Carl DeMaio – Entrepreneurial Politics

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A Conservative Latino’s View on Politics…

I understand how an industry can begin to accept certain standards or ways of doing business that go against successful norms – politics is one of them. Since getting involved in local politics, and how I’ve lived life from both a personal and business perspective, I read Carl DeMaio’s campaign team announcement, and I see an entrepreneurial mindset. DeMaio’s running for the 50th Congressional District (CA) that’s a safe red district turned purple because of incumbent Duncan Hunter’s legal woes. Like Carl DeMaio or not, it’s refreshing to see a campaign flush with dollars going with an entrepreneurial mentality instead of spending on an outside organization to run his campaign. Consultants have their role, but they’ll always put you second to their own needs and wants – typically financial.

Let’s face it, most entrepreneurs don’t start from their garage because they want to. Despite long odds, a few succeed, and some change the world, while most impact locally, but both succeed. Successful entrepreneurs will tell you it starts with their “team.” Once thriving, they’ll give 10 zillion reasons for it, but the most important is likely “trust” of those around them when starting their venture. Politics are no different, and you build successful campaigns on strong leadership and trust. It’s a movement built from the ground up. If you can build a grassroots machine with money; you’re talking a behemoth of a campaign! Don’t believe me, look at 2016, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. The latter became president. The former’s ideology is now the party foundation with Sanders a contender to win the nomination.

ENTREPRENEUR MINDSET

Most don’t understand the mindset of an entrepreneur. It’s different. You think differently, especially when most don’t believe something is achievable or you recognize potential markets others don’t. Most fail, but those that don’t, if they’re honest, will tell you the team around them kept them focused, moving forward, their head from wandering too high into the clouds and kept them grounded. That’s what I’d say.

What I see in politics is many of the most critical decisions a politician will make during campaign season, come from the consultants they brought on. They control too many campaign decisions; becoming more a boss than a consultant and steering campaigns away from the reason (heart and soul) the candidate chose to run.

Entrepreneurs say they’re not afraid of tough decisions, but they are because those decisions affect the company and livelihood of the employees, backers, etc. They’re human like the rest of us. Yet, they have the courage and know it’s their responsibility to make tough decisions that’ll drive their vision of why they started the business. In politics that outlook merely changes to why the candidate chose to run.

LOYALTY

I assume there’s trust and enough of it for DeMaio’s team and Kitchen Cabinet (close confidants) to speak their minds. None represent an organization – their loyalty’s to DeMaio. The Republican Party continues to lose elections locally and statewide, and I firmly believe we’re going to keep losing until we change the playbook to develop a new strategy and more importantly, tactics that work! I don’t see that happening with the current consulting-class continually driving Republican leadership toward failing strategy and tactics.

LEARNING FROM FAILURE

Yes, I see the irony in those pointing out DeMaio’s lost his last two elections. Yes, a loss is a loss period. However, in life, especially in business, you figure out what went wrong, correct it and move forward, hopefully with better results. Those who point to DeMaio’s failure have legitimate claims until they analyze his past three losses (I’m including the Prop 6 Gas Tax Repeal).

All three losses had “unique” issues to them that most campaigns don’t deal with. I assume those issues – self-inflicted and outside creations – are easily recognizable, correctable and avoidable. DeMaio’s campaign staff should already have these issues laid out. Entrepreneurial’s the future if the Republican Party hopes to “Take Back California,” but for now, it’s a necessity just to compete!

THE REST OF THE FIELD

  • Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) has been campaigning for at least three years – nonstop – consolidating Democrats and appealing to Republicans.
  • Larry Wilskie (R) is a decorated SEAL comes into a district made up of veterans – both retirees and active and don’t tell a SEAL he can’t do or win something.
  • Sam Abed (R) is the former mayor of Escondido and his success as mayor will generate support for him among conservatives.
  • Bill Wells (R) is the mayor of El Cajon and appears to be courting the conservative Christian vote.
  • Matt Rahan (R) is the former mayor of Temecula
  • Helen Horvath (I) is the only “independent” candidate running.

DON’T ASSUME

Don’t assume, I’m saying DeMaio will win. Oh no, this will be a difficult race. DeMaio, like the rest of the field, has his own set of flaws. There are various factions of politics here in the 50th Congressional District. Each candidate has traits that mirror constituents in the district. Republicans will consolidate to support the candidate to keep this district red, but this race will get ugly.

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