Monday, June 16, 2008

Who Exactly is Steve Sauerberg?

In response to my suggestions (below) for Illinois U.S. Senate candidate Steve Sauerberg, Mary on his campaign notified me that she's established a new site: Here's my response to her:

Mary, God bless. I don't really mean to be the world's biggest Know-It-All but there some practical things that never seem to happen. Your MoveOn Dick Durbin is a wonderful idea. Hammer away at him every day. He's a wimp. I hope Steve keeps asking him why gas prices went through the roof. They want to blame George Bush for everything, but what exactly is Durbin doing in Congress? What are any of them doing? If we send him back, what's our reward: $8 a gallon gas? Falling home prices? Rising food prices? Raising our taxes? It may not be possible for Steve to confront Durbin face-to-face on these issues -- he will remain in hiding. But is a good place to beat him up. I believe it's important to hit these people hard. They have been AWFUL, the worst legislators in the history of the country, a bunch of people committed to preserving their jobs rather than protecting the country. Their response to all this is to raise millions of dollars from special interests that are themselves the cause of most of our nation's problems. If you want you can, reprint this -- or anything you see from me.

I'm urging everyone who visits any of my sites to join Clintons4McCain, a site of Hillary Clinton supporters who are now committed to the election of John McCain. That large -- and rapidly growing -- group needs the support of everyone opposed to the election of Barack Obama.

Above is Republican senatorial candidate (Illinois) Steve Sauerberg with his wife and daughter.

Today, I contributed $25 to the campaign of Steve Sauerberg, a medical doctor and humanitarian who's running against incumbent Dick Durbin. I hope you'll do the same today.

However, what does Sauerberg have in common with the Pennsylvania congressional candidates I usually discuss?

For one things, the Pennsylvania challengers and Sauerberg share some committed Illinois supporters, including Beverly Perlson, founder of The Band of Mothers web site. I know Bev has contributed to Tom Manion, Republican candidate in PA's 8th district (Bucks County). I'm also hoping Pennsylvanians will donate to Dr. Sauerberg's campaign. The goal is to "nationalize" campaigns -- make them 50-state efforts, with contributors from across the nation.

To that end, Sauerberg can learn some things from the PA candidates:

First, his web site -- one he probably paid top-dollar for -- has problems. It's much too hard to donate there. He needs to simplify the process. In doing so, he should take a look at Toni Gilhooley's (17th district Republican candidate) web site. At first, it struck me as somewhat home-made, but in fact it's easy to contribute there. If you look at both sites (and, hopefully, make at least a small donation to each candidate), you'll see what I mean.

(The sites for Melissa Hart and Tom Manion are also easier to use than Sauerberg's.)

Second, the Sauerberg web site currently focuses on political corruption, something that seems endemic to Illinois politics. (The previous governor -- Republican -- is in jail and the current governor seems headed in that direction.) In fact, the web site should be focusing on other things, particularly gasoline prices, which will be the most important issue in this campaign.

I wish there were a web-site picture of Sauerberg standing next to a gas pump showing the current prices. Then, I wish he would say that Sen. Dick Durbin and his colleagues are directly responsible for those prices. "If you're happy with the current gasoline situation, then send Dick Durbin back to the Senate. If not, send me."

Saurerberg needs to highlight the fact that, since the Democrats took over Congress at the beginning of 2007, gasoline prices have gone up 75%. Also under the Democrats, food prices have skyrocketed and the housing market collapsed. Other than that, the Democrats have I guess been just "fine."

Third, Sauerberg should have a short video on his web site. It should contain perhaps 125 words of comments, focusing on the candidate's need for support -- and, especially, for contributions. (I have a model of such an appeal, and it's available free-of-charge to GOP candidates.) Visitors to Sauerberg's web site -- and they should total a million-plus -- will respond to videos.

Fourth, Sauerberg's site should also have a direct outreach to supporters of Hillary Clinton. Dick Durbin is joined at the hip to the Obama candidacy. As I've been pointing out, many Hillary supporters are angry at Obama and his campaign, and they're open to appeals from honesty-in-government candidate's like Sauerberg.

Frankly, a candidate like Dr. Sauerberg can't even come close without attracting a huge number of Hillary Clinton supporters. Visit web site like Clintons4McCain and JustSayNoDeal to get a sense of the political opportunities.

Will these recommendations help not only the Sauerberg campaign but just about every Republican effort? Yes. Candidates need to use methods that will touch voters's hearts, heads, and pocketbooks.

Can Steve Sauerberg actually beat an entrenched Democrat like Dick Durbin -- especially with Illinois resident Barack Obama heading the ticket?

Let's put it this way: If Steve runs a terrific campaign and accumulates an army of supporters, he probably can be -- sooner or later -- a U.S. Senator from Illinois. If he pulls out all the stops, including the ones I've suggested, he should do well in the November election.

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