May 5, 2014. If you’re an independent or an opposition party candidate and you’ve ever run for political office before, then you know the system is rigged against you. First, you may have to collect ten-times the number of ballot access signatures as your Democrat and Republican opponents. Then they purposely exclude you from the debates. And if you make it that far, the establishment incumbents may just use their 50 dirty tricks of election campaigning on you.
If you're an honest, citizen-candidate running against an establishment incumbent, know what you're up against. Image courtesy of Salon.com.
Most honest, well-intentioned citizen-candidates who try to run for elective office are either terrorized into inaction, intimidated into dropping out of the race, or so afraid of the consequences of challenging the establishment elites that they never run for office to begin with. That’s one of the reasons most incumbents are running unopposed these days. But for the reformers that know what they’re up against and aren’t caught by surprise, they can run against establishment Republicans and Democrats, and they can beat them.
The below isn’t made up. Your author has witnessed each and every example occur in real life. This list is the result of 25 years of grassroots, independent and third party election campaigns against the very same establishment incumbents you might decide to run against some day in your part of the country. Take heed, be prepared and good luck.
50 Dirty Tricks used by incumbent establishment candidates
1. Once elected, sell out your base. They will vote for you anyway. Instead, use your resources to buy off the opposition and/or quietly flip-flop to their position.
2. Lie, lie and lie some more. Out-spend your opponents 50-1. Send out mailers and run ads continuously lying about your them.
3. Put laxatives in the polling place coffee pot. Have your way with the ballots, polling machines and the election.
4. Break off pencil tips in your opponent’s slot in the voting booths so that the punch-pin can’t penetrate the punch card. Or enlist a party computer hacker to infiltrate the electronic voting booth’s software and vote tabulations.
5. Go through the absentee ballots before they’re counted and get rid of those voting for the opponent.
6. Pay opponent’s election workers $100 to disappear on Election Day.
7. Rewrite the law to require independent and opposition party candidates to collect ten-times the number of ballot access petition signatures that establishment candidates must.
8. Use relatives and friends in government to investigate every bit of your opponent’s background.
9. Challenge opponents’ ballot access signatures and have party Election officials and Judges rule in your favor whether warranted or not.
10. Have the government dig up the street in front of your opponent’s house. Tow away their car. Ticket every visitor and family member’s car every day.
11. Have local kids tease, torment and bully your opponent’s children at school and in the neighborhood.
12. Have media outlets and ad agencies charge your opponent five-times what they charge you for ad buys and services.
13. Put your campaign signs on people’s front lawns whether they support your candidate or not. If they take it down, tell them they support your candidate and that’s all there is to it.
14. Use supposedly independent news outlets to repeatedly smear your opponent.
15. Have local police harass, arrest, and issue unending citations to opponents and their supporters.
16. Find out what businesses are supporting your opponent and pressure them to stop their support.
17. Send a spy to join your opponent’s campaign.
18. Violently attack opponent’s campaign workers while they’re walking the precincts.
19. Steal opponent’s signs and campaign materials and have local authorities ignore it.
20. Find some mystery person from the past to come forward with damaging revelations about your opponent.
21. Run phony candidates in the other parties’ primaries.
22. Buy off opponents’ high-level advisers and staffers.
23. Distribute campaign literature hatefully attacking yourself in your opponent’s name.
24. Make sure deceased and other ineligible voters remain on the voter rolls. When challenged, ignore the challenge.
25. On Election Day, make sure the police know they work for the party; not the people, the government or the election judges.
26. Campaign right inside the polling place, pressuring voters if need be.
27. Have our Precinct Captains control each election, its equipment, the ballots and the rules. Judges come and go and have no clue what they’re doing.
28. Regardless of how many acts of election and voter fraud you perpetrate, have the local media report for the 100th year in a row, “There were no election irregularities, just one election judge sent home because he smelled like alcohol.”
29. Use government funds, jobs, grants and contracts to buy off opponent.
30. Use buddies on the state and federal level to investigate and find a reason to indict your opponent.
31. Reward all campaign contributors with 100-times the amount they donated in government grants, pork or no-bid contracts.
32. Hire gang members or local thugs to intimidate your opponent and steal campaign materials.
33. Line the government from top to bottom with friends, family and contributors.
34. Send thugs to opponent’s campaign rallies; slashing tires, breaking windows and even smashing tables and chairs over the heads of old people and little kids.
35. Print and distribute campaign literature for your opponent, making them as hateful, ugly, sexist or racist as possible.
36. Find a relative of the opponent with a criminal past. Link them to the candidate.
37. Find opponent’s past sex partners and convince them to come forward with damning accusations.
38. Run a Trojan Horse candidate against you and your opponent, mirroring his/her platform and splitting the opposition vote. If need be, have the fake reform candidate drop out before the election and endorse you.
39. Register as many voters as possible using commercial mail box stores, PO Boxes and non-residential addresses.
40. Withhold government services from opponents, their families and supporters.
41. Double-staff polling places with election workers. Use half to distract and tie-down opponents’ workers and the other half to work the polls.
42. Give presents and gifts to election judges plastered with campaign stickers. Have it displayed prominently on the election judges’ table for all voters to see.
43. Take over polling places with your precinct captains and accompany voters into the booth to help them vote.
44. Have local media black out opponents’ campaign, except for your accusations against them.
45. Insist all companies wishing to do business with the government make campaign contributions to you and/or hire specific individuals from your campaign in high-paying jobs.
46. Have party workers at the Board of Elections accidentally forget to print the opponent on the ballot, or even their entire party.
47. Send campaign workers to your opponents’ rallies and public events to heckle them.
48. Hack your opponent’s personal computer and/or internet connection. Sabotage their efforts and materials.
49. Pay your supporters to actually vote on Election Day. Warn them you’ll be watching the voter rolls.
50. Pay your opponent's supporters not to vote. Warn them you'll be watching the voter rolls.
While the times and technologies may change as the years go by, the tactics of the two establishment parties and their incumbent elected officials don’t. These officials are continuously re-elected because their well-intentioned and naïve opponents aren’t prepared for the ruthless, brutal and criminal experience America’s elections have become. But if honest citizen-candidates know what they’re getting themselves into, and have the support of their friends, family and coworkers, they can overcome the odds and win.
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