Last night at my Masonic Lodge meeting, a brother came up to me and asked if my campaign for State Rep was serious. Naturally I assured him it was. He replied "So you're going to become a politician?" I answered, "I am already one. What I want to become is an elected politician."
To do that, of course I need the help of my friends. One of the most important qualities of any campaign is credibility. Nobody likes to back a loser. As my friend's question implied, even he wanted to know that what I was doing was for real.
He had (I think) no reservations about my qualifications to serve. What he wanted was assurance that I was willing to do what it takes to win. Having affirmed that, he agreed that he would be sending a donation to my campaign.
For those who don't know me, there is one mark of credibility that will become public in mid-July. How much support do I have as measured by my fund-raising abilities. If my friends and family believe in me, then there is a clear sign that at least they see me as a credible candidate. Why mid-July?
June 30 is the end of the first semi-annual financial disclosure reporting period. For better or for worse, the hard cold numbers on that document are an indication of my credibility. When Heather Steans deposited $25,000.00 in her campaign fund, she stated to all the world that her campaign was for real and thus began her successful journey to becoming an Illinois State Senator.
I can't do that. So, as do most grass roots candidates, I have to rely on the support of my friends. As of today I have raised $3,507.47. At this rate, I'll be lucky to report donations of some $10,000.00 on my first disclosure. Not bad, but hardly credible. Anyone with political acumen will tell you that credibility comes somewhere around the $25,000.00 mark, as Ms. Steans knew so well.
Besides credibility, as if that weren't important enough, there is the reality of costs. A campaign manager will cost some $3,000 a month, an election attorney $250.00 an hour, one campaign mailing to the voters of my district about $12,000.00 -- and I'll need six to ten of them just to win the primary.
Mark my words, Deb Mell and her father are going to do everything they can to defeat me. Out-spending them isn't the only way to win, but having the money necessary to win is just as important as speaking well, campaigning diligently, aggressively meeting my constituents, and having a platform that meets the political desires of my voters. And all of that costs money.
There is no doubt that I will have to stretch, and stretch seriously to win this election. Will you "stretch" with me? If you can afford $5.00, please give ten. Make $25.00, fifty and $50.00 a hundred. Most importantly, do it now. Show everyone that you believe as I do, that Joe Laiacona is a credible candidate and has the will, the power, and the potential to win.
Go to http://www.friendsforjoelaiacona.org/ right now to donate.
Paid for by Friends For Joe Laiacona. A copy of our report will be on file with the State Board of Elections and the Cook County Clerk, Chicago, IL. Contributions to Friends For Joe Laiacona are not deductible for federal or state income tax purposes.