The next five recommendations describe how to put together a campaign that brings to bear terrific expertise and provides accountability to the greater LGBT and allied community.
Greater accountability makes a campaign more permeable to up-and-coming as well as established leaders, and we will need both to do our best. The No on 8 campaign experience with online fundraising is just one example demonstrating the necessity of bringing in newcomers with expertise.
What we need is to build a campaign that meets three simultaneous challenges:
· first, to be open to new people, allies, thinking and data;
· second, to include and make good use of established figures, experienced consultants, and knowledge of standard campaign thinking and practices; and
· third, to be cohesive enough to set priorities and make decisions.
To meet those three challenges, my advice is to break with standard practice in California and hire a strong manager, one who manages the consultants.
The alternative and usual practice in California state-wide races is to leave the consultants functionally unmanaged. Without a strong, experienced campaign manager, management of the consultants falls to board members or donors. Unfortunately, they typically lack sufficient experience to manage the consultants (it’s a tough job), and also do not have the regular on-site exposure to the consultants to provide meaningful oversight.
When unmanaged, the consultants serve as the campaign’s de facto decision-makers. This structure has virtues but at a price: it makes a set of mistakes highly likely, foremost among them the failure of the campaign to anticipate and rebut our opposition’s appeals to anti-gay prejudice. The problem is spelled out in Appendix L: The Larger Dynamics: Why History Repeats Itself.