many of our wonderful volunteers are leveraging their work on the campaign to launch political careers. I have their backs, 100%. Here is a letter of recommendation I wrote for our campaign manager, shared with permission.


September 3, 2020

To whom it may concern,

Emily Humphrey was the Campaign Manager, Web designer, and lead graphics designer for the Richard Thripp for Congress Democratic campaign from March to August 2020 in Florida’s 6th congressional district. She was our campaign’s first major volunteer and became a dear friend.

Emily is an experienced, top-notch user experience (UX) designer for a New York City ad agency (working remotely) and a computer programmer with experience in Python, HTML/CSS, MySQL, PHP, JavaScript, and other languages, as well was Web hosting and administration. She found me, first contacting me on March 7, 2020. She put her skills to full use in our campaign, for which I am in her debt.

Emily designed, planned, and implemented a consistent theme and brand messaging across our Web operations and printed promotional materials, using Adobe Illustrator, WordPress, and other platforms. She executed the design, printing, and ordering of our yard signs and nearly all other promotional materials (see below for a few). She executed all aspects of our Facebook ads and email marketing campaigns. She spearheaded our text messaging campaigns. Although we did not do mass mailers, she has expertise and experience to do these, as well.

Designers of Emily’s caliber do not typically get involved in political campaigns. Emily’s designs are superior. They were pivotal in our campaign’s success and in securing a groundswell of grassroots enthusiasm. We went with eye-catching yellow for our theme, at her suggestion. People still think we had thousands of yard signs. We only had 600. I keep getting calls from people wanting to hire our designer. Her name is Emily Humphrey of Edgewater, Florida.

Emily is a newcomer to politics, like me and dozens of other campaign volunteers. We were disappointed to lose the August 18th, 2020 Democratic primary with 28,661 votes (48.5%), but at the same time we are immensely proud of what we accomplished for Democratic values and progressivism in this district and throughout the United States of America.

Like me, Emily looks forward to working on other campaigns that are making a difference and that she can believe in. Presently, she is already assisting the Jim Kennedy for Congress campaign for Florida’s 8th congressional district and the Patrick Henry campaign for District 26 in the Florida House of Representatives. I highly recommend Ms. Humphrey for paid positions in future campaigns. To be frank, any campaign would be lucky to have her. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
Richard Thripp, PhD
Former Democratic Candidate for United States Representative
Florida’s 6th Congressional District

Print designs for Richard Thripp for Congress campaign by Emily Humphrey

Endorsement of Kim O’Connor for Congress, Write-In Candidate for Florida’s 2nd Congressional District

Kim O'Connor with Kristy Thripp and son

Kristy and I are happy to announce that we are endorsing Kim O’Connor for Congress in Florida’s 2nd congressional district. Please write in Kim O’Connor on your November 3rd, 2020 ballots if you live in this district. Sign up to vote by mail if you haven’t yet, and make sure to mail your completed ballot several weeks in advance.

Map of Florida's 2nd congressional district

Update: Please visit Kim O’Connor’s website and like her Facebook page.

Florida’s 2nd congressional district is the state’s largest district by land area, stretching across two time zones and including all of Bay, Calhoun, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Gulf, Jackson, Lafayette, Levy, Liberty, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties, and portions of Columbia, Holmes, Jefferson, Leon and Marion counties. The district’s most populous city is Panama City, on the western end (Central Time) abutted against Rep. Matt Gaetz’s district. Like several other districts including the 6th, due to a gerrymandering court challenge, the boundaries changed in 2016 to what is depicted above, which is extremely Republican (R+18 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index).

About Kim: Kim O’Connor was born in Allapattah in 1948. She graduated from Lake Placid High School in 1964, from University of South Florida in 1969 with a B.A. in Philosophy, and from University of Florida in 1977 with a J.D., and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1978 and is an attorney in good standing.

Kim O’Connor is running for Congress as a a no-party-affiliated write-in candidate, and has previously been a member of the Democratic party and the Green party. She was elected to the Leon County Soil and Water Conservation District in 2004, and to the Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation District in 2016. In 2006, Kim ran for mayor of Tallahassee to protest Mayor John Marks and the city commission’s support for Tallahassee investing in the construction of a coal power plant in neighboring Taylor County, which ended up being scrapped.

Kim O’Connor’s website at Kim2Congress.com is under construction. In the mean time, she has shared this information about her platform:

Impeach Donald Trump (again)
Supports Black Lives Matter
Establish a $15 per hour federal minimum wage
Clean water, protect our natural springs and fight climate change
Medicare for All
No nuclear weapons
Supports the Equal Rights Amendment

Kim O’Connor has also written the following statement about her life and her background of public service:

After college [1969] I went home to Lake Placid [near Sebring] to help care for my mom who was dying of brain cancer and help with caring for my brother who was 13 when she got sick and 16 when she died. Afterwards I went to law school to fight the insurance companies. My dissertation was “Corporate Social Responsibility of Insurance Companies” (spoiler alert — they have none). I stayed home till my brother graduated from high school. He went to the University of Florida. I joined him the next year and attended law school.

After law school [1977] I ran campaigns. “Yes on 2” for the League of Women Voters (state ERA — lost), office manager for Barry Richard for Attorney General (lost — as I mentioned to you he received every newspaper endorsement in the state and Jim Smith’s money won). Larry Hawkins for State Representative — won. I was then supposed to be his Tallahassee aide — but Democrat establishment folks in Dade County put in one of their own. He was a very long shot candidate and his narrow victory took them by surprise — but they jumped in on day one and I was out.

I was very disappointed but decided to go to Tallahassee anyway and work for the Department of Insurance to realize my motivational goal of fighting the insurance companies. My first job was on the Unemployment Appeals commission. I interviewed from that for Department of Insurance. I was then recruited by the Florida Bar to start and run the Volunteer Lawyers Project — first pro bono effort of the bar — mandated by the Florida Supreme Court. A lot of fun. I then had my own practice as I told you and Kristy, until one day it hit 13 degrees Fahrenheit in Tallahassee and I said this is too cold. I closed my practice and headed South. I ended up in Key West where my first job was as a maid — but I soon became the assistant city attorney and loved it.

My Dad got sick. I couldn’t get him to move to Key West so I went back to Lake Placid. After he died I got a job teaching law in Zhenjiang, China. It was great!!! I love the Chinese people. I got sick — contracted SARS we believe — my brother told me not to die in China and come back to Tallahassee where I stayed until he died. That leaves me as the last of my family.

I never had a lot of money but have had an interesting and varied life.

Kim O'Connor with Richard Thripp

Kim knows the panhandle / Big Bend area of Florida well and is renting an apartment in Tallahassee (previously she lived in Tampa) in order to be centrally located in the district. Kim was a donor and supporter of my campaign (Richard Thripp for Congress) and visited us on August 20th, 2020, two days after our disappointing Democratic primary loss to Clint Curtis. Kim encouraged Kristy to run, but with Kristy not knowing the area and working on her degree at Seminole State College, as well as me accepting a job as Campaign Manager for Jennifer Coen and Judy Craig for West Volusia Hospital Authority, it is far more sensible to back Kim’s candidacy. Kristy is formally withdrawing her write-in candidacy.

Kristy Thripp's withdrawal letter

Please write in Kim O’Connor for the November 3rd, 2020 election for United States Representative in Florida’s 2nd congressional district. The incumbent, Rep. Neal Dunn, is an NRA-backed Trump shill who wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, defund the Department of Education, and other ridiculous proposals.

Background on Kristy’s write-in candidacy: We had learned from former congressman Alan Grayson that it is very bad for a Republican to be completely unopposed. Mr. Grayson told me that under U.S. House communications standards, being unopposed allows them to send mail using taxpayer funds (“franking”) to advertise themselves and up to two other Republican candidates up to the day of the election, which may be worth up to $200,000. Even the presence of a write-in candidate prevents this for 90 days before the election. (Although his logic was sound, note that Mr. Grayson filed as a write-in for the 6th district, which didn’t make sense due to the presence of Clint Curtis and I as Democratic candidates and Gerry Nolan as a write-in candidate.)

We saw that Rep. Neal Dunn was unopposed in Florida’s panhandle, so Kristy decided to run as a write-in candidate (at no cost) just before the April 24, 2020 noon deadline. However, Kim O’Connor also filed at about the same time. Had we known Kim would be filing, we would have instead filed against Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart in the 25th district, who did end up being completely unopposed. At this time, we are pleased to endorse the write-in candidacy of Kim O’Connor for Congress in Florida’s 2nd district.

Call to Action: Readers, please help disseminate this article to Democrats and others who might vote for Kim O’Connor in the 19 counties included in Florida’s 2nd congressional district, including the officers and members of each county’s Democratic Executive Committee. Click here for a PDF version to download and share.

Update: Please visit Kim O’Connor’s website and like her Facebook page.

Keynote: Investing and Retirement Knowledge and Preferences of Preservice Teachers

Keynote presentation by Dr. Richard Thripp on July 15, 2020 at the International Conference on Humanities, Social and Education Sciences (iHSES).

It was great to co-chair this conference and present on my dissertation research, which has also been published as an e-book here.

Investing and Retirement Knowledge and Preferences of Preservice Teachers

New teachers are facing lower pay and less generous retirement benefits than the prior generation, yet their financial and retirement knowledge, concerns, and preferences have received little attention. To investigate these areas, I developed a 39-item survey instrument and administered it to 314 preservice teachers in undergraduate teacher education courses at the University of Central Florida, who were primarily female elementary and early childhood education juniors and seniors ages 18–25. Florida public employees are offered an unusual choice between a traditional pension plan and a defined-contribution plan similar to a 401(k) in which they can select their own investments, and 54% of surveyed preservice teachers preferred the 401(k)-like plan structure. However, their preferences may be ill-advised, given that in a mock portfolio allocation exercise intended to assess retirement investing sophistication, preservice teachers directed more than half their retirement money to low-risk money market and bond funds, which will likely underperform stocks over several decades. Furthermore, they anticipated that low salaries will impede their ability to save for retirement. For comparison, I also administered the survey to 205 U.S. college students or graduates ages 18–25 on the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform for $1.00 each. Worrisomely, preservice teachers had significantly lower financial knowledge and retirement investing sophistication. These findings suggest a need for financial education targeting Florida preservice teachers, particularly given that the Florida Retirement System substantially cut its benefits in 2011.

Here are the slides on SlideShare (below).

Click here or see the YouTube video embedded above for a recording of my presentation.

End of Congressional Campaign; Thanks to Our Wonderful Volunteers!

August 21, 2020

We lost the August 18th, 2020 Democratic primary for Florida’s 6th congressional district by 3%. We are very sad, but this was a strong showing for a first-time candidate. We are proud of the 28,615 votes we received and your support! We will be continuing our work toward Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, universal basic income, and making Donald Trump a one-term president. Thank you all for taking a chance on a complete political newcomer and reformed Republican.

Like many campaigns, I financed some of our operations with personal loans. Please feel free to continue to donate or to leave your recurring monthly contribution in place if you would like to help. We are very proud of the movement we built as political newcomers on a shoestring budget.

During the campaign, we established a campaign website at ThrippForCongress.com and redirected Thripp.com there. I have now restored access to the home page of Thripp.com and will continue writing materials, endorsements, and more here. We also suppressed Thripp.com’s placement in Google Search results in order to avoid cannibalizing our traffic. I will be undoing this shortly. I do want to preserve the campaign website as well. Great thanks to Emily Humphrey for designing our website, campaign literature, and so many other phenomenal materials, my wife Kristy, well over 150 donors, and our many volunteers (please let me know if I forgot you):

Abbey, Adrienne, Alyssa, Amber, Andrew, Anita, Anne, Ashlynn, Augustina, Barbara E., Barbara M., Becca, Bernard, Bill, Britney, Bud, Cait, Cam, Carolyn, Cat, Charlie, Chelsea P., Cheyenne, Chris G., Chrissy H., Christina C., Christina R., Christine P., Clara, Clayton, Corinne D. C., Corinne H., Cory T., Courtney, Cristina, Danny F., Danny M., David A., David B., Dawn, Deanna, Denise, Denzel, Devon, Diana, Elena, Elliott, Eliza K., Elizabeth A. H., Elizabeth L., Elizabeth M., Emily G., Eric, Erik, Evans, Frank, Freddie, Gelasia, Grace, Greg, Henry, Hope, Hugh, Jack, Jackie, James, Janis, Jenne P., Jennifer A., Jennifer B., Jen K., Jennifer M., Jessica, Jill, Joe, John N., Jonathan D., Jon H., Joseph, Joshua Ke. Josh Kr., Joshua F., Kairo, Kasper, Kat P., Katlyn S., Keith, Kim H., Kim N., Kim O., Klaus, Kristina, Kyra, Lilian, Lindsay, Liz, Lynn, Mark S., Mark W., Marty, Mary B., Mary T., Maryrose, Matthew, Max, Melissa, Mike C., Michael K., Michelle P., Michelle R., Mitchell, Molly, Montana, Moriah, Nancy H., Nikki, Nina, Pamela, Patrick, Paul G., Paul M., Peter, Pranav, Quinton, Rebecca, Reka, Richard W., Richelle, Robert A., Rob F., Rob M., Rob S., Rose, Ryan, Sam, Sandra, Scott, Seth, Sierra, Sue, Susan, Thomas D., Thomas M., Tim, Tracy, Travis, Tricia, Troy, Valerie, Victoria, Wendy, William B., and William S.

Thank you so much to Dr. Tim Wilson, Dr. Wendy Anderson, Dr. Gary Mottola, Volusia for Justice, Our Revolution: Volusia, New Blue Florida, St. Johns for Bernie, Flagler for Bernie, The Hill of Roses, Florida for Bernie, the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida, Progressives for Democracy in America: Central Florida Chapter, the National Solidarity Movement, Our Revolution: Florida, and the Make Room PAC for endorsing me. Thank you to Moms Demand Action and 90 for 90 for listing me as a Gun Sense Candidate and supporter of voting rights.

Thanks to Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, former congressman Alan Grayson, Volusia DEC Chair Jewel Dickson, Flagler DEC Chair Michael Cocchiola, St. Johns DEC Chair Nell Seymour Toensmann, and Lake County DEC Candidate Committee Chair Jane Hepting for encouragement, support, and advice.

Mr. Clint Curtis and I are scheduled to meet on Sunday, August 23, 2020 to discuss what we could do to support him as the Democratic nominee, including transferring our NGP VAN DNC VoteBuilder Florida license to his campaign. The 6th district heavily favors Republicans. We would like to see him run a strong campaign so that Rep. Waltz, a total Trump shill and partisan hack who doesn’t live in or know his district, has to expend resources defending his seat.

Sincerely,
Dr. Richard Thripp

You Earned It. Now, Your Social Security Is Under Siege.

Social Security is under siege. You worked hard all your life to pay into Social Security. Now, Donald Trump is saying “that’s actually the easiest of all things” to cut because “it’s such a big percentage” of the federal budget.

Sadly, our congressman, Michael Waltz, agrees 100%. In August 2018, he had this to say about Social Security:

“Our debt is our biggest, I think, one of our biggest national security issues. It is a burden on our future generation, our kids and our grandkids, and we have to get a hold of it. The way to get a hold of it, and, and, this is what we’re gonna have to do, we’re gonna have to go after the non-discretionary portion: The entitlement reform portion. We’re nibbling around the edges with all of these other cuts. That’s the part that we have to go over. We need politicians that get up there and have the guts to go after it.

This rhetoric about your kids and grandkids isn’t even true. Top earners only pay Social Security tax on their first $137,700 of wages. By adjusting this cap, we can fully fund Social Security through the year 2100 and beyond. Social Security does not add to our national debt. Anyone who tells you it does is lying to you.

Florida’s 6th district deserves a congressman who protects Social Security. That’s why we need to send Richard Thripp to Congress—a local, born in Daytona Beach who has lived in Volusia County his entire life. Richard will fight to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare. Richard knows how important Social Security is to our senior citizens and to our local economy. Please contribute today to help elect Richard to Congress to represent Florida’s 6th district!