Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Down and Dirty in Alabama

Blood sport is nothing new around here; we have cock fighting, for example. And Alabama-Auburn football. But today is the Superbowl of Blood Sport; the Nirvana of Nastiness...beyond the Extreme Rugby Championship, or no-holds barred cage fighting...it's...The Alabama Primaries!

This is a primer for anyone who wishes to run for office in the Yellowhammer State. First, you will need some funds to play ads every seven minutes on every radio station and every reality TV show broadcast throughout the state. For a solid month. Clearly, that requires a lot of funds; so you might need to meet people who are engaged in illegal activity. They generally have more funds than people who are not engaged in illegal activity. Some recommendations include, but are not limited to, gambling cartels, friends of ex-CEOs and politicians who are currently incarcerated, and teachers' unions. These funds will then need to be properly "washed", because talk show hosts on those radio stations where you are advertising have no gratitude; they insist on "following the money" that you have given them. Bank insiders, PACs with confusing names, and fake websites make the "washing process" a bit easier.

Then you need some name recognition. It's helpful if you already have a moniker like "Young Boozer" or "Twinkle". (These are actual names of actual Alabama candidates, and this writer has no earthly idea if they have followed the recommendations outlined here.) If you are not lucky enough to have a fancy name, but you are a doctor, you can change your name - legally - to "Doctor"; which will instill trust in your constituents when they see it on the ballot. Or you can make billboard-sized signs and put them up on public property, especially along interstate highways. (Notes: Do NOT remove these interstate signs when the election is over. They will be useful when you run again in the future. And while you are "off-roading" in the Ford 150 posting your own signs, you can mow down those of your opponent. Just be sure you don't have one of them stuck in your truck grill when you show up at your next fundraiser.)

Next, you will need a commercial. Here is the text, suitable for radio, along with the action, for your TV ad. " __________________ is YOUR candidate for _________________. (Candidate, smiling, holding important-looking book.) _________________ is just like you. S/he is TIRED of career politicians. _________________ is a small business owner/farmer/hard-working American. (Candidate, smiling, filing/driving tractor/wearing hardhat.) S/he is proud of his/her Alabama values (Candidate pushing child on swing and smiling at spouse.) ___________________ is a conservative Christian (Candidate holds Bible and walks up to church) and has been a Sunday school teacher/lay pastor/acolyte for _____ years. (Candidate shakes hands with folk in front of church.) Vote for ___________________ for _______________. (Closeup of billboard-sized sign with candidate's name and website info. Unless you are running for Agricultural Commissioner. Then it is best to point a rifle at the camera.)

And you will need a "Don't Vote for My Opponent" commercial. If you are creative, this is your opportunity to shine! This is no time to burden yourself with the truth - it is not required under Alabama law. Compare your opponent to livestock! Insist that s/he does not believe in God! Note that his/her money came from illegal sources! (Yes, I realize this miiiiiight be bordering on the truth...) It is also fun - if you are, for example, a Democrat - to make up an uber-Republican PAC name and buy a bunch of air time to accuse your most likely Republican opponent of being a "Liberal". The sky's the limit!

One final strategy: Identify the jurisdictions that typically have 120-130% voter turnout. If they're in your pocket, you're ahead of the game. Go for the Bonus Points!

That should get you through the Primaries. Stay Tuned for "How to Win a Runoff!"

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