Me and Mike, On the Campaign Trail
I am working on a campaign to elect Mike Case as a state representative to the Massachusetts legislature. Mike is a conservative Republican, a military veteran (Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq), a retired police officer and all-around great guy who I believe is going to win this race.
I am Mike’s only helper who shows up regularly. And we are working hard and enjoying the pace of the campaign, with momentum seeming to pick up every day. Mike recently met with US senator Scott Brown, one of his old Massachusetts National Guard buddies, and Brown assured Mike that he would help him with a fundraiser and campaign appearance. So that is another big step forward.
Meeting with Brown was the latest positive development in Mike’s quest to get elected and to start to help to clean up the corruption in the Bay State, which virtually everyone acknowledges is out of control. Many Democrats are joining to help Mike because he is running a good campaign – optimistic, transparent and honest. You would be amazed at the enthusiasm.
Mike knows many, many people in the district already from his service as a cop, and from his military connections, and this is helping him greatly. Every day people come into the campaign office and they leave with a smile on their face. Because Mike makes people smile. He is a friendly, outgoing Irishman who loves to schmooze. In fact, I am becoming his Gotta Go guy. When he shoots the breeze too long with a potential voter, I tug his sleeve and tell him, “Mike, we gotta go.”
You can talk to Mike for five minutes and think you have known him forever. He is a true American hero but without an ounce of braggadocio. You should see his military citations and commendations marking a career of honor. They humble me, because I have never served in the military. He has done so much that I couldn’t even begin to describe it all here. There even is an American flag in the campaign office that flew over the Baghdad embassy in 2005 when the war seemed lost. Except that guys like Mike pulled it out of the fire.
Mike has made some really good campaign decisions on his own. His lawn signs are striking – round; red, white and blue; visible from a long way off; and they say ‘I LIKE MIKE’, then ‘CASE’ in the biggest letters, then ‘STATE REP’. Mike calls them his “lollipops”. They are very simple and visually strong, the best of all the candidates running. People comment on them all the time. Mike picked out the design himself, showing real savvy.
And then Mike rented a campaign office right along the main street in the biggest single town in the district, Dalton, the home of Crane Paper Co., which makes fine writing paper and also all the paper for US currency. Mike’s likely Democrat rival is a selectman in Dalton, so this is a stick in the eye for that guy. And this likely opponent has a very bad reputation among a lot of people in Dalton so Mike and I both believe that Mike can win even Dalton.
Several days after Mike announced earlier this year that he would run for the seat, the incumbent Democrat dropped out. This started the campaign well, and the lefty local newspaper even has treated Mike fairly. Perhaps even they see the problem in Massachusetts where the legislature is, get this, 90% Democrat.
The district is largely rural, is in the western part of the state, is shaped like a dragon, and there are some towns in it that I had never visited even though I’ve lived here much of my life. Mike and I are doing lots of shoe-leather and rubber-tire campaigning, putting out signs and meeting people in rural areas where few politicians even have ventured before. Mike recently met a Vietnam veteran in the tiny burg of Becket who had lost both his legs and suffered from Agent Orange. That Marine was sure glad to meet Mike because he obviously does not get many visitors, isolated as he is. “Semper fi!” Mike shouted upon entering.
These are the kinds of moments that make you realize that seeking office for some people is a pursuit of honor, not just a job to get things for themselves and for their cronies as it is for most Democrats. And I am proud to be working for Mike Case. Because I know he is a man of integrity. His son even recently returned from Iraq.
Recently Mike Rigas, political director of the Massachusetts GOP, came out to see our operation. Most power in Massachusetts is concentrated in Boston and in the rich suburbs in the eastern part of the state. Our area is little known to many down there, but Rigas was impressed with our spirit and our independence. And when Mike Case wins, we will start to get a little more respect from the GOP big-shots.
August is a busy month. There are church chicken barbecues, regional fairs and small-town steak bakes. We conservatives are going to have a booth at the big Cummington Fair for the first time. This is real grass-roots politics, and we plan to invite Republicans and conservatives from all over the region to gather at our booth and begin to increase our power.
I even am going to send an invitation to Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state George Schultz to come and visit our booth and meet Mike. He has a summer home in pastoral Cummington. Imagine if he showed up. I would flip.
It really is a privilege for me to work with a guy like Mike Case. He is such a humble, good person and the people we are meeting in this campaign are typical of the kinds of decent citizens who are going to transform Massachusetts from a corrupt, leftist backwater back into a modern, growing state. It will take hard work, but getting a guy like Mike elected to the legislature is a big step forward. Already he has met another military veteran from the Boston area who is considering a run for the state legislature in the future.
Just think what advice Mike and I could give him about winning in Massachusetts.
If you would like to contribute to Mike’s campaign, please make out checks to The Committee to Elect Mike Case and mail them to The Committee to Elect Mike Case, PO Box 1344, Pittsfield, MA 01202
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.