Getting unfettered access to ANY political capaign is a rare treat for members of the media. Far too often the fear of exposing something negative outweighs any positive benefits. And it’s not only limited to political campaigns, as Rolling Stone proved. But George Phillips did grant M V Consulting, Inc. complete access to his campaign for the NY 22nd Congressional district today, and it was quite a day indeed.
Coverage of the day will take a little while. There is a lot of video to provide, video of a huge political event that is almost exclusive to M V Consulting, Inc. Bear with us as we tell you about the day and get the video up (which will be shortly).
Obviously the big thing today was the endorsement of former New York City Mayor (and former Congressman) Ed Koch – a Democrat and spry for 85 – for Congressional candidate George Phillips. This endorsement came along with another endorsement of size and importance as well, that of Ronald Lauder (of Estée Lauder and philanthropy fame). Such notable and distinguished figures backing any candidate would be news. The fact that they took a Republican over an 18 year incumbent Democrat makes it a whole world bigger.
But before we go there, lets take a step back.
The day started for us at 9:45am. That’s when Michaerl Vass, president of M V Consulting, Inc., arrived at the Endwell, New York offices of George Phillips. The campaign was already well into its buzz, with several volunteers manning phones and supporters dropping by to pick up signs and other displays of support for George Phillips. Mr. Phillips was actively working on several actions at once, for the days planned event, as well as coordinating plans for the future of the campaign. Campaign manager Matt Hutson greeted Mr. Vass and went over the itinerary of the day.
It was clear, even before this point, that there was to be no influence or editing of the events of the day by anyone other than M V Consulting, Inc. in its sole discrection.
But the time in the office was to be brief as, Mr. Hutson, Mr. Phillips, Megan Decoteau (who would be taking photos for the camopaign) and Mr. Vass were off to reach the first event of the day in Kingston, New York.
For those that don’t realize it, the 22nd Congressional district is huge. On the order of the size of Connecticut. Which is unique not because of the size but the pretzel twisted shape the district has; designed to amplify votes for Democrats based on the redistricting from a decade ago. After the mid-term elections the State will again undergo the once a decade reshaping of districts (based on Census numbers and political advantage generally), with the majority party – normally Democrats in NYS – building pockets of safety for their incumbents. Though the 22nd Congressional district is anything but politically safe this year.
The ride was not difficult, luckily avoiding traffic and most roadway repairs that were joked as President Obama’s gift to the day’s schedule (Mr. Vass’ joke). But the 2 hour trip did give insight to what a political campaign for non-incumbents is like. Unlike the major special interest funding that incumbents can rely on, and perks that come from taxpayers – like new cars and drivers – the Phillips campaign drove a less than new car and spent a good deal of time doing what the larger staffs of incumbents generally do. While there has been no access to the Rep. Hinchey campaign, one can be assured that he does not drive in an older working class car and has the luxury of donations from several industries and organizations that would love to gain his favor in Congress. [Rep. Hinchey is welcome to correct our assumptions on these general beliefs if we are incorrect]
Details on what exactly was said about the campaign and its efforts to get George Phillips elected to Congress will not be given. M V Consulting believes that details not pertinent to the character and motivations of any candidate or incumbent are not necessary. We were not in place to destroy a campaign strategy or give an advantage to anyone; rather to let readers and voters know about the candidate so they can make an informed choice. Suffice, gossip is not news.
What we can say about the trip is that George Phillips is very much the man that speaks to the people. After an initial 2 hours of listening to conversations, and discussing personal facts, it would be very clear if there was any deception in what he says publicly as opposed to privately. We will say that Mr. Phillips continues to teach, he is a school teacher, holding a single class in the morning before going out and campaigning. It’s something that his student apparently find quite interesting, and we believe motivates them to learn about history and the nation. It also provides lessons about life, such as an incident where students on a short school day wanted to not be required to take a test (though one could hardly think of a time a student would want to take one), only to be reminded that every day of the campaign Mr. Phillips teaches and then goes out for the long schedules required for a campaign to be elected. A lesson in working hard for what you want and enduring hardship for a goal, lessons not often taught these days.
We will reveal as well that Mr. Phillips is a dedicated family man. Throughout our time with the campaign, Mr. Phillips regularly contacted his family and updated them on the days progress as well as checking on how they were all doing. He is also quite proficient in Spanish.
Seperate of Mr. Phillips we can also say that his staff, especially campaign manager Matt Hutson, are involved because they believe in Mr. Phillips. Mr. Hudson came to the Phillips campaign because of the character of Mr. Phillips as much as the positions he holds on various issues. And like M V Consulting, will hold Mr. Phillips to his campaign promises if elected. But most important is the sense of absolute surety that Mr. Phillips will live up to his words; a thought to be echoed just a short while later in the day. Several times.
Upon reaching the Holliday Inn at Kingston, New York, Mr. Phillips took a moment to speak with a couple of supporters outside before entering and meeting the key figures of the day: Mayor Ed Koch and Ronald Lauder
To be continued in part 2…