Monday, October 14, 2013

Election Fundraising. The Party for your Party

Frankly, Winthorpe, and I think I speak for all of us, I think it shows incredibly bad taste for you to embarrass us like this. - Trading Places


As readers of the Nutmeg Lawyer may know, I recently threw my hat into the circus ring of local municipal politics. Against all reason, I decided to run for a seat on my local city council. It's been a rather interesting ride.  As such, I have been chronicling my experience here on this blog. Although I have enjoyed battling it out in debates, knocking on doors of houses guarded by ravenous dogs, and responding to slanderous statements on newspaper blogs, my most enjoyable experience thus far has been the political fundraiser. Fundraisers are a chance for candidates to get together with old friends, family members and supporters to have some fun and inspire the troops.  It is also an opportunity to pick their pockets and piggy banks for campaign contributions.  


Hey, running for office can be an expensive proposition. Even small races may require you to purchase lawn signs, campaign mailers, and walking cards to hand to prospective voters.  If you have some extra money you may want to even purchase a few campaign buttons, American flags and bumper stickers. Although I was primarily financing my race for office with my own funds, I decided I wanted to do a mailer to the prospective voters in my district. I needed to buy a donkey cart full of stamps. To do that I needed to throw a fundraiser. 

The Nutmeg Father
Having a fundraiser for yourself is akin to asking your friends to throw you a birthday party where all the guests are asked to bring cash instead of gifts. Needless to say, I felt like Dan Akroyd's character Winthorpe in the film "Trading Places."  More specifically the scene where he goes hat in hand to ask his country club friends for a loan.  Their response is quoted at the top of the article. Thankfully, I fared much better than Winthorpe.  Although only a few people sent in RSVPs, I would be overwhelmed with the response.

Members of the United States Congress and New Britain's mayor
present the Polish Ambassador with a key to the city at the Belvedere.
I decided to hold my fundraiser at a local restaurant in my election district.  The Belvedere Restaurant was considered a neighborhood success story. Once the location of an infamous strip club, the new owners transformed it into an elegant restaurant. Visitors have included members of the US Senate and House, world famous boxers, the Polish Ambassador, members of the Polish parliament (SEJM) and even a few international movie stars and recording artists.  It was a great example of the neighborhood's turnaround.  It was the same neighborhood my law office was located. It was an area of the city known as "Little Poland."  Part of my platform included efforts to clean up area neighborhoods.  It was the ideal choice for me.

Is there a politician in the house?
I remembered that George Washington railed against too many taverns in his first run for public office.  He lost that election. The next time he ran, he made sure he threw a party. The rest is history.  Many politicians follow his age old example. During the political season, I was asked to attend a gaggle of fundraisers in backyards, restaurants, bars, football games, country clubs and private homes.  I was determined to make my fundraiser stand out.


Besides, who was I to question a founding father?   I wanted to throw a grand affair.  We prepared a soundtrack of upbeat old Rat Pack songs to give it a feel of an old Kennedy era campaign party complete with American flags and white seemer convention hats with the Democratic donkey emblazoned on the rim. Guests were treated to wine, spirits, various hors d'oeuvres and a chocolate fountain that made my nephew's eyes grow wide with delight. Expecting only a few family and friends, we were inundated with a huge crowd.  I was happy to see most of my fellow candidates attend, many state representatives and senators and the current and former mayor.  A cordial guy, one of my opponents even showed up as well as a few members of the opposing slate.  Hey, a party is a party.  


All in all, we had a great time. It was also nice to get the support of the local business community and residents.  As Sinatra's rendition of "Pennies from Heaven" played in the background, my treasurer collected campaign contributions with a warm smile and a thankful handshake.  Although we did not require a contribution to attend, virtually everyone gave generous donations.  Starting at 5 PM, the event lasted until well into the early AM.  How lucky can one guy be? I did raise the funds for my mailings. If you missed the grand affair, a few of my family members made the little video tribute above for me. I hope you enjoy it.

So now comes the hard part.  With the election less than a month away, I must use my remaining time to knock on as many doors as I can to try to convince voters that I am the right guy for the job and that my opponent hates children and puppies.  I will also send out my mailer to the homes in my district.  I thought about renting a few kids and a couple of labrador retrievers for the mailer's photo. Maybe I could borrow a bald eagle.  In the end, I decided to use a more conservative picture.  So if I come knocking on your door, remember.  Please turn off the sprinklers and keep your dogs at bay.

Paid for by Baron for New Britain. Marie T. Baron, Treasurer.  
Approved by Adrian Baron 

13 comments:

Bonnie Dingus said...

Adrian, good luck. I'd vote for any candidate who was smart enough to know that chocolate is the key to the swing vote.

Jess said...

My vote is always won by a chocolate fountain. What can I say? I have simple wants.

Adrian M. Baron said...

Thank you. lol

elijah ali said...

Thanks so much for this post! How did the fundraising go? Do you know any good real estate lawyers in Toronto?

Enrique Flores said...

You remind me a lot of the Woodstock lawyers. Very capable and personable. Keep up the good work!

Nancy Jorden said...

I have loved reading your article. Everyone needs a lawyer for almost anything these days.

Elisa Jed said...

Good luck! A lawyer trying to do the best they can - everyone should support that!

Sampson Greenovich said...

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