It’s amazing what you can do for the Second Amendment in just a few minutes. As you all know by now, Sebastian and I are NRA Election Volunteer Coordinators that assist pro-gun candidates in finding NRA members who want to be politically involved to help keep Pennsylvania pro-gun. It’s not a terribly time consuming task, and it pays off when we hear that candidates specifically recognize gun owners as making a difference to their campaign.
I had a phone conversation today with a State Senate candidate and his Campaign Volunteer Coordinator who are gearing up for a special election next week. Rep. Bob Mensch is running for the open Senate seat in district 24, and yesterday we announced NRA-PVF’s endorsement in the race. Rep. Mensch’s opponent has been dodging debates and interviews, and she doesn’t exactly seem to be up on relevant state issues – something important for those who want state office. I haven’t seen her say a word about gun rights, only a friend of hers claiming in one interview that she used to hunt. So this could be potentially bad news for gun owners if this seat goes from an A rated candidate to an unknown who, at best, has her friend pay a simple platitude to hunting.
But back to that phone call. Knowing that they have the endorsement of NRA-PVF is huge news to Rep. Mensch’s campaign. Even though they are polling ahead of the Democratic candidate, it’s a seat that her party wants to win. In a special election where people may forget to vote, it’s vitally important that we make sure gun owners and other friendly-to-the-cause voters show up. So that is where Rep. Mensch needs our help. I’m about to put out an email to all of our contacts up here with the call to action, and information on how they can at least get a sign up in their yard even if they can’t help on Election Day.
I can’t tell you how excited the campaign staffer was over that offer to get the word out to those willing to volunteer. Just knowing that they have the NRA endorsement and then to have us call the very next day offering to try and scrounge up volunteers, they were so appreciative. The volunteer coordinator couldn’t express enough how much it meant to have a gun owner call and ask how to make the biggest difference for the campaign. Ultimately, these are the actions that make things go smoothly for us at the State House. These are the things that you can do to make a difference in your state – a tangible difference.
As easy as it is to just pound away on the keyboard, and as much as I do think new media is useful, these types of activities – picking up the phone and offering to help, and getting involved at the local level – are what make the most difference when it matters on an important vote. So with that in mind, I’m going to head up to the district on Tuesday and help with the GOTV operation. I may even poke Sebastian and see if he wants to go up this weekend and contribute a few hours. I think even he was rather amazed in November when at the end of a two hour calling shift, you could look down and realized you just reached 200+ voters, or in doing on precinct walk, you hit 50 households of voters. That kind of local reach is hard to do with a new media, so these kinds of traditional local political activities ought not be discounted by those who spend time in the internet world.