In these days of millionaire politicians and campaign budgets that rival the gross national product of some fair-sized nations, it’s heartening to see some good old-fashioned campaigning going on here in North County.
Most candidates have been stung by the economy and aren’t collecting as much money as they used to. I wouldn’t be surprised if the total price tag for North County elections is less than it was four years ago, when many of the same seats were up for grabs.
Oh, we’re still seeing our share of slick mailers, glossy campaign pamphlets and ubiquitous signs. But we’re also seeing candidates taking to the streets, ringing doorbells and shaking hands with voters—far more than in the past, most observers agree. We’re seeing neighborhood meet-and-greets, barbecues, and candidate appearances at all sorts of community and neighborhood events.
And of all the people running for office, perhaps no one is working harder than Farrah Douglas, the Carlsbad planning commissioner now making her second attempt to land a seat on the city council.
Douglas is the James Brown of North County politics. He was the self-proclaimed “hardest-working man in show business.” She’s giving him a serious run for his money.
Back in May, nearly three months before the filing deadline, Douglas was already walking precincts. She estimates she’s personally knocked on some 10,000 doors. Douglas also attends three or four meet-and-greets a week, some for as few as five or six people, others for groups of more than 100, such as recent gathering at the Rancho Carlsbad clubhouse. And each evening, Douglas spends two or three hours answering emails and phone calls.
Douglas also has harnessed new technologies. She’s on Twitter and Facebook, and personally maintains each account, frequently interacting with comments and responses. She’s launched a YouTube channel with nearly a dozen videos, including testimonials from community leaders like John Heidrich of Tip Top Meats and action shots from the campaign trail.
Douglas also has launched her own Internet radio station on the blogtalkradio network, on which she interviews Carlsbad merchants and, lately, candidates in other local races, including school board and the Carlsbad mayor’s and treasurer’s races.
All this appears to be paying off. Other candidates may even be trying to ride her coattails: last week the Carlsbad Police Officers Association sent out a mailer endorsing, and picturing, Douglas alongside mayoral contender Keith Blackburn, even though Douglas supports both pension reform and Proposition G, the Carlsbad pension measure the police and fire unions, and Blackburn, oppose.
If hard work and perseverance can win an election, Douglas should have nothing to worry about.