The Journeys of Adam Graham
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
I received encouraging words from my boss who said he would have voted for me if he'd lived in my district and a co-worker as well.
I got to take a look at the Precinct by Precinct totals and it turns out that I only won 1 precinct, but boy did I win it. Precinct 26, which is the first precinct I visited, I beat Tom LeClaire 68-32%.
Thanks for all the people who voted for me. I proudly submitted my first (of many hundreds) post-election Letters to the Editor to the Statesman.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
I just went down to the Doubletree Inn to congratulate Tom LeClaire. By the time I arrived, it looks like a lot of the party had died down. We had a brief conversation. I congratulated him and I wished him good luck against Margaret Henbest. He said either one of us would have had an uphill battle against her, which is certainly true.
I left and returned home.
Tom LeClaire: 928-62.53%
Adam Graham: 556-37.47%
I wish Tom all the best in his campaign against Margaret Henbest in the fall.
I must observe (not to diminish Tom's victory), that the turnout for this election has been sadly pathetic. The total turnout looks to be around 1600 votes for everything and that has to be around 5% of the district's population.
I'm still determined to make a difference for Idaho, I just won't be able to do it in the Fall Campaign. I will work for "Keep the Commandments" on the Citizen's iniatative and may help one of the candidates for the legislature (probably Clinton Milner).
I can look at this positively. In 2002, Tom lost his race against Steve Smiley by a margin of 76-24% and came back to win this race. I think that given this was my first time running for office in Boise, I've done a good job and will have a future in strengthening Idaho.
I will not come back to run again until such time as I can secure at least $5,000 to run a serious campaign. I'll return now to doing what I love: writing and spending time with my wife. In the next couple of weeks I'll get back into the swing of the baseball scene as I write for Fanstop.com and I'll be writing actively for Americandaily.com. In addition, the Statesman with it's support of Tom has sentenced itself to Two Full years (at least) of me writing letters to the editor, responding to the left-wingers who so dominate our editorial page. I think they'll have wished me in the legislature by the time 2006 rolls around. :)
It looks like it's over unless Precincts 13 and 55 come in for me in droves. Ryan Davidson defeated for the precincts committee positions and he'll do well on that.
Well, 9 precincts reporting and the results now are:
Which adds up to a 61-39% margin. It's tightening up towards the end.
7 precincts reporting now and the results are as follows;
Tom LeClaire: 557-Adam Graham 302, LeClaire now up 65-35%, now we're closing the gap a bit.
Forget recount, it looks like Dave Bauman's gonna pull it out. He's up by 63 votes with only 2 precincts left. Meanwhile, I've moved slightly closer to Tom LeClaire, from 66.67 to 33.38. Need a little bit more movement here to catch up.
11:00 p.m. and the results are still the same in Garden City, 9 precincts not reporting.
In Idaho's 14th District, I'm saddened to see the loss of Henry Kulcyzck who is a great man and will still be active in the future of this state.
In District 18, Dave Bauman is ahead by a scant 9 votes. If it ends up this close, there will have to be a recount.
In District 20's Senate Seat, Gerry Sweet seems to narrowly be holding off Joe Borton. So, it's definitely a mixed night. Kulcyzck's defeat is a huge blow to Idaho's Conservative movement, but Sweet being ahead for re-election is good news and Bauman can make a huge difference if he manages to poll this out.
I've confirmed that of the 5 precincts counted, 3 are in the West Portion of the District (32, 56, and 57) which I hit hard towards the end of the campaign. The only other West Boise District yet to report is Precinct 55. Garden City has yet to speak so the current vote total reflect LeClaire's base precincts, not the Garden City precincts that I worked so hard in through March, April, and May.
These poll results are coming in at a snail's pace. I wonder if this is part of preparing people for the task of legislating.
Results as of 10:05 PM EDT, 5 precincts reporting
Tom LeClaire 438-67%
Adam Graham 219-33%
Still not ready to concede. I expected about 3000 votes casts in this primary
and right now we've only seen 657 and I don't think we've heard from most of Garden City yet.
1 Precinct Reporting:
Tom LeClaire: 77-60%
Adam Graham: 51-40%
Not too worried right now. This precinct wherever it is seems to be a bit of an oddball, it gave Michael Gollaher more votes than Graham Patterson which certainly won't be the result at the end of the night.
Monday, May 24, 2004
On my final stop, I knocked on the door and as has happened several times, the owner's barking dog threatened to charge out of the house if they opened the door.
The lady who answered the door said, "How about I not open the door and let the dog out." She apologized that she couldn't open the door. I said it was okay and left it on her door so she could read it later. (I think that I should have become an animal trainer, I'd make a fortune in this town with an obedience school.) :)
I went back to my car and turned on the engine, the clock read 8:18 p.m. I'd been planning on campaigning until 8:30, but didn't have time to start another street. So, thus ended my primary campaign. I've knocked on my last door until at least mid-August, when I'll resume the practice in the general election.
Last week, while preparing for my four day all-day campaign tour, Ecclesiastes 9:10 came to my mind, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might..." I've done that and now it's in the hands of God and the people. If I lose tomorrow, it won't be because I didn't try.
And as I finish this, I go back to the words of my friend a few weeks ago, "Duty is ours, results are His."
One of the last houses I visited on Bond Street, a woman answered the door. She asked me a lot of questions. (Finally a candidate forum.) She asked me where I stood on abortion, what I thought about taxes and education.
The woman then got on the topic of the American revolution. She talked about one of her ancestors Elijah Clarke. She was a member of Daughters of the American Revolution and very proud of her heritage. Clarke's main claim to fame was successfully retaking Augusta from the British in 1781, though she had him playing a far more pivotal role in the war than history resources indicated.
Elijah Clarke and a lot of Revolutionary heroes have been sadly forgotten. Thankfuly, Mel Gibson's The Patriot brought some of their legends back to life. Here's some information on the exploits of Colonel Clarke as well as a link to the Elijah Clarke Daughters of the American Revolution. The kind lady definitely has a heritage to be proud of.
She thanked me for my literature and said that she hoped I voted the way I talked. I told her I would.
I try to be considerate of people. When I interrupt peoples' dinners, it's not on purpose. If I see them eating through the window, I'll leave my information on the door. (Though if I see them, odds are they'll see me and come to the door anyway).
On Plymouth Street, yesterday, I was trying to find a way to a door where there was a large party going on the front lawn. I found that there was a stone path that led to the front door in front of a parked mini-van. I was careful not to step on the grass, inched pass the minivan and up the path. The man of the house spotted me and asked what I was doing there. I explained and asked him was the occassion was. He said that it was his son's High School graduation. I wished him well and gave him a flier.
I then went back to the street and saw him walk over to one of his neighbors who was there. I heard him say, "This guy's running for the legislature."
Well, somebody picked it up. Tonight, when I was campaigning, I was going down Cruzen and the person informed me that their neighbor had already given them one of my fliers.
In the Statesman's Voter's Guide yesterday it didn't include my picture. This actually wasn't tghe Statesman's fault. I remembered that while doing a story for Treasure Valley Christian News, the editor advised me to make sure my pictures were at the highest resolution, so that they would show up in print. All the Statesman had was my website picture which is a much lower resolution than you need for a newspaper.
Sunday, May 23, 2004
A man asked me to talk about my platform and I began to talk about Medicaid reform as a priority. One of my emphasises on that will be to help people move into jobs that offer health insurance and off of medicaid. Too often, our system of government benefits because a hand out that deprives people of their dignity rather than giving them help out in an emergency situation.
Some have mentioned the issue of Annabelle Green's surgery as something that would need to be cut. The real problem is the long term dependency. If we make it a priority to help people move to jobs that provide health insurance, while making recepients pay some of the costs for the services they use, then we'll have come a long way in reforming the system.
When I knocked on the door a man asked me an unanswerable question, "How's the campaign been going?" The truth as I've said before is that I honestly didn't know. All I know for sure is that I've been to around 2,000 homes. He was impressed by this and I told him I story I'd told several times before about when I was campaigning on April 1st. I knocked on a lady's door and introduced myself as a Candidate for the State House. She said, "Already?"
I told him that I would campaign a little more today and then go home. I would then spend two hours tomorrow, and if I win the primary, I'd give everybody about 2 1/2 months off and not pick up the door to door campaigning until August. He said it was a good plan as the rest would do me good as well as the voters. :)
He said he would count on me for November.
One disturbing sign for our politics came when I knocked on a man's door and shook his hand. I'd put my material in his door before he'd opened it. He handed it back angrily. He said that, "He wasn't interested." I asked if he was registered to vote. He said he was, but that he gathered his own information.
I offered, "This is just one other piece of information." The man responsed, "Will you respect my wishes? I didn't invite you here!" He then grabbed a piece of literature left by Jana Kemp and grumbled, "Another piece of junk I didn't ask for."
I was quite frankly astonished by this. What was this man's source of information? Would he simply vote for who the Statesman told him to vote for? Why listen to someone telling you what they think the candidates say or mean, rather than listening to the candidates themselves?
Another had a more serious problem. I knocked on her door and told her I was running for the legislature. She grabbed my literature and read through it. She pointed at Margaret Henbest's name and said that she'd voted for her last time.
The woman explained that she'd had two heart attacks in recent months and didn't know what was going on in politics. I told her how Senator Cecil Ingram (R) had retired and that David Langhorst was leaving his House Seat to run for Senate. She liked the information I gave her. She said she'd stopped taking the newspaper as she relied on the Television for all of her news. She said she would get a copy of the newspaper.
She was not happy with her current lack of information. She said she'd lobbied in the legislature before. I don't whether she'll vote for me or not, but I'm glad was able to get her started and back into the swing of what's going on in politics.
I received an unusual complaint from someone. As an elderly lady was reading my literature, she announced, "I don't like your appearance."
Her complaint was that she believed men should be clean-shaven. I patiently listened to her go on at length about this. Of course, this seems like a far less important issue than say Medicaid Reform or Education (but maybe this is just me). Abraham Lincoln had a beard, and we went 32 years between unbearded presidents at one point (between the end of the facial hair free Presidency of Andrew Johnson to the baby faced McKinley Presidency). After McKinely, America then went on to elect two Mustached Presidents (Roosevelt and Taft). In more recent times, Reps. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), Bob Dornan (R-CA), Vern Elhers (R-MI), and David Bonior (D-MI) have all worn facial hair. Our neighboring district is represented by the mustached Steve Smylie (R). The battle for bearded rights has been won! :)
She said she'd read my material and see what she could do. As I walked away, she said, "By the way, I like your skirt." (referring to my kilt). I generally explain that I'm wearing a kilt, in this case, I simply said, "Thank you" and moved on.
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Yesterday, I visited the 57th precinct and achieved a personal goal for this campaign (besides winning) of visiting every precinct in the district. It symbolizes the fact that I'll be Representing all 14 precincts, not just West Boise or Garden City, but the whole district.
I met a woman on West Bond Street and we had a very interesting conversation. She was a retired teacher and a former precinct committeeperson. She expressed concern first of all that the state had no licensing requirements for daycare, and that all requirements are city based. I told her I'd look into the issue if I was elected, as that seems odd to me, as does the situation with the county Coroners that I discussed back in April, but this will be an issue I'll definitely want to take a look at.
At one point, the lady began to express her concerns about homeschooling. She didn't believe that mothers should madke the choice to stay at home because it ruined them for retirement, should their husbands leave them in their 40s for other women.
I said, "I actually was homeschooled." She then began to press me, "How did you deal with college?" I told her I did fine and that I graduated with a 3.88 GPA with my AA degree in Journalism. She was impressed that I'd studied journalism. She asked what I'd gotten my four year degree in. I told her that I hadn't gotten a 4-year degree. She didn't have anything to say on that, but said that the journalism background would serve me well in politics.
I don't know if I gained a vote, but she did appreciate me coming by. I also think I handled her concern about homeschooling better than I would have when I was a younger. I was in training for a job a few years ago and during a time when our computers were down, the instructor was making small talk. She talked about how homeschoolers were so backwards and shy. She said, "I have a homeschooled girl who sits next to me and she's such a hermit." The rest of the class chimed in in agreement. This began to annoy and anger me as the statement was so ill-informed.
The instructor then went around the room asking everyone where they went to school. I responded without hesitation. "I didn't go to school, I was a homeschooled hermit." There was a silence for several seconds and the instructor turned red. Thankfully, I've grown a little since then.
Yesterday, while doing my morning reading, I noticed that Henry Kulcyzk had responded to his opponent. This took me entirely by surprise. The Statesman had informed me when I'd submitted an opinion piece that they wouldn't publish anything by candidates up until the election.
I realized that if I was going to get a chance to respond to the Statesman's endorsement of LeClaire, I needed to type quickly. I started writing at 8:15 a.m. and finished the piece at 8:40. This article wasn't too bad considering I wrote it in 25 minutes, so that I could get to work on time. If I'd had an additional hour, I could have written better. Still, it's far better than the Statesman attack on me as "heavy handed" being the only thing voters have to consider when they go to vote.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
The same man said that Rep. Henbest was a good person, but a bad legislator because she was too "politically correct". Another woman said that Henbest had been a friend of her family for four years (and I got the impression that I wasn't likely to get the woman's vote.)
One thing one has to be clear on in this campaign is that this challenge won't be about Henbest as a person. It will be about her record as a legislator. We're not electing a family nurse, but a State legislator and the question is not what kind of person/neighbor/nurse she is, but what kind of legislator/politician she's been. The issues are seperate and we must understand the distinction or the race will become a mere question of personality.
I talked to a man in the 56th precinct who was very concerned about how politicians had been messing things up in Boise.
One problem I pointed out is that most incumbents in the legislature are at the mercy of all the Special Interest groups for campaign funding. If I get into the legislature, I'd like to build a base of small donors ($20 or $40 each) who can be counted on to support the campaigns, so that I don't have this worry. It is a mess up there.
As I spoke, the man nodded and said that he and his wife would vote for me. It's after conversations like that, that I feel better about my chances on Tuesday and also in the Fall.
Near the end of my time in West Boise's 55th precinct, I met a home schooled mom who asked me if I was the home schooled candidate and I told her I was.
Home Schooling really was key in my formative years. Public Schools force kids into the mode of 8 hours a day spent in classes that may or may not be relevant to their goals in life. As a home schooler, I was free to work through the material at my own pace and dedicate additional time to research topics I love such as America and its politics.
I loved homeschooling and wouldn't have switched to anything else for the world.
Today marked the end of my four days of all day campaigning. I spent my time in Precincts 55 and 56, the 12th and 13th precincts I've visited in the district. I'll spend the rest of the campaign in Precinct 57 ahead of Tuesday's primary.
No one can say for sure what will happen in this race. There are so many question marks. What will the effect of my door to door campaiging be? What about LeClaire's direct mail hit?
The campaign is entirely shrouded in the fog of war. I could win by 20 points or lose by 20 points. (I think the former is a bigger possibility), that's why it's so important that everyone show up at the polls. Your vote could make a huge difference.
I received the following note yesterday via e-mail:
My wife just called to tell me that a large man in a Scottish outfit knocked on our door. I guess you made an impression :).
I checked out your website. I'll be voting for you.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Going door down Mountain View drive, a lady who answered the door asked me where some unbiased information could be found on the opinions of political candidates. I referred her to http://www.idahovoterguide.com and The Idaho Statesman Voter Guide at http://www.idahostatesman.com/elections2004 (unfortunately I didn't have the exact address on hand.
She said she'd read an article on the paper on the races in district 16, but that it seemed biased. It was, of course biased as it was an opinion piece endorsing Jana Kemp and Tom LeClaire.
I'd say one of the most disappointing things to occur this election cycle is the lack of voter education. Like this voter in West Boise, people want to know who they're voting for. While the Statesman voter guide is a noble effort, it's an online effort and a good 50% of Treasure Valley voters don't have access to the Internet.
The Statesman chose to have it's reporters give coverage to selected races it believed to be important such as the Miller-Bauman race in District 18, while leaving many races for the Statesman to print excerpts from the online guide on and to later make their endorsements.
I can't just blame the Statesman. No Civic groups have brought about candidate forums for all of Treasure Valley's numerous candidates and it would really be in the best interests of both the groups and the people to have candidates answering questions about issues that matter. We deserve candidate forums, and in-depth unbiased information on candidates made readily available to people (whether they have an Internet connection or not).
The only questions that are asked of candidates are those thought up by special interest groups or the news media. I hope that the Fall will bring more opportunities for the people to address the candidates and vice versa.
Going through the Mountain View Drive in the 32nd precinct, I found some Tom LeClaire literature and that LeClaire had been there before me. Still, I found people very receptive.
While, there's a lot I could comment on in in Tom LeClaire's literature. One could reasonably ask if "not raising taxes" is a priority why he didn't join me in signing "The Pledge" not to raise taxes from Americans for Tax Reform for example, but I've written pretty extensively about the difference between the two of us on the tax issue and believe there's no use beating a dead horse.
As I see it, there are two major issue differences between us, Taxes and Gambling. While, we'd both like to see the 6% sales tax go away, LeClaire's goal of getting rid of it is conditioned on improving economic numbers which may or may not materialize. On Gambling, having come from a State that had legalized gambling by the bucket load, I know that a Casino on every corner is a recipe for disaster, while LeClaire is uncertain.
There's stylistic concerns as well. While he views his experience as an advantage, I look at it as a liability in the Fall. He's very closely aligned with political establishment figures. I don't believe that our district will elect a Republican who can be painted as a mere "rubber stamp" on anything that comes down from the Governor or the House leadership.
Having said that, there are many similarities that LeClaire and I have on the issues. We probably line up about 90% of the time on the issues. We both have a common interest in political matters, both have raised under $1,000 for the campaign, both have patient wives who've agreed/volunteered to be our Treasurers. We both work in call center environments and our active in our churches.
I think that I've said all that needs to be said, and win or lose I wish him well, and whoever wins this primary will be a far legislator than Margaret Henbest.