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Posted on 10-13-2016

The Many Shades Of Victory

In my family, when we were young our lives revolved around the school calendar.  Summers, Christmas, Easter, family plans were all determined by when we were in and out of school.  My parents were both teachers, so it was particularly accentuated for my family.  My mother taught French and Spanish to middle schoolers and my father taught grade school.

As an adult working in the political arena my life was structured around the legislative calendar.  Legislative Counsel, bill introduction, and committee deadlines (among others) ruled my life for decades.  The one we always looked forward to was the end of session deadlines because it meant relief was in sight.  The light at the end of the tunnel was no longer a train barreling down on us, but an opportunity to regroup, refresh, and recharge.

For those of us who volunteered weeks of vacation time to work on campaigns, we didn’t get that opportunity to engage in the 3 R’s.  Over the course of my career I volunteered over 52 weeks of vacation time.  I always considered it an investment in myself and an opportunity for professional development.  No one wants to leave home for 8 weeks, sleep on the floor of a campaign office working 15 hour days 7 days a week.  But, the benefits were immense. 

These experiences are where I learned everything about campaigning from the best political consultants in the state.  Everything from how to mount a ground campaign to designing mail, to targeting voters, to fundraising, etc.  The experiences and relationships have served me well and I am thrilled to be able to bring these resources to bear on behalf of chiropractic in California.

As We Expand To Independent Expenditures

As you know, your GA team is comprised of not only your crack CCA staff, but also the combined power of all our campaign connections. CCA has launched a significant effort this election cycle to get pro-chiropractic legislators elected.  Since the primary we have sent out campaign mailers to constituents for these pro-chiropractic candidates: Anna Caballero (AD 30), Ash Kalra (AD 27), Ardy Kassakhian (AD 43) and Vicki Veenker (AD 24). Trust me, that’s huge for CCA and chiropractic.

Anna Caballero Ash Kalra Ardy Kassakhian Vicki Veenker

Your political team chose the four candidates based on the following criteria:

  • Endorsed by local districts
  • Pro-chiropractic
  • Moderate Democrats (a powerful caucus in the legislature)
  • Close races where we could make an impact on the outcome

The scope and breadth of our work is a seminal event for CCA.  In all we sent out twelve campaign mailers in the primary and general election combined.  In total, we reached 410,000 households.  That’s means over 820,000 individuals saw our efforts.  In addition, each targeted voter group was specifically identified to provide the biggest impact.  Each individual message in the mailers was designed to have the biggest impact on those specifically targeted voters. 

The candidates we chose to support will notice our efforts.  They will note we not only support our friends, but know how to do so effectively.  An image we’ve coveted for some time. 

Is Victory At Hand?

There’s no guarantee these efforts (and those of others) will ensure victory for these candidates on November 8. There are many variables in elections, too many to chart and manipulate.  So it’s a fair question to ask, “what if the other candidate wins?”  This happens all the time in politics. For CCA, we took care not to send any hit/attack pieces. Besides being the morally right thing to do, if the other candidate wins we can still garner a positive relationship with the new legislator.

Most Independent Expenditure (IE) Committee mail is character assignation. By law IE committees and the candidates’ campaigns can’t collaborate.  When the IE committees run their attack ads, the candidate can honestly say they had nothing to do with those nasty attacks.  The Dental PAC, CMA, Realtors and other professional associations have excelled at this dance of plausible deniability for years.

CCA chose not to take this course for a couple of reasons.  Personal attack ads are counter to chiropractic’s general philosophy of optimizing wellness.  Attack ads are counter to our culture.  Another reason is, should our candidate lose, the amount of enmity the winner would have towards us would be minimal compared to if we’d impugned their integrity with attack ads.

None of this happened without a fabulous team effort.  Your internal GA team coordinated with some of the finest political strategists I’ve worked with and learned from over the past 30 years.  This is something for all of us to be proud of, and it’s only the beginning.  It’s only one part of a multi-layered strategy to increase our political footprint.  If you read the Corner each week you know what I’m talking about.

Meeting With California Secretary Of Labor

Speaking of layered strategy, I had the good fortune to share an hour and some good coffee with an old friend who happens to be the Governor's Secretary of Labor, David Lanier.  It’s always nice to get caught up with old friends.  We’d worked together on and off for 20 years before he went to work for Governor Brown. 

In time, our conversation drifted into the topic of chiropractic in the Workers’ Compensation system.  This wasn’t our first foray into this subject matter, but it was the first since we’d met with Director Christine Baker.  I took the opportunity to share the highlights of our conversation with Ms. Baker, already chronicled in past Corners.  I wanted the Secretary to be aware of the statements and commitments made by his Director and hear his thoughts on them. 

In short, we appear to be developing a working relationship with DWC that should lead to better communication and participation in events affecting our profession.  Moving forward we must be vigilant and consistent in our efforts. 

Student CCA ChiroCon – January 24, 2017 - Students Save The Date!

It’s good to be consistent of course, and one consistency we’re working on launching is our inaugural student CCA lobby day -   Student ChiroCon. We’re locking down the logistics for our January 24, 2017 launch and couldn’t be happier with all the support we’re receiving from our colleges, faculty and students. 

We are finalizing all the many details of this exciting event and will begin an all-out marketing blitz to chiropractic students soon. To register, click here!

We measure our lives by many factors.  Each measure specific to our individuality as human beings. It may seem odd to many that mine are so intrinsically tied to the political arena, but I swear, to paraphrase Maxwell Smart of the Get Smart T.V. series, “I only use my powers for goodness instead badness.”

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print, and some that probably isn’t…for now.

Did you know you can comment directly on the Corner? Just look below for the comment box. I encourage your feedback and questions.

I look forward to hearing from you.

©2016 California Chiropractic Association. All rights reserved. Please do not disseminate in part or whole without prior permission. Questions or permission to disseminate? Contact Cris Forsyth at cforsyth@calchiro.org.

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