Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A three year Dunwoody City Council seat for only 30¢ a vote.

Since I am not a wealthy man financially and I wasn’t able to accept political contributions due to the restrictions placed upon me by my Federal Employment; I ran this campaign out of my pocket, which for me meant that it had to be done cheaply.

I used the electronic media to build a citywide following leading up to the election with my neighborhood blog and then converted it over to my personal blog once the election was about to begin. I sent out a rather non-traditional campaign announcement which was circulated through the community via e-mail whereby I heard some residents received it through various routes up to 6 times.

I not only refused political contributions on day one, I also explained my circumstances and the fact that I would not be doing yard signs, mass mailings, robo calls or other expensive advertising tactics used to garnish votes. I proclaimed that every yard in Dunwoody without a sign was going to be voting for me and with the final count showing that 2 out of every 3 voters voted for me, I wasn’t far off.

I kept my blog readers engaged with fresh and relevant content on a nightly basis and I ensured that my fellow candidate’s information was available on my website to improve my site traffic by obtaining visitors (voters) who were looking for election or Dunwoody information.

Besides my web presence, my good friend Rob Maxwell donated a few hours of his time to craft a professionally designed logo and business cards, to again drive traffic to the site. Once the cards were in hand, I worked hard to meet as many people as possible to tell them about my campaign, my service to the community and again the website. I attended any function where people stood in line, namely school registrations and venues like the Bruster’s Ice Cream shop on warm weekend nights. Both venues were great for meeting Dunwoody residents, but I also walked door to door in several neighborhoods and I attended every school and civic meeting that my schedule would allow. Campaigning was a lot of work but I always pushed my website since I figured it was what made me different from the other candidates and it would help garner votes.

Besides the website it also helped that I had the best campaign manager in the city, who also happens to have a full time job being the domestic goddess (look at my financial statement) to me and my three boys. Without Kristin this election would have been very different since she is the social butterfly who knows almost everyone in town and in turn those people voted for me because of her.

Towards the middle of the campaign, the demand for yard signs was extremely high since my opponent had already blanketed the city with signage and my supporters wanted to fight back in kind. They also felt left out of the political process, cheated in fact that they couldn’t support me publicly, financially or in any other outward way. Since I made a statement that I would not be doing yard signs, I wasn’t going to back down but thought that magnetic bumper stickers would be an adequate replacement for my supporters. I ordered 250 of them, they were gone in about a week and I could have given out twice or three times as many if I had wanted to spend the money.

In the end, I spent a grand total of $1,233.34 on the campaign and garnered 4,074 votes therefore each vote cost me about 30 cents. Compared to what some of the other Dunwoody campaigns spent per vote, I am pretty proud of the accomplishment.

Thank you to all of my supporters who forwarded e-mails, wrote letters to the editor, told their friends about me and finally thank you to everyone who actually voted for me.

I hope to live up to your high expectations but then again if I am able to live up to the very high expectations that I have set myself; the City of Dunwoody should not be disappointed.


JustMom said...

Your "opponent" was your NEIGHBOR John and you went negative. You twisted words and made up "facts" regarding donations. (You didn't "refuse" donations, you were not permitted to take them. Big difference!) Will you attack other neighbors in Dunwoody North if they disagree with you? Does Kristin support your negative campaign? How can we ever trust you or her again? You won the election, but at what true cost? Do you even care about neighbors or do you just use them in your political fights?

GaryRayBetz said...

I have known John Heneghan for close to 15 years and never have I known a man of greater integrity than John Heneghan. So, "JustMom", your disparaging words of mendacity regarding John hold no credibility with those of us who know this fine man. John Heneghan ran an ethical campaign of honor and decency, and never once sullied his opponent. So, cut with the sour grapes and congratulate the Honorable John Heneghan on his victory!!!