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Tuesday, 04 November 2008 22:00

Nov. 5 newsletter from Steve Blythe: Thanks to all who helped

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Nov. 5, 2008


As those of you who live locally undoubtedly know, we were not victorious in our effort to win this district's seat in congress. Our race focused on economic stimulation through jobs, balancing the budget, and making sure that ALL Americans have access to healthcare.
The Republican opponent's campaign focused on one thing: bringing "accountability" to Washington. He accepted money from banking, from insurance, and from lobbyists, even accepting many thousands of dollars from lobbyists while he was still in session in the State Senate. I still haven't figured out if he means "personal accountability" at all.
We did not "go negative" in the campaign on these issues - perhaps we should have. But our campaign was one of integrity. We could not, however, compete successfully with a candidate with ten times the financial resources than we had. His campaign was able to flood the district with large glossy postcards on a weekly basis - not one of which even mentioned that he was a Republican...
We had no paid staff. We had hundreds of volunteers. I would especially like to thank Eileen Rich, who came on board early on as my treasurer - the thankless but most important job in a campaign, Laura Rich, my campaign manager, and Nancy Richards, our Indian River County campaign coordinator. These three and many others worked countless hours -for this I am eternally grateful.
Some moments in this campaign made the whole effort more than worth every minute and every dollar that went into it.
At Sam's Club Monday, I passed three black senior citizens in a lively conversation about Barack Obama, so I just had to stop and ask if they had voted yet. When they said they were going to be voting on Tuesday, I started to introduce myself, and one of the women gave me a huge hug and said "I know you are - I've been following your campaign!"  
Last Friday I drove down to Vero Beach to do some sign-waving with supporters there. As I pulled up, there in the pouring rain were eight or nine people waving our signs! You cannot buy that kind of support!

So I want to close by thanking everyone who helped - everyone who helped wave signs, stuff envelopes, make phone calls, man the office, canvas, and those who helped with much-needed financial assistance.
I would also like to thank Frank Zilaitis, the non-affiliated candidate who brought discussion of the Fair Tax (eliminating income-based tax and substituting a consumption, or sales, tax) to the table. While I am not a supporter of the Fair Tax, I think it is an important concept, and it is important for people to be able to come forward and bring new ideas to the voters. Unfortunately our system does not support third-party candidates and makes it very difficult for them to be heard. I tried when possible to let Frank's campaign know about events that we were invited to, and his campaign would give us a heads-up on events as well. As a Libertarian, Frank and I probably could not disagree more on most things political, but Frank is a very good person and shares with me a sense of humor - something often lacking on the capaign trail. (I got reamed by one disgruntled die-hard Rancatore supporter about the use of the picture of doggy poop in my last e-mail. Most viewers thought it was funny - Sorry if I offended....  )
In the future we all need to think about the issue of "Fair Elections" - publicly financed campaigns that would essentially make all candidates equal - they would have to compete on their merits, not their ties to the rich and big business.  It is probably the only way that the people will ever be able to take back the election process.
We made an impact on the district, and we brought important issues to the forefront. We can all be very proud.
Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
steve blythe

Blythe for Congress
P.O. Box 33815
Indialantic, FL 32903
Phone 321-327-5928
Last modified on Tuesday, 05 January 2010 21:44
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