Last August when Chris Christie's poll numbers against Jon Corzine dropped from double digit leads to within the margin of error Republican "experts" throughout New Jersey panicked. Alan Steinberg and others were all over Politickernj and the New Jersey Sunday talking head shows telling the the Christie campaign how they needed to respond to Corzine's advertising with paid media.
Christie ignored the "experts" and kept touring the state, showing up everywhere from kitchen tables to small businesses. From chamber of commerce meetings to boardwalks while his team relentlessly got his message out with free mainstream media, blogs, email blasts, social media, and on the phone, all while marshaling their relatively scant resources for the final paid media push in October.
We have a similar situation in CD-6.
The Republican "experts" did not panic over Frank Pallone's $4 million war chest. They resigned to the "fact" that they couldn't beat him and decided to recruit a candidate who could "self-fund" a campaign that would at least get Pallone to spend down his war chest so he would be weakened in his long anticipated state wide campaign for either Governor or U.S. Senate.
They recruited Diane and Mickey Gooch. Despite that fact that the value of the Gooch's company's stock, GFIG, of which the Gooches own 43%, was down 67% in the last three years, Mickey had bragged in the media that he could pay off the million dollar mortgage on his CD-12 estate with "the spare change" in his bank account.
But there was a problem.
A very popular former Freeholder with a history of winning when she wasn't supposed to, now a small town Mayor with no money, was also running.
Anna Little, who never lost an election, thought Frank Pallone could be beat and that she could beat him.
She had no money, but she was everywhere. Kitchen tables, small businesses, chamber of commerce meetings. Email blasts, social media, blogs and a militia of motivated volunteers going door-to-door with literature produced by volunteers and printed nicely but on the cheap. No paid campaign consultants, but seasoned volunteers with many successful campaigns under their belts guiding the fired up newcomers.
Gooch now had to spend money on the primary. Suddenly she was not self-funding, but fund raising. She was loaning her campaign money rather than donating. She was spending $18,000 for polls she couldn't release. She sent out three professional glossy mail pieces with glamour photos, family photos, and scarce content. She spent money on three TV commercials for an election that will probably have less than 10,000 voters show up at the polls.
Without money for a professional mailing house. 50 Little volunteers folded, labeled and sealed 16,000 thousand pieces of mail in one evening. If you are a CD-6 Republican voter, the piece was in your mail box this week.
Marshaling her resources for the final paid media push, Little's TV commercial was produced by a volunteer Wednesday night. It will air on FoxNews via local cable outlets starting this morning through the primary on Tuesday.
SHE CAN DO IT!